Genealogical Oddities (XLI): An Italian Jewish Convert to Catholicism in 18th Century Cadiz

Marking the start of Hannukah, here’s a rare reference to a modern-day convert from Judaism in Spanish sacramental registers. At the chapel of Cádiz’ La Carraca arsenal on 29 June 1787, Benjamin Norza, ‘known as Alejandro Ferreti in the Marine Batallions’, aged 34 or 35, was baptised a Catholic and given the names Pedro Antonio María. Curiously, the record does not say whether he would from then on use the surname Norza or Ferreti. He was stated to have been born in Mantua to Jewish parents, Abraham Norza and Flora Norza.

SOURCE:  Arsenal of La Carraca, Cádiz, Baptisms 1781-1817, Page 38; Navy Museum Archive, Madrid.