This non-profit family history website covers the Baruch Lousadas, one of many New Christian families who left Iberia in the 1600s then lived as Sephardic Jews in the Atlantic world. For the 1492 Spanish expulsion of Jews had created exiles seeking to avoid baptism, and half of them crossed into Portugal (where they greatly outnumbered the local Jews). To their horror, essentially all Portuguese Jews - who as just noted were mostly of Spanish origin - were required to be baptised in 1497. Having little chance to leave until 1580, many of them found themselves trapped for generations in Portugal as New Christians. There is almost nothing we know of the Spanish origin of the Baruch Lousadas and their travel to Portugal in late 1492 or early 1493 but we know a little of their stay in northern Portugal. Their departure from there seems to have been in stages - some left and some stayed at each stage - and while their dispersal pattern was broadly analogous to that of many other Sephardic families it was not identical, for the routes chosen depended on each family's opportunities. Today the Judaism which propelled this story is barely evident and the family's 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 also came to Australia (their history linking with the Rum Rebellion and the formation of both South Australia and the ANZ Bank) and we depict the pioneering Australian Lousadas with these Barrow, Barrow Montefiore, Levi Montefiore and Mocatta relatives.
We are led to believe Amador de Lousada who was born in 1540 and became a shoemaker in the Portuguese town of Vinhais, was a Baruch Lousada ancestor. His parents were Pedro de Lousada and Briatis Alvares, probably the offspring of Spanish Jews displaced to Portugal by the 1492 expulsion. He was imprisoned in Coimbra by the Portuguese Inquisition which in 1591 found him guilty of judaizing and sentenced him - now poor - to perpetual penitence. In 1606 his married first daughter was in the Portuguese town of Villaflor, during a time when many crypto-Jewish New Christians left for Spain to avoid the flourishing Portuguese Inquisition, and thus by 1628 his Villaflor relatives had moved to the temporary safety of Madrid. But the Spanish Inquisition was unshackled in 1643, and his wealthy Madrid grandson Abraham Israel Pereira arrived in Amsterdam in 1646. Meanwhile, Amador's son Isaac Baruch Lousada was living in 1640 as a Jew in the port of Livorno near Pisa, and in 1649 Isaac's 'son' Moses Baruh Lousada joined his Madrid cousin in Amsterdam. This was a tumultuous time, for in 1654 Portugal finally 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. Soon the Baruch Lousadas appeared as merchants in the English sugar island of Barbados in 1659 (Isaac's 'son' Aaron), in London in 1660 (Moses and his brother Jacob, in the vanguard of the English re-settlement of Jews), in Amsterdam again in 1662 (this time Isaac, plus Jacob from London, and in 1672 by Isaac's son David who had been in Barbados) and in the prospective sugar province of Surinam (which was English but became Dutch in 1667) by 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 equivalents Baruh Lousada, Baruh Louzada, Baruch Louzada and many others) 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 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'.
Some Baruch Lousadas remained in Livorno after Isaac left around 1660, giving rise to the Tunis Baruch Lousadas around 1700. Also it seems that an Ashkenasi man named Baruch married a Baruch Lousada in Livorno. Baruch's son Simon 1709-1801 married Bailah Montefiore 1720-73 and they settled in Barbados before 1759 - suggesting 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 within the Sephardic diaspora - 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 - meaning Simon son of Baruch - was anglicized to 'Simon Barrow' and hence our 'Barrow' surname derives from the paternal line and not from the Baruch Lousadas who had nevertheless, a century earlier in London and Barbados, independently but infrequently used the 'Barrow' surname! Simon's 1st and 2nd sons Baruch and Joseph found Sephardic spouses in Barbados and developed links with the local Baruch Lousadas. His 4th son Jacob #60 moved to London and had a Sephardic marriage in 1785, and with Isaac Baruh Lousada #34 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. 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 the Levi Montefiores. But the old 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 and who was born in 1743 in Bratislava. 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); the youngest of their 11 children was Edward Charles Lousada born in 1854. Today, descendants carry the 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!
Kinship with the nobility of the Iberian Peninsula was commonly claimed by Sephardic Jews. The Curiel family is a proven case (ref 35), and Curiel ancestry, with its link to the last Visigothic Kings and to the Portuguese ruling family, was inherited by the Baruh Lousadas through the Lamegos; however this descent was illegitimate. After the Spanish Inquisition ended in 1834 it was timely to pursue noble links in Spain, for such enquiries would no longer threaten any distant New Christian noble relatives who may have emerged. Assistance was sought from Spanish heralds and the vacant title of the Duque de Losada came to light. It was a perfect surrogate because its 'Losada' name is the Spanish equivalent of the Portuguese 'Lousada' or 'Louzada' and was much grander than any search was likely to reveal! So Isaac #92 in 1848 put himself forward (or allowed himself to be put forward by his eldest son Emanuel #93) 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 1st Duque whom he ennobled there left in 1759; the Duque had no offspring to claim the title upon his death in 1783 so in Naples the title became moribund. An explanation was found as to how the Dukes inherited - in Spain - a moribund Italian title that had been held by a non-relative, but it was flawed! In all 5 Lousada Dukes assumed the title, and their early difficulties and expenses gave a return of sorts, for almost no-one queried the Dukes' standing despite the peculiar change of name and hybrid coat of arms; Emanuel the 2nd Duke was granted an official British passport in 1862; members of the family long held the Lousada Dukes in affectionate regard with Sir Anthony Baruh Lousada claiming to be related to the Duque; and the title proved unobtainable for the 1915 and 1969 Spanish claimants. 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 to the story of the Lousada Dukes points to the Dirsztays having Baruch Lousada ancestry!
Geographic dispersal is intrinsic to Sephardic genealogy. Thus the Baruh Lousadas, Lumbroso de Matos Mocattas, Montefiores and Francos - all with a Livorno past - came together in England; while Livorno seems to have been the site of the first Barrow link with the Montefiores and before that with the Baruch Lousadas. The Caribbean region was crucial and there the Baruch Lousadas made or renewed family connections and developed aspirations of an aristocratic life in Europe. Amsterdam was also a key haven, 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. But Amsterdam was also 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. Conversely, family relationships shaped the Baruch Lousada diaspora. Their sojourn around 1600 in Villaflor linked them to the Israel Pereira, Henriques Faro and Levi Montezinos families; 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. In 1655 the Mercado family took its sugar experience in Dutch Brazil to Barbados and the David Raphael de Mercado marriage with Gracia Baruch Lousada was probably vital for her family's presence there as well. But a link through the Montezinos family in Madrid to the Lamego family in Rouen may also have facilitated the Baruch Lousada dispersal from Livorno, and later their 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 hosted the Lamego and the Lopes Pereira families, and also the Carvajal family who perhaps came there 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, Villaflor, Madrid, Livorno and so on.