This chart shows the broad structure of the choices faced by the Sephardim leaving Iberia. The specific Baruch Lousada diaspora is shown elsewhere

The 1492 expulsion of unconverted Jews from Spain triggered a complex movement of our ancestors away from Spain and Portugal. The chart above showing this is certainly incomplete, because we are continuing to find new pathways! It seems likely that our ancestors initially went to Portugal in 1492, and current indications are that rather than leaving Portugal as soon as they could in the mid-1550s - a time when the Portuguese Inquisition was gathering momentum and when Atlantic opportunities were opening up, they returned to Spain around 1580 only to leave before 1640 when it was rapidly becoming unfavorable for Portuguese New Christians to remain in Spain. They appeared in Livorno by 1640.

A thorough account of the whole Sephardic Diaspora will resemble ours, but would include important additional locations like Madeira, the Azores, the Canary Islands and most if not all of the Latin American, North American and Caribbean countries. In addition it would distinguish the role of the Northern ports of Antwerp, Amsterdam, Hamburg, Gluckstadt, Altona and others, and would distinguish the role of the French ports of Rouen, Nantes, Bayonne and Bordeaux and others. Further, the Mediterranean ports of Livorno, Salonika, Venice, Tunis, Algiers and others played distinct roles, and of course the Moroccan Atlantic and the West African coasts are other additions that would be made. The trigger for the movement lay in religious intolerance, but though Jews had to become New Christian in much of the Catholic world, religious tolerance - prompted largely for reasons of national economic benefit - emerged in different places at different times; even in Holland in the early 1600s, the cities became tolerant at different times and Amsterdam was not the first. Differentials such as these produced tensions within the ranks of the Sephardim - in Dutch Brazil and in other places, when openly Jewish people arrived under the Dutch, they put the existing New Christian Sephardim under great pressure to reconvert, while in Amsterdam new arrivals who were recent New Christians were criticized when their Jewish observance was found to be insufficient! The three columns above suggest the way the Atlantic Diaspora moved the Sephardim to the tolerant places as these evolved.

An additional profound complexity lies in the fact that during the 1580-1640 Union of Spain and Portugal, many Portuguese New Christians moved to Spain which meant amongst other things 2 separate departures from Spain spaced 150 years apart, sometimes to the same destinations! This was only one of many political vicissitudes the Sephardim had to deal with. Portuguese merchants in Antwerp used Dutch ships to carry European goods to Spain and Portugal, but these merchants had mostly moved from Antwerp to Amsterdam by 1600 due to Spanish conflict with the rebel Dutch (ref 106). During its period of Union with Spain Portugal itself increasingly felt threatened by growing Dutch strength especially in Brazil which it lost in 1624. By around 1650 Holland and Spain were cooperating in trade, and England was at war with Holland in 1652-4. The Portuguese reconquest of Brazil in 1654 led to the Dutch rebuilding their now-important Spanish trade links via the Dutch West India Company in Curacao. The English 1660 ban on Dutch ships in the Barbados trade made it necessary for the Sephardic merchants to have a separate London and Amsterdam presence. This then led to the twin axes of Curacao/Amsterdam and Barbados/London trade. The Portuguese and British became allies as symbolized by the marriage of Charles 2 with Catherine of Braganza in 1662. But in 1688/9 England and Holland were united under one crown in a venture financed by the Sephardim. Many of the Portuguese-speaking Sephardim became diplomats of a high order, sometimes representing particular countries; but generally they represented no nation for theirs was a virtual nation!

 Dutch Brazil from 1624 was attractive for Jews, with economic opportunity and even greater social freedom and equality (eg land ownership) than was available in the Amsterdam of the day, and the Portuguese reconquest was a disappointment to them - though the actual takeover appears to have been kindly handled (ref 49), a small relief from the preceding years of revolt by the local Christians. The 1654 exodus from Brazil brought many refugees to Amsterdam, and added to the pressing need felt by the Amsterdam Jewish community to establish new communities elsewhere. This led amongst other things to the English initiative of Menasseh ben Israel and David Abravanel which drew Moses Baruh Lousada to London. It does not yet appear to us that the Lousadas were in Brazil either under the Portuguese or the Dutch - and their presence in Livorno in 1640 coincided with the peak of the tolerant Dutch presence in Pernambuco. The Lousadas did however marry into families coming from Dutch Brazil. Most notably Gracia, a Barbados sister of Moses Baruh Lousada, married David Mercado; with Mercado family members also coming to Barbados from Hamburg. In London Moses Baruh Lousada worked closely with David Abravanel who had interests in Dutch Brazil, and both had links with Menasseh ben Israel - the former being a cousin of his financier Abraham Israel Pereira, and the latter reportedly a brother-in-law.

 It was wise of the Lousadas to be in Livorno in 1640 as this was a boom period for the Sephardic merchants resulting from the merchant-friendly tax laws of the 1590s. That year also marked the end of the Spanish-Portuguese union, and it was high time for the Portuguese Sephardim who had returned to Spain under d'Olivares to leave before the anti-Portuguese reaction set in; d'Olivares himself lost power in 1643 partly due to his pro-Portuguese policies. By 1640 Amsterdam was well established as a Jewish haven, and London was to follow rapidly after 1657. So the Lousadas appeared in Barbados by 1659, London by 1660, then in Amsterdam in 1662. From Barbados they reached Curacao around 1685 and Jamaica around 1705. The Lousadas re-established themselves in England from Jamaica around 1740 and in Surinam from Curacao in 1746.