Valiya veetil Koshy Nayinar Kollam

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Valiya veetil Koshy Nayinar Kollam

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Father of Manapurathu Kudumbam Thulassery Manapuram Kallada

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About Valiya veetil Koshy Nayinar Kollam

History of the Thulassery Manapurathu Tharavadu : -

A 9th century Judeo-Christian West Asian migrant family

““How wonderful it is , how pleasant for God’s people to live together in harmony!” Psalm 133:1


Descendants of the 9th century Syrian traders who settled down in Quilon before moving out to nearby Kallada established the ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavad. In course of time members of the tharavad migrated to different parts of Kerala and came to be known under different family names.

Priesthood ran in the family from generation to generation and the 24th in line Rev.Mathai Kathanar inspired by divine love wanted to strengthen and revive family roots . He along with K.C. Abraham ,Koodathinalil got in touch with members of various family branches in 1987 Subsequently with the support of the members who responded on October 14 , 1987 the ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavad Smaraka Charitable Society registered with the Kollam district registrar came into existence under the registration number Q 735. Fr.T.O Mathai Kathanar ( ThulasseryManapurathu - Kallada ) and K.C. Abraham Koodathinalil (Valiyanethu - Aarattupuzha, Chengannur )were the first President and Secretary respectively. The present President is Very Rev. Zachariah Cor Episcopa , Thayyil ( Kunnil Chittazhethu - Edanadu, Chengannur ) and K.J John Kanjirakattu( Pathisseril Kanjirakkattu - Adoor) the present Secretary.

( Note : To condense a voluminous family history spanning hundreds of years  into few pages has necessitated drastic editing resulting in paring down many a detail. This has been envisaged to give the reader a succinct but clear account of the family history. In case there are omissions kindly forgive us as  it is only the exigencies that drove us into it. Despite the diligent effort put in there may still be imperfections. )
       Major branches and sub branches  of the ThulasseryManapurathu family 
Aluvila (Thengumvila)                                                       --  Meeyannoor ( near Kollam )

Chirakakathu (Thekethayil, Oorayil, Kaithakadu, Kalathara) --Pandanadu ( near Chengannur )

Kunnil (Chittazhethu) -- Edanadu ( near Chengannur )

Manalel (Madathil) -- Mannar

Mukkathu -- Chengannur

Pathisseril (Kanjirakattu,Kuttiplavil) -- Adoor

ThulasseryManapurathu(Thottathil kadavil,Pallithekethil,Puthusseril) - PadinjareKallada

Valianethu( Koodathinalil) -- Aarattupuzha ( near Chengannur )

Valiyavila -- Punaloor

Vettikamattom(Malikayil,Valiyammatom,Vazhavelil,Vazhathottathil)-- Muvattupuzha

Sources for the history of 9th century A.D.Syrian Christian


migration to Kollam


 

History is a grand discipline which can be transformed from the history of entire humanity to the history of individual lives. Family history is a part of micro history and it has a wider depth and scope in the study of regional history . Micro history based on family history needs more research since world history is extending its grip over micro history with an intention of decreasing its significance.1


 Sources for the history of 9th century A.D.Syrian Christian migration to Kollam

     All ancient , history including history of Kerala and Syrian Christian history have been constructed with the help of oral history, traditions and  legends which have been passed on among many generations .These oral history , traditions and legends are later transformed into pictorial or  written form which in course of time  form the primary sources for the study of history . “Ancient inscriptions and crosses, liturgies, annals and songs, manuscripts and oral traditions have established that Christianity dates from at least the second century in India….The ancient traditions and libraries of scores of individual churches and families enrich the evidence with hundreds of ancient manuscripts and later versions of Syriac writings…”2

The sources for the study of 9th century Syrian migration can be broadly divided into Primary sources and Literary sources.

Primary Sources 1) Tharissapalli Copper Plate

2) Inscriptions

3) Kolla varsham/ Kollam Thonri/ Malayalam Era


1)Tharissapally Copper plates The copper plate grant made by Ayyan Atikal Thiruvadikal ,the king of venad , to the Tharissa Church was signed and delivered by him from the palace at Quilon.

V.N.Nagom Aiya in Travancore State Manual states about it as , “In the same year(A.D.824)King Sthanu Ravi anxious to secure the pecuniary assistance from Christian merchants in efforts to repel the invasion of Malabar by Rahakas granted the Copper Plate” In this the king gave permission to mar Sapor to transfer to the …church and community at Quilon a piece of the land with near the city with the several families of low caste attached to it…”This is considered to be the first dated document in Kerala history.

2)Inscriptions

            As its engraved on the Persian cross set up by Mar Sapor in Kadammatom Church that the place from which he migrated was Ninevah . On both sides of the cross in the alter of Kadamattom Church which is 76cm long  and 51cm wide is written in Pahlavi script 2 big sentences and on the centre a small sentence Pahlavi linguist ,Jamshed modi translated it as follows, “I have come to this nation from Ninevah as a bird.Mar Sapur writes ,the forgiving Miseha( God Jesus) who saved me from persecution”.

4) Theory of Kolla varsham/kollam thonri( Malayalam era):

There are various theories behind the origin of the Kollam era but the most accepted is associated with the arrival of Persian migration of 9th century A.D.

Kollam thonri:

This theory states that kollam era started with the arrival or Persian Christian merchants under the leadership of SaborIso and the establishment of kollam town. When GovardanMarthandan became king of Venad the Saptarshi calender was implemented I Venad .But the calender system got greater acceptance when the king accepted the months in the Greek calender which was used by the Persian merchants who migrated in 825A.D .For example first month of Malayalam calender year – Chingam is derived from Simham which is the Malayalam equivalent for Leo which is the first month in the Greek calendar .Second month Kanni is derived from Virgin or Virgo in Greek calender…….etc.


Literary sources:

1)Ramban Paatu

2)Writings of foreigners - Friar Jordanus and John D.Maringole

3)Diaries/ Letters


1)Ramban Paatu

Details about Churches established by Sabariso’s and the miracles he perfomed are found in Thomma parvam which is also called Rambanpaattu .It is said ramban paatu was written after the arrival of Portuguese and the Synod of Diamper as evident from lines 23 and 24 of Thomaparvam or ramban paattu.

2)Mirabilia Descriptia written by Friar Jordanus of Severic gives a vivid account on the prestigious position enjoyed by Syrian Chrsitians in kollam and neighbouring placesin 1324A.D.Writingsof John D.Marignole (who visited Quilon in 1348AD) tells us that the Church was given the custodianship of weights and measures and permitted to enjoy weighing fee .These rights were granted earlier and renewed in the second set of copper plates.

3)Diaries/ Letters

The handwritten diaries of by Pulikottil Mar Dionyius ( former supreme head of malankara orthodox church)and Chitramezhuthu KM Varghese explains the history of the kallada Thulaserry Manapurathu marthamariyam church as follows - this church was destroyed by internecine feud between the Karthas of east Kallada and west Kallada and how a matriarch of Thulassery Manapurathu family recovered the cross of the destroyed church from the river and prevailed on Avani Rajni (queen of west Kallada) to allot some land for the church. She was won over by hadsome gifts of precious stones.

Diaries and writings of Mathai kathanar (the 24th generation priest of Thulaserry Manapurathu family) give insights and information on the Church,Tharavadu and its architecture, trade, priesthood, Pallimeda, Kuthirakulam, kettukazhacha,Anthrayos bawa, Pathemari, Pandakasala etc. Diaries and writings of Alummoottil ommommen Kathanar’s Diary shed light on the history of Mar Anthrayos bawa




 

Reference


1. Gurukkal, Rajan , Foreward/ Review on Thulassery Manapurathu tharavadu directory, 2nd edition 2005,published by Thulassery Manapurathu tharavadu Charitable society. P.24)

2. England .C. John, The Hidden History of Christianity in Asia,P.59.

Concise history of Kerala Christianity from 1st century A.D. to 9th century A.D.


The origin of Christianity in Indian subcontinent has been a subject of controversy among historians owing to the near absence of reliable documentary evidence3

The bulk of the Christians of the first four centuries of Christian era consists of :

(a)An influential and noble group of people and families ( there is a school of thought that believe that St. Thomas converted Brahmins to Christanity) in the Kerala society converted by St.Thomas apostle in the first century A.D. who call themselves St Thomas Christians

(b)Jewish merchants who settled in Kerala who converted to Christianity .

(c) Cananite Christians who migrated from Cana( West Asia) to Kerala in the the 4th century A.D.

(d) Syrian /Persian Christians who migrated from Syria/Persia to Kollam in the 9th century A.D.


It has to be stated in this context that that the second category mentioned above {(b) Jewish merchants who settled in Kerala who converted to Christianity } at some point in history started to identified as part of the the first category { (a) An influential and noble group of people and families ...} as a result of which the history , identity and heritage of the second category have been lost.

Advocate T.K.Velu Pillai who authored the Travancore State Manual writes about the the arrival and apostasy of St. Thomas and the St.  Thomas Christians  in the following way:

“ The Apostle himself is said to have founded the seven Churches on this coast namely those at :

1.Palayoor near Chavakad

2.Maliankara near Cranganore

3.Kottakal near North Paravur

4.Kokkamangalam near Pallipuram

5.Quilon or Kollam

6.Niranom near Thiruvalla

7.Nilakal near Chayal 4

                                             

Rao Bahadur L.K.Ananthakrishna Iyer in his book Anthropology of Syrian Christians says that, “After the death of the Apostle the Church fell into evil ways and some of the clergy either afraid of persecution or influenced by persuasion and advice returned to Hinduism .Sivite sage Manikkavachkar laboured among the Syrians of Kurakenikollam and led away many of the faithful.These were henceforth called Manigramakar.They are scarcely distinguished from the Nayars. Their descendents are found in Kollam ,Kayamkulam and other places.5


V.N.Nagam Aiya in Travacore State Manual states, “ From the middle of 4th century to about thousand years the Chrisitians of Malabar were in a state of spiritual distress and indiscriminately applied to the Eastern patriarchs who were either Nestorian or Jacobite to send a spiritual leaders….So at the request of the Syrian Christians of Malabar both Nestorians and Jacobite seem to have come to Malabar…”6


(b) Jewish merchants in Kerala who converted to Christianity .

It is believed that one of the earliest converts to Christianity were the Jews who settled in kerala for trade . The Jews from west Asia who settled in Kerala for trade are considered to be the earliest converts to Christianity as they were greatly impressed by the proximity in language and culture with the disciple of Christ and other the west Asian Church fathers or leaders who came in later stages in history.


( c )Later migrations from West Asia can be seen in this context.

TK.Vellupillai in Travancore State Manual (p.665) states about the migration of Christians from Cana under the leadership of Thomas of Cana as follows, “ kanaya Thoma or Thomas kana ,a merchant is said to have visited Malabar in 345A.D. bringing with him several priests, students , a Bishop , women and children from bagdad, Ninevah, and Jerusalem.According to traditional account he built a church at mahadevar pattanam .”7

(d)“In 822AD another set of migrants under Mar Sapor and Mar Peroz , the Nestoran Persians settled in the neighbourhood of Quilon ,they made a deep impression on the rulers of the land .These two immigrants says Dr. Milnae Rae from the historical grounds… are probably the last from the mother church in high Asia to South India”.

References 

3.Gurukkal,Dr.RajanandVarrier,Raghava,CulturalHistoryof Kerala,Vol.1,Trivandrum.2000,P246

4. Pillai,Adv. T.K.Velu , Travancore State Manual .Vol.1.P.664)

5. Iyer ,Rao Bahadur L.K.Ananthakrishna, Anthropology of Syrian Christians, P.3

6. Aiyya,V.N.Nagam , Travacore State Manual p.35

7. Pillai,Adv. T.K.Velu , Travancore State Manual p.665

History of Christianity in West Asia


    Studies show that in the first few centuries of the Christian era in West  Asia /Mediterranean region , as Christians were small in number Persians , Jews , Greeks ,Romans and Armenians who  were the first to adopt Christianity  intermarried each other . This view is supported  by John C. England  in his book ‘Hidden history of Christianity in  Asia’ .
   “The foundation of Eastern Churches ,beginning in the last decades of first century was formed amongst Aramaic and Syriac speaking communities of Syria and Mesopotamia…Christian communities were already  well established by 4th and 5th centuries  in Armenia( first proclaimed Christian state) ,Arabia and Khurasan (Northeast Persia)….Chritianity thus became a significant minority within Pesian empire ,comprising largely of  West Syrians, Sogdians(Turks) and Greeks .deported from Roman provinces…”8
   We have another instance of intermarriage in the ancient West Asian Christians in the case of Timothy whose father  was a Greek Christian and mother a Jewish Christian. 9
   So it may be surmised that the ancestors of theThulasseryManapurathu family belonged to a mixed stock .The changing power equations between the Romans and the Persians / Arabs and their respective religions during various periods  in West Asia / Mediterranean  region  must have hastened the migratory tendency of the people of that region. 
            As its engraved on the Persian cross set up by Mar Sapor in Kadammatom Church that the place from which he migrated was Ninevah we can have a glance at the origin of Christianity in Ninevah. Ninevah has been part of the rules of Greater Syria, Persia, Babylonia ,  Greeks and the Romans in different periods of history . Hence the people of this region were a mixture of people from Syria, Persia, Babylonia ,Greece and Rome. In Ezra Chapters 9 and  10-15 we find that during the time of 'exodus' as some Jewish men from the tribes of Judah and Benjamin  had children and wifes from non Jewish tribes ,especially Assyrian tribes,  while they were in Ninevah( modern Mosul in Iraq) they did not return to Jerusalem even while given the freedom by Emperor Cyrus 10 .The Assyrian Christians evolved from them.They used Aramiac language. The Apostles Thomas, Bartholomew , and Thaddeus in 33 A.D established the Assyrian Church of the East in Eddessa. From the seventh century the Assyrian Church became active and by the end of the 12th century the Assyrian Church had spread from Syria to  Mongolia, India, China , Japan , and  Korea . 
   The ten of  the original twelve  Hebrew tribes, which, under the leadership of Joshua, took possession of Canaan, the Promised Land, after the death of Moses  were  Asher, Dan, Ephraim, Gad, Issachar, Manasseh, Naphtali, Reuben, Simeon, and Zebulun. In 930 BC while the 10 tribes formed the independent Kingdom of Israel in the north , the two other tribes, Judah and Benjamin,set up the Kingdom of Judah in the south. Following the conquest of the northern kingdom by the Assyrians in 721 BC, the 10 tribes were gradually assimilated by other peoples and thus disappeared from history.But the tribes of Judah and Benjamin   survived as Jews   because they were allowed to return to their homeland after the Babylonian Exile of 586 BC.11
    Peoples who at various times were said to be descendants of the lost tribes include the Nestorians, the Mormons, the Afghans, the Falashas of Ethiopia, some tribes of the American Indians and  some groups of people in Japan etc. The Celts of Scotland  also are considered to be part of the lost Jewish tribe.  
    All these shows  that since early history the  Jews /  Semitic people were a group of people / race who with or without the consent of the  community married people from other geographical areas or ethnicities. No wonder the   large number of Jewish   diaspora around the world . 
 

Why and how roots are lost ?

  History of Jewish people is a good example on the various degrees of importance given to the preservation of  roots at different periods of history.  But it remains a sad fact that much knowledge  about  history of communities or families have been lost   due to lack of transmission and preservation of knowledge .It can also be inferred that due to known or unknown  cultural reasons and adverse political and social conditions some communities either ignore or do not reveal their  roots .

References

8. England,C.John.The Hidden History of Christianity ,P.15

9. Holy Bible,Acts of Apostles 16:1

10. Hoy Bible,Ezra Chapters 9 and 10-15

11. Encyclopaedia Britannica 2003 deluxe edition CD ROM

Migration from West Asia to  Kerala -  Kollam in 9th century A.D. 

V.V Nagom Aiya in his state manual states “ In 822A.D. two Nestorian Bishops Mar Sapor and Mar Peroz settled in Quilon with a following .Two years later the Malabar Era began (824A.D.) and ws called after Quilon which was undoubtedly the premier city of malabar including Travancore and Cochin”12

T.K.VeluPillai in the Travancore State Manual writes, “ Gopinatha Rao who assigns the latter part of the 9th century as the period of the reign bases his conclusions on he assumption that Kollam era was started in the memory of the coming of Maruvan Sobor Iso and a colony of foreign traders .”13 T.K.VeluPillai in the Travancore State Manual “tradition says that St.Thomas preached there( in Syria) and in after times a party of Christian immigrants from Syria landed in the neighbourhood of the modern town( Quilon) a place now engulfed in sea just a similar party did at Crangannore ( in 3rd century under Thomas of Cana).Whether they came for purpose of trade or driven to seek shelter from the sword of Mohammed or for other reason cannot now be determined”14

M.G.S.Narayan in his paper on Cera_pandya conflict in the 8th – 9th centuries which led to the birth of Venad writes, “ It is not surprising that the Chera king who was contemplating the development of the new harbour town at Kurakeni Kollam welcomed the foreigner and permitted him to settle down at the new harbour site .This was the period when th e Cera-Pandya conflict was developing in the south. Subsequently Vilinjam was retained in the Pandyan sphere of influence while the Vel country with new headquarters at Kurakkeni Kollam became a division of Cera kingdom..The foundation of Kollam in 825A.D. must have coincided with this victory of Cera in the Vel province.Therefore it is easy to understand the anxiety of the cera king to please foreign merchants and settle them at Kollam so that the harbour might grow quickly and compete effectively with Vilinjam further south which had passed under the control of the Pandya.This incident reveals the practical wisdom of the rulers and throws light on the economic –political motivations of men who promoted ideas of religion and culture. The Syrian Christian merchants who took advantage of the situation were equally clever and resourceful .In the absence of materials for a detailed history ,it is difficult to ascertain whether Mar Sapir Iso was a merchant or a (priest) missionary. Perhaps he was both at the same time ans there was no inherent contradiction between the two roles.15

Narayan M.G.S.,writes in Cultural Symbiosis that “ By the time of the Syrian Christian Copper Plates of the 9th century the foreign Christians and the Christians of Kerala had become part and parcel of the local village community.” This means that the migrant Christians did not remain as a separate group but rather they intermarried the Christians of Kerala and accepted the local cultural idioms. “The deity of the Tarsa Chruch was refered to the tevar.An important offering to the tevar was the sacred oil lamp as in the case of contemporary Brahmanical temples ,is an indication to the fact that their conception of religion was shaped by local culture.”16

 Adept at trade and driven by adventure with priesthood in their blood a few members of a West Asian family who settled around Kollam in 9th century A.D. are the progenitors of the ThulasseryManapurathu family . On arriving they    worked as commanders of Venad kings , engaged in trade activities and served as priests in the Church established by Mar Sabore .

References

12. Aiyya, V.V Nagom, State Manual p.244

13. Pillai,T.K.Velu, Travancore State Manual p.52

14. Ibid,p.14

15. Narayan,M.G.S , Cera- Pandya conflict in the 8th – 9th centuries which led to the birth of Venad :Pandyan History seminar , Madurai University , 1971

16. Narayan M.G.S.,Cultural Symbiosis p33

 Tharissapally Copper plates

V.N.Nagom Aiya in Travancore State Manual states , “In the same year(A.D.824)King Sthanu Ravi anxious to secure the pecuniary assistance from Christian merchants in efforts to repel the invasion of Malabar by Rahakas granted the Copper Plate” In this the king gave permission to mar Sapor to transfer to the …church and community at Quilon a piece of the land with near the city with the several families of low caste attached to it…” 17

TK Velupillai,in his State Manual states, “ Taking the copper plate as a genuine document it is seen that at the time Quilon was a place of great commercial importance.The guilds ,the Ancuvannam, and Manigramam possessed considerable privileges.It was in such a city that the grant conveyed a fresh hold to Christians .The authority of the Church were also invested with power of settling disputes among them and taking disciplinary actions in cases of malfeasance and misfeasance .The headmen of the castes and local governmental authorities were prohibited from in interfering in such matters. These concessions attest the spirit of religious toleration and cosmopolitan sympathy which characterised the acts of the ruling house of Travancore from the earliest times”.18

“The grant was made with the consent of two of his chieftains and the members of the Six hundred” who formed the Parliament of the land.”19

The copper plate grant made by Ayyan Atikal Thiruvadikal ,the king of venad , to the Tharissa Church was signed and delivered by him from the palace at Quilon.20

Rao Bahadur LK Ananthakrishnayyar in his book Anthropology of Syrian Christians writes,“ The second charter was granted in 824AD to Christians of St.Thomas with the sanction of the palace major or commissioner of king Sthanu Ravi ,who is belived to be Cheramman Perumal .It is a legal instrument which confers a plot of land with several families of heathen castes on Mruvan Sabor Iso who transfers the same with due legal formality to the Tharisa church and community.” 21

“There was a political necessity for giving this remarkable position for the Christian community .At the respective dates of the Christian charter the Perumals had to fortify themselves against external enemies. There were fears of invasions .At such times the Perumals might have been in need of large sums of money either to bribe or fight the invaders and it would not be an improper inference from these facts that the trading foreigners may have satisfied Perumals wishes, and then have secured for themselves a higher standing in the land of their adoption”.

Mundadan A.M. History of Christianity in India states, “In South India any grant of privileges ,perquisites or land made by rulers was usually recorded on copper plates as these were more durable and permanent record than palm leaf strips”22

M.G.S.Narayan, Cutural Symbiosis in Kerala , “A plot of land and a few families of settlers ,Tachars(carpenters), Vellalars(apriclturists), Ilavars( toddy tappers),Vannars( washermen) and vaniyars( oil mongers) are handed over to the church this time. It is interesting to note that the same method of handing over families to foreign settlers continued in Kerala in the later periods also ….In the case of the Syrian Church of Kollam also, it was according to the feudal principal ,proprietor of the land and master of settlers on land .The first set of plates clearly states that the governor had relinquished al rights to collect taxes from these settlers on church land . 23.

There follows the stipulation that when market commodities are inspected for fixing customs duty , and when other official work like estimating price etc. are undertaken ,the church people are ot be associated with all such activities. This means that the church is treated as an important institution of the headquarters sharing powers of government on par with the Arunuruvar, Ancuvanam and Manigramam. Only the first item of seventy tow privileges .ie. earth and water on elephant back at the time of marriage , finds mention in the copper plates probably because it was taken for granted that everybody knew what the privileges were. Therefore it may be assumed that the rest of the privileges were also belonging to the same category. The chuch fathers were accorded the same status of military political chiefs of the country and evidently hey were prepared to accept such a position.24

.The final passage of the second set of plates brings out more clearly the relationship between Mar Sapir Iso , the chuch of Tarsa, Ancuvannam , manigrammam against the backdrop of the newly established city of Kollam.Noteworth are the different concessions given to the church and the association of the church in government functions in Kollam along with the two mercantile corporations.These furnish an idea as to the organisation and activities of the church outside the field of religion. And the status the churchmen commanded .First they were exempted from one sixtieth duty on incoming articles and also engaged in trade.This is not surprising in a country where temples where engaged in banking and agricultural activities. The church is exempted from payment of slave tax for the slaves they purchased .This goes on to show that slave trade were common in ancient Kerala.25

The Hindu temples are known to have been owning and tranfering Pulaya serfs along with land ,indicating that serfdom must have been very common.26

The Church was given the custodianship of weights and measures and permitted to enjoy weighing fee These rights were granted earlier and renewed in the second set of copper plates.27

This shows the trust native rulers had in the church because these privileges were enjoyed exclusively by the Hindu temple corporations

Only the first item of the seventy two privileges ie. Earth and water on elephant back at the time of marriage finds mention in the copper plates because it is taken for granted that everybody knew what the privileges were.The Church fathers were accorded status of military – political chiefs of the country and evidently they were ready to accept such a position.Therefore it may be inferred that in the days of Aiyyan Atikal mar Sapir Iso and Christianity was indianised to a large extent.28Therefore the new west asian migrant community must have gave up their foreign practises.

Adv.TK VeluPillai, State manual writes, The kings of venad were excersising authority in such distant places like Chenagannur, Thiruvalla, Udeyamperoor and Punjar”.This might be a reason why the migrant familes recived special privileges from the local rulers of these regions when they migrated to these places in later times.29

The three sets of signatures represented Jewish, Arabic and Persian groups respectively and it is possible that they included Jews, Muslims , Christians respectively as indicated by their personal names. This is again proof of the harmonious and peaceful coexistence of different creeds in anceient kerala.

  The members of Valiyaveetil family, the root family of Thulassery Manapurathu tharavadu, a  migrant Syrian Christian family  worked as commanders of Venad kings ,enjoyed the rights and social positions  and got lands free of tax as guaranteed by the Tharisapally Chepped given by Venad King .  Tharissapalli Chepped promulgated by the ruler entitled them to a fairly large extent of tax free land as well as social position  .This family enjoyed authority over civil and criminal affairs 

References

17.Aiyya, V.N.Nagom , Travancore State Manual p.244

18. Pillai,TK Velu, State Manual ,vol1,p 53.

19.Ibid, p55

20.Ibid,p.94

21. Rao Bahadur LK Ananthakrishnayyar , Anthropology of Syrian Christians ,p.53

22. Mundadan A.M. History of Christianity in India p167 .

23. M.G.S.Narayan, Cutural Symbiosis in Kerala p34

24. Ibid .p.36.

25. Ibid p.37

26.Sri Trikkakaa temple inscriptions,T.A.S. 35,36 and 40 pp 161-71,178, Ulliyannur Temple Inscription,TAS VII.II No.15.p.98

27.Writings of John D.Marignole (who visited Quilon in 1348AD)

28.NarayanM.G.S. ,Cultural Symbiosis in Kerala p.36

29. Adv.TK VeluPillai, State manual Vol I p.84

Mar Sabore ( Marwan Sabriso) and Mar Proth


“In 822AD another set of migrants under Mar Sapor and Mar Peroz , the Nestoran Persians settled in the neighbourhood of Quilon ,they made a deep impression on the rulers of the land .These two immigrants says Dr. Milnae Rae from the historical grounds… are probably the last of the from the mother church in high Asia to South India”.30

On both sides of the cross in the alter of Kadamattom Church which is 76cm long and 51cm wide is written in Pahlavi script 2 big sentences and on the centre a small sentence Pahlavi linguist ,Jamshed modi translated it as follows, “I have come to this nation from Ninevah as a bird.Mar Sapur writes ,the forgiving Miseha( God Jesus) who saved me from persecution”. The language is Persian while the place Nineveh belongs to modern day Iraq which has been under the control of Persian , Mesopotamian and Greek and Roman rulers in different periods of history. This clearly denotes the migrants were from Persian area.

Details about Churches established by Sabariso’s and the miracles he perfomed are found in Thomma parvam which is also called Rambanpaattu .It is said ramban paatu was written after the arrival of Portuguese and the Synod of Diamper as evident from lines 23 and 24 of Thomaparvam or ramban paattu.31

The Synod of Diamper proclaimed mar Sabor and Mar Proth as heretics to which Carmelite preist barnard Thoma kathanar protested and proclaimed the act as a great sin.

As in those times in Persia and Babylon the nestorain heresy was in vogue these two saints mar Sabor and mar Proth who build many churches in malankara( Kerala) were considered to be Nestorian heretics .The Synod of Diamper changed the names of the churches named after them as All Saints churches and changes the festivals and prayers and offerings conducted in November 1st in their names as the All Saints festival and offerings.As these two saints Mar Sabor and Mar Proth came from Persia /babylonia which was under the influence of Nestorian heresy they were considered by the Synod of Diamper as Nestorian Heretics.

Though the invalid Synod of Diamper proclaimed the holy men Mar Sabor and Mar Proth as heretics the Christians of mlankara(Kerala) respected these saints and continued to receive blessings from them .

“According to decisions of Synod of Diamper these saints( Mar Sabore and Mar Proth) of Malankara Nazranis were considered as schismatics and the churches the established were wrongly proclaimed to be established by St.Thomas .32

The Viswavijnanakosam (Malayalam) Vol.3, mentions the follows about the history of the kadamattom church and Mar Sabore also known as mar abo “Kadamattom church was founded by Mar Sabore also called Mar Abo who was a holy man with knowledge of medical sciences and powers to perform miracles established the church in the forest regions of kadamattom in the 40th year of kollam Era .He stayed there at first in a small home with a mother and a son .Afterwards he gained the rights of the local ruler of Kadamattom to buid a church there .He later made the son of the home the priest of the kadamattom church .Afterwards he left for Tevalakara and converted to Christianity an influential and reputed Hindu Vaidyan family who were traditional opthalmologists of royal families in the adjoining area .This family is still known as Thevalakara Vaidyan family and most of their family members keep the surname Vaidyan. Another version about the history of the Vaidyan family is that the Vaidyan family who had prowess in traditional medicine is also part of the 9th century West Asian migration like the Kallada (Kollam)Thulassery Manapurathu family . So the two families might share common history - though not much historical studies have been done in this regard. It is said Mar Abo( Mar Sabor) died in Tevalakara.Mar Sabor is considered as Marvan Saboriso (Marwan Sabriso) who got the rights from Venad ruler to build the church at tarsa 33

The members of ThulasseryManapurathu family who belonged to the lineage of Mar Sabore were the heriditary priests of the Church established by Mar Sabore in Kollam in 9th century A.D untill it was destroyed couple of centuries later.


30. L.K. Anantha Krishna Iyer,State Manual,p50,52

31. Bernard Thoma Kathanar, Marthoma Christyanikal, lines 23,24

32. Z.M.Paret , Malankara Nazranikal,vol.1

33. The Viswavijnanakosam (Malayalam) Vol.3,p.523,534

Destruction of Kollam , Migration from Kollam to Kallada and establishment of ThulasseryManapurathuTharavad


In the Chera Chola war between 1000A.D and 1100 AD whole of kerala especially the towns of mahodayapuram,Kollam,Vizhinjam and Kanthallur were destroyed.

Kulothunga Cholan who ruled from A.D.1070 and 1120 A.D. in his Cholapuram shasana(edict) states that in his 30th year or rule the suicide squad of kerala attained heaven and the boundaries of the Chola, Chera pandya  kingdoms were decided.34

Translation from Malayalam “The intelligent KulothungaCholan with a mighty army attacked Chera’s and pandya’sInspred by his successes Kulothunga led his army north and attacked kollam.” “In 999A.D RajarajaCholan defeated the Chera army. ……Again in 1005 AD rajarajachola attacked and captured Kollam, Kodungallur….In1028 A.D again a large Chola army under rajathirajachola captured and killed a large portion of Kerala and its people.The Chola edict states that the venad king was also killed in this war. To escape from the cruel Chola army the people of of kerala ( Chera ) sought refuge in the mountains and nearby areas.35


By the beginning of 12th century ,the Cholas overran Venad and destroyed Kollam town. With the fall of the town and the church the Persian Christians who held prominent position in the Venad army and dominated trade and commerce fled to Kallada . Valiyaveettil family in Kollam, the root of ThulasseryManapurathu family, has the tradition of having one of its sons as a general of Venad army. The members of ThulasseryManapurathu family who were the beneficiaries of the Tarissapalli Chepped were honourably received by the chiefs of Kallada-the Kartha’s -and given prime land belonging to Koickal palace to establish the ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavad. The 24 room building with ‘ettukettu’, ’padipura’, and ‘pandakasala’ in traditional ‘vaastu’ features was indeed a lordly mansion .The Thulassery Manapurathu family had a records of its Persian Christian heritage written on documents written in Persian script.

Socio-Political impact
  While the Chepped entitled them to oversee law and order , revenue ,weights and measures, they were also  expected to chip in with men and materials in times of war .They maintained a unit of cavalry and infantry for this purpose .The ‘Kuthirakkulam’- the pond for horses-is still seen within the ThulasseryManapurathu family property beside the church. 36

References

34. Travancore Archaeological Series (T.A.S.) Vol.6 p.15

35. Elamkulam Kunjan Pillai, Keralathinde Eruladanja Edukal,p.64,112,117

36.Diaries and writings of Mathai kathanar the 24th generation priest of Thulaserry Manapurathu family based on the ancestral documents and Thaliyolagrandha handed down through generations.

Kallada ( Kollam )ValiyaPalli - established by the descendants of Mar Sabore (Marwan Sabriso)


Priesthood ran in the family uninterrupted for 24 generations- right from 9th century when they took charge of the parish founded by Mar SaboreIso in Kollam. They continued the tradition even after the Chola invasion, setting up the Kallada church as the ‘kurisupally’ of the destroyed Kollam Tarissa church.Evidently ecclesiastical tradition was no less important for them than trade interests.

  The history of this church , mentioned in the church records    held by Pulikottil Mar Dionyius ( former supreme head  of malankara orthodox church)and Chitramezhuthu KM Varghese show how this church was destroyed by internecine feud between the Karthas of east Kallada and west Kallada  and how a matriarch of Thulassery Manapurathu family recovered the cross of the destroyed church from the river and prevailed on Avani Rajni (queen of west Kallada) to allot  some land for the church.  She was won over  by hadsome gifts of precious stones.37The Kallada ValiyaPalli which which was originally  known as Thulassery Manapurathu Marthamariyam Church but now known as St. Mary's Orthodox Church, Kallada was established by the Thulassery Manapurathu tharavad who are the descendants of Mar Sabore .
  The prominence given to the Marthamariam church horse in the ‘kettukaazhcha’ festival stands as a glowing testimony to the  enviable position enjoyed by the family as well as the communal harmony that prevailed during the time .   That some among the Persian traders joined the Muslim and Hindu communities in later years remains  a less known historical fact.   Till the Orthodox church took over the Marthamariam church ,it was a Thulassery Manapurathu family property and the services of the church were enjoyed freely by members and non members of the family. Priests belonging to twenty three generations of  ThulasseryManapurathu   have been laid to rest within the 'holy of holies' / chancel ( Madbaha) of Kallada ValiyaPalli just beside the mortal remains of  Mar Anthrayos .38 The twenty fourth generation priest of ThulasseryManapurathu  Rev. Fr. Mathai Kathanar was laid to rest beside the  'holy of  holies'/  Chancel      (Madbaha )of the Kallada ValiyaPalli.

References

37. The handwritten diaries of by Pulikottil Mar Dionyius ( former supreme head of malankara orthodox church)and Chitramezhuthu KM Varghese

38. Diaries and writings of Mathai kathanar the 24th generation priest of Thulasserry Manapurathu family

Mar Anthrayos Bava / Mar Andrews (Kallada Valyappupan)


Trading in precious stones and spices they maintained their Persian connections. Apart from traders , family relations and church heads/priests from West Asia heads also visited the ThulasseryManapurathu family .Records show that Mar Anthrayos Bava in the face of opposition from other local Christians ,was supported by ThulasseryManapurathu family where he spent his last days keeping it as his Methrasanam (eccleciastical seat).It is evident that even generations after their migration to Kerala they retained considerable grasp over the major Mediterranean languages to continue their trade relations.

“ In 1682 Mar Anthrayos bava came to Kallada from Puthencavu.he was called ‘Valyappupan’One day he came and sat at the padipura of Thulaserry Manapurathu tharavad The mother of the home gave him milk and plantains. He was at first mistaken to be a Brahmin the mother .But later understood his real identity.bava was given a room in the naalukettu and given due respect.In 1675 Bava came from Turabdeen to Mulanthuruthy with two brothers .One was a Ramban( unmarried priest ) while the other married and had tow sons.The Bava came with riches but gave it away as alms to the poor and finally became penniless. He did not like the food of Kerala and consequently developed stomach disease .To cure the disease a local vaidyan( doctor) advised him to drink toddy .Some influencial members of mulanthuruthy church labelled the bava as a drunkard and evicted him from the church.” 39

Alumoottil Ommomen Kathar writes ,“In 1653 after the Coonan Cross oath there was great unrest in the Malankara church.After this event Mar Grigorous came to Kerala in 1665.This helped in the upliftment of the Church of Malankara.He passed away in 1670 and was buried in North parur church.Then in 1678 Mar Anthrayos bawa from Thurabdeen came to Kerala.As he came with special powers to ordain Metropolitans in Malankara he was called Mar Anthrayos Pathros. He had a brother who was a Ramban and another brother who was a commoner. He first came to Cochin and then went to Mulanthuruthy. He developed stomach pain in Mulanthuruuthy and hence he could not offer Holy communion .As he walked in cloths of laity some people did not like him. Moreover he had to take toddy as a relief for his stomach pain .Old age and ill health made him less effective man. All these angered the people who informed Antioch about this and Mar Baselious came to Malayalam(Kerala) in 1685.He passed away and the Ramban with him was made the new Metroplitan by the name Ivanios. Palathunkal tharakan and his local supporters with the support of Ivanios Metropolitan did not allow Mar Anthrayos Bawa to perform prayer at the Church by locking the church .They also demanded that Anthrayos Bawas golden chalice(kaasa) be kept in the church. Anthrayos bawa and his brother the ramban decided to leave Mulanthuruthy. As he left Palathunkal tharakan’s sons died of snake bite and the church who locked the church was found dead near the church . This led to great fear in the local people and church men. Anthrayos and his Ramban brother reached Puthencavu where the Ramban passed away and he is buried on the river side. As Bawa faced problems from the local family at Puthencavu he left for kallada .Bawa came into good terms with the ThulasseryManapurathu family who who helped him to offer prayer. He used to take bath in the kallada river . Without knowing high tide and rise in water level bawa went to bath and was caught in whirlpool and died on Kumbam( Malayalam month) 18 , 1692.He was buried in the alter of the Kallada Marthamariyam church. His annual memorial prayer and festival is conducted every year on Kumbam 18 and 19 in the kallada church..As Bawa also stayed and visited in Manarcad , Piravom ,Puthencavu ,Kundara and Mulanthuruthy before settling in kallada, his memorial festival is also conducted in manarcad and Puthencavu and Kundara . 40


Father David writes “In 1678 a Syrian by name of Anthrayos came to malankara .He was a pious saint. 41 After the death and burial of Mar baselious Eldo Catholicos in 1685 its written by Ittop writer that mar Andhrayos Patriarch came to Malayalam( Kerala). 42

 

The ancestral background of Parumala Thirumeni can be traced back to one of the brothers of Mor Anthrayos.Of the two brothers of Mor Anthrayos, one married from 'Palasna' family and had two children. These two children later settled at places called "Kattumangattu" & "Thanagattu" near Mulunthuruthy and adopted these very names for their families. In due course they become prominent families of the area. The two famous "Kattumangattu Metropolitans" were the descendants of the family that stayed at "Kattumangattu". But later on the rift between these two families increased. By around 1800, "Thanagattu" family became more prosperous and the administration of the ancient Mulunthuruthy Mar Thoman Church came under them.The "PALLATHATTU" family, to which Mor Gregorios (Parumala Thirumeni) belongs to, is a direct branch of this "Thanagattu" family. 43


References


39. Alummoottil ommommen Kathanar’s Diary

40.Father K.David, Suriyani Sabha Chrithram

41.Ittoop Writer, Suriyani Sabha Charithram

42. Ancestral documents and thaliyolagrandha handed down through generations


43. http://www.syrianchurch.org/StGG/genealogy.htm . The History of Kattumangattu Family.

Migration of various branches from Kallada ( Kollam )Thulassery Manapurathu family and their contributions


Mounting tension in the wake of the pivotal role played by many branches of Thulassery Manapurathu family in the internecine feuds of the region made them seek distant pastures . The privileged social standing enjoyed by the family in the light of the Chepped ensured honourable reception wherever branches of the family transplanted themselves. It remains a sad fact that like the lost tribes of the Jews some of the descendants of the family have been lost due to lack of knowledge and communication .


Major branches and sub branches of the ThulasseryManapurathu family :


Aluvila

(Thengumvila)                          --  Meeyannoor

Chirakakathu

(Thekethayil, Oorayil, Kaithakadu, Kalathrayil )--Pandanadu

Kunnil (Chittazhethu) -- Edanadu

Manalel

(Madathil, Thudiyil )                   -- Mannar

Mukkathu -- Chengannur

Pathisseril

(Kanjirakattu,Kuttiplavil) -- Adoor

ThulasseryManapurathu -- PadinjareKallada

Valianethu

( Koodathinalil) -- Aarattupuzha

Valiyavila -- Punaloor

Vettikamattom

(Valiyammatom) -- Muvattupuzha 43


           If the ‘Mukkathu’ family of Chengannur left owing to niggling conflicts with the west Kallada Karthas 44,it was strife with the Kayamkulam Raja that led to the exodus of Vallyanethu family at Arattupuzha 45 Thomman Thomman (1580-1640)the founder of the Mukkathu branch was appointed steward (kaaryasthan) of the chief of Vanjipuzha principality46 .  The Mukkathu family which established the MukkathuKudumbayogam in 1900 A.D has the  rare distinction of being the only  Syrian Christian family association ( Kudumbayogam ) in Kerala to have conducted 108 annual family general body meetings consecutively ( without a break ever )  since its inception . Counted among the 99 high caste  Hindu families ,the head of the Kunnil family in Edanadu  had the privilege of lighting the traditional  lamp at the Edanad temple festival.47The chief of Kizhakkamcherry mana offered all privileges to the Vettikamattom branch in Muvattupuzha on the strength  of the Chepped.48The Pathisserril family in Adoor  was specially invited by Kottackakom Unnithan ( the local ruler )of  Adoor to  settle down there. They were to cleanse the oil for pooja performed to rid the Kottackakom Unnithan family of some malevolence. It was divined by a Hindu priest that only a member of an aristocratic Christian family   could perform the function49  .The Manelel branch in Mannar display their  proud heirlooms of gold ‘kadalikula’, palanquin ,sword   and buckler as symbols of authority and tradition.50 Chirackakom family which traces its prosperity to the largesse they received of Mithramadom and Ambakad chiefs, prize their ThulasseryManapurathu lineage.51
  The ‘avalnercha’ celebrated by the Mukkathu kudumbam every Maundy Thursday  at Chengannur old Syrian church  has gone on for 350 years  stretching back to history when untouchability remained a sordid feature of society .This divine offering started by a mother belonging to the family had a great spiritual and social impact – the ‘aval’ was given  to all the devotees without distinction of  caste and religion.52
  Another charitable activity reflecting the family’s  social commitment is Mar Anthrayos Memorial Ashram and Welfare home ,which recorded significant growth during the time of Mathai Kathanar , the 24th priest on the ThulasseryManapurathu family  line. More than a 100 destitutes were looked after at a time. Unfortunately this institution has ceased to function. The yield from one of family land holdings – the100 acre field – was set apart for meeting the expenses of the ashram and church affairs.53 The produce from this same land was also used for providing ‘ vechoottu’, food for  devotees from as far as Ernakulam who attended Mar Anthrayos Bava’s ‘Sraadhaperunal’ every year for the past 320 years at the MarthaMariyam church ,Kallada which bears the mortal remains of Mar Anthrayos Bava. Since the handing over of the church to Orthodox church this ‘Sraadhaperunal’ has been conducted by the church .54
  The title of ‘muthalali’ which the ThulasseryManapurathu family was privileged to bear  was retained by branches like Aluvila(Ayoor),Valiyavila(Punaloor),Mathirampalli. Most of the other family branches have given up the title over the years .55
           Though the age old Manapurathu Marthamariyam church and ThulasseryManapurathu family have succumbed  to the ravages of time ,the 320 year old two story mansion  near the church chiselled to perfection in wood still stands out as a monument of aristocratic and artistic  handiwork.56
  Tradition has it that mighty sailing boats –pathemaari- of the ThulasseryManapurathu family docked at the very gates of the store house built adjacent to their tharavadu. Records show that leading traders of this family maintained trade relations with foreign countries right from 9th century to the advent of British. Their contacts with  port towns like Kollam, Alapuzha, and Kodungalur are also documented. Oral tradition has it that big barges laid with  hill produce ,copra and coir products belonging to the family sailing through the rivers  and canals were indeed a sight to see!

References

43. ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory,2nd edition (2005)

44.Chengannur Mukkathu Kudumbayogam Charithram, 2001

45. Arattupuzha family history from ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory2005

46. ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory (2005)

47.Edanadu Kunnil Chittazhethu Kudumbayogam charitram

48.George,Philip(editor)Kerala Historical Directory, Vidyarthi mithram,p395 and Vettikamattom family history from ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory

49.Adoor Pathiseril family history from ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory 50. Mannar Manalel Kudumbayogam charitram.

51.Pandanad Chirakakathu family history in ThulasseryManapurathu Tharavadu Directory and Article by Alex Oorayil ,President of Keezhvanmazy branch of Pandanad chirakakathu family.

52. Aarattupuzha Valyanethu family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

53. Punalur Valiyavila family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

54. Anchal Aluvila family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

55.Adoor Pathisseril family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

56.ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory

Contribution of ThulasseryManapurathu family branches on the spiritual sphere


Devoutly religious, ThulasseryManapurathu family members were zealous about church planting and their upkeep. The following are a few instances:

  Adoor – (Pathisseril,Kanjirakat)- St.Kuriakos Orthodox Church ,Anandapally was constructed at the instance of Pathiserril family.Koruthu Kochukoruthu of the same family built the St.Mary’s Orthodox church ,Koodal. The fact that priestly tradition of ThulasseryManapurathu family was kept intact by this branch is borne out of the diaries and other records maintained by the Kanjirakatu line of priests which spanned more than four generations.Mathunni Kathanar heads the list , though there is a mention of one Koruthu Kathanar who preceded him .But there is not much of records to substantiate .Mathunni Kathanar was the first priest to offer Qurbana at the the Makkamkunnu  church the first church in Pathanamthitta town  which was built in1844 and consecrated by Mathoma Metropolitan Mathews Mar Athanatius. His son Geevarghese Kathanar built the the St.George Orthodox church Kalanjoor at the wish of Pulikottil Joseph Mar Dionysus in 1892.He was appointed the first priest of Orthodox Valiyapally,Parakode by Parumala Thirumeni .His  son Mathai Kathanar who was the nephew of Baselius Geevarghese II,Catholica Bava, was the first priest of St.Kuriakose Orthodox church at Anandapally which was built by  Pathisseril family He had also served the spiritual needs of 13 churches in and around Adoor. Scaria Kathanar ,the famous Syriac scholar who remained single  was deputed by Wattasseril Thirumeni to succeed Alwarez Thirumeni in building up the church in Ceylon .He was the driving force behind the Sunday School  Samajam(1929) and Marthamariyam Samajam(1934) at Kannamkode. He initiated the construction of Marthasmuni Orthodox Church ,Kottanallur and St.Mary’s Orthodox church ,Aykad .H.H.Geevarghese II was his patron. .Philipose Kathanar of Valliyath branch besides serving as manager of St.George school, Ezhamkulam which was established by his father Ommen Thomas. was also vicar of four churches around Adoor. Mathews Pathisseril ,a prominent founder member of Basil Trust ,Baroda (Gujarat) played a pivotal part in setting up the Basil school  and St.Gregorios Orthodox church both in Baroda. Fr. Mathews John(Koodal)  of Quilon diocese ,Fr.George Varghese(Anadapally)of Kollam diocese who is also professor of English at St.Gregorios College, Kottarakara and Fr. Mathews George ,vicar St.Mary’s Orthodox Church, Dallas  belong to this family .57

Aluvila - (Anchal):- Blessed with extensive landed property ,the Aluvila family has donated prime land of no less than an acre each to three churches of different denominations-Bar Sauma Syrian Jacobite Church ,Kumalloor, St.George Orthodox church ,Kampamkode and St.Jude Malankara Catholic Church ,Ayoor.58

Mukkathu- (Chengannur)-Kottoorethu Mammen Joseph Kathanar: One of the architects and strong pillars of the Marthoma church in its infancy besides being founder of Chengannur Marthoma church served as Secretary of Malankara Marthoma Church executive for 22 years .It was his astute handling of the case between Orthodox and Marthoma churches that brought about the agreement of 1053(M.E) ensuring equal propriety rights over Chengannur old Syrian church for both denominations. He was the brain behind the launching of the Malankara Sabhathaaraka the official mouthpiece of Marthoma Church . Author of ‘Daiva Makkalude Thenkatta’(Honeycomb for the children of God),an anthology of songs and prayers in Syriac .He was chiefly instrumental in founding the first Government English School in Chengannur . J.C.Abraham Kaseesa -:While seving as vicar of Chengannur Marthoma church played a significant role in the social and political affairs of the region. Bishop John Varghese:The first Bishop of St.Thomas Evangelical Church s was the founder of Puthukottai Chrithudas Ashram(Prakasapuram in Tamil Nadu) for destitutes and orphans and Ezhumalloor hospital .Started schools in Kuzhalmannam, Pudukottai,and Vemballur. Worked tirelessly for gaining the rights of people belonging to backward communites and gypsies in Palghat district to use public roads and study in schools.The scope and vision of Palghat Ashram won great popularity under him .Rev.M.P.Job : Educated in Cambridge and one of the three founders of Manganam Chrithava Ashram. Started the Society of St.Thomas with an ecumenical vision .He was the traveling secretary of Students Christian Mission in Ceylon, Burma and India. One of the leaders of Karapuram mission in Cherthala ,Rev Job in the wake of the second world war worked for alleviating the miserable condition of the poor coir workers of Cherthala by successfully calling the attention of the government to the plight of the people .Fr.Thomas Inchakalodi:one of the prominent members of Malankara Catholic Church was the reputed author of –Keralathile Christhava Sabhakal( Christian Churches of Kerala),Arch Bishop Mar Ivanios, Nammude Pithaakanmaarude Viswasam(Faith of Our Fathers) etc.Very Rev.P.V.Thomas who retired as senior Vicar General of Marthoma Church was instrumental in founding the Houston Marthoma Church which is the first Marthoma Church in USA . Late Fr.Eapen Kaplaserril (Malankara Catholic Church),Rev.George Mathew(Marthoma Church),Rev.Mathew P.Thomas(Marthoma Church), Fr Siby Kannamthanam(Malankara Catholic Church),Dr.Abraham Inchakalodi(Orthodox Church), Rev Jiji John Jacob (C.S.I. Church) and Rev .John Philipose(C.S.I.Church) all belong to this family.Kurian Varghese Kannamthanam served as member of Malankara Syrian Catholic Congress and one of the founders of Malankara Catholic Church in Chengannur.Varkey brothers played a pivotal role in setting up the CSI St.Andrew’s Church in Chengannur, K.C.Koshy founded the CSI Church ,Pathanamthitta. Kunjunaina Ousep helped found the Keezhvanmazhy Marthoma Chapel . 59

Kunnil - (Edanadu) :Members of this family take pride in founding the St.Mary’s Orthodox Church and Marthoma Church at Edanadu.Fr.Zacharias Cos Episcopa and Bar Sauma Ramban ( Superior at Othera and Chengamanad Ashrams) have made their mark in the Orthodox Church.60

Chirakakathu- (Pandanadu) : St.Thomas Marthoma Church Pandanad stands in the land donated by Palliparambil Mathai of this family .The St.Mary’s Orthodox Church at Pandanad is built at the land donated by Chirakakathu Thekethayil Alexander . Sunny Punchamannil is a managing committee member of theSyrian Orthodox Church .61

Manalel- (Mannar): This family takes credit for establishment of both the Marthamariyam Orthodox Church and Malankara Catholic Church at Mannar.Rev Christophorus Ramban (Superior, Mar Kuriakose Ashram , Mylapra) .Fr.Prof.Alexander George – professor of History at Pathanamthitta Catholicate College and an excellent religious orator and Fr.Zacharias Madathil of Orthodox church and Fr.Varghese Manalel of Malankara Catholic church uphold the name of their families in their own folds .62

Narickal -(Punaloor):The St.Jude Malankara Catholic Church was built by this family.63

Vettikamattom - (Muvattupuzha):St.Peters and St.Pauls Syrian Jacobite Church ,Kadathi established in 1040ME was built by the efforts of Mathai kathanar of this family RevFr.Kuriakose Kaseesa and Rev.Fr Paulose Kaseesa have been in the service of Jacobite Church.64

References

57.Adoor Pathiseril family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

58.Anchal Aluvila family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

59.Chenagannur Mukathukudumbayogam

60.Edanadu family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

61Pandanad Chirakakathu family history formThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

62.Mannar manalel family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

63.Punaloor Valiyavila family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

64. Muvattupuzha Vettikamattom family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

Thumbnail sketches of a few family members who have made a mark in social arena


Padmashree Barrister George Joseph – educated in Edinburgh, stood shoulder to shoulder with Gandhi , Nehru and Vallabhai Patel was a member of Central Legislative Assembly(1937).Editor of ‘Young India’ and ‘The Independent’, jailed with Nehru(1921-23) and a member of Home Rule League (1918).Gave leadership to Simon Commission boycott and Vaikom Satyagraha. 65 Kurian Varghese – represented Chengannur as a member of Travancore State Assembly (M.E.1099)).Served as President of Malankara Syrian Catholic Congress.66 PadmaBhushan Pothen Joseph - influential journalist who earned international repute through his column ‘Over a Cup of Tea’. Worked as Chief editor of Hindustan Times, Indian Express, The Dawn and Deccan Herald . During Nehru’sPrime Ministership played a pivotal part in drafting the Journalists’ wages and working conditions . P. Jacob (Oorayil) - Senior Associate Editor in 'The Hindu'.67 Mammen Kannanthanam – Prominent freedom fighter who took part in Vaikkom Satyagraha, Nivarthana Prakshobam etc was incarcerated only to resume as President of All Kerala Malanad Karshaka Sanghom and President of All Kerala Estate Workers Union and Secretary Kerala Socialist Party .68 PadmaShree P.M.Joseph - Was awarded Padmasree for his service to the field of sports. Founder of Laxmibhai National College of Physical Education , Gwalior .69 Abraham Vakil – Founder President of Chengannur Bar Council . Fought against isolation and denial of rights to the underprivileged ‘harijans’. Founder of ‘Kerala Kraisthava Sevaka Samithi’. Eapen Inchakalodil - took part in Nivarthana Prakshobam and all the other uprisings organized by State Congress .Election convener of Congress Party for Lok Sabha and Assembly elections . K.C.Koshy -The only Malayali among the 5 leaders of Naval Mutiny against British which was supported by Subash Chandra Bose’s supporters .Court martialled and jailed he was awarded the 24th Tamrapathra by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Thomman Thomman (1580-1655) - Trusted steward ( kaaryasthan)of Vanjipuzha chief (ruler of Chengannur).Authorized to reconcile disputes and advise on law and order in Vanjipuzha principality. Presented gold ring and ‘pattukara’ for organizing the Thrichittattu temple Ghat construction.( kshethrakulam). Kochandy Vakil - Only Christian Pandaravaka vakil under Princess Gouri Parvathibhai .Authorized to adjudicate on legal matters. Koshy Inspector(M.E.1032-1071) - One of the first Christian Inspectors in Travancore police .Rewarded a horse by police Commissioner Bensley for quelling the Muslim revolt in Kollam. T.V.Punnose - Assistant Textiles Commissioner, Research wing secretaryof University of Travancore ,Joint Director of Industries , General Manager Kerala Ceramics, Member of Government of India Development Council. K.K.John - Assistant Accounts General of Government of Kerala and Assistant Accounts Officer of Government of India . John Thomas –Served as Principal of St.John’s College , Ceylon and Head of Physics Department in American College, Madurai.. George Zachariah -. Additional Secretary government of Kerala , Private secretary to three ministers of Kerala - T.K.Divakaran , K.M Mani, P.J. Joseph . Chevalier George Verghese – Senior advocate Kerala High Court., awarded Chevalier title by the Pope for outstanding contribution to Church and public life. . K.J.George I.P.S.- Inspector General of Police and head of Public Grievance Cell ,he was awarded President’s medal for meritorious service . Dr.P.Zachariah- Principal of Christian Medical College , Vellore and Head of department of Physiology . Dr. John Joseph- renowned scientist and Director NASA Research Station at California , also head of Physics department at Tallahassee University,USA .Dr .Samuel Thomas - head of Physics department at Canada Military College .Dr. Cherian Thomas- Professor Zoology ,Christian College and visiting professor at Cochin University and Mahatma Gandhi University. Dr. George Varghese – H.O.D.Electronics and Telecommunications T.K.M. College of Engineering , he won Dr.Alexander Marthoma Award for contributions in field of music . Ninan Thomas- (Bombay Paappachan) First Malayali to play in Rovers Cup , Bombay and I.F.A.Shield , Culcutta. “Ninan Thomas was the first Indian to play in England’s first division football” said English footballer Johny Walker . Prof.Babu Zachariah- Doordarshan and Radio sports commentator for 35 years , H.O.D. English , Marthoma College and Principal St. Mary’s College for Women. Thomas John- proprietor Thomsun Cassettes(Dubai). 70 P.G.Mathai I.R.S.- was a senior manager in Indian Railways 71. Abraham Varghese I.R.S.- Planning Commission of India Project Evaluation Officer for Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala ,Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh 72. Sunny Punchamannil - managing committee member of the Syrian Orthodox Church . Dr.Mathai Paulose- Chairman Critical Care Committee , USA, Vice President World Child Care ,Fellow of American College of Chest Physicians, Outstanding Teacher Award of Tulane University ,USA. Professor in Pulmonary and Critical Care Department at Tulane University ,USA . Jithu George - Gold medallist at 2004 National Rifle Shooting Championship and Silver medallist at 2003 National Rifle Shooting Championship. 73 Mathews Pathisseril - Founder member Basil trust ( Baroda, Gujarat), Director, Kerala Mentally Disabled Association ,State Advisory Member of Hospital Ministries of India .74 K.C.G.Varghese - Director ,Hindustan College of Engineering Technology(H.I.E.T), Madras and former President Air Taxi Forum of India . K.C.Samuel - Director, Hindustan Electronics Academy, Hindustan Aviation Academy Evehans Business Academy, Director of the International Aviation Academy and the Barons’ Pvt. Ltd, Kochi. ,Bangalore. Anand Jacob Varghese - Pro - Chancellor of Hindustan University , Chennai , Tamil Nadu , Director of Hindustan Group of Institutions , Chennai and Additional Director of Orient Flight School , Chennai. Ashok Varghese - Director of Hindustan University and Director of Hindustan Group of Institutions . 75. Alex M. Chacko - General Secretary of Kerala Vyapari Vyavasayi Ekopana Samithi (Kerala Merchants Association) .76

 
 (b) Conclusion

The ThulaserryManpurathu family and its branches have played a significant part in establishing more than twenty Churches of different denominations around the world. The family members were part of social and religious reform movements for the rights of oppressed and neglected and set up institutions for them. During the course of the Indian freedom movement some family members took active part and were granted ‘Tamrapatra’. The role of the family in democratic process range from their membership in Panchayats to membership in the Central Legislative Assembly. As in the case of most of the eminent Syrian Christian families of Kerala this family also has eminent bureaucrats, journalists, doctors, teachers, lawyers, entrepreneurs, sports personalities and recipients of honours like Padmasree and Member of the Order of British Empire (M.B.E.).But a sizeable number of the family members are middle class who engage in small business, agriculture, government jobs and sundry activities.

The  history of this migrant family underscores the facts that repecting the dignity of each individual  and their  differences and sharing of resources rather than hoarding of resources , upholding the myth of racial purity and superiority provides the healthy ambience in a multi ethnic , multicultural world in which  man has to ceaselessly migrate from one part of the global village to another in search of greener pastures. 

As individuals build up families and families in turn form the warp and woof of the social fabric , the socio - political and cultural fibre of families form the tone and texture of the society . An attempt has been made in capturing the survival instinct and contributions of ThulaserryManapurathu family to the local society , regional and national history.


References

65. Unpublished article by Alex Oorayil ,President of Keezhvanmazy branch of Pandanad chirakakathu family.

66. Chengannur Mukkathu Kudumbayogam Chrithram, 2000

67. Alex Oorayil ,op.cit. .

68. Chengannur Mukkathu Kudumbayogam Chrithram, 2000

69. Alex Oorayil ,op.cit.

70. Chengannur Mukkathu Kudumbayogam Chrithram, 2000

71.Edanadu Kunnil Chittazhethu family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

72.Adoor Pathisseril family from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

73.Muvattupuzha Vettikamattom family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

74.Adoor Pathisseril family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

75.Arattupuzha Valyanethu family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition

76.Mannar Manalel family history from ThulaseryManapurathu Tharavadu directory (2005) 2nd edition