This is not documented. It's my theory.
Follow the Silk Weavers
By Vicky Moon
Biblical history tell us:
He made a screen for the doorway of the tent, of blue and purple and scarlet materiel, and fine twisted linen, the work of a weaver.
1 Chronicles 4:21
The sons of Shelah the son of Judah: Er the father of Lecah, and Laadah the father of Mareshah, and the families of the house of them that wrought fine linen, of the house of Ashbea.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Laadah . the father . of the house of them that wrought fine linen-Here, again, is another incidental evidence that in very early times certain trades were followed by particular families among the Hebrews, apparently in hereditary succession. Their knowledge of the art of linen manufacture had been, most probably, acquired in Egypt, where the duty of bringing up families to the occupations of their forefathers was a compulsory obligation, whereas in Israel, as in many parts of Asia to this day, it was optional, though common.
Some suggest that the name 'Huguenot' is derived from that of a legendary king named Hugon or HUGO. The Protestants at Tours assembled at night near the gate of King Hugo whom the people regarded as a spirit. A monk in a sermon said that the Protestants should be called Huguenots since like the spirit-king Hugo they only went out at night. They werecalled 'Huguenots' and the name became popular from 1560 onwards. Hugo is another form of the Hebrew name "Haggi". Haggi who was one of the sons of Gad (Genesis 46:16).Others say the name Huguenot is derived in part from a French term meaning "gathering". If this is correct, it has a similar meaning to that of the name Gad (derived from "Gedud") in Hebrew.
Fabrics used as shrouds and clothing by Bar Kochba rebels who retreated into the cave in the Judahite desert in 135 CE, were identified by Israeli archeologist, Professor Yigael Yadin Professor Yadin requested the Dexter Chemical Corporation to study the colors of the fabrics. "Never before," stated the astonished Dr. Sidney Edelstein, the principal of Dexter and chairman of the Archives Committee of the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorants, "had such a large varied, old and precisely dated collection of dyed materials been available for analysis." Dr. Edelstein, together with Dr. David Abrahams, developed a new "positive" technique of separating the elemental dyes from the old fabrics and subjected the dyes to infrared spectrography. They produced several fascinating conclusions about all the colors used.I believe the most significant of their findings that was found was that the lasting intensity of the black colors, matches the blacks of the 17th century Gobelin tapestries of FRANCE. This may be the most importantclue we have, in the quest to follow the silk weavers of the old silk road. Gobi Desert, Persia, Mesopotamia, Levant, Byzantine, Japan, India, Persia, Byzantine, Greece, Italy, Sicily and France.
They were baptized Catholic in France under Spanish Catholic rule, followers of John Calvin, then converted to Protestant in France, fled to England to avoid persecution and given the surname Rapalje by the Dutch when they moved from England to the Netherlands. In the “Memorial history of the city of New York“ Volume I, by James Grant Wilson 1892, the ship “New Netherland” and 30 Walloon families were placed on her and it was planned in advance how they were to be distributed into various settlements. A certain Simon Jansen De Rapallo or Rapalje according to the Dutch spelling having first settled on Staten Island removed to Walloon Bay in the spring of 1625.
There is a town of Rapallo, Italy. The name of a town as a surname indicated a probable Jewish heritage in Italy, at that time.Although, this wasn’t exclusive to Jewish people, the De signifies from, thus distinguishing Simon from Rapallo. Rapallo is an important seaport just south of Genoa. In the sixteenth century, Rapallo became one of the ports through which Spanish Jews escaped the attention of the Spanish Inquisitor. It is known, there were Jewish artisans, merchants, dyers and silk weavers. Some also owned homes in the towns and farms. Around the tenth century some tombstone inscriptions were composed of Hebrew. If the name Simon de Rapallo is true, then the Rapalje’s may have had some connection in this area. John Blyth Dobson in his article “The Fraudulent Coligny-Rapalje Descent” said the Rapalje’s were not from Rapallo, Italy, nor were they related to the Coligny’s. Although he explains in detail how they are not related to the Coligny’s he does not explain Simon De Rapallo.
Joris Rapalje was a fabric worker, born in 1604 Valenciennes, France and died in 1662 Brooklyn, New York. Rapelje is the phonetic rendering by the Dutch, and Joris is Dutch for George. I have found numerous other name spellings of Rapalje as well. Rapparier means to match or get the pair to. Appareil means preparation. Joris married Catalina Trico. They were my 11th great grandparents. Joris came from a family of fabric weavers. Some of Joris ancestors fled to England with their families to escape religious persecution. Some returned to Valenciennes where Joris was born.
Catalina Trico also came from a family of fabric weavers. The Trico’s (Tricaud), were from Douay, in Henault, a city of weavers, not far from Valenciennes. Jerome Trigaud, was the father of Catalina. The Tricaud’s invented Trico fabric. The Tricaud’s also moved to England. In the book “The Raparlier Family in France, The Netherlands, and New Netherlands” Recorded by Louis P. DeBoer, Historian 1917, states Valenciennes was an industrial and commercial city. It was almost entirely inhabited by silk and wool weavers, who obtained their rough silk from Southern France and Northern Italy and their wool from England and Scotland.
The southeast of France was once called 'Gothia' due to the Goths having ruled and settled there.Amongst the Goths in French 'Gothia' there were movements to Judaize. The Goths themselves believed that they were descended from Israel. Jews from the region of Gothia were also called 'Goth' and the terms 'Jew' and 'Goth' were used synonymously. The historian Arthur J. Zuckerman "A Jewish Princedom in Feudal France, 768-900", 1972,believed that Jews were referred to as 'Goths' because they often came from the region of Narbonne which was also known as 'Gothia'.Jewish Marranos , descended from Sephardic Jews from Spain, who became Huguenots. Jews and Huguenots in France tended to band together.
John Mandeville, 1499 identified the Goths of history with the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel. The Tribe of Reuben had neighbored Gad and was exiled with it. Consequently, a certain overlapping may be noticed between groups identified as part of Gad and those seen to have come from Reuben. Reuben appears to have been the dominating factor in the Frank federations of West European history especially that of France.
Difficult trades were disliked by Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. Such practices of tradesas silk weaving were confined to slaves or foreigners. Babylonian Jews learned the art of silk production (sericulture) from the Chinese, where the manufacture of silk originated.
Originally Chinese, central Asian, Jewish, Byzantine and Islamic, the Jews were silk route pioneers between Persia and China in the fifth century BCE. In 586-530 BCE Hellenized Jews left Judea and moved to Greece. Silk was called seres by the Romans and given the name sericulture which means the breeding of silk worms brought into Europe in the 5th century by 2 Monks who smuggled them in bamboo slips. The Arabs introduced sericulture to Palermo, Spain, where the Jews established the silk industry.
Sarcenic (Arabian) conquest influenced arts of Spain, France and Italy. In 700 the Saracens were Byzantine and N. African. In 840 the Jews of Greece were very prosperous in rearing silk works, planting mulberry trees and in silk weaving. The best dyers and weavers were in Thebes, Greece.
According to the European Textile Network Website’s timeline, weaving began in 925 AD when the wool dyers guilds was established in Germany. The rise of this guild system is instrumental in the growth of the textile industry in Flanders, Brabant, France, Italy and Germany. Raw wool was brought up by merchants in boats up rivers from the coast to inland towns in Flanders, paying taxes to different lords on the way. In 961 indoor cloth halls were established in Flanders in the Briges, Ghent and Ypres area. In the 11th century, England became the raw wool supplier for the early wool processing centers in Flanders, and Florence. In 1000, Flemish weavers began manufacturing wool tapestries in Valenciennes and other surrounding towns. The most important cloth-weaving towns, were those of Flanders, where people lived by the textile trade. The Cloth Halls of Valenciennes are mentioned already in 1070. They were not under the jurisdiction of a guild, but were considered as independent artists.In 1284, 200 monasteries are recorded as exporting wool to Flanders.
George of Antioch, the Greek Lenvantine admiral of King Roger of Sicily raided Thebes and Corinth, Greece in 1147, and carried off Jewish silk workers and dyers of purple. King Roger formed a silk industry in Sicily. Jewish artisans who practiced these arts were prizes won by armed force. In 1174, the culture of silkworm started in Italy and France.
Benjamin of Tudela traveled between 1159 and 1172 and kept a diary of his travels. He wrote of the Jewish dyers in Brindisi, silk weavers of Thebes, tanners of Constantinople and glass workers of Aleppo and Tyre. He said there were just as many Jews in Greece as there were in Palestine. The largest Jewish community in Greece was in Thebes, where he foundcloth dyeing, weaving and making silk garments. At the time they were known as “Romaniotes.”
After King Roger, Frederick II became king of Sicily in 1198. He too brought in Jewsfrom the Balkans, as well as the isle of Jerba off the coast of North Africa. From 1212-50 he protected the Jews and secured them the monopoly of silk weaving. He was unthankful for their contribution and left for the east, crowning himself King of Jerusalem in 1229. When he returned to Italy and dissatisfied with the revenue of the silk industry, he took complete control of it. Conditions for the Jews deteriorated. In the year 1290 those who did not want to be baptized caused a massive exit of Jews.
In 1307-1370 thousands of craftsman exited Italy to France and Germany. Lyon, and other cities in France harbored refugee silk makers from Italy. In 1480 Italian silk weavers had settled in French cities of Tours and Lyons and there were silk centers in Gages, St. Jean, and Languedoc, a Huguenot area. Some left Italy returned to Greece where they were welcomed. At this time Sicily was devoid of professed Jews. Some stayed in Tuscany and others departed northward to Rapallo and other west coast ports.
Some believe Jews merged into Catholicism in France. Jews were expelled from France in the twelfth, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, in Bordeaux and in southern France, yet some converts remained behind. After 1481, the Sephardic remnant was enlarged byinfusion of New Christians, from Spain and Portugal. Virtually all of them were judaizers-marranos. Many Jewish families have found Huguenots, in their ancestry research.
Huguenots were French Protestants who went to the Reformed Church that was established in 1550 by John Calvin. At that time they preferred to be called Reformers not Huguenots. Later on the name Huguenot was said with honor. At that time, the trade routes over land were not safe in France. This caused a sea-trade relationship with Italian city-states of Genoa, Venice and Florence via the Flemish sea ports of Bruges and Antwerp. Lace, created by the two completely different techniques, of Italy and Flanders is similar. There were political and economic ties between Italy and Flanders. Objects resembling lace bobbins have been found in Roman remains, but there are no records of Roman lace making. The craft may have begun in the first half of the 14th century in Flanders.
Back in the sixteenth century there were groups of Christians in Europe who were persecuted by both the Catholic Church and the State Churches. In England they were called Puritans, in France, Huguenots, and in French speaking Belgium and surrounding areas, they were called Walloons. There was great religious fervor in Western Europe in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. The Reformation started in Germany and spread westward to the British Isles, Netherlands, Belgium, and France. Many wanted deliverance from the Catholic and State sponsored Churches.
Abraham D. Lavender, Ph.D. is a member of the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies, the Association for the Social Scientific Study of Jewry, and the Huguenot Society of South Carolina and author of many books. In “Searching for Crypto-Jews in France: From Spanish Jews to French Huguenots,” He believes Huguenots were actually Jews, because both Jews and Huguenots believed they were the direct descendants of the twelve tribes of ancient Israel. Their cultures the appearance and customs of a Huguenots and a Jew seemed the same. The Protestant churches were called Temples. They wore similar attire, and shared the same first names and surnames. The Jews and the Huguenots lived and worked in the same neighborhoods. Because of religious persecution in Spain, Portugal and France, Jews converted to Christianity and remained Jews behind the scenes.
Becoming Protestants gave them freedom. The Sephardic and Huguenot areas of settlement overlapped. Christianity, was closer to Judaism. Reformists often used old testament names, such as Abraham, Isaac, Daniel, David, Jacob, Samuel, and Salomen. Catholics used names of Saints. Abraham was the only old testament name used by Catholics. There is a connection between naming patterns and ethnic/religious identity. Crypto-Judaism is the secret adherence to Judaism while publicly professing to be of another faith. The Huguenots, ofSouthern France, referred to themselves as living in "The Desert" which they likened to the Hebrews living in the Desert. The Huguenot shield had a burning bush in the middle, with God's name written in Hebrew.
Ruth Shecter, an a author and researcher at the Beer Sheva University in Israel says that the Calvinists were basically Hebraic in character and mind-set especially when compared to neighboring peoples and religious groups.
In an interview of Joseph Brandes, a retired history professor in the New Jersey Jewish Standard, the Standard asked him this question. “What are some of the roots of anti-Semitism?” Brandes replied, “One of them is religion. In the early years of Christianity, the first Christians were Jews. Consequently there was a kind of kinship between Jews and Christians, where people who called themselves Jews could also believe in Jesus as a god. And that kind of relationship continued for several centuries — until Christians became worried about the success of the Muslim world. Christianity was also being challenged by people [the Christians] called heretics — that what stakes were for, to burn the heretics. So, more and more, the Christian church focused on cleansing itself of its own heretics, including the French Huguenots.”
There was a known immigrant named Claude Dottegnie from Antwerp to England recorded in 1571 as a silk worker from Italy but had lived in Antwerp for several years before moving to London in 1559. My relatives, Bon Rapareillet, brother of Jean Rapareillet born in 1540, is listed as a merchant from Valenciennes and as a silk weaver when he lived in England 1568-1571. Bon’s name was changed to Browne Aperlie on a list in London, Bon Rapparlier on another list and first name Good on yet another list. Bon means good in English. From 1500-1571, 2% of the immigrant silk workers to London were from Italy. 30% of immigrant silk workers from Walloon provinces. The book “Immigrants and the industries of London, 1500-1700” by Lien Luu has a list with Bon and other’s names. She states that the immigrants from Valenciennes to England excelled in light cloths, linen muslims and laces, not silk. Yet the majority of immigrants from Valenciennes after arriving in England were silk weavers. Tornai just north of Valenciennes was noted for manufacturing light woolens and was one of the most important export centers of cloth and by the mid 16th century Tournai had moved into satins, gold cloths and silk damask. She states that refuges from Valenciennes were a close knit group with family ties.
The Walloon cities of Valenciennes and Tournai were at the forefront in the development of Calvinism in the Netherlands. Perhaps if they were merchants in France and silk weavers in England it was because they knew that industry.
Catalina who was married to Joris Rapalje had a sister Margariet Trico married to first husband Jean de la Fontaine dit Wicart. Her second husband was Isaak Minicts. Catalina’s half sister Marie Flamen married Phillip de la Fontaine, a fabric manufacturer. Their son Philip de la Fontaine II second wife was Cornelia Hartman sister of Hartman Hartmansz II. His father was the Hartman Hartmansz, a surgeon, who was married to Elizabeth Kemp the daughter of Hendrick Aertsz Kemp of Amsterdam. He sold lace and silk goods traveling to Germany, Riga, and Scandinavia. His brother was Rombout Kemp, a seargent in the military. I found an Ambrosia Kemp who was a leather merchant of Spanish leather listed on the same page as the other Kemps were all important buyers of Auctions in the 17th century Amsterdam. They were wealthy people who had extensive art in their possessions as well as diamonds and other valuable jewelry. Artus Kemp was the mother of Henrick Aertsz Kemp.
Also important to note is that some of Phillip de la Fontaine and Marie Flamen’s children had Biblical names ofSara, Daniel, Abraham, Isaac, Phillip, and Sacarie. Sacar is Hebrew in origin and it's meaning is recompense or wages. Sacar is also the name of two men in the Bible. Sacar was the father of Ahiam, one of the mighty warriors in David's army.
They knew Rembrandt. Hartman Hartmansz sat for Rembrandt’s painting “The Anatomy Lesson” in 1632. Hartman is holding the manuscript in his hand with the names of the men in the picture. He was 1 of the 7 students in the painting.
Rombout Kemp was a Reformer and a cloth merchant. Rombout in 1635-1653was a member of the organization for the poor. He liked to read and fathered 12 children. Rombout sat for Rembrandt in his painting “Nightwatch” 1642. He was one of the two sergeants in the painting.
Ambrosia Kemp’s daughter Jannetje Kemps married Elias Van Cuelen who was a Reformer, a merchant, and sat for the artist Dirck Dirksz Sanvoort in the portrait painting of 1643 “Elias van Cuelen.” Not only were they buyers of fine art, they had a special kinship with these famous artists as models.
Erwin Panofsky, the German-Jewish art historian, took a special interest in Rembrandt’s connection to Jews. About a picture thought to be painted from a Jewish model, he commented, “The way Christ gestures with his arm undoubtedly has something Jewish about it.”