Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America

Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America: A Genealogical History

Americans have learned in elementary school that their country was founded by a group of brave, white, largely British Christians. Modern reinterpretations recognize the contributions of African and indigenous Americans, but the basic premise has persisted. This groundbreaking study fundamentally challenges the traditional national storyline by postulating that many of the initial colonists were actually of Sephardic Jewish and Muslim Moorish ancestry. Supporting references include historical writings, ship manifests, wills, land grants, DNA test results, genealogies, and settler lists that provide for the first time the Spanish, Hebrew, Arabic, and Jewish origins of more than 5,000 surnames, the majority widely assumed to be British. By documenting the widespread presence of Jews and Muslims in prominent economic, political, financial and social positions in all of the original colonies, this innovative work offers a fresh perspective on the early American experience.

Print ISBN: 978-0-7864-6462-3
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-7864-8906-0
34 photos & illustrations, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
291pp. softcover (7 x 10) 2012

Paperback: 291 pages
Publisher: Mcfarland (February 20, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0786464623
ISBN-13: 978-0786464623
Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 1 x 10.2 inches

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Reader’s Review

“Nothing Short of Amazing”

A few years ago, I retired from a career as a police detective. Sadly, in retirement, I became a junkie. Yes, I freely admit I’ve been a genealogy junkie for a number of years now. Recently, my insatiable habit has been fed by a newly discovered connection, that of the books authored by two stalwart researchers Elizabeth Hirschman and Donald Panther-Yates. First, there was When Scotland was Jewish. And now, I’ve just finished my first read through of their latest endeavor, Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America.

As a person addicted to family history, I know I share a frustration with like minded souls in that I’ve not had the time or means to run down every lead or theory that I’d developed while gazing at family trees, naming patterns, ports of emigration, and maps of migration. Suddenly, I’ve found two fellow travelers, Hirschman and Yates, who have not only done light years worth of investigation for me, they have actually validated many of the theories I’d developed on my own.

When Scotland was Jewish was an eye opening sojourn through the lands of many of my European forefathers. Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America, on the other hand, has brought it all closer to home. It is nothing short of amazing.

I completed my first read through in two sittings and found so many families I recognized from my own amateurish sifting, including: Van Cortland, Van Rensselaer, Abrahamsen, Coffin (Cohen), Giles, Gardner, Van Sandt, Ash, Moore, Yeamans, Davis, Swan, and Vann. The list is almost endless. If you are like me, an obsessed archaeologist, rooting around in your past, Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America is your book. I can only hope the next offering of these two authors is as enlightening!

George Collord Mount Shasta, California.



The information that is described in this book is quite interesting! I had always assumed that there were always secret Jews in London and elsewhere in the British Isles. I was wondering if there are more discoveries regarding the Jewish musicians and Goldsmiths who were recruited to "glorify" the court of Henry VIII ? The Anthony family of Goldsmiths are quite interesting. It appears that they were Sephardi in origin. It would be great to have some proof of this. Several of us descendants are trying to prove our ancestry so as to obtain Portuguese Passports.

By Glenn J Hill