Vinhais is the seat of small municipality of 35 parishes and 10000 people spread over 700 km² in Alto Tras-os-Montes, Portugal. The municipality is bordered by Spain to the north and west (see map of Portugal and Western Spain).   The medieval heart of Braganza, now a district capital. The noble House of Braganza has long since ceased to be based here. Fernando, the 1st son of Amador de Lousada was born here around 1576. It is about 30km to the east of Vinhais and is on the border of the Montesinhos National Park.   Villaflor is about 90km to the south of Vinhais (but still north of the Duoro River). It is now known locally as the olive oil capital of Portugal. This town around 1600 was central to the lives of the Baruch Lousadas and associated families who lived there as New Christians.

 

Edgar Samuel by email 2 Mar 2016 stated his strong suspicion that Amador de Lousada, a shoemaker of Vinhais, was a direct ancestor. Amador was aged 50 when arrested in 1590 by the Coimbra Inquisition and he was then sentenced in 1591 to perpetual penitence. Resulting records reveal that he was baptised at the church of Sao Fagundo in Vinhais presumably around the date of his birth in 1540, though his father Pedro must have lived for a time in one of the Lousada villages in order to have acquired the surname he did. Perhaps his father was born in Spain and was a young child upon arriving in Portugal in late 1492 or early 1493. A chart of the family as revealed in ref 180 can be found here.

We have inferred that some of Amador's family moved to Villaflor by 1606, perhaps in large part because the Portuguese Inquisition was showing too much interest in Vinhais. It may not have been far enough, for after a decade or so many Villaflor new Christian residents dispersed - some to Madrid, but records of people born in Villaflor may be found in Amsterdam, Hamburg and many other places. Certainly the family of Fernando, Amador's oldest son, remained in Vinhais and the Coimbra Inquisition caught up with them around 1650. Resulting records reveal that Fernando was born in Braganza, suggesting that Amador was in Braganza in 1586 but returned to Vinhais by 1590.