I don't know if you can help me.
My great grandfather was William Donald Thomas born Colombo Ceylon 1868(1901
census). His death certificate in 1928 says he was 57 which might have meant
he was born in 1871 - both his wives were older than him and he might have
disguised the age gap!
My grandfather maintained William Donald Thomas was really a De or Da Silva
and that his family owned the Ceylon Morning Leader newspaper and a couple
of plantations, the family house being named Pendennis. My grandfather named
his first son Dennis because of this. We also understood that an uncle was
the editor of the Ceylon Times.
William Donald Thomas was sent over to England to learn about the British
newspaper - we don't know when but he is not on the 1891 census but he
marries my great grandmother in 1893 in London . His trade is noted as
printer compositor and his father as Joseph Thomas ( strangely his father is
William Thomas on his second marriage certificate!!)
My grand father went into the newspaper industry too so we know the
printing/ newspaper links are strong. My mother as a child remembers being
ill and being given a miniature newspaper to read very carefully when she
was sick in bed from Ceylon. She also remembers a family photo in the house
of three ladies in saris outside Pendennis in Ceylon. Apparently they were
William Donald Thomas was a dapper gent who received packets of money from
his family back in Ceylon - my grandmother witnessed this. He had smart
suits and rode around in a handsome cab. He died in 1928 occupation a scrap
metal merchant having gambled all his money away - according to the family
I have attached a photo of William Donald Thomas - he is the one standing on
the right of the picture. The chap with him might be a cousin who may have
come over with him.
I am looking for any information you might have on William Donald Thomas (
De/Da Silva). I cant see any records of his entrance to the UK and can find
no information about the family back in Ceylon. If the family did own the
paper then there may be some record of this somewhere.
Any help or information would be gratefully received.
From: srilanka-bounces(a)rootsweb.com [mailto:email@example.com]
On Behalf Of laura foenander
Sent: 31 October 2008 04:51
Subject: [SRILANKA] Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon
I have the Twentieth Century Impressions of Ceylon and i wish to help with
any information in it for those out there
Hope to hear from you
P.O Box 2007
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