This non-profit family history website tells much of the story of the Baruch Lousadas, who lived for over 2 centuries as Sephardic Jews after leaving Iberia, and who with their kinsmen made great contributions to their new host countries. Before they left Iberia they were New Christians, and this came about as a result of the 1492 Spanish expulsion of Jews. The exiles sought to avoid baptism, and half of them crossed the border 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 not leave the country and then in 1497 to be baptised. Thus our Baruch Lousada and other ancestors found themselves trapped in Portugal as New Christians and they spent 2 or more generations there. There is almost nothing we know of their Spanish origin and travel to Portugal in late 1492 or early 1493. We know something of their stay in northern Portugal (see below) but little is known of their departure from Portugal, except that it is clear that each stage of departure was partial - some left and some stayed and it is also clear that while their dispersal pattern was analogous to that of other Sephardic families it was not identical, for the routes chosen depended on each family's circumstances. Today the Judaism which propelled this story is barely evident and the family's Jewishness is much diluted. Many recent descendants can be found in our genealogies, and some of their stories may also be found on this website though this 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 have reason 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 from Jamaica they made their second arrival in England in 1743. 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. This Baruch Lousada diaspora is shown in a map found by clicking here, and we illustrate how they emerged from Livorno as well as summarize which early Baruch Lousadas appeared in each of these 6 destination, though of course most of the individuals appear in our genealogies. The 'Lousada' component of their name is still borne by descendants in England, South Africa, the USA and Australia but in The Netherlands it appears as 'Louzada'.
Some Baruch Lousadas remained in Livorno after Isaac and most of his family left around 1660, and the Tunis Baruch Lousadas came from this remnant Baruch Lousada population. From this source the Barrows also arose, for it seems that an Ashkenasi man named Baruch married a Baruch Lousada in Livorno, and though the marriage date is currently unknown we know the lifespan of their son Simon 1709-1801. He married Bailah Montefiore 1720-73 probably around 1740 in Livorno since their son Haim 1744-89 was not the oldest (that son was Baruch, named after the paternal grandfather). Together with Simon's married sister and her husband Isaac Levi, they settled in Barbados probably in concert with the settling in London of their Livorno in-law Moses Vita Montefiore in 1752 and in any case before 1759. A brother of Simon - Gedalia - went to Prague, and a further brother 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 the '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! One of Simon's sons Jacob Barrow #60, appeared in England around 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. Simon's children found Sephardic spouses in Barbados and London, his grand-daughter Bella married Moses Baruh Lousada at Bevis Marks in 1806, whilst in Barbados his grand-daughter Judith Joseph Levi married Eliezer Montefiore in 1797. But the old Ashkenasi link was renewed at Bevis Marks in 1808 when Jacob Barrow's son Simon Barrow of Bath married the 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 - then the capital of Hungary. 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. Today, his descendants carry the Barrow name in England, Kenya and Canada but in Barbados it seems 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 Duque 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. We found just one one explanation as to how the Dukes could have inherited - in Spain - a moribund Italian title that had been held by a non-relative, but it fails in many ways! 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.
Geographic dispersal is intrinsic to Sephardic genealogy. Thus the Baruh Lousadas, Lumbroso de Matos Mocattas and Montefiores - all with a Livorno past - came together in England; the Francos were from Livorno and also intermarried with the Baruh Lousadas; 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 to the Baruch Lousadas as for the Western Sephardim, and there they 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 of course their marriages with the Lamego family facilitated the Baruch Lousada moves to Jamaica and thence to England where the Lopes Pereira marriages then took place. Not long after 1492, the Duoro valley of northern Portugal and western Spain hosted the Lamego and the Lopes Pereira families, and also the Carvajal family who perhaps came there from Cordoba. Likewise 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.