Black, White, Hamite… Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees

Hamitic is the label given to the ethnic group living in North-East Africa. Their oral Biblical history is that they descend from Noah’s son Ham. Ever wonder if you descend from the Hamites and if so, what are their physical attributes?

Leave it to my old encyclopedia to tell us that these nomadic people are: frizzy-haired, medium-headed, red-brown and thin-lipped. Besides their Biblical history, ethnographers (descriptive anthropologists) tell us that the Hamites descended from the Himyarite kingdom, well-known by the Greeks and Romans, for establishing a highly-cultured kingdom in ancient Yemen a hundred-and-ten years before the Christian era.

The Himyarites blended with other African tribes, (including the Hottentot, Bantu and the Masai), so like the rest of us, they’re a mixture of all the people who came before us on our family tree.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy V – Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family TreesAvailable here:

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Hamite-Ancestors-Family/dp/153518972X

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Genealogy… The Conflicting History of Iberian Ancestry

Believe me, I get it. People come in all shapes and sizes. Americans are tall and thin and short and stout. Africans are the same. Ditto for other countries. However, there was a time in history when physical attributes of ethnic groups were more consistent. People who descend from ancestors who have lived in the same geographical region for millennium, bear characteristics that have evolved over time in order to survive. Whether it be the food we eat, the freezing cold, high altitudes, sea level, hot sun, you name it, our bodies adapt to our environment in order to survive.

With the advent of trains, autos and air flight, humans can and do live most anywhere. We still have ethnic groups but within the groups we have a wide diversity of physical appearances. As genealogists seeking answers to our origins, we look to ourselves for the answers. Our hair, eye and skin color. Our body type. Even the way we write longhand might reveal clues to the people who came before us.

Our world today is sensitive to stereotyping and racism, we may feel uncomfortable exploring. I called a DNA testing company and spoke with someone. He made clear his belief that there are no races, just the human race. I understand this but it doesn’t stop us from reading old encyclopedias, old dictionaries and old history books for clues. It was in an old dictionary that I was doing research when I stumbled upon two contradicting descriptions of the physical anatomy of Iberians.

Iberia is the ancient name of the Spanish peninsula. 23andMe tells us that Iberia means Spain/Portugal. My old dictionary has Iberia as a, “Short, dark, dolichocephalic race, probably the neolithic inhabitants of western Europe.” And “One of an ancient people of the Caucasus…”

Before you picture your Iberian ancestors as short and dark with dolichocephalic (long) heads, remember this. Hamites are ancient members of the Caucasus.  They made their way into Iberia. They’re dark too but they’re tall and have oval faces.

Short? Tall? Long? Oval? The attribute that these two “races” have in common is that they’re both “dark.” Makes one wonder how in the world did Caucasian become the term for white?

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy V – Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family TreesAvailable here:

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Hamite-Ancestors-Family/dp/153518972X

Rh Negative Blood Type… People Want Answers

I have Rh Negative blood type. It’s always fascinated me. I’m not alone. There are many people looking for answers, of which there are few. Yes, the science has progressed for pregnant women and the dangers to their newborns are closely monitored. What no one seems to answer though is who, what and why is this blood so different? If you’ve looked into it, you know that Bedouin Berbers and Basque populations have a high degree of Rh Negative blood type.

A Bedouin is a desert dweller. A nomadic Arab of the Arabian, Syrian or North African deserts. A Berber is a Hamite of Northern Africa, west of Tripoli. Hamites are members of the chief native race of North Africa. They’re black or dark-skinned, tall, wavy hair and oval face but are Caucasian. People of this genetic makeup, made their way into Spain and Portugal. Now, we’ve got DNA tests telling us that we have Iberian ancestry. (Make it easy on yourself and think Spain/Portugal when you see Iberia.)

I hope you have a visual mind because I’ve concluded that’s what it takes. If you need help, stare at a world globe or world map. Trying to decipher your origins based on a rare blood type is confusing when it’s put into words. Nonetheless, we can be grateful that we have such puzzling biology. Perhaps someday, it will be explained, in words, precisely where the Rh negative originated, as well as how and why.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy V – Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family TreesAvailable here:

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Hamite-Ancestors-Family/dp/153518972X

History… What Were Fugitive Slave Laws? Sanctuary Cities?

America’s history of dealing in human cargo dates to its early years as an emerging colonial empire. Our first president, George Washington owned slaves but today it’s hard for us to understand how anyone could force another person into slavery. There is absolutely no defense of it. None.

The first fugitive slave law was passed in 1793. It was enacted to solve the problem of slaves escaping to states that prohibited slavery. The “owner” of the slave need only apply to the authorities for a warrant to have his “property” returned.

The institution of slavery was appalling to the northern states so they enacted local laws that prohibited state officials from assist in the capturing of runaways. This was very much like today’s sanctuary cities for illegal aliens.

By 1850, due to pressure from slave states, a new law demanded federal officials enforce the law. In 1861, the Civil War broke out. The rest is history and it’s not pretty.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278

Book Two, Blue Violet: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Book Three, Black Lilac: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA

Book Four, Ellie: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWVNCTS

Book Five, Rose Thorn: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X1GN58T

Book Six, Mississippi Wild Blue: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072L2WWMR

Book Seven, Dandelion Lane: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073WPHMWG

 

Slavery… What Was the Freedmen’s Bureau?

When the Civil War ended in 1865, the United States government created a department whose main concern was to look after the well-being of former slaves. Whether it was naive or ignorant, it was thought that one year would be enough to attend to the freedman’s needs. It wasn’t. There were tens of thousands of freed slaves who had been kept against their will, unable to learn how to read or write and unable to navigate the treacherous waters of freedom, especially considering the bitter prejudice that existed in the south.

The aim of the Freedman’s Bureau was to provide for the maintenance and education of freed slaves and monitor their conditions of employment and administer justice. It was a corrupt, dysfunctional mess. That’s what happens when those in charge use a government bureau for their own political motives. The power of the Freedmen’s Bureau must have been vast. Besides the above-mentioned duties, the bureau controlled land that had been confiscated during the war. In 1872, the bureau disbanded but not until after it did a lot of damage. In the end, it had the reputation of doing “more harm than good.”

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278

Tracing French-Canadian Ancestry… How’s That DNA Test Working for You?

My husband’s mother came from a colorful line of French Immigrants dating back to the 1600’s, when brave people sailed from France to New Canada. Funny thing is, he doesn’t identify with it. And because I’m the one doing the research (and I have a bit of French ancestry) I’m the one who is developing the bond.

The French genealogical community is very colorful and culturally rich. Whether it’s from the descendants who remain in Canada after generations or those who reside in Louisiana’s Acadiana in Lafayette, the determination to keep the culture alive suffers no boredom or apathy. I am impressed by the details kept through the years by the Catholic church. Those details are found on genealogical websites, (ancestry.com geni.com, etc.) and include pictures of graves, churches, homes and home sites as well as wedding pictures. In Louisiana, the Cajun community is one of the most active social groups I’ve ever seen. Talking about sticking together, they do. The Cajuns in Louisiana are the descendants of the French who were exiled from Canada by the English in 1765 and years following. The name Nova Scotia is British but it was an Acadian homeland before that. Many of New France’s descendants are also found in Quebec.

Did you get your DNA tested and if so, how’s that working out for you? Did you find that you had the French ancestry that you expected? Was it more or less so? And what else did you find? Any surprises? And did you come across any cousin matches? If so, were they friendly? It seems like an association with the Cajun communities in the United States and Canada would be a genealogical treasure. When my brother-in-law, with his dark, curly hair, picks up the mandolin and plays it like he’s been playing for a thousand years, I become more determined. One of their French ancestors was wild on the violin. A DNA test will convince them of the need to acknowledge and explore further, the culturally rich heritage of their French-Canadian ancestry.

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

They Might Be Indians But They Are to be Treated as Runaway Slaves…

During the early 1800’s, when Andrew Jackson (the Indians called him Sharp Knife) worked his way into the presidency, he worked on relocating the Seminole Indians from Florida. The end game was the removal of all Seminole Indians from Florida. They were to exchange their land for land in the west. They were offered money, blankets for the men and frocks for the women. Woe to any Seminole who had an African ancestor. They were to be treated as runaway slaves. It did not matter if the taking of a mother or father, tore the family apart. Like the one-drop rule in other states, the white colonial relocators believed that anyone with any black ancestry should be enslaved.

Eventually, after several “Seminole Wars,” there were Seminoles who emigrated west as requested. They took cash and offered peace. But for many years the Florida Seminoles fought successfully. While the men fought the military, the women and children found refuge in the thick Florida jungles. Today, the descendants of the Seminole who resisted, can still be found in Florida, especially in the Florida Everglades.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the series, Civil War Era Romances. Available here:

Book One, Black Pansy: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1484900278

Book Two, Blue Violet: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

Book Three, Black Lilac: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01EKJMTKA

Book Four, Ellie: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LWVNCTS

Book Five, Rose Thorn: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06X1GN58T

Book Six, Mississippi Wild Blue: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072L2WWMR

Book Seven, Dandelion Lane: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073WPHMWG