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De Fonseka families of Kalutara

A volume of work known as the 'De Andrado' papers found in the National Archives of Colombo (Dutch records volume No. 3210 ) , is the base for the research presented in this website. 

The volume contains an interesting collection of legal and administrative documents of the 17th and early 18th centuries, and illustrates the various stages of a long conflict between the Judiciary and the Executive. The case refers to Bras de Andrado and leaves a documentary trail of the De Fonseka genealogy as well. These papers and other references pertaining to that family had been brought together and translated by Mr. J. H. 0. Paulusz,, who was the Government Archivist, from 1940 to 1958. Since its translation, the papers had been lying with a member of that family, Mr. F. B. de S. J. Wijenayake of Colombo, who together with the likes of S. R. De Fonseka used it to trace the documented history of the family name to 1658, the last days of the Portuguese occupation of Ceylon.

        and this is where we begin our journey .....

The original version of the Genealogy Table using the information contained in this collection was compiled by S. R. de Fonseka of 'The Glades', De Fonseka Place, Colombo and others. It has been authenticated by non other than E. Reimers, the Government Archivist at that time. The complete D'andrado Manuscripts has been reproduced in the Reference page.

This Genealogical Table was gone into by me. The authorities quoted were verified, and the documents of the family referred to were examined. They are authentic and reliable so far as I am able to say and are corroborated by records in this office. Volume No. 2673D of the Colombo Dutch Records deals entirely with some matters relating to the d’andrados and the de Fonsekas about the beginning of the Dutch era, and bear out an Old Dutch M. S. of the Family in the possession of Mr. S. R. de Fonseka about the relationship between different members of the families and the offices they held at this time. This M. S., and other earlier family documents, most of them in Dutch, were submitted by him to the Historical M. S. Commission and were accepted as authentic and genuine.

I certify this table as correct.

Government Archivist and Secretary Historical: M. S. S. Commission,
Colombo, 29th November 1935.

In this section  we look at the earliest reference of the 'De Fonseka' name thru the genealogy table of  the Varnakula Addittiya Arasanilayitta clan of Kalutara referred to in the papers above..

Varnakula was one of the great 'Surya' clans of the Karava caste.( The other two are 'Kurukulasuriya' and Arasakulasuriya').  Through these pages we take a look at the  Varnakula Additiya Arasanilayitta clan families of De Fonseka, D'andrado, De Rowel, Lowe, Tamel and Tissera.  

These families of Kalutara were one of the six families with a distinct rank and status as chieftains of the Karava clans.  

Click on the following picture to open the genealogy chart. It will open in a separate window, so that you may keep it opened for reference while browsing the rest of the papers.

Genealogy Table


In this section  we look at the same genealogy charts in HTML form. This will load much faster, and also contains additional family details and links not found in the above chart. It also contains sources of information, references and dates and links to family trees which trace their descendents to date.

The Genealogies of the De Fonseka families of Kalutara

The Genealogies of the D'andrado families of Kalutara

The Genealogies of the Lowe families of Marawila.

The Genealogies of the De Rowel families of Marawila.

The Genealogies of the Tamel (de Melho) families of Kammala.

The Genealogies of the Tissera families of Negambo.


De Fonseka Families of Panadura

While the De Fonseka families of Kalutara have been discussed at great length in the preceding section, many segments of 'De Fonseka' families have surfaced in my  research into the family name.

One such is the de Fonseka family Group originating from Panadura. Predominantly Buddhist, there is a large crowd of de Fonseka families distributed in and around Panadura. Sir Susantha de Fonseka was the most eminent amongst them

        The Genealogies of the De Fonseka families of Panadura.


Other De Fonseka Families

In this section  we look at some of the De Fonseka names which I have collected during my research on the family name, and which I have not been able to connect to the genealogy charts prepared so far.

However they provide valuable insight into the different de Fonseka branches that are in existence.  The people mentioned in this page will be organized into relevant Family Trees or Sections as the research progress.

        The Genealogies of the other De Fonseka families.


Related Families

The Genealogies of the Varnakula Fernando families of Negambo.
The Fernando families of Marawila and Thamabarawila have been very closely associated with the Lowe families through Inter marriages. This page looks at the family tree of Varnakulasuriya Adrian Fernando, Muhandiram of Kammala, and contains some lovely period photographs of this family.
(The Lowe Family genealogy details, the Varnakula Fernando family details and photographs of the Marawila families have been provided by Dr Germain Fernando of Brisbane, Australia.)


Mudaliyars - Their life and times

Most of the ancestors listed in the previous genealogy charts appear to have held some form of office or title and have been leaders in their community holding posts such as Vidhan, Mohandiram and Mudaliyars. The post of Mudaliyar was the highest status achievable by a person of the low country. They were also closely associated with the colonial rulers that occupied this country. These pages examines the life and times of the Mudaliyars, their change from a Military background to a Civil Administrative post and then to simply a titular post in the last days of the British Raj, before they discontinued what was then known as the Native Department. 

Mudaliyars explained

We also look at  the social and administrative functions performed by them, their status in society and duties, details that gives us a better understanding of our ancestors. 

The second page in this series gives their numbers and distribution, their salaries and allowances and duties which throws out some interesting insights into their lives.

Glossary of Titles and Ranks found in the Genealogy Chart


Additional Articles


A Surname called De Fonseka
Learn all about your Surname.


The case of Manuel Dias (Andrady) :
The case of an extended version of the family tree, which could possibly take the family history back to 1545.


Ancestral Homelands:
A look at some of the places mentioned in the histories and genealogies of the De Fonsekas families.


Don Bastian de Silva Jayasuriya Goonewardane
The seafarer of Galle who's boats traded up to Burma.