Tag Archives: Hard to find ancestors may have been Jewish

Genealogy… Why Are People Shocked When They Discover Jewish Ancestry?

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I got a kick out of the latest review for my book, Secret Genealogy II: The Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors. “I have WHAT?” was the title of the review. Here is the rest: “A recent DNA test for my husband found he had Jewish ancestors that he, nor anyone else in the family knew anything about. When I told him the results of the DNA test, he said, “I have WHAT, but HOW?” So that’s why we bought this book. It just arrived a few days ago, so we will use this book to try and see what we need to do to find his Jewish heritage.”

Why is Jewish ancestry so hard to believe? Probably because the family did not breathe a word of it. But what’s interesting is that although it was a secret, they continued with Jewish names for their children. Benjamin, Rachel, Abraham, Jacob and Deborah are all Old Testament Hebrew names. And if you look hard enough, you might find other clues to your true origins. 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

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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

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

I Can’t Picture My Ancestors in a Synagogue

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There are images ingrained in our minds and more than enough stereotypes about what our ancestors may have been like. Life was different for them. Many of them stepped into a synagogue instead of a church. They also stepped up into carriages instead of cars and huddled in front of outdoor fires instead of flipping on central heating. Today, there are Christians who uncover a secret, their ancestors were Jewish. And they embrace it. Genealogy is not religion; it studies the religious patterns of our ancestors, opening up colorful visions of history. With all the new technology at our fingertips, we collaborate with others and unveil surprises. Sometimes that means discovering that our family tree was originally made of members who practiced 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:

Paperback:

Secret Genealogy:  https://www.createspace.com/4234160

Secret Genealogy II:  https://www.createspace.com/4235650

Secret Genealogy III:  https://www.createspace.com/4239009

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

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

eBooks at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Suellen+Ocean&x=3&y=12

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It’s Not About Religion, It’s About Genealogy

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Having been interested in genealogy since I was a child, I would like to believe I’ve developed a good intuition regarding my ancestors, but let’s face it, we’ve never met the ancient ones. We’d like to get to know these ancient ancestors, but don’t be sure they’re similar to you, they may be quite different, that’s what makes it fascinating. Be careful and don’t cloud your search with religious beliefs, because it’s not about religion, it’s about genealogy. With an open heart and mind, we can uncover truths about the histories of our families that will delight and entertain descendants for generations, or perhaps, and hopefully… forever. 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:

Paperback:

Secret Genealogy:  https://www.createspace.com/4234160

Secret Genealogy II:  https://www.createspace.com/4235650

Secret Genealogy III:  https://www.createspace.com/4239009

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

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

eBooks at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Suellen+Ocean&x=3&y=12

Secret Genealogy   SecretGenealogyIIFrontCover   Hand Painted Roses Cover Sec Gen III

Genealogy: But They Went to Christian Church Every Sunday

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Amateur Genealogists find it difficult to believe that their ancestors were Jewish. They see proof that Great-great-grand-mama was enrolled in a Christian congregation and that the rest of the family continued the tradition, so there is no way she could have been Jewish. Today we have greater access to shared ancestral and historical records and with an open mind and the instinct to follow the right leads, we can look back on those traditions and see where our Jewish ancestors reached a fork in the road and took a new path to Christianity. 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:

Paperback:

Secret Genealogy:  https://www.createspace.com/4234160

Secret Genealogy II:  https://www.createspace.com/4235650

Secret Genealogy III:  https://www.createspace.com/4239009

eBooks and computer downloads available through Smashwords:

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

eBooks at Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Ddigital-text&field-keywords=Suellen+Ocean&x=3&y=12

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