This surname is among the most common on St Thomas and no less than 30 are listed in the phone book. They are descended from a Jewish family from Spain and Portugal which was enobled but left due to persecution from the Spanish Inquisition. The majority of the descendants of the family are now Christian but branches which retain their original religion still exist.
The international chemical company Monsanto was financed by catholic Don Emmanuel Mendes de Monsanto of St Thomas who made a fortune financing the sugar industry in Puerto Rico notably Vieques, he was made a baron by Spain. The founder was John Patrick Queeney his son-in-law a chemist who made sacharin in competition with a German company who had previously monopolised it.