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Odd connections between Jews, Mennonites, Amish, Hasid, White Magic and Khabbalah

REK

REK

I just recently began attending a Messianic Synagogue. After a few meetings, the rabbi seemed positive that I came from Jewish stock which surprised me greatly. Admittedly, I knew that a lot of Mennonite and Amish surnames are exactly the same as some German Jewish surnames, but I had never thought much of it. However, after reading The Chosen many other thoughts are coming to mind with more and more similarities becoming apparent.

Hasid Jews

Hasid Jews

Amish

Amish

First, the Amish are very similar to the Hasid. They are both fundamentalists, strict in their observance of separating themselves from the secular world (including their clothing), and practice white magic. Seems odd doesn’t it? Let’s get a little more picky.
Both excommunicate and shun any members who stray from strict observance of their rules and traditions.
Both speak in an older German language (Yiddish and Pennsylvania Dutch) which many have said that the Amish and Yiddish speakers can understand each other easily.
Both moved to areas in Europe and Russia when heavily persecuted. Mennonites were lynched by Roman Catholics and Lutherans for refusing to baptize their children at birth, thinking the child should be old enough to make a decision for themself on whether or not to pledge their belief systems.

Pennsylvania German/Ammish Sticker We still speak the mother tongue

Pennsylvania German/Ammish Sticker "We still speak the mother tongue"

Both practice white magic. To the left is a Amish hex symbol. When traveling through Amish lands, look at their barns and you see many white magic and hex symbols warding of evil spirits or anything unclean.

Hasid Star of David

Hasid Star of David

To the right is a Hasid star and below are images of Jewish mysticism and Khabalist teachings common within the Hasid.

Makes you go hmmmm.

Furthermore, German princes offered protection to Mennonites for their great farming abilities and to Jews for their great monetary abilities.
Both were invited to settle in the Ukraine and both were slaughtered during and after the Bolshevik Revolution, some staying but most fleeing who survived. The Mennonites broke into two groups while in Russia, one turning more charismatic while the other refusing any charismatic tendencies. Some of the Russian Mennonites became known as Hutterites when they moved to the Americas.
It would seem probable that the same Germanic princes would extend welcome to Jews and Mennonites, perhaps bringing the two heavily persecuted branches within a type of friendship. Mennonites rarely marry outside the Mennonite realm and Jews do the same, so maybe that is where the connection ends.

Considering my own ancestry, I know that most of my mother’s family came from Strasbourg. And the historian of that side of the family has even traced our family back to the Alps and the Waldenisians who were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church for refusing to believe the Pope was the head of the church, the eucharist, and many other Catholic beliefs. On my mother’s side, we are related to some Mennonites (Steiners) who have Jewish ancestry, but that does not convince me. One interesting note is that the Jews and Waldenesians were being massacred throughout Germania during the same time and within a couple centuries, Hans Denck arrived in Strausburg and began working with the Hebrew scholar Ludwig Haetzer. Together they translated the Hebrew Prophets into German. During this work, several rabbis from the town’s Jewish ghetto began helping them.

It wasn’t long before Jacob Kautz, one of Denck’s followers, posted 7 Anabaptist theses on the Strasbourg Church doors – ticking off both Catholics and Lutherans. One of these theses from Kautz is very Messianic sounding. It lays that their is a payment for atonement for sins by Christ’s sacrifice. That our daily lives should be righteous and obedient to all demands in the Bible – very anti-Luther who threw out works. We still see this struggle today. Christians who simply mutter words asking for forgiveness and go on sinning to their heart’s content. Grace – the license to sin. Opposed to those who strive to be righteous, unselfish, longsuffering and forgiving. I honestly believe that the reason why so many protestants get divorced is because of the grace covers all theology – what an awful witness to unbelievers.

For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Galatians 5: 14-26

Yeah, so if people were living in the Spirit (longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, temperance, peace, joy, love, etc) and denying the lusts of the flesh as we are commanded to do (adultery, envyings, drunkenness, hatred, uncleanness, wrath, strife, etc) what reasons would be left for divorce?

The Kurtz side of my family is what intrigues the rabbi and it is which I do not know too much about. I know that they came from the Rhineland/Palatinate area of Germany and that all of my ancestors going up are named either Rebecca or Samuel. That’s what got so confusing when I was trying to trace my lineage – everyone going back was named Rebecca or Samuel.

Anyway, I’ll have to look more into this later, but it does make one go hmmmm.

127 Comments

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  1. Ian says
    01 Feb 09 at 10:39pm

    Two short comments. First, I’m a Hutterite and so I want to correct you on one point. Hutterites are a separate branch of Anabaptist and sprung up in a different area of Germany then did the Mennonites. Menno Simon started his movement in 1536ish while the Hutterite movement started in 1531 under the leadership of a man by the name of Jakob Wiedemann. In 1533 a young man named Jakob Hutter (a hat maker by trade) who was later destined to become the first elder of the “Hutter”ite church. The reason for the confusion is that the Hutterites and the Mennonites have very similar doctrines. The only major difference being that Hutterites live communal lives (some Mennonites do to). But, during the years of persecution, the Hutterites and Mennonites often bumped into each other as they were fleeing. They often settled right next to each other and even taught in each others churches.

    As for your reference to your family name. I have run across the Kurz/Kurtz name in Pennsylvania. There is a community group in that area known as the Bruderhof and there are people there that have that family name. They originated from Sannerz Germany and later moved to the Rhön Mountains and from there eventually, the USA.

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    • Suzanne Utts says
      15 Jul 12 at 11:00pm

      The Bruderhof’s live in the Laurel Highland area of Western Pennsylvania between Uniontown and Farmington, PA. They have an enclave there where they live communally.

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  2. Linda Hafer says
    13 Feb 09 at 12:36am

    My Mother’s side of my family are Mennonite, and I have said–for many years already–that the coincidences relating together the Jews and the Mennonites are too profound to be ignored. I have always “felt” Jewish, and won’t elaborate on bizarre experiences that both my brother and I had, independently of each other, largely for the sake of time and space.

    As for your comment that “grace – license to sin,” nothing could be further from the truth. I actually believe–fervently–that 1 John 1:9 isn’t written as an instruction to believers at all (another space/time constraint here!), and that Christ died ONE death that covered all sin for all time–past, present and future. Because I have a relationship with Him, I’m not interested in “continuing in sin, so that grace may abound.” A true believer is a child of God, and his desire will be to please God. If that is NOT his desire, then he is not God’s child.

    Were the theological truth of Christ’s once-for-all atonement not a truth, Paul would have no reason to discuss the issue of grace at length in Romans–our “shall we continue in sin. . .” passage.

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  3. Dawn Kornels says
    14 Feb 09 at 3:24am

    Wow, by looking at your photo, I would guess you were either of jewish, mennonite or amish descent. Anyway you definitely look like family to me. Yes, there are a lot odd connections, more than you have mentioned here, check out this link and you will understand why…
    http://www.mennoniteisrael.org/images/pdf_files/mi-w-i-w.pdf

    This will tell you the true history of the mennonite, amish and hutterite people as it is taken from ancient sources. History is continuously rewritten and with all the persecution the Anabaptists faced, this is understandable.

    You could also make genetic connections too,there are a lot of odd genetic diseases that ashkenazi jews share with…. guess who? the amish, the hutterite and the old order mennonites. And these 4 groups are the most researched by geneticists because they are homogenous and keep good genealogy records.

    Then there is the food issue, a lot of similar dishes. Several years ago one of my friends was like, are you making matzah ball soup? I said what is matzah ball soup? She said , that looks like matzah ball soup to me.

    And you mentioned the german dialect, it is not old, it is ANCIENT! It is based on german that was OBSOLETE by the middle ages. It would be comparable to coming across english speaking communities still speaking, not King James English, but the precursor of Old English. This means the jews and anabaptists have been solid communities at least going back to the origin of the germanic dialect they speak. It would be hard for outsiders to intermarry and join the community if they can’t speak the language or learn it anywhere. This also debunks the lie that the ” Anabaptists” arose in the 1500′s, their language dates them many centuries before that.

    You should know that historically the Anabaptists did not celebrate christmas or easter as they were pagan holidays. They did not celebrate communion either. Once a year, at the time of passover they did the Lord’s supper. One of my Mexican friend’s had a Jewish grandmother who was close to the old order mennonites of Mexico in Chihuahua by Cuahtemoc. They celebrated Passover and closed their communities for several days each year. They allowed her grandmother to teach their young “lehrers” ( german for teacher) who would later become the spiritual leaders in their communities. They told her grandmother that if the Mexican government ever found out they were Jewish, they would face great persecution. The government had told them to keep their mennonite religion to themselves and their communities. Now the modern Mennonite denomination is very different from the old order faith.

    As for the earlier commentor stating Hutterites originated in Germany… that is false. My mother’s ancestry is hutterite and mennonite( because several mennonite women and several mennonite families joined the Hutterite colonies in Russia before coming to the US) and I can tell you they never lived in Germany at any time. They moved from country to country following the same migration patterns as the Jews.They called themselve germans as they spoke a german dialect.Once one of my Hutterite cousins attempted to speak “german” to someone from Germany who laughed at him and said you are speaking Yiddish. Actually the Canadian census shows the Mennonites changing their ethnicity depending on what was politically correct at the time, german, dutch, polish, russian, whatever. Most Jews call themselves Ashkenazi which is the Hebrew word for the land of Germany, even though many never lived in Germany, it is because throughout many centuries in Europe the germanic language was dominant in many of the European states. Ashkenazi is a linguistic term originally.

    The Anabaptists did not decide to call themselves anabaptists, hutterites, mennonites or amish. These names were given to them by their enemies. They had many different names throughout history. The later names were given due to prominent leaders in the movements, but these people existed as a ethnic religious group prior to Jakob Hutter, Menno Simmons and Joseph Amman. Jakob and Menno actually converted and joined these groups, were so zealous that they were very instrumentally in reorganizing the communities, but they should not be credited with starting the faith. Your relative is right, these people all trace back to the Alps, primarily the Italian Alps/Piedmont where the most common name they were called historically was the Waldensians, however the modern day Waldensians in Italy are neither of the same religious or ethnic descent. It has been said by many ancient church historians that no people have had so much in common with the Jews as the Waldensians had, even sharing in the sufferings and persecutions. There is an ancient book still being reprinted called “Israel in the Alps” that is about the Waldensian people. You see, Jesus had brothers and sisters, so did his disciples and other followers, they all had families that through the generations kept the original faith which is what the Waldensian professed. The Waldensians claimed to be the physical and spiritual descendants of the congregation at Jerusalem. The Catholic church was started by pagans people for political reasons and persecuted the true followers of Jesus.

    You also mentioned the similarity in surnames. I did research about 8 years ago and found that 98% of all amish, hutterite and mennonite names are either exclusively, predominantly or commonly used by Ashkenazi jews however most are not used by Germans. The other 2% I couldn’t trace the origin or meaning of. I found several names denoting Cohen or Rabbinical lineage in the Mennonites also, which leads me to believe there were Rabbinical Jews joining these communities.

    Then you have the first names used by Anabaptists. Every family has a Jacob. It must have a Jacob. Half of all men in my mother’s ancestry are Jacob and I can trace my mother’s ancestry any which way I want to as we have community records. Those that aren’t Jacob are Abraham or Johannan for the most part. Naming patterns for the Jews, Catholics and Protestants were distinctly different from the 1500′s to 1800′s and the Anabaptists were most similar to the Jews.

    One of my mennonite acquaintenances took this information I gave him and made aliyah to Israel based on the Right of Return. The second rabbi he saw approved when he looked at his “mennonite” genealogy. He has been an Israeli citizen for about 4 years now. He is also messianic and had a Jewish style wedding where he and the bride are lifted up on chairs after the ceremony. This is a long standing Jewish custom. His elderly mother came up to him, surprised and explained that is an old order mennonite custom, however if they didn’t have chairs, they lifted up the couple on the pews.

    The old order Mennonites also spend one week after the wedding eating their meals at different relatives homes, this is their version of the honey moon, and guess what ? The ultra orthdox Jews do the same thing.

    Another one of my mennonite acquaintenances who was not a pacifist, but fought in WWII was suddenly called before his superiors along w/2 other Jewish soldiers, cursed at because they were a “bunch of damned Jews” and dismissed without explanation from service. His whole life he has been “accused” of being Jewish, because of his name/looks and his mennonite ancestry can be traced for at least 500 years.

    Another friend of mine looked so much like family I had to find out her heritage, she said it was PA dutch. I said , Amish? She didn’t know. I said well, PA dutch means you are Amish, and if you are Amish, well you are Jewish. She said she had always identified herself as a “spiritual Jew” and she knew as much about Jews/judaism as if she grew up with it and had a real love and respect for the people. Finally she spoke to her mother about their roots, her mother was raised in an Amish community and was told by her family that they were from the tribe of Levi.

    I met another lady at a messianic congregation that looked either Jewish or Mennonite, I couldn’t tell which, so I asked her. She said her family was Amish and they were from the tribe of Levi.

    A hutterite genealogist admitted to me that the Stahl name ( there are only about a dozen hutterite surnames today) was introduced as the records say, by a young 14-15 dark curly haired swarthy skinned Jewish boy who joined by himself.

    A couple of my aunts keep close ties w/Hutterite colonies in their area and my mother is starting to also. One of my aunts in WA asked the Hutterite communty about being Jewish, their response was, oh yah, yah. ( hutterite for yes)

    Another striking similarity is the Hutterite colony life compared to the Kibbutz’s in Israel.Or the old order Mennonite and Amish co-operative farming communities and the Moshav’s in Israel. Historically, the Jews and the Anabaptists were accused of being “socialists” because of these types of communities.

    I read an article on how Mennonite groups were sending missionaries back to Siberia and Russia to get their people who were abandoned there since the time of WWII. This was a missionary outreach in the 90′s. They were persecuted by the Russians as the outcry was , the Jews have returned, the Jews have returned.

    There are legitimate reason’s why the Amish, Hutterite, and Mennonites would not go around proclaiming they are Jews, for many centuries that was asking for the death sentence. The Jews were after all, accused of “killing God” and considered to be the most evil vile people on earth. Also from a modern Jewish perspective, if you believe in Jesus, you are no longer Jewish according to their definition of Jewish.

    (reply)
    • S.Sawatsky says
      26 Nov 11 at 11:44pm

      I would greatly appreciate an opportunity to communicate with D, Kornels if she is available via email. Toda Raba.

      (reply)
      • 27 Nov 11 at 5:45pm

        You can also ask her directly on her message here. If you reply to her message, she will be notified through the email she provided. Most people reply shortly after a response is left on their message. Many people are interested in this topic, so it may be nice to communicate here and everyone’s privacy is kept, and information may be for all.
        As an author and a blogger, having messages public is easier than many people trying for one-on-one messages asking the same questions.

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      • 27 Nov 11 at 6:05pm

        I do not give out people’s email without their permission.

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    • 27 Nov 11 at 5:42pm

      Hi, Dawn, someone just asked for your email because they had some questions. Would you allow me to give it, or for your safety and the curiosity of many here on this site, would you like her to just ask her her question here – in a reply to your message, which she could do. It seems like a lot of people are interested in this topic.

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    • s.sawatsky says
      30 Nov 11 at 6:29pm

      Hi Dawn, I would like to correspond with you concerning Mennonite /Jewish Aliyah and the experience you have had regarding these issues. Thank-you!

      (reply)
    • Lydia says
      21 Jan 12 at 9:31am

      WOW, interesting post! Also that link to mennoniteisrael.org (women in the wilderness) was well worth the read!! Thanks :-)

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    • Suzanne Utts says
      15 Jul 12 at 11:12pm

      This is REALLY REALLY interesting. My maternal grandmother’s father had the surname Fisher. Grandma said “He was from the people with the black hats.” She said his ancestors were Amish or Pa Dutch, and that he married a woman named Therese Wilt and that both sets of parents disapproved of the marriage and so the couple never saw their parents/siblings after they married. Other than that she would steadfastly say no more.

      My husband’s last name is Utts. It traces back to Utz. There is an OTZ Valley in the Italian Alps and I have wondered if his ancestors perhaps came from there. It is an odd name. So far I have found no information other than that the OTZ valley is pronounced just like our last name. Not with the long “u” but the “uh” sound.

      Any information you have that you could share would be most welcome~

      I have a book on the Waldenses but not the one you mention above.

      In Messiah Yeshua,
      Suzanne

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    • Sarah Gordon says
      04 Sep 12 at 1:21am

      1. Most of the Anabaptists are named after prominent early leaders. Mennonites after Menno Simons, Amish after Jacob Amman, Hutterites after Jakob Hutter. Those are no more insults than calling someone Lutheran or Calvinist. Anabaptist wss a reference to their practice of rebaptizing adult converts, it just means “baptize again”, The only group of Anabaptist-like people to get a nasty nickname from their enemies was the Quakers, and they took it with pride, and not as an insult, though it isn’t their name (Religious Society of Friends).

      2. Belief in Jesus as the Messiah makes a Jew a heretic, nothing can make a Jew not Jewish. Their children will still be Jewish if born of a Jewish mother.

      3. These aren’t the only groups that have a history of , or claim of Jewish ancestory. I have never heard of people being admitted to Israel based on Mennonite ancestory . After a number of generations without contact with other Jewish groups, or any other proofs, descent and Halakhic status becomes almost impossible to prove, and many known Jewish groups are still struggling with their status as Jews. I guess I will do some research into that.

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    • Rohrer says
      02 Feb 13 at 11:12pm

      Dawn, with all due respect, your Anabaptist history is pretty far off. You have taken a lot of facts about Amish and Hutterites and twisted them pretty badly to make unsubstantiated claims – of which you finish, “There are legitimate reason’s why the Amish, Hutterite, and Mennonites would not go around proclaiming they are Jews, for many centuries that was asking for the death sentence.” I think you fail to realize that hundreds, possibly thousands of Anabaptists DID die out of a faithfulness for their own Christian beliefs. Why would they be afraid of saying they were Jews?

      Some other quick mistakes: Modern research disavows that Anabaptists came form the Waldensians, or that there was even one singular Anabaptist group. Please read C.J. Dyck’s “An Introduction to Mennonite History” C Arnold Snyder (Also from Ontario at Conrad Grebel University at Waterloo) “Anabaptist History and Theology.” After a better understanding of Anabaptist history/ sociology, you will find that what you wrote is pretty inaccurate.

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      • 29 Jul 13 at 8:06pm

        With all due respect, I would appreciate everyone being respected to share the research that they have found. As an author, and historian, I can definitely say that just because someone has authored a book does not mean they are more credible than others who do a lot of research on their own. Neither would I say, that authors know all the research when they publish their books; hence, the reason for all the revisions. Additionally, a lot of academia is incorrect and science is proving it thus. For example, science has proven that the sphynx has water erosion and is much older than the pyramids surrounding it, but Egyptologists and historians are screaming in an uproar to save face. They are fighting scientific evidence, hiding it as well as they possibly can, and continuing to teach incorrect information to the masses.

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    • pam king says
      22 Aug 13 at 4:08pm

      Ms. Kornels,

      I am very interested in learning more information. My husband was born and raised Amish in Bird in Hand, PA, Old Order Amish. We have his family history book going back to his 7th great grandfather Samuel Koenig. Since the Lord has called us to the Jewish people and Israel over the last decade we have always believed there must be some Jewish connection with his ancesters. We are most interested in learning about the gentleman that made Aliyah, as that is our desire as well. Is there anyway to connect with him? or can you give him my email address and he connect with us. We travel to Israel frequently and would so appreciate learning from him how to present the documentation for Right of Return.

      Thank you so much for all the information you provided here, it was the missing link/s we have been looking for – for a long time!

      David and Pam King

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    • Heather Gammache says
      23 Oct 13 at 1:46am

      I would just like to correct something you said about the Pennsylvania Dutch being Amish. I come from a long line of PA Dutch (German Immigrants from the Rhineland-Palatinate region of area that is now Germany). My relatives are not Amish. There are many groups of German immigrants that fall under the category of PA Dutch, that are not Amish. My family is Roman Catholic. The Amish do not consider themselves Jewish. I have a group of Amish building my deck, so I asked them. They said “no”.in fact I found an article stating that the Amish were supersessionists, until recently.

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    • Agatha says
      30 Dec 13 at 12:06am

      Please send me your links to your research I was raised old order Mennonite and most of my family still practice all of the traditions and a couple years back a gentleman confronted me of being of Jewish decent and I always get hung up at the anabaptise part and that is as far as I can trace it back so any guidance you could give me would be greatly appreciated my e-mail is aggieletkeman@ yahoo.com

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  4. Brauche says
    19 Feb 09 at 4:29pm

    THE TOP SECRET AMISH FRONT (& HUTTERITES)
    (about the middle of the page)
    http://educate-yourself.org/mc/illumformula5Bchap.shtml

    it’s not all “white” magic…

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  5. 01 Mar 09 at 3:02pm

    It is more than just coincidence my friends. Have you ever wondered by the founders of both the Mennonites (Simons) and the Amish (Amman) have Jewish names? Being a Jew carried a death sentence in many parts of Europe. This history goes way back into the Hapsburg Dynasty and beyond into the Babylonian Exhilarchs. Aargau Canton Switzerland was a sanctuary for Jews and at times in history the only place they could live.

    Rest assured the roots of the Mennonites and Amish are the “Old Families” meaning the Jews. The more you research the more you will find.

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    • Trena Pelsy Garrison says
      03 Feb 11 at 7:18pm

      Interesting……both sides of my family have roots in Canton Aargau. I can’t get anybody to confirm my hunches that I have Jewish ancestry among my Mennonite relatives!! After Switzerland, relatives were found in Alsace-Lorraine.

      Reply if you wish…..any info for me? Thanks!

      blacksand42@sbcglobal.net

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      • 02 Aug 11 at 1:32pm

        There was a HUGE population in Strausborg, France (where many of my ancestors came from and sailed from to come to the Americas. Many of the Mennonites were meeting regularly with the Jews for translation of the Old Testament, and many Mennonites were being persecuted and recieving haven from the same canton princes that were giving protection to the Jews…….. in the Ukraine also. Katherine the Great invited both the Jews and Mennonites to move to the Ukraine for their gifts in farming (Mennonites) and business (Jews).

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        • Trena Pelsy Garrison says
          30 Oct 13 at 3:58pm

          Thank you, Rebecca! My relatives are also from near Strasbourg. I visited there I August and saw the awesome cathedral. Also visited Alsace-Lorraine where many with my same maiden name still live.

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    • Greta Petrich says
      22 Jun 12 at 7:20pm

      You mentioned that “the roots of the Mennonites and Amish are the ‘Old Families’ meaning the Jews.” The more you research the more you will find.” Well, I’m researching, and I wish I could find more. Can you help me out? I want to make Aliyah, and don’t seem to have found enough information on the subject. Or, perhaps, do you know a rabbi who can help certify my geneology for Aliyah acceptance? I plugged every known family name into a search engine, and came up with 100″ Jewish ancestry on my mother’s side. By the way, a phone call to 253-347-2707 or a postcard sent to P.O. Box 488, Enumclaw, WA 98022, would be appreciated very much, since I can only access my emails infrequently. Thanks

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  6. Joseph says
    01 Apr 09 at 11:14am

    As someone who has extensively read up on both communities and have strong ties to one, I can tell you that most of what one reads above is based on nothing more than wishful thinking, tied in by some interesting coincidences. Much like the similarities between ‘Lincoln’ and ‘Kennedy’ and their tragic deaths.

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  7. 27 Aug 09 at 3:02pm

    To further confound your thinking in regard to Jewish ancestry consider that all Jews are Israelites but the reverse is definitely untrue! Recall, the lengthy plot line of Joseph, is rejection and being sold into slavery by his brothers (from another mother). His rise to Vizier of Egypt, his forgiving his brothers and bringing Jacob whose name was also Israel, down to Egypt in the time of the famine. Recall again the special blessings given to Joseph and to his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh by Jacob.
    Their was a brief period of the United Kingdom of Israel and Judah under the Davidic Dynasty. But, after the death of David’s son, Solomon, the Northern Kingdom which was referred to as “Israel” rebelled from Solomon’s son, Rehoboam. The Northern Kingdom was called by several names; Israel, Joseph, Ephraim, Samaria. “Israel” because they were the vast majority of the tribes. (The Southern Kingdom retained the Davidic Dynasty and Jerusalem and was made up predominantly by the tribe of Judah, Benjamin those Levites who had lived in the Southern Kingdom (probably the majority of Levites, since they were the Temple operators and their sub tribe the Kohanim were priests. Also Simeon was scattered in the midst of Judah.) Just as Judah was the dominant tribe of the Southern Kingdom, Joseph was the dominant tribe of the Northern Kingdom. Ephraim, the younger son of Joseph was blessed by Jacob to be greater than his elder brother Manasseh. The capital city of the Northern Kingdom was Samaria; therefore in Biblical history and prophecy the use of any of these terms: Israel, Joseph, Ephraim and Samaria refer to the Northern Kingdom.
    Great prophecies were made about the future of Ephraim and Manasseh and Jewish tradition dismisses them as being fulfilled in some episodes in Judges. Rabbinic Judaism has claimed the birthright of Joseph! But read in the end of Genesis yourself, and realize that nothing like these prophecies have ever occurred to the Jewish People.
    The Northern Kingdom; Israel; Ephraim, Samaria, committed apostasies and idolatry despite Prophetic warnings. Finally The LORD whistled for Assyria, and used their power to punish Israel and to exile them from the Land and from history! These are the Lost Tribes. They weren’t killed. They probably merged with the Assyrian and other northern mesopotamian peoples who were at the time beginning their migrations into western asia and Europe. I believe they kept some tribal cohesiveness despite forgetting their identity, their God, their language.
    When Yeshua claimed He came for the Lost Sheep of Israel and then sends his disciples to the ends of he earth many readers either ignore the internal contradiction or just don’t even notice it. But the LORD said that though He scatter Israel like sand throughout the nations he will like a sieve regather every single one. And it is no contradiction that as the Apostles and Missionaries spread through Europe some of the Pagan “barbarians” quickly converted. Like sheep who recognize the sound of their shepherd’s voice, these Lost Israelites THROUGH Yeshua were reacquainted with the God Of Israel. And that was a major part of Yeshua’s mission. A happy by-product was the crumbs from the table that allowed non-Israelites to become engrafted into the Tree of Israel.
    To summarize many truly confessing Christians ( and not those who mutter the sinner’s prayer as they continue to sin) are not merely wild branches engrafted, but are in fact actual branches of Israel reunited with the God Of Israel!
    Mainstream Rabbinic Jewish scholars scoff at any of this, of course. They claim that the term “Jew” is synonymous with “Israel”. They claim many of the other tribes fled south at the time of the Assyrian captivity and became incorporated with the Kingdom of Judah, which of course is the origin of the word”Jews”. No doubt many individuals with affiliation with the Tribes of the Northern Kingdom in fact did flee south and merged into the Jewish people. But, the Tribes as tribes, and with their individual prophesied futures yet to be fulfilled were exiled into mystery.
    One more thought. The Moon has always been seen by Jews as a symbol for Israel. The Holy-days are based on the Lunar calender. The Gematria (numerology) of the Hebrew for David is 14. And incidentally, the genealogy of Yeshua is listed in 14′s. The haftara read on the eve of the new moon 1 Samuel 20:18-42 reveals David hiding from Saul during the New Moon. There is a palindromic component that is too complicated for now, but clearly Israel is The Moon. I suggest that Judah is the full moon, and Israel (Joseph) is the side unseen from earth; the so-called dark side of the moon.
    And when Judah and Israel are reunited by the second coming of Yeshua the world will be shocked at the culmination of all of God’s plans within plans! Soon, please Yeshua!

    (reply)
  8. 09 Sep 09 at 9:01am

    Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

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  9. 11 Sep 09 at 4:42pm

    This blog rocks! I gotta say, that I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,

    (reply)
  10. 22 Sep 09 at 11:00am

    I don’t know If I said it already but …Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, :)

    A definite great read..

    -Bill-Bartmann

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  11. Katusha says
    02 Nov 09 at 12:55am

    wow this is so interesting. Ok i’m Russian but i moved to US several years ago. I have some Jewish blood from mothers’ side.I had not heard much about Amish or Mennonites before I came to US.
    I have recently started to hang out with some Mennonites.And I think they are very cool. I come to their church sometimes and it’s very interesting. It lasts forever though( like 3 hours)And i just love the relationship in their families. they respect each other and put family on the first place. Another fascinating thing about is that they dont have much( material things) and they are pretty happy with what they have. When we” outsiders” have everything and still are not satisfied with life. I’m amazed with their simplicity of living .)))) I think jewish culture is very interesting too)))))))))))))))

    (reply)
    • 02 Aug 11 at 1:43pm

      Mennonites treasure family and community. :) We know that happiness does not come from material items. Thank you for your kind words. It was a bit of a culture shock when I left my Mennonite community and met the world, lol.

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  12. Joseph says
    16 Apr 10 at 11:10pm

    Greetings to you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ, By the grace of God I have go thru different web pages and I have got your address and inspired by the holyspirit to wirte this letter to you
    I am born and brought up in india , at the age of 5th my father sent to me a orphan home because of large family, there I spent till 16th of year gone thru differn situations , the Lord enable me to study in the college , there I come to know the Lord as my saviour and baptised and went to Bible college for pastoral triaing I have studied 3 yrs theology, then the Lord guide me to a village planted church and make it as self supported and given to one pastor and like this I have planted 5 churches as my own, sinc ethen Lord is faithful to me am faithfully working for Him, I have wife and 4 children, all are studying
    We have plenty of ministry in the villages and often we have fellowship of ministers get togeather and praying for unity and great harvest inindia we need like minded people like you to be guide and advise in the ministry to go further I do translation work from English to Telugu
    I and our mission happy to joint and work with you on behalf of you in india
    So please come and visit us as the Lord guides and directs
    With love and prayers
    Yours in His mission for the souls
    Rev N Joseph Raju
    http://www.clgm.org

    Email: harvest2020@aol.com

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  13. Trena Pelsy Garrison says
    09 May 10 at 9:22pm

    I knew it….I knew it….I’ve seen various family pictures of several generations ago, and I see “Jewishness” written all over the Mennonite and Amish faces. I’ve tried to research but without much success, UNTIL I found your site. My maiden name, and variations of it (going backwards “more or less” in English, French and Swiss/German) is: Pelsy, Belsly, Belsey, Bellesley, Baltzli, Boeltzli and, as I understand it, finally Balthazar in Switzerland. Does any of this make sense??!!! I had a distant cousin in France. She died at 101 a few months ago. She was extremely intelligent and nothing was wrong with her mind at her advanced age! I once asked her in my best French if there were Jewish roots in our Mennonite heritage. She said something like, “Oh, who knows, it was so long ago.” I was certain there was more to the story and she didn’t care to talk about it!!! Best regards…..

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  14. Trena Pelsy Garrison says
    02 Jun 10 at 9:13pm

    PS to my comments of 5/9….correction: the Balthazar surname in Switzerland should have been Barzelai. I believe both sides of the family come from Canton Aargau. The plot thickens, and I would really like to know if there’s any substance to my hunch!! Many thanks. Best…..

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  15. Trena Pelsy Garrison says
    10 Jun 10 at 12:42pm

    Rebecca…Any chance you can give me further direction where I can research the Jewish and Mennonite connection, especially in Canton Aargau Switzerland? I can trace family back to the 1600s. Feel free to email me. Many thanks!!

    (reply)
    • 02 Aug 11 at 1:40pm

      Sorry, it’s been a crazy year and now I’m laid up from a knee surgery. Let me ask my uncle. He’s been traveling and researching through Europe on my mom’s ancestors, but……… I think my dad’s is the side that is Jewish. However, he has found relatives that traveled up from Rome and settled in the Alps once Constantine started killing the Jews.

      (reply)
      • Trena Pelsy Garrison says
        30 Oct 13 at 4:02pm

        Yes, please do ask your uncle. I’d love to hear his thoughts! Understood about knee surgery. Been there, done that, twice! Please do everything the nice physical therapists tell you to do!

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  16. Kara says
    08 Jul 10 at 3:55pm

    I am from Amish background. My parents left the Amish when I was 5. After my Mom’s death this last year, I began to be interested in my lineage. I began researching it, and both of my parents families came from the Aargau region of Switzerland. Surnames on both sides are Jewish Ashkenazic surnames in origin. Nothing would make me more happy than to be able to confirm my suspicions and hopes.
    My question is, how do I go about confirming this? I am lost as to where to turn next.

    (reply)
    • 02 Aug 11 at 1:38pm

      DNA testing. Let me ask my rabbi. See if there are more avenues or data needed before going to a lawyer to try to make aliyah.

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    • Trena Pelsy Garrison says
      30 Oct 13 at 4:03pm

      Mine, also, came from Canton Aargau. Want to keep in touch? Names are Abersoll, Abresol, Ebersol, as well as other slight variations. Also Datwiler, Detwiller, etc. Also Pelsy, Boeltzli, Baltzli, etc.

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  17. 15 Jul 10 at 2:31pm

    Interesting blog and responses. I’m a Mennonite from Lancaster County, PA, whose ancestors came there from Switzerland in 1753 and recently married to an Israeli woman. My wife was early struck by many of the resemblances you note – especially names. Then she noted that the family crest of my family, which goes way back to Switzerland, is six-sided like the Star of David. She always says I look more Jewish than she does!

    However I read nothing on that is site this is to me more than interesting speculation. I wonder if someone could devise a scientific genetic study, or unearth family records from the 1600s to show Mennonites/Anabaptists had Jewish converts?

    (reply)
    • 02 Aug 11 at 1:37pm

      I have heard that some Mennonites traced their family heritage back to Europe and made Aliyah (Israeli citizenship for being Jewish). Would love to be able to do that one day. I know one person who was Black Bumper Mennonite who discovered that 97% of his DNA came up Jewish. All Mennonite and Amish heritage that he knew of but so, so many Mennonites comment that they are Jewish and know they are Jewish. Like the Steiners…… who are related to me. :)

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  18. Leroy Miller says
    10 Aug 10 at 10:51pm

    Amish-Jewish ties

    I recently became intrigued with possible Mennonite-Amish/Jewish ties. Consequently, your article adds to my growing belief that links do exist, at least through some family lines. My Mennonite-Amish ancestry is rooted in Switzerland and Alsace. Adam Rickenbach, my 4th great-grandfather, immigrated to Pennsylvania in the 1700s. A family tradition says the Rickenbachs were Jewish. Margaret, Adam Rickenbach’s youngest daughter, married Andrew Troyer. The couple was Amish-Mennonite.
    The Jewish Encyclopedia “Alsace” article states that some historians believe that Jews were living there at the end of the 8th century. The text further says, “In 1233 a Jews’ quarter existed in Strasburg and the term ‘Jew’ was applied to some of the Christian inhabitants as a sobriquet [nickname] or because they were descended from baptized Israelites.”
    My parents were Old Order Amish when I was born in Holmes County, OH. The Old Order has retained centuries-old cultural patterns more accurately than any other Mennonite group. Among those traits are male first names, the focus on keeping extensive genealogies that resemble Old Testament ancestral lists, and meal prayers.
    Missionaries carried the Gospel into northern Europe many centuries before Johann Gutenberg’s printing press. With the native populace illiterate, the Good News was heard rather than read by new believers. Logically, Christian teachers would have told New Testament stories of Jesus and the Apostles, with the Old Testament having a much lesser role. As a result, male children were given N.T. names: Peter, James, John, Andrew, Philip, Stephen, Paul,,,,
    However, well into the 20th century among a large segment of Ohio O.O. Amish, only Peter and John held their own against Old Testament names. For instance: I had a grandpa Mose; an uncle Mose; five Mose first cousins; two uncles Jacob; and one each of Noah, Reuben, Samuel, and Eli. Other less popular names include Abe, Isaac, David, Daniel, Ezra, Jonas, and Levi. Reuben and Levi are two of the 12 Israelite tribes.
    Despised and persecuted as Jews have been throughout history, why would Gentile Christians with no direct ties to Jewry, have taken on so many Old Testament names?
    While some Amish individuals show minimal interest in ancestral history beyond their grandparents, there’s enough curiosity in most extended families in each generation to have published a genealogy/family history. A maternal uncle and paternal first cousin accomplished that for both sides of my family.
    Asking God’s blessing before a meal is a basic rule for most Christians; however, only among my Old Order relatives and a few conservative Mennonites have I shared in end-of the-meal table grace. I recently discovered that Hassidic Jews practice both, as well as additional prayers during a meal. Although, this seems to bolster Anabaptist/Jewish links, it might also mean that table grace, once practiced among other Christian groups, has only been retained by the Amish.
    Admittedly, while no definitive answer to a Mennonite-Amish/Jewish connection exists presently; tantalizing bits of evidence have excited this novice searcher.

    Leroy Miller

    (reply)
    • 02 Aug 11 at 1:35pm

      Thanks Leroy! This is great information. Thank you so much for sharing.

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    • pam king says
      22 Aug 13 at 4:27pm

      My husband was raised O.O. Amish in Lancaster Pa, his name is David King and his family has kept meticulous ancestry records back to the 1600′s called “The Fisher Family History”. He can go back all the way to Samuel Koenig who is the father of Johannes King, the father of John King. John King married Barbara Fisher. They bore children and since them there has been a continuous name of David for 5 generations. This stuff is very interesting and we would like to learn more and trace beyond those mentioned above to the European ancestors. My father in law always told my husband (who left the Amish and joined the Navy) that they were from Switzerland. I traced the name King back to Alsace and now am tracing the Koenig name to find it’s origins. We know the origin seems to come from Cohen which is a distinctly Jewish name.

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  19. Trena Pelsy Garrison says
    27 Nov 10 at 7:31pm

    Any chance you can change the black background of your website? The white script font is really hard to read….Ariel would be better and could be twice the size! I should be able to read this perfectly but just can not. I don’t want much, do I??!! ha ha

    Thanks for considering this!!

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  20. Vicky says
    11 Jan 11 at 2:30pm

    I started researching my ancestors in 2009 and the first thing that came to my mind was that they were Jews based on their old testament first names. I read that Catholics used new testament names and Jews used old testament names. Some of my ancestors on my mother’s side were 17th century Protestant Huguenots who moved to New Netherlands (New York) If they were true Catholics they would have stayed Catholics like my father’s side of the family.

    (reply)
    • 02 Aug 11 at 1:34pm

      Yes, I have found the same thing in research. There are Rebecca and Samuel Kurtz names in my family tree going all the back to the 1500s to Strausburg, France. These are our family names.

      (reply)
  21. Dan Watts says
    19 May 11 at 12:02pm

    I recently confirmed that my biological father’s family were Swiss German Mennonites but my original male ancestor was Haplotype J1 and J2 or Semitic in origin.

    I’m not sure when this family became Mennonite or i f they were “under the radar” prior to thta but I am interested in the research. An mDNA test would prove the haplotype of your female ancestry however there is no guarantee that if a female ancestor did not test J1 and or J2 that there was not jewish ancestry from the male side.

    DNA testing settles all speculation with the Y-DNA and the mDNA tests.

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  22. Amelia says
    10 Jul 11 at 9:43am

    Very interesting. I am forever correcting people’s assumptions that I “look Jewish”, although my dad was Russian Mennonite and my mom was mostly a combo of Scots-Irish and Pennsylvania Dutch.
    It might interest you and many of the people posting comments here that there are active genealogical DNA research projects on both Jewish and Mennonite/Anabaptist communities. It looks at both Y-DNA (Y Chromosome signature in males that remains unchanged from father-to-son for generations, except for the occasional slight mutation — which actually helps sort out different lines of the same family)… as well as mtDNA/mDNA (mitochondrial DNA) that everyone has inherited from their mother — making a similar unbroken chain of mother-to-child. Neither the Y-chromosome nor mtDNA are affected by recombination with each generation. This makes an unbroken link between you today and your ancient ancestor on your maternal-only line, and also an unbroken link (if you are a man) on your paternal-only line.
    The Mennonite/Anabaptist project is grass-roots, with no ulterior agenda. The results so far have been interesting. My dad’s maternal line (mtDNA) results did come back as being associated with “Fertile Crescent” populations. Here is a link to the project: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/menno/default.aspx

    (reply)
    • 02 Aug 11 at 1:29pm

      Wow, that is very interesting. Thanks for sharing. One day, I will take a DNA test.

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  23. Texas55 says
    05 Aug 11 at 7:30am

    My family is jewish but has a mennonite/Amish surname. The city they came from in Ukraine had a very large mennonite population. We’re unsure if our ancestors just took the name of a mennonite they worked for or if there was intermarriage. They apparently didn’t take the name to hide their jewishness though as they left because of the pogroms and “hebrew” is stated as their race on the ship manifests. Nor is there any evidence they practiced anything other than judaism.

    (reply)
    • 15 Sep 11 at 10:30pm

      Yes, I know that Katherine the Great invited both the Mennonites and the Jews to move to the Ukraine and promised them refuge in exchange for their skills. They were allowed to keep their German language and culture which became a great detriment to them when World War I began.

      (reply)
  24. CHRIS says
    28 Sep 11 at 8:24pm

    I am descended from Swiss Anabaptists and ad took a Genealogical DNA test that wound up Haplogroup Q1b1a* a group only found in Europe among Ashkenazi Jews and son Swiss Anabaptists. Hope This Helps.

    (reply)
    • 07 Nov 11 at 10:47am

      Yes, it does. Thank you so much!

      (reply)
    • Greta Petrich says
      22 Jun 12 at 5:54pm

      I found your response on Rebecca Kurtz’ site. I am the daughter of a Mennonite mother. It seems all our family surnames, which I believed to be German, are actually Jewish names. I want to make Aliyah, because I think one set of ‘bones’ from Ezekiel, the Valley of the Dry Bones, who is awakening to the fact that I am an Israelite, and that the Jews, except for not accepting the Messiah has come already, are my kith and kin, and they have more truth than Pagan-based Christians do. What lab did your have the DNA analysis? My sister has really thrown herself into developing our geneology (I am sure she is clueless as to what really inspired her to do so), and I am in the process right now of searching for a rabbi to ok it as to my being a physical/genetic Israelite. If the geneology isn’t enough, then I’ll spring for a DNA test, but would rather not have to go to that extent, since my budget is very tight. Your reply would be appreciated. I didn’t leave my email address, since I only view my emails periodically–could you phone me at 253-347-2707 with your info, or drop a postcard to P.O. Box 488, Enumclaw, WA 98022, with your answers? Thanks so much

      (reply)
    • Suzanne Utts says
      15 Jul 12 at 11:23pm

      Where can I get this DNA test?

      (reply)
  25. 09 Oct 11 at 10:03pm

    Your story ‘s very interesting, but it’s quite very true. Did you know that my last surname Neufeld is common by Christian and Jews around western world (Part of Majority of Mennonite) It’s an biggest assumption of my surname came from Jewish descent, but my ancestor from 17th century were most Mennonites.

    My ancestor came from Danzig, there were a lot of Jews. I theorized that Divided groups of Neufeld chose converting to Mennonite and kept traditional religion Jewish in late 17th century.

    Some people asked me whether I’m jew but I often denied until I recently found out that my last name came from jew. My surname in Hebrew is “נויפלד”. There are at one hundred population of Neufeld living in Israel. There are less million population of Neufeld living in Northamerica, who are both Christianity and Jews.

    I’ve researched a lot about comparison of same surnames between Mennonite and Jewish links of our ancestors from Danzig, West Prussia in 17th century:
    An result of lists of surnames:
    -Fisch, Fischer
    -Unger
    -Weiss
    -Steiner (not sure from Mennonite ancestor)
    -Vogel (Uncommon in Mennonite, but common in Jewish)
    -Wolf (sometime Wulf in Mennonite)
    -Hamburg
    -Holtz

    Any question? Please email me!

    (reply)
    • 07 Nov 11 at 10:50am

      I know some Steiners who are Mennonites (I’m related to) that definitely know that they are Jewish. My last name is Kurtz which is very Jewish. I learned from my rabbi that there are actually a ton of rabbis named Kurtz; however, Kurtz is rare as a Mennonite name.

      (reply)
      • 06 Apr 12 at 6:02am

        Hi, thanks for reply.. it was overdue :P I followed you on twitter last year :) I did catch up a lot of comments about Mennonite and Jewish rooters. I grew up in Asuncion, Paraguay, and spent most in rural area, it calls mennonite colonies. I emigrated to Canada. when I was 16. My dad visited in Danzig, Poland in his first time and looked for names in the burials.. I told my dad that our ancestor was Jewish. Personally, I’ve not tested DNA yet but we are possibly linked to tribe of Levi . Your claims says “Mennonite farmers and Jewish Business” for setting in Russia, makes PERFECT senses :)
        Indeed,, Less modern Mennonite are business than Jews. I have many jewish friends now as close allies. I’m almost agnostic :)

        (reply)
        • Greta Petrich says
          22 Jun 12 at 6:02pm

          Dear Chris:

          I moved to Paraguay in December 1968, because I have Mennonite relatives down there. I am planning on making Aliyah to Israel as soon as possible, and I am investigating every option. I would qualify for aliyah assistance if I can prove through geneology or dna that I am a physical Judahite or Israelite. I have a great family tree compiled by my sister that may do the trick, if I can get a rabbi to certify me as physical descendent, or a DNA test should do the trick. Anyway, I would appreciate any info you have on names you know of in Paraguay or Canada, or any other helpful info you may have. Thanks, Greta. By the way, if you could call me or drop me a postcard, so much the better, since I can only view my emails sporadically.

          (reply)
          • 20 Nov 12 at 10:59pm

            Thanks for reply. I didn’t check often comments., which was long overdue.. Sorry!

            Hi Greta,

            I ‘m Paraguayan Citizen,. but I resided in Canada. I live here temporarily in Asuncion until January. I will return to Washington DC where I resume my academic studies. Of course, my surname is common in Western Canada and East Coast. I just have researched lists of mennonite/jewish surnames are related DNA genealogy. I’m considerable from Teutonic Tribes including Anglo-Saxon but mostly Israelite/Levi Tribes. My ancestor ‘s name was Solomon Neufeld, an Hebrew name and suffered big prejudge in Luther-era regime around Europe. Do you live in Asuncion? If yes, we might meet in person or contact via emails :) I made my decision for planning Internship as Social Researcher in Israel this next summer. I’m an Sociology student.

  26. Lori Alayne Weber Miller says
    15 Oct 11 at 6:39pm

    I just googled the question do Mennonites have Jewish ancestry and your blog came up. I have often questioned this as my Grandfather was Mennonite his name was Moses Joseph Weber and in pictures he looked like a Hasidic Jew. I have often been told I look Jewish and My sympathies are definitely with Israel even now. The names in my grandfathers family were always OT His father was David Moses and my Uncle was also Mose. Jews and Mennonites are very big on geneologies. I am afraid you have only piqued my curiosity more but the genetic testing might be interesting to explore. If the Mennonites/Amish are Jewish than I guess messianic Jews have been around for a while huh?

    (reply)
    • 07 Nov 11 at 10:55am

      Yes, I would say Messianic Jews have been for awhile, lol. It was very common for Jews to keep OT first names when they adopted German last names. Most Christians used NT names or cultural names. My dad’s side has a Samuel and Rebecca Kurtz in every generation going back to the 1600s when we left Strasbourg, Switzerland – one of the heaviest areas of Jews in Europe at that time. Many Jews were in the Alsace-Lorraine area. I keep hearing reports from both Jews and Mennonites that their DNA tests say that they match up. Jews contact me on Facebook and say they have found Mennonite ancestors and Mennonites contact me that they have Jewish ancestors.

      (reply)
  27. Andrea says
    10 Dec 11 at 5:20pm

    Dear Rebecca,
    I have the same sneaking suspicion as do you regarding our origins. I also have Mennonite ancestors. I think there is something Jewish in my background. Loooking for proof of it. Good luck to you, Andrea

    (reply)
    • 14 Dec 11 at 12:39pm

      You should get a DNA test.

      (reply)
      • Fred Dueck says
        06 May 12 at 11:57pm

        I am also as we are called a Russian Mennonite and take keen interest in knowing more about wether i have jewish conections or not.
        Here is another site that i came across and thought it was quite inlighting.
        http://www.mennoniteisrael.org/origin.cfm

        (reply)
  28. Camille Ney says
    08 Feb 12 at 11:52am

    Wow! i find this all very interesting. I have not yet read all the posts, but felt I should post here quick. My family is PA Dutch tho’ not Mennonite or Amish for at least many generations, i’m still searching that out. My dad always said we were “fancy Dutch” in that we don’t dress plain. Tho’ he and all his kin spoke PA Dutch. Sadly, my dad who was born in 1919, passed away when i was 16 (in 1990.. I was a late in life baby, and my mom his 2nd wife. )
    The reason, I’ve begun my search is that I’ve been asked if our family is Jewish by several people, and when i said ,”no, we’re PA Dutch” I always got looked at funny. apparently Ney is a surname that is commonly Jewish
    Anyway, thanks, now I will go back to reading.

    (reply)
  29. Ezra says
    11 Feb 12 at 6:41am

    These connections aren’t odd if you read the history of these religions. Khaballah was practiced by the majority of Sephardic Jews. Most “Christian” religions were started by Sephardic Jews. There is no mystery. Somehow people think that Jews and Christians are a—separate race? Just read. Mennonites haven’t always existed. Everything came from something else. I don’t understand how people forget this.

    (reply)
  30. Sally Herr says
    14 Feb 12 at 12:36am

    I am deeply touch by this blog. I, too, have always felt Jewish. My great grandfather was the most recent person to be of the Mennonite Faith, however traditions and beliefs have been passed down in my family and my Mennonite background is important to me. On my mother’s Mennonite side of the family, a German ancestor was identified as a banker. My understanding that only Jews were bankers. I wish you the best in your spiritual path, where ever it leads you.

    (reply)
  31. L. Simons says
    16 Feb 12 at 11:14am

    My dad’s side claim Mennonite heritage several generations back…though recent generations that settled in the Willamette valley in Oregon have pretty much left it…my mother’s side has some professed Jews (the Gednalske) side…and several of the other family names on mother’s side can ALL be found on Jewish registrars around Northern Europe…Dutch/German/Poland…

    This entire posts intrigues me…I would love to find someone/articles/books to follow up…If anybody knows of any..please, feel free to post where I can go next

    Thanks,
    L. Simons

    (reply)
  32. KC says
    07 Mar 12 at 7:58pm

    This is very interesting. I found your page while researching Ashkenazi Jews from the Rhineland/Palatine – where my Pa Dutch ancestors originate. Thanks for all the information.

    My mom’s side of the family is Pennsylvania Dutch. My grandparents both spoke Pa. German at home and their ancestors were Mennonites, Reformed Church, etc. My grandfather liked to joke that he was Jewish, because of his appearance and habits he liked to jokingly identify as Jewish. I joined a Genealogy board for my maternal grandfather’s family name (Frey – which is also a Jewish surname) and this topic came up on that board. It seems that other people with that family name had grandparents who’joked’ about being Jewish. I started wondering if this ‘joke’ wasn’t actually information passed down through generations.

    Oh yeah, I’ve been studying Qabala for over 40 years. It never occurred to me that my interest might possibly have had an ancestral connection. Go figure.

    (reply)
  33. NEIL says
    06 May 12 at 4:05pm

    FASCINATING BLOG!!! I’M OF ASHKANAZI JEWISH BACKGROUND

    (reply)
  34. David says
    18 Jun 12 at 4:42pm

    I just discovered this site and was reading the comments. My direct line paternal ancestors were from northern Germany, and were Lutheran. But I was surprised to find on having a Y-DNA test (passed from father to son) that I was in haplogroup E, which is more of a Mediterranean/Balkan/Middle East haplogroup, and only a few percent in northern Europe. It’s also the second largest founding lineage for Jewish males. My closest Y-DNA match and I speculate we may descend from a 15th Century Sephardic. But until more info comes along it’s speculative. However, we have discussed some apparent connections to Mennonites, Anabaptists, and Huguenots. Might be some spelling errors as the print is small.

    (reply)
  35. Carolyn Fast Thompson says
    23 Jun 12 at 5:40pm

    The key to finding your ancestry is through DNA. I have worked on the genealogies for years and, in most lines, have run into a wall in the late 1400′s. Unless you can go to Europe or can afford to hire a European genealogist, you will probably find the same. This is not far enough back to make the Jewish connection, in most cases. Check out the Mennonite DNA on http://www.familytreedna.com and http://www.mennonitedna.com to see if you can find your family, if you haven’t been tested. Then go to family tree to see if that name comes up on one of the Jewish studies, to see if the DNA is close to the same. Some surnames are names taken from places where they lived and some are trades or occupational names, so you cannot just go by the surname being the same. My Reimer relatives say that it has been passed down in the family that they were Hebrew. I have several surnames in my family that I have found Jews, not always with the same surname, with DNA that is close (in the 500-750 years back to a common ancestor). To find those with other surnames that match, you have to go through y-search and input your DNA. Just a side note: If you have had your DNA tested at Family Tree and think that they will give you any Jewish matches, if there are any, because they say that they give you matches from their data base. They won’t. They keep their Jewish data base separate from everyone else.

    (reply)
    • 11 Jul 12 at 6:05pm

      One of the main problems is that 1/3 of of the Holy Roman Empire was burned during the Thirty Years War, so all those birth/death/etc records in the churches and synagogues were lost. It is a stump that many cannot get past due to the destruction.

      (reply)
  36. Owen Rubel says
    03 Jul 12 at 7:39pm

    I was able to trace the Rubel family line to Bavaria all the way to the 14th century AD where we lived as Mennonites as a tribe known as ‘the Rubeli’ on the Swiss German border. The puzzle for me is that Jews with the name Rubel started cropping up around there (obviously from the same clan) but prior to 14th century, there were no Rubel mennonites and that was the first recorded baptism of a Rubeli. So Its quite possible we made several conversions back and forth.

    Also during my research, I found the name Rubel is a derivative of the name Reuben, one of the lost tribes of Israel I believe. Which makes since as the Mennonites were often galley slaves and are nomadic peoples.

    So very intriguing reading.

    (reply)
    • Wade Ruble says
      23 Oct 12 at 10:01pm

      Owen,
      I am very interested in our common genealogy, descendants of the Swiss/German Rubeli.. I presume that would have been Wilhelm (or William) . I would be most interested in seeing your information. Thanks. Wade Ruble

      (reply)
  37. Rubinstein says
    05 Sep 12 at 8:07am

    I’m Jewish with an “exclusively” Jewish surname; Rubinstein. A few years ago however an Amish family with the same name contacted us. They must have Jewish ancestors. Until now I was baffled as to how a Jewish family was Amish.

    It does seem that either the Amish and Mennonites were Jewish influenced directly or indirectly but at the very least we Jews have to admire their love of G-d and faithfulness to the Bible. It seems that the Amish are becoming more “Jewish” or simply finding their way back to their home whether that be literal eg by kinship or spiritual.

    I’ve heard of Amish official visits to Israel. Interestingly, some people from another isolated ethno-religious group; the Boer have started to convert to Judaism and move to Israel.

    It might just be that Israel is gathering her people once again.

    (reply)
  38. kg says
    26 Oct 12 at 12:00am

    It must be a sign of the coming of mashiach, that so many would try to find their hebrew roots. G-d has truly shown his miracles when his hidden people wish to hide no more.

    (reply)
  39. Michael Caza-Schonberger says
    23 Nov 12 at 11:12am

    If you’re one of us Mazal Tov on your discovery, if not that’s ok too as we are all one in Christ Jesus! As a Jew who came to Christ Yeshua from Orthodoxy I can assure you that Yeshua did not intend to start a new branch of Judaism, this being said, eat some delicious Mennonite treats such as sausages and paska, perogies and bacon, and so forth (I have many Mennonite friends from my church and for Passover I do a seder for them, and for Easter the do up a feast for me, and if it coincides with Passover they do everything unleavened for their Jewish brother). I’m so sick and tired of the whole Messianic Judaizing, it’s one thing to be Jewish and do Jewish things, it’s a completely different thing to claim Torat Moshe and Christ. Christ came to make a New Covenant, as Romans teaches the Law existed to point out how flawed we are, Christ came to put an end to Torah and it’s commandments, and gave us the New Covenant, and the New Changed law (Hebrews 7-8, Matthew 26, Romans, Galatians, Acts 15, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Phil. 3: 2-11, where Paul speaks out against such Judaizing dogs).
    Please, do not fall into the trappings of Messianic “Judaism”, being Messianic simply means being a Christian, washed in the blood of the Lamb. David Baron (who also came to Christ from Orthodox Judaism back in the 1800′s) wrote these words, which I sign off as my doctrinal beliefs:
    I believe with perfect faith in YHVH, the Eternal God of Israel, the God of love and Salvation, the creator of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. He is the one God and Father. Of Him, and Through Him, and to Him are all things, and He is over all, and with all, and in all. His is the Glory forever and ever. Amen
    I believe with a perfect faith that God- Blessed be His name!- and that the true worshippers must worship their father in heaven in spirit and in truth, for with such worshippers the Father is well pleased.
    I believe with a perfect faith in Jesus Christ our Lord, the only begotten, and well beloved of His Father in heaven, whom God raised up to be the Redeemer of Israel, according to the promise he made to our fathers by the mouth of His Holy Prophets- Who for us men and our salvation descended from heaven and became man.
    He was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the virgin Mary, of the seed of David, and was anointed by God with the Holy Ghost and with power. He was in all points tempted as we are, but without sin. He glorified His father in heaven and made known His name and His Holy will to the children of men. He walked about the earth doing good to the children of Israel.
    He bore the reproach of sinners, and was afflicted and humbled Himself unto death; yea the death of the cross- the Righteous One for the wicked.
    He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.
    Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and raised Him up again on the third day after His death and burial.
    He showed Himself openly to His disciples after His resurrection, and ascended into heaven, where He now sitteth at the right hand of God; but thence he shall come a second time in glory to set up His kingdom, restore all things, and to judge the quick and the dead.
    He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.
    I believe with perfect faith that Jesus Christ is the image of the invisible God, the effulgence of His glory, the very Image of His being, and the pre-existing cause of all things. He is the power of God, and the wisdom of God. In him dwelleth the fullness of Godhead bodily, and in Him are hid all treasures of wisdom and knowledge. He that seeth Him, seeth our Father in heaven. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and no one cometh unto the Father except by Him.
    I believe with a perfect faith that for us first God did raise up Jesus Christ, and sent Him to bless and to save His people from all their sins; and although our fathers rebelled and sinned against Him, God did not cast off His people, but exalted Jesus to be a Prince and a Saviour to give repentance to Israel and the forgiveness of sins- even to as many as believe on the name of Jesus Christ with a true and perfect heart.
    I believe with a perfect faith that by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God our fathers rebelled against the Messiah Jesus the King of Israel and His glory, that through their fall salvation may come to the gentiles, that they might be brought near to God and to His salvation in the Messiah. But when the fullness of the gentiles shall be gathered into His kingdom than all Israel shall be saved with an everlasting salvation, and the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God, and YHVH shall be King over all the earth.
    I believe with a perfect faith that the Messiah through His cross, when he offered Himself as a propitiation for the sins of the whole world, abolished the law of commandments and ordinances. which was the source of enmity between Jews and gentiles, and broke down the middle wall of partition that He might create in Himself of the two One New Man, reconciling both unto God, and creating peace between them. And now there is neither Jew nor Greek; there is neither bind nor free; there is neither male nor female, but all are one in Christ Jesus.
    I believe with a perfect faith that the Messiah is the end of the law unto righteousness to all them that believe on Him, and that it is by faith in Him apart from works of the law men are justified before God; for by the works of the law no flesh can be justified perfected.
    I believe with a perfect faith that in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availith anything nor uncircumcision, but a new creation, and faith which worketh by love; for love out of a pure heart is the end of the whole law and it’s true fulfilment, and whoever is in Christ is a new creation, created unto good works.
    I believe with a perfect faith in the Holy Spirit, the Blessed comforter, Who dwelleth forever with them that believe, to sanctify them and lead them into all truth.
    I believe with a perfect faith that God, who spake unto our fathers through the prophets, hath in the last days spoken unto us by His son Jesus the Messiah, and that both alike are words of the living God.
    I believe with a perfect faith that the Holy Scriptures which we now possess were written by the Holy Spirit, and are able to make us wise unto salvation through faith in the Messiah Jesus, and to lead us in the ways of righteousness so that we may be perfect and completely furnished unto all good works.
    I believe with a perfect faith in one holy *Catholic Church, consisting of the whole congregation of the saints, and built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus the Messiah Himself being the chief Corner-stone. I believe in one baptism; in the forgiveness of sins; in the resurrection of the dead; and in the life everlasting.
    Amen
    *Catholic simply means universal
    (Taken from David Baron’s article “The Jewish Creed And Our Hebrew Christian Confession Of Faith”)

    (reply)
    • 04 Dec 12 at 6:17pm

      Mazel Tov! However, I do disagree that Yeshua abolished the law. Yeshua berated the Jews for allowing man-made interpretations and traditions to nullify God’s laws and commands – this includes the Talmud. I am Torah observant in respect and reverence to my heavenly father’s requests to be righteous, and to Yeshua’s teachings on the Sermon on the Mount (where he stated that the Law was intact until heaven and earth pass away – which occurs after his second coming) and his warnings to the churches in Revelations to repent of their sin. According to John the Beloved, the definition of sin is the breaking of God’s laws. I do not follow any man-made interpretations or traditions – whether Jewish or Catholic/Protestant. But I do follow God’s laws. I don’t kill, steal, commit adultery, etc, etc, etc. And Jude already had warned that in the first century, some had “wormed their way in and were teaching that grace was a license to sin.” Which was NOT Yeshua’s teachings. Yeshua even warned in the Sermon on the Mount that many would call him Lord, prophesy in his name, heal in his name, and cast out demons in his name, but would not be allowed into heaven for their lawlessness. If you would like a history of the church, separated from Yeshua’s teachings, you can read the novel series: Secrets of the Immortal Nephilim. If you are unaware, Catholics pray to Mary, the “Mother of God” and other saints and angels which is strictly forbidden in Scriptures. YWH is a jealous God, and does not like us worshiping anyone (dead human or angel) but him.

      (reply)
  40. 02 Dec 12 at 9:05pm

    I’m so fascinated to find this article! I have to tell you there is a very strong family resemblance between you and I, and some of my other Steiner cousins. We also have that story of the Steiner who killed the bear (and looking at my dad’s and son’s shoulders, I truly can believe it).

    My grandma always said that there were Jews in the family, and that there was an altar cloth that had been handed down in the family for hundreds of years that was from a synagogue somewhere where one of our ancestors had been the rabbi. My dad asked about it a couple of years ago, and sure enough, it’s still here and obviously very, very old.

    So I followed one of these links to the Steiner DNA thread, and sure enough, Ashkenazi and Cohen DNA from several different branches of the family. I see a *lot* of “our” eyes in people named Cohen!

    I also found out the same day I found your blog that my husband’s great grandmother was Jewish Wolf, which is tribe of Benjamin. They are 1/8th from him besides what they get from me, so I need to make sure they are aware of genetic diseases for their own children.

    (reply)
  41. haim from isr says
    09 Dec 12 at 6:44pm

    You blog is very interesting
    The jewish population is pretty very small compare to history
    and persecution..
    It has to be larger…where all those people go and why they create
    different religion in others country
    One big reason may be the inquisition
    I also was surprice that people like amish are commented in this blog
    from my understanding they don’t use computer..or have access
    I alwas have the image of the movie witness whit harrison ford (half jewish)
    Thank you again

    (reply)
    • 29 Jul 13 at 7:23pm

      Hi! Amish are allowed to be “English” during the rumpspringa years. That is the time from about sixteen years till they decide to get married and join the church. It is a time for them to see the other side and choose whether or not they wish to stay Amish. Also, many former Amish become conservative Mennonites and are allowed to use computers but not televisions – like there is much difference nowadays. Then of course “plain” Mennonites appear just like other protestants, but are very disciplined in holiness (obedience to YHVH’s commands for purity and humility).

      (reply)
  42. Mills says
    19 Jan 13 at 7:41pm

    Interesting blog. Over all of these years, we all probably have a little Jew in us. The only thing that matters is Jesus is in your heart no matter if you are African, Amish, Asian, Jewish or English. We are all His children and none is better than the other.

    (reply)
  43. Mills says
    19 Jan 13 at 7:49pm

    another fact to consider is many Jews throughout history have changed their last names to sever ties to their Jewish identity. In order to protect their children from from suffering the persecution they had to endure. They wanted their children to live without the fear of persecution so the assimilated into culture and changed their names to Anglo names. So many Jews have the last name Smith and have no idea they are Jewish. Watch the movie Sarah’s Key http://weinsteinco.com/sites/sarahs-key/

    (reply)
  44. matt steiner says
    19 Jan 13 at 8:18pm

    My mother´s family was amish. Her aunt had the genetic testing done recently, ¨always thought we were swiss¨ she said. The results were 45% British Isles, 34% Eastern European, and 21% Scandinavian, which is interesting and enlightening. The test also failed to identify the Native America, Gypsy, Chinese, and Georgian (maybe the eastern european) ancestors known of through research. So, that said, I wonder what surprises my 3 other grandparents hold!

    (reply)
  45. Rohrer says
    02 Feb 13 at 10:57pm

    This sounds fascinating that Anabaptists all came from Jewish descent, but I would say, highly unlikely. Sure, there has been intermarriage and conversions on both sides – the book Frauen, a book about the women during the Third Reich, document this. Several women had Mennonite mothers and Jewish fathers. It’s a good book if you like primary sources.

    While there has been some intermingling, I doubt its really any different than Jews and Catholics intermingling, or any other religious sect intermarrying and mixing with others. Even in the closest groupsthere is always some cross over. And that’s not just for Jewish people and Mennonites. How many people have heard of Scottish Presbyterians? or Irish Catholics? Lots of religious groups are tied to a religious group. It’s only recently that they’ve begun to differentiate as groups become more acculturated to American society. There’s always a little flow between groups, but I doubt its that significant. Most Mennonites of European descent come from either Low German/ Netherlands county or from the Palatinate/ Swiss/ South German. Since Anabaptists aren’t simply one group, but many (Mennists, Swiss Brethren, Schwenkfelds, Obbites, and Hutterites, etc.) its unlikely they represented one people group.

    Rebecca, you, like me, descend from the Palatinate – Amish/ Swiss Brethren group. Where I grew up in Ohio has lots of Mennonite Kurtzes, as well as plenty of Lutheran ones. It could be that you had a Jewish ancestor, but it could be just as likely that your ancestor and another Jewish ancestor came from the same town or worked a similar trade. The fact is, names like Landis, Kurtz, Roth, and others aren’t Mennonite or Jewish names – they’re German surnames!

    That’s not to say there aren’t any striking similarities, which you’ve pointed out so well, Rebecca. But I wonder if that has more to do with their situation – historically being persecuted peoples – that has led to such similarities. I could probably find some big differences between Mennonites and Jews too, probably about as many as between Mennonites and Reformed Christians, or any other random group.

    If people are serious about doing some research on their families of Anabaptist/ Mennonite origin, I recommend several places:
    Mennonite Historical Library -Goshen Indiana: The most comprehensive collection of Anabaptist/ Mennonite writings, as well as extensive theological research.
    Lancaster Mennonite Historical Library
    Bethel College’s Mennonite Library – more for genealogical info on Russian Mennonite groups.
    Kidron, Ohio’s online genealogical site

    I’m a Mennonite pastor with a Master of Divinity from a Mennonite seminary as well was a history undergrad from a Mennonite liberal arts college. Maybe I’m all too familiar with Mennonites and Anabaptists!

    Blessings on your search!

    (reply)
    • 29 Jul 13 at 7:49pm

      The blog points out similarities and the probability of some very strong intermingling and intermarriage; it doesn’t present a thesis that “all Anabaptists came from Jewish descent” which I do not believe at all. Menno Simons has a street named after him in the Jewish section of where he grew up, and I remember that one of his descendants I went to college with at Goshen College said that Menno Simons was Jewish, which makes sense if he has a street named after him in the Jewish section he grew up in. Does that mean that all Mennonites descended from Menno Simons? Absolutely not. Of course not, that is laughable. But there is a lot of documented primary source documents correlating the history of these two groups intermingling. And to enlarge my point, Mennonites are a denomination connected to the other Anabaptist denominations, so I wouldn’t extend this theory to many of these other denominations. I took Anabaptist history with John D Roth. In undergrad I began as pre-archaeology for social anthropology; however YHVH told me to transfer to Goshen College, and my degree changed to simply history. Shalom. :D

      (reply)
      • 25 Nov 13 at 6:09am

        Hi Rebecca, I’m back visiting your blog and catch up reading many comments from Late 2012 to recent activity.I surprised that John Roth was your professor. Small world! I met him last year when he visited in my homeland Paraguay. He created an anabaptist database website. I just am shocked that Menno Simmons was Jewish. I guess he was possibles my ancestor because surname was infrequently changed from Simons to Siemens in Prussia. How can I take a DNA genealogy for identifying any descents whether Ashkenazi Jew. My background is Mennonite heritage back to 17th century.

        (reply)
  46. Daniel Koenig says
    14 Feb 13 at 1:35am

    I thought you might find this interesting. http://www.mennoniteisrael.org/images/pdf_files/mi-w-i-w.pdf

    (reply)
  47. Elsie Goossen says
    10 Mar 13 at 2:31pm

    My family has been Mennonite going back to West Prussia (Poland) in the 1500/1600’s. We were always told that before West Prussia, we came from northern Holland. Some ancestor lines go back to 1600’s and one to about 1550. With absolutely no information prior to 1500. My question has always been why do we have good records back to then, but nothing before that. My father did not have a good answer, except that the governments required them to start keeping records at that time.
    I decided to go to FamilyTreeDNA.com and get tested. I asked my brother to supply the Y-DNA, and had his Y-DNA tested to 67 markers. I had my mDNA tested to 67 markers. Then to check out their testing, I had my brothers mDNA tested and his was the same as mine. (So I know they are good.) My brothers “R1b1b2” leads us back to Spain, as does my “H-83”. A lot of my brothers matches are listed as “Sephardic” Jews, and a over half have spanish names. I decided I wanted to get my maternal Grandfather’s Y-DNA, and had to go to a male cousin. He was willing to get his Y-DNA tested, and the results came back “R1a1a”. This leads back to northern Europe. But of the 490 matches, 129 had listed that they knew they were “Ashkenazi”, 27 listed that they were “Ashkenazi-Levite” and 1 just said Jewish.
    DNA does not lie. I now believe that I have a Jewish Heritage. I have a theory as to why the “Jewish” information was not passed on. I believe that because of the Spanish Inquisition, and other times of Jewish persecution, they did not tell the children, and after many generations no one knew, so they had lost that they had a Jewish background. I believe that the feeling was if they don’t know they are Jewish they can’t say they are Jewish and they will not be persecuted as we have been in the past. DNA testing can prove what your ancestors were.

    (reply)
    • 29 Jul 13 at 7:58pm

      During the Hundred Years War between the Catholics and Protestants, 1/3 of the Holy Roman Empire (Germany, Switzerland, etc) was burned, so all birth and death records which were kept in church and synagogue records would have been burnt. This is why many descendants from these areas cannot trace their genealogy past the 1600s. Germany had one of the largest Jewish populations (along the Rhine and Moselle Rivers) in the Middle Ages even though so many of them were massacred during the Crusades. The pope made a decree that anyone who killed a Jew on their way to the Crusades would get to go to heaven. And the pope also said anyone who killed a Jew would get to inherit their property and their debt (if that Jew loaned them money) would be eradicated with that Jew’s death who held their debt. So, even more paperwork extinguished.

      (reply)
  48. harris m freedman says
    13 Jun 13 at 12:18am

    #1. Jews do not believe in Jesus Christ
    #2 To be a Jew you must have a Jewish mother.
    #3 Jews do not accept messianic Jews as Jews.
    #4 The Christians turned the old test upside down to make Christ the messiah
    #5 Jews believe if you are a righteous person regardless of your religion you will
    get to heaven.
    Best wishes to everyone

    (reply)
    • 11 Jul 13 at 10:37am

      Hi :D
      Judaism is a religion founded at Mount Sinai by YHVH. Anyone who turns from their pagan roots/beliefs/traditions and promises to obey His laws and become His are allowed to become a Jew. That is why you can convert to Judaism. The DNA genetic definition should really use another term like “Hebrew” or something because you can convert to Judaism but you cannot convert to Chineseness, lol. Hence a lot of confusion.
      I am Torah observant and through the writings of the prophet, Yeshua does meet all requirements for the Meshiac who has to come before the 2nd temple is destroyed, which he did. Most Jews have the same problem as Christians, both listen to their rabbis (teachers), pastors, etc instead of reading all the scriptures for themselves. This is where control and manipulation come in, as well as power struggles. It is where deception comes in as well. Everyone should read the holy scriptures for themselves instead of listening to the interpretations and rationalizations of others. Most Jews read the Talmud more than the Torah and prophets. Most Christians read inspirational/Christian modern books more than the Torah, prophets, and New Testament.
      Yeshua fulfills the scripture prophecies as the “suffering” messiah in Isaiah who dies between criminals. The Kingly return, which most all of messianic prophecies in the prophet writings haven’t occurred yet, but it is coming closer. The Book of Adam and Eve also discuss the messiah who dies and resurrects restoring the ability to be restored from the curse from the Garden of Eden. Unfortunately, by and large, Christians do not obey the laws; therefore, they still suffer from the curses of breaking God’s laws.
      I am of the Jewish faith and of Jewish descent. I think for myself. And I know Yeshua is the fulfillment of the Suffering Messiah prophesied in Isaiah. This shouldn’t be about religiosity, but about truth.
      Shalom!!!!!!!

      (reply)
  49. Chad says
    16 Jun 13 at 11:00pm

    This is such a crazy find. I, too, have been told over and over agian how jewish I look. My Grandfather left the Amish country and became a Mennonite, so my father’s blood line is almost entirely Anabaptist (if not 100 percent anabaptist) which puts me at half. Like others have stated, most all of my tracable bloodline originates from the German/Swiss boarder. Many were born in one country, but died in the other. My last name is Yoder which isn’t exactly Jewish to my knowlege, but there are many Jewish surnames scattered through the geneology such as Miller. My grandmother’s maiden name is Chupp, which I guess goes all the way back to the name tzshopp, or something like that. I’ll have to do more research. Having spend a fair amount of time in the Amish country I’ll have to ask the relatives that still live that way what their opinions on the matter are.

    (reply)
  50. lyla says
    01 Jul 13 at 11:03pm

    Family roots for me are much like a lot of yours in this train of thought. I have no religion pushing my curiosity, but history of pogroms and various modes of repression would be enlightening to clarify. I like that dna testing can’t always prove things definitively but would still like to know the truth of these matters. Economic and social refugees continue to emerge in epidemic proportions. Maybe our stories could contribute to creating a world that begins to solve some of these issues. Maybe some ‘truth and reconciliation’ is in order.

    (reply)
  51. deborah says
    21 Jul 13 at 10:51pm

    ..My great grandparents came from Germany. I believe they were Mennonites, as some of my grandfathers brothers were. Pictures show them looking very much amish or Mennonite. They settled in an area that had many of that faith. If so, my grandfather walked away from the faith, and had little to do with his family, which fits the shunning scenario. My father said that he saw his grandparents a few times, and the grandfather had a long beard, and they were quiet ánd stern. The surname is Bachman, which is a Jewish surname. My son is very Jewish in looks, my daughter looks very German. It is an interesting mystery!

    (reply)
  52. George Collord says
    11 Sep 13 at 9:29pm

    Fascinating accounts! I’m sure you’re familiar with the like findings and theories espoused by Drs. Elizabeth Hirschman and Donald Yates in their book, Jews and Muslims in British Colonial America.

    (reply)
    • 09 Oct 13 at 3:06pm

      I haven’t read that, but one day, when I have time, maybe I will be able to. Thank you.

      (reply)
  53. Henry Swarey says
    05 Oct 13 at 1:49pm

    Rebecca, I know that you can recognize my name a mile away. It’s a very common Amish name. My Father and Mother were disfellowshipped from the Amish when I was a year old. I have run across some startling information about Jewish surnames in my family tree. I was certain that Schwarie (original spelling) was German until I ran across the name of a Romanian Jew from the 1700s whose name was Schwarie Levenson. The I find, that Byler is Ashkenazim Jewish. That’s my mother’s maiden name. Kaufman, Schrock, Zook, and many other names are common among Jews. My Great Uncle Levi Joseph Kanagy visited Israel many years ago and was told he was a Jew, and was welcome to live there. What is the best way for me to proceed from here? To be honest I would like to have dual citizenship in the U.S. and Israel if that is possible. At the very least I would like to have a Rabbi confirm or deny my suspicion that I might be a Jew.

    (reply)
    • 09 Oct 13 at 2:51pm

      To get citizenship in Israel, you need to make Aliyah. You need to find a lawyer who specializes in this. The lawyer will contact the nation of Israel for you. You need evidence of Jewish ancestry, so begin researching. I do not believe you can make Aliyah without going through a lawyer. I have heard from some Amish and Mennonites that they have made Aliyah. One of your problems that many Ashkenazi run into is the Hundred Years War. One third of the Holy Roman Empire was burned including synagogues’ birth, marriage, and death records. This unfortunately is where many researchers hit a dead end. For many Jews, this evidence made it easier to hide ancestry for persecution sake; however, for those wanting to prove ancestry now-a-days, it makes it very difficult. Blessings on your journey. Shalom.

      (reply)
  54. cathy carnahan says
    16 Oct 13 at 4:50pm

    Shalom: I’ve been searching geneology of my Amish and Mennonite ancestors, who immigrated to USA in the 1810′s. The Mennonites are so great to have already done most of the hard work for me. I also had genetic testing (Red Cross lab) for gluten sensitivity. I don’t understand the science of this subject. But, I as found to carry HLA DQB1 0609 and 0501. 0609 is what threw me into geneology research, because it seems so far-fetched for me to have it!!! I have been brought into a 2 plus year walk in Hebrew roots study and Torah. If any one has Augsburger, Goldsmith, Kinsinger,Konig, ect. in their family please contact me. Also, if you can give me any info on HLA DQB1 0609!!! Cathy catniris@yahoo.com

    (reply)
  55. Heather Stoudt-Gammachd says
    22 Oct 13 at 10:52pm

    This is in answer to Dawn Kornels reply. The Amish & the PA Dutch are not the same thing. They did both immigrate from the Rhineland-Palitinate area of Germany, but they speak very different dialects. My entire family is PA Dutch, and we are catholic, not anabaptist (Amish). I can’t understand many of the Amish.

    (reply)
    • Camille Ney says
      29 Nov 13 at 9:54pm

      Heather, my dad could speak Pennsy Dutch and communicate with the local Amish. He told me once that the dialects in different areas were somewhat different but not impossible to decypher. Our family settled in Schuylkill Co after living in Berks.

      (reply)
  56. sara says
    03 Nov 13 at 10:16pm

    I’m so glad to have found this site! I am 100% born from Mennonite parents and started studying my ancestry as a teenager. I discovered that my Hershey family ancestors were descended from Jog Hershari, of Appenzell Switzerland, who was a Jewish man who converted to Christianity in the 1400′s. This is documented in the Hershey family history books. I more recently discovered that another Mennonite ancestor, Hans Groff, who immigrated to Lancaster Co, PA in the 1700′s was descended from a Jewish rabbinical family. He is the founder of Earl Township, in Lancaster Co. and invited Mennonites to settle in this region. The name “Groff” comes from the word “Graff” which indicates writing, or people who were scribes. I’ve also been inquisitive, perplexed and fascinated by these connections. My guess is that many of the Jewish-Mennonite conversions happened due to the Spanish Inquisition, at least this is what my family history suggests. The Waldenses-early church connection is also plausible. In any case, there IS a connection, but why?

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    • Eileen says
      11 Feb 14 at 11:21pm

      Sara, my Mother was raised Mennonite. Her last name was Good. We have the name Groff in our family also. I was raised in Lancaster Co. Pennsylvania. Recently our son took a DNA test called genebase.. On my side I had a strong Ashkenazi result. Some were from Russia and Poland. I appreciate learning from this site!

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      • Eileen says
        11 Feb 14 at 11:33pm

        My Grandmother was Sarah Groff. Her parents were Mary H Wenger and Elam S Groff. Mary’s parents were David S Wenger and Susanna K Horst.

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  57. Sarah says
    04 Nov 13 at 6:10pm

    This is very interesting. I found this site while looking for information about why a person who is Jewish would convert to the Mennonite faith, which happened with my grandmother’s distant relatives at some point in their history, perhaps hundreds of years ago, but I have not been able to discover why they did that or when. A couple of family members took the Family Finder test on http://www.familytreedna.com and found that our relatives fit into the Middle Eastern (Palestinian, Bedouin, Druze, Jewish) population finder group in addition to their other known population group. After reading the comments, it seems clear that many people would add a lot to their knowledge by doing the family finder test, too.

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  58. Helga Bartel says
    09 Nov 13 at 11:54pm

    I am thrilled to have found this blog; there is so much interesting information. I am descended on my mother’s side from three Solomon Neufeld’s. We have been told by a genealogist who did some of our Bartel family history where it overlapped with theirs that the Bartel surname came from Bartholomew (one of the disciples). When I asked my 91 year-old aunt if she knew of Jewish ancestry, she said that her mother (a Neufeld) had sometimes made comments to that effect. I can trace the Neufeld part of my ancestry back to the 1600′s in Prussia. The church which housed the Bartel history burned in the mid 1800′s in what became Wymyschle Poland.

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  59. Camille Ney says
    29 Nov 13 at 9:58pm

    I just read an interesting book: Melungeons: The Last Lost Tribe in America by Elizabeth Hirshman if anyone wants to give it a looksee

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  60. Joseph says
    26 Dec 13 at 8:10pm

    I stumbled across this today. Very interesting. My mother’s maiden name is Appleman which is a Jewish surname as well. Both my maternal grandparents are Pennsylvania Dutch. My uncle did research and found that they came from palatine-Rhineland. I’m not sure if my ancestors were of Jewish descent. I know what you mean about “feeling” Jewish though. I always felt in my heart of hearts Israel is my true homeland. I know to make Aliyah different criteria must be met.

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  61. 17 Aug 14 at 1:27am

    I am reading a book about Amish and one of the surnames used is Kurtz so I Googled, ( is Kurtz an Amish name ) and found this site. I am intrigued to see that it is not only Amish but also Jewish. My maiden name is Kurtz. I knew it to be German but am blessed to see this. My mothers’ name was Bachmann and her family was German and I have always wondered if it was Jewish and have noticed that it is an Amish name also. I am excited to see this information. Thanks for posting.

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  62. John Slonaker says
    17 Aug 14 at 10:46am

    My mother’s parents were both Hersheys, Swiss Mennonites of Lancaster and York counties, PA. She would tell me her “Jewish” nose gave some credence to the claim that Hersheys were originally Jews with the name Hersch or Hirsch and that they had come into Switzerland from the Italian Piedmont because of papal persecutions. The spelling of Hershey among the first to come to the US was often Hersche. See History and Records of the Hershey Family from the Year 1600 by Scott Hershey, who speaks of the Jewish roots.

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  63. cindy mottern says
    23 Aug 14 at 8:08pm

    wow..i have handwritten family history by my grandmother in which it is stated that my grandmother’s great grandfather/wife were “tenants on a mennonite farm”..i believe it is was in germany at the time..i know she was Elizabeth Jacob..their daughter was Anna Schlabach who married herman peter(s) who then had my grandmother Alvina…,,it seems that my paternal grandmother was “pa dutch” which was “confessed ” on my auntie’s deathbed..my husband’s grandmother ..a zimmerman maintained their family was pa dutch..

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  64. Margaret says
    01 Sep 14 at 10:14am

    Thanks – all very interesting!
    How wonderful is the internet – all the info one can get and then, with just a click…around the world in a tick!

    I started writing a book – memoirs/anecdotes – but then decided that I first really need to understand my roots…WOW, what a mission, even though I do have a small amount of info from one of my uncles (now deceased) in Pennsylvania. We come directly from the Amish Pioneer Jacob Beiler (Beyeler) who married Veronica Yoder and this spreads out to include many other common Amish/Mennonite names – Plank/Blank, Byler, Kurtz, Lantz, Stolzfus, Koenig (King), Fischer, Kauffman etc. Jacob Beiler came from the Bern area of south-western Switzerland, as did quite a few of the early Amish such as the Yoders.

    Being a linguist and having lived in both Germany (Cologne in the lower Rhine area)) and Austria and having visited Switzerland a few times, I can pick out where people are from (to a large extent). For example, there is a difference between Austrian and Swiss German and in Switzerland there is actually a language/dialect Schwyzter Duetsch (pronounced Shvitzer Dootsh) which, when written, looks to me like Schwyzter Duetsch and, even without having done much research for this so far, I feel that this is why in PA the dialect is called Pennsylvanian Dutch. My father, who came to South Africa in the early 1930′s with a good job offer, told me that “Dutch” was not to do with Holland but with Germany. Unfortunately I have only been to that part of the USA once, when I was still young and not interested in genealogy! In Rebecca’s PA Amish sticker in her blog, the word “mer” for “we” is also “mer” in the Cologne dialect.

    I am very interested in names and noticed that quite a lot of the last names are spelled in the Jewish way, e.g. Shmuckler and not Schmuckler, Kauffman not Kaufmann, Stolzfus not Stoltzfuss. Of course names do change through the ages, especially when some people (more so the women) are illiterate. And in Pennsylvania and Ohio, many last names have been altered (like Beiler, Byler, Boiler, Beller); sometimes to make them more English or for other reasons.

    With the research and DNA testing byAllen Beiler (PA) on the small Y chrososome and his view that the Beyelers originated from Persia (the word “Bey” having been a military leader in Persian times), I started investigating whether there had been Jews who moved to south-western Germany. Allen says that the Beyeler family moved to that area north of the Swiss border and then later to Switzerland. My question would be: would they have migrated due to religious persecution of being Mennonite or a similar Christian faith or were they Jews? I don’t really care – I am a Protestant (Anglican) and don’t plan on changing! But I do find it fascinating – and my father, more so than his siblings, did look quite Jewish. BTW my father married a South African of English descent on her mother’s side and we were brought up very English (as in England, not Amish English!).

    An interesting point – I believe that, in broader terms, most American Jews are from Poland, whereas those in South Africa (there are many in Johannesburg where I live, as well as in CapeTown) are from Lithuania.

    Well, back to the puzzle of the family tree – totaly intriguing and all consuming!

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  65. Levi says
    09 Sep 14 at 12:53am

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  66. Horacio says
    20 Sep 14 at 2:20pm

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  67. 02 Oct 14 at 6:11am

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    (reply)
  68. Daniel says
    17 Oct 14 at 3:40am

    i must, I have seen some connected, I just came to learn in my Germanic roots there could be done Jewish roots, but barely over time. I think fair say Jewish will do Circumcision on infant, which make them Jewish. If there mother is a Jew. Would you agree?

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