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

Although it has been documented and is well known amongst various Jews and Mennonites, Menno Simons (the father of the Mennonites) was a Jew who accepted Yeshua as the messiah.  Many Mennonites do not celebrate Christmas or other former pagan days due to this heritage.  However, not all Mennonites stem from Jewish ancestry, but some do.  The Mennonite faith was developed with an emphasis on holiness, community, and pacifism, and many joined due to its beliefs and not its bloodline during the turbulent One Hundred Years Wars between the Catholics and Lutherans which decimated a third of the Holy Roman Empire’s population.

Let us look at the similarities between the Hasidic Jews and the Amish.

Admittedly, a lot of Mennonite and Amish surnames are exactly the same as some German Jewish surnames, but this is not much evidence. However, after reading The Chosen many other thoughts are coming to mind with more and more similarities becoming apparent.

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.  To the right is a Hasid star.

Hasid Star of David

Hasid Star of David

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.

Another point to consider are 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.  It is believed that they were Jews Of The Way (Jews who believed Yeshua was the Messiah).  Supposedly, they had originated in Israel, had been expelled by the Romans after the destruction of Jerusalem, and then had fled up into and, some, over the Alps for safety from persecution.  The term “Anabaptist” had originated with them a thousand years before the Protestant Reformation.

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 (a Mennonite) 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 neighborhood 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 there is a payment for atonement for sins by Christ’s sacrifice. That a person’s daily life should be righteous and obedient to all commands 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 holy, unselfish, longsuffering and forgiving.

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


  1. Ian says:

    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.

    • Suzanne Utts says:

      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.

  2. Linda Hafer says:

    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.

    • Stephen says:


      I believe that the comment referring to “grace – license to sin” actually was referring to the Protestant viewpoint regarding their perception that grace abounds, not to the author above’s personal belief.

      PS I was born Jewish but now a conservative Mennonite of the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite.

    • Darlene says:

      Read Romans 6:1-11. That says it all about the so called license to sin.

  3. Dawn Kornels says:

    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…

    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.

    • S.Sawatsky says:

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

      • 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.

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

    • 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.

    • s.sawatsky says:

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

    • Lydia says:

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

    • Suzanne Utts says:

      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,

      • Yeah, I’d like to learn more myself on the Waldenses.

      • Linda Ux Case says:

        My father’s family was from Bowmanstown, PA aresa and were of the “black hat wearers”. They were Schwenkfelder’s, followers of Caspar Schwenkfeld, coming from Nieder Harpersdorf, Germany, after the war and boundaries changed this is Poland. My maiden name was Ux. I am able to trace back to my great grandfather Isaac Ux, son of Maria Yeakel but then I hit a brick wall…there is no Ux father for him as he was born out of wedlock. I have heard through the family stories that the Ux surname could have come as a result of phonetic spelling, could be Ochs, Ox, Utz, Utts. My question to you is do you have any Schwenkfeld history in your lineage? Thank you for a response…

    • Sarah Gordon says:

      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.

    • Rohrer says:

      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.

      • 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.

    • pam king says:

      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

    • Heather Gammache says:

      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.

    • Agatha says:

      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

    • Jack McCarthy says:

      Dawn could you contact me at my email. I have jewish DNA and Mennonite decendents.

    • Benjamin Christner says:

      I have been able to connect most of my ancestor’s surnames to Jewish ancestry but the one I haven’t been able to verify is my own “Christner” surname. I was wondering if you know anything about it. I know that my Christner ancestors came from Alsace Lorraine and immigrated to Indiana and Illinois.

    • Charles says:

      Pennsylvania Dutch most definitely does NOT mean that you are Amish. You need to read up on the history of Pennsylvania Dutch people. They were of many religions, and from all over the old Holy Roman Empire, their common thread is that most came to Pennsylvania colony from the Palatinate. Their ancestors, having come from other areas and several generations living in the Palatinate prior to coming to the New World spoke a similar dialect of German that developed along the Rhineland. My ancestors were Pennsylvania Dutch settlers, and we’re Swiss Reformed in religion.

    • Maria Wieler says:

      I also would LOVE to communicate with Dawn Kornels if possible!! I am trying to find out if I am related to any of the Israeli tribes!

  4. Brauche says:

    (about the middle of the page)

    it’s not all “white” magic…

  5. 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.

    • Trena Pelsy Garrison says:

      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!


      • 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).

        • Trena Pelsy Garrison says:

          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.

        • Darlene says:

          My mother’s family name is Zacharias. Up until my mother married out of her Mennonite faith, they were old order Mennonites. Her family came to Canada from Russia in the 1800’s because of the offer of cheap land for farming. They had originally come from the Swiss-German border area, but had left there because of severe persecution and because Catherine the Great, was offering safety and land for farming. I am not sure of the date of this move, but the persecution resumed after they had been there a certain length of time. (Not sure of the length of time) The Russian army drove many of them out and they fled to various places, Canada being one of them. I read a family diary as a teen( I thought it was at my great-aunt’s). When I asked her about it as an adult, she didn’t know what I was talking about, even though she is as sharp as a tac. Wish I could remember for sure where I read it. It was very detailed. I have always suspected that our family had Jewish routes because of the family name, but I can’t go back any further than the German link. Persecution seemed to follow them wherever they went though. There has even been some since they came to Canada, though not as harsh or life threatening that I know of. Not because of the Jewish link though, because I doubt that many knew there was one.

    • Greta Petrich says:

      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

  6. Joseph says:

    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.

    • Gunnar MM1129-022 says:

      I would have to say that I agree. I am a Hans Groff (Bäretswil, Canton Zürich, Swtizerland) descendant and have experience of Judaism since I was very young.

      The family I am tied into has Y DNA haplogroup E-V13 (Hans Gusel Graff). The family migrated back and forth for some time between Bäretzwil, Switzerland and Sinsheim, Germany before coming to North America. They are referred to as “Anabaptists”. So the Groffs appear to be “Albanian” or “Kosovan” if you look at the geograpahic DNA concentration. In truth Kunrat Graff (the first Graff mention in the village) could very have been the descendant of Roman soldiers brought in from the Balkans.

      As regards proof of Jewishness, NO Jewish rabbi or Beit Din (Jewish court) (save for coaxing by a significant note passed under the table) is going to approve as Jewish anyone claiming Anabaptist origins (even if you can show them a DNA test result with Cohen or Levi haplotypes). They will ask you for your parents’, grandparents’ or perhaps your great gransparents’ ketuba (Jewish marriage certificate) or a picture of their JEWISH burial stone, i.e. some evidence that you have recent ancestors who have lived a Jewish life. Failing that they will ask you for a certificate that you have converted to Judaism (and this is where the fun begins of finding out which conversion is accepted by which rabbies or authorities).

      Keep in mind that for western (Azhkenaz) Jews, surnames are a late invention (almost as late as for Nordic families) and you can have lots of families with the same surname who have absolutely no relation or geographic affinity whatsoever. For the PA Dutch, surnames were most often in use well before western Jews started having them. There is a famous rabbnical family “Graff/Groff”. However, I would be highly surprised if these “Groffs” are not much younger than our family and have no relation to our Groff family.

      Israel would NEVER accept for aliyah (in particular in these times) ANY person who claims Jewish lineage and cannot present but loosly thrown-together historical account of PA Dutch (or Amish) ancient history. And even if they did, it would have to relate to your mother or mother’s mother or her mother. If Israel had any intention of doing something like that, you would read about rabbis and Israeli scholars coming to Amish colonies and studying these people as an potential enclave of “lost Jews” (as they did in Ethiopia and India).

  7. 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!

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

  9. 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,

  10. 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..


  11. Katusha says:

    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)))))))))))))))

    • 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.

      • Lyell Banman says:

        Hi there! Wow, I’m absolutely astounded by what I’m reading here. I’ve been surfing the web, back and forth, mostly for genealogies and so on. My surname is Banman, and I can trace my history back starting from the most recent to of old: Belize, Mexico, Canada, Ukraine(South Russia) Poland(Prussia) and lastly Netherlands. I read a lot in mennoniteisrael.org and found that so helpful. Do you have any sources for family names? My mothers side is Thiessen and her father was in his heart and some actions a Jew!! We always thought it absurd, but i see it as a fact more and more so every day!

  12. Joseph says:

    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

    Email: harvest2020@aol.com

  13. Trena Pelsy Garrison says:

    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…..

  14. Trena Pelsy Garrison says:

    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…..

  15. Trena Pelsy Garrison says:

    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!!

    • 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.

      • Trena Pelsy Garrison says:

        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!

  16. Kara says:

    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.

    • 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.

    • Trena Pelsy Garrison says:

      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.

    • Jack McCarthy says:

      Do a DNA test.

    • Trena Pelsy Garrison says:

      I just saw this post!! You won’t believe this….BOTH of my parents’ families also came from the Aargau region on Switzerland. Last names were Abersoll/Abresol and Frey/Frei. I have long thought there was a Jewish connection, but have run into a brick wall. I also have Amish/Mennonite background via the Apostolic Christian church. I am giving the admins of this page to give you my email address. I think we need to talk!!

  17. Ron Kraybill says:

    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?

    • 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. 🙂

  18. Leroy Miller says:

    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

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

    • pam king says:

      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.

  19. Trena Pelsy Garrison says:

    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!!

  20. Vicky says:

    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.

    • 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.

      • I have been working on the Amish-Mennonite-Jewish connection for many years. I live in Lancaster County, PA and firmly believe as in the case of Milton Hershey (the chocolate baron) that these people were orginally Jewish.
        In the case of Hershey, his 9 times great grandfather was a person Jog Hershe and he was Jewish. I am cerrtain there are many more like this.

  21. Dan Watts says:

    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.

  22. Amelia says:

    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

  23. Texas55 says:

    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.

    • 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.

  24. CHRIS says:

    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.

    • Yes, it does. Thank you so much!

    • Greta Petrich says:

      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

    • Suzanne Utts says:

      Where can I get this DNA test?

  25. 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
    -Steiner (not sure from Mennonite ancestor)
    -Vogel (Uncommon in Mennonite, but common in Jewish)
    -Wolf (sometime Wulf in Mennonite)

    Any question? Please email me!

    • 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.

      • Hi, thanks for reply.. it was overdue 😛 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 🙂

        • Greta Petrich says:

          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.

          • 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:

    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?

    • 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.

  27. Andrea says:

    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

  28. Camille Ney says:

    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.

  29. Ezra says:

    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.

  30. Sally Herr says:

    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.

  31. L. Simons says:

    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

    L. Simons

  32. KC says:

    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.

  33. NEIL says:


  34. David says:

    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.

  35. Carolyn Fast Thompson says:

    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.

    • 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.

  36. Owen Rubel says:

    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.

    • Wade Ruble says:

      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

  37. Rubinstein says:

    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.

  38. kg says:

    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.

  39. Michael Caza-Schonberger says:

    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.
    *Catholic simply means universal
    (Taken from David Baron’s article “The Jewish Creed And Our Hebrew Christian Confession Of Faith”)

    • 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.

  40. 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.

  41. haim from isr says:

    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

    • 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).

  42. Mills says:

    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.

  43. Mills says:

    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/

  44. matt steiner says:

    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!

  45. Rohrer says:

    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!

    • 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. 😀

      • 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.

      • Brenda Weber says:

        Hi Rebecca, I have been working on my family tree for a few years now and have found a surprising number of Jewish surnames among my Swiss Anabaptist ancestors. The names like Wyss, Lockmann, Graf, Burkholder, Huber, Steiner, Kohler, Kauaffmann and others. Also there are DNA projects that are making the connections to those Jewish roots among the Mennonites. As far as if they were observant Jews who converted by choice, forced, (the Catholics would kill the parents and baptize the children and place them in Catholic homes) or they may have been a part of the believing remnant that our faithful LORD has always reserved for himself through the first generation of believing Jews that were driven out of Israel when Rome burned it, we just won’t know until we stand before him in Glory. When I visited Israel in the year 2000 there was no doubt in my spirit I felt I was Home. But had no hard evidence to base that on until 2010 when I started my research. Best wishes as you continue. I have set my own heart to know his word and to do it! Shalom

  46. Daniel Koenig says:

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

  47. Elsie Goossen says:

    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.

    • 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.

  48. harris m freedman says:

    #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

    • Hi 😀
      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.

      • moe rosenhek says:

        The post by Harris M Freeman sums it up.
        From a religious perspective, to be Jewish, according to conservative and orthodox law, your mother has to be Jewish. It has little to do with blood or DNA. And it’s true that God doesn’t give a hoot about what you believe. All he expects is for you to be a good person and perform good deeds while on planet earth.

        To me, OTOH, Jewishness is really about ethnicity, culture and nationhood. That is why there are even atheist Jews. Do you think God cares what we think? He is far to confident to worry about such triviality.

        I do however find it interesting and of no surprise that there is commonality between Anabaptists and the Jews. Ashkenazi Jews (I am one) and you folks come from similar geographic regions. We share surnames names because we (and you) were forced to take surnames in the 1700s so we could be more easily tracked for tax and draft. Our use of OT first names is simply because we both follow the OT. Yiddish (our mother language) is based on Medieval High German and so is your language. Yep is is similar indeed 🙂

        That said, I am no expert on any of this, especially religion. I wish you well.

        A gutn tog, un gei in gezunterheyt 😉

        • Marc says:

          Lot of interesting material here, I dont like yours and doubt you speack for GOD. HE expects us to turn and surrender all to HIM, our desires and wants, giving up all ego and earthly lust. Good deeds… mode of goodness gets a nice rebirth, point. Athiests do good deeds. Even satanists thinks they do good. HE does care what we Think, it’s, we, are all about consciousness and thoughts (soul), HE cares not about religion or names or languages or race, those are bodily trivalities.

        • Michael W Cuber says:

          Avraham spoke to the Lord face to face, Yacov wrestled with him, Moshe spoke with Him face to face. The Pharisees didn’t know who He was when He was standing right in front of them. Orthodox Judaism is still trying to hide the innocent Blood of Yeshua HaMessiach!
          All of this was prophesied of in the Tanach. Some of us know who we are and Who are Master is regardless of Halakha or Talmud. Paul states that there are ” Jews who are not Jews.” The reality is most Jews can’t trace their ancestory back very far, or know for sure whether they are not of Khazarian ancestory. I’d like to believe that my ancestors were not Turkic, but I’m Torah Observant (to the best of my limited ability) and I know the Righteous Branch that I want to remain grafted into, and Messianic Judaism is the Judaism of the Tanach. Baruch Haba Bshem Yehova!
          Baruch Atta Yeshua HaMessiach!

  49. Chad says:

    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.

  50. lyla says:

    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.

  51. deborah says:

    ..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!

  52. George Collord says:

    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.

  53. Henry Swarey says:

    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.

    • 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.

  54. cathy carnahan says:

    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

  55. Heather Stoudt-Gammachd says:

    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.

    • Camille Ney says:

      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.

  56. sara says:

    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?

    • Eileen says:

      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!

      • Eileen says:

        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.

    • Shirley Wilbers says:

      Hi cousin !
      I am wondering about the documentation of Hans Groff. I had read another blog that mentioned that but in searching Jewish sites found nothing to confirm that he was from a rabbinical family. Is there a listing of rabbis in Switzerland that can confirm this ? Has any other Groff/Horst descendent taken the DNA test ? I have always been tempted to but the cost was too much.

  57. Sarah says:

    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.

  58. Helga Bartel says:

    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.

  59. Camille Ney says:

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

  60. Joseph says:

    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.

  61. 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.

  62. John Slonaker says:

    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.

  63. cindy mottern says:

    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..

  64. Margaret says:

    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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  68. Daniel says:

    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?

  69. CMH says:

    Ashkenazi Jews and Anabaptists have a long history in German speaking countries, and that’s why their last names are German. I can distinguish easily between an Amish name and a Jewish name. I’m a religious Jew. Many people find themselves drawn toward Judaism, simply because God gave the Bible – the instruction manual for life – to the Jews. Just because your family has a German name and was persecuted by the dominant religion, that does not make you Jewish. What makes you Jewish is if your mother’s mother’s mother’s mother’s mother… all the way back thousands of years ago – stood at Mount Sinai and received the Torah from Moses. Or you’ve undergone a long conversion process via an Orthodox Jewish court. Otherwise, you are not Jewish.

  70. moe rosenhek says:

    A geshenk far dir …
    Hanoe hobn 🙂

  71. moe rosenhek says:

    Un oykh …

    Can you understand? Farhsteyn du?

  72. […] Internet is so sneaky. It leads you off in all these different directions. I came across this page on connections between Mennonites and Jews. There are a lot of similarities between the two faiths, […]

  73. Cheryl says:

    I am just coming into a deep longing to know my roots.
    I know a few names in my mom’s side I know there were Jantz’s that came from (I believe Russia) and I know some of them and some May’s settled in Kansas and some were mennonite. I know my grandmother was Lillian Jantz.
    I am trying to find out what chance there is of Jewish lineage. I have limited family knowledge as we moved most all of my childhood. Any help or ideas is appreciated.

  74. Peter McLaughlin says:

    Hello, I have Mennonite ancestry. The Mennonites I go back to were married into the United Bretheren Church. The more I do research on the Bretheren families in my line, the more I find Jewish surnames and immigrants from the Palitinate. Does any of you studied people know whether there is a connection here? Most of the Bretheren in my family were “German” speaking immigrants, and were very closely related to the Amish and Mennonites by family ties. For instance, the family of Abraham H. Mayer, and his son in law Reverend Abraham Friedt, both of Montgomery and Bucks counties, PA. I believe they were Mennonite, but the daughter of Abraham Friedt married a Reverend in the Bretheren Church. Can anyone add more to the connection I am finding between the Amish, Mennonite, and United Bretheren Churches?
    My mothers maiden name is Blind, it is a rare surname and isn’t easy for me to trace. It goes back to Johan Leonhard Blind that immigrated to Pa-Ohio about 1840 from Wurttemburg, Germany. I believe Wurttemburg is in Rhineland – Pfalz, which would be considered the Palitinate (I think?) and is where a very large Jewish population lived (Albert Einstein family from very close to here). I do not know who his parents were (I’m still looking). The more I research the Blind surname the Jewishness I find. For example, the Blind families that immigrated to Buenos Aires, Argentina in the 1800 are still Jewish to this day. And I keep finding things about the Origin of the name being Yiddish for “one who has poor judgment, or, one who does not see.”
    I think it is funny to hear the difference between the High German and PA Dutch forms of “Thank You”.
    I don’t know, that is why I am hoping to find some input from some studied people!
    Thank you,
    Peter L. McLaughlin

  75. carmen says:

    My mother is from the Mennonites of Chihuahua in the Cuaotemoc region of Mexico I am wonedering about the genology and Jewish links of the colonys where she was raised.
    Very informative posts!

  76. Tiffany says:

    I find this very interesting and it makes me oh so curious!

    In Louisiana, there was an area settled in the 1700’s called, “The German Coast” where people from around the Strasbourg/Baden area settled (names like Weber/Webre, Stein, Heidel, Romel, Torres). As far back as I can trace,most of these families were registered as “Catholic”, but some of these families have a very “Jewish” look to them (I have been asked by Jewish people if I am in fact Jewish because of my appearance. I have family pictures for generations back where the females VERY similar to that of Anne Frank. It is eerie!). I know that this group of immigrants did have some confirmed Jewish families, but I can’t find a link. My Weber family there built a plantation called “Gold Star Plantation” and it’s symbol was a “Star of David.” I’ve been curious about doing DNA testing.

  77. Dan says:

    I find the ignorance and speculation on this page to be astounding. My paternal side of the family is heavily Mennonite, and was involved in the movement since its inception in the 1500s. As a result, I share ancestry with nearly all of the founding families of the Swiss Anabaptist movement. If the Mennonites are truly Jewish, it would almost certainly be reflected in my own DNA.

    However, I took a DNA test which showed that I have virtually no Jewish ancestry whatsoever. My genes were compared to populations such as Ashkenazi Jews (the main Jewish group in Europe) and no connection was found, outside of a tiny fraction which is to be expected for all Europeans (Jews have lived in Europe for a long time, so some admixture obviously occurred along the way). Instead, my DNA showed that my genetic background is no different from other Swiss Germans and Western Europeans in general.

    Given my family’s heavy involvement in the Mennonite church and intermarriage with nearly every other major Mennonite family my DNA would have to show a significant Jewish ancestry if Mennonites are truly descended from Israel as you claim. However, my DNA test results, as well as DNA test results taken by family members show that we are no more Jewish than any other Europeans are. As such, I think that we can lay this issue to rest. The Mennonites are not Jewish, rather they are simply Swiss Germans with a genetic heritage that is identical to other Swiss Germans.

    I’m sorry to burst your bubbles folks,but the Mennonites are not, and were not Jewish.

    • I’m sorry that your DNA test proved false but that doesn’t invalidate others test results. Menno Simons was a Jew from the Netherlands. Not all Mennonites are descended from Menno Simons or the Jews who accepted Yeshua and chose the Mennonite denomination. Some Mennonites are Swiss/German/French/etc who joined their denomination. Not all Mennonites have Jewish ancestry, and it is a pretty huge speculation on your part to believe that you “share ancestry with nearly all of the founding families of the Swiss Anabaptist Movement.” You even say that only your paternal side has Mennonites.

      Additionally, Menno Simmons (the father of the Mennonites) was from the Netherlands, not Switzerland. So even your speculation of your Swiss Anabaptist ancestry doesn’t connect to the Jews who were settled in the Netherlands.

    • Yachov Biberstein says:

      Mamzer? 🙂

      • Henry Swarey says:

        Mamzer you ask? Well you need to be careful that those you call “Mamzer” might have more Jewish blood than you!

  78. Mr. Jones says:

    I don’t know about Hutterites or Swiss Mennonites, but I’ve looked at DNA test results of many Russian Mennonites, and it’s plain as day that they are of Dutch, North German, and Polish descent…just as expected.

  79. Nathanael says:

    Shalom Rebecca: I began by reading your “Odd Connections…” item because the title caught my attention. I have seen the similarities and have a number of personal little happenings or items that are for me connections, too, some of them odd. I was raised Mennonite in the Western Ontario Mennonite Conference. But I have become a Jew in the same way that Abraham became the first Jew. I live in Israel, now, with my wife and four children but arrived here by a very long spiritual journey. Many of the things you mention in your replies and things in those like me who write comments here I share in my journey. Questions like “Did Yeshua intend to start a new religion?”, Why is modern Christianity So DIFFERENT from first century beliefs?”, ” Does the fact that Yeshua and all his disciples were JEWISH have ANY implications for Christians today?” have taken up much of my time in answering. This began around 2006-8 for me. I began my love for the Jews by studying the similarities between Judaism and Christianity. At that time I was Mennonite in my heart, but non-denominational in preference and had explored the charismatic side of the faith, too. I was a spirit-filled, non-denominational Mennonite. But why was Christianity so poor spiritually when it could be richer through observing Passover, The festival of Booths (Succoth), Simchat Torah Being thankful for G-d’s word) and others? I have never once been in any church where they celebrated having the word of god in any way, shape or form! I visited a few messianic Congregations near me. I also visited an orthodox Jewish synagogue near me and said I was considering conversion and asked about it. I also visited Conservative synagogues in my area. I slowly came to the conclusion that the Jews came closer to what G-d intended for his children than any other I have ever experienced. Though Judaism isn’t perfect, Yeshua lived it, was an observant Jew, and certainly taught no other faith. There were also MANY beliefs in Christianity which just don’t make sense. nowhere in the Hebrew scriptures does it say the messiah has to be G-d himself. The trinity belief is in direct opposition to the Jewish “Hear O Israel the L-rd your G-d, is ONE”. If you remove this catholic belief, Jews and Christians could grow closer. The catholic church has a history of not only killing Jews, but inventing this divisive doctrine and changing Sabbath observance, the breaking of the 4th commandment, to Sunday worship. The Roman church also decreed that Christians would be punished for continuing any Jewish observances. I could no longer “justify’ in any way continuing any Catholic observances such as Sabbath breaking and started to observe the Sabbath.
    I have been studying scriptures with an eye upon my New testament teachings, and am beginning to know enough about Jewish teaching to see that some NT teachings are very definitely Jewish, that is, they occur elsewhere in the tanach ( the books of Moses, the prophets and other historic writings in the OT) and should not all be thrown out as Judaism believes. I also prefer to rely upon the written word of G-d that we have and excuse the acceptance of rabbinical traditions begun around the time of Yeshua.
    I have considered a maternal DNA test because I believe my self to be of Jewish ancestry but cannot prove it. I was adopted and cannot find out anything about my biological lineage beyond my grandmother who was NOT Jewish. Yet several experiences say otherwise and how I ‘feel’ in my heart means something to me even if it is discounted by everyone else. So here I am attending synagogue, trying to learn Hebrew, understanding the synagogue services and living a Jewish life with my family in the land of Israel.
    I hope this tells you something about me, how my journey connects with many writing here and how what YOU wrote piqued my interest as well. I hope others do not find it too rambling. Any comments appreciated.

    • You should read my Sons of God novel series. You will get A LOT of answers there. Especially, in books 3-5, primarily 4-5, but the novels build in research, so you will lose a lot of the foundation if you skip ahead. The novels are Sons of God (To Kill A Goddess, To Lure Your Prey, To Seduce & Sacrifice, To Wield the World, and To Challenge the Devil) so far….. More are coming.

  80. lani lila says:

    Am researching direct maternal line and came across your pages. mtDNA shows .4% Ashkenazi, & maternal direct line is Swiss which I can trace back to 1600’s. Emigrants in 1850’s were Swiss Mormon converts. I have many Mennonite and Amish on this branch. Also, many with surname Ammann. Am fascinated and will hope to read some of the material mentioned in comments above. Thanks!

  81. Cornelius Heinrichs says:

    Interesting! Maybe that explained why I, born Dutch Russian Canadian Mennonite was fed up with pork

  82. Marc says:

    “The Catholic church was started by pagans people for political reasons and persecuted the true followers of Jesus.” I back that up! Mythra worshippers that persecuted believers not atheists… exterminated the french Cathars etc. In harmony with the freemasons who were knight templars that adopted jewish black magic in Israel. With the Khazars it’s all a mess.

  83. Remarkable things here. I am very happy to peer your article.
    Thanks a lot and I’m looking forward to contact you. Will you please drop me a e-mail?

  84. Grant Taylor says:

    Wow,I started researching this connection after many talk with my mother about her Hutterite heritage. We have a book of all the relatives whom came to America from Russia after finally getting a commitment from the President that they would never have to fight in any wars… These relatives settled and formed their colonies around Freemen SD, but many left and escaped persecution during WW1 for not agreeing to go to war. These moved up to Saskatchewan.

    My grandfather could walk into the Jewelry store and visit with the Jewish owner and talk fluently with him in Hutterite and they totally understood each other… Mom mentioned, before she died that she always wondered how that was possible, a simple uneducated man who moved up from SD in the very early 1900s… She whispered that she thinks we were Jewish 600 years ago…. The Hutterish language still has not changed for at least since before the formation of these colonies in the Alps in early 1500s. I have a homemade dictionary of Hutterish to English done up by old time relatives on the Werzt side of the family. I also have the same done up listing all the names of all these relatives and which boats they came on from Russia then listing every marriage, birth, death and their family connections all the way up to my brothers and my births..

    I used to be a banker and I always wondered why Jewish clients would try to set me up with their grand daughters or other relatives… I would object and tell them I am not Jewish…they would laugh and say its OK, they feel like I am… During the financial crisis of 1990 I was unemployed in NYC while there were mass layoffs in the finacial services field.. I was hired by the President Of a Israeli bank and I had to ask him what can I do, I don’t understand what all these people are saying (at this Head Office in NYC where I started)… He was dumbfounded for a few minutes and said he was sorry, but he forgot I wasn’t jewish so he would send a memo around so people would talk in english around me… I always felt at home at the Jewish celebrations and attended more Sabat dinners and Seders than any old Saskatchewan farm boy I have ever heard of. I felt at home sitting around a table of Hasidic jews all dressed in Black (just like my Hutterite relatives) as they traded diamonds… It was a surreal feeling that confused me.

    Funny that the Jews escaped persecution in Spain by running to Europe around 1497… times between that and formation of Hutterite and Mennonite communities are too close to be a coincidence… What a good place to hide…and with the Hutterites the men and women dressed the same…beard and all… just had to cut off the curls on the side of their heads.

    I am extremely pro Israeli, have realised via my religious studies that only the Old Testament (the Torah) is correct… and I have been wondering why I have these and other feelings for years..

    I am now wondering after reading this website.. that this maybe why. Think I might have my DNA checked.

  85. Good article! We are linking to this particularly great post on our site.
    Keep up the great writing.

  86. J D says:

    AS a Mennonite reading this, I believe that you have not truly researched what we are as a people. The Mennonites you are refering to live with the Amish and live a similar lifestyle. It is a very small group of people. The majority of Mennonites live throughout Canada, USA, Brazil, Belize, Mexico and Europe. There are different practices everywhere you go, and make for interesting comparisons. I urge you to look into it before comparing us all to the Pennsylvania Mennonites.

    • Hi, I am a Mennonite. My father works with the Mennonite Disaster Service as well as the Virginia Mennonite Mission Board. I am a history major and was taught Anabaptist History by John D Roth who is in charge of the Mennonite Archives in North America and is over the Mennonite Quarterly Review. I just returned from Switzerland and began a documentary on Mennonites interviewing the Mennonite spokesman during the 500th Anniversary of Protestant Reformation and is over the Swiss Mennonite archives. Perhaps, you should learn more about Mennonites and their history before accusing others of not doing their research. However, I must say that I learned a lot more about Mennonites in Switzerland. The original Mennonites are very different than those who were exiled and ran away, but perhaps that is because most of them broke off of the Amish instead of stemming from the original Mennonites who stood against any form spiritual hierarchy or spirit of religion.

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  88. Vincent Ruello says:

    You are correct. I am Waldensian on both my mother and fathers side. This year our family DNA was profiled and it shows Jewish ancestry from the Middle East and even mentions the Red Sea area. I was drawn by God who knew the truth to start lighting some candles 10 years ago on Friday evenings. 2 years later I found out I was Waldensian which shocked me and sensed after reading the history I may be Jewish. It was confirmed in 2016 through the DNA. God has commenced the ingathering of His chosen people. I am a Messianic Christian of no denomination also

  89. Michelle (Kauffman-Roos-Wittmer-Eicher-Liechti) says:

    I am from old Swiss Mennonite families some of whom have very distinct Hebrew sounding names on my maternal grandmother’s side. Her maiden name was Kauffman(Allemanic). Her grandfather moved to Iowa, USA from Alsace, France. Before that the Kauffman family lived near Bern, Switzerland in the mountains of the Bern Canton. His wife was a Wittmer(Allemanic) from Switzerland as well. As I look on the family tree my cousin researched I find names like Eicher, Liechti, Kunrad/Conrad, Roos (Dutch), Roth and Schumcker. Also there are the names of Abraham, David and Solomon. They are Mennonites to be sure but there is a connection that is unmistakable to some sorts of Hebrew origins. Why would Europeans take Hebrew names like Abraham, David and Solomon? These show up very early in the lineages which go back to the late 1500’s. I know most of the names are Allemanic/Germanic and some are even Helvetic/Celtic but really it is not what Europeans did way back then to take Hebrew names. That was a foopa! Hebrews took European names as they were mandated if I am correct.

    Anyway, my full blood brother did a DNA test that showed we have no Hebrew DNA. My cousin was crushed. I was sort of surprised but I am very proud of the Swiss roots I have. The Helvetii/Celtic people were pretty impressive as they conquered most of Europe hundreds of years before Rome did its thing because of the Sacking of Rome by the Senones/French Celts. The Alemanni/Swabian/Germanics HELD OFF ROME FOR MANY YEARS! The history of Europe and the world would have never been the same if it wasn’t for them both.

    I am also proud of my Mennonite/Anabaptist heritage as well. I am a devout born again Christian. My father is a Baptist minister who pastored a church for thirty years. I know that what my ancestors went through with the persecution was against the laws of God. Their suffering strengthened the core of Protestant Christianity.

    “But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness (Jeshua) arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” Malachi 4:2 KJV.

    He will come and he will take his flock with him. Those of our ancestors who died defending Jeshua’s promise of eternal life and never recanted their faith have a special place at the right hand of God. I look forward to meeting them in Heaven. God bless you all. I love you all my brethren. Peace go with you!

    • Michelle (Kauffman-Roos-Wittmer-Eicher-Liechti) says:

      I just looked at the tree and the name Wittmer should be Witmer/Widmer. Also there is a Jacob in every branch of the tree just as was stated in another post.

    • Although Menno Simons (man who began the Mennonite denomination) was a Jew, it doesn’t mean that all who became Mennonite were Jews. That would be like saying if I begin going to a Roman Catholic church, I become Italian. Sorry if I presented any confusion. Not all Mennonites come from Jewish stock.

    • Henry Swarey says:

      Michelle, please bear in mind that Ancestry.com and 23 and Me use less than 200 people as DNA sources to find Jewish DNA in your sample. That is borderline DNA malpractice. This is why they use the term “estimate”. Surnames are more accurate. The Jews know their own. I learned that from a Jewish girl “Hannah” whose family emigrated from Iraq. I told her all the surnames in mt family tree. She said they all are Jewish. I said, “But the Amish say they are German”. Hannah turned her head sideways and asked, “How can they be so stupid”? At that point, she convinced me. The Kauffman family name is Jewish, Beiler, Weiler, Swarey/Schwarie is from Schwartz, that’s Jewish. Zook is Jewish. Kurtz, without a doubt is Jewish. Burkholder/Burkhalter..etc.. is not only Jewish, it’s Cohanim. Just ask any halfway educated Jew. If none of this convinces you then look up all your surnames on Jewishgen.org. If you look up the names on the Holocaust Memorial, be sure to have a box of tissues nearby.

  90. Henry Swarey says:

    So here is an update concerning the “Byler” surname. We all know that Byler comes from Beiler. Beiler and Weiler are the same name. Weil is a known Jewish anagram for Levi. So Weiler/Beiler essentially means Levite. This is the reason why my cousin Amos Byler seems to have Sephardic roots from North Africa in his DNA. There were a lot of Sephardic Jews that traversed back and forth between Morocco and Iberia before the Spanish Inquisition.

  91. Henry Swarey says:

    Several locations, including Wikipedia and a Moroccan Jewish name list, indicate that Weyl/Weil/Weill may have come as an anagram of the name Levi. According to Jewish biblical history, the Cohens and the Levites were assigned specific tasks in the temple, and treated differently in other ways. That is consistent with the 900 page history that indicates that the Weils were a highly respected Rabbinical family.

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