Amador de Lousada and the Coimbra Inquisition

It seems likely that Amador de Lousada, born in 1540 at an unknown location, was a direct ancestor (see note 1 below). What we know of him is contained in the records (see ref 180) of the Portuguese Inquisition at Coimbra, which he faced in 1590-1. A few details of Amador's life thus emerged (see note 8 below), but perhaps most importantly for us his wife Ana Mendes (see note 18 below) and his children appear as shown above. His daughter Briatis born around 1574 also appeared before the Coimbra Inquisition but like her father she survived, suitably penitent. Some 55 years later though, Fernando was dead but his family was imprisoned and punished by the Coimbra Inquisition (see note 2 below). The other children of Amador do not appear in Inquisition records and Isabel appears to have escaped its clutches by going to Spain.

Isabel's marriage (see note 3 below) is one of 3 Losada & Rodrigues marriages for which there is evidence in Madrid records. The relevance of the others is unclear, but hers echoes the close connection between the families revealed in later Amsterdam data. This points to the mother of Abraham Israel Pereira (aka Tomas Rodrigues Pereira) being a Baruch Lousada (see also note 12 below). Madrid records showed her name to have been Beatriz Geronima (see note 5 below), from which we now suggest not only that she was the Briatis shown in the chart (Beatriz being a Spanish equivalent of the Portuguese Briatis), but that (to account for her name) Amador must have had an earlier wife Geronima, perhaps Ana's sister. Our allocation of Amador's children between these 2 wives is explained in note 5 below and shown in the chart. Consequently, Briatis lived a married life first in not-so-distant Villaflor where she gave birth to Tomas in 1606, to later appear in Madrid with her family (see note 13); where the very successful Tomas then avoided the Toledo Inquisition by leaving for Venice and then Amsterdam where he arrived by 1645 and died in 1674. Fernando, born in Braganza, stayed in Vinhais where at least one of his sons (Henrique) adopted Amador's profession of shoemaking. A plausible identification of Amador's sons with the known Baruch Lousadas of Livorno and London is given in note 15 below, with the possible further implications of post-Inquisition offspring explored in note 16 below. Though the chart above suggests that the Den Haag Louzadas may originate from Fernando via a separate Lousada exodus (see note 4 below), it is possible that they derive instead from Amador's post-Inquisition family. We are similarly uncertain about the Lousadas arriving in London around 1700 (see note 17 below).

 Abraham Levi Lousada of Livorno was an uncle of Isaac #42 (for the evidence of this see note 9 below), and the above chart also shows one possible explanation as to how this came about (see note 6 below on this and on how we come to our suggested name for Abraham's wife).


1. Edgar Samuel by email 2 Mar 2016 stated his strong suspicion that Amador de Lousada was our direct ancestor. Amador was the only known Lousada subjected to Inquisitorial interest in the period before 1640 when the Baruch Lousadas were first known in Livorno; he was imprisoned and tried by the Coimbra Inquisition in 1590-91 as recorded in ref 180 which provides details of the alleged relapse to Judaism of his and related families. Details of his life extracted from this record are shown in note 8 below.

2. Antonio son of  Fernao (Fernando) was tried by the Coimbra Inquisition in 1658-1563. Ref 180 showed that so too was Florença Carriao the widow of Fernando in 1657 and in 1660 another son Henrique de Lousada a shoemaker of Vinhais aged about 50 and a daughter Maria aged about 35. Florbela Veiga Frade has examined the Coimbra Inquisition record of Maria de Lousada and extracted her confessions and her genealogy (ref 221). From this we learn that Fernando was born in Braganza, but like his father Amador worked as a shoemaker in Vinhais. Though Moses Baruch Lousada used the alias Antonio, he was not this son of Fernando, as confirmed by his presence in Amsterdam in the years 1649-59 and arrival in London by 1660, and was probably a nephew.

3. Ref 145 (protocole 9081) shows that Pedro Rodriguez and Isabel Mendes de Losada, natives and residents of Vinhais, had a son Antonio whose 1656 will is in the Madrid Historical Archives. While we cannot say whether Pedro was a brother of Antonio Rodrigues Pereira who married Beatriz Geronima, there is little doubt that the mother of Antonio of the 1656 will was the Isabel shown in the chart. That is, the sisters Beatriz Geronima and Isabel each married a Rodrigues. Further Rodrigues and Losada associations are discussed in note 19.

4. As Isaac Louzada #50 appears to have been born in Amsterdam in 1645, 70 years after the birth of Fernando. Isaac #50 was almost certainly not a son of Isaac #42, and his Venice connections suggest he was not a grandson of Isaac #42 either. Isaac #42 spent over 20 years in Livorno while Isaac #50 was very much in the orbit of Abraham Israel Pereira who travelled to Amsterdam from Madrid via Venice. Hence we suggest Isaac #50 was a grand-nephew of Isaac #42 and a grandson of Fernando, and we further suggest the father (Amsterdam records suggest the father assumed the name Abraham) left Vinhais before the Inquisition imprisoned his brothers Antonio and Henrique, sister Maria and mother Florença (see note 2 above). Fernando appears to have died before his family was imprisoned. We have not yet examined their Inquisition files for evidence of the existence of Isaac #50's father and his Iberian name.

5. Our search of the Spanish records (ref 145) also found that Abraham Israel Pereira (then Tomas Rodrigues Pereira) was born in Villaflor in 1606 and that the Rodrigues Pereiras with other Villaflor families moved to Madrid by 1610 (see note 13). However, it is almost certain that Beatriz Geronima would have had a parent named Geronimo/a, a name which neither Amador de Lousada nor his wife Ana Mendes had, so we further searched Spanish (and other - see note 14) records for any Beatriz with a parent named Geronimo/a or variations thereof, aware that this might have disproved both note 1 and our inference that Beatriz Geronima was a Baruch Lousada. Failure of this search thus provided weak confirmation of those two assumptions, and left us no alternative but to return to the identification of Briatis with Beatriz Geronima. The absence of the name Geronimo/a in the family could of course be accounted for by the fact that in those days of high mortality rates the incidence of remarriage due to death of a spouse was also high (and the Jewish custom of levirate marriage was relevant to this common circumstance). So we consider Briatis was a stepchild and thus that either Amador was a stepfather with the widowed Ana bringing to their marriage at least one child fathered by a deceased husband Geronimo (Ana therefore being the common grandmother of the 2 Abrahams); or Ana was a stepmother with Amador bringing to their marriage at least one child of a deceased wife Geronima (Amador therefore being the common grandfather of the 2 Abrahams). Helpfully, ref 180 shows that Briatis had the same name as her paternal grandmother (see note 11 on variations of the relevant naming custom) consistent with her being the first daughter of Amador. Therefore the latter possibility is the correct one and this is what is shown in the chart above. Geronima must have died after 1574 and before 1589. There are 2 possible interpretations of the 1580-84 gap in the ages of the children. One is that Geronima died around 1580 with a newborn child, and thus - given that Isabel was later (see note 3 above) known as Isabel Mendes - Geronima was also a Mendes (probably a sister making Ana's marriage levirate). The other possible interpretation - which we think to be less likely because of the regular sequence birthdates of Briatis, Fernando and Isabel - is that Geronima died after 1574 and before 1577 and that Ana was Isabel's mother and that the 1580-84 gap was due to a death in infancy without Ana also dying - but in this case Ana's marriage could still have been levirate ie with Geronima still a sister. The chart shows the first and more likely of these 2 interpretations. For propriety's sake we make clear that while our portrayal of Geronima is a reasoned inference, it is only attributable to Julian Land and not to our esteemed collaborators such as Edgar Samuel and Fernando Gonzalez del Campo Roman, though as can be seen it could hardly have been arrived at without their contributions! An interesting aspect of the related families of Villaflor is the social disparity which existed. Beatriz Geronima came from a family of shoemakers (not in those days an unrespectable profession!) than the Rodrigues Pereiras (whose son Tomas aka Abraham) became extremely wealthy through trade - though some of his Rodrigues Pereira relatives do seem to have been in professions comparable to shoemaker, but in turn this family was arguably less eminent than the Montezinos family which had royal licences for provisioning and salt tax farming. These latter 2 families had well-publicized brushes with the messianic fervour of the times. Whether the survival of Briatis/Beatriz at the Coimbra Inquisition had some appeal is not known - perhaps as Edgar Samuel remarked she may simply have been beautiful.

6. Because the (second?) wife of Isaac #42 was Luna, as was a daughter, this shows that a grandmother was Luna. Perhaps the younger Luna was a daughter of Abraham Levi Lousada and hence a cousin. If Abraham Levi Lousada was an uncle because he married a sister of Ana Mendes then her name was Luna Mendes as shown above. But the surname of the wife of Luis Mendes (Liao=Leon=Levi) suggests an alternative explanation which cannot be ruled out - that Abraham Levi Lousada was a brother of Briatis Liao, and thus an uncle of Isaac #42 by an extra marriage link. In this case his wife was probably still named Luna, and may even have been a Mendes though there is no evidence for this.

7. Moses #46 was probably like Aaron #376 a step-son of Isaac #42, who seems to have married the widow of his brother David. But Isaac #42 seems to have been the father of Moses #1585 (the first Surinam Baruch Lousada), which probably means that the mother was also not the parent of Moses #46. That is, Isaac married Luna after he lost David's widow. This explanation solves a difficulty which would have been presented by the almost impossibly long gestational span between Aaron #376 who seems to have been born in 1620 (perhaps in Madrid) and Moses #1585 around 1650 (probably in Livorno). We do not know for how long Isaac #42 aged around 55 had been married to Luna when their son David #44 was born, so we cannot say whether Aaron #376's sister Gracia - who around 1650 married David Raphael Mercado of Dutch Brazil and Barbados and was thus born in the 1630s - had either or both of Isaac or Luna as a natural parent.

8. Thus Pedro de Lousada had a first cousin once removed ('prima segunda') named Isabel Lopes who was also described as aunt of Amador, whilst Amador was baptised at the church of Sao Fagundo in Vinhais and confirmed (probably) at the church of Lamalonga near Braganza. Aged 50, he lived as a shoe-maker in Vinhais in 1590 and had Rodrigues associates in nearby Braganza and the more distant Villaflor, some of whom were shoe-makers and sieve-makers. The Coimbra Inquisition held and tried not only Amador de Lousada, but Briatis Liao (1584-9), Gaspar Liao (1586-8), Fernao Pereira (1587-9), Florença Pereira (1588-9), and Felipa Lopes who was a relative (perhaps a daughter of Isabel Lopes) of Amador de Lousada and the wife of Antonio Roiz (=Rodrigues) sievemaker. The testimony of Diogo Mendes seemed to be vital to the prosecution.

9. Our Livorno page records data on Isaac's presence there until 1660. In particular ref 149 records the participation of Isaac but not his brothers in the records of elections to the Livorno Mahamad in 1641 and 1642, together with his residence in those years in the house of his uncle Abraham Levi Lousada.

10. We consider the Moses Baruch Lousada who appears in ref 121 (the data for which was from 1676 or somewhat earlier) was Moses #46. This means that Moses #1419 who died in London in 1677 had only just arrived - for the survey probably did not greatly pre-date 1676. We identify Amador's son Pedro with Moses #1419. It is curious to find the youngest son having the name of the paternal grandfather - a fact for which we have yet to attempt an explanation!

11. Briatis was also known as Briatis Alvares, so that she was given the same 2 names as her paternal grandmother. On occasion Jewish naming rules were interpreted to apply not only to the first name of a grandparent but to the whole name - such a case arose among the Louzadas of Surinam.

12. A prime example but not the only example of the closeness of the families was that Abraham Israel Pereira was a full cousin ('cousin germain') of Abraham Baruch Lousada #45 (ref 141). There was a 40-year or so age disparity between the cousins, for the lifespan of Abraham Israel Pereira was 1606-74 as has been established by our work, whilst Abraham Baruch Lousada #45 died in 1714 and a probable birth in the 1640s in Livorno. Due to being younger at marriage we expect a sister to produce offspring about 20 years before a similarly-aged brother. This however cannot be a strong inference, because large differences in the ages of first cousins can occur due to other factors (eg see here where note 13 describes a case of a 50 year age differential between cousins deriving from brothers - but this extreme example at least teaches that the younger cousins could not have come from a female sibling). It is therefore necessary to confirm the picture we have arrived by reviewing whether the other factors are consistent with the facts. Briatis/Beatriz Geronima gave birth to her son Abraham when she was around 32, while her brother Isaac #42 having fathered David #44 in 1640 when he was 55 probably fathered Abraham #45 not long afterwards. Beatriz Geronima was born some 11 years before Isaac, so her son Abraham must have been born as a somewhat earlier child in his family than Isaac's son Abraham was in his in order to have produced the difference in birth year of around 40 years - which was thus composed of 25 years difference in the age of the parent at the time the cousin was born, 11 years difference in the date of birth of the parents, and 4 years difference in family rank of the child eg perhaps the first Abraham was first-born while the second Abraham was third-born. This simple calculation at worst does not disprove our conclusion!

13. It seems (ref 145) that the family reached Madrid by 1610, and in any event Tomas Rodrigues Pereira married in Madrid in 1628.

14. The index of the Coimbra Inquisition was also searched and the closest possibility was Mecia Jeronima Lopes of Villaflor, imprisoned 1575-6 aged 25 (reference code PT/TT/TSO-IC/025/00779) whose father was Jeronimo Lopes but she appears to have been a generation too early to have given birth to Abraham Israel Pereira in 1606. A person named Hieronimo Rodrigues of Braganza appears in ref 180 as being a son-in-law of Gaspar Laines, and he also suffered at the hands of the Coimbra Inquisition in the 1589-94 period; but it is difficult to see how he could been the source of a Lousada linkage of the closeness required. In ref 153 can be found some details of the Pereira de Louzadas of Toulouse but we have yet to see whether this sheds light on the family connection.

15. We propose a match between on the one hand the 5 youngest sons of Amador and, on the other hand, the 5 Baruch Lousadas who appear in Livorno, English and Dutch records in the mid-1600s as follows:

  1. Moses #1419 died in 1677 in London and this being the last death it is natural to infer that he was the youngest brother and hence that he was a post-Inquisition son.

  2. Antonio was a few years older than the youngest 3 brothers, and we suggest that he was the oldest son of the 1st marriage. He is the best candidate for the 'venerable' Abraham #2149 of Livorno whose son Isaac #2141 married Rachel #2143 a daughter of Isaac #42 in Livorno in 1643.

  3. Isaac #42 was in Livorno in the 1640-60 period (as shown in note 9) and died in Amsterdam in 1667 which was probably the 4th death of the 5 brothers we are allocating and we suggest he was Pedro the last of the 4 pre-Inquisition brothers to be allocated. He was probably younger than David whose children he seems to have step-fathered. Isaac #42 may have been married more than once (see note 7). 

  4. David who perhaps died well before before 1640 was the natural father of Aaron #376 of Barbados. Aaron together with probable brothers Moses #46 and Jacob #1388 grew up to live as sons of Isaac; they were probably with him in Livorno for some years and strong links persisted between the brothers and stepbrothers well after Isaac died as the many family papers found in Amsterdam notary archives show. We identify David with Diogo.

  5. Daniel left a widow who appeared in Livorno in 1652 so he like David died prematurely of unknown age. Daniel probably died shortly after reaching Livorno. We suggest therefore that Daniel was Francsico the last unallocated brotheer. His widow went to Jerusalem from Livorno.

16. Our study of the the Livorno Baruch Lousadas shows that Isaac #42 had a contemporary Abraham Baruch Lousada #2149 whose son Isaac married Isaac's daughter Rachel in 1643. This proves that the known children of Amador need to be augmented by at least a further son who must, if so, have been born after Amador's testimony was given to the Coimbra Inquisition. If there were further such sons of Amador after 1591, then this provides an alternative source of the 3rd wave of Lousadas who reached London just before 1700 - so Fernando may not have been their ancestor. However, it must be borne in mind that the  'venerable' Abraham #2149 may have been older than Isaac #42, in which case it may have been the latter who was born after Amador's release and that Abraham was Francisco (but possibly not one of the other pre-1589 sons for our logic above would still apply).

17. What we know of this 3rd exodus of Lousadas may be found here (see notes 3 and 4) - they are the originators of the USA Lousadas.

18. Michael Waas reported on 27 Jun 2018 that she appears as Violante in her 6 Jul 1588 denunciation to the Coimbra Inquisition - folios 239v-40, Livro de Denuncias 1566-1590 book 0076, Inquisition of Coimbra. Presumably Violante was her New Christian name and Ana = Hannah was her secret Jewish name.

19. In ref 145 protocole 8518 can be found the 1656 will of Ana de Losada, widow of Manuel Rodriguez shoemaker. Also an Ana de Losada was given a 1653 bequest by her niece Geronima de Losada (protocole 5709). We considered whether Geronima de Losada was a daughter of Beatriz Geronima. However, Geronima is described as a niece of Ana in ref 145 but (as the chart suggests) she was a grandniece (and also a step-granddaughter) of Ana. It is possible that Ana in the chart married Manuel Rodriguez shoemaker after Amador died (but was then again widowed and retained Amador's surname), but even if so it is unlikely she was Geronima's beneficiary, because by 1653 Ana would have been in her 80s having had children as early as 1584! A further Rodriguez link can be found in the 1655 will (protocole 9113) of Maria Rodriguez de Losada, daughter of Marcos Rodriguez de Losada. At present we can draw no firm conclusions here, other than to observe that this pattern of Losada and Rodrigues marriages is not at odds with our equating Briatis with Beatriz Geronima.