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The Ten Lost Tribes, Found

Genealogist Rivka Goldblatt uses the JC archive to try and identify Judaism's Ten Lost Tribes

    People have always been interested in our elusive cousins – the ten lost tribes. The Jewish Chronicle has run plenty of articles about whom these family members might be. Pick your favourite relative from the selection below!

    THE AZTECS ARE THE LOST TRIBES (10-29-1852)

    Rumours of the existence of an ancient city in Central America, inhabited by descendants of the Aztecs, have been repeatedly mentioned to travellers…. The name of this city is Coaxchencingo, which, in the language of the tribe… signifies, ‘the mystery of the mountains’.

    … To what nation the authors of this Aztec volume belonged is yet a mystery, though the facts would seem to indicate a Jewish origin; for although there are no Hebrew characters in the book [that the discoverer was shown], the known fact of the disappearance of the Ten Tribes, the many similarities between the customs, rites, and ceremonies of the Aztecs and those of the ancient Jews, and other circumstances of the same nature, lend plausibility to the theory of a Hebrew origin…

     

    THE MICAELENSE ARE THE LOST TRIBES (01-08-1864)

    The Lost Tribes: [an extract from Genebrado in his first book of Chronology, p.159:]

     'In the Island of San Miguel, one of the Azores (which cluster lies between 37 and 44 north latitude, and 25 and 32 west longitude), the Spaniards very recently found some tombstones with Hebrew characters inscribed on them; and on one which was more legible, though deep in the ground, we read a strange inscription, which, translated, reads thus:-— How perfect are the ways of God! Even the dead who lie under this slab know their God.'

    How or when Israelites first got to these islands is now but a matter of conjecture—-a mode of evidence I seldom resort to.

     

    THE BLACK JEWS OF MALABAR ARE THE LOST TRIBES (07-29-1864)

    In Cochin and Malabar, on the south-eastern coast of India, there exists an ancient Jewish settlement which presents an anomalous feature of interest; the Hebrew colonists are divided into two distinct varieties, commonly distinguished as White and Black Jews.

    This apparent ethnological phenomenon is thus explained. The White Jews deduce their origin from refugees who fled thither on the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans under Titus; but the Black Jews claim for themselves a descent from Israelites of the captivity, who, according to their own traditions, were deported to Malabar by Nebuchadnezzar.

    The former live at Cochin; the latter have a synagogue there, but the great body of that tribe inhabit towns in the interior, and these Israelites claiming to be of the stock of the ten lost tribes, retain the ancient religion of their fathers.

    And my personal favourite:

    THE ENGLISH ARE THE LOST TRIBES (01-21-1876)

    The controversy as to the identification of the lost Ten Tribes in the Anglo-Saxons, has extended to the Antipodes [Australia and New Zealand].

    In the Southern Cross, published at Auckland, we learn that “On Tuesday, Nov. 16, in the Lorne Street Hall, Mr. W. L. Rees, solicitor, delivered a lecture upon the question, ‘ Is the British nation a portion of the lost ten tribes of Israel?’ Captain Daldy occupied the chair.

     

     

     

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