A Judahite is an inhabitant of Judah or a member of the tribe of Judah. In other words, a Judahite is a Jew. (Jew is a nickname that came later.) Those who study the bible know that one of Jacob’s sons was Judah and that is where the name of the tribe came from. Jacob is also referred to as “Israel,” which is where the name of the Middle Eastern country came from. To the ancient Judahites, Judah was synonymous with “lion.” A Jewish man could sign documents as either “Judah” or “Lion.” If you have an ancestor who was signing his name as Jacob, he was probably following the Jewish custom.
Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy – A How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy II – Uncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors and Secret Genealogy III – From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians. Available here:
Secret Genealogy II: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-II-Christian-Ancestors/dp/1484053222
Secret Genealogy III: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-III-Jewish-Anglo-Saxon-Acadians/dp/148407579X
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