On April 10, genetics testing company founder and author Donald Yates was interviewed on i24 NEWS in Tel Aviv about the overlap of Jewish and Cherokee ancestry. The company offers both a Native American and a Jewish DNA test that matches you with relevant populations. The interview was conducted by Emily Frances, the Emmy winning host of “Holy Land Uncovered.” The program, titled “Genealogist Donald Yates Uncovers Secrets of Cherokee DNA,” aired in 20 million homes in the U.S. Europe, Africa, Arabia and other parts of the Middle East.
Much of the ground covered in the interview first broke as news in a book on DNA Consultants’ Cherokee project, Cherokee DNA Studies II: More Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong, by Donald N. Yates and Teresa A. Yates, published last October. Donald Yates’s fifth great-grandfather, Cherokee principal chief Black Fox, who died in 1811, was half Choctaw, half white. His Indian name, Inola, is Hebrew. His European ancestry comes from crypto-Jewish traders.
Many traders on the seventeenth-century Spanish frontier–often of Jewish origins–reinvented themselves as Indian chiefs, says Yates. Both the Red Bird (Brock, Brooke, Baruch) and Sizemore (Seasmer, of Hertfordshire, previously Hungarian, Csizmár, “bootmaker”) genealogies often touted as Cherokee lines go back to English Jews. Russell (Ruck) Sizemore, the last Chickamauga Cherokee medicine man was actually a quarter Creek Indian, not Cherokee.
Chief Oconostota, who visited England with six others to meet King George II, was the mixed blood descendant of James Beamer (Baomer, Beamour), an English Jewish tradesman who arrived in the Carolina colony in 1682. Beamer’s prominent Spanish grandee family was scattered by the Inquisition to Meknès (Morocco), Lisbon, Jerusalem, Paris, Sidon (Lebanon) and Gibraltar, as well as London. Other forms of the surname are Benamou, Benamor, Ben Hammo, Ben Ammou, Benamu and Ben Hamu. Beamer is Donald Yates’ 10th great-grandfather.
The figure known as Sequoyah was not Cherokee and did not invent what is known as the Cherokee Syllabary. This is another myth Yates has exploded.
To watch “Genealogist Donald Yates Uncovers Secrets of Cherokee DNA,” go to the following link on YouTube: https://youtu.be/aNQUupHeBoc.
Regular and Legal Versions of Cherokee DNA Test ($139.00 – $329.00)
Basic Jewish DNA Test ($159.00)
Cherokee DNA Studies II: More Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong By Donald N. Yates and Teresa A. Yates ($9.99 – $45.00)
Forgotten Cherokee Migrations (blog post, Feb. 23, 2022)
Old World Roots of the Cherokee (podcast, Aug. 14, 2019)