Category Archives: Genealogy

Wait… Jews Are Not White?


I heard a San Francisco radio talk show host say that he wasn’t white because he was Jewish. Wait… what? The idea that Jews are not white is new to me. Most of the Jews that I know, are fair skinned or have olive complexions. Of course, there are many black Jews, I saw them on the streets of Tel Aviv. The history of the return of black Jews to Israel from Africa, is a fascinating story. And Sammy Davis Junior was black. He became a Jew. Need we remember that Jewish is also a religion? Confusing, I know.

What “white” and “black” are used for is census reports and birth certificates and employment applications, although for decades we’ve been able to choose “decline to state.” Which I sometimes do and sometimes don’t. However someone wishes to identify, I’m alright with it. To be honest with you, since my DNA tests show that I have a small amount of Native American ancestry and a small amount of sub-Saharan, I smile when I think that I could check the box that says “black” or “Native American.” I’d love to do that. I won’t though. It might create a nightmare scenario for me at an airport someday. But just so you know, I’m really proud that I found a little color in my family tree. I’ve rested easier ever since because I just knew it was there. I’m not so crazy after all. Follow your intuition wherever it might lead. A very important point to remember when studying your family genealogy.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry. Available here:


Think You Might Have Jewish Ancestry?


More and more people are beginning to wonder, “Gee, do I have Jewish ancestry that no one told me about?” That answer may be a loud YES. Some people are just now opening their eyes and seeing what was right in front of them and they never thought to ask. Why would they? We trust our parents and grandparents. They tell us the truth. Why wouldn’t they tell us? I can give you a one word answer. SAFETY.

Whether someone is Irish, Mexican, Italian, German, you name it, historically there’s been disparaging remarks said about them. Said about everybody. I don’t see it coming to a stop. If you have Jewish ancestry and your elders were mum about it, they were only trying to keep you safe. Or let you have the same opportunities as others. No, it’s not fair but it is what it is and that is what happened. It is though, never too late to explore your Jewish ancestry and their heritage. Your heritage. It’s not as hard as you think and today, there are many more resources available.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry. Available here:

Secret Genealogy:

Genealogy: Anti-Semites With Jewish Names… Who Knew?


The New York Times is taking heat for publishing author Alice Walker’s book recommendations. “What books are on your nightstand?” they asked. Mentioning a book by author David Icke is drawing disgust. Yair Rosenberg writes in that David Icke is “one of Britain’s most notorious anti-Semites.”

I’ve thumbed through a David Icke book and I’ve heard an interview. I friend had his book and tried to tout it to me. I had to underline phrase after phrase and make page notes, hoping my friend would see the inconsistencies in what Icke was championing. Rosenberg writes, “Like many conspiracy theorists, Icke claims that a secret conspiracy controls the world. And like many conspiracy theorists, Icke claims that this secret conspiracy happens to be Jewish.”

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen and read the names of alleged anti-Semites and shake my head at the ignorance of their own ethnic backgrounds. David Icke is a perfect example. He has a very Jewish first name, David, who was the king of the Jews. And one could argue that his last name is a version of Issac, also a Jewish name. The Istanbul Jewish Genealogy Project lists these names: Izaak, Izac, Izah, Izak, Izchak. If I were researching the surname Icke, I would not rule out Jewish origins and that the name had been altered a bit over the years.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry. Available here:

To DNA or Not to DNA… That is the Question


I recently had my DNA tested and it moved me forward in my knowledge of where my ancestors hailed from. Like everyone else, our earliest ancestors came from Africa and the Middle East. The science is still young, so you are likely to only receive a little information about your family genetics. And you will lose some privacy if you agree to sharing your results. The fun part of sharing is that you meet “cousins.” But they, like most everyone else participating, are wondering “now what?” Our lives are so busy, most of us don’t have the time to dig deeper into the DNA website and see what it has to offer us. I only took one test, with one company and they keep in touch, basically trying to sell me on more opportunities, but I think in the future I’ll try another company and start with them, from scratch. Just to see what they say. It seems easier that way. And it sounds like fun.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy VII – DNA, Jumping Into the Gene Pool. A High Tech Gathering of the Tribes, Available here

Genealogy… Finally Took That DNA Test


Thumbnail Canva FRONT Cover Secret Genealogy VII

I put it off for years but I finally took a DNA test for ancestry. I went through 23andMe and I’m pleased with their reporting. It wasn’t easy to read reports with new words and phrases that I wasn’t accustomed to. And it required studying for me to figure things out. I didn’t get all of the answers but I wrote a little book that might help you to understand the confusing world of DNA testing.

Secret Genealogy VII – DNA, Jumping Into the Gene Pool. A High Tech Gathering of the Tribes, Available here:


Secret Genealogy VII:

Actually, it was a pretty fun book to write.


Rh-Negative Blood, Ancient Iberians, Gaul, Gaelic, Celtic… Confusing. Don’t ya Think?


When you hear the word Gaul (pronounced gol) you can think France, for it was the name formerly used for that geographical area. A Frenchman is sometimes referred to as a Gaul. Before it was France, it was called Gallia by the Romans who with Caesar’s leadership, conquered the area. Caesar’s Gaul was populated mostly by the Celts. Back then, it held more territory than today’s France. Gaul encompassed Belgium, some of Germany, Switzerland and Holland. Northern Italy was included too, it was considered Gallia Cisalpina.

The Gaels, on the other hand, (pronounced gales) are the Gaelic branch of the Celts, particularly those that wound up in the Scottish Highlands. The Gaelic word for it is Gaidheal (also pronounced gale). To go back in time further, before Gael it was Goidel. The Goidels were a round-headed Alpine people who mixed with the darker-skinned, long-headed people who became the Celts. For more information on the ancient Iberians, especially if you’re interested in the Rh-negative blood type, see Chapter V of Secret Genealogy V – Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family TreesAvailable here:

Or in paperback:

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


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:

Secret Genealogy II:

Secret Genealogy III:

Secret Genealogy IV:

Secret Genealogy V:

Secret Genealogy VI: