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
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 Genealogy – A How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry. Available here:
Secret Genealogy: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Volume-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114082
For heavens sake, is it just me or does the expression, “High seat in the synagogue,” sound Jewish? This expression is one of many you may run across, once you develop an eye and ear for it. I don’t know why, after five years, I’m still shaking my head about Jewish ancestry on both my parent’s trees. I guess it’s because they were SO religious and that religion was Christian. All the clues I’ve compiled do nothing to remove that feeling of amazement that my ancestors were Jewish. It’s like following along in your own Dan Brown novel, looking for clues and uncovering ancient truths. No, actually, it’s better because we all know, “The truth is stranger than fiction.” 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: https://www.createspace.com/4234160
Secret Genealogy II: https://www.createspace.com/4235650
Secret Genealogy III: https://www.createspace.com/4239009
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