Victorian Era Scams that Deprived Families of the Records They Kept in their Bibles

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The scams our ancestors fell prey to, are not much different than those today. Scammers want our money or to make a joke of us. They wanted the same back in the 1800’s but I think it was a lot costlier and I’ll tell you why. Scammers sent official looking letters to innocent people telling them that they were heir to a fortune left behind by their ancestors. It was held by the king of Holland, accumulating interest.

Our ancestors? Gullible? Noooo…

It appears that there were more than a few who packed up and sailed all the way to Holland to demand that the king release their inheritance. The government in Holland, went out of their way to explain to Americans that you can’t just show up and rattle off a story and expect a king’s ransom. These fortune seekers, usually didn’t even know the names of their wealthy ancestors who had left this treasure. No death certificates. Not much of anything. Just a burning passion to retrieve their rightful inheritance.

One of the reasons that they had no proof was because when scammers visited people in their American homes and told them this whopper of a story, innocent victims gave up their family Bibles and valuable records, to prove lineage and to help collect on their royal inheritance. This is why today, some of those family Bibles are missing and might answer the question, why family Bibles pop up in unusual places. Like say… in the hands of the descendants of the scammers?

Our ancestors? Scoundrels? Noooo….

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy IIUncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors, Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians, Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees, Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy VI – Freemasons, Jewish Conquistadors and the Holy Family. Available here:

Secret Genealogy:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0965114082

Secret Genealogy II:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484053222

Secret Genealogy III:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/148407579X

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

Secret Genealogy VI: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY35VCP

The Essenes Were Jews

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The Essenes were an ancient spiritual group (with a few loners who chose to live in solitude) who practiced communal living two centuries before Jesus. There is speculation today that some of Jesus’s beliefs were influenced by this ancient sect that combined Judaism with Asian rules and rituals. They spent their days praying and like Orthodox Jews today, they studied the sacred writings. They frowned on priesthoods and shared their possessions equally. They spoke of “angels,” including “the angel of light” and “the angel of water” and how to cherish the simple gifts of nature to maintain health. They were agriculturalists whose writings teach us the importance of sprouted wheat. If you want a modern day parallel to the Essenes, look to the communes and monasteries that practice peaceful living, in nature, away from populated areas.

The Essenes were persecuted by the Romans and the Orthodox Jews of the day did not support their beliefs. Archaeologists digging in the Dead Sea area where they had a settlement, have unearthed numerous ancient scrolls. These scrolls are an Israeli heritage.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy IIUncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors, Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians, Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees, Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy VI – Freemasons, Jewish Conquistadors and the Holy Family. Available here:

Secret Genealogy:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0965114082

Secret Genealogy II:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484053222

Secret Genealogy III:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/148407579X

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

Secret Genealogy VI: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY35VCP

We Can Thank the Dutch for Religious Tolerance… They Were the First

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We can thank the Dutch for religious tolerance. They were the first. Before New York was New York it was New Amsterdam and we know what that means. “The Dutch.” Now mind you, America’s early Dutch were severe in their religious beliefs. What religion wasn’t severe back in the late 1600’s? But thank you Holland for being the first European country to practice religious tolerance.

Holland’s openness to all forms of religion continues to this day but make no mistake, there never was nor ever will be an absolute or unanimous way of thinking. During the Rembrandt-era, Holland’s Jews were impacted by the anti-Semitism of out-spoken Christian religious leaders. There was even strife between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews. And recently, there has been an uptick in political movements that have less tolerance for immigrants and the religious diversity that they bring. In spite of this, tolerance is the norm in Holland.

 

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy IIUncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors, Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians, Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees, Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy VI – Freemasons, Jewish Conquistadors and the Holy Family. Available here:

Secret Genealogy:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0965114082

Secret Genealogy II:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484053222

Secret Genealogy III:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/148407579X

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

Secret Genealogy VI: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY35VCP

Getting Rid of Sorrow… Buddhism

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In the fifth century before Jesus walked with his disciples and preached about loving thy neighbor, a man named Guatama taught people how to get rid of sorrow. He belonged to a Himalayan tribe known as Sakya. He was considered their sage. It wasn’t until after his death that he was worshipped as a god. Buddha was not his name. Buddha means “enlightened one.” He was (or is) also known as the “Great Hero” due to his conquering of his “self.” About 325 B.C, India’s King Asoka was desperate to move away from the carnage of war. He became a Buddhist and placed monuments to Buddha throughout his kingdom, in the hope that people would follow the philosophy of living with order and kindness. One such monument to Buddha is what’s called the Lion Capital. The lion represents the moral power of Buddha and today it is the symbol of the Republic of India.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy IIUncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors, Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians, Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees, Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy VI – Freemasons, Jewish Conquistadors and the Holy Family. Available here:

Secret Genealogy:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0965114082

Secret Genealogy II:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484053222

Secret Genealogy III:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/148407579X

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

Secret Genealogy VI: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY35VCP

Genealogy… Surnames and Nobility, Understanding “De”

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For quite some time, in Europe, “De” was used to distinguish those of noble birth. The right to use it was granted by the king. “De” is French and it means “of.” It is used in many surnames. If the surname started with a vowel it was written as d’. It is also seen as “des” and “des la.” It’s important to bear in mind that for example, the name Des Marets means “of Marets” and there may be instances where the surname will be listed under Marets, because occasionally the prefix is disregarded. The name Des Marets is also seen as Demaree. A change like that happens when the descendants merge the prefix with the suffix. Personally, I prefer the beauty of the ancient French name, Des Marets.

If you run across the prefix “te” as in “te Bonte” it probably means the same as “de.” “Te” is from the Old Dutch and is used to signify that something is located at, in or on.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy IIUncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors, Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians, Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees, Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy VI – Freemasons, Jewish Conquistadors and the Holy Family. Available here:

Secret Genealogy:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0965114082

Secret Genealogy II:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484053222

Secret Genealogy III:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/148407579X

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

Secret Genealogy VI: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY35VCP

Genealogy… Don’t Shy from Ancestral Name Changes

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What could be more popular than the name David? But who would think that the name “Taffy” is one and the same as the Hebrew name David, meaning beloved? The name David is popular in Wales, due to an early evangelist who bore the name. It may have looked like this: Dawfydd. If you look at it carefully, it would be pronounced Daw-feed. In Israel, David is pronounced Da-veed. Sounds almost the same. Maybe it’s because this Welsh David, made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

David is recognized as the patron saint of Wales. Over the years, the “D” got translated to a “T” and the result was Taffy. It’s used as a nickname for Welshmen. Legend has it that Wale’s Saint David was King Arthur’s uncle and David is the fellow to whom homage is paid for his successful battle against the Saxons. There is a big festival in his name occurring on March 1st. A leek is worn in his honor.

I heard a genealogist say that it is all too common for people to refuse to accept that their surname may have been other than it is today. David to Taffy? That’s quite a stretch. But it happens all the time in genealogy and we should not be too stubborn to accept a name change somewhere along the way.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy IIUncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors, Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians, Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees, Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy VI – Freemasons, Jewish Conquistadors and the Holy Family. Available here:

Secret Genealogy:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0965114082

Secret Genealogy II:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484053222

Secret Genealogy III:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/148407579X

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

Secret Genealogy VI: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY35VCP