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Sylvia asked whether there was an English language newspaper published in Ceylon in the nineteenth century.
There were at least two - the Overland Ceylon Observer and the Times of Ceylon. The British Newspaper Library at Colindale has runs of both - all on microfilm. I think the earliest dates covered are late 1840s/early 1850s though from memory the coverage is very patchy for these years - from the 1870s onwards there is probably a fairly continuous run of one or other of the papers. Both certainly have "Domestic Occurrence" columns and there are often full reports of marriages as well as obituaries. They also published details of passenger lists - both arrivals & departures.
I have no idea though whether the microfilms are available in any other libraries.
Many thanks for your e-mail - it is quite possible that the C S Wait you
mentioned is our Colin!!
You mentioned that the information came from the 1924 edition of Commercial
Ceylon. I also keep an eye on the Ceylon website provided by GENUKI and
there some requests are answered by reference to Ceylon Year Books. I
wonder if you or anyone else knows if copies of these are available for
general reference, and if so where. (I'm from Canterbury, Kent, UK and do
get to London on occasion but understand that there is much interest from
It is interesting that all the queries in the last week involve seeking
information about ancestorss/relatives who were married, baptised or buried
in Kandy. Victor Melder's responses about the availability or otherwise of
old Ceylon records has been enlightening. However, it is not surprising
that letters do not tend to receive replies, as the Pastor of Scots Kirk in
Kandy must receive far more than he is able to cope with, all asking for
I have passed on the problem in general terms to a 'cousin' (found through
my research) who is a Fellow of the UK Society Genealogists and has just
been visiting Sydney. Once he returns home next month he will further
investigate other sources of information for British in general & Scots
community in particular who were in Ceylon.
Another possible source ..... does anyone, (Victor?) know if there was an
English language newspaper published in Ceylon in the 19th Century, or its
name? Papers can be a great secondary source of information through their
"Domestic Occurrences" or "Personal" columns of births, marriages and deaths
announcements. Such newspapers would probably be held at the Colindale
Newspaper Library in London; if they have been microfilmed then they may
also be available in other libraries somewhere on planet earth (as is 'The
Times of India').
Sylvia Murphy (in grey & rainy Sydney)
Victor, how wonderful to get a reply!!!I will try as you suggested. Yes
Christoper Elliott appears often in the mid 1800's records. I do not know if he
is a "cousin". I wonder if there is another way to go about this. In London
there is the Indian library and various military libraries. I"ve just hired
someone to check pension records in England for my Sri Lanka William Elliott. If
things turn up, this may be a way to do it. My William was an ensign and
secretary to Lord Grey who was "assigned" ceylon for a while.
Since you are certainly knowledgeble, was there a British Church that these
folks might have gone to to be married?
I wonder if I approach the students using our Ames, southeast asian library, if
I could convince a grad student to do research. What exactly should I ask them
to do that we need.Since I am not familiar with what we HAVE!We have a large
Indian population here in Minnesota at our University.
My Rebecca Douglas(later Elliott) apprears as the Headmistress for the Columbo
Female Seminary in the book "The Administration of Sir Henry Ward, Govenor of
Ceylon 1855-1860, by S.V. Balasingham and it is volume eleven of the Ceylon
Historical Journal. Page 80.At the end of Rebecca's pension papers it states she
"contributed very materially
to the improvement of the rising generation of the Burgher population". To this
day Ceylon has one of the highest literacy rates in the world.
There must be an way we can generate a pool of information.
Thank you so much again for your ideas! Beverly
VICTOR MELDER wrote:
> Hello Beverly,
> Your message has been automatically copied to me here in Melbourne, as I
> work on Sri Lankan (Ceylon) genealogies and try to help in any way I can.
> A question asked by another inquirer this week was, "Why did the Scots go to
> Ceylon?" You answered the question yourself and the answer is
> obvious...military, tea, missionary and entrepreneurial.
> Did you know that Lachlan Macquarie was a Lieutenant in the British Army in
> Ceylon and marched with his troops from Colombo to Galle, 72 miles away to
> the south, and effectively had a smooth take over from the Dutch in Galle,
> after their capitulation. As reward he was sent to the Australian Colony as
> Governor, and that is how in Sydney, Australia today we have a Macquarie
> island, river, harbour, university and a this and that.
> You would be very, very lucky indeed to find someone in Sri Lanka today who
> would be willing to undertake research etc even for a fee. Writing letters
> won't do you any good either as it is a national trait not to answer
> letters. I am speaking of twenty years experience.
> Anyway,try writing to The Planters Association of Ceylon, 32, Vajira Road,
> Colombo 5, Sri Lanka (Tel: 58 7013) for any information on planting industry
> You might also write to The Pastor, Scots Kirk, Kandy, Sri Lanka, inquring
> about church records. As far as I know they still maintain their records. I
> am not aware if they have been copied to any relevant archives etc in
> A good book to lay your hands on is "A Hunderd years of Ceylon Tea",
> 1867-1967, by D.M.Forrest (Chatto & Windus, London 1967), it gives quite a
> bit of information on the planting industry and tea planters involved.
> I do have the indexes to the baptism and marriage registers of the Dutch
> Reformed Church, Wolvendaal, Colombo from 1702 to 1956, but unfortunately
> they do not contain the Elliott or Douglas surnames.
> I quote some entries for ELLIOTT from a book dated 1924 in my possession,
> for whatever it is worth....
> * ELLIOTT, C. Brooke, K.C., born Oct 28, 1875, edu Malvern College:
> Bar-at-law, Gray's Inn, 1897, private secretary to Sir Winfield Bonser,
> Chief Justice, Dec 1897, Chief commissioner Boy Scouts, Ceylon 1922, member
> of the Council of Legal Education; golf champion of Ceylon 1900 (twice) and
> 1903, was a member of the Malvern cricket eleven and played on more than one
> occasion for the Europeans against the Ceylonese in local test matches
> * ELLIOTT, E.C.; planter and manager, Pedro Estate, Nuwara Eliya.
> * ELIOT, Major (Bt.Lieut-Col) N., CBE - 2nd in command, Royal Garrison
> Artilery, Ceylon.
> * ELLIOTT, Dr Christopher, co-editor of The Ceylon Observer, 1846
> Unfortunately, I cannot find any traces of any entries for Douglas.
> I trust the above can be of some use to you. I will keep looking for other
> Victor Melder
> Wednesday, August 25, 1999, 3.41pm, AEST
> Victor Melder
> Victor Melder Sri Lanka Library
> 7, Benambra Street
> Broadmeadows, Vic 3047
> Tel: 61-03-9309-4040
> E-Mail <tormel(a)dezzanet.net.au>
> "The Service I Render Others Is The Rent
> I Pay For My Space On Earth".
> -----Original Message-----
> From: kancer <kancer(a)uswest.net>
> To: SRILANKA-L(a)rootsweb.com <SRILANKA-L(a)rootsweb.com>
> Date: Wednesday, August 25, 1999 2:58 AM
> Subject: Re: Ceylon BMDs
> >Hello. My family--scotch/british were there as military and as methodist
> >missionaries-from about 1840 to 1860-setting up schools.There were also
> >resources there-tea, cinnamon, etc, for export by entrepreneurs. Many
> >tachers were hired at this time to improve conditions-especially for girls.
> >have YET to find records. My names are ELLIOTT and DOUGLAS . They were
> >there and had at least one child there before moving to canada.--but where
> >these records.?? I would be willing to add to a fund to find someone there
> >Ceylon--perhaps a student at the Univ. who could copy records and post to
> >site. Anyone have any ideas???? Our University of Minnesota has an
> >indian/ceylon library and I have scoured it, but church records are not
> >This library (the Ames library) is on line at the PALS site, so you can see
> >what there is on Kandy and use interlibrary loan.
> >There have been many postings, but as of the last 6 months I have not seen
> >Even if someone can find out the names of the old churches there and we
> >write them!
> >If anyone has been helped, please share it it with the rest of us!!!!!
> >THANKS Beverly.
> >Geoff Summers wrote:
> >> We have a similar problem to that of Sylvia Murphy in tracing our Scots
> >> ancestors in Ceylon. Our ancestors were also in the Kandy district. If
> >> anoyone can help Sylvia, a general posting to the site would be useful.
> >> We have noted a Scottish Kirk in Kandy (City). Does anyone know if
> >> for a Church such as this would have been copied to a Scottish record
> >> centre?
> >> While I'm on, something I've been wondering about for some time : why did
> >> so many Scots go to Ceylon??
> >> Geoff Summers
> >> Researching in Ceylon: ROBB, GRANT, WAIT, WYLIE, HEBENTON
This is my first posting to the list so hello to you all from Queensland
I would like to obtain as much information as is possible about the above
mentioned official. James is my G G Grandfather who became treasurer of
Ceylon in 1854. A beautiful wall tablet was placed in the cathedral church
in Colombo to his memory by the Ceylon civil service after he died in may
1861. Is there anyone who can obtain or help me obtain (or knows some one
who can help me obtain) historic details about James.
Thank you in anticipation
Hello. My family--scotch/british were there as military and as methodist
missionaries-from about 1840 to 1860-setting up schools.There were also
resources there-tea, cinnamon, etc, for export by entrepreneurs. Many English
tachers were hired at this time to improve conditions-especially for girls. I
have YET to find records. My names are ELLIOTT and DOUGLAS . They were married
there and had at least one child there before moving to canada.--but where are
these records.?? I would be willing to add to a fund to find someone there in
Ceylon--perhaps a student at the Univ. who could copy records and post to the
site. Anyone have any ideas???? Our University of Minnesota has an extensive
indian/ceylon library and I have scoured it, but church records are not there.
This library (the Ames library) is on line at the PALS site, so you can see
what there is on Kandy and use interlibrary loan.
There have been many postings, but as of the last 6 months I have not seen any
Even if someone can find out the names of the old churches there and we could
If anyone has been helped, please share it it with the rest of us!!!!!
Geoff Summers wrote:
> We have a similar problem to that of Sylvia Murphy in tracing our Scots
> ancestors in Ceylon. Our ancestors were also in the Kandy district. If
> anoyone can help Sylvia, a general posting to the site would be useful.
> We have noted a Scottish Kirk in Kandy (City). Does anyone know if records
> for a Church such as this would have been copied to a Scottish record
> While I'm on, something I've been wondering about for some time : why did
> so many Scots go to Ceylon??
> Geoff Summers
> Researching in Ceylon: ROBB, GRANT, WAIT, WYLIE, HEBENTON
We have a similar problem to that of Sylvia Murphy in tracing our Scots
ancestors in Ceylon. Our ancestors were also in the Kandy district. If
anoyone can help Sylvia, a general posting to the site would be useful.
We have noted a Scottish Kirk in Kandy (City). Does anyone know if records
for a Church such as this would have been copied to a Scottish record
While I'm on, something I've been wondering about for some time : why did
so many Scots go to Ceylon??
Researching in Ceylon: ROBB, GRANT, WAIT, WYLIE, HEBENTON
I am posting this on behalf of a computerless friend & distant relation via
Robert BARRIE m. Alice Mary DIXON about 1879/1880 probably in Kandy, Ceylon.
He was a Scot and arrived in Ceylon late 1874. The year of marriage is
estimated from the dates of birth of eldest known children; Janet (1881/2)
and Helen (1884)
Would someone please advise the name and address of Church/Parish minister
in Kandy who would hold Parish Registers for that period, and the correct
procedure to be followed to obtain a copy of the marriage & baptism entries.
(I have already checked the LDS FHL catalogue and drawn a blank).
Hello all. I'm searching for information about the DELILKAN and DULLING
families, the latter I know lived in Kandy for some time. Any
information at all would be greatly appreciated.
I am searching for information on my wife's maternal Great Grandfather, his name was John Le Marchant who lived at KALUNGALANTENNA, Kandy, Ceylon. I believe he was a tea planter of French extraction. I have a letter from him dated 1912 and giving his address as KALUNGALANTENNA. I would be very grateful if anyone can give me any details about the man and/or the location.