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) and was first drawn up (albeit with a reservation or two) as explained in notes 5 and 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. The people shown in orange may be found online 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).

 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 in Livorno via the Baruch Lousadas remaining there (see note 10 below). And we also suggest that it was not Moritz Baruh who was the actual ancestor of Erno but Moses' brother Gedalia of Prague. If Gedalia had been in Prague in 1744 he would presumably have left as a consequence of the Empress' expulsion edict (see note 8 below) - later returning there, but perhaps his sons remained away from Prague with their uncle Moses in Timisoara (see note 7 below).

 The chart contains further hints in support of the relevance of Italy to this family history - for the Italian Jewish marriage link of Moritz Baruh is echoed by later such Italian links all shown in the Dirsztay tree. 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 such opportunities must have been attractive. Perhaps further data from Livorno will assist us, but it would seem that at the time Simon Barrow and his sister went west to Barbados around 1750 and Gedalia went to Prague, Moses went to Timisoara. Thereafter he and his nephews 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 had business interests across the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire. Such families were also prominent in the arts, government, diplomacy and (to a lesser extent) science. The chart thus illustrates a segment of the Jewish aristocracy of Hungary, but much of this cultural 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 separated for some generations. The de Dirsztay tree gives the twins as daughters of the 5th Lousada Duke. The appearance of Edward Eugene, the 5th and last Lousada Duke, is a considerable surprise, for the only other information we have for him is his death in Jamaica (ref 6 p27). No sources are given but it is hard to imagine Richard de Dirsztay getting his own grandmother wrong! 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!  

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 of Simon Barrow of Barbados 1709-1801, Moritz Baruh would have been born in the 1710-20 decade as a younger brother and died somewhat 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 brother of Moses - the only one we know of being Gedalia of Prague whose children appear in Simon's will. We can guess the name of one of Gedalia's children - Baruch - from the name of his paternal grandfather (Baruch of Pressburg - see note 12 below). Lazar's 1772 birthdate suggests that there were 2 generations between Moritz Baruh and the first people probably reliably recorded in the de Dirsztay tree. We suggest that the missing 2 generations are supplied by Moses' nephews and their offspring.

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

5. 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. However we note that the younger Ignasz was born and raised a Christian, and we think this may explain the departure from Jewish naming rules, 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. Of course, though by the means just mentioned we may be able to convince ourselves that the 2nd Ignasz was a natural son of the 1st Ignasz, we have to consider whether he was a stepson - that is whether the 1st Ignasz married a widow with a son! But the marriage year is given as 1844, before the birth of the 2nd Ignasz - so if the 1st Ignasz married a widow with a son, then dates would have been changed to ensure respectability!

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 made a few observations on the de Dirsztay tree. Online sources suggest to him that Bela's father Gutmann had a father named Moses not Lajos, that the father of Moses was Lazar Eleazar Fischl b~1772 in Timisoara, and an Ignasz was a brother of Moses Fischl. The chart above however follows the de Dirsztay tree in giving Gutmann as the son of Lajos, and thus it shows the 3 people shown in orange as part of a different branch of the family.

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, and Scott McDougall has also found online reference to this.

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.

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 centring on Baruch of Pressburg, father of Simon Barrow of Barbados, Moritz Baruh and Gedalia of Prague. If Erno had a similar belief it did not get transmitted to his great-nephew Richard!

11. Whilst we know from the will of Simon Barrow of Barbados that Gedalia had more than one descendant, we do not know how many. The first-born son would have been named Baruch, and the chart above assumes he survived. 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 both versions of 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. However there are some obvious implications of the unusual lifespan of Jacob if indeed his lifespan is correct - first that that he could not have been a son of the Isaac #443 or indeed of Baruch Fischl #2350, and furthermore that he could not have been a brother of the first-born Baruch and thus may have been a step-brother of Baruch. Perhaps his natural father was indeed named Isaac. A plausible implication, relying on the similarity of birthdates, is that Lazar Fischl #2715 was a brother of Isaac #443 - if true this links the Fischls shown in orange to the Richard de Dirsztay tree, for they are otherwise unconnected. Online, it is possible to find marriage links between Lazar Fischl and sons of Simon Michael Pressburg (eg Michael Samuel Pressburg and Abraham Pressburg) other than Samuel and Baruch (with whom Julian Land and the Barrows have connections), and in partial support of this Julian Land has found DNA matches with other people connected to Lazar Fischl. It is possible that Dena Jenkin's DNA match with Julian Land arose not from Jacob's natural father who does not (for the reason just explained) seem to have been Gedalia, but because there were later marriages between Fischl cousins descending from Isaac or Lazar thereby linking the various Fischl family branches. That is, even if the natural father of Jacob Fischl was not connected to Simon Michael Pressburg, later marriages with other Fischls may have provided a DNA match. Dena Jenkins 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. Dena Jenkins gives one reference - a 1937 Budapest publication 'Magyarorszagi Zsidok Es Zsidoeredetu Csladadok' which lists the Fischls and gives Lajos Fischl #166 as a son of Jacob.