Other Towns - Sources
In other chapters we've mentioned Tudela, Huesca, Alcaniz and Caspe with direct historical connection to the family and now Valencia. But there are most likely many more, such as Borja, Hijar, Calatayud (mentioned here), Daroca, Biel, El Frago, UnCastillo, Teruel and Zaragosa itself. In some of these the process of rebuilding the Jewish Quarter, of restoring an important part of Spain's own history, is going apace.

There is easily available up-to-date published material from all of these towns on the internet sites brought with the original chapter and those added below, - (sometimes with English translation), - and in total one must say again that the whole historical effort on the part of local residents with very active support of the Municipal, Regional and National governments is most serious and most impressive. Ignore their motives for the time being - go and learn for yourselves something of our history and watch it coming back to life.

Those of you who follow the Benardout Appreciation Society Facebook page will be in regular receipt of articles and items written by historians, (usually is Spanish), which contain both direct and incidental references to the Benardout family, and as mentioned above this has prompted me to start researching deeper into our history at one town, - Calatayud - for publication here.

Calatayud is currently holding celebrations of its Juderia along lines similar to those I witnessed at Tarazona. Daroca is waking up to its past and Hijar is lifting its head. All this gives witness to a very strong cultural and even perhaps nationalistic awakening in Northern Spain, (and this is Aragon and Navarre, not Catalonia), which for better or for worse includes a revival of interest in the terrible Civil War of 1936-39, and is slowly allowing the Morisco aspect to revive and to take-up a growing share of local historical and now political interest.

On the Civil War, and just as a tit-bit, when the Article was printed about my visit in the local Heraldo de Aragon I couldn't find a copy of the newspaper in Barcelona, - all enquiries at the kiosks were ignored. My associates then explained that this was a right-wing newspaper, somewhat to my embarrassment. But these are internal matters, not for me to discuss.

As a final word here one can say that the broader but very clear research challenge has not yet been addressed at all - (for in order to do so one would need to spend 6 months a year in Spain and to learn the language), - that challenge being : If we already know of Benarduts famous in their day at Huesca and Caspe (at least), why not turn one's attention to those other Cities ? And indeed, - I hear rumours that cousins are about to visit Tudela in a search for ancestors' footsteps and that is very encouraging.
So of course you are right - Why not indeed ?


Miguel Angel Motis Dolader
- Los judios de Tarazona en el siglo XIV in two volumes, - Estudio (2004) and Coleccion documental (2003) - Centro de Estudios Turiasonenses, Tarazona. I am not currently able to indicate how copies can be obtained, but will happily investigate upon request. This source is in addition, of course, to the dozen shorter and more graphically presented pdf items already brought and listed at the end of the original chapter : "Tarazona et alia ".

If you open Facebook
and look for our subject you will find active Associations and contributors dealing with all towns where the community used to live, -
** Ruta de Sefarad en Aragon
** Fotos Antiguas de Aragon,
Both of these bring quite fascinating material from the past, - especially the Fotos from over the last 100 or so years and provide a real sense of atmosphere from the Old World. They will also lead you to Spaniards and others interested in our subject of course.

- canalso be found easily on YouTube where one can subscribe to their regular short weekly video broadcasts on the Town and its doings.

A Straight-forward Website is :
This site and lengthy article contains a series of fine photos of the juderia and other relevant sites in Tarazona with local detail of houses, squares and so forth.

Tarbut Seferad includes within its scope about 210 towns and villages throughout Spain with a Jewish history - all at different stages of development but usually with at least a local Chairman or correspondent with whom to make first contact.

** Red de Juderias de Espana - which also covers the ground pretty well at a more historical level.
** Arxiu Historic de Girona - the Girona Historical Archives - which give you an idea of the documentary collection held there. The Archive will assist you if you know what to ask for and it can of course be visited on your next stop-over at Barcelona !!

As to conversos :

See the book by Mark D. Meyerson A Jewish Renaissance in Fifteenth-Century Spain (Princeton University Press 2004 - also available on the Internet), chapter 6 in particular which brings the story of David, who became a Christian after 1391.


It is to be hoped that this short and even itself sparse report on what was found and verified to a high degree in situ will encourage other family members to take a similar investigative path. This one-time and temporary land of our ancestors seems to be offering-up much of our own history and open-heartedly too, - a golden opportunity to try to understand ourselves better, close-up and personal.

Feel free - I will always relate to what you say