The Botbol Theory

Peter Botbijl has arrived at a very plausible theory about the origination and the history of the Botbijl name.

In the late 16th century, most of the people living in Lage Zwaluwe were Calvinists (Nederlands Reformed) that had moved there from Antwep and the surrounding areas to escape the persecution of the Spanish Inquisition. The Botbijl name cannot be found in Flanders of that era but the name Botbol can. In emigrating to Lage Zwaluwe, Nord Brabant, the name was probably change to a phonetic Dutch spelling, thus changing the o to an ij.

Botbol History:

Botbol during 19th century was one of the twenty more common last names within the Jewish collectivity of Morocco. The origin of this surname (and its variants: Abitbol or Boutboul) would come from Hebrew "tbol" that means "purification in a ritual bath" therefore would mean the "father of the bath" or the one in charge of this ritual bath. In Arabic, it means the father of tamborine which indicate a profession, the maker or salesman of this popular Moroccan musical instrument. The Botbol name can still be found in Morocco, France, Belgium, Israel and South America.

It is supposed that Botbol families in Morocco, like most of the established Jewish collectivity in Morocco, arrived there between 1478, persecuted by the Council of the Inquisicion, and March of 1492 when the catholic kings signed edict by which they were expelled from Spain. Some of the Botbols may have gone to Antwerp at this time. It is this supposition that provides a possible link from Botbol to Botbijl. Botbol was a name known to have existed in Flanders of that era and is refered to as North African Jewish.

Botbol Timeline:

808 Jews admitted to Morocco

Botbol ancestor emigrates to Morocco from Algeria or Egypt

900-980 Vikings (Danish) defeat the Morocco Moors and establish settlements

Botbol bloodline infused with Viking bloodline (concentual?) provides fair skin, blue eyes and blond hair to lineage

1000-1200 Muslims control much of Iberian peninsula.

Botbol emigration to Spain. Most of the world's Jews of this time live in Spain and this is the basis for Sephardic (Spanish) Jews.

1371-1478 Forced conversion of Jews in Spain to Christianity

Other options: expulsion or death (thousands were killed)

1497 Expulsion of the Jews of Portugal

Botbol emigrates to Antwerp with other conversos (converts to Christianity, some secretly remained Jews and others totally cut themselves off from Judaism)

abt 1550 Cornelis Botbol born in Antwerp.

1585 Spanish occupy Antwerp - Converso community moves to Amsterdam

Cornelis Botbol moves to Lage Zwaluwe, North Brabant, Netherlands, a haven for Reformation Protestants. He may have converted to Protestantism or married a Protestant woman. Name spelling is changed to more phonetic Dutch, Botbijl. Perhaps to disguise his Jewish heritage.