The Fischls and the de Dirsztays - their original Barrow and later Baruch Lousada links

The chart above is based on Richard de Dirsztay's tree (ref 31) but varies it as explained in note 5. It was drawn up for the reasons explained in note 6 below. The tree shows recent Baruch Lousada ancestry (discussed in note 1 below) for Richard de Dirsztay appears to have been a great-grandson of the 5th Lousada Duke; he was also a grand-nephew of Erno Letay de Losada (see next paragraph). The people shown in orange may be found online (see note 6) and appear to belong to a different family branch than that described in Richard's tree. The people in red are suggested by a DNA match of Julian Land (see note 11 below). The person in blue is suggested by Julian Land (see note 12).

 In 1922 and 1924 Erno Letay de Losada obtained the right to use the 'de Losada' title and coat of arms; but this would hardly have happened solely on the strength of his sister-in-law's ancestry shown in the chart. She was a daughter of the 5th Lousada Duke, and while she seemed to be living proof that the Baruch Lousadas had successfully assumed the title of the Duque de Losada, additional arguments must have been put forward to demonstrate a more direct descent. Perhaps Erno only needed to demonstrate his own Baruch Lousada ancestry (see note 9 below). We do not know how he did this, but if the de Dirsztay tree is any guide then Moritz Baruh was his key ancestor. However the tree does not give a cogent explanation as to how Moritz Baruh could have been a Baruch Lousada descendant, and in any case almost certainly demonstrates that Moritz Baruh was not Erno's ancestor (see note 3 for our reasoning). We have corrected this situation in that we now consider that Erno's Baruch Lousada ancestry must have arisen from an offshoot of the Livorno Baruch Lousadas (see note 10 below). And we also suggest that it was not Moritz Baruh who was the actual ancestor of Erno nor Moses' brother Gedalia of Prague but a sister. The Empress' 1744 expulsion edict (see note 8 below) may have caused the sister's sons to stay away from Prague (see notes 12 & 13 below) and remain with their uncle Moses in Timisoara (see note 7 below).

 The chart illustrates the extensive appearance of Italy to this family history - with the Italian Jewish marriage links of Moritz Baruh, Simon Barrow and his inferred sister. Later Italian links are shown in the chart. Of course before the Risorgimento all of northern Italy progressively fell into the hands of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and the retreat of the Ottomans created business opportunities to the east of Vienna. No doubt people of Sephardic ancestry from Italy and the Ottoman Empire joined those seeking to exploit these opportunities. At this time Livorno was losing its dynamism as a trading port, and Jewish Italian banking was in decline since the 1682 decision of Pope Innocent XI (ref 347). Thus it would seem that at the time Simon Barrow (with a brother-in-law - see note 14 below) went west to Barbados around 1750 with Gedalia remaining in Prague, Moses went to Timisoara. Thereafter he and his nephews/stepsons acquired the Fischl name (see note 4 below), and subsequently descendants with this name went to Budapest, though some acquired the aristocratic name 'de Dirsztay'. There were 2 marriages with the Tornyay-Schossbergers (see note 2 below) who like the de Menasche family (see note 1 below) had business interests across the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Such families illustrate the influence and cultivation of the Jewish aristocracy of Hungary, but much of this wealth was lost under the Nazis some of whose evil influence is captured in the de Dirsztay tree.



1. Ilona de Losada who married Viktor Adolf de Dirsztay was a sister-in-law of Erno Letay de Losada via her twin sister Irene. The marriage links together 2 family branches and in particular links Istvan and Richard Dirsztay. The de Dirsztay tree gives the twins as daughters of the 5th Lousada Duke Edward Eugene. Of course his appearance in this tree, and death on 5 May 1941, is a considerable surprise, for apart from his parents the only other information we have for him is his 'return' to Jamaica (see ref 6 p27 which however gives no source for this or indeed that Edward Eugene was ever in Jamaica). Richard de Dirsztay gives no sources either but it is hard to imagine him getting his own grandmother wrong! Thus, if indeed Edward Eugene went to Jamaica, he must have been in communication with his Budapest daughters and grandchildren for his death to have become known to them. One wonders whether his departure from Budapest had anything to do with the failure of his daughter's marriage to Victor Adolf Dirsztay, or whether he simply wished to avoid the Nazis; of course his Jamaican destination itself is quite mysterious, for most of the uncles and aunts of Edward Eugene inhabited an elevated sphere of (mostly) Catholic Europe. Emanuel the 2nd Duke married a somewhat impecunious minor French aristocrat Honorine Scholastique Lejeune, Emma married a Belgian Count Louis van der Burch of military background, Francis was HM Consul for Rhode Island and Massachusetts and was made Marquis of San Miniato by the Grand Duke of Tuscany (his wife was on the Grand Duke's staff in London), 2 of his 3 sons becoming the 3rd and 4th Dukes (Horace Francis and Francis Clifford), Edward Eugene's father married Francoise Tard of Chantilly, Berthe married Gustav Nicolai de Noe of Prussia, while Anna Marie married Edmund Molyneux-Seel who became Chamberlain to Pope Leo and Chamberlain 1st Class to Pope Pius 9. The twins' mother is given as Baroness Judith Menasche; this raises an interesting question! A further interesting question is why the Fischls & Dirsztays reconnected with the Baruch Lousadas - was it adventitious, echoing the adventitious Barrow reconnection with the Baruch Lousadas in Barbados, or was it premeditated by one side or the other? Isaac #92 the 1st Lousada Duke would have learnt from his 1st cousin by marriage Simon Barrow of Bath of family connections with descendants of Simon Michael Pressburg, while the Fischls & Dirsztays may have been enthusiastic about having a Duke in their family branch!

2. What is the relationship of Emma who married Gutmann Fischl to Anna who married Lajos Fischl? The de Dirsztay tree answers this - Anna was a daughter of Lazar Tornyay-Schossberger and Rosalia Klein, whilst Emma was a grand-daughter of Lazar by his second wife Regina Sachs and son Simon. That is, Emma was a half-niece of Anna. This pair of marriages relinks family branches.

3. Moritz Baruh appeared in Timisoara in the mid-1700s according to the de Dirsztay tree which makes the almost completely impossible suggestion that Lajos Fischl 1798-1856 was a son. In accordance with our hypothesis that he was a brother (most likely a half-brother) of Simon Barrow of Barbados 1709-1801, Moritz Baruh would have been born in the 1700-10 decade and died before 1801, for neither he nor any sons appear in Simon's will (see note 7 below). These 2 sources therefore together suggest that Moses had no offspring and therefore that the Fischls and de Dirsztays do not descend from Moses. But they may descend from a sibling or half-sibling of Moses - see notes 11 and 12.

4. Ref 35 chapter 2 provides an account of how the German imposition of surnames occurred.

5. Richard's tree makes Moritz Baruh (see top line) the father of Lajos b1798 which seems impossible. With the help of suggestions from Dena Jenkins (see note 11) we construct an alternative origin of Lajos b1798. Further, in Richard's tree (ref 31) the appearance of Ignasz 1845-1917 as the son of Ignasz 1825-1907 raises questions as to whether the generation time is too small and whether a same-name father-son pair is likely enough. While we note that the younger Ignasz was born and raised a Christian, which could explain the departure from Jewish naming rules, and while we also note that while the generation span is small it is not impossibly so - especially as the year of the parents' marriage is given - we are persuaded Richard's tree is in error by the location by Randy Schoenberg of the younger Ignasz as a half-brother of an older Ignasz - both sons of the Lazar Fischl discussed in note 6 below. On 10 May 2024, Dena Jenkins advised that she is certain that she descends from Erno, but that he is incorrectly located; if so, then perhaps this error comes from the incorrect placement of the 2nd Ignasz. See also note 15 for further uncertainty over dates especially of the birth of Laszlo and Victor Dirsztay.

6. The chart was first prepared to show how Bela de Dirsztay relates to Istvan and Richard de Dirsztay. Scott McDougall’s wife's great-grandfather was Bela de Dirsztay (1861-1921), and on 19 Feb 20 Scott advised that Bela's grand-daughter Denise (as in the de Dirsztay tree) did indeed get to Canada and was married with no children; she died around 2010 and that Scott and his wife used to see her regularly. Emma, Scott's mother-in-law fled to Canada around 1948, and that her mother Luyza died before WW2. Emma's brother Bela may have died in a WW2 work camp. Earlier on 22 Mar 2015 Scott MacDougall pointed out that Bela's father Gutmann has a father named Moses on, and that the father of Moses was Lazar Eleazar Fischl b~1772 in Timisoara. The chart above shows 8  people from this branch in orange, one of whom - the 2nd wife of Lazar Fischl - we infer from the existence of the half-brother Ignasz b1825. See note 12 for a suggested linkage between branches, while note 2 is also instructive.

7. Timisoara became associated with the Austro-Hungarian Empire after its conquest in 1716 by Prince Eugene of Savoy except for a brief period of Ottoman rule in 1778-9. Perhaps after the 1716 conquest, there was Italian and Jewish investment in Timisoara.

8. Ref 66 observes that the expulsion of 1744/5 probably led to an increase in Jewish immigration to England - and perhaps Timisoara similarly gained Jewish population as we suggest here. Ref 66 also argues that English diplomacy had little to do with the partial reversal which was more to do with local reaction and the valuable social role the Jews played in the Empire. We suggest that Baron Moses d'Aguilar may have had something to do with this given his access to the Empress; Michael Silber has spoken on this (ref 386) but the text is not yet to hand.

9. Of course, as the lifespan of the Duque de Losada was 1706-83, and his title was created in Naples in 1741, Erno would not have wanted close inspection of his purported link, for at the time at which Moritz Baruh and the Barrows actually acquired their Lousada connection ie in the 1700-1710 period there was no Duque de Losada! 

10. To explain the belief of the Barrows that they descend from the Baruch Lousadas, we proposed elsewhere an early Barrow link with the Baruch Lousadas centering on a Baruch Lousada wife of Baruch Lichtenstadt, father of Simon Barrow of Barbados. If Erno had a similar belief as to his Baruch Lousada ancestry it only got to his great-nephew Richard in the form of a family legend! That is, both the Barrows and Fischls retained an enduring belief in their Baruch Lousada ancestry without retaining knowledge of the supporting evidence! As Baruch is not known other than in Prague, it may be that his wife came to Prague from Italy and soon became a widow with a son - Moritz Baruch who thus became a stepson of Baruch and a half-brother of Simon, Gedalia and the 2 sisters (see note 12 below).

11. Dena Jenkins a DNA match of Julian Land has been in touch and believes the Fischls above are among her ancestors, because the placenames which appear in Richard de Dirsztay's tree match her family history. Also, Erno #401 and his brother Lajos are central to her family history. She has suggested that her ancestors specifically include the people shown in red and gave the dates shown for them - accordingly, Isaac #443 was said to be a son of Baruch #2350, and Jacob (Dena's 4*great grandfather) was said to have been a son of an Isaac. Dena Jenkins cited ref 341 in giving Lajos Fischl #166 as a son of Jacob, but is currently unable to provide other sources. There are some obvious implications of the unusual lifespan of Jacob - first that he could not have been a son of Isaac #443 or indeed of Baruch Fischl #2350; furthermore he was not a son of Gedalia (who is known only to have had 2 daughters). This makes Dena Jenkins' DNA match with Julian Land a puzzle but a solution is proposed in note 12. Dena Jenkins also pointed out another wife of Ignasz Fischl #1409, and it seems that Roza Rosenfeld must have been the 2nd wife taking into account the 1901 death date of Maria Anna Cole de Leto and the fact that Roza remained attached to the memory of Ignasz after his death (which ref 31 shows to have been in 1917). It will be seen that there are 2 daughters named Paula - the younger, Paula Stein who wrote a history of the Rosenfelds, must have been a step-daughter. 

12. We know from the will of Simon Barrow of Barbados that Gedalia had a minimum of 2 descendants - and likely just the 2 were daughters he is known to have had. Jacob Fischl was probably a son of a sister of Gedalia. As noted in note 11 his father was Isaac, who was thus the brother-in-law of Gedalia. Gedalia we infer to have had a sister, and in the chart above we show her in blue. It is also possible that both Jacob and Baruch #2350 were sons of the same marriage - with Jacob taking the name of the paternal grandfather and Baruch taking the name of the maternal grandfather. This suggestion derives support from the fact that Isaac #443 would then have the same name as his paternal grandfather ie Gedalia's brother-in-law Isaac. The father of Lazar #2715 seems likely to have been one of Jacob and Baruch (see note 13), which of course links the Fischls shown in orange to the Richard de Dirsztay tree, for they are otherwise unconnected. What we find online supports this - Julian Land has found a DNA match with someone both connected to Lazar Fischl and to a further son of Simon Michael Pressburg (ie Abraham Simon Pressburg). That is - Lazar Fischl appears to be a fairly close family member. In addition, connections via a brother of Baron Lyon de Symons can be found online between Julian Land and both Lazar Fischl and Baron Guttman Fischl de Dirsztay.

13. The father of Lazar #2715 could have been Jacob #2417 or Baruch #2350 and we see no reason to assume anyone else. We suggest Lazar's father was Baruch #2350, given the similarity in birthdate of Isaac #443 and Lazar. Baruch #2350 had a 1st cousin named Baruch - this was Baruch Barrow #234 of Barbados, both named after the grandfather.

14. Isaac Levi whose son Jacob Levi produced a daughter Judith Joseph Levi around 1780 in Barbados with his wife a cousin Eve the youngest daughter of the 1st Simon Barrow; Eve was widowed and subsequently married Jacob's brother Joseph, a name shown in the name of the daughter just referred to. Our thinking on who this Isaac Levi was may be found here.

15. Ref 342 and ref 344 give alternative dates for the birth of Laszlo and we show 1856 above reflecting the 9 May 1856 date given by ref 342, with a date 6 days earlier offered by ref 344, and not the 1860 date in ref 31. We continue to show the Debrecen birthplace of Laszlo  given by ref 31 (which also shows Bela born in Debrecen) rather than Budapest which is offered by ref 344, but we favour the Budapest birthplace for Victor offered by ref 342. The 1922 deathdate of Laszlo in ref 31 is rejected in favour of the date of 4 Jun 1921 authoritatively given by both refs 342 and 344. Ref 342 notes the published uncertainty over Victor's birthdate with dates in the range 1883-9 found. For the moment we show the 1882 date of ref 31 but perhaps he was born after his sister Charlotte who was born in 1883.