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Whilst visiting Mogador in 2020 I took a walk through the old Jewish cemetery, unfortunately many of the epitaphs on the tombs have eroded over time, but the name on one tomb surprised me. It was the tombstone of Hanna, wife of Jacob Fereres, who died on the 15th of March 1875. I immediately knew that this Fereres family had to be descended from the Ferares/Ferrares family of Gibraltar and Amsterdam as this is not a typical Moroccan Jewish surname.

I knew there was a branch of the Ferrares family of Gibraltar who settled in Larache around the 1880s and changed the spelling of their surname to Fereres. However, I could not link Jacob and Hanna to their branch. Looking at ‘Genealogia Hebraica - Portugal e Gibraltar’ by Jose Maria Abecassis I found a couple named Jacob Ferrares, born 1787 in Gibraltar and Ana born about 1800 in Gibraltar.

Abecassis believed that Ana was likely the daughter of Abraham and Bonina Alevy because Jacob and Ana had children named Abraham and Bonina, and Abraham Alevy was godfather to Abraham Ferrares, his assumed grandson. I agree with Abecassis on this.

Jacob’s grandparents were Jacob J. Ferrares born 1713 in Amsterdam and Hanna Sacutto born 1714 in Amsterdam. Ana’s father, Abraham Alevy was born in 1758 in Minorca.

Jacob and Ana had ten children, Gimol born 1815, Israel b. 1816, Abraham b. 1817, Bonina b. 1820, another Abraham b. 1821, Joseph Haim b. 1823, Benjamin b. 1825, Mary b. 1828, Rachel b. 1831, and Judit b. 1833.

The family appears together on the 1834 Gibraltar census, where Ana is listed as 32 years old, meaning she was born in 1802, if that is correct she had her first child at 13 years old! The ages on the census of course need to be taken with a pinch of salt, however, Ana was likely just a young teenager when she got married and had children.

Ana’s only child to get married in Gibraltar was Benjamin, who on the 1834 census is called Yamin. He married Sete Bendahan in 1865. The family no longer appears in Gibraltar by the 1868 census. Making it possible for Ana to be Hanna from Mogador.

Hanna’s tombstone reads “The burial tombstone of, the honorable woman, the modest, elderly and respected Hannah, wife of the respected gentleman Jacob FERERES, died on 11 Tishrei 5635 (15 March 1875)”.

Yamin Ferares and Sete Bendahan had at least eight children, all born in Mogador, Hannah b. 1866, Jacob b. 1867, Abraham b. 1868, Israel b. 1870, Solomon b. 1871, Joseph b. 1873, Judah b. 1875, and Isaac b. 1877. The children’s births were all registered with the British Consul proving that the Ferares branch of Mogador had British nationality reinforcing my belief that Hanna Fereres is the same as Ana Ferrares born Alevy.

In 1875 Yamin Ferares is recorded as a committee member of the benevolent society ‘Mechibath Nephech’ for the poor and sick of Mogador. Do we have any followers here who are descended from the Ferares family of Mogador?

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