Small Amounts of Ancestry Are Not Insignificant, Embrace Your Trace

Every time I look at my DNA composition charts at 23andMe and, they’ve changed. I’m alright with that, I hope they keep refining them. It’s reassuring to have them find ancestry that you knew was there. They may call it a “trace” quantity but it’s hardly insignificant. Amounts as small as 0.5% or less, are not uncommon.

I’d like to share a quote from a book that I’m reading, “My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey,” by Jill Bolte Taylor:

“members of the same human species, you and I share all but 0.01% (1/100th of 1%) of identical genetic sequences. So biologically, as a species, you and I are virtually identical to one another at the level of our genes (99.99%). Looking around at the diversity within our human race, it is obvious that 0.01% accounts for a significant difference in how we look, think, and behave.”

It’s a concept that’s a little bit hard to grasp but if 0.01% is significant to a scientist, it’s significant to a genealogist. Especially this one. Embrace your trace.

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:


Why Does President Trump Always Have a Suntan?

It’s something that everyone asks. Why does President Trump always have a suntan? And why does it have that orange hue? The answer seems obvious. That’s the color artificial tan lotion takes on once it’s applied to the skin.

Make-up is nothing new. During the 1700s, people put white powder on their hair to color it. And charcoal has been used for ages around the eyes. But… it was while I was reading, “The Day the Bubble Burst: A Social History of the Wall Street Crash of 1929,” by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan-Witts, that I understood President Trump’s reasoning. One of the people in the story wondered why the “Berlin Börsen-maklers were deeply suntanned.” It was this line that fit so well with Trump’s self-image. “… a suntan was a mark of affluence.”

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

Book One, Chimney Fire:

Book Two, Hot Snow:

Book Three, Herr Boy:

The Origins of Gangs… Literally

“Gang” is an Anglo-Saxon word. The Scots use it to describe a cattle walk or pasturage. “Gang” means to go, to walk and has been used historically to describe a group or a company of people being directed. It was used for sailors and slaves. It has also been adopted for groups of criminals. A familiar expression is gang of thieves. History shows that in a working environment, the foreman managing a gang of laborers was called a “ganger.” Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians. Available here:

History… Where Did the Term Freelance Come From?

Free lance has its origins in Germany. It was a military concept of being a free land trooper, meaning that a soldier sold his military service to the highest bidder. (There were other reasons for service but money was usually the prime motivator.) During the second half of the Middle Ages, free lance soldiers were prevalent in Europe, especially in Italy and France. Mercenary, a term that brings us images of pirates, is another name for these free lancers. Soldier of fortune is another.

Later, politicians who did not affiliate with any particular party were known as freelancers. Today, the term is most commonly used to refer to the writing profession. A journalist who writes for a variety of news sites and magazines, without formal employment is called a freelancer.

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

Politics and Pirates… That’s What Filibuster Means? Really?

On the day that I heard that the latest “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie sequel had been hacked, hit with malware and held for ransom, I ran across this historical tidbit. Filibuster was the word used for West Indie pirates (Buccaneers) during the 1600’s. It means free booty. It’s a Dutch word… vrijbuiter. Vrij means free and buit means booty. The Spanish adapted it and call it filibustero. In American politics it refers to when one of the primary political parties (Democratic or Republican) gets together and tries to stop legislation by talking for hours.

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

Book One, Chimney Fire:

Book Two, Hot Snow:

History Gets Depressing After A While… or Even Right Away

TheCelticPrinceCoverGOLDI write books about history. Whether it’s a Civil War romance or a genealogical how-to, I’m always head over heels in history. Most days I can take it, but I have days when I can’t. There are two periods in history that depress me the most. The medieval ages of the crusades and the slavery of the nineteenth century. Both were times when people were not attached to their hearts. There are accounts of crusaders sweeping through Jerusalem, killing almost everyone in sight. And the atrocities done to the Knights Templar after their fateful arrest on Friday the thirteenth (giving that day its unlucky reputation) are recorded in great detail, right down to what happened to their flesh when they were burned on the cross. The gruesome details of slavery are everywhere. I can’t avoid it. And if anyone wants to feel singled out, don’t. We all have ancestors who were victims of those whose heart was disconnected from the decision-making part of their brain. Like every good romance… whatever your ethnicity… isn’t it time we put a happy ending on it?  Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:

Let’s Figure Out What a Bolshevik Is…

Chimney FireI hear it in movies all the time, Bolshevik. A Russian revolutionary. Right? I’m not positive, so it’s time I throw open the dictionary.

Bolshevik comes from the Russian word bolshe, meaning “the larger.” The original Bolsheviki (an “i” makes it plural) were the majority (larger) group of the Russian Social Democratic Party. They were considered radicals and were given the name Bolsheviks. A Bolshevist (with a “t”) is any radical, especially one who believes in the overthrow of capitalism by force.  I can see why I was confused. Bolshevik did not originally mean radical, it meant larger, referring to the majority of people in the party who subscribed to that way of thinking. But since the group had radical political views, the word has come to mean a Russian radical.

Bolshevik or Bolshevist, take your pick. In 1918, the Russian Bolsheviki started calling their faction, the Communist Party.New Hot Snow Cover

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

Book Two, Hot Snow: