Joshua went looking for his story—and reclaimed a culture and a country in the process.

How something lost generations ago can bring new meaning and purpose to your life today.

His mother’s passion for genealogy quickly became his own.

Joshua and his sister took up her mission of finding their family story after she passed away. They both dove into Ancestry with all they had to build their family tree, until one day they made a remarkable discovery.

Joshua started with what he knew, his parents and his grandparents’ names. Leaf hints gave him clues that helped him go back 11 generations.

Uncovering the story of HIS Jewish ancestor escaping religious persecution in Portugal was profound.

Joshua always thought of himself as a regular old Southern boy. But his 10th great-grandfather showed there was a richer story in his past than he ever imagined. Joshua used marriage certificates, census records, and more on to grow his family tree and find his ties to Samuel Nunez.

  • Ruby Hodges Davis 1909-1943 Joshua’s Great Grandmother
  • Pearl Davis Hodges 1890-1928 Joshua’s Great Great Grandmother
  • Susan Guinn Davis 1860-1951 Joshua’s Third-Great Grandmother
  • Sarah Ann Nunez 1790–1882 Joshua’s Fifth-Great Grandmother
    Samuel Nunez’s Great Granddaughter

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A famous doctor in Portugal, Samuel was tortured and thrown in prison for his faith. He escaped to Georgia—one of the first Jewish settlers there—and put down roots that led to Joshua.

The settlement of Savannah in 1734—just a year after Dr. Nunez arrived.

To validate what he discovered in his family tree, Joshua turned to AncestryDNA.

Like millions of others, Joshua and his sister combined the power of family trees and DNA to get a clearer picture of his ethnicity and his lineage. When the results came back 17% Iberian Peninsula, Joshua knew he had found the truth of his heritage.

Inspired by his newly discovered roots, Joshua felt “saudade,” the longing to return home.

Incorporating Jewish customs and culture into his life—something his mother would have loved—was the first step of Joshua’s full embrace of his new story and ethnicity. But he experienced an even stronger pull to his Portuguese side.

Using the information he discovered on Ancestry, he became an official Portuguese citizen. He has learned the language and is even moving to Portugal to start a new life there—in some ways, reversing his ancestor’s journey as he starts a new chapter in his own.

It opened up a
whole new world…
es sou português.”
-Joshua Berry Ancestry member since 2012

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