11 April 2011

Delvalle and Maduro

The Delvalle Family
Two brothers, Jacob and Mordechai Salom Delvalleborn in 1668 and 1678 respectively, were from Peyrhehorade (Penhorade), France. This small town, close to Bayonne near the Pyrenees, became a refuge for Jews after the Expulsions from Spain in 1492 and later Portugal. The two brothers eventually settled in Amsterdam. Jacob's descendants remained there and the Delvalle name became van Daelen. The name appears in its Dutch form - van Daelen - and also Dovale, de Vale, and Delvalle in Curaçao beginning in the late 1600's. All translate as "of the valley." 
Mordechai's grandsons Solomon (b. 1767) and Abraham (b. 1769) immigrated to Curacao. 

One of Solomon's sons, Benjamin Salom Delvalle/Shalom Delvalle, and his wife Judith de Castro moved from Curaçao to the Virgin Islands about 1833. Their first son, Solomon, was born there in 1836.

When was the first Maduro - Delvalle marriage?

In 1886 Avelyn "Lyn" Levy Maduro married Benjamin "Benny" Delvalle in New York City.
He was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands in 1862, the second of fourteen children. As the firstborn male, according to Sephardic naming tradition he was named for his paternal grandfather Benjamin Salom Delvalle (above). His parents Solomon Benjamin Delvalle and Rachel "Achie" Piza both were born in St. Thomas and died in San Francisco, California.

Avelyn Levy Maduro was born in Nicaragua in 1868, one of three children of Abraham Haim Levy Maduro and Hannah/Anna Sasso who both were born in St. Thomas, Danish Virgin Islands. (What are now the U.S. Virgin Islands  were Danish colonies from the 17th century until the U.S. purchased them in 1917.) 

Avelyn Levy Maduro (1868-abt.1952)
with grandson John Delvalle
Benjamin Delvalle (1862-1928)
Although this may be the first marriage between two people with the names Delvalle and Maduro, it was not the first between their two families. In fact, Avelyn's mother Hannah was Benjamin's first cousin. Both were grandchildren of Judith Sasso and Joshua Piza whose nine children spanned 18 years, from Hannah's mother Judith Piza Sasso born in 1819 to Benjamin's mother Rachel Piza Delvalle born in 1837. Another sister, Esther Piza Maduro, born 1831, was the mother of Judith Maduro who married David Henry Brandon.

Following Avelyn and Benjamin's marriage, there were seven other marriages linking the Maduro and Delvalle names, but that was over the course of 150 years.

With thanks to my 8th cousin René van Wijngaarden for Delvalle historical information and photos. René and I met through the JewishGen discussion group in 1997 when he posted a query including the name of his - and my - 7th great-grandmother Ribca Salom del Valle, mother of Jacob and Mordechay. 

19 January 2011

How are the Brandon and Maduro families related?

Judith Maduro Brandon
David Henry Brandon
In July 1879 Judith Maduro married David Henry Brandon in Panama, Republic of Colombia. (Panama was part of Colombia until 1903.) At different times during their marriage they lived in Panama or New York City. They had 13 children, five girls and eight boys. One child died at age two, and the other twelve had a total of 39 children.

Judith Maduro (1862-1940) was born in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. She was the third of eight children born to Esther Piza and Salomon Levy Maduro, both from St. Thomas and with roots in Curacao.

David Henry Brandon (1855-1903) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Esther Athias and Jacob Brandon of Jamaica. The Brandon family, descendants of Portuguese Jews, had migrated to Jamaica from England in the middle and late 1600's.

The Brandon (Brandón) family name sometimes used the original Portuguese spelling of Brandão - pronounced nearly the same as Brandón since the "ão" in Portuguese sounds something like a nasalized "ow" in English.

David Henry Brandon with his brothers Nathaniel and Isaac Brandon founded finance and import firms. He was also elected Commander-in-Chief of the Panama Fire Department, the Cuerpo de Bomberos, to reorganize and modernize that volunteer fire brigade. He was honored a half-century after his 1903 death with this postage stamp. 

Judith Maduro eventually moved to New York with her ten youngest children, and some years later to Havana, Cuba where several of her grown sons lived. She died in Havana in 1940. 

Today there are Brandon-Maduro descendants throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and Israel.

29 November 2010

What is the origin of the Levy Maduro name?

Antonio Roiz o Maduro, son of Diogo Roiz o Maduro and Clara Lopes, was born in 1570 in Trancoso, Portugal. The Inquisition records describe his arrest in 1612 with his father, brother and brother-in-law. Those three were released but the tribunal sentenced Antonio to death. Following the "auto da fe" he was burned at the stake in Coimbra, Portugal on 28 August 1616. His wife Isabel fled with their children to St. Jean de Luz, France and eventually two of the children - Clara and Diogo - made their way to Amsterdam. 

Clara Roiz o Maduro, born 1596, readopted Judaism and her Jewish name Rachel in Amsterdam. In 1619 she married Moseh Levy, also a Portuguese Converso, and the new combined surname of Levy Maduro was created. The double name was used by nine more generations but by the late 20th century most Levy Maduro descendants had shortened the name to Maduro.

28 November 2010

What is the origin of the Maduro name?

Maduro - ripe or mature in Spanish and Portuguese - was first attached to the family name Roiz in 16th century Portugal. (Roiz was the shortened form of the Spanish Rodriguez and Portuguese Rodrigues.) Two brothers, Diogo and Luis Roiz, used the name Roiz o Maduro - "Roiz the Elder" - probably to distinguish themselves from Diogo's grandson Diogo and son Luis. Sometimes the "o" was dropped, resulting in the name Roiz Maduro.

The Roiz family were Jewish Conversos, sometimes called New Christians or Marranos, those who had converted to Catholicism either by force or by choice. Many of these families continued to observe their Jewish traditions in secret but were often subjected to questioning and trial by the Inquisition. The 1612 Portuguese Inquisition archives record the arrest of Diogo Roiz o Maduro and two of his sons and a son-in-law. All except Diogo's son Antonio Roiz o Maduro were released. See the 29 Nov 2010 post for more about him.

22 October 2010


Welcome to my blog about branches on the Maduro family tree.
Over the years I've collected genealogical information about the Levy Maduro family of Amsterdam, their Portuguese ancestors, and their Maduro descendants around the world. In this blog I'll describe the Maduro connection to some of those other families.