Benjamin is a Hebrew name meaning “Son of the right hand”. If your family tree has a Benjamin it could be that your ancestors had an affinity for the ancient Israelites. Used alone, Ben means “Son of”. You will find the Hebrew prefix Ben, used abundantly in Hebrew names as in Ben Jacobs, of course meaning “Son of Jacob”. It makes it hard to trace our ancestors when their ethnicity and or religion changed from Hebrew to Hebrew- Christian and eventually to Christian, but knowing the origins of both first names and surnames is a great place to start.
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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