Category Archives: Genealogy

To DNA or Not to DNA… That is the Question

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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 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078X5F7YP

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Genealogy… Finally Took That DNA Test

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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:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078X5F7YP

Actually, it was a pretty fun book to write.

Suellen

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

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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: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Hamite-Ancestors-Family-ebook/dp/B01HJ622DU

Or in paperback: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Hamite-Ancestors-Family/dp/153518972X

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

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

Genealogy… Your Caribbean Ancestors May Have Been Jews

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Secret GenealogyYou might think that it was too long after the Inquisition to assume that ancestors who went to the Caribbean islands in the 1600’s were Jews escaping persecution. But there’s evidence that they were. Even if it took them a long time to get there.SecretGenealogyIIFrontCover

In the late 1400’s, Jews left Spain and Portugal to escape the Inquisition. They emigrated north to the Netherlands. In about 1650, their Jewish descendants emigrated to a Caribbean island known as Curacao. It was a Dutch colony where the Jews were able to build a cemetery. Sephardic Jews (and later the Ashkenazic Jews) emigrated to the New World from Central and Eastern Europe. Their destinations were the Caribbean colonies of Jamaica, Barbados, Saint Thomas in the Virgin Islands and Dutch Saint Eustatius. The history of those colonies show large Jewish Hand Painted Roses Cover Sec Gen IIIpopulations. As the years went by, they may have converted to Christianity. Like everyone else, they identified with their beloved countries so spoke the language of their new country. Yes, they were Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, German and other Eastern Europeans but they may have also been Jews.  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 and Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees.  Available here:Kindle COVER Secret Genealogy IV

Secret Genealogy:  http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Volume-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114082

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

Small Size FRONT Canva Cover Secret Genealogy VSecret Genealogy III:  http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-III-Jewish-Anglo-Saxon-Acadians/dp/148407579X

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

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Hamite-Ancestors-Family-ebook/dp/B01HJ622DU