Tag Archives: finding Jewish ancestry

Genealogy… Analyzing a Surname for Ethnic Determination

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I like to uncover hidden Jewish ancestry. Here’s an example of a fun way to do that. A google search shows me that there are Jews with the surname Summeral. I googled, “Where did the surname Summerell originate?” It brought up some interesting sites. One source says that the name “Semerville” originated in France with a Walter Semerville who accompanied William the Conqueror in 1066 when he made his historic invasion of England. And according to the Jewish Virtual Library, William the Conqueror brought Jews from Rouen to London in the late 11th century. Another site claims it means Summerhill and that it is Anglo-Sagon.

On an ancestry message board, I found someone asking, “Could Simrell be a variation of Summerell?” I googled “Jewish Simerall” and came upon a blog where it’s mentioned that “Simer” is a Jewish woman’s name. So I went to http://www.sephardim.com and searched for “Simer.” There are quite a few that could be the original form of Summerell but one strikes me, Simoel, Rabbi. Simoel to Summerell? In May of 1489, Rabbi Simoel was the doctor to Spain’s Duke of Albuquerque. This date was just a few years before the Spanish Inquisition. The name Simoel might be a version of Samuel.

In 1680, a man named Thomas Sumerrell was born. He married Anne Cobb. The surname Cobb might be short for Jacob. The deceased movie star, Lee J. Cobb was Jewish and his birth name was Leo Jacoby. Were Thomas Sumerrell and Anne Cobb of Jewish descent? Perhaps.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry and 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

Genealogy: Anti-Semites With Jewish Names… Who Knew?

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The New York Times is taking heat for publishing author Alice Walker’s book recommendations. “What books are on your nightstand?” they asked. Mentioning a book by author David Icke is drawing disgust. Yair Rosenberg writes in tabletmag.com that David Icke is “one of Britain’s most notorious anti-Semites.”

I’ve thumbed through a David Icke book and I’ve heard an interview. I friend had his book and tried to tout it to me. I had to underline phrase after phrase and make page notes, hoping my friend would see the inconsistencies in what Icke was championing. Rosenberg writes, “Like many conspiracy theorists, Icke claims that a secret conspiracy controls the world. And like many conspiracy theorists, Icke claims that this secret conspiracy happens to be Jewish.”

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen and read the names of alleged anti-Semites and shake my head at the ignorance of their own ethnic backgrounds. David Icke is a perfect example. He has a very Jewish first name, David, who was the king of the Jews. And one could argue that his last name is a version of Issac, also a Jewish name. The Istanbul Jewish Genealogy Project lists these names: Izaak, Izac, Izah, Izak, Izchak. If I were researching the surname Icke, I would not rule out Jewish origins and that the name had been altered a bit over the years.

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

Jewish Children Given Local Common Names

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The use of multiple names is a Hebrew tradition. Jews blended common German names with Hebrew names. Hebrew names were important for legal contracts but the ancestors that we are looking for were probably long past writing up Hebrew contracts. They were hiding their Hebrew origins and at what point they quit teaching their children Hebrew probably varied within each family. In the 1800s, it became popular in Germany, Hungary and Poland to give Jewish children local common names. It was quite common all over the world, among Jews, to take the name of a town, city, village, hamlet, etc. Just because the ancestor you’re researching doesn’t have a Hebrew, Yiddish or Ladino name does not mean she wasn’t Jewish.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy a how-to for tracing ancient Jewish ancestry available at Amazon, B&N and Ocean-Hose.

http://www.pacificsites.com/~oceanhose/

Grandmother Looks Jewish But Denies Being Jewish?

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Grandma may have been raised that way. Does she act fearful when it is mentioned? You would be fearful too if the Inquisition was after all your family, all your friends, your whole community. To survive, they converted to Christianity and kept their mouths buttoned tightly. But this is no longer the Middle Ages, we are free to explore our heritage, which may

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

be a long forgotten Jewish one.

 

Family Always Undecided About Religion? Look For Jewish Ancestral Clues

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Though thousands of Jews converted to Christianity, especially during the Inquisition, many weren’t happy about it. This unhappy conversion brought about a state of limbo that may still linger within your family dynamics. There are many trails you can take and family secrets waiting to be uncovered. The Internet age makes it easier and exceptionally rewarding.

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