My Jewish Ancestry

Beginning when I was a young boy I thought I had distant Jewish ancestry. I thought my running ability was from the tribe of Benjamin. A prayer concerning any ancestry hindering me started with Bennett - nothing happened, then to Manuel, and the clothes hangers in the nearby closet of my father's bedroom in my grandfather's house smashed.

I have since learned the Manuel I2b1 is probably Sephardic. The most recent common ancestor is 1260 years ago with a probability of 50% and is listed in the Sephardic DNA page on Family Tree DNA as possibly Sephardic. This line comes from Emanuel Roger who probably landed in Cornwall about 1537 from Sicily to work in the tin mines. Thus the dna relation to Spain and Sicily. The name Roger may have been taken from the favour of Roger II King of Sicily to the Jewish people. Even my Y-DNA has a Jewish Roger relative in Sicily.

Moreover, the Bennett line seems to come from Lithuania Cohen Jews about 1000 AD. There is a small Scottish cluster from Jewish migration to Scotland from 900 AD. Probably they were Jewish traders from nearby Lithuania who came to Scotland. Before that they appear to be related to the Gambino family in Sicily perhaps from 800 AD. Their family crest is simply a leg. The name comes from an ability to run. Then the possibility I am indirectly descended from the Benjamites in Judges may be true. In this battle with Benjamin, Israel slew 23,000 men. 600 escaped. Wives were found for 400. Then for the remaining 200 they took wives of the Cohen Levites of Shechem. Perhaps some of the many runners in the Bible were descended from these Cohens.

My Y-DNA matches R1b1 Cohens from about 1000 AD to 500 BC. Perhaps a Swedish pilgrim traveled to Israel before 500 BC and intermarried with the Cohens. My DNA in Eastern Europe is only from Ashkenazi Jews. Cohen descent was supposed to be from Aaron, J1. My ancestor Margery Jordan 1573, daughter of Henery Jordan J1, may have been descended from Aaron of the Bible. See the Zerdanowski's in their priestly clothes below. This R1b1 ancestor may have been appointed to become a Cohen priest. Also, too much inbreeding leads to genetic diseases. Perhaps this R1b1 ancestor was chosen because of his outside DNA.

The Manuels in Cornwall may have intermarried with the children of Jewish tin miners from 1290 AD. All Jews were expelled from England in 1290 AD. Richards is a common Cornish surname. Bumpy may have received his personality from his father. His fathers the Richards were miners from the 1700's in Cornwall. Mary Richards' fathers may have been miners from the 1500's and earlier as well. Most Richards are R1b. Perhaps the same as 80% of England. However, some of the R1b1 have Jewish ancestry. My most recent common ancestor with some of the Richards R1b1 a 50% probability within 1770 years, at a 95% probability within 2250 years. A few I1's and I2's and some R1a1's and one J2a4b from the Middle East. Some Cohen Jews are J2a4b. Then the possibility these Richards were either descended from Richard Earl of Cornwall or R1b1 Jews from 1290 AD. Nicholas Rickard was born in Lanlivery in 1734. This is where a hollow tin charactor of Richard Earl of Cornwall with Hebrew writing RCRD dating to 1250 AD was found 10 feet down. Perhaps Richard Earl of Cornwall had a jewish mistress, daughter of a Jewish tin miner, in Bodmin. Bodmin was the administration center of Richard Earl of Cornwall. Richard did have mistresses. The son of a mistress is morelikely to have become a commoner. His illegitemate son Richard de Cornwall is his only known descendent. Either way this would explain the Hebrew tin figurine of Richard Earl of Cornwall found in Bodmin dating from 1290 AD. Richard Earl of Cornwall took possession of all the Jews in England and all the royalty from the tin mines of Corwall. This made him almost as rich as the King of England. In 1290 AD all Jews were expelled from England. In 1348 was the black plague, and it hit Bodmin hard. There is the possibility Jewish descendents in Bodmin were targeted and blamed as Jews were throughout Europe at the time. However, some may have escaped being burnt to death. From 1250 there are only 200 years to Mary Richard's fathers. Then there is the possibility these Richards tin miners are descended from Jewish tin miners or even possibly from Richard Earl of Cornwall.

Here is my Manuel family tree:
1515 Emanuel Roger, Sicily
1552 John Manuel St Columb Major Cornwall
1595 Robert Manuel
1628 Francis Manuel married Mary Richards 1653 whose mother was Elizabeth Pempero
1655 John Manuel
1675 John Manuel married Emblem Jacob 1704
1711 Richard Manuel
1746 Ambrose Manuel
1782 Ambrose Manuel
1806 Ambrose Manuel who moved to Wales
1843 Elizabeth Manuel, married Thomas Richards who moved to Alberta/British Columbia, Canada
1874 James Ambrose Richards, Bumpy
1897 Elizabeth May Richards, married W.A.C. Bennett who moved to Kelowna, BC
1929 R.J. Bennett
1962 Andrew Bennett

Aunt Winnie and my grandmother, May Bennett

May Bennett

May Bennett about 36 years old.

R.J. Bennett as a young boy.

R.J. Anita and Bill Bennett in 1950

W.A.C. Bennett's mother at 45, descendent of Margery Jordan

Zerdanowski Siblings Skvira Ukraine
dressed in Cohen gold lace.

W.A.C. Bennett's mother, Emma at 80

Bill, Anita and R.J.
May and W.A.C. at their 50th wedding anniversary in 1977

The 10 grandchildren in 1977

Russell Richards, and his sisters: Helen, May and Jean in 1977.

Bumpy, James Ambrose Richards

Stan Underhill b. 1899, ancestors Elizabeth Freeman, J2 or R1b1 Cohen, and Dinah Martin, J2 or R1b1 Cohen, Trott possibly R1b1 Cohen, and possibly the Dorset Jordans J1 Cohen. Large segments seem to come from the Cornish side, probably are Jewish possibly from Jewish tin miners from 1290 AD passed to this Devon ancestry.

Even his wife, my grandmother Joyce, appears to be descended on her X chromosome I3 from the Jews from the diasproria of 70 AD. She may have come to Scotland with the other Jewish men.

So from John Manuel's father, Emanuel Roger, who must have immigrated about 1536 to Bristol from Sicily and taken up tin mining 150 miles west in St Columb Major by 1542, all my Manuel ancestors may have been all miners to James Ambrose Richards born in Wales who in a Welsh cencus was listed as a Scholar. If you click here you will see a diploma for James Ambrose Richards' wife's father's brother Matthew Clelland. Bumpy was a mine engineer and managed mines in Alberta and BC and was mine inspector for the province of Alberta. Bumpy's wife's family were employed in the mines in Scotland keeping record of the miner's hours of work and did not use pick and shovel. Bumpy's favourite chapter of the Bible was Corinthians 13. The religious environment of Wales and Scotland in the 1880's promoted this chapter in helping people deal with alchoholism at the time. Even a book published then, The Greatest Thing, was all about Corinthians 13. Bumpy's grandfather-in-law, Matthew Clellands went to this Glasgow School of Mines in 1859-1860. He belonged to the Band of Hope. A son of a miner from Lancashire went to this mining school in the 1880's. Something very important may have happened at this mining school that influenced a man to follow Jesus.

When I called my cousin Steven Bennett about the possibility we may be of Spanish descent, he responded that he had wondered about his dark brown eyes and fair ability to tan and dark wavy hair. When his father was premier and appeared on the 5pm news people noticed his beard had grown since he had shaved, a 5 O'Clock shadow. A friend, Doug Morse, who is a minister, worker, in our church, came over to my grandmother's house for a visit when my uncle Bill Bennett was there. He noticed uncle Bill had a 5 O'Clock shadow. However, he also noticed it was not that he needed to shave twice a day, but that his beard was so dark.

My grandmother had a solarium in the south facing dining room. She had many plants. A friend Paul Lee said it was like a jungle. One plant she was fond of was the Wandering Jew. I do not know if she ever made the connection. However, she made plenty of unleavened cornish bread. Her favourite was 12 grain bread. She did look up Manuel cousins when she went to Wales and she looked up what she could about the Manuels when she went to Madrid Spain. She showed me the picture of her with her Manuel cousins in Wales and the picture of her with Spanish friends in Madrid. My grandmother and her father Bumpy had brown eyes.

We had a dear friend work for the family all her life, 60 years. We called her Auntie Winnie. She and I were close friends since childhood, we corresponded when I was in private school and when I came to stay with my grandmother after W.A.C. Bennett passed away she invited me to Gospel Meetings. I professed Jan 27 1980 and ever since. Now a few years later, in 1983, I was praying earnestly. I had just prayed to believe more in Jesus and if the Manuel side was Jewish - at this time that was just a hunch - that I would try not to think about it if it hindered me. Just then there was a loud crash in the closet. Something had hit the clothes hangers with terrific force. I got up and walked over to the closet. The clothes hangers were swinging wildly and were bent, as if something had flown through them and materialized to run into them. They were bent on the hook part of the clothes hangers. I was a little shaken. My uncle Bill Bennett came to the door of the house for a ride to his government jet. I believe he had just called an election. So I drove him to the airport. I did not tell anyone about this, except Winnie, for years. Then about 1994 I went to my grandmother's house and picked up a few of the remaining bent clothes hangers. I had a friend, Glen Weigel, working at the University of BC in a physics lab of some kind. So I gave him the clothes hangers and explained the basics of what happened. He and his colleagues measured the force to produce the noticeable bend in the clothes hangers. They determined it took a force of 5 to 10 pounds. You can see some of the hangers here. There were many far more bent than the ones that appear:

Years later and I have found believing more in Jesus and thinking less about the Manuel ancestry helps.

Obviously to go back 14 generations you may only find a trace of Spanish.

I am very fair with brown hair and fair skin that does not tan very easily. All my ancestors are British. However, years ago I noticed a jet black hair under my left knee. All the other hairs are white. Years ago I grew several jet black chest hairs. All the other hairs are brown.

Aunt Winnie pointed out this verse to me. She said I may be fortunate the Spanish ancestor, or ancestors, on the Manuel side was more than 10 generations back. It is in the King James Version and the Septuagint but not in the Dead Sea Scrolls even though the verses before it and after it are in the Dead Sea Scrolls. Sometimes the Ammonite was a type of the Jews to the Christians in the New Testament. However, all people are welcome by the gospel. Aunt Winnie had tried to interest my grandmother in the gospel and she would have tried to interest Bumpy too. She suspected the 'Spanish' side had something to do with their hardness. Bumpy took mine engineering at the University of Glasgow just a few years after someone else I know. His favourite chapter in the Bible was I Corinthians 13. The following verses from the Septuagint are identical to the King James:

Deuteronomy 23:3 The Ammanite and Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord, even until the tenth generation he shall not enter into the assembly of the Lord, even for ever:
4 because they met you not with bread and water by the way, when ye went out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor of Mesopotamia to curse thee.
5 But the Lord thy God would not hearken to Balaam; and the Lord thy God changed the curses into blessings, because the Lord thy God loved thee.
6 Thou shalt not speak peaceably or profitably to them all thy days for ever.

The following is in the Dead Sea Scrolls. I do not know if the previous four verses were a missing fragment in the scroll. Obviously the previous four verses seem needed to fit the context. There is a grey triangle in the book at the end of Deuteronomy 22 indicating the end of that paper in the Dead Sea Scrolls Bible. Then there is the possibility Deuteronomy 23:1-4 were in a missing fragment.

Deuteronomy 23:5 Yet the LORD your God would not listen to Balaam, but the LORD your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the LORD your God loved you.
6 You shall not promote their welfare nor their prosperity as long as you live.

Three years is often mentioned in the Bible, see Genesis 15. Three years of days from Jesus' birth in 4 BC is 1093 AD about when the first crusade reached Sicily and persecution against the Jews started. The Jews did not convert to Christianity much until the persecution was severe. Like in 1348 with the black plague in Europe and finally in 1492 when there was no choice. Exactly one Sothis period, 1460 years, from Jesus' crucifixion in 33 AD is 1492 AD. A Sothis period is four years of days in years. Let the year back up .25 days a year, what happens if you don't keep track of the .25 days, and in 1460 years the calendar will have backed up to the same calendar date.

"These poems circulated in Wales, helping to maintain the use and knowledge of the Welsh language. It is believed that first book in Welsh published by Thomas Jones at Shrewsbury, was 'Carolau a Dyriau Duwiol' in 1695 and this contained a poem by Dafydd Manuel in which he expressed his horror at the thought that the protestant kingdom established by William and Mary, might be overturned."

"Although the Manuels of Trefeglwys were never wealthy, Dafydd Manuel's immediate family must have had some money as Dafydd clearly received a good education - possibly at Oswestry Grammar School or at Friars School, Bangor. It may be that Dafydd's first language was English, as there were a good number of English settlers in the parish by his time, but he had an excellent command of both English and Welsh." The english version of the Bible was banned from 1407. Not untill the Geneva Bible of 1560 was the English version available. So only by the time John Manuel was of reading age were the Manuels able to read the Bible. Nevertheless, their language from their father may have been Spanish or Italian and so their Latin Bible. Then all the more reason to enroll the children in English school.

Lollardry spread to nearby Somerset in the 15th century.

It is said the old poet rhymed the following lines as an insult to some of the inhabitants of the parish of Llangurig: 'a mountainous place, where I stayed and found them, between children of Hades and mad chicks, chislers and beggars of the world.'

The old man and his children were once taking wheat to the mill to be ground and on the way Deio said, 'Daddy you are always babbling about poetry with Malen; I will beat her rotten.' At that, down came the load from Malen's head; and the old man, sittting down and looking at the millwheel, said, 'Well now, all of us put two arms to it to make a "cywydd deuair hirion' [a complex poetic form].'To the mill and its useful machinery, that makes noise in the water there.' And then Deio offered up: 'If the mill stops turning Sion and Cadi will shut up. 'He meant the miller and his wife. And then Malen tried and said: 'It fills and gladdens every hand, dust of the mill, it grinds silently. 'And the father answered and said, 'At this time I will hide my opinion by being silent.'

As the old man and his daughter were driving pigs to Llanidloes fair, a poet of Llangurig was told they were coming. He went to meet them at the tollhouse as they were passing it, and said, 'Send the best pig with the pin in his head to the top of the town.' Malen the daughter answered, [perhaps she had a pin in her hair] 'Not a pin despite the length of the head. [long-headed =intelligent]. Truly, Sir, it is just a wire.' And the man replied to her response, 'Devil take you and your offspring.' "

Poem by Dafydd Manuel


On a measure called 'The Honey Lip'

You mort of sad lives
That embrace the thought of those like you
And whose God is your own needs daily
The sense of wealth is closest to your heart
Open the eyes of your minds
And consider infinity;
Here is sung in truth
About a cursed wretched pig
A fatal desire for dissipation,
A duty that is desired
If we want an age of goodness
Is not to worship the mummy of Mammon,
The spent and transient fragments
Instead of the wealth of the land of Angels

The foolish and rootless
Build on the sands
They fill their barns full
And think of the gold in its coffers;
On the evening of the sign of leaving
When his soul is asked for
To give account of his talents
Of the world's wealth that he has saved
And the brave pangs when death comes
If Moses and the Prophets come
To call together with Deifes
The miser is so hard-headed
Oh, until it is too late, to consider loss!

While the day and the light last
And mercy and its most truthful boon
Jesus is beating at the door
It is best to open to him;
Before the enemy gets his wish
And his poor wicked toys
From his unending jealousy
To poison the soul
Having angered the blessed lamb
Make true friends only
From your mortal worldly wealth
Throw your bread upon the waters
It will be given back to you when that is proper
When there is nothing left of all this world.

Bill Bennett

When he hit you, you didn't forget it

The 48 year old premier has been in office for five years (since 1976); his father, W.A.C. Bennett, held the job for 20. The premier talked to Paul Grescoe in Victoria.

I was a skinny, underweight, jaudiced baby. Winnie Earl came to help my mother when I was being born, and Winnie never left. She's still there in the big old house in Kelowna, BC. Outside of my parents, she probably had the greatest infuence on me in my formative years. She's a very good, honest woman -- a Christian in the noblest definition of the term. She was such a good example because she was so generous and unselfish. And a good companion, too. There was a creek running through our property and I can remember one hot summer day out in the back yard when Mom and Winnie decided to try the raft my older brother and I had made. They both ended up falling in the creek.

I grew up in the Depression. A large number of tramps riding the rods came to our acreage in the Okanagan, and one of them stayed as a handyman for a couple of years. Mr. Wilson was a major influence on me. When I was three years old we used to sit in the furnace room, where he would tell me about the world and its troubles. He taught me to sing songs and spell and read from the old Family Herald. He finally moved on. To me he was a sort of Huckleberry Finn folk hero, but I guess he was a traveller.

We had a couple of people coming and going in our house. My mother's maiden aunt, Elizabeth Russell -- Lizzy -- was always around. Her family had come out of the coal mines in Scotland and she used to tell me stories about the Old Country. She would sing me a little rhyme: "Billy Bennett/Going to the Senate." But I remember her in particular because she was outspoken, and when she got mad at us she'd get us down and hit us with her cane.

My mother's father stayed with us for long periods. We called him Bumpy, but he was such a tough old bird we should have called him Rocky. He and I didn't get along from about the time when I was born. His idea of discipline was to give you a kick in the pants when you didn't see it coming. He was an old soccer player, and he practised on me all my childhood. My grandfather was completely undiplomatic about the way he spoke about other people, other religions. So one of my sports, when we were out for a family drive and he'd say something outrageous, was to bait him by saying, "My dad says you shouldn't say that don't you Dad?" It must have been terrible for my poor dad. If I baited my grandfather when we were alone, he would chase me. I used to be a pretty fair runner and I got it all from running away from my grandfather. My family says some of my most unpleasant traits -- like my stubbornness --also came from him.

My relationship with my mother was just the quiet understanding of friends. She was a big woman then, bigger and I think physically stronger than my father. No matter what time we came in, she'd always be waiting for us. She was the one who got us off to school. And she had to do the disciplining. My father spanked me six times in my life. I remember every one. When he hit you, you didn't forget it.

In those early days, my brother, Russell, and I were never enemies but never close. R.J. is older than me, and it wasn't until we went into business together after high school, openning a home furnishing store, that we became so close we could finish each other's sentences. I was more influenced then by my sister, Anita, who was an incredible reader. She was four grades ahead of me and she would go to the library, read the books as soon as we got home, and then exchange them -- so I began reading at a much higher level.

My ambition was to be a superior athlete, which I'm not. I made the starting lineup on the basketball team because I worked the hardest. I was too competitive. I still like to win and I'm still competitive, but I'm just a shadow of my former self.

I also liked to win arguments with my dad. We had the capacity to infuriate and love each other at the same time. We both wanted to win every argument and have the last word. He taught me to test my own opinions, and boy, when I was wrong, I felt it.

I was probably the most rebellious and strong-willed one in my family. I once asked my dad how he put up with me and he said, "A wise father doesn't see everything." He would have driven me away if he had told me what to do.

He used that same reverse psychology in getting me into politics. I think he always felt I would get involved. There was a lot of speculation that my dad was going to retire in 1966. I was all prepared to run in his place, but there was no vacancy. When he did retire and I finally decided to run for the B.C. Legislature in his Kelowna riding in 1973, the last one I told was my father.

Copyright 2011 Andrew Bennett