Amador de Lousada and the Coimbra Inquisition

It seems likely that Amador de Lousada 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. Though only a few details of Amador's life thus emerged (see note 8 below), perhaps most importantly for us his wife Ana Mendes and his children appear as shown above. Briatis also appeared before the Coimbra Inquisition but like her father she survived, suitably penitent. Some 55 years later though, Fernando's 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 (see note 3 below).

Our identification of Briatis with Beatriz Geonima (the mother of Abraham Israel Pereira) - see note 5 below - means that Amador must have had an earlier wife Geronima as shown above (see note 5 below for our reasoning), making it necessary to allocate the children between the 2 wives as shown above (and as explained in note 5 below). But having made the identification we can see that Briatis lived a married life first in not-so-distant Villaflor where she gave birth to Abraham Israel Pereira aka Tomas Rodrigues Pereira in 1606, to later appear in Madrid with her family (see note 13); her son Abraham then avoided the Toledo Inquisition by leaving for Venice and then Amsterdam where he arrived in 1646 and died in 1674. Fernando stayed in Vinhais where at least one of his sons (Henrique) adopted Amador's profession of shoemaking, but he was sufficiently productive of children for us to suggest that the Den Haag Louzadas originate from Fernando via a separate Lousada exodus (see note 4 below). Isabel appeared in Spain, as noted above, and probably Madrid where records of her presence can be found today. But the identification of the 4 youngest sons with known Baruch Lousadas is not so clear-cut as explained in note 15 below and the result of our analysis is displayed in the chart above. Whatever the uncertainty in this, it can be stated that Amador produced just the right number of children to answer questions posed by our ancestry.

 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. An Antonio with a father 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. We are in the process of examining the trial of Antonio which may shed light on the brother who left Iberia for Amsterdam perhaps via Venice (see note 4 below). On 14 Apr 2017 Michael Waas pointed out a 1650 document (see ref 201) from Amsterdam Notary Archives signed by Antonio Fernandes Lousada. We are in the early stages of studying this document but if the 2 Antonios are the same person then it means he travelled to Amsterdam and then returned to Portugal and the Coimbra Inquisition.

3. Ref 145 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 (protocole 9081). Perhaps Pedro was a brother of Antonio the (probable) husband of Briatis/Beatriz but there is little doubt that Isabel in the chart above was Antonio's mother. Antonio left no legitimate children but there was a brother-in-law Miguel Juan de Castro so it seems Isabel had a daughter. However Miguel could not be traced in the Madrid Historical Archive. In 1656 can be found the will of Ana de Losada widow of Manuel Rodriguez, shoemaker (protocole 8518) who could have been the Ana de Losada who was given a 1653 bequest by her niece Geronima de Losada (protocole 5709). However Ana cannot have been Ana Mendes who would have been too old to have had a second family in the 1640s. In any case it is not certain that this Geronima was a daughter of Beatriz Geronima for her origins are not stated as Villaflor. A further Rodriguez link can be found in the 1655 will of Maria Rodriguez de Losada, daughter of Marcos Rodriguez de Losada (protocole 9113) but at present we can make little of this.

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. Amsterdam data reveals how close the Baruch Lousadas - and the probably closely-related Den Haag Louzadas - were to the Rodrigues (Israel) Pereiras. A prime 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). This is what led us to search in Spanish records (ref 145) for the parents of Abraham Israel Pereira who arrived in Amsterdam from Madrid probably via Venice. This search inter alia identified his mother as Beatriz Geronima whom we infer was a Baruch Lousada (see note 12 for our reasoning). It was also found that Abraham Israel Pereira (then Tomas Rodrigues Pereira) was born in Villaflor in 1606. So, with note 1 in mind, once we found that Amador de Lousada had a daughter Briatis born around 1574 (ref 180), it was natural to consider identifying her with Beatriz Geronima (Beatriz being a Spanish equivalent of the Portuguese Briatis). The fact that Amador de Lousada of Vinhais had Rodrigues associates in Villaflor and Braganza in northern Portugal (ref 145) also made such an identification plausible. 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. The Rodrigues Pereiras with other Villaflor families moved to Madrid around 1617 (ref 145) 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 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 somewhat lower order (a family of shoemakers) 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. See ref 121 the data for which was from 1676 or somewhat earlier. This may mean that he came to London via Rouen or Bordeaux, the known locations of the Lamegos. We cannot however completely rule out that it was his nephew Moses #46 who came to London via France, but this is not confirmed by any of our Amsterdam data on Moses #46, and it seems that the journey of Moses #1419 from Spain to London via France is an entirely different story waiting to be told.

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. 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 after a marriage in 1679 and a probable birth in the 1640s in Livorno. On general grounds we expected a sister to produce offspring 20 years before a similarly-aged brother with other factors increasing or decreasing this time period. Thus a small time difference would not allow us to draw an inference but a large time difference strongly indicates the sister produced the earlier cousin. The picture we have arrived at differs from this expectation only in that both brother and sister were not young when the respective cousins were born (the delay perhaps due to the great family disruption caused by the Coimbra Inquisition). 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 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, 11 years difference in 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.

13. It seems (ref 145) that the family reached Madrid by 1617, 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; the name of one son and perhaps one daughter would reflect his name as a first forename but not a second forename. Nevertheless the case is instructive in that the Lopes name appears in the trial record of Amador de Lousada in addition to the Jeronimo name.

15. We propose a match between on the one hand the 4 youngest sons of Amador and, on the other hand, the 4 Baruch Lousadas who appear in 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 Pedro though this is not a strong inference as Francisco, Diogo and Antonio were only marginally older. Moses #1419 does not appear in Livorno records and was not in London in 1660 with Moses #46 and Jacob #1388, so arrived in London between 1660 and 1676 (possibly via France - see note 10);  

  2. Isaac #42 was in Livorno in the 1640-60 period (as shown in note 9) and died in Amsterdam in 1667 which was the 3rd death and we suggest he was Francisco the third of the 4 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);

  3. David who died 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 on the basis that the lifelong closeness of the blended offspring of Isaac #42 and David reflected their common parentage. 

  4. Daniel left a widow who appeared in Livorno in 1652 so he like David died prematurely of unknown age. They probably died without reaching Livorno. We suggest above that David was Diogo, so Daniel must have been Antonio. Antonio was a few years older than the youngest 3 brothers, and we suggest that he had a different mother. His widow went to Jerusalem from Livorno, and being the oldest of the 4 youngest sons may have been most traumatized by the Coimbra Inquisition's treatment of his father and oldest sister.