Hi there and thanks for the kind words. The surname is (according to most researchers) Spehardic in origin coming from Portugal or Spain. I believe that it may well be German before that. It is possible that it is a corruption of Fernandes and we are researching that area now. Joseph is a very common names in our family history as you can probably see from the web site.
There are a number if Italian Ferdinando's but none are related in our tree at the moment. It is possible that after the dispersion of the Sephardim (after 1492) some made their way to Italy but I/we really do not know anything of the family that early on.
The Portuguese connection is being worked on at the moment. We believe that we are related to Antonio Fernandes Carvajal (also known as Ferdinando) but this is speculative at the moment and we are trying to prove/disprove this connection. Any update to this will appear on the web site. Feel free to drop me a line for any other information we may have. Do you know when your family arrived in the US?
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