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Descendants of Portuguese Jewish Family Revive Claim for Possession of Labrador

July 7, 1950
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The claim of the Portuguese Jewish family Do La Penha to the possession of Labrador, Canadian poninsula, was revived here today by four descondants of the Do La Ponha family who started a search for documents to prove conclusively” their right to the peninsula, Routers reported.

According to records secured by the descendants of the De La Penha family in Canada and in London, King William the Third of Britain was saved from drowning in a shipwreck in 1695 by Joseph De La Penha, an Amsterdam Jewish merchant. In gratitude King William gave De La Penha hereditary tenure forever of Labrador. This grant was legalized in 1697 in a document signed at Het Loo Palace in Holland and renewed in 1732 and 1768, the descondants of the Do La Penha family claim.

One of the descendants, Tobias Green of Nontreal, discover in 1927 the priginal 1732 and 1768 documents. Some time later, a Dutchman in London found the priginal 1697 document between the leaves of a book borrowed from the Dutch library there.

The Labrador case came to light in 1927 when Isaac De La Penha, a Montreal Jew who is a direct descendant of the Amsterdam merchant, filed a lawsuit claiming Labrador. The case hadb been propared for a period of several years and a representative of the family was going from Holland to Canada to support the claim on behalf of all the descendants. However, the second World War broke out while the case was under consideration and it was delayed. Many members of the family were killed in the German concentration camps.

The case came up again after the war, when a number of Belgian descendants sought to contact P.H. Molhado, one of the Dutch descondants. Mr. Melhado has now formed a commission together with other descendants of the De La Penha family to contact all other direct descendants living outside Holland and to begin another suit.

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