There are many indicators that the name Recanati may be of Jewish origin, emanating from the Jewish communities of Spain and Portugal.
When the Romans conquered the Jewish nation in 70 CE, much of the Jewish population was sent into exile throughout the Roman Empire. Many were sent to the Iberian Peninsula. The approximately 750,000 Jews living in Spain in the year 1492 were banished from the country by royal decree of Ferdinand and Isabella. The Jews of Portugal, were banished several years later. Reprieve from the banishment decrees was promised to those Jews who converted to Catholicism. Though some converted by choice, most of these New-Christian converts were called CONVERSOS or MARRANOS (a derogatory term for converts meaning pigs in Spanish), ANUSIM (meaning "coerced ones" in Hebrew) and CRYPTO-JEWS, as they secretly continued to practice the tenets of the Jewish faith.Our research has found that the family name Recanati is cited with respect to Jews & Crypto-Jews in at least 7 bibliographical, documentary, or electronic references:
Except for a brief introduction, the entire book is a listing of Inquisition Records in the New World. This is a source for converso names in the New World.
The Amsterdam Municipal Archives possess a complete set of registers of intended marriages from 1578 to 1811, the year when the present Civil Registry was started. Between 1598 and 1811, 15238 Jewish couples were entered in these books. Both the number of records and the volume of data that may be extracted from them are unprecedented.
Bevis Marks is the Sephardic synagogue in London. It is over 300 years old and is the oldest still in use in Britain.The Spanish and Portuguese Jews' Congregation of London has published several volumes of its records: they can be found in libraries such as the Cambridge University Library or the London Metropolitan Archive
This volume is a history of the Sephardi diaspora in the Balkans. The two principal axes of the study are the formation and features of the Judeo-Spanish culture area in South-Eastern Europe and around the Aegean littoral, and the disintegration of this community in the modern period. The great majority of the Jews expelled from Spain in 1492 eventually went to the Ottoman Empire. With their command of Western trades and skills, they represented a new economic force in the Levant. In the Ottoman Balkans, the Jews came to reconstitute the bases of their existence in the semi-autonomous spheres allowed to them by their new rulers. This segment of the Jewish diaspora came to form a certain unity, based on a commonality of the Judeo-Spanish language, culture and communal life. The changing geopolitics of the Balkans and the growth of European influence in the 19th century inaugurated a period of westernization. European influence manifested itself in the realm of education, especially in the French education, dispensed in the schools of the Alliance Israelite Universelle with its headquarters in Paris. Other European cultures and languages came to the scene through similar means. Cultural movements such as the Jewish Enlightenment (haskalah) also came to exert a distinct influence, hence building bridges between the Ashkenazi and Sephardi worlds
This book explores antecedents,causes, mechanics and aftermath of the 1492 expulsion from Spain and lists Sephardic movers and shakers during the period.
ETSI (a Paris-based, bilingual French-English periodical) is devoted exclusively to Sephardic genealogy and is published by the Sephardi Genealogical and Historical Society (SGHS). It was founded by Dr. Philip Abensur, and his professional genealogist wife, Laurence Abensur-Hazan. ETSI's worldwide base of authors publish articles identifying a broad spectrum of archival material of importance to the Sephardic genealogist. A useful feature of ETSI is the listing, on the back cover, of all Sephardic family names, and places of origin, cited in the articles contained in each issue
Family trees found in The Jewish Encyclopedia (NY 1901-1904) or Encyclopaedia Judaica (Jerusalem, 1972)
Around the 12th century, surnames started to become common in Iberia. In Spain, where Arab-Jewish influence was significant, these new names retained their old original structure, so that many of the Jewish surnames were of Hebrew derivation. Others were directly related to geographical locations and were acquired due to the forced wanderings caused by exile and persecution. Other family names were a result of conversion, when the family accepted the name of their Christian sponsor. In many cases, the Portuguese Jews bear surnames of pure Iberian/Christian origin. Many names have been changed in the course of migration from country to country. In yet other cases "aliases", or totally new names, were adopted due to fear of persecution by the Inquisition.