Tag Archives: How can you tell if your ancestors were Jewish?

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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Old World Fantasies About Rh Negative Blood Type…

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Kindle COVER Secret Genealogy IVI can’t help but wonder where all of the people are coming from who come to this blog to read about Rh negative blood and how it might relate to their being Jewish. My research led me to believe that Rh negative is not common in the Jewish population, except small populations of Oriental Jews in Israel and in Iran who were there when it was called Persia and probably before. It’s a funny thing, this blood type. It’s found in North Africa (think Berbers and Morocco) and goes up into the Basque regions of Spain and France. I got my dusty old globe out and put my finger on Morocco and spun it around. It’s easy to see how the ships that carried immigrants and slaves to the New World sailed right up to Florida and New England. The curiosity though is wondering who these ancestors were that gave us this unusual blood type. It could have been a Persian Jewish slave trader during the 1600’s who took liberties with his female slaves. It could be a desert roaming Bedouin of the Berber tribe who went with the Muslims when they conquered Spain long, long ago. It could be someone from the Basque population, those people whose language and this rare blood type conjure up unusual theories as to who they are and where they came from. It could come from a nomadic trader, long ago, traveling the spice route, having a love affair with a woman from one of the above mentioned groups.

Get a world map out and put your finger on Morocco. Run it to the west and you will wind up in the southern reaches of America. Run it a little north and you’ll reach Spain and France and the Basque region. Run it to the east and you’ll reach Iran, where long, long ago, small groups of Jews made their homes and perhaps their descendants are still there today. That brings up another question. Who were these ancient Iranian Jews and why were they in Persia? Was it even called Persia back then?

I’m working on a new book, Secret Genealogy V, Black & White Ancestors in Our Family Trees. I’ll see what I can find out and if I discover anything, I’ll include it. Until then… we keep wondering and wondering…

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 and Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. 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

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-IV-Native-Americans/dp/1500756105

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

Genealogy… Why Do We Hit a Brick Wall and Where Else Can I Look?

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It’s easy to explain away the end of our ancestral trail by saying things like, “Well, it was a long time ago,” or “People didn’t write things down,” or “People didn’t keep records like they do today,” and those statements may be true. However, there is another aspect to searching for ancestors and that is Schem Hakodesch. What is Schem Hadodesch? It is the sacred Hebrew name given to babies and the name used in Hebrew documents and in the synagogue. But you’re not Jewish, you say. No, maybe you’re not, but that doesn’t mean that your great-great-great-grandfather wasn’t. Starting in the 1100’s Jewish custom was to have two names. One was the above-mentioned Hebrew name, the holy name, the other was a kinouy, also spelled kinnui or kinui, and it was a name that related to that person’s immediate environment, their secular name. Even if the kinouy was similar to the holy name, which they often are, important documents were signed with the holy name, the Schem Hadodesch, which is why you may have lost the trail to your beloved ancestors.

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 GenealogySecretGenealogyIIFrontCoverHand Painted Roses Cover Sec Gen III

Genealogy & History: What’s a Judahite?

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A Judahite is an inhabitant of Judah or a member of the tribe of Judah. In other words, a Judahite is a Jew. (Jew is a nickname that came later.) Those who study the bible know that one of Jacob’s sons was Judah and that is where the name of the tribe came from. Jacob is also referred to as “Israel,” which is where the name of the Middle Eastern country came from. To the ancient Judahites, Judah was synonymous with “lion.” A Jewish man could sign documents as either “Judah” or “Lion.” If you have an ancestor who was signing his name as Jacob, he was probably following the Jewish custom.

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… Who Were My Ancestors??

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Many are becoming interested in their family genealogy but become discouraged when the trail comes to an end. Who was the father or mother of this ancestor? Where did they come from? They’ve got to be out there somewhere. “Somebody help me!” is a common phrase I see all the time on the ancestry message boards. It could be that your ancestors were Jews and you just don’t quite know how to look for them. Take for example the name Barkin. I think it sounds English but it could have originally been “bar Cohen,” a Jewish name. Also take the common name Silva. Derived from Latin, Silva means forest. Silva is one of the most common surnames in Brazil. Here is an example of a Sephardic Jewish Portuguese name: Tobiau Israel da Silva.

Through the ages, people became very creative in the ways they altered their names. Many non-Jewish names become popular Jewish names but Rabbis were strict about which names a child could use. They were concerned about the practice of naming Jewish babies gentile names so set up creative ways for Jews to have both a sacred Jewish name and a name that fit within the local culture. This sacred name was what descendants could use to recognize that their ancestors were Jewish. It’s unfortunate that too often, these sacred names became lost or abandoned.

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, Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees, Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy VI – Freemasons, Jewish Conquistadors and the Holy Family. 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

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

Secret Genealogy VI: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY35VCP