Is Sarah Palin Jewish?
As it stands Sarah Palin was born and baptized Roman Catholic but raised as a Pentecostal Christian. She is is currently a devout Christian, married to Todd Palin- who is Christian. She raises her family as Christians. She and her family are members of and attend a Christian church in Wasilla.
Though her family was born and raised in the United States, Sarah, like almost every American, comes from a family of immigrants.
Below is her family tree and various opinions of contributors regarding the possibility that Sarah may have Jewish roots.
The rumor on several blogs that Sarah Palin's maternal grandparents were Lithuanian Jews named "Sheigam" is completely false. All official records confirm that Gov. Palin's maternal grandparents were Clement J. and Helen L. Sheeran of Richland, Washington. Their ancestral lines can be traced to Ireland and Germany, respectively. Some websites have also suggested that Palin's paternal grandmother was a Jewish woman named "Beatrice Coleman", but this too is complete fiction. Palin's paternal grandmother was named Nellie Marie Heath (nee Brandt). According to her obituary in the Sandpoint Daily Bee, Mrs. Heath was associated with the First Church of Christ in Sandpoint, Idaho. In a recent Time Magazine interview, Palin asserted that her parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, baptized her in the Catholic church and attended non-denominational Christian churches throughout her childhood.
It is unclear where (or why) the fabrications regarding Gov. Palin's heritage initially appeared. Some websites that have posted this mis-information seem to promulgate prejudiced ideals or conspiracy theories, but why have promoted this story is something of a mystery.
*Palin's mother was born Sally Sheeran, in Oct 1940, in Richland, WA
*Her mother was born Helen Louise Gower, on 22 Jan 1910 in WI
*Her mother was born Cora Strong, on 4 Nov 1886, in Chippewa Co., WI
*Her mother was born Augusta L[odema] Godfrey, in Jul 1854, in Waverly, Morgan Co., IL
*Her mother was born Lodema Curtiss, on 7 Oct 1822, in Litchfield Co., CT
*Her mother was born Charity Everett, on 16 Oct 1789/90, in CT
*Her mother was born Jedid(i)ah Brownson, on 16 Nov. 1761, in Woodbury or Bethlehem, CT
*Her mother was born Abigail Hawley, in 1740, in Bethlehem, CT
There's no reason to suppose that Abigail Hawley was Jewish, or that any of the women in between converted to Judaism. Nobody in her family tree seems ever to have been called "Sheigam" or to have been to Lithuania.
based on Jewish tradition that makes one "Jewish" if born to a mother of Jewish ethnic decent, although practicing evangelical Christianity.
Sarah Palin's mother (Sally Sheigam) was of Lithuanian Jewish heritage and so were both of her mothers parents (Louise Sheigam and Shmuel Sheigam). Her maternal grandfather, Schmuel Sheigam, was a Lithuanian Jew born in 1912 in Vilkaviskis, Lithuania, 91.2 miles west of Vilnius. The Sheigam family immigrated to America, via Hamburg, Germany in 1915 because of WWI. The grandmother was was originally named Gower. Her father Chuck Heath can be considered of Jewish blood because it is believed his mother, Beatrice Coleman, was of Jewish decent. Further information on Governor Palin's ancestors can easily be found in the vital records in the Lithuanian State Historical Archives in Vilnius.
http://www.archyvai.lt/ The Archives holds birth, marriage, divorce, and death records for the Lithuanian Jewish community from 1851 until 1915 when the Jews were required to leave the country because of World War I. They are in 18th Century Cyrillic script and Yiddish Many of these records include the mother's maiden name and town of registration.
At Ellis Island Immigration Centre, the name was entered as Sheeran, a standard practice of the time when immigration officers were unable to understand non-English speaking immigrants. Sheeran is a common Irish name but members of the Sheigam family are buried in the Jewish cemetery at Budezeriai near Vilkaviskis:in Lithuania.