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Gomez

GOMEZ

GOMEZ , family of prominent early U.S. merchants. lewis moses (c. 1660–1740), who was the founder of this New York family, was probably born a Marrano in Madrid, and lived in France and England before settling in New York about 1703. Three years later he was made a freeman of New York City, where he prospered in the import and export trade. Together with his sons he purchased considerable real estate in the city and in Ulster and Orange counties. Of Gomez' six sons, one died at sea in 1722; the other five, all merchants, figured prominently in community affairs. mordecai (1688–1750) was made a freeman in 1715 and was appointed interpreter to the Admiralty Court. daniel (1695–1780) became a freeman in New York in 1727; he died in Philadelphia. david (1697?–1769) carried on a considerable fur trade with the Indians and became a naturalized British subject in 1740. isaac (1705–1770) bought a distillery in the Montgomerie Ward in the city in 1763, together with benjamin (1711–1772), who lived in Charleston for a time. In 1729 Gomez and his sons, except Benjamin, purchased land which included the site of what was to be the Shearith Israel cemetery off Chatham Square. They posted a bond that the land would be a "burying place" for the use of the "Jewish nation." The family was among the original founders of Congregation Shearith Israel. The elder Gomez was one of the trustees who purchased land for the Mill Street Synagogue and was president of the congregation in 1730, when the synagogue was dedicated. Benjamin Gomez served as parnas four times, and during the period between 1730 and the Revolution, seven members of the Gomez family served as president.

bibliography:

H. Simonhoff, Jewish Notables in America … (1956), 112–6; D. de Sola Pool, Portraits Etched in Stone (1952), index; L. Hershkowitz (comp.), Wills of Early New York Jews (1967), index; Rosenbloom, Biogr Dict, s.v.Gomez, Benjamin1, Gomez, David1, Gomez, Isaac1, Gomez, Lewis (Louis) Moses, incl. bibl. on all of them.

[Leo Hershkowitz]

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