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Frequently Asked Questions

1. The Search page does not work. I clicked on the "Search" button and nothing happens.
The search engine needs JavaScript to be enabled to work. JavaScript is enabled by default in most modern browsers. If you have disabled JavaScript in your browser, you need to re-enable it for the search page to work.

2. I entered an entry (surname, etc.) but the result said "none found". What to do?
That entry may in fact not exist in the database. Or, it may exist under a different spelling. Remember, Sephardic surnames were not originally written using the latin alphabet and were not of "English" origins. So all name spellings are modern phonetic transcriptions of the original name and could vary a great deal within the same family.
Try alternate possible spellings or parts of the name (search with "starts with" or "contains") to find more results.
-Names beginning with "al" could be spelt beginning with "el" instead. The "al" or "el" could be attached to the name or separated by a space, or skipped entirely.
-Search with or without space in name: Yom Tov/Yomtov
-Searching by "Contains" will find both "Shlomo" AND Shlomo ben Isaac, or Cohen AND Cohen Scali. Searching by "Is exactly" will only find what you type.
-"Ben" and "ibn" mean "son of". They may be part of the name, separated by a space or skipped entirely. Malka families were sometimes known as Malka, Malca, Ben Malca, Abenmelca, or Ben Malka and numerous other variants. Try searching for the name without the "ben" or "el" and search with the all important "contains" option.
Another option would be to browse the entire list entering only the first letter of the name (see next questions).

3. I am new to this research. I have a family name that I think is Sephardic. How and where do I start?
a) From the main website page SephardicGen Resources, click on "Search the Databases". From that page you can search any of the Databases, but it might be wise to start with the "Consolidated Sephardic Surname Index". On that search page try various strategies:
(i) Search for the surname as "is exactly", or "sounds like" or "starts with", etc. leaving the other fields blank
(ii) Try the same surname search, this time with just the first letter of the surname using "starts with". This will probably give you pages of surname possibilities you will have to go through.
b) From the main website page SephardicGen Resources, click on "Sephardic Surnames". This takes you to a section that contains lists of names mentioned in various books or other sources. It also contains links to other sites on the web that have lists of names.
c) From the main website page SephardicGen Resources, click on "Books". This takes you to a section that contains lists of books where you may find additional information.
d) From the main website page SephardicGen Resources, click on "Sephardic Family Sites". This will take you to a section that contains links to websites various families have put up for a number of family names.
e) There is a lot more you can do on this website, but this will at least get you started. Be sure to
- read about Sephardic History
- search the "Sephardic Gazetteer" for the places where your family lived
- go to the section on "Archives" for additional deeper research
- visit the section on "Websites by Country" where you will find links to pages related to Sephardic genealogy and those countries, and much more.

© Jeffrey Malka, 2007

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