Monthly Archives: March 2011

Court Jews – “Hofjew” Could Play a Role in Your Ancestry Search

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During the Middle Ages, when Jews were denied access to trade guilds, they became dominant in finance and business, especially for the courts. This caused envy among other Jews whose lives were in sharp contrast. A fierce debate goes on to this day but the history of the “Hofjew” could play a role in your ancestry search, particularly if you see any clues in your genealogical tree. One Dutch surname is “Brengerhof.” In German, Hof means “farm or yard.” Court Jews were called “Hofjuden,” and whether there was intent to insult by association with a farm, similar to the derogatory “Marrano/Swine” name during the Inquisition, I have not heard but in the Netherlands “hof” meant “court” and the main messenger of this court was called a “Brenger.” If your surname is “Brengerhof” or “Brinkerhoff” I would consider following the Jewish research trail. In England the expression was “Court Jew” and in Latin “Feret” means to “bear, bring, carry off, consider, get, produce, receive, tell, speak of or win.” This class of Jews were granted “protection” because they were accountants, clerks, tax collectors, etc. who provided excellent service to the local government.”

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

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Secret Societies/Cryptic Monotheists/Secret Genealogy

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It’s interesting to think that during times of antiquity, when it was fashionable to worship “multiple” gods that it would be heresy to believe in the concept of “one” god. When studying the history of ancient mysteries we are led to the Jews, monotheism and ancient Masons who met in secret to share these mysteries. We read of Noah and his pure teachings. The word “Semite” derives from Noah’s son Shem. In ancient times, a Semite was not chiefly represented by Jews and Arabs but included the Phoenicians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Aramaeans and others.

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

Crypto-Jewish American Pioneer Families Banded Together

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During the Diaspora Jews stuck together and during Colonial times, these pioneer American families were still sticking together. I often wonder whether the younger generations were aware of their Jewish heritage or if the older generations guided them to choose Jewish partners. A sort of silent conspiracy between sets of Jewish parents may have existed. Heated arguments must have ensued over whether or not to completely abandon Jewish origins which would enable new generations freedom from persecution and access to advantages in the New World or to hang on desperately to the last vestiges of their ancient bonds.  

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… Who Were My Ancestors??

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Many are becoming interested in their family genealogy but become discouraged when the trail comes to an end. Who was the father or mother of this ancestor? Where did they come from? They’ve got to be out there somewhere. “Somebody help me!” is a common phrase I see all the time on the ancestry message boards. It could be that your ancestors were Jews and you just don’t quite know how to look for them. Take for example the name Barkin. I think it sounds English but it could have originally been “bar Cohen,” a Jewish name. Also take the common name Silva. Derived from Latin, Silva means forest. Silva is one of the most common surnames in Brazil. Here is an example of a Sephardic Jewish Portuguese name: Tobiau Israel da Silva.

Through the ages, people became very creative in the ways they altered their names. Many non-Jewish names become popular Jewish names but Rabbis were strict about which names a child could use. They were concerned about the practice of naming Jewish babies gentile names so set up creative ways for Jews to have both a sacred Jewish name and a name that fit within the local culture. This sacred name was what descendants could use to recognize that their ancestors were Jewish. It’s unfortunate that too often, these sacred names became lost or abandoned.

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