It is believed that the Monteiro’s were originally Sephardic Jews from Spain. Jews settled in the land of Sepharad (or Sefarad), as Spain was called in Hebrew language, very early. It was often claimed that their arrival to Spain happened soon after the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II conquered Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple in 586 BC. There was a legend among the Sephardim (i.e. the Spanish Jews) that Toletum (Toledo), the capital city of Spain, was founded by Jewish refugees from Jerusalem.They moved to Portugal during the Inquisition to escape torture and prosecution. They became Catholics but practiced no religion. One Monteiro went to the East on the “Alburgue” as a sailor or soldier. It is believed that we are all his descendants. When the Dutch came over, he escaped to Timor. Apparently there is a large family of Monteiro’s in Timor.