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Sadie Day Pasha
Works at National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC
Attended Syracuse University
Lives in DC Metro


Sadie Day Pasha

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Basics in locating Ancestors for everyone.  Head spinning, Researchers for HIre are available at the National Archives.  You can reach me at (240) 560-6139, in the DC Metro area, access to NARA Washington DC and College Park, MD or digital records (libraries)
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Ministry of Justice, Portugal, Decree-law, February 27, 2015 unofficial translation above, referencing request for Portuguese nationality as descendants in Diaspora of ancient Sephardic Jews from Iberian Peninsula over 500 years ago.
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Continue the Journey! The Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies (SCJS) will hold its exciting 25th Annual Conference in Miami this summer from July 19-21. Genealogists, artists, performers, historians and other scholars will discuss the fascinating legacy of the Spanish and Portuguese …
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President, Larry Holman Chairman, Marion Burns
BEAUFORT COUNTY GUIDE to the Gullah Geechee Heritage
Editing, Design & Layout: Pathfinders Travel Magazine 215.438.2140 /
Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce
Cover Photo Credits: Clockwise: Shrimp-Jeff Ferguson© Baskets-PTM©
Crabs on plate-Rustmb© Fishman throwing net-Wirtgasem© Artists-BCBCC©
P.O. Box 754
Beaufort, South Carolina 29901 843.986.1102
Twelfth printing June 2014; The guide is distributed through area visitor centers, the Savannah Hilton Head Airport, businesses, and area attractions. The Guide is also available upon request from the BCBCC. The design, concept and content are copyrighted and may not in any manner be reproduced in part or whole without the publisher’s written permission.
Every attempt is made to provide dependable information, but the publisher does not guarantee that the information presented is complete or current. Any rates, special offers, etc. are subject to change and are not guaranteed by the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce.
Beaufort County Guide
to the
Gullah Geechee Heritage
3 - 4 6
7- 9 10 - 14 20 - 23 24 25 26 - 28 -
The Lowcountry Experience Lowcountry Lingo and Culture About The Chamber
Discover Beaufort
Discover Town of Bluffton
Festivals and Events
Discover Town of Hilton Head Island Discover Town of Port Royal
The Mather School
Discover Daufuskie Island
Day Trips
Business Directory
13 21
27 32
Your Guide to the
In South Carolina’s Lowcountry
BCBCC · Contents 1
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Hire a NARA Researcher and save time.
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“All God’s Dangers,” a sharecropper’s story that won a National Book Award in 1975, still rings true 40 years later.
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Flory Jagoda born in Bosnia in 1923, tells story of her family of Sephardic Jews through folk music and songs in Judeo-Spanish (Ladino) language..
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Researcher for Hire and Family Historian: History and Genealogy of Jews in South Carolina and Georgia, United States
A Family History of Lowcountry Secret Jews and descendants in America©manuscript/sp2010. 

Manuscript of the Family History of Portuguese Jews, secret religious rituals and old stories passed down to modern-era Descendants in America in a non-fictional unpublished manuscript based on our mother Fannie Green, her life as a Secret Jew, family traditions she practiced and taught her seven children, and family stories told “over and over again” in “Geechee” southern dialect linguists trace to West African oral traditions resembling the trade language of “Kissi” people of Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Liberia. 

Her stories always took place in Georgetown, South Carolina. She always recited them “by rote” leaning forward with right fingers balancing her chin, before beginning the repetitive story of her birth, as she sat at our kitchen table in East Harlem, New York.

“Grandmother Adele (b. 1875) came and got me, as a baby. I was born in Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in 1927.  My mother (Virginia Smith) and my twin sister Virgie died in childbirth (the same year).  Mother was born in Georgetown, South Carolina (in 1898) and so was my father Louis Green.  Grandmother Adele Pyatt changed my name from Fannie Green to Edna Smith.  I was raised by her, and my grandfather Richard Smith (b. 1875) in Georgetown, South Carolina. At age seventeen, (circa 1944) I came north to Freeport, New York to live with Aunt Sadie (b. 1906), mother’s sister, and her husband "Uncle (James) Grant".            

Our mother’s story was written down from my recollections of old family stories, and ritual traditions we practiced at home in secret.  Fannie Green (our mother) was the great-great granddaughter of Percilla Cohen (b. 1809), great-granddaughter of Grace Cohen (b. circa 1840), granddaughter of her son Richard Smith, and the only child of Virginia Smith (b. 1900) and Louis Green.  Her family story centers on Portuguese Jews (Secret Jews), and their “complicated” family relationships with enslaved “Geechee” people and Free Persons of Color in Georgetown, South Carolina who share the surname (last name) Cohen; including Rosa Cohen Roberson (Robinson), great-grandmother of the first lady of the United States, Mrs. Michelle Robinson Obama, and grandmother of Capers Funny (e), a cousin, born in Georgetown, South Carolina, but raised in Chicago, who became a Rabbi.

Mother's storytelling encompasses several low country historical events in the colonial and reconstruction eras, and tells the lesser-known tale of Portuguese Jews (hidden Jews) in the low country.  The narrative takes readers on a journey of five hundred years of family history from the first (Portuguese Jews) Cohen family to arrive in Charleston, to modern-day African American descendants born and raised in East Harlem.  The manuscript begins in 1497 during the Inquisition in Portugal, and continues on to tell the story of a Portuguese Jew named Moses Cohen, a Merchant (storekeeper) from London, England and his arrival into the port of Charleston, South Carolina with ten-year-old son Abraham Cohen circa 1750. 

He was among a small group of Portuguese Jews who prayed at home, later Moses Cohen (b. 1709) “with zeal” led the religious group in worship in a “building made of wood” in Charleston, the group was called, Kahol Kodesh Beth Elohim (Holy Congregation of God). 

Abraham Cohen, the first son of Moses Cohen moved to Georgetown, South Carolina in his early twenties, a couple of years before his father’s death to become a Planter.  He acquired a farm, cattle, Blacksmith shop in town, twenty-one slaves, and had worked as an Auctioneer selling ‘Geechee” slaves and property off loaded from ships to the highest bidder.  He also served in the militia at the “Siege of Charleston” during the American Revolutionary War of 1776.  Towards the end of his life Abraham Cohen welcomed George Washington, the first President of the United States and fellow Mason to Georgetown, South Carolina as Washington “toured the south” in 1791, while living on Prince Street less than a mile away with his companion (concubine) and our mother's ancestor, “Free Peggy” McWharter, a Free Person of Color.

Our mother repeatedly said she was from the Cohen, Smith and Pyatt families of Georgetown, and generations of (Portuguese) Jews (from Northern Africa), and “Geechee” people from Africa and Cherokees of South Carolina.  Her compelling story is an effortless embrace of these three different cultures, traditions, and religions in Georgetown County, though mother lived as a secret (Portuguese) Jew all her life.  It is a family story of mother's people, which took me over thirty years to research, four years to compile, write, and edit, and reluctantly share with the public, centuries of hidden generational religious traditions, and tell her less known story of Portuguese Jews.

The story of our mother Fannie Green reveals a hidden "portion" of Jews who fled Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition, but continued to worship in secret in the southern coastal town of Georgetown, South Carolina. Old religious traditions of Portuguese have continued to be practiced five centuries later in the ethnically mixed Catholic community in East Harlem, New York were she raised her children.  This long awaited Cohen of Georgetown, South Carolina narrative covering three hundred years was written for daughters and granddaughters; because not much has been written on familial relationships of Portuguese Jews, Free Persons of Color, or enslaved “Geechee” people of West Africa on low country plantations, or modern-day Cohen descendants, who faithfully continue to practice ritual traditions many generations later.  Our mother a Cohen descendant continued to light candles before dark on Friday, and cleaning her home in East Harlem in preparation for the most important day of Passover, and kept a Hebrew Calendar though hidden, though most meaning had long ago been lost of Portuguese Jews (Crypto-Jews, Marranos), forced to become “Secret Jews”, after the Inquisition.  

Author's Copyright 2010 


Sadie Day Pasha, Professional Genealogist

Independent Researcher for Hire

National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC


Bragging rights
Guild of One-Name Study (GOONS), USA Region 5, London, UK, Independent Researcher of "Cohen One Name Study"of Cohen surname among African descendants of Portuguese Jews who settled in lowcountry of Georgia and South Carolina during the colonial, reconstruction eras and after the turn of the century.
  • Syracuse University
    Information Studies, Public Communications
  • Boston University
    Dental Science
Basic Information
Looking for
Independent Researcher and Author of "Cohen of Georgetown County, South Carolina 1760-1960: A Family History of Low Country Secret Jews in America and descendants in America". The true story of African Americans with the surname Cohen living in coastal Georgetown, South Carolina during the American Revolution, Civil War, Reconstruction and Great Migration eras, continuing to practice centuries old religious traditions of Portuguese Jews, based on our mother Fannie Green (b. 1927) who was raised in Georgetown, SC by her grandfather Richard Smith (b. 1875), son of Grace Cohen (b. circa 1840).
Over 35 years Researching Cohen, Smith and Pyatt ancestry and Family Histories in Domestic and International Genealogy Archives and Libraries
  • National Archives and Records Administration, Washington DC
    Researcher for Hire, present
    Professional Genealogist and Family Historian specializing in the family history of descendants of Sephardim (Secret Jews) of Spain and Portugal living in America.
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DC Metro
Georgetown, SC - East Harlem, NY
Contact Information
(240) 560-6139
Independent Researcher for Hire National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, DC
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