A few years ago a table telling the story of an obscure clan from the Iberian peninsula appeared on the internet. At the bottom of the table were the names of a few expeditionaries who told a magical story of people with Arabic sounding names like Ibn- who were court advisors to Sultans and emissaries between competing powers. The story intersected with a family tree I had discovered on the www in a Jewish depositary in London. The tree came attached to a wonderful story of a family descended from the biblical King David. It described how our common ancestor Simon Barrow of Bath had accomplished a reunion of the Davidic line through his marriage into the family of the Lyon Dr Symons, originally of Pressburg, or Bratislava.


In a few months correspondence developed among a few of us who had to resolve how the Baruch Lousada families had become Barrow and Lousada, reviving forgotten close family bonds lost with our dispersion across Empire. Randy Schoenberg brought us understanding of the mysterious Pressburg linkage, which appears to be close family by another name which Simon Barrow revived through his business relationship with Vienna. The links to the New World emerged out of the work of correspondents who had researched family graves in the Caribbean, especially Jamaica. More information on Barbados followed.


It took time to understand that our ancestors married among Portuguese families and used the language for their records. Some of these family bonds are revealing themselves gradually, mostly from a sojourn in the Netherlands. The period of abolition, including the emancipation of slaves held by the company Barrow & Lousada, could still yield answers to questions such as the destiny of mulatto Barrow children, some sent to London for manumission and education.


At one point in my own investigation to understand possible ancestral links among early traders to India I found a will that granted elephants to the heirs. My attempts to find the origin of the illustrious Anglo Indian Barrow family drew a blank. However, the later Barrows distributed themselves from China to Afghanistan, even playing a role in the events in Lucknow which presaged the collapse of the British occupation of India.


Our wider family can tell a wonderful story from diaspora to mercantilism, into various colonies, into the emergence of global banking. Fortunately there are academic researchers who are busy assembling parts of the story, adding to other published accounts. There are so many important stories still to be excavated such as the recent link to the travels of Madame du Barry's jewellery. Randy has made us aware of the impact of Nazism on the wider family.


Julian has managed to organise this information and this (Fourth Cousins) website shows how we found out, almost in disbelief, that our family of Anglo Jews, later Anglicans, had a hidden story.