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How Can I Find Out Which Hebrew Tribe I'm From?

How Can I Find Out Which Hebrew Tribe I'm From?


For the most part, tribal identities have been lost through the generations, and the majority of Jews do not know which tribe they are from.

There are a number of people whose families have passed down their identity as Kohanim (Priests) or Levites, which means they descend from the tribe of Levi. There are also a handful of non-Levite families who can trace their ancestry to a particular tribe, but these are few and far between.

When the Messiah comes, we will all find out which tribes we are from. So if this bit of information is important to you, do your best to hasten his arrival! For more on that, check out our Moshiach and the Future Redemption section.

Malkie Janowski is an accomplished educator who lives in Coral Springs, Florida. Mrs. Janowski is also a responder on's Ask the Rabbi team.
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Discussion (42)
March 6, 2015
Desendent of Abraham
I did a search on my family. I was lucky enough to come over a very very very long line of royalty low and behold I traced my family history all the way back to Abraham and then from there traced back all the way to Adam and Eve. I know sounds crazy but true.
January 19, 2015
Jewish lineage
Is it important (today) or was there a time, that a person of Jewish descent, always knew his connection to the 12 tribes ?
November 19, 2014
I just found out I got Jewish in me,my father's family came from Caldas de Reyes, Spain. I would like to know what tribe I come from in Israel.
October 2, 2014
My family lineage is from Spain & Mexico; Campos is the last name. What tribe do I belong to?
Cristobal Campos
Horizon City
September 14, 2014
If the Messiah must come from the tribe of Judah how will he be able to prove it if all the genealogical records have been lost? Weren't they destroyed in 70AD by the Romans? And if so wouldn't it mean that the Messiah would have had to be identified before then? And if so, can we all think of someone who foots the bill?
June 16, 2014
My Surname is Stearns , the family lineage came out of Germany, I have been researching this and have found that more then likely they have Hebrew roots and may in fact come from the Lost Tribe of Dan. Does anyone else have knowledge on this surname out of Germany.
Julie Stearns
June 11, 2014
Surname Norman
I've been doing some research into my family history and I believe I belong to the Tribe of Benjamin. Although I don't believe that my family really knows that we derive from the Jewish heritage.
Jill Norman
Denver CO
June 11, 2014
Last name is Hammerstein. What tribe would this be from.
April 20, 2014
My surname is Rubins, was Rubino, before that Rueben, Also Goldsacks in the family! I also have 100% tribal Celtic ancestry.I do believe in a supreme being, and worship god through my actions in life, It is hard but I live for the common good of the tribe, will work hard for it, protect it, and would kill for it, to easy, anyone who crosses me had bad luck, anyone who is good to me has good luck, I do have bad moments but never end up in the gutter? I think a man can pick a good dog from a litter! And god can pick a bad dog from man
February 17, 2014
You are probably not descended from Hebrews
First, I am not anti-Semitic. My family is part Jewish, as well as my husband. I am a student of history though. Historically there is little evidence that the majority of Jews are descended from Hebrews/ of diaspora. There was a kingdom in Russia that converted of Judaism, and most European Jews, who coincidentally look nothing like middle easterners,are Russians...over centuries Russia pushed out Jews to other countries, as Russia has a history of anti-Semitism which continues to this day. That's why Jews spoke Yiddish and not Hebrew. Many Jewish historians corroborate this, and it was accepted amongst Jewish leaders and intellectuals before the creation of the state of israel. Now, the message is that Jews are Hebrews returning home...but history proves otherwise.
davis, ca
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