Connecting The Dots-My Jewish Ancestry #france #israel #names #records


Let me start by saying that I have lots of questions about Jewish ancestry. My basic questions are how do I fit in and how do I "connect the dots" on those missing years between immigration and conversion (or Crypto Jewish culture)? I was brought "knowing" that I was a Sicilian (Mother) and French (Father) 2nd generation female. As an adult, I wanted to know more about my family so I started doing genealogy about 30 yrs ago. I focused on my husbands side until just recently. That's when it started to get interesting.

I found that my mother's Sicilian family had a hug falling out at the beginning of the 20th century which is why I don't know much about them.  I decided that it would be best to get a DNA test to see if that would help fill in the gaps. Well, it did yield some surprises. Apparently, besides being predominantly Sicilian and French, there is another small percentage being listed as other, which some sites list as Belgium while others list as Iberian peninsula area. Since I am still researching my Sicilian ancestors, i have not found the point of immigration but I have found that there are Jewish/Sicilian surnames/culture in our family. We have names like Catalano, Rubbino, Amato...which I am still researching. I have found  Crypto Jewish families with those surnames but have not yet "connected the dots". 

Additionally, on my father's side, I found that my 10th g grandmother has a surname of David. The David lineage can be traced back to King David, BCE. I have verification back to 1150 AD and then 590 AD-King David. The reason there are records from 590 was that Hanani David was an Exilarch of the Jews in Babylon that year. Being the big guy meant that he got his name in the annals of Jewish history I guess. Also, on my father's side, my 8th g grandmother is said to have come from Israel but I cannot find any verificattion. Perhaps the family was CryptoJewish...

In a nutshell, these are my questions:

  • How do I fit in-on both sides of my parentage, it appears that I have Jewish roots. Since I am at least 4 generations out on my mother's side and 8-10 generations out on my fathers, how does that affect my Jewish ancestry? I realize that there are different ways to look at "Jewishness".  I'm speaking purely ethnically/culturally. 
  • How do I "connect the dots"- What do I look for and what types of records do I look for to fill in the gaps in my research? For example. My 4th g grandmother on my mother's side was a Rubbino. She is no one's daughter in Sicily or Italy. I'm trying to expand my search but I don't know where to start. I only know her as someones wife and can prove that. No birth record or death record as of yet.

Well, any leads or suggestions are welcome. I am hoping that my Jewish ancestry can also become part of my heritage as well.

Connie Derosier Carter
Kissimmee, FL, Leominster, MA

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