The remarkable set of 5 Lamego/Lousada marriages 1700-50 - what does this tell us?

Perhaps there is an underlying reason (eg as discussed in notes 5 and 10 below) for the remarkable cluster of Lamego/Lousada marriages shown in the chart. For the moment we note that the first pair of marriages around 1705 in Jamaica (there is a minor qualification to this in note 3 below) was associated with the Lousadas establishing a firm foothold in Jamaica from Barbados around 1705, and that the last pair of Lamego/Lousada marriages enabled offspring of these Jamaican Lousadas to make a successful transition to England in the 1736-43 period (see note 12 below). The chart above also shows an intermediate Lamego/Lousada marriage around 1720 (see note 14 below). The key ancestor from these perspectives is Aaron Lamego (see note 6 below), and Edgar Samuel advised us that it is likely that both Aaron Lamego and the Bordeaux Lamegos (ref 114) derive from the Rouen Lamegos. In the Southwest of France the position of the Sephardic Jews was relatively secure (but see note 11 below) and the rise of Bordeaux as a trading port was partly due to their presence and their trade with the Caribbean (ref 198).

 There was a prominent French presence in the Caribbean in the 1600s (see ref 129 and ref 21) and Jews were present in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Cayenne/Remire. Many of the Jews were from Dutch Brazil but in the case of Cayenne some were from Livorno. But their presence did not last long. In Cayenne the Jews departed either displaced across the border into Surinam upon the French attack of 1664 or taken to Surinam or Barbados by the English in 1667, and they left Martinique and Guadeloupe in the 1683-85 expulsions from French colonies. But Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) then unofficially absorbed Jewish settlers and by 1713 it had developed a vigorous trade with Jamaica and Curacao (ref 197) and by 1764 when French authorities eventually took notice there were 50 Jewish families not the expected 3 (ref 197). The travels of Aaron Lamego are discussed in note 6 below and his path to Jamaica may have been via Saint-Domingue at the time when its trading link with Jamaica was being forged. Aaron's son Isaac was born in 1685 (see note 9 below) in a time of great change for French colonial Jews. Aaron was probably a grandson of Antonio Rodrigues Lamego though we have no indications as to his father except that his Jewish name may have been Isaac - for it seems likely that Isaac was first-born (given that Aaron died around 1747 and must have been quite young when Isaac was born in 1685).

 We cannot yet conclusively link the early Lamegos with those in the above chart, but without much doubt the wealth they generated was that which enabled their participation in the d'Olivares refinancing (see notes 2, 7, 8 and 13 below). The Rodrigues Lamegos of Rouen drew upon this capital and history, for they (as shown in ref 120 table 25) operated an Atlantic trading business from Rouen for several generations (see also notes 1 and 11). The marriage in Portugal of Antonio Rodrigues Lamego to Beatriz Henriques aka Sarah Curiel (see note 4 below) brought many Curiel/Acosta connections (see notes 1 and 5 below) and yielded 3 sons (ref 115) but ref 142 shows one more. In any event it seems likely that the Curiel/Acostas were the ancestors that it is claimed the Lousadas had in Jamaica many generations before the English acquired it from Spain in 1655.



1. From ref 30 it appears that in the 1620s whilst the Lamego representatives in Cartegena and Veracruz were linked to the family, the Jamaican representative was not - unlike the others his relationship was not stated. The Cartegena representative was Antonio de Acosta a brother-in-law of Antonio Rodrigues Lamego clearly a brother of Sarah Curiel. She had other close relatives with this surname which was variously spelt as da Costa, d'Acosta or de Acosta eg in ref 142 one appears as Duarte Nunez de Acosta of Hamburg aka Jacob Curiel. The eminent Moses Curiel, also known as Jeronimo Nunes da Costa, merchant and diplomat extraordinaire, was the son of Jacob and thus a cousin of Duarte Rodrigues Lamego of Rouen as the chart shows. Antonio de Acosta does not appear in ref 142 - perhaps because his name was prudently withheld from the Inquisitional hearing which shed light on the other family members. In ref 14 can be found reference to a 'converted Jew d'Acosta (who) was superintendent of the commissary of the English troops and was one of the chief negotiators of the Spanish surrender. (He may have known Spanish).' This Acosta may have been a son of Antonio and thus perhaps also a nephew of Sarah Curiel. Also, ref 5 p9 teaches us that a David de Acosta who had arrived from Spain had an important plantation in the centre of Barbados by 1680, while ref 142 indicates that Sarah Curiel had a nephew David aka George de Acosta and it seems likely that he was the Barbados David de Acosta. He however died around 1685 the year his will was written and in this will (see ref 5) there is no indication of contact with Lamego relatives.

2. Luis de Oliveira Lisboa was an uncle of Bartolome Febos (ref 23) but it is not clear whether this relationship arose though the Lamego, Curiel or Febos families. We show above the first possibility without any certainty and our chart of the early Lamegos explores his link with the Rodrigues Lamegos. Then in ref 142 we find Antonio Luis Morais shown as the son of Luis de Oliveira de Lisboa. Perhaps Antonio Luis Morais was Antonio Rodrigues de Morais, the Rouen merchant who was a partner of Duarte Rodrigues Lamego. The 1697 Oliveira/Morais London marriage was between cousins (ref 11) and thus it seems that Antonio Rodrigues de Morais became Abraham Isaiah de Morais.

3. The marriage of Jacob #380 to Abigail Lamego the elder seems to have been the second for Jacob as he seems to have first married Leah in Barbados but we do not know who Leah was.

4. Antonio Rodrigues Lamego and his (second or later) wife Beatriz Henriques aka Sarah Curiel came to Rouen from Portugal in 1618 (ref 150).Through the work of Edgar Samuel we can see that Sarah Curiel descends from the last Visigothic kings of Leon and Asturias (see ref 35 Table 6 and preceding material) and is related to the entire Portuguese ruling family! There are many references to Antonio Rodrigues Lamego of Rouen in the literature eg ref 123 pp 255-6 and 320-1, but we have found some hitherto unknown occurrences of his name in the Amsterdam Notary Archives - and though we have not yet digested the documents their online summaries are detailed enough to give at least a partial picture of the trade they engaged in.

5. The Lamego/Curiel influence on the Baruh Lousadas may have gone well beyond the 5 marriages we show above. For the Barbados wife of Aaron Baruh Lousada was Rachel Gomez Henriques whose surnames are present in the early Lamegos. The 2nd Amsterdam marriage of David Baruch Louzada #44 to Rachel Levi Gomes in 1677 may also point to an early Lamego influence; for before Fernando (Levi) Montezinos left Madrid around 1656 he was a representative of the Rouen Lamegos and his marriage connections certainly evokes but does not prove a link to the Levi Gomes family; in 1623 Fernando Levi Montezinos married Catalina Rodrigues Gomez in Madrid though she died soon thereafter, and Rachel Levi Gomes was born in Madrid in 1652. Finally, the 1st Amsterdam marriage in 1673 of David #44 to Esther Rodrigues da Costa who was born in Paris around 1649 also perhaps points to a Lamego influence - for Antonio Rodrigues Lamego married Sarah Curiel and the Curiels frequently used the da Costa/d'Acosta name. We do not pretend of this actually proves an early link. However Moses Baruch Lousada appears to have travelled to London via France - presumably Rouen - and his regular visits to Amsterdam in the 1649-59 period may have been made from there as well, while the 1st Amsterdam marriage of David #44 appears to have been a ratification of a marriage in a (Christian) country where Jewish marriages could not have been conducted and France springs to mind here. We do know 4 out of 6 (including the 2 brothers Emanuel #41 and Jacob #380 shown in the chart) children of Aaron Baruch Lousada of Barbados d1695 left for Jamaica. Finally the main London business associate of Moses Baruch Lousada was Jacob Gomes Serra whose surnames suggest a Lamego connection, for Serra was a name used by the Montezinos family (see ref 153).

 6. Aaron Lamego of Jamaica is shown in the chart to have had a close relative in Barbados in 1680 - his (probable) grandmother's nephew David aka George de Acosta - a first cousin once removed. Perhaps he also had a similar cousin in Jamaica as also indicated above. From a family of French crypto-Jews in Rouen and then Bordeaux for 2 generations, it seems likely that he first went to French territory (Guadeloupe or Martinique). The French colonial expulsion of Jews of 1683 and 1685 perhaps forced his departure. Jeronimo Nunes da Costa (see note 1 above) used his diplomatic talents in intercession on behalf of the Jews of Martinique. Perhaps Aaron Lamego went briefly to nearby Barbados - but if so it seems likely that he spent more time in the unofficial Jewish community in the more remote French colony of Saint Domingue as discussed above. In any event he was probably in Jamaica some time before his Barbados future sons-in-law arrived around 1705. Probably his stay in Jamaica was limited by his appearance as a Bank of England stockholder in 1714-39 (ref 127) and in Bevis Marks (ref 6) in 1716. His son Moses appears in Bevis Marks in 1731 (ref 6), his son Isaac in 1744 (ref 6), and his grandson Jacob Lousada (a grand-nephew of Moses Baruh Lousada) in 1748 (ref 6) having married there in 1743. Regrettably, Aaron Lamego had an involvement in 1708 with the slave trade (ref 44 p97 - this reference does not tell us where Aaron Lamego was in 1708 though the title of the source - American Jewish Archives Korn Papers Box 31 Folder 6 'Notes on Jamaica slave traders from Kingston Journal and Royal Gazette' - seems to confirm it was Jamaica) though on a scale dwarfed by that of his ancestor Manuel Rodrigues Lamego a century earlier who for 7 years exclusively held the official Spanish slave contract.

7. Ref 23 p108 informs us of the banking and tax farming role of Diogo Rodrigues da Costa whose name suggests early Lamego and Curiel links. Perhaps he was a grandson of Diogo Rodrigues and Guiomar da Costa (see ref 35 p52) with a complication that the older Diogo migrated to Lyons in 1574.

8. Bartoleme Febos was a product of an earlier marriage - to Joana Febos (ref 30) - and came to Rouen aged 12 (ref 150). He became his father's Madrid representative, and provided specialist bill and credit support to many banking asentistas. His trial in Madrid in 1634 has become well-known for giving insights into the impact that the Inquisition had on commercial and other life in Madrid (ref 37 p45). An investigator was sent to Rouen to clear the Fonseca family, but while there he discovered much about the Lamegos who had become less secretive about their Jewishness, whilst the Fonsecas appeared to be faultless Catholics. The investigator's report led to a number of Portuguese merchants in Madrid being compromised including Febos, whose high-profile celebrity friend Fernando (later) Isaac Cardoso testified for him (ref 41). Cardoso by doing so could have endangered himself but seems not to have, whilst Febos was fortunate that whilst tried and convicted, this was apparently without serious consequences as he was active in Atlantic trade in 1644 (ref 30). An uncle of Bartoleme Febos ie Luis de Oliveira Lisboa, was also a bill specialist, and a grandson of Luis (ie Abraham de Jacob de Oliveira whose uncle was Polycarp de Oliveira who arrived in London before him) appeared in London in 1685, married his cousin Rebecca de Abraham Isaiah de Morais in London (ref 11) on 15 Heshvan 5458 ie 30 Oct 1697, and was a member of Bevis Marks with Moses Baruh Lousada (see ref 6 p422 where they both appear as signatories to the 1677 Code of Ascamot). The above chart shows a plausible link between the de Oliveira and the Morais families (ref 142), whilst a link between the Rodrigues Lamego family and the Morais family is also shown.

9. The birthdate of Isaac Lamego appears erroneously as 1710 in Bevis Marks Records Part 6 Appendix C. This error arose because his age at death was not 57 (the figure from which 1710 was calculated from the 1767 death date) but probably 82 (which gives the 1685 birthdate shown in ref 91). It would have taken 2 transcription errors for 82 to be read as 57 ie 8 as 5 and 2 as 7 (both of course quite plausible). On 22 Oct 2013 by email Edgar Samuel reported that he had found from inspection of an image of the grave in Bevis Marks Archives that age at death was 80 plus thereby confirming the first of the transcription errors. The gravestone was lost when the burial remains were relocated to Brentwood, Essex and Edgar Samuel suggested it may have suffered damage from chemical pollution in the time between its initial observation (leading to the date in ref 91 p38) and the observation made just before the relocation (leading to the data in Bevis Marks Records Part 6 Appendix C).

10. Lamego in the Duoro River valley is close to the Lousada towns and villages of northern Portugal. The 2 families seem to have a similar palette of forenames.

11. The family was in Rouen in the 1650s - Antonio Rodrigues Lamego was in Rouen in 1632 (ref 41) and 1633 (ref 51), and in 1655 the family was represented by his sons Jeronimo and Raphael Rodrigues Lamego (ref 37). But from ref 123 pp255-6 it seems that Royal pressure made Rouen less favoured as a home for crypto-Jews compared to Bordeaux. Louis XIV and his Chief Minister Colbert had planned to expel Jews and while in 1683 their attention was focussed on the Southwest this did not lead to decisive expulsion there. Some evidence of the Lamegos of Bordeaux may be found in ref 114.

12. Once in England, the Lousadas, with the Lamegos, formed multiple marriage links with the Lopes Pereira and Mocatta families and re-established their position at the heart of Anglo-Jewry first taken by Jacob's grand-uncle Moses Baruh Lousada.

13. Antonio Mendes Lamego participated in the d'Olivares refinancing (ref 23) with the bill specialists Bartolome Febos and his uncle Luis de Oliveira Lisboa (see note 8) but their relationship is unknown. (A Diogo Rodrigues da Costa who may or may not have been related - see note 7 - also participated). In Madrid their representative, until about 1656 when trouble with the Cuenca Inquisition arose and he left for Antwerp, was Fernando de Montezinos a man linked by marriage to the Baruch Lousadas. Antonio's brother (ref 30) Manuel Rodrigues Lamego of Rouen had paid a very large sum for the contract to supply slaves to the Spanish colonies in 1623-30 (ref 116). Duarte Rodrigues Lamego became a powerful merchant of Rouen and substantial creditor (with Antonio Rodrigues de Morais) of Michael de Spinoza, the father of the excommunicated philosopher Baruch Spinoza (ref 90). These two Rouen merchants were themselves in debt to Antonio Fernandez Carvajal of London and were his factors in Rouen around 1655 (ref 37). Duarte Rodrigues Lamego, like his more eminent cousin Jeronimo Nunes da Costa (see note 1 below), provided intelligence to the Portuguese government.

14. There are many references in the literature to a marriage between Isaac Lamego and Rachel Baruh Lousada eg while the old Lousada family tree even suggests she was the daughter of Emanuel #41 (in chart above) but it can readily be shown that neither she nor the daughter named Rachel of Jacob #380 (also in chart above) can have been her. We considered whether Rachel derived from the Barbados Baruch Lousadas. Our first choice was that she was a daughter of David Baruh Lousada #612, but this seems unlikely because David's daughter seems to have married and gone to Curacao. The next most obvious possibility is discussed in note 16 below. The marriage does not appear in Bevis Marks Records 2 whilst early Barbados marriage records have been lost - in ref 132 the first entry is for 1778 - as have early Jamaican marriage records. The marriage of Isaac and Rachel must have been before the birth of Abigail #37 on 12 Nov 1723 and probably before the birth of Haim in 1722. Rachel could hardly have been Isaac's first wife, for his daughter Sarah was born in 1715. Thus the marriage was probably in 1721.

15. The transcription we have of the will of Emanuel #135 (in English not Portuguese) showed 2 daughters of his brother Daniel named Rebecca, but inspection of the will itself showed that one of them was Rachel.

16. The 1st daughter of Solomon #712 would also have been called Rachel (after Rachel Gomez Henriques the wife of Aaron #376 - as were the 1st daughters of each of Jacob #380, Emanuel #41, David #612 and Hannah Alvin). If Rachel - daughter of Solomon - did survive, she is a possible last wife of Isaac Lamego. If this is correct she was born after 1703, and Isaac Lamego presumably came to Barbados to marry her. If as suggested in note 14 the marriage was in 1721 Rachel would have been no older than 18. Currently, we have no evidence that Solomon had a surviving daughter Rachel - other than that we believe he had a surviving daughter Rebecca in addition to his 3 sons Aaron, Jeremiah and David in which case Rachel must have existed at least for a time. Rachel Lamego nee Baruch Lousada #1262 died in 1751.