First of all, my Isabella Hart is NOT, repeat NOT, the daughter of John Hart and Susannah Rush of PA. There are many listings in Ancestry which show that, but the PA Rush family vehemently denies any connection. All of their children were born in PA and they never were in VA. The children of John Hart are firmly identified and Isabella is not one of them. Those listings are in error.
As to the Jewish question, there is a document in possession of a Cooper family in Georgia related to the granddaughter of Mark Anthony and Isabella Hart, through their son Joseph Hart and wife Elizabeth Clark. The Cooper document says that Isabella (Hart) Anthony was the daughter of "a Jewish trading house", while Mark Anthony was termed a "marrano of Amsterdam". That is very succinct. The Anthony family line is not clear and there is much speculation about the prior connections. There were two and possibly three Jewish Anthony families in England dating back to the early 1500s. A traditional story about Mark Anthony says that he was the son of an Genovese merchant who moved his family to Amsterdam, but that story is disbelieved by many people, who say that he adapted a similar story to 'cover his tracks'. The line of thought of most researchers is that Mark Anthony's line originated in Spain as Sephardic Jews, was forced to convert to the Catholic Church during the Inquisition and then was forced out of Spain afer 1492. The English Jewish Anthony (Antonio) lines apparently started that way, moving first to Germany and then to London. One branch of that family came to the colonies and settled in early Rhode Island and New York. That line is well established. The Virginia line is more obscure. It is quite possible that line were pirates ("privateers" in Crown parlance). If so, this Mark Anthony may have had a double reason to dissemble about his past.
This Jewish question fascinated me so much that I had my DNA tested for ethnic markers in 2011. I have no known Jewish ancestry. My DNA test showed positive for Jewish I (general Jewish) and for Jewish III (Sephardic Jew), but negative for Jewish II (Ashkenazim) and for Jewish IV (Asian Jew). While I cannot pin that ancestry result to Anthony or Hart definitely, the implication is clear for me. One of the other things the test showed was a clear connection to Jamaica. I have documented a good deal of my family and there is absolutely no connection to Jamaica, unless it is through Isabella Hart. That is one of the reasons for my inquiry about the Jamaica Hart family.
Sorry to be so long-winded. Peace. Or should I say 'Shalom'?
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