Tag Archives: Are my ancestors Jewish?

Think You Might Have Jewish Ancestry?

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

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Finding Our Crypto-Jewish Ancestry… A Reality Show?

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Secret GenealogyI had a dream about a new reality show where people who had suspicions that their ancestors were Crypto-Jews, went to Europe together (especially Amsterdam) and sleuthed around trying to discern if there ancestors were among those who pretended they were Christians when in reality, they were Jews trying to avoid oppressive Christian majorities. It was only a dream but hey… it was a good show. The participants were equipped with their notes and the looks on their faces showed there was competitiveness involved as well. A little bit like the television show, “The Amazing Race.”SecretGenealogyIIFrontCover

I think I’ve had this dream, because the race to find Crypto-Jews in our family trees has gained momentum. And I’d like to think that our ancestors had something to do with that. They may not be here now but they left us clues. It may have taken us hundreds of years to look seriously at those clues but the ancestors are there in those clues. It is their faces, super-imposed on ours that I saw in the dream. It is a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes and a conspiracy as deep as any. Our ancestors stories have been frozen in time, their bodies like those in a wax museum. But their clues bring them to life again. Our smiles are their smiles when we uncover their clues. We are working with them.

Hand Painted Roses Cover Sec Gen IIII have, on numerous occasions, felt that the ancestors watched over my shoulder as my tired eyes poured through history books, Bible concordances and Internet websites. Often, it was as if they shadowed my hands and guided me to the answers. If you suspect that a root of your Christian ancestors is a Jewish one, by all means, take up the hunt. There are a lot of us out there. It is more than just a dream.

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 and Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians. 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

Genealogy: To D or not to D… that is the question

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I’ve never been interested in checking my DNA. I thought it might take the fun out of all my exploring but lately I’ve been thinking it would be interesting. Those who have spoken with me about their experience, have said positive things about it. Because I delve deeper into genealogy, I believe I could benefit from the connections that the test provides. Something that is important to me is sharing what I know of my ancestry with those who have the same surname. Not that I want to give a plug to ancestry.com but I would love to see who I share DNA with and they make some nice connections for you if you go through 23andme. At least that’s the impression I get, even though not all reviews are positive. I’m in no hurry to sign up but sometime this year, I may give it a try. I’ll let you know. Maybe we are related.

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 and Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians. 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

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

eBooks at Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Secret-Genealogy-by-Suellen-Ocean

Religion – What’s the Most Close-Minded Thing Genealogists Run Across?

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Religion can make finding ancestors both easier and harder. Especially if we don’t keep an open mind. I once heard a genealogist say that the hardest point to get across to people searching their family trees was that the spelling of their family names had changed. She said people refuse to accept that their surname was originally spelled differently. “No, no, that’s not them. They spelled it Smith, not Smythe.” I’ve run across that too. And it’s like that with religion. Some folks just refuse to accept that their ancestor’s spiritual beliefs were different in the old country. But no matter what we believe today, we cannot change the spiritual beliefs of our ancestors. But please don’t be disappointed. Be heartened. There is so much we can learn about ourselves and our ancestors by studying the religions of the ancients. It is a life-changing event and one you do not want to miss. 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 and Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians. 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

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

eBooks at Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Secret-Genealogy-by-Suellen-Ocean

Secret Genealogy  SecretGenealogyIIFrontCover  Hand Painted Roses Cover Sec Gen III

Genealogy: Have the Name Lion, Lyon, Leo, Leon, Leonard or Lionel in Your Family Tree?

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Lions, lions everywhere… no kidding. People love lions. The ancient Jews loved lions. Jacob, one of the patriarchs of the Jews was referred to as a lion in the Book of Genesis. The lion became the symbol of the Israelite tribe of Jacob’s son Judah so Judah also signifies lion. In times of antiquity, a Jewish man could sign documents as either “Judah” or “Lion.” Eventually Lion became a surname. Leo and Leon are Latin names that mean lion, Leonard is Greek and means “strong or brave as a lion” and Lionel is a French name that means “young lion.” Having one of these lion names certainly does not make one Jewish but I would not rule it out.

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 and Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians. 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

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

eBooks at Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Secret-Genealogy-by-Suellen-Ocean

Secret Genealogy    SecretGenealogyIIFrontCover    Hand Painted Roses Cover Sec Gen III

They’re Jewish! It Was the Names of their Close Associates That Tipped Me Off

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One characteristic of Jewish history that will keep you engaged in this treasure hunt is that ancient brotherhood pact. There were Jews who stuck together. This one element stunned me the most. It wasn’t so much the hints of Judaism in the names of my ancestors that made me continue looking for concrete evidence; it was the names of their associates. Several of the folks with whom they did business with, intermarried with, packed up wagons with and headed out into dangerous new untamed territories had Jewish names.

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 and Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians. 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

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ocean

eBooks at Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Secret-Genealogy-by-Suellen-Ocean

Secret Genealogy  SecretGenealogyIIFrontCover  Hand Painted Roses Cover Sec Gen III