I got a kick out of the latest review for my book, Secret Genealogy II: The Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors. “I have WHAT?” was the title of the review. Here is the rest: “A recent DNA test for my husband found he had Jewish ancestors that he, nor anyone else in the family knew anything about. When I told him the results of the DNA test, he said, “I have WHAT, but HOW?” So that’s why we bought this book. It just arrived a few days ago, so we will use this book to try and see what we need to do to find his Jewish heritage.”
Why is Jewish ancestry so hard to believe? Probably because the family did not breathe a word of it. But what’s interesting is that although it was a secret, they continued with Jewish names for their children. Benjamin, Rachel, Abraham, Jacob and Deborah are all Old Testament Hebrew names. And if you look hard enough, you might find other clues to your true origins. Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy – A How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry and 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: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0965114082
Secret Genealogy II: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484053222
Secret Genealogy III: http://www.amazon.com/dp/148407579X
Names are becoming my favorite genealogy tell-all. Yes, they can and do change through the years but even the changes are telling. In today’s modern world, about once a week I hear of Jewish names that were Anglicized. Usually, it’s a radio talk show host, TV personality or otherwise famous person in the public eye. It happened a thousand years ago, and it still happens today. It’s not uncommon for people to dislike their name but it is unfortunate that when culture meets culture, a cherished surname can become one that’s continually laughed at.
One of my Dutch ancestors had the word “Jow” written after his name, and no one knows what that means. I think the Early American Dutch clerk thought he was writing “Jew.” Jood is Dutch for Jew. My husband’s great-great-grandfather was named Gedeon. In parentheses, is the word “Jeddi.” And speaking of nicknames, the word “Jew” is sort of an English nickname. Jehudi is the ancient Hebrew word for Jew. I wonder… Jehudi… Jeddi. I’m sure it was his nickname. Like Robert to Bobby or James to Jimmy. But it’s still fun to explore these things. And wonder…
Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy – A How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry. Available here: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Volume-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114082
Those who have read this blog or read my books, have heard me profess my belief that there is a oneness to humanity. There is no need to hate and to do so usually includes a sort of self-hate, or at the least, a hate of the ancestors. Because that ethnic group that you are trashing may run through your own veins. (Not to imply that if it doesn’t run through your veins, that it is alright to hate.) Look at the surnames of Anglo-Americans. They often have Latin roots and they frequently come from the Old Testament, revealing either Jewish ancestry or a respect for Judaism. Even Scandinavian and Anglo names may sound Anglo but translated, sometimes they lead right back to the ancestors who fled Spain and Portugal during the Inquisition. Let’s not detest the ancestors or our neighbors. It only leads back to where we started, war and oppression that our immigrant ancestors came here to escape from. Something we should never forget.
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, 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:
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
Secret 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