Overview: This non-profit family history website accumulates our ongoing research into the Baruch Lousadas. They were part of the Sephardic diaspora, which was initiated by the 1492 Spanish expulsion of Jews, and fuelled by the Portuguese and Spanish Inquisitions. The 1492 exiles sought to avoid baptism, and half of them crossed into Portugal where they greatly outnumbered the local Jews. Those who went to the Ottoman Empire, and other places, were spared the nasty surprise awaiting Portuguese Jews (who as just noted were mostly from Spain). In 1497, baptism of Jews in Portugal became compulsory. With little chance to leave until 1580, they were obliged to live for generations as New Christians. This made their choice of destination an unfortunate one, but of course it allowed easy connection to their former Spanish home. Their stay gave them a Portuguese identity which lasted for centuries to come, and they shared with their new host country an attitude to Spain that was at best ambivalent. We can only make guesses as to the Spanish origin of the Baruch Lousadas and their travel to Portugal in late 1492 or early 1493, but some detail of their stay in northern Portugal emerges from two encounters with the Coimbra Inquisition. Something of their departure from Portugal is also known, and it seems to have been in stages - some left and some stayed at each stage. Their departure from Portugal was not however the same as that of other similar families, for the times and routes chosen depended on each family's international links. Today the Judaism which propelled this story is barely evident in the family and its Jewishness is much diluted. All known ancestors can be found in our genealogies, but whether their more recent stories are found on this website depends on whether or not relevant family contributors came forward which of course many did. For instance, reflecting the Australian origin of the builder of this website, we explore the early history of the Australian Lousadas, especially of Edward Charles Lousada and his link via Peak House to his ancestors. Relatives came to Australia (their history linking with the Rum Rebellion, the start of South Australia and the ANZ Bank, and the Victorian gold rushes) and we depict the early Australian Lousadas with these Barrow, Barrow Montefiore, Levi Montefiore and Mocatta relatives.
The Baruch Lousada mini-diaspora: Edgar Samuel pointed out that Amador de Lousada's imprisonment by the Coimbra Inquisition in 1590-91 uniquely preceded the family's later known presence outside Iberia, and made him a probable Baruch Lousada ancestor. Amador was born in 1540 and was a shoemaker in the Portuguese town of Vinhais when arrested. His parents were Pedro de Lousada and Briatis Alvares, probably the offspring of Spanish Jews displaced to Portugal by the 1492 expulsion. He was found guilty of judaizing and sentenced to perpetual penitence. Our research suggests that by 1606 his married first daughter was living in the nearby Portuguese town of Villaflor, and that by 1610 some of his Villaflor relatives had moved to Madrid presumably to avoid the flourishing Portuguese Inquisition. But the Spanish Inquisition was unshackled in 1643 with the fall of d'Olivares, so Amador's wealthy grandson Tomas Rodrigues Pereira left Madrid, and then from 1645 lived an active Jewish life in Amsterdam as Abraham Israel Pereira. Meanwhile, Amador's son Isaac Baruch Lousada was living in the early 1640s as a Jew in the port of Livorno near Pisa, and in 1649 Isaac's 'son' Moses Baruh Lousada became a regular visitor to Amsterdam, probably from France. This was a tumultuous time, for by 1654 Portugal recaptured Dutch Brazil and expelled its Jews, and the push by the Dutch to establish new sugar-producing colonies was eagerly supported by the Amsterdam and Livorno Jewish communities. Despite Anglo-Dutch tensions, the Baruch Lousadas lived as merchants in the English sugar island of Barbados from 1659 (Isaac's 'son' Aaron); in London from 1660 (Moses and his brother Jacob, in the vanguard of the English re-settlement of Jews); in Amsterdam from 1662 (Isaac from Livorno plus Jacob from London, and from 1672 Isaac's son David who had been in Barbados with his brother Abraham and also Aaron); and in the prospective sugar province of Surinam (which was English but became Dutch in 1667) from 1671. From Barbados they reached the trading hotspots of Curacao around 1685 and Jamaica around 1705, the latter movement now much clarified. From Curacao the Baruch Lousadas re-established themselves in Surinam, and in 1743 from Jamaica they re-established themselves in England. People carrying the Baruch Lousada name (or its many equivalents) were continuously present in Amsterdam until 1739, Jamaica until 1808, Curacao until 1816, Barbados until 1831, and Surinam until 1912. We have mapped the Baruch Lousadas' diaspora from Livorno, and have charted their family tree and that of the first Baruch Lousadas in each of the above 6 destinations. The 'Lousada' component of their name is still borne by descendants in England, the USA and Australia but in The Netherlands it appears as 'Louzada'.
The Barrows: Not all the Baruch Lousadas left Livorno with Isaac #42. Those who remained gave rise to the Tunis Baruch Lousadas, who settled permanently in Tunis around 1700; we have had initial contact from a descendant. In addition it seems that one of the remaining Baruch Lousadas married an Ashkenasi man named Baruch and a son Simon 1709-1801 married Bailah Montefiore 1720-73. Simon and Bailah settled in Barbados before 1759 - probably their move was linked with the settling in London of their Livorno in-law Moses Vita Montefiore in 1752. But not all of Baruch's offspring sought to prosper away from central Europe - Gedalia went to Prague, and Moses seems to have gone to Timisoara in the wake of its recapture in 1716 by the Austro-Hungarian Empire after 164 years of Turkish rule. On Barbados, Simon's Ashkenasi name of 'Simon bar Baruch' was anglicized to 'Simon Barrow' and hence our 'Barrow' surname derives from him and not from the Baruch Lousadas who had nevertheless, a century earlier in London and Barbados, sometimes used the 'Barrow' surname! Simon's 1st son Baruch and later son Joseph found Sephardic spouses in Barbados which linked them with the local Baruch Lousadas, and a 1785 Sephardic marriage in London linked his 4th son Jacob #60. With Isaac Baruh Lousada #34 Jacob developed the Barrow & Lousada business which lasted for about 50 years accompanied by 2 Barrow/Baruh Lousada marriages. In the first of these marriages Jacob #60's daughter Bella married Isaac #34's 2nd son Moses Baruh Lousada #32 at Bevis Marks in 1806. But the Ashkenasi link was renewed at Bevis Marks in 1808 when Bella's brother Simon Barrow of Bath married the 4th daughter of the wealthy diamond merchant Baron Lyon de Symons to whom he was perhaps already related. Meanwhile on Barbados in 1797 a daughter Judith Joseph Levi of (Simon's youngest daughter) Eve Barrow had married Eliezer Montefiore thereby giving rise to the Barrow Montefiores and thus the Levi Montefiores. After his wife died in 1828, Simon Barrow of Bath converted to Christianity, enabling him to enter politics and to place his sons in the Army, the Anglican Church, the law and medicine; many Barrows saw Army and Civil service in India and China. In 1832, his 1st daughter Tryphena had a Christian marriage with her cousin John (born Jacob in 1809, the 2nd son of Bella and Moses #32); they lived in Peak House. Today, descendants of Simon Barrow of Bath carry his Barrow name in England, Kenya and Canada but in Barbados it may be that some of the present-day Barrows descend not from Simon Barrow and Bailah Montefiore but from the local Baruch Lousadas!
The Lousada Dukes: Kinship with the nobility of the Iberian Peninsula was commonly claimed by Sephardic Jews and the Curiel family is a proven case (ref 35). Curiel ancestry, with its link to the last Visigothic Kings and to the Portuguese ruling family, was inherited by the Baruch Lousadas through the Lamegos, but (no doubt disappointingly) the Curiel noble descent was illegitimate. After the end of the Spanish Inquisition in 1834, pursuit of noble descent in Spain would no longer threaten relatives having New Christian ancestry, and the Jamaican Baruch Lousadas retained a Spanish herald. His research did not go much beyond the vacant title of the Duque de Losada and did not need to, for the title was seized upon as a perfect surrogate for whatever noble ancestry the Baruch Lousadas surmised they had. Thus the 'Losada' name was the Spanish equivalent of the Portuguese 'Lousada' or 'Louzada' and the title was much grander than anything a serious search might have revealed. Isaac #92 (no doubt egged on by his eldest son Emanuel #93) yielded to temptation in 1848, when - armed with lurid documents created by the Spanish herald - he first made himself known as the 2nd Duque de Losada and soon became known as the 1st Duke de Losada y Lousada. In the early years this did not prove easy; for the Baruch Lousadas were not closely related to the Duque and the Dukes were unable to consistently state their link to him. The Duque's title was created in Naples in 1741, but the King and the Duque left Naples for Madrid in 1759, where the Duque died with no offspring in 1783. An explanation was found in a (credulous) nobility authority as to how the Dukes inherited - in Spain - a moribund Italian title that had been held by a non-relative; but it was flawed and doubtless reflected the creative hand of the Spanish herald! In all 5 Lousada Dukes assumed the title, and their early difficulties and expenses gave a return of sorts, for Emanuel the 2nd Duke was granted an official British passport in 1862. With the exception noted below, no-one queried the Dukes' standing despite the peculiar change of name, the hybrid coat of arms and the lack of official authentication from Spain or Naples; while the title proved unobtainable for the 1915 and 1969 Spanish claimants. Members of the family have long held the Lousada Dukes in affectionate regard and Sir Anthony Baruh Lousada perhaps in jest claimed to be related to the Duque de Losada. Offsetting all this, one of Isaac's own descendants reported that the title was not recognised by Buckingham Palace, a fact somehow ignored when - in the 1920s - Hungary allowed a Dirsztay to formally use the 'de Losada' title. This fascinating Hungarian footnote points to the Dirsztays having Baruch Lousada ancestry via an early Barrow as well as a more recent link to the Lousada Dukes!
Family links and family dispersal: The Baruch Lousadas and the Sephardic families with which they intermarried gave many people to the Portuguese branches of the Sephardic diaspora, especially the branch involving a brief return to Spain from Portugal and then conversion back to Judaism in tolerant places connected to Atlantic trade. Amsterdam became the key haven for Sephardic Jews, and during 1659-99 it was the focus of the Atlantic trade for the Baruch Lousadas; they and many other such families - the Dutch Sephardim - thereby made their contribution to a golden age for Amsterdam. The Caribbean region was crucial and in Barbados the Baruch Lousadas were first known in 1659; there they renewed their link to the Barrows as did the Montefiores. Livorno saw the Baruh Lousada, Mocatta, Montefiore and Franco families who later came together in England; while Livorno also seems to have been the site of the first Barrow link with the Montefiores and before that with the Baruch Lousadas. Amsterdam became a stepping stone for Ashkenasi Jews coming to England; by 1800 Ashkenasi families had began to intermarry with the established Sephardim - and the Lyon de Symons, Keyser and Goldsmid families thus appear in the Barrow and Lousada family trees as did the Rothschilds in the Montefiore family tree (ref 283). Geography thus left its mark on family history. Conversely, family connections shaped the Baruch Lousada diaspora. The sojourn around 1600 in Villaflor linked them to the Israel Pereira, Henriques Faro and Levi Montezinos families; and the Baruch Lousadas seem to have followed their Villaflor in-laws to Madrid. Isaac Baruch Lousada followed an uncle Abraham Levi Lousada to Livorno; in 1641/2 both were living as Jews in the uncle's house when they voted in synagogue elections. In 1655 the Mercado family took its sugar experience in Dutch Brazil promptly to Barbados and the David Raphael de Mercado marriage with Gracia Baruch Lousada was probably vital for her family's presence there as well a few years later. Moses Baruh Lousada - a cousin of Abraham Israel Pereira - was prominent in the early years of the resettlement of Jews in England perhaps a result of Pereira in Amsterdam being a key financier of Menasseh ben Israel the leader of the push for English resettlement. But a link through the Montezinos family in Madrid to the New Christian Lamego family in Rouen may also have facilitated the Baruch Lousada dispersal from Madrid and Livorno, and later their Jewish marriages with the Lamego family took them to Jamaica and thence to England where the Lopes Pereira marriages then took place. Not long after 1492, the Duoro valley of northern Portugal was the home of the Lamego and the Lopes Pereira families, and also the Carvajal family perhaps from Cordoba. One of the Portuguese Lousada villages close to the Duoro is the probable source of our Lousada name, rather than the Spanish towns and villages named Lousada (in Galicia) and Losada (in Asturias/Leon), though the ancestral Baruch Lousadas probably spent only a generation there before moving on to Vinhais, Braganza, Villaflor, Madrid, Livorno and so on.