American History… for the Loyalists… Canada was the Place to Go

I always wonder about the Loyalists (those loyal to Britain during the Revolutionary War). I hear about Loyalists in genealogical discussions and even after all these years, I think one must tread lightly with their words; egos are easily bruised (on both sides) and offense is sometimes taken. Today, we are good friends with our English neighbors. During the Revolution, we were enemies. Those loyal to the Crown fled or kept their mouths shut. Tight. During this period, as many as 100,000 Loyalists left America and returned to Britain or went to Canada. These were bright, well-educated citizens, many of whom were conservative. After the war, when Loyalists returned, they brought with them a lean toward conservatism.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:



Neo-Nazi Protest in Brussels… What Would Einstein Say?

Chimney FireThe neo-Nazi-type protest in Brussels has set my mind ablaze. There they were, in what looked like brand new, black, hooded sweatshirts. From what I saw, they looked clean and well-fed, obviously from privileged families or from their own prosperity.New Hot Snow Cover

I like to hear what others have to say and what they must be feeling; their fears. These self-proclaimed hooligans looked old enough to have children of their own and I imagine that they feared for them and did not put their faith in peaceniks and flowers hoovering about the scene of the Brussels attack. Obviously, they lacked faith in their government for failing to prevent the attack. Everyone is in a high state of alarm. And for good reason. Add to it, that the terrorists were seeking a dirty bomb and you have full scale panic. In the backdrop of my thinking, are the words of the political pundit, David Brooks. He spoke on PBS on Friday night, about living in Brussels and how different the Muslim neighborhoods are. (They sound like ghettos.) So I also think about how they must feel. Not knowing all the politics of the area, I wonder what society could have done to prevent the hatred that brews in the minds of young people who want to blow those of a different ethnic group to smithereens and make life miserable for the rest of their fellow Muslims who are left to endure the hatred that comes in the aftermath. We cannot though, let history repeat itself. The revival of Nazi-type thinking will not solve things, nor will flowers. But as Albert Einstein told his daughter, love is the strongest force there is.



Our Primitive Ancestors… We Can’t Go Back… But We Can Look Back

Kindle COVER Secret Genealogy IVI’m looking at a picture of Paleolithic (primitive) art. It is an exquisite drawing of a bison and a wild boar. The drawings are of such greatness, they could have only been completed by an accomplished artist. Let’s picture that for a moment. A man (or woman) reproducing in detail, the muscular anatomy, and emotion of the beasts that gave them sustenance. The animals that the artist so skillfully depicts (beef and swine) still provide sustenance to humans. Even today, a few hunters venture into the wild to hunt wild pigs. But we all know that most meat eaters buy their meat in the store.

It wasn’t that long ago that Native Americans hunted bison… the great buffalo herds that ranged across North America. The resources from the buffalo gave them skin to cover their tipis and leather to make clothes. The furry hides kept them warm in the form of blankets, thread was made from the hair of these beasts and from their bones were constructed tools and runners for sleds. The hooves provided a glue and the manure that was left drying on the ground was used as fuel.CreatespaceAcornsAndEat'emFRONTCOVER

The caves in Spain where the ancient drawings are preserved, are described as “polychrome.” I had to look that up. It means, many colors… specifically… painted on a background of many colors. I cannot think of a better and more colorful analogy of who we are today. One of the many colors, painted on the colorful background of our colorful ancestors who, if we could go back, stretch to the beginning of time.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees. Available here:

And… Acorns and Eat’em, a how-to vegetarian cookbook and field guide for eating acorns. Find it here:–Vegetarian-Cookbook/dp/1491288973

The Fishy History of April Fools’ Day… Not as Funny as George Noory

The funniest April Fool’s joke I’ve ever witnessed is when late night radio’s George Noory, interviewed three people who shared the same body. I think he said they were Siamese triplets. I’m so gullible, I believed it. My husband said, “It’s April Fools.” Once I knew it was a joke, it was hilarious to listen to well-meaning folks call in and tell the three characters how they admired them. I will say though, on my behalf, when George said that one of them was black, my mind was searching for a reason for that. The only thing I could think of was the story of the woman who gave birth to twins, one black and one white, so… could happen? A friend who is a psychiatrist, told me lovingly that I was not gullible but “trusting.”

The French think that an April fool is like a young, spring fish, easy to fool, easy to catch… poisson d’avril… April fish. The Scots call an April fool a gowk. A gowk is the same as a cuckoo bird, a bird the Scots believe is foolish. April Fools’ Day or All Fools’ Day didn’t arrive in Britain until the 1700s and traditionally it lasted only until noon. So who started it? It’s possible that April Fools’ day has its origins in spring equinox merriments and might be traced back to India and the spring feast of Huli, their fooling being the equivalent to the Europeans’. There is also a hint that All Fools’ day has a sinister origin and dates back to ancient Italy when women from the mountains were fooled into thinking that they were going to Rome to see the games, in honor of Neptune, the God of the sea. When they arrived, their virtue was robbed.

Today, millions of people enjoy an excuse to trick one another. I look forward to turning on the radio and seeing what George Noory has in store for his April Fool’s joke. Perhaps he’ll have the Siamese triplets hosting for him. Hope they don’t all talk at once.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:


What Inspired the Nazis to Burn Books and Destroy Art? Leftover Religious Beliefs?

Chimney FireIn the early 1500’s there was a Protestant religious group that arose in Zurich, Switzerland, called the Anabaptists. They were seen as fanatics and history says that the leader, (Thomas Munzer) and his doctrines, helped bring about the German Peasant Revolt. The Anabaptists did not believe in infant baptism, instead they thought that a man should be able to confess his faith first and then be baptized. New Hot Snow CoverThe Anabaptists practiced polygamy and were big on the separation of church and state. One of their German sects received the name Abecedarians. The name derives from the first four letters of the alphabet… A, B, C, D. The reason for the alphabet reference is because they did not believe in “human knowledge,” they felt that it prevented men from hearing the voice of God. The Abecedarians refused to learn to read. They would not even learn the alphabet. Four-hundred-years later, the Nazis were burning books and destroying art. Makes you wonder…

Suellen Ocean is the author of The Steinberg Conspiracy Series. Available here: Book One, Chimney Fire:

Book Two, Hot Snow:


Seriously… What Would You Do If You Stumbled Upon a Cache of Gold?

There was a story not long ago, about a California couple whose dog unearthed a cache of gold coins. That sounds so made-up. I mean, who does that? Oh… lookie here, millions of dollars’ worth of gold right at our feet. Good doggie. When the couple reported their find, the gold must have had serial numbers on it and it was traced. Turns out it was stolen loot. Back in the 1800’s, someone robbed the bank or the stagecoach and then buried the loot. It lay hidden until the pooch with the golden nose dug it up.Chimney Fire

I think about that story a lot. I live in California’s gold country and 150 years ago, the stage went right through our property. We have holes in the boulders where back in the day, miners blasted into the rock, looking for gold. There’s also a mound that I imagine to be a grave. There’s a creek that runs through the property and after it rains, I keep my eyes peeled for gold nuggets.

New Hot Snow CoverWhat silly games we play in our minds. I have no doubt that if I found gold coins, I’d turn them in. But it is fun to imagine how I could get away with keeping the bounty for myself. Who could I trust to melt it down? No, I couldn’t destroy the beauty and value of the coins. Is there an underground gold market? (Of course.) I guess that’s one of the reasons why I write stories. To debate issues of morality.

Suellen Ocean is the author of The Steinberg Conspiracy Series. Available here:

Book One, Chimney Fire:

Book Two, Hot Snow:

Someone Said Donald Trump Belongs to the Knights of Malta… What’s That?

SecretGenealogyFrontCoverI just heard a caller to a San Francisco radio station (KGO) say that Donald Trump was a member of the Knights of Malta. Sounds like Freemasonry or an ancient fraternity left over from the Christian Crusades. Time to find out…SecretGenealogyIIFrontCover

Checking my WW II-era dictionary under “knights,” it doesn’t make the list. There is Knights of Columbus, Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Templar) but no Malta. So let’s see what Malta has listed. Nothing except, Malta fever, “undulant fever,” see the gazette. So I go to the gazette at the back of the book and Malta is listed as the chief island of the Maltese Islands. The Maltese Islands are listed as Malta, Gozo and Comino in the Mediterranean Sea, fifty-eight miles south of Sicily. Back when this dictionary was printed (1940’s) the Maltese Islands were British colonies.

Hand Painted Roses Cover Sec Gen IIII turned to my beloved encyclopedia that is almost as old, (I love the old reference books, they were written before political correctness and they say things authors would not say today,) and no Knights of Malta is listed under the various fraternities. Here though is some interesting history about Malta and its knights, taken (and reworded) from the Grolier Encyclopedia volumes 13 & 14, pg. 176, Doubleday, Doran and Co., New York, 1956:

The Phoenicians colonized Malta about the 10th century B.C.E. and used it for trading. Then the Greeks in the 8th century B.C.E., then the Carthaginians in the 5th B.C.E. and then it fell to Rome in the 3rd B.C.E. The Vandals and Goths ravaged it in the 5th century A.D. but Belisarius drove them away and attached Malta to the Byzantine empire (Turks). The Moors (Muslims) seized it in the 9th century and pirated from the island. The Normans (think Vikings) ran the Moors off and after that Malta was a dependency of Sicily (think Italy). It was later given by marriage to the house of Hohenstaufen (medieval German rulers). Later the king of Argon (Spain) took charge and Charles V inherited it. It looks like Charles V gave Malta to the Knights of St. John in 1530 and it had a “glorious period.” (The Knights of St. John had been driven from Rhodes by the Turks.)Kindle COVER Secret Genealogy IV

Napoleon took Malta on his way to Egypt in 1798, the British blockaded and the French surrendered in 1800. The island was supposed to be restored to the Knights of St. John but the Maltese refused that promise and were granted the protection of Great Britain in 1814.

So who are the Knights of Malta? Are they the Knights of St. John who were refused by the Maltese or are they Knights of Maltese who refused the Knights of St. John? Oh look… the next entry in the encyclopedia has this:

“Maltese Cross. Badge of the order of the Knights of Malta.”

BLOG Size FRONT Canva Cover Secret Genealogy VI wrote a blog about the Maltese cross about four years ago. Here it is: What is The House of Windsor? Is That a Maltese Cross On the Queen’s Crown? The House of Windsor is the title used by the Royal Family of Great Britain since 1917. The name derives from Windsor Castle in Berkshire, England. Before 1917, the title of the British Royal Family was the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. To my way of thinking, I see Saxe as Saxones as in Anglo-Saxon, which we know many of the English claim to be, and Gotha as from Gothic which refers to the Teutonic tribes who encompass a broad range of people, especially Germanic. The Saxe-Coburg and Gotha title sounded too Germanic, so King George V changed it to the Royal House of Windsor during World War I. On the cover of Newsweek, Queen Elizabeth II’s Jubilee is featured and visible is what looks like a Maltese cross in her crown, bringing images of Hitler’s Third Reich. But this cross was used long before Hitler used it. Besides representing Christianity, it may also symbolize heroism and impeccable leadership. It does remind one though that even though England has become extremely multi-cultural, tribes of “Northmen” played a pivotal role in its culture.

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 and Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees.  Available here:

Secret Genealogy:

Secret Genealogy II:

Secret Genealogy III:

Secret Genealogy IV:

Secret Genealogy V: