The marriage of Simon Barrow's sister to Isaac Levi - a possible Barrow & Levi Montezinos link

A possible clue to the Levi ancestry of Judith Joseph Levi lies in the fact that Antonio de Luis Montezinos - the person who in 1639 'discovered' a lost tribe of Israel in the region of present day Colombia - was Aaron Levi of Villaflor (ref 8 pp195-211). This town was also the origin of the family of the Baruch Lousada descendant Tomas Rodrigues Pereira aka Abraham Israel Pereira - our Madrid page records something of the lives of Pereira and Fernando Montezinos who were closely associated. We have elsewhere suggested an early Barrow & Lousada link which draws on the known (ref 107) Baruch Lousada link with the Montezinos family. Perhaps this Montezinos link is the source of (some of) the Levis whom the Barrows married as shown in the chart above.

The Amsterdam data (below left) seemed relevant: an unnamed child of Isaac Levi Montezinos died on 16 Feb 1766 and was buried at Oudekerk the burial ground of the Amsterdam Sephardic Jews; and Isaac who was the son of Joseph died in 1796. Joseph could be the namesake of the step-father of Judith Joseph Levi. However the will of Simon Barrow 1709-1801 gives a bequest to his brother-in-law Isaac Levi who also receives a bequest from his nephew Joseph Barrow in 1808. Thus Isaac Levi seems to have been alive after 1796 and therefore is not Isaac Levi Montezinos d1796 and accordingly, a more complex scenario is afoot. We note the Barrow in-law Isaac Levi seems to have been even longer lived than Simon Barrow 1709-1801.  


1. The Levi Lousadas are a possible source of the Levi name but only one Levi Lousada appears in the Amsterdam records - David Levy Louzada who died (or was buried) 30 Aug 1744. The Levi Gomes family was present in the late 1600s but we see no trace of them later.

2. Sarah Barrow according to her will summary in key documents had a cousin Isaac Levi of Amsterdam who is of the same generation as Abraham and the two husbands (Jacob and Joseph Levi) of Eve Barrow. However inspection of her actual will shows that this cousin was Abraham Isaac Levi ie the name Abraham had been omitted in the will summary. Before this transcription error - a red herring - was discovered we searched for Isaac son of Isaac. We found 118 such male name-pairs (see note 7 below) in the Amsterdam Portuguese marriage records there are only 4 Levi cases of which there is only one case of Isaac son of Isaac - and this father and son have the Levi Montezinos surnames!

3. Joseph Barrow's will refers to a son Abraham of his uncle Isaac Levi.

4. Simon Barrow of Barbados in his will makes a bequest to his brother-in-law Isaac Levi of Amsterdam.

4. Rebecca Barrow's will lists Mrs Levi widow of Abraham Isaac Levi of Amsterdam, which means that Abraham son of Isaac her uncle thus died probably in Amsterdam and certainly before 1829. She also nominates Isaac Levi as an executor and this could be the Isaac Levi who married Esther Barrow Montefiore.

5. The Barrow family tree makes the suggestion that the Jacob Levi the first husband of Eve Barrow was a son of an Isaac Levi (of Barbados) and the latter is probably the Isaac Levi of the Barrow wills (see notes 2,3 and 4 above) who must have moved to Amsterdam later in life.

6. Our work on the ancestry of Judith Joseph Levi suggests that Joseph was Jacob's brother and as was the custom stepped into his brother's shoes when he died. In Barbados (ref 61) is a burial record for 31 Aug 1804 for an Isaac Levi (aged 14) son of Moses but a Moses Levi appears in the will of Sarah Barrow with a list of children whose names do not include Isaac so perhaps Moses Levi was a sibling of Abraham, Jacob and Joseph and moved to London after the death of his son Isaac. We are not certain of his relationship, and if he were a son of Isaac Levi's Amsterdam marriage as shown above then he went to Barbados before finally going to London after 1804. The Cohen link was provided by ref 157.

7. An unusual case of a son having the father's name was considered here. Such a case was in Amsterdam records - see below right - and was found amongst 16 cases of Isaac son of Isaac (1 Levi Montezinos case); and for comparison other names were searched - Abraham 18 (1 Levi Montagnes case), Jacob 23 (0), Joseph 4 (0), David 20 (0), Mordechai 2 (0), Salomon 8 (0), Raphael 2 (0), Haim 6 (0), Micheal 2 (0), Mozes 6 (2 Levi Lobo cases), Judah 1 (0), Samuel 2 (0), Emanuel 3 (0), Aaron 5 (0), and no cases for Jeremiah, Daniel, Simon, Jessurun, Eliezer/Elias/Elihu, Ezekial, Israel, Isaiah, Baruch, Benjamin, Menasseh or Jona. There are 6389 Amsterdam Portuguese marriages and using the above 27 common bridegroom forenames we capture 5899 of these or 92.3%. Of these, 118 involved name-pairs and thus the probability of a groom having his father's forename is 2.0%; of these grooms the probability of him being a Levi is 3.4%, and the probability of him being Isaac is 13.6%. The parallel Traditional Sephardic Marriages database shows no Isaac son of Isaac in 4241 marriages. To give an idea of what the statistics mean, suppose that there were 1000 marriage records somehow missing from these 2 databases, surely a gross overestimate. The probable number of name-pairs included in this 1000 would be 20 but of these 3.4% would be a Levi and of these 7.9% would be an Isaac so that the probable number of relevant missing cases of Isaac Levi with any second surname would be 0.05 cases. This means that it is extremely unlikely that any Isaac Levi is missing from the samples chosen - less than a 1 in 20000 chance of an Isaac Levi non-Montezinos! All this is hypothetical at present since our Isaac-Isaac father-son pair turned out to be erroneous.

8. We did not similarly examine female name-pairs because the Amsterdam marriage data only shows patronyms -  though we have come across one example - Luna daughter of Luna can be seen in our chart of the Amsterdam Baruch Louzadas.