The TOLEDANO Family of Gibraltar
by Ya’acov Tal Toledano
Published in Sharsheret Hadorot, of The Israel Genealogical Society.
The Jews had a significant part in establishing Gibraltar as a British colony especially in its early years. The British captured the Gibraltar Peninsula from the Spaniards in 1704. In the peace treaty a clause was included, in accordance with a Spanish demand, that prohibited Jews from settling in Gibraltar; however, the British disregarded it. The few Spaniards who lived there left after the British take-over and moved to Spain but the British military base that was established required a supportive civilian economy to provide it with needed services. Until 1727, Gibraltar did not have a large civilian population for fear that the Spaniards would return and recapture it. They did, in fact, lay siege to it but unsuccessfully. In spite of governmental limitations, Jews did begin to construct homes there in 1728.
In 1753, we find 1,816 citizens of various nationalities in Gibraltar, including 575 Jews. The British army purchased most of its required supplies, especially fresh food, in Morocco. The commercial ties between the merchants of North Africa and the British army encouraged Moroccan Jews, especially from Tangier and Tetuan to settle in Gibraltar, as it sought to increase its population.
The census conducted in 1759 listed all the residents who arrived in Gibraltar from 1704 onward. Twenty-two Jewish families were recorded, among them – ABECASSIS, ABUDARHAM, ACRIS, ANAHORY, AZULAY, BENAMARA, BENATTAR, BENZAQUEN, BUBDY, CARVALHO, CONQUI, ELIASHAR, FERRARES, GABIZON, LEVI and LEVI-ZAKEN who settled in Gibraltar in 1726 and the family of Solomon TOLEDANO, who was already a resident in 1715.
In 1766, Ayala, a confirmed Jew-hater wrote the following: “Most of Gibraltar’s Jews had stores and they also served as middlemen, as is well known, with deceit and exorbitant interest, like they do every place else. They have a synagogue in which they pray openly.” In Spain of those days, there were still Marranos who prayed in secret. He writes further that they call their leader ‘King.’ He is wrong, of course, since the leader was called Reish Galuta – Exilarch – and the word ‘Reish’ was confused with the Spanish word ‘Rey,’ meaning king.
An additional census took place in 1767, which counted 783 Jews out of 2,710 residents. The next census in 1777 counted 3,210 inhabitants of whom 863 were Jews and of those, 267 were born in Gibraltar.
In 1777, we come across Zohar TOLEDANO who came from Tetuan in 1766, Solomon TOLEDANO who arrived from Morocco (Meknes?) in 1715 and Esther TOLEDANO a native of Gibraltar.
In 1779, the Spanish with French assistance laid siege to Gibraltar, which lasted until 1783. The British encouraged the civilian population to leave Gibraltar until the crisis passed. The siege ended on 5 February 1783 and a peace treaty was signed in September of that year. A Venetian ship on 8 May 1783 arrived with a number of British Jews and on one July day, a ship docked carrying Italians and Jews from Genoa. On the following day, the Jews from Tangier returned to Gibraltar.
Gibraltar numbered 2,890 residents in 1791, including 680 Jews who included five TOLEDANO families: Judah TOLEDANO; A. TOLEDANO; H. TOLEDANO; M. TOLEDANO and Jacob TOLEDANO. Basic commerce was in Jewish hands and they also included some skilled workers – shoemakers, tailors, a painter, a bookbinder, an accountant, a physician (the only civilian doctor in Gibraltar), operators of restaurants, wholesalers, clerks, porters, servants (male and female), middlemen, peddlers, retailers and one sailor.
Plagues struck in 1804 and 1814 in which 7,070 civilians died. Gibraltar had at that time 1,657 houses in five neighborhoods with a total population of 10,136 divided by ethnic affiliation. The Jews lived in the following neighborhoods: Town Range; Kings Bastion – along with Britons and Cooperage – along with Italians, Portuguese and Spaniards.
The 1844 census counted 15,823 residents in Gibraltar of whom 12,271 were Catholics, mostly Spanish and Italian, 1,690 Jews, 1,402 Protestants, 10 Moslems and 450 other religions. The Jews were the most disciplined and low-keyed, or as H. W. Howes in his book writes: “What was Gibraltar like at this time, a year when Gibraltar seems to have had a measure of prosperity? A writer says that the native Jews formed the most quiet and orderly part of the population . . .”
Gibraltar was bilingual with English and Spanish as the spoken languages. The Jews tended, more than any of the other ethnic groups, to favor English but they did not abandon Spanish.
Some of the weddings of the TOLEDANO family from Gibraltar took place in the Spanish Portuguese Synagogue, Bevis Marks in London. There were some who settled in England permanently.
Some of the members of the TOLEDANO family who lived in Gibraltar
1. Solomon TOLEDANO, born in Morocco in 1707, and immigrated to Gibraltar at the age of seven with his parents. He is listed in the 1777 census and in the 1791 census he appears as a widower.
His children were Haim, Rachel, Simha, Hannah, Esther, Abraham, Moshe and Reyna.
a. Haim b’Solomon TOLEDANO, born in 1751 in Gibraltar. He lived in Gibraltar between 1777 and 1791. He was a provisioner, or as it was referred to in the English of his day – a sutler, in the British army camp.
b. Rachel b’Solomon TOLEDANO, born in 1753 in Gibraltar. She appears in the list of residents from 1777 as single, aged 24.
c. Simha b’Solomon TOLEDANO, born in 1759 in Gibraltar. She appears in the list of residents from 1777 as single, aged 18.
d. Hannah b’Solomon TOLEDANO, born in 1762 in Gibraltar. She appears in the list of residents from 1777 as single, aged 15.
e. Esther b’Solomon TOLEDANO – born in 1764 in Gibraltar.
f. Abraham b’Solomon TOLEDANO, born in 1766 in Gibraltar. His name does not appear in the census of 1791.
g. Moshe b’Solomon TOLEDANO, born in 1768 in Gibraltar. His name does not appear in the census of 1791.
h. Reyna b’Solomon TOLEDANO, born in 1772 in Gibraltar.
2. Abraham TOLEDANO, born c. 1710 and died in Gibraltar before 1784. The determination that his name was indeed Abraham comes from the information in the marriage contracts of two of his children, Moshe and Hannah who married the siblings Abigail and Abraham NUNES MARTINES. He is not listed in the 1777 census. His wife’s name was Esther who was born in Gibraltar in 5479/1719. She is listed in the censuses of 1777, 1784 and 1791. In 1784, she is recorded as a widow and her family in Gibraltar numbered two people. She died in Gibraltar after 1791.
The children of Abraham and Esther TOLEDANO were Jacob, Moshe, Mimon and Hannah.
Following is a tree listing the descendants of Abraham TOLEDANO.
a. Jacob b’Abraham TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar in 1757. A sailor, he is listed as having lived in Gibraltar 1777 and 1791.
b. Moses b’Abraham TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar in 1759 and appears in the census of 1777. However, he is no longer in Gibraltar for the 1791 census. We located someone with the name of Moses the son of Abraham TOLEDANO, who is most likely this same person, who married Abigail the daughter of Joseph NUNES MARTINES and Agar MENDOSA. His marriage ceremony was conducted in the Bevis Marks Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue in London on Thursday, 5 Sivan 5543/6 June 1783, Ketuba # 1176-N50.11.
The children of Moses TOLEDANO and Abigail nee NUNES MARTINES were Joshua, Abraham, Rachel, Daniel, Israel, Sarah, Jacob and Emanuel. All were born in England as was their mother Abigail who was born 1767.
(1) Joshua b’Moshe TOLEDANO, known also as Joseph Joshua TOLEDANO was born in Hull, Yorkshire in 1788 and died on 13 May 1874 in Norton, England. He was a confectioner and manufactured sweets. He married Sarah Egerton, a Christian woman who converted to Judaism before her marriage. The wedding was held at the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London on Sunday, 4 Kislev 5597/13 November 1836. Sarah was born in 1806 in the city of Ellesmer and died in London on 4 October 1859. The children of Joshua and Sarah were: Moses, Abraham, Sarah and Joseph. All were born in England. In 1831, the family legally changed their name from TOLEDANO to DANIELS. The grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Joshua were born in England. Some of them were involved in the circus, musical performances and entertainment. Later, several family members moved to Australia where they were known by the DANIELS name.
(2) Abraham b’Moshe TOLEDANO, born in London in 1789. He married Rachel the daughter of Joseph NUNES MIRANDA and Esther Dinah. The ceremony took place on Friday, 13 Tevet 5566/3 January 1806 n the Bevis Marks Synagogue. Rachel was the granddaughter on her father’s side of Jacob NUNES MIRANDA (born c. 1730) and Samuel DINAH from her mother’s side. Rachel’s parents were also married in the Bevis Marks Synagogue, on Monday, 2 April 1787.
(3) Rachel b’Moshe TOLEDANO, born in 1791 in Hull, Yorkshire, England.
(4) Daniel b’Moshe TOLEDANO, born in 1792 in Hull, Yorkshire, England. His wife was Bilha the daughter of Joseph WOLF. The wedding took place in London at the Bevis Marks Synagogue on Friday, 13 Sivan 5597/16 June 1837.
(5) Israel b’Moshe TOLEDANO, born in 1793 in Hull, Yorkshire, England. He married Yocheved the daughter of Arieh LOEB. The wedding took place in London at the Bevis Marks Synagogue on Friday, 14 Shevat 5594/24 January 1834.
(6) Sarah b’Moshe TOLEDANO, born in 1794 in Hull, Yorkshire, England. She married Abraham the son of Israel OTTOLENGI and Miriam LEVI on 14 Tishrei 5586/26 September 1825 at the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London.
(7) Jacob b’Moshe TOLEDANO, born in 1796 in Hull, Yorkshire, England.
(8) Emanuel b’Moshe TOLEDANO, born in 1798 in Hull, Yorkshire, England.
c. Mimon b’Abraham TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar in 1760. Although there in 1777, by 1791 he was no longer in Gibraltar. It is not known to where he emigrated and we have no information about marriage or descendants.
d. Hannah b’Abraham TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar in 1762. She appears in the 1777 census but is no longer in Gibraltar in 1791. A woman by the name of Hannah the daughter of Abraham TOLEDANO, who may be the same person, married her brother-in-law Abraham NUNES MARTINES the son of Joseph NUNES MARTINES and Hagar MENDOZA. The wedding took place at the Bevis Marks Synagogue on 29 Av 5543/27 August 1783.
3. Hayim TOLEDANO – born c. 1730 and died in Gibraltar after 1784; we know that in that year he operated a hotel in Gibraltar. There were four members in his family and his children were Jacob-Hai and Reyna.
a. Jacob-Hai b’Hayim TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar where he died on 10 March 1831. He married Esther the daughter of Moses TORRES on 22 September 1786 at the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London. Their son was Shemtov-Hayim.
(1) Shemtov-Hayim b’Jacob-Hai TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar on 11 October 1815 and the Sandek was Joseph BENHEMO.
b. Reyna b’Hayim TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar where she died on 29 March 1868. She was married in Gibraltar on 5 November 1823 to Solomon MARACHE. Their son’s name was Hayim.
(1) Hayim b’Solomon MARACHE and Reyna nee TOLEDANO. He was born in Gibraltar on 18 September 1828 and his Sandek was Moses TOLEDANO.
4. Rabbi Moses TOLEDANO, one of the religious leaders of Gibraltar. He is one of the signatories on a question on Jewish religious law asked by the rabbis of Gibraltar (Malkhei Rabbanan).
5. Daniel TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar in 1732; he died before the year 1791. He will still in Gibraltar in 1777. His wife’s name was Mas’uda, who was born in Gibraltar in 1735. She is listed in the censuses of 1777 and of 1791 where she is recorded as a widow. Their children were Judah and Abraham.
a. Judah b’Daniel TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar in 1757 and listed in the censuses of 1777 and 1791. His wife’s name was Gimol who was born in Gibraltar in 1766. There were four people in their family.
b. Abraham b’Daniel TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar in 1760. He is recorded in the censuses of 1777 and 1791 as living in Gibraltar and was in the hotel business.
6. (?) TOLEDANO, a member of the TOLEDANO family, he was born in Morocco c. 1690 and died before 1791 most likely in Gibraltar. His wife’s name was Jamilah who was born in Morocco in 1701. In 1791, she is listed as a widow in Gibraltar. They had one son named Levy.
a. Levi TOLEDANO (the first name of his father is not known), the son of Jamilah. Born in Morocco in 1755 he arrived in Gibraltar in 1768 when he was thirteen years old. He appears in the 1791 Gibraltar census as being 36 years old and being in the hotel business. His wife’s name was Judith who was born in Gibraltar in 1767. Levi was the Sandek of Barukh Maklouf BENAYUN who was born in Gibraltar on 5 July 1812.
The children of Levi and Judith were Mazaltov, born 1786, the twins Jamilah and Miriam, born 1789 (Miriam married Samuel MARACHE), Solomon born in 1802; he was circumcised in Gibraltar on 27 January 1802 and died there in 1837; Pinchas whose date of birth is not known but who died in 1822. All the children of Levi and Jamilah were born in Gibraltar. Pinchas the son of Levi was married to Bellida who was born about 1800 in Gibraltar and died there on 19 March 1851. The children of Pinchas and Bellida were Rachel, born 1817, Levi, born 1818, Judith, born 1820 and who died in Gibraltar in 1900. Judith was married to James Hayim HADIDA. The youngest son was Pinchas the son of Pinchas TOLEDANO who was born after his father had died. All the children of Pinchas and Bellida were born in Gibraltar.
7. (?) TOLEDANO - a member of the TOLEDANO family whose first name is not known. He died before 1834, presumably in Gibraltar. He was married to a woman named Sarah before 1815. Sarah was born on the island of Malta about 1789 and moved to Gibraltar in 1814. In the 1834 Gibraltar census, she is recorded as a widow and her profession is listed as a seamstress. The number of people in Gibraltar of that time who were in that line of work was particularly large.
Their children were Esther, James, Eliza and Sarah.
a. Esther b’(?) TOLEDANO and Sarah, born in Gibraltar c. 1815. In 1834, she and her mother are listed as working as seamstresses in the city of Gibraltar.
b. James b’(?) TOLEDANO and Sarah, born in Gibraltar c. 1816. He is listed in the 1834 census along with his mother and three sisters.
c. Eliza b’(?) TOLEDANO and Sarah, born c. 1820 in Gibraltar. Listed in 1834 as a seamstress.
d. Sarah b’(?) TOLEDANO and Sarah, born c. 1827 in Gibraltar and listed in the 1834 census as a seven-year old.
8. (?) TOLEDANO, a member of the TOLEDANO family whose first name is not known. It is possible that his father’s name was Moses as this name was given to his son, or Hayim – this supposition is based on the fact that his son Moses was the Sandak for Hayim MARACHE who was born on 16 September 1828 in Gibraltar, the son of Solomon MARACHE and Reyna the daughter of Hayim TOLEDANO. His wife’s name was Miriam who was born in Morocco in 1743 and moved to Gibraltar in 1745 at the age of two. In 1777, she and her children are not listed as being in Gibraltar; however, in the 1791 census she is listed as a widow. Their children were Simha and Moses.
a. Simha b’(?) TOLEDANO and Miriam, born in Gibraltar in 1771 and she is not listed in the 1777 census. In the 1791 census, she is recorded as being single.
b. Moses b’(?) TOLEDANO and Miriam, born in Gibraltar in 1757 and died 23 October 1828 (perhaps in Gibraltar). His wife’s name was Pressiada who was born in 1767 in Gibraltar and who is listed in the 1791 census. Moses also appears that same year and his occupation is shoemaker. They had a daughter named Luna.
(1) Luna b’Moses TOLEDANO – born in Gibraltar c. 1804 and died there on 29 September 1871. She was married to Mas’ud AMAR in Gibraltar on 3 February 1830.
9. Pinchas TOLEDANO, born in Morocco in 1720 and lived in Gibraltar. His children were Barukh and Hannah. Most likely, he is Pinchas the son of Barukh TOLEDANO, who is mentioned by Professor Haim Za'afrani in his book Hebrew Poetry in Morocco, on page 178 discussing 18th century manuscripts of North African piyutim (liturgical poetry) in the library of Pinchas Toledano of Gibraltar in 1791 and which are now located in Holland. See - Hebrew and Judaic Manuscripts in Amsterdam, public collection I, catalogue of the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, Leiden 1973. 203 HS ROS 239.
a. Hannah b’Pinchas TOLEDANO. Married Isaac the son of Samuel LAHMI on 13 Av 5542/24 July 1782 at the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London. Ketubah Number BIBL. N50. 11-1160.
b. Barukh b’Pinchas TOLEDANO, born in Morocco in 1747 and died in Gibraltar on 30 November 1828. He arrived in Gibraltar in 1760 at the age of thirteen. He was in Gibraltar in 1777 and later, in 1791, he operated a hotel. He married Simha, who was born in Morocco in 1761. The marriage took place in Morocco, probably in Tangier.
Their children were Pinchas, Isaac, Miriam and Mazaltov.
(1) Pinchas b’Barukh TOLEDANO, born in 1775 and in 1785 he moved with his mother to Gibraltar.
(2) Isaac b’Barukh TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar in 1787.
(3) Miriam b’Barukh TOLEDANO, born in Gibraltar in 1789.
(4) Mazaltov b’Barukh TOLEDANO, married Raphael the son of David ABULAFIA in the Bevis Marks Synagogue in London on 9 Sivan 5572/20 May 1812. Their Ketubah is BIBL .N50. 11-1501
Abecassis, Jose Maria. Genealogia Hebraica, Lisbon, 1990.
Ben Naim, Joseph. Malkhei Rabbanan. Jerusalem, 1936. (Hebrew)
Howes, H.W., The Gibraltarian, Medsun, Gibraltar, 1991
Zafrani, Hayim. Hebrew Poetry in Morocco, Jerusalem, Ben Zvi Institute &
Hebrew University, 1984. (Hebrew)