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Family Tree revelation

My mom’s Maiden name is Targan. I was told that her ancestors lived in the kingdom of Aragon in Spain before it was conquered by Ferdinand and Isabella. OK, that makes sense, since there is a city on the mediterranean sea by the name of Tarragona, which is an hour southwest of Barcelona.

My ancestors supposedly were not conversos, and went to the Ottoman Empire after the Spanish and Portuguese inquisitions kicked them out. They lived under the Ottomans for I think 150-200 years and then a few people were part of the group that migrated out the Ottoman Empire(I’m guessing from The Balkans) into Ukraine and Russia along the trade routes. Targans are found today mostly in Spain, Morocco, France, Israel, and Turkey.

So the big thing is that Targan may not be my mom’s family’s REAL last name. They could indeed be from Tarragona, and shortened it to Targan. BUT that name was a title of nobility in Old Turkish, which was used from the 13th to the 16th centuries. But slang usage of that word was to describe a person of privelege- i.e. a person of power, authority, money, high status, etc.

So now I’ve got an even BIGGER question to research. Is Targan just a monicker put on a lot of people from Iberia who had a lot of money, and they ALL were forced by the Ottomans to take the last name of Targan in the late 15th century or early 16th century? Or did they really come from Tarragona, and the Ottomans knew that living on the sea coast meant that they were probably wealthy?

Can you imagine, some Ottoman guard speaking to the other in 1492 “Yeah, we got all these Jews in from Spain and Portugal. They say they lived on the sea coast in Aragon! I bet they’re a bunch of Targan snobs!”

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Source: Reditt