"Toledano (Me Toleda, Me Toletola, De Toleda).
This name means "FROM TOLEDO", the ancient capital of the kingdom of Castille, Spain, where Jews
had an established community in the sixth century.
Spanish family names beautifully illustrate the history of the Jews in the Iberian peninsula. The first Jews,
arriving in Spain during the times of the Roman empire, bore Greek, Latin and Hebrew names, in the early
eighth century, when Spain was conquered by the Arabs and came under Islamic rule she became the
shelter for many more Jews where they enjoyed religious freedom and were greatly involved in the
government and administration during this period, many Jews adopted Arabic names as well as retained
their Hebrew names, leaving a legacy of fascinating combinations of Arabic and Hebrew even after the
tenth century when Spain was reconquered by the Christians these same Arabic and Hebrew names were
still being used by the Spanish Jews. It was not until the sixteenth century inquisition that Jews changed
their names when many were forcibly converted and baptized and took Spanish-Christian names becoming
the "New Christians" or "Marranos" of Spain. Yet the same conservatism and love of tradition can be seen
amongst the Marranos, who retained their Spanish-Christian names when much later they were able to
"Reconvert" to Judaism, just as those who fled the country tended to keep their Spanish names wherever
they moved to.
This trend amongst Sephardi Jews to retain their family names intact has enabled us today to trace closely
their histories especially interesting is the fact that a large proportion of Spanish names are derived from
place names, many of them in their original forms from ancient times and no longer existing today".