I thought you all might be interested in my Sephardic Jewish family with links to the Chavers/Chavis family:
Marc Barniro Snelling (Snellen), father of Asa Snelling (Snellen) of Boxford and Andover, MA, is my 5th great grandfather.Children of Asa and Elizabeth (Nancy) Hope are Asa, John Haman, Aaron, Moses, Betsey, Joseph, Melinda and Charles Green.
FAMILY HISTORY states (a?) Marc Barniro Snelling left Barcelona, Spain “during the wars” or “rebellion” and came to Boston, MA.He and his brother had a banking and brokerage business and vast properties on the Llobregat River that were confiscated. He also had a sister married to Rodrigo Ribera.His cousins also left Spain, some to St. Augustine and some to Canada.Marc married Christina Olivares whom he’d met in America.She was a ward of the Spanish crown, leaving Spain as a stowaway to avoid a prearranged marriage.She was a member of the “Arnaud” (?) family.She used the name “Gruald” so that she couldn’t be found.Marc’s son Asa was first in the British Army, then abandoned in Canada with his cousin, and joined the American cause in the Revolutionary War.He was a bodyguard of Israel Putnam. Indians captured his one cousin and he was also in contact with southern cousins.
GENEALOGY SEARCHES (thanks Linda Bruzzone) located a record identifying Mark Snelling, b. say 1720, to have first shown up in Boxford, MA, living with his much-older sister, Mary (nee Snelling) Dowen or Dowin, also called the Widow Dowen.Mark was called a “mulatto”, though not his sister.She lived in a root cellar, not uncommon, after husband Richard Dowen died.Mark worked for Dr. David Wood to support Mary.Another record shows a Mary Snelling (?) warned out of Salem, MA with another women in 1712.Mary Snellen m. Richard in Haverhill, MA in 1719.Their three children were John, Mary and Mehitable.Mark married first Jane, mother of Asa, then Alis Trevis of Haverhill and Dinah Mighill of Newbury.Asa’s war records describe him as “mulatto”, dark-skinned and tall. There are two different ages, occupations and place of origin in war records and two Asas on census records, indicating two possible families.The Spanish origin is reflected on a census for my 2nd great grandfather Moses.
CURRENT RESEARCH has centered on determining the Snelling relationship.It’s possible we’re related to the Snelling / Chavis (Chavers) family of Virginia in the 1600s.One Chavis descendant successfully fought his “mulatto” standing to show that he was Portuguese.Many of these families were “Melungeon.”Merchant adventurers Snellings were identified in England, the British colonies’ East Coast and the West Indies, ties to Alley, Doggett and Brewster.Quaker Snellings are documented in England, the southern U.S. and maybe the West Indies, with ties to Paradise and Bond.The Netherland Snellings (Snellens) and the English Snellens haven’t been checked.Research in Spain shows possible migration after the Catalonian rebellion when properties were seized.There’s a strong possibility of Sephardic Jewish roots.Surnames Olivares and Ribera (Ribiera) are of Sephardic origin, as are VA Snelling names of Chavis and Goar and sometimes Aquila.Research (thanks Donald Panther Yates) identified Bar- as a typical Sephardic prefix.Checking further, in Hebrew, bar-, like ben-, means “son of” and neiros are the Menorah’s lamps.With that, I’ve been able to learn the correct surname spelling of Barniro to be Barneiro.I’ve even located some other Barneiros in Portugal and Brazil.Haman, Green, Paradise and Trevis are also of Sephardic origin.I’ve also located a Snelling (Snellen) Jewish family from England associated with the Montagues.I continue to research all these names and variants and anglicized possibilities such as Barnes, Barnett, Arnold, etc. and continue to look for the connection of my family with Melungeon families believed to be Sephardim.
Cheers! Donalyn Administrator of the new Sephardim message board at Rootsweb