The Nevis Jewish Cemetery

View of the Jewish Cemetery, Charlestown, Nevis

The Nevis Jewish Cemetery

One of the most popular historic sites on the island of Nevis is the Jewish Cemetery located on Government Road in Charlestown. The nineteen surviving grave markers spanning the period from 1679 to 1730 are the most visible reminder of the island's former Jewish community. In the cemetery the visitor may gaze upon carved inscriptions in Hebrew, English, and Portuguese that bear testimony to the experiences of an uprooted and persecuted religious group whose forced exodus drove them across oceans and from continent to continent.

This page contains general information about the cemetery and the recorded burials. Additional information about the cemetery can be found on the page about the Electrical Resistivity Survey of the cemetery.

Grave stone fragment

Grave marker fragment with Hebrew inscription

Today the burial ground is an approximately 61 by 23-meter lot enclosed by a retaining wall. The preservation of the cemetery was brought about through the efforts of the late Rabbi Malcolm Stern who, having visited the cemetery while on a cruise in 1957, wrote an article about it for the journal of the American Jewish Archives. The article attracted the interest of Robert and Florence Abrahams of Philadelphia, who purchased a home on Nevis and organized a fund for the restoration of the cemetery. Through their efforts the cemetery was rededicated on February 25, 1971 after the grounds had been cleared of overgrowth, the stones restored, and a wall with a gate constructed around the cemetery's perimeter.

Fifteen of the surviving nineteen grave markers have decipherable inscriptions. They record the following burials:

Year Jewish Calendar Name
1679 5439 Ester Marache
1684 5444 Bathsheba Abudiente and newborn son
1684 5444 Daniel Mendez
1684 5444 Raquel Levy Rezio
1684 5445 Benvenida Cohen Rodrigues
1687 5448 Ribca Levy Rezio
1689 5450 Abraham Abudiente (Gideon)
168? Jacob Vas Men(des?)
1690 5450 Abraham Cohen Lobatto
1701 5462 Rachell Cohen Lobatto
1703/4 5464 Daniel Cohen
1709 5469 Jacob Senior
1729/30 5490Hananiah Arrobas
no date Abraham Cohen Rodrigues
no date Abraham Hezekiah Israel Gomes
no date Arobas

If you are interested in learning more about Sephardic surnames click here

The Jewish Community of Nevis Archaeology Project | The Nevis Synagogue Archaeology Project
Nevis History | The Nevis Jewish Cemetery | The Cemetery Resistivity Survey

Michelle Terrell's Homepage | | Revised November 2001

The views and opinions expressed in this page are strictly those of the page author.
The contents of this page have not been reviewed or approved by the University of Minnesota.