The scams our ancestors fell prey to, are not much different than those today. Scammers want our money or to make a joke of us. They wanted the same back in the 1800’s but I think it was a lot costlier and I’ll tell you why. Scammers sent official looking letters to innocent people telling them that they were heir to a fortune left behind by their ancestors. It was held by the king of Holland, accumulating interest.
Our ancestors? Gullible? Noooo…
It appears that there were more than a few who packed up and sailed all the way to Holland to demand that the king release their inheritance. The government in Holland, went out of their way to explain to Americans that you can’t just show up and rattle off a story and expect a king’s ransom. These fortune seekers, usually didn’t even know the names of their wealthy ancestors who had left this treasure. No death certificates. Not much of anything. Just a burning passion to retrieve their rightful inheritance.
One of the reasons that they had no proof was because when scammers visited people in their American homes and told them this whopper of a story, innocent victims gave up their family Bibles and valuable records, to prove lineage and to help collect on their royal inheritance. This is why today, some of those family Bibles are missing and might answer the question, why family Bibles pop up in unusual places. Like say… in the hands of the descendants of the scammers?
Our ancestors? Scoundrels? Noooo….
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, 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