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De Castro Story - In the beginning
De Castro Story - In the beginning - In New Zealand there is more than one de Castro family
As far as is known there are two de Castro families in New Zealand, dating back to the last century and there have possibly been other arrivals since.
One is descended from Emmanuel de Castro
Emanuel was born in 1832 in Funchol, Madeira (his words in his application for Naturalisation 1860)
He and his wife Rita Mary arrived in New Plymouth 1851 aboard ST MICHAEL. They came as servants to the McKellar family (also his words in his application for Naturalisation 1860).
Following their arrival in New Plymouth the McKellar family settled on land in the Omata area south of New Plymouth and after leaving the McKellar's in 1853 Emanuel bought land also in the Omata/Oakura area where he remained until the latter years of his life.
He may well have come from a well to do family as he bought quite a lot of land over a short period of time paying cash for it. There is a family story that Emmanual was involved in an attempt to overthrow the Portugese Government, but the plotters were found out. Several were shot but Emmanuel escaped to Madreia
Emanuel's wife Rita Mary was a sister to Antonio Rodriquez de Sardinha who won a New Zealand Cross during the Taranaki Land Wars 1864/1865. He came out on ST MICHAEL with Emanuel and Rita Mary
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The other family in New Zealand starts with Charles Daniel de Castro who came out aged 21 and single on the "CORNWALL" in 1853 and settled in Wellington. This family is the one that is the subject of this record.
As far as is known no attempt has ever been made to see it there is any connection between these two families in the dim past. I have been in contact with a member of this other family and have been able to add to their record of the descendants of Emanuel in this country.
De Castro Story - In the beginning - The principal family line
De Castro Story - In the beginning - And before
As already said, Charles Daniel de Castro's ancestry can be traced back in an unbroken and documented line to one Solomon de Castro in London.
The first we know of Solomon is a record in the Bevis Marks Synagogue where it is recorded that Solomon de Castro son of David de Castro married Rachel daughter of Abraham Bravo of Bayonne (France) in 1710.
As said a number of family trees exist. Two give Solomon's father as Daniel and the others where they mention him say he is David. So we are not certain what Solomon's fathers name is except we favour David, as this is what the marriage register said. This is as far back as any written evidence held goes at this time.
As they moved round the Christian world after being evicted from Spain and Portugal and other countries, it is a well documented fact that the early Jewish families, adopted a Christian given name and possibly a surname but that they also had and used a Jewish given name and or surname so it is not unusual to find a person of Jewish faith in these times with two differing names. This family has always used it's Spanish or Portuguese surname and I as far as can be seen once they got to England did not have and use two differing given names although for trading purposes especially when the trade was with Spain and Portugal many families for the sake of security used a number of differing names.
It is from this point that perhaps our story should start, however there are two stories passed round the family, without any support to back them up, that deserve to be explored. These within genealogy are called fables as the stories are handed down and are unable to be substantiated in fact but are accepted as being true.
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