Tag Archives: Finding Hidden Jewish Ancestry

Is Donald Trump Jewish?

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It’s an odd question to ask, “Is Donald Trump Jewish?” My son says, “Mom, you think everybody’s Jewish.” He’s right in the generality of it. Ever since I discovered that millions of Americans have hidden Jewish ancestry, I tend to look for it. It’s amazing that something so important was kept hidden. The Jews have always been proud of who they are, it was to ensure the safety of their families that Crypto-Jews hid their truths. And to receive equal rights. But they left many clues, right there, in plain sight.

First off, what’s a Crypto Jew? It’s someone who practices Judaism in secret while professing another religious faith. During the Inquisition, Jews were forced to convert to Christianity. Conversations on the ancestry message boards speak of the practice of Crypto-Jewish families sending their son or daughter to be a priest or nun in order to appear Christian.

So back to the original question. Why would I wonder if Donald Trump was Jewish? It was when I read his grandmother’s surname… Christ. I know, from my research on Crypto-Jews, that families would name their children religious names such as Jesus, Mary Magdalene, etc. to keep the authorities off their backs.

Donald Trump’s grandmother, Elisabeth Marie Christ was born in 1880 in Kallstadt, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. She’s buried in a Lutheran cemetery. It’s baffling to look for Jewish ancestry in what later became Nazi Germany. But remember that Germany was a place you could get to by taking a boat up the Rhine River from Amsterdam, where Jews fled to escape the Inquisition.

According to orthodox Judaism, Donald Trump’s mother would need to be Jewish in order for him to be officially Jewish. Elisabeth Christ was his grandmother, his father’s mother. So the answer is no, Donald Trump is not Jewish. But… the family might have an interesting time researching the Christ family lore. The truth could come as a surprise. Although they’re the “first family,” they wouldn’t be the first family to discover that their ancestors were Crypto-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 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

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Genealogy… Jewish, Jewish, Jewish… and Our Christian Ancestors Never Knew?

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It wasn’t until I was researching Jewish genealogy for my father-in-law that I began to see a pattern in my matriarchal line. Never had I suspected that my Banta/Bonte ancestors were Jewish, there was never any reason to. We weren’t Jewish. It was never brought up. I should have suspected something. Growing up with only a Southern and Mid-Western identity, should have been a red flag. But when you’re sixteen, who cares? Except for the occasional What are we Mommy? so that I could chime in when my friends recited their ethnic backgrounds, it didn’t matter.

Once I was on the trail to uncover the truth about my ancient ancestry, I was pleased to see the surname Bonte on the list of Jews asked to leave Spain. Great lead. These same ancestors changed their surname to Jacobse and were known to use Jacobs. Jacobse, Jacobs and Jacobi are all Hebrew names. Even Epke, which my very ancient ancestor went by, I believe means Jacob. And the surname Leeuw was used as well. Leeuw and all its variations are Dutch for “Lion,” which is what medieval Jews were required to use when they signed documents. I was so astonished by these findings, I became obsessed with uncovering the truth behind many an American surname.

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, 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

Genealogy… Ancestors Concealed Jewish Origins

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I don’t know what it says about me that I was blown away when I saw evidence of ancient Jewish ancestry. Or what it reveals that after nine years, I still have trouble believing it. It all started with a book that I was writing about a romance between a Christian and a Jew during the Crusades. I brought home oversized books by the pound, giving myself a crash course on European history. Then I merged onto the Internet and found a plethora of ancient documents. I saw names of Portuguese merchants during the Middle Ages that were similar to names I’d uncovered in my “Dutch” family tree. Then I read “Rembrandt’s Jews” by Steven Nadler, (University of Chicago Press). Nadler paints a portrait of Inquisitional Jews hiding in plain sight in old Amsterdam. The more I studied these colorful people, the more I became convinced that my ancestors were Jews who’d fled north to escape the Inquisition. Yesterday, I received an updated DNA report from 23andMe, informing that, six to eight generations ago, my ancestors were from Spain/Portugal. The Inquisition was more than eight generations ago but these people married within their group so would maintain the same genetic make-up as their ancestors. Having seen their surname on a list of Jews kicked out of Spain during the Inquisition, I should not be surprised but I am. That’s what happens when your family has… Secret Genealogy.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry. Available here: http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Volume-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114082

Genealogy: Am I Related to Someone Famous?

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How can we make connections going back hundreds of years when trying to find our ancestors? Especially when they have abandoned their original religion and culture, moved across the seas and started new lives. For many of us, our ancestors have really changed. They have changed so much that we don’t recognize them or refuse to because their lives and belief systems are so foreign. Occasionally, a genealogist will find the same profession or brilliance running in the family tree for hundreds of years. There are people who share the same surname as a great musician or mathematician but can’t make any connection to that person other than the surname. The links are lost to the ages. But keep trying. Read all you can about that famous person and make a timeline. Over the years as you find more information, fill in the timeline. Someday you might find some little piece of historical evidence that proves to you that your own musical genius just happens to run in the family tree.

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 Rachel in Your Family Tree?

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Rachel (Rahel) is Hebrew and means “ewe.” Rachel was Jacob’s wife. The twelve tribes of Israel are all the descendants of “Jacob,” whose name later became “Israel”. The story is that Jacob worked for Rachel’s father for seven years in order to earn her hand in marriage. Rachel’s father tricked Jacob to work for another seven before allowing the marriage. Rachel was a popular Colonial American name for a girl and continues to be popular today.

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

 

I Have Not Seen Sarah’s Key But …

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My sister texted me from the theatre while watching Sarah’s Key.

“You really think we’re Jewish?” she asked.

“Both of our parents had Jewish ancestry which their ancestors kept a secret.” I texted back.

“I can see why,” she answered. “It was awful!”

Yes, it was awful but today there is no reason to hide Jewish ancestry. If you have genealogical knowledge that will be of value to fleshing out your family tree, there is no better time than the present to record it. No one should ever have to deny their ethnicity.

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

 

What is a Jew?

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It makes me wonder if when writing “Star Wars” George Lucas didn’t borrow a little from the Old Testament when I see the word Jehudi, an ancient Hebrew word for Jew, which is an English word. Jew is a sort of English “nickname,” used to designate a man from the Kingdom of Judah (or Judea). The true meaning of a Jew is “a follower of Judaism.” This means that one does not have to be born of Jewish ethnicity to be considered a Jew, although the meaning of Jew also means one who is of Jewish ancestry through the matriarchal line. If one’s mother is not of Jewish ethnicity one is not considered a Jew unless of course they are a follower of Judaism.

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