Genealogy: Two Things that Surprise Me When Hunting Ancestors

We spend hours, months, years hunting for our ancestors and when we find them, what do we do? We look for more. It becomes an obsession. Doesn’t it make our lives worth living, to save the history of our ancestors before it’s too late?

After all these years, one thing that surprises me is how many of the married couples, of whom I record birthdates and marriages, are close in age. Yes, there were some middle-aged men who had teen-aged brides but many of the men I research, married women of their age group. Perhaps it was because, as children, they played with those their own age and because, in those days, they married young so married childhood sweethearts. Or perhaps it was the siblings of their close friends that were of the same age. Whatever the reason, it always surprises me how often ancestors married someone close to their own age.

The second thing that surprises me, is how often I see death dates and realize that an ancestor lived to be in his or her nineties. There are periods when the age of death is thirty-six or thirty-seven, and you grow accustomed to seeing that, so when you stumble upon people who lived well into their eighties and into ninety, and you see it frequently, you get an interesting picture of history. There are good times and bad. We get a good look and feel, for the lives of our ancestors, when we see their death date and calculate their age. There’s a feeling that sweeps over us. A little something they’ve left behind.

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, Secret Genealogy VII – DNA, Jumping Into the Gene Pool. A High Tech Gathering of the Tribes, Available here:

Secret Genealogy:

Secret Genealogy II:

Secret Genealogy III:

Secret Genealogy IV:

Secret Genealogy V:

Secret Genealogy VI:

Secret Genealogy VII:

Genealogy: Does Native American Ancestry Mean Asian?

When you take a DNA test and your results lump your Native American ancestry with Asia, it’s confusing. Are they broadly stating their findings? Not necessarily. Native Americans descend from Asians who came her many, many, many years ago. Some scholars believe the evidence points to well over 30,000 years ago. Some may dispute that it wasn’t that long ago, but you will find archaeologists with substantial evidence that this is true. Including DNA evidence (genetic mutations found in Siberian and Mongolian peoples).

If your DNA test has you listed as Native American/Southeast Asian, you’ll know that the scientific evidence concludes that your ancient ancestors were Asian. Look at a globe. The only thing that separates North America from Southeast Asia is a big body of water, the Pacific Ocean.

My niece has a new baby. She is absolutely floored because friends are pointing out that her baby “looks Chinese.” I don’t know the baby’s father’s ancestry, but my mother’s almond eyes were one of the most beautiful aspects of her face. Those Asian eyes… watch for it… embrace it and don’t forget to teach your children about their origins.

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