Family

‘I think all of our lives have been terribly shaped by what went on before us.’
 
Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje 1983


To know one’s ancestoral history, and to get a glimpse into thier lives, is a blessing that is not available to many. Only a handful of families in Sri Lanka (other than the Dutch Burghers) can lay claim to a documented history going more than a few years.  But for the De Fonseka family, a chance dispute in an inherited land, led to a unique court case which left a trail of records relating to the family.

The De Fonseka families belonged to the administrative class of the low country in the Kalutara district. Their association with the colonial rulers in military and administrative work, brought them many deeds of gifts, with land being one of the main. It was the Dutch who introduced meticulous record keeping to Ceylon, improving on the Portuguese land ‘Tombos’1. The Dutch established amongst many things, a structured method to document land, land grants and established the land laws as well as the judiciary. The impartiality of the law which they setup was ably demonstrated in the case in question, in which the all powerful ‘Disava’  or the Dutch ruler of the province who was also the chief land administrator, was challenged in a court of law.  The Dutch records (still available in the National Archives) pertaining to the case was subsequently translated and published in English as the ‘De Andrado manuscripts’ by Mr. J. H. O. Paulusz,, who was the Government Archivist, from 1940 to 1958.

This volume of work known as the ‘De Andrado’ papers found in the National Archives of Colombo (Dutch records volume No. 3210 ) , contains the documents referring to the case. 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. All details of land grants, subdivitions and service rendered to the administration has been maticulously collated and documented to build a solid case. The case refers to Bras de Andrado, and as such leaves a documentary trail of the D’andrado and the associated De Fonseka families. These papers and other references pertaining to that family had been brought together and translated by Mr. J. H. O. 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.

The original version of the Genealogy Chart using the information contained in this collection was compiled by the duo and printed by S. R. de Fonseka of ‘The Glades’, De Fonseka Place, Colombo in the mid 1930’s. It has been authenticated by non other than E. Reimers, the Government Archivist at that time. The complete set of documents called The D’andrado Manuscripts, is 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. E. REIMERS, Government Archivist and Secretary Historical: M. S. S. Commission, Colombo, 29th November 1935.

 

The early beginnings …..(1658 – 1920s)

De Fonseka / D’andrado / De Rowel / Tamel Genealogy Chart

 

Click on the picture above to open the genealogy chart. This is a reproduction of a large genealogy chart prepared and printed by S. R. de Fonseka, and given to family members in the 1930s. It will open in a separate window, so that you may keep it opened for reference while browsing the rest of the papers.


 

In this section below, we look at the same genealogy charts in web 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.

Don Michael De Fonseka
Took part in the seige and capture of Jaffna, 1658 (Baldaeus). Succeeded Don Louis de Anderado as Adigar of Kalutara and Walawita Korales. Later transferred to the Secretariat, Colombo.
Married Dominga D’Anderado. See ‘Description of Ceylon – Baldaeus‘. Reference Section.

  • Manuel De Fonseka
    Vidahn of Colombo from Pass Nagalagam to Fort, 6th January 1687.
    Given the village Jambureliya in Salpiti Korale as accomodesan.

    • Manico De Fonseka
      Coral of Salpiti Korale and Maha Vidhan of Kalutara.
      Married Pavistina De Tissera, 1720.

      • Peduru De Fonseka
        Mohandiram of Kalutara 21st January 1700 & Interprter to the Opporhooftd, 1720.
        Received two islands at the mouth of the ‘Kalu Ganga’.

        • Bastian De Fonseka
          Appointed to act as Mohandiram, 5th October 1770

          • Haramanis De Fonseka
            Married Justina, daughter of Bastian D’Anderado, Mudaliyar.

            • Loisa De Fonseka
              Married Dionis de Silva Abhayawickrama Wijenayaka, 1871
            • Carolis De Fonseka
              Married (name not available) Died 1921

              • Peter Lewis De Fonseka
                1882 – 1958
              • Elizabeth Victoria De Fonseka
                1886 – 1921 Married Muhandiramge Martin de Silva Abhayawickrema Jagath Wijayanayaka (1879 – 1962)

                • Elizabeth Appolonia De S  A Wijayanayaka md Fernando (Furniture manufacturer of Moratuwa).
                • F Berty De S A Jagath Wijayanayaka
                  Some of his writings are found in the Karava Page.
        • Solomon De Fonseka
          Marrried Selestina, Daughter of Renaldus D’Anderado

          • Carolis De Fonseka
            Mohandiram, 7th July 1818.
            Married Wilhelmina, daughter of Selestinu de Fonseka.
            Married Louisa D’andrado, daughter of Bastian D’andrado.

            • Cecilia Elizabeth de Fonseka.
              Married Louis Peiris, son of Hendrick Peiris.

              • Louis Henricus Susew Peiris md Selina Louisa Elizabeth de Soysa, daughter of Charles de Soysa, lived at the “Whist Bungalow”, Mutwal.
              • Cecelia Engeltina Wilhelmina Pieris
              • Josceline Louisa Pieris
              • Louise Edward Owen Pieris
            • Simon Richard De Fonseka
              Born 1854, Invested rank of Mudaliyar by Sir Arthur Havelock, Mudaliyar of Salpiti Korale 10th September 1907, and Mudaliyar of the Governor’s Gate, 22nd June 1911.
              Married Louisa , daughter of Juan Jayasinghe de Silva, Mudaliyar in 1883.
               Complete Family Tree of Mudaliyar S R De Fonseka.
              See ‘Family Tree’ section for some additional details.
          • Joseph De Fonseka
             
            Complete Family Tree of Joseph De Fonseka
          • Louis De Fonseka
        • David De Fonseka
          Mohandiram of Kalutara, 22nd May, 1819. Will Dated 26th April 1847.

         

      • Franciscu De Fonseka
        Maha Vidahn Mohandiram, 1766, Mudaliyar of Kalutara, 1797.

        • Johanes De Fonseka
          Mudaliyar of Kalutara, 1819. Received a Gold Medel from Govenor Brownrigg.

          • Selestinu De Fonseka
            Mudaliyar of Kalutara, 1825. Maha Vidhan of Panadura, 1834

            • Wilhelmina De Fonseka
              Married Mohandiram Carolis de Fonseka, son of Solomon de Fonseka.
            • Jacob De Fonseka
              Mohandiram, Ceylon Almanac 1841

            • John Henry De Fonseka
              Mohandiram

              • Edmond Clarke (E. C.) De Fonseka (M.B.E)
                Complete Family Tree of E C De Fonseka
              • Henry Fredrick De Fonseka. Mudaliyar, 1911
                Act of appointment 22-6-1911. Died 11-12-1931.
                Complete Family Tree of H F De Fonseka
              • Frank De Fonseka.
                Complete Family Tree of Frank De Fonseka
              • Emmellina De Fonseka (Emmie) married (name not available)
                • Hilda De Fonseka married Condrad Perera.
              • Louisa De Fonseka (did not marry).
              • Margarita De Fonseka (Maggie – died at a young age).
              • Luke De Fonseka (Twin) (did not marry).
              • Mark De Fonseka (Twin) married from Wennappuwa.
                • Annesly De Fonseka.
                • Edwin De Fonseka.
                • Sister Yvonne De Fonseka.
                • Pearl De Fonseka.
            • David Haramanis De Fonseka
              Mohandiram
            • Lisbeth Louisa de Fonseka
              Married Miguel D’andrado, son of Phillip D’andrado, Muhandiram.

              • Louisa Victoria D’andrado
              • Michella D’andrado
              • Phillip D’andrado
              • Thomas D’andrado
              • Camel D’andrado
            • Isabella de Fonseka md Mohandiram Renaldus D’andrado.
          • Manuel De Fonseka
            Mudaliyar of Kalutara, 1869

            • Simon Reynold De Fonseka
              ‘River View’, Kalutara South.

            • Frederick De Fonseka
              Supt. of Minor Roads, Negombo

              • Anne Claribel Mary de Fonseka
                Married Emmanuel de Silva Wijeratne in 1897, Timber Merchant & Cartage Contractor, ‘Havelock Villa’, Havelock Road.
            • Johanna Victoria de Fonseka
              Married Don Arnolis Andris Wijesekera, Interpreter and Mudaliyar of the Supreme Court of Ceylon.

              • Francis Alfred Wijesekera.
            • Angeltina de Fonseka
              Married Don Juvan de SIlva Jayasuriya Gunawardene
              son of Don Bastian de SIlva Jayasuriya.
        • Rosita De Fonseka
          Married Gampolage Simon De Fonseka, Maha Vidhan of Kalutara
        • Isabella De Fonseka
          Married Bastian D’anderado, Mudaliyar.

          • Louisa D’andrado md Mohandiram Carolis de Fonseka.
          • Justina D’andrado md Harmanis de Fonseka
          • Reynaldus D’andrado md Issabella de Fonseka, Daughter of Selestinu de Fonseka.

 

Continuation of the journey ……(1920s to date)

The website picks up the journey from where the genealogy chart ends, and continues the research to tie it up to the present day De Fonseka families distributed all over the world. The web pages linked in the different families above lists over 500 entries painstakingly compiled by the author, under the relevant family tree. Please use the Contact page to contact the webmaster with any additions or corrections. 

How to search for information  …..

Your search for a bit of family history can go top down or vise versa. If you select the former, scan down from the topmost point till you come across any known names. If you follow the second method, use the search facility to look for an ancestor, relative or your own name. Identify the particular family tree and browse for relatives for further confirmation.  Then use the name of the topmost link of the family tree, and link back to trace back your ancestry.


Sources of Information and additional details

Varnakula Additya Don Michael de Fonseka:
Adigar of Calutara and Walalawita Corale
(vide Note 4) succeeded his wife’s uncle Don Louis d’Anderado, later transferred to the Secretariat in Colombo. Baldeus who knew him in Jaffna about 1658 before he came to Calutara, mentions him in his History. (Baldeus, the de Fonseka Family Documents, and C.D.R. 2673D). Married Dominga d’Anderado (C.D.R 2673D and an old Dutch M. S. with a certified translation of it dated 30-04-1822 of the de Fonseka Family).

Manuel de Fonseka:
Vidahn of Colombo from pass Nagalagam to the Fort.
Was given the village Jamburelliya in Salpiti Corale as accomodasam. Act of appointment dated 6-1-1687 (C.D.R. 2439 Page 78, Paul Pieris “The Illangakoon Family” page 26 also vide Note 5)

Manico de Fonseka:
Coraal of Salpiti Corale and Maha Vidhan of Calutara.
Married Pavistina de Tissera in 1720. (C.D.R. School Thombo of Calutara District, Volume 36, Re. The de Tissera family “Memoirs of Rycloff van Goens” page 20, Re. Office of Coraal see Memoir by Baron van Imhoff, Governor of Ceylon, translated by Sophia Peters Page 24, “Instructions” page 65, Ceylon literary Register II. Page 140, the de Fonseka family Documents)

Peduru de Fonseka:
Mohandiram of Calutara and Interpreter to the Opperhoofd.
(Act of appointment dated 21-01-1760 with the de Fonseka Family Documents). Received from the Dutch Government two Islets at the mouth of the Kalu Ganga called Goddetalawa, and Diyambetalawa. Goddetalawa was sold by the descendants of his son Bastian. Part of Diyabmetalawa which joined the two sections of the Calutara bridge was acquired by the Government; the other part still belongs to the de Fonseka family, vide Deed No. 899 of 19-10-1894, attested by U. H. Ahlif, N.P. of Colombo; also given land called Padriawatta (Roll of Lascorins of Calutara District page 3) which still belongs to the descendants of his son Bastian de Fonseka, also vide C.D.R School Thombo of Calutara 36 & 38.

Varnage Peduru de Fonseka and his brother Varnage Franciscu de Fonseka also received from Governor Falk by two grants dated 6-8-1766 and 6-9-1766, two blocks of land in Calutara at the mouth of the Kalu Ganga (Thombo of Calutara District, village Dessester No. 49). These lands are now known as Tuduwawatta and still belongs to the de Fonseka family. Deed No. 1222 dated 23-11-1857 attested by A. Cornelis. Partition amogst the heirs of Selestinu de Fonseka, Mudaliyar, Nos. 3527 & 3532 dated 7-3-1865 and 9-3-1865 attested by A. Cornelis, N.P.; D.C. Calutara 9601.

Franciscu de Fonseka:
Mudaliyar of Calutara 18-1-1797. Maha Vidhan Mohandiram 10-11-1766.
(the de Fonseka Family Documents; C. D. R. School Thombo of Calutara 36 and 38).

Bastian de Fonseka:
Appointed to act for his father Peduru de Fonseka (Act of appointment 5-10-1770 with the de Fonseka Family Documents; grant dated 20-6-1811 of the one-third share of the Islet in the Kaluganga called Goddetalawatta reserved in the Dutch grant, with the de Fonseka Family Documents.)

Solomon de Fonseka:
Married Selestina, daughter of Mudaliyar Renaldus d’Anderado, and settled in Grandpass, Colombo. (Last will of his brother David de Fonseka Mohandiram of Calutara filed in D.C. Calutara. Testamentary Proceedings No 490)

David de Fonseka:
Muhandiram of Calutara.
(Act of appointment dated 22-5-1819 with the de Fonseka Family Documents; Ceylon Almanac 1825; Last will dated 26-4-1847 attested by Sadris de Silva Chandrasekera, N.P. of Calutara filed in Testamentary Proceedings No. 490, D. C. Colombo). Died without Issue.

Johanes de Fonseka:
Mudaliyar of Calutara.
Presented with a gold medal 21-11-1819 by Governor Brownrigg which is still in the possession of the de Fonseka Family (vide Note 6).

Rosita de Fonseka:
Married Gampolage Simon de Fonseka, Maha Vidhan of Calutara (Some Documents dated 31-1-1837 relating to Rosita de Fonseka’s share of the lands granted 6-8-1766 and 6-9-1766 with the de Fonseka Family Documents).

Isabella de Fonseka:
(C.D.R School Thombo of Calutara 38). Married Bastian d’Anderado, Mudaliyar.


Some Authorities referred to above:

Baldeus: (see the Reference Pages)
“Description of Ceylon” (Amsterdam 1672); to Churchill’s Voyages III. Baldeus was the Dutch Chaplain in Ceylon 1656-1665, and seems to have known personally both Don Michael de Fonseka and Don Manuel D’Anderado.
C.D.R.: (also see the D’andrado Papers)
Colombo Dutch Records, in the office of the Govt. Archivist, Colombo.
C.D.R. 2673D:
Indexed as “A collection of papers left by Dissawa de Caste”, It deals entirely with some matters relating to the d’Anderado and the de Fonseka families, about the beginning of the Dutch Era, and corroborates the de Fonseka Family Documents and about the relationship between the different members of these families and the offices they held at this time.
The de Fonseka Family Documents:
Many of these in Dutch in the possession of Mr. S. R. de Fonseka. The earlier documents were submitted by him to the Historical Manuscript Commission and were accepted as authentic. (Sessional Paper IX of 1933. See the D’andrado Papers for the complete list). H. E. Sir H. Stanley, Governor of Ceylon, appointed the Historical Manuscripts Commission in 1931.
Goneratne:
The late F. E. Gooneratne, Mohotti Mudaliyarof Galle; a recognized authority on antiquarian matters relating to Ceylon.
‘Instructions’:
“Instructions” from the Governor-General and Council of India to the Governor of Ceylon 1656-1665, translated by Sophia Peters, and printed and published by the Government, Colombo, 1908. (Some of these relating to the de Fonseka Families, have been reproduced in the D’andrado Papers.)
The Karave Flag: (Read the complete article)
Written by Lionel de Fonseka, “Ceylon Antiquary and Literary Register”, VII., page 1.
Memoirs of Rycloff van Goens:
22-12-1663. Translated by E. Reimers, Govt. Archivist, printed and published by Government, Colombo, 1932. (Some of these relating to the de Fonseka Families, have been reproduced in the D’andrado Papers.)
‘Port Era’:
“Ceylon – The Portuguese Era” by Paul E. Pieris, C.C.S. (1913) in 2 volumes.
R.A.S:
Journals of the Ceylon Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Colombo.
Singhalese Banners and Standards:
By E. W. Perera, Bar-at-Law. Printed and published by the Government, Colombo 1916 (vide pp 21, 22, 38 and figures 35 and 56 in Plate XXI)
Yalpana Vaipava Malai: (see the Reference Pages)
A Tamil History of Jaffna written early in the 17th Century and later translated by C. Britto in 1879
Some Notable Families: (see the Reference Pages)
A series of books written by Paul E. Pieris on notable families in Ceylon during the Dutch period.