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The English meaning of Aguiar is a location in Portugal.
The surname Aguiar is aToponymic name, which means that it is derived from a man's given name, usually a father , paternal ancestor or patron.
There are many indicators that the name Aguiar may be of Jewish origin, emanating from the Jewish communities of Spain and Portugal.

When the Romans conquered the Jewish nation in 70 CE, much of the Jewish population was sent into exile throughout the Roman Empire. Many were sent to the Iberian Peninsula. The approximately 750,000 Jews living in Spain in the year 1492 were banished from the country by royal decree of Ferdinand and Isabella. The Jews of Portugal, were banished several years later. Reprieve from the banishment decrees was promised to those Jews who converted to Catholicism. Though some converted by choice, most of these New-Christian converts were called CONVERSOS or MARRANOS (a derogatory term for converts meaning pigs in Spanish), ANUSIM (meaning "coerced ones" in Hebrew) and CRYPTO-JEWS, as they secretly continued to practice the tenets of the Jewish faith.

Our research has found that the family name Aguiar is cited with respect to Jews & Crypto-Jews in at least 15 bibliographical, documentary, or electronic references:

A History of the Marranos, by Cecil Roth.

The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 by the infamous decree of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella was the culmination of a series of anti-Jewish persecutions throughout the 14th and 15th centuries in which thousands of Jews were massacred. Thousands of others converted in order to escape death. After the expulsion many more joined the ranks of these "new Christians" as an alternative to exile. A large number of converts, while outwardly professing Christianity, secretly continued to practice Judaism. These Marranos, as they were popularly known, were then mercilessly persecuted by the dreaded Inquisition which through tortures of forced confessions and auto-da-fes sent thousands to the stake. Many others managed to escape to countries outside the reach of the Inquisition where they created a widespread Marrano diaspora. Thousands of Marranos have survived even into our times. This seminal work by the eminent historian traces the tribulation of these secret Judaizers as well as the fate of those who succeeded in escaping to other lands where many of them rose to prominence in various fields of endeavor.

Sangre Judia (Jewish Blood) by Pere Bonnin. Flor de Viento, Barcelona, 2006. A list of 3,500 names used by Jews, or assigned to Jews by the Holy Office (la Santo Oficio) of Spain. The list is a result of a census of Jewish communities of Spain by the Catholic Church and as found in Inquisition records.

Pere Bonnin, a philosopher, journalist and writer from Sa Pobla (Mallorca), a descendant of converted Jews, settles with this work a debt "owed to his ancestors", in his own words. The book, written in a personal and accessible style and based on numerous sources, includes a review of basic Jewish concepts, Jewish history in Spain, and Christian Anti-Semitism. There is also a section that focuses on the reconciliation between the Church and Monarchy and the Jews, which took place in the 20th Century. In this study, Bonnin deals in depth with the issue of surnames of Jewish origin. In the prologue, the author explains the rules he followed in the phonetic transcription of surnames of Hebrew origin that are mentioned in the book. The researcher cites the Jewish origin, sometimes recognized and other times controversial, of historically prominent figures (like Cristobal Colon, Hernan Cortes, Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra and many others) and links between surnames of Jewish origin with some concepts in Judaism.. The book also includes an appendix with more than three thousands surnames "suspected" of being Jewish, because they appear in censuses of the Jewish communities and on the Inquisitorial lists of suspected practitioners of Judaism, as well as in other sources. In the chapter "Una historia de desencuentro", the author elaborates on surnames of Jewish origin of the royalty, nobility, artistocracy, clergy, and also of writers, educators and university teachers during the Inquisition. Special attention is given to the "Chuetas" of Mallorca, the birthplace of the author.

Raizes Judaicas No Brasil,(Jewish Roots in Brazil) by Flavio Mendes de Carvalho.

This book contains names of New Christians or Brazilians living in Brazil condemned by the Inquisition in the 17th and 18th centuries, as taken from the archives of Torre do Tombo in Lisbon. Many times details including date of birth, occupation, name of parents, age, and location of domicile are also included. The list also includes the names of the relatives of the victims. There are several cases in which many members of the same family were tortured and sentenced so some family lines may end here.

A Origem Judaica dos Brasileiros (The Origin of The Brazilian Jews), by Jose Geraldo Rodrigues de Alckmin Filho

This publication contains a list of 517 Sephardic families punished by the inquisition in Portugal and Brazil.

Dicionario Sefaradi De Sobrenomes (Dictionary of Sephardic Surnames), G. Faiguenboim, P. Valadares, A.R. Campagnano, Rio de Janeiro, 2004

A bilingual (Portugese/English)reference book of Sephardic surnames. Includes New Christians, Conversos, Crypto-Jews (Marranos), Italians, Berbers and their history in Spain, Portugal and Italy. Contains over 16,000 surnames presented under 12000 entries, with hundreds of rare photographs, family shields and illustrations.It also contains a 72-page summary of Sephardic history, before and after the expulsion from Spain and Portugal, as well as a 40-page linguistic essay about Sephardic names, including an interesting list of the 250 most frequent Sephardic surnames. The period covered by the dictionary is of 600 years, from the 14th to the 20th century, and the area covered includes Spain and Portugal, France, Italy, Holland, England, Germany, Balkans, Central and Eastern Europe, the former Ottoman Empire, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, North America, Central America and the Caribbean, South America and more.

Jews in Colonial Brazil, by Arnold Wiznitzer

Professor Wiznitzer gathered detailed information about individual Jewish settlers in colonial Brazil and about cases where they were brought before the Inquisition at Lisbon, and his study throws new light on some phases of Brazilian colonial history. Many Jews fled to Brazil and others were deported to the colony as convicted heretics after the King of Portugal attemtped to compel all of his Jewish subjects to accept Christianity in 1497.They were active in the establishment of the sugar industry and in trade, and they maintained close relations with another large group of exiles who had taken refuge in Amsterdam.Most of the "new Christians" continued to practice the old religion secretly.

Raizes Judaicas No Brasil,(Jewish Roots in Brazil) by Flavio Mendes de Carvalho.

This book contains names of New Christians or Brazilians living in Brazil condemned by the Inquisition in the 17th and 18th centuries, as taken from the archives of Torre do Tombo in Lisbon. Many times details including date of birth, occupation, name of parents, age, and location of domicile are also included. The list also includes the names of the relatives of the victims. There are several cases in which many members of the same family were tortured and sentenced so some family lines may end here.

Samuel Isaac Benchimol."Eretz Amazonia. Os Judeus na Amazonia" (The Jews of the Amazons), Manaus, 1998.

Samuel Isaac Benchimol was born on July 13, 1923 in Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil. He was a writer (with 110 published works), member of the Academia Amazonense de Letras), professor (Emeritus at the Universidade do Amazonas, where he taught for over 50 years), community leader (served as president of the Amazonas Jewish Community from 1975-1985) and businessman. His vast body of intellectual work includes books and articles. His dedication to his community culminated with the publication of this work, “Eretz Amazônia”. Professor Benchimol took it upon himself to visit every Jewish cemetery in the Amazon, listing all the surnames. Later, tracking these surnames, he was able to determine which were the Amazonian families of Jewish origin, extrapolating as in the case of the surname Assayag, nowadays used by thousands of families, many of them assimilated and converted to Christianity.

Sao Paulo Chevra Kadisha, List of people buried, Sao Paulo 1997.

The Chevra Kadisha (Jewish Burial Society) of Sao Paulo is a Society founded in February 25, 1923, to care for the burial of the Jews of Sao Paulo (city and state). The Society currently runs 4 Jewish cemeteries in Sao Paulo. The research was conducted in three ways: reading the tombstones, a consulting the list of deaths until 24 September 1997, and from the society's records and books. The list of deaths, organized by Prof. Solomon, has the name of the deceased, the grave location and the date of his burial. The books are more detailed, with biographical data, which includes the city of origin, thus enabling it to be confirmed as Sephardic. This is a formal record of one of the most important Jewish communities in Latin America, showing how the country was very attractive for Jews from different and distant locations.

Dov Cohen. "Fuentes para la Genealogia de los Judios de Izmir (Esmirna)(Sources for the Genealogy of the Jews of Izmir (Smyrna)" Boletin n° 2 p. 18-9 Sociedad Argentina de Genealogia Judaica, Buenos Aires, dec 1996.

Egon and Frieda Wolff. Sepulturas Israelitas (III). (Rio de Janeiro Jewish Communal Cemetery), As Mishpakhot de Belem, Rio de Janeiro, 1987.

List of inscriptions on tombstones in the cemeteries of Belém in Brazil.

Maria Jose Pimenta Ferro Tavares. Os judeus em Portugal no seculo XIV (The Jews in Portugal in the 14th century), Lisboa, 1979.

This study includes a name and place index.

Antonio de Portugal de Faria. A Inquisicao Portuguesa no seculo XVII (The Portuguese Inquisition in the 17th Century), in O Instituto n° XVII, pp. 751-760, Coimbra, 1899.

The Portuguese Inquisition formally started in Portugal in 1536 at the request of the King of Portugal, João III although in many places in Portugal it actually started in 1497 when the authorities expelled many Jews and forcefully converted many others to Catholicism. The Portuguese Inquisition held its first "auto da fé" in Portugal in 1540. It concentrated its efforts on rooting out converts from other faiths (overwhelmingly Judaism) who did not adhere to the strictures of Catholic orthodoxy; the Portuguese inquisitors mostly targeted the Jewish "New Christians," or "Marranos". The 17th Century brought with it a new wave of anti-semitism in Portugal. Between 1612 and 1630 the Inquisition in Lisbon, Coimbra and Evora held no less than 47 large autos-da-fe.

A descoberta da Amazonia. A aventura dos judeus marroquinos que desbravam o Norte do Pais (The Discovery of the Amazon: The adventure of Moroccan Jews that opened the North Country), in Revista Shalom No 221; Sao Paulo,1984.

The second organized Jewish community in Brazilian history, in modern times, was founded in Belém, capital of the State of Pará in the north, in 1840. It was made up of Jews who had come from Morocco. The immigrants were attracted by the wealth derived from the rubber economy. They established the first modern synagogue in the country, Eshel Abraham, in 1823, which was followed in 1826 by the second one, Shaar Hashamaim. Revival of the rubber industry between the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th attracted more immigrants from Morocco who formed small communities in other places in northern Brazil.There were also small Moroccan centers in the Amazonas, another northern state,in places such as Itacoatiara, Cametá, Paratintins, Óbidos, Santarém, Humaitá, and others.

Renzo Toaff. La Nazione Ebrea a Livorno e a Pisa (1591-1700),(The Jewish Nation in Livorno and Pisa 1591-1700), Leo S. Olschki Editor, Florence, 1990.

The demographic history of Italian Jewry. Includes bibliographical references, with indexes and appendixes in Italian and Portuguese.

Around the 12th century, surnames started to become common in Iberia. In Spain, where Arab-Jewish influence was significant, these new names retained their old original structure, so that many of the Jewish surnames were of Hebrew derivation. Others were directly related to geographical locations and were acquired due to the forced wanderings caused by exile and persecution. Other family names were a result of conversion, when the family accepted the name of their Christian sponsor. In many cases, the Portuguese Jews bear surnames of pure Iberian/Christian origin. Many names have been changed in the course of migration from country to country. In yet other cases "aliases", or totally new names, were adopted due to fear of persecution by the Inquisition.

Here are some locations where registries of Sephardic or Christianized Jewish families with this surname have been traced: Amazonas, Brazil,Belem, portugal,Manaus, Brasil,Ouro Preto, Brasil,Sao Paulo, Brasil,Smyrna, Netherlands,Lisbon, Portugal,Livorno (Leghorn), Italy,Madrid, Spain,Portugal, ,Santarem, Portugal,Sevilla, Spain,

Some interesting facts about the name this name are : The name Aguiar appears in the records of the Inquisition of Lisbon

A common variation of Aguiar is de Aguiar.

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