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Land Ho!: The Secret History of Conquest

Conquistador-Pirate Georgie Reporting

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View DNA Genealogy on georgeaguilar's travel map.

Land Ho!
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Finally after several days at sea we reach Salvador de Bahia, Brazil.

I felt I ran through a whole gauntlet of sea voyage stereotypes; I won some, lost some against Pirates akaThe Casino and Cruise shops. I saw sea monsters, in my mind. Braved the stormy seas (it rained for maybe 30 minutes one day). And nearly mutinied TWICE mostly because I was hungry. The daily time change pushed breakfast further away from the time I would normally wake up hence feeling ¨Hangry¨.

During the time at sea I was able to concentrate on the old Portuguese-Spanish ancestry as well as our more recent African-Venetian-Eastern-European immigrants. I learned a few important things.
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First, our paternal European ancestry goes way back in the Americas. According to the ancestry and surnames of our cousin matches, we inherited our genes from some very early Portuguese, Spanish and Basque colonizers. There is also some surprising Irish-British connection with these people as well that I hope to uncover.
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It looks as if our early ancestors sailed from Iberian, past the Canary Islands and then either landed at Cuba or continued sailing down into Brazil and Argentina. What I also found was that indeed, those matches with mostly Portuguese DNA left descendants in Brazil while the Spanish ancestors (most with Basque DNA) left their mark in Argentina. I do not see the same matches appear in either country except from the Venetian Italians. No surprise as that generally fits with historical control of those countries and the recent migrations from Italy.
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Looking at the cousin surnames, I see that they are mostly very old Spanish-Portuguese and Basque surnames and I had the challenge of trying to separate them out. One of the patterns I saw was that nearly all of them had some Ashkenazi meaning that our common ancestor was indeed someone who was a Crypto-Spanish Jew. Many of our cousin surnames involve Iberians of status and power such as (Mendoza, Godoy, Barros, Oliveira, Nunes de Oliveira, Mendes, Texiera, De Moura Souza, De Souza, Campos, Fonseca ).
Here are some markers found in a cemetery in nearby Ilheus.

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For the most part, it looks as if we had Portuguese families moving together and Spanish families moving together
for at least 150 years in South America. Then I think, once Spain lost their colonies, the mixing of these families started occurring. Generally, our paternal line would have looked like most other people of the region; Very high Iberian % with some lower NA % and small African % from the slave trade.
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During the early decades of the Conquest, Iberia sent only men to SA who subsequently mated with 100% NA women, giving birth to children who were 50-50. That would have been the state of things until Spain started sending Iberian women over and ordering Iberian men to marry only Iberian women or risk losing their possessions.

Speaking of losing your possessions, I also began to see a kind of secret history unravel before my eyes. Connecting the cousins is time-consuming and difficult but once you start to see patterns emerge, you wonder why you don´t find much information about it in history books.
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Then I realized that the Conquest of the New World marked a change from the old ways of Europe to the seedlings of the modern era. When you think about Europe in the Middle Ages, you have to imagine it as basically being a Religious Police State. The Catholics controlled everything including thoughts and actions. Any deviation from their way of thinking meant death or lose of property but usually both. The Catholics would go so far as to dig up dead people, put them on trial, find them guilty of being non-Catholics then take the property away from their living descendants!
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This, I think, created a mentality where everyone had to be secretive about anything they did for fear of being branded ¨not Catholic¨enough. Certainly if you were Jewish or Gay or Protestant etc., you did not think to advertise yourself publicly because it meant torture and death. Indeed, you might have even acted more Catholic than everybody else so as to not arouse suspicion.
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Although it was against the law for those with anti-Catholic leanings to go to South America, many of them did and it shows in our genetic history with the Iberian-Ashkenazi- Basque mixture. In order for them to leave though, it had to be in absolute secrecy. I think that´s why it is so surprising for many modern day Catholics, from here, to see they have Ashkenazi DNA!
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I´ve just landed at Salvador de Bahia, one of the oldest European cities in the Americas and the first port to bring slaves. ¨Founded by the Portuguese in 1549 as the first capital of Brazil, Salvador is one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas.Salvador was one of the first slave ports in the Americas and the African influence of the slaves' descendants makes it a center of Afro-Brazilian culture. The city is noted for its
cuisine, music, dance and architecture¨. Wikipedia

Wikipedia goes on to name many of the early Europeans in the area. These names show up in our cousin matches who are of Portuguese-Brazilian descent: ¨The first European to settle nearby was Diogo Álvares Correia ("Caramuru"),[7] who was shipwrecked off the end of the peninsula in 1509. He lived among the Tupinambá, marrying Guaibimpara and others. In 1531, Martim Afonso de Sousa led an expedition from Mount St Paul (Morro de São Paulo)[8] and, in 1534, Francisco Pereira Coutinho, the first captain of Bahia, established the settlement of Pereira in modern Salvador's Ladeira da Barra neighborhood.
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The present city was established as the fortress of São Salvador da Bahia de Todos os Santos ("Holy Savior of the Bay of All Saints")[11][n 1] in 1549 by Portuguese settlers under Tomé de Sousa, Brazil's first governor-general.[14] It is one of the oldest cities founded by Europeans in the
Americas.[15] From a cliff overlooking the Bay of All Saints,[n 2] it served as Brazil's first capital and quickly became a major port for its slave trade and sugarcane industry.¨

The De Sousa, Sousa surnames show up the most frequently among our Portuguese matches. According to Wikipedia, The name was originally a toponym, the Sousa River Northern Portugal. Sometimes the spelling is in the archaic form Souza or de Souza, which has occasionally been changed to D'Souza. The Spanish equivalent of this surname is Sosa.
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During the colonial era, the Portuguese built forts along Brazilian and West African coastal areas for trade, many of which were later used for the slave trade. They also had children with local women, and the children were given their fathers' last names.

Some Afro-Brazilians who returned to Africa also carry this last name. Among those are the Tabom people, descendants of Francisco Félix de Sousa, a white Portuguese-Brazilian man from Salvador, Bahia, in Brazil, once the richest man in West Africa due to his involvement in its slave trade.[citation needed]
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sousa (surname)

A few other clues about how our ancestors came here include the connection to Funchal, an island I just visited that has numerous Basque surnames. ¨ In the Roman Catholic Church, Brazil and the rest of the Portuguese Empire were initially administered as part of the Diocese of Funchal in Portugal.¨ There was a war with the Dutch (!) which brought Fadrique Álvarez de Toledo y Mendoza to come and
retake Salvador. We have many Mendoza connections and that surname is all Basque origin.
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My general feeling is that the same few Iberian families came to the Americas to take control of the Americas from as far north in Texas all the way down to Chile. The same dozen or so surnames seem to show up in our matches suggesting that the families stayed well-connected for a long time and did not mix with Africans or NA people for a very long time.

That all changed with the birth of my father who seemed to have inherited over 80% NA from his Aguilar father. His mixing with our mostly French-Italian-Northern European-African mother washed away most of our Iberian leaving between 10%-3% Iberian-Basque DNA.

Und25reich-articleLarge.jpg?quality=75&auto=webp&disable=upscaleerstanding that scenario then makes me consider that most of his Iberian genetics came from his maternal line. Our DNA sites show we had a very recent 100% NA ancestor and since dad could only inherit up to 50% of that, it makes sense that his mother may have had around 30% NA DNA as well, since my sister and I show around 40% NA. The % could alter depending upon what I learn in the future. Our mother´s line really had no time to mix with any NA people upon arrival around the turn of the 20th Century. In addition, I have a distinctly unique NA Y-DNA haplogroup (Q-Z780) so in no way, does he genetically obtain the Aguilar surname from Iberia. Big mystery here.

In my book, I imagine a love story between a full NA person and a woman from a well to do Iberian family. Check it out!
(Book link)

Ok. Off to explore the brutal Iberian ancestry in Brazil!
The population is a mix of European, African and NA, like me, so I am curious to see what my experience will be!

Thanks for reading.

Posted by georgeaguilar 11:03 Archived in Brazil

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