I am researching back in branches of my Mothers family, following a group of Sephardic Jewish ancestors,( about 12 different families that I have tentatively identified) who arrived in America in Virginia in the 1600`s, via London, Amsterdam, Venice, and Genoa. One of the families is surname Anthony, which I can trace back to Genoa / or Amsterdam in 1650.
My most recent direct female ancestor in this line, born in 1745, had Menges as her middle name.( Mary Menges Anthony).
I have realized that Menges might well be a variation of the spelling of Mendez/ Mendes, and I am wondering if Mendez was the family surname when they left Spain or Portugal.
The first ancestor in this line I know of for sure, was said to have been born in Genoa in 1650, named Marcus Antonius or Marcus Anthony. But I have also found refrences to a Anthony Mendes, who was a 'Portguse merchant ' in London in 1678, when the next ancestor I have was born, a Mark Anthony. It may have been that in London they decided to drop the Mendes, and instead used ( son of ) Anthony instead.
The problem with these of our ancestor who fled for their lives, was then they often had 3 or 4 or more names !!
I have another line that goes through the Bassano family of Converso Jews, who played music for Henry VIII. They came from Spain originally, but passed through Venice and the area around Venice. They have De Nassi ancestors in Venice. De Nassi is another family name used by some of the Mendes family, including Gracia De Nassi and her Husbands family. Some records say that both she and her sister married their Uncles, who were named Mendes, of the House of Mendes banking House.
So, anyone know more about if Mendez is really the same surname as Mendes and Menges ?
It is interesting that my family 8 generations back, but as recently as 1745 would have perhaps carried the ancestral name forward as a middle name for my direct female ancestor!