The Fernandes Family,from Rio Grande do Norte,was one of those who have already managed to prove sephardicdescent. The family originates in the Douro region,northern Portugal,and its first members arrived in Brazil in the early eighteenth century.
Coming by ship, the first three Fernandes were two brothers and a cousin, one of them identified by António José Fernandes,nicknamed “Pimenta”, depending on his red skin. Hence the origin of the “Fernandes Pimenta” who inhabited Rio Grande do Norte and part of Paraíba.
Among the descendants of António Fernandes, stands out Major Cosme Damião Fernandes (his grandson), who inhabited the Seridóregion in Rio Grande do Norte and married Izabel Maria de Araújo,leaving eight children who settled in that region.
Genealogical research has shown that all descendants of the couple have direct and proven Jewish origin,from the maternal side, of inhabitants of the city of Barcelos, converted by force in 1497, in the reign of D. Manuel.
It is estimated that thousands of Seridoenses are direct descendants of this couple and that, consequently, originate stemming from Portuguese nationality, while the current Law of Nationality is in force.
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