Tag Archives: Medieval Jews in Holland

We Can Thank the Dutch for Religious Tolerance… They Were the First


We can thank the Dutch for religious tolerance. They were the first. Before New York was New York it was New Amsterdam and we know what that means. “The Dutch.” Now mind you, America’s early Dutch were severe in their religious beliefs. What religion wasn’t severe back in the late 1600’s? But thank you Holland for being the first European country to practice religious tolerance.

Holland’s openness to all forms of religion continues to this day but make no mistake, there never was nor ever will be an absolute or unanimous way of thinking. During the Rembrandt-era, Holland’s Jews were impacted by the anti-Semitism of out-spoken Christian religious leaders. There was even strife between Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews. And recently, there has been an uptick in political movements that have less tolerance for immigrants and the religious diversity that they bring. In spite of this, tolerance is the norm in Holland.


Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy IIUncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors, Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians, Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees, Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy VI – Freemasons, Jewish Conquistadors and the Holy Family. Available here:

Secret Genealogy:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0965114082

Secret Genealogy II:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484053222

Secret Genealogy III:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/148407579X

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

Secret Genealogy VI: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY35VCP

Genealogy… Bringing Crypto-Jews into the Light


Secret Genealogy

It’s been about ten years since I got the bug… uncovering the Crypto-Jewish roots of my ancestors. I fell in, head over heels. What’s not to love? Images of medieval men and women, affluent, informed, in period costume, posing as deacons in a church or as Huguenots during the Reformation. Religious scholars arguing about messianic theology, translating Hebrew Bibles and investing in shiploads of exotic spices.

I can’t say there is no shame in it because there was. The people who came before us exploited Natives for their own selfish pursuit of wealth. The Golden Era of Amsterdam was built upon that exploitation. Much of the architecture that we admire throughout the world was built by slave labor. No one can escape that reality.

I am grateful that today, genealogists are sharing the history of medieval times and the Renaissance era, including bringing our Crypto-Jewish ancestors into the light. There is no shame in that.New The Lies of the Lion Kindle Cover

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry. Available here:

Secret Genealogy:  http://www.amazon.com/Secret-Genealogy-Volume-Suellen-Ocean/dp/0965114082

… and The Lion’s Trace Available here:

The Lies of the Lion (Book 1)