Sri Lanka Genealogy Website


H.E.A. de Vos to Nederveen Cappel

ARA - Algemeen Rijks Archief, The Hague.

Original title:

"The VOC employees procreated numerous children with European, Mestiesen, Castiesen, Toepassen, Black, Bandanese, Maleise and Singhalese women"


"In the ARA section of the VOC contain letters sent from the Far East to Holland from 1614-1794. There are 2900 thick volumes. The register is in the study hall. These letters contain a treasure of information for the genealogist. The employees of the VOC sent yearly reports to the Administrators concerning the census: Christians, orphans, elephants, produce and of course the financial results. Of great importance is the census on families of Ceylon in the years 1684, 1694 and 1696. The survey was done exact, noting the number of people, men, women, ages of sons and daughters, if a parent lived in, protegees, slaves and female slaves. These statistics are of great advantage for genealogists as the baptism and marriage registration books of Jaffnapatnam have disappeared completely and those of Colombo and Matara were initiated only in 1743. However, the Galle books dating from 1677-1807, are in the Church and the Dutch tourists are so happily thumbing through them, that in a couple of years they will be totally unreadable. Soon afterward only the well-printed "Klappers" of baptism and marriage of Colombo will survive.

An example of the house census of 1694 of Jaffanpatnam City and Fort follows. In Jaffanapatnam were a total of 118 families consisting of 504 persons and 558 slaves. Among these were 100 employees of the VOC and 5 free citizens "vrijburgers". Among the women, only 14 came from Holland, while for the men the countries of origin were: Holland, Germany, France, Flanders, Norway and Denmark. The "Citizens", those who left the service of the VOC, earned their money from prooperty and/or ale houses. The widows of non-European lineage earned their living with small profits from sewing, baking, stocking knitting, spinning and moreover "from the poor" (alms box).

The "Castle", nowadays "Fort" is a beautiful example of a Dutch star-shaped fortification. If the temperature was not 30ēC one would imagine approaching the fortification of Naarden. One enters through a gate dated 1680. The fort is completely intact with the Dutch Church built in 1706 with the orphanage and is still used as a fortification. In the church one can still see tombstones with shields and engravings, the escutcheons and the pews for the Commandant and the high and low commissioned employees of the VOC. The Fort is on an area of 55 acres (22.5 ha) and in it there lived in 1694, five hundred and eighty six (586) people."

Mesties = child of European and local born 1/2 white mother.
Casties = child of a Mesties (3/4 white).
Toepas = from Portuguese "topaz", a Christian halfblood of Portuguese lineage.
Swarte = probably belonging to the Dravida's with darker skin color (red.).

1. ARA received letters VOC Nr. 1285 families 1684, p 583 Galle, p    584/87 Negombo, p 579 Colombo, p 590 Jaffnapatnam, p 591/92 Manaer, p 593/94 Trinquenemale, p 595/96 Calpatyn, 597/601 Batticalou.

  1. Id Nr 1434 families 1694 p 820/832 Colombo Castle, p 833/847 Colombo city, p 848/52 Jaffnapatnam, p 853/54 Manaar.
  2. Id Nr 1474A families 1696 p 1400/9 Jaffnapatnam and Manaar.

4   Dessave = governor of a province with a large population of civilians, military and court influence. Johannes C married 1st Maria Magnus, married 2nd in Colombo Dec 21st, 1692, Elizabeth Sieling from Galle (Navorscher 1908, p 445)
5   Student, University of Utrecht 1676 Indus Paliacathenses SS Theology candidate Margaretha Heck, baptized in Utrecht 3-3-1650, daughter of Justinus and Aletta Adriaens van der Bilt.
6       Justina de Mey, baptized in Amsterdam WK (Wester Kerk) 21-1-1674, daughter of nr. 5.
7       Not filled out.
8       Married in Colombo 13-3-1689 Maria Dassonville (Navorscher 1905, p 168).
9       Isabella Tegens married Jurriaan Cruse, sons Johannes baptized in Colombo 9-4-1676, Hendrik baptized 3-6-1677, Floris baptized in Colombo 25-7-1680, Catharina baptized Colombo 14-1-1682 (Navorscher 1906, p 399).
10       Elisabeth Heck baptized in Utrecht 5-7-1659, sister of Margaretha Heck, Nr. 5.
11       Son of ensign VOC Johannes and Magdalena Snevens, baptized in Colombo 15-11-1668, married 1st in Colombo 28-6-1690 Anna Moens, 2nd time Anna de Rees (Navorscher 1905, p 244)
12       In ARA Nr 1474A (census 1696) is written HAQUET.
13       Simon Ferrera sergeant adigaar of the seed diggers (zaaidelvers) married in Jaffna 23-8-1682, Louisa de Barros, born Colombo 25-9-1667 died in Ponnerijn 1710, daughter of Paulus, vendah of the elephants, from Portugal and Anthonia Leitoa. She remarried 1698 Thobias de Klerk, born in Colombo (Navorscher 1899, p 84).
14       Has a son Gerrit Brinkman, baptized in Colombo 5-1-1661 (Navorscher 1906, p 84).
15       Name and age not legible due to damage to paper.
16       In 1696 is written "schoolmaster at the Seminary"
17       In 1696 is written "local schoolmaster"
18       Not filled out.
19       Philippus de Vries, baptized in Amsterdam NK (Nieuwe Kerk) 17-2-1666, son of Johannes and Elisabeth Vallen married Buiksloot 28-1-1688, (engagement Asd 21 Jan), Magdalena Bruynvis baptized in Amsterdam OK (Oude Kerk) 28-8-1665 daughter of Bartel Jansz and Anna de Starck.
20       Baptized Colombo 27-10-1669 daughter of Cornelis Strick, Dessave in Colombo and Abigael Ketelaer born in Goes, married 1st time 6-5-1691 Francois Le Chasse from Ut (?), vicar, died in Jaffnapatnam 7-5-1694, married 2nd time25-12-1695 Magnus Winkelman, Headadministrator in Colombo, widow of Susanna Durhee (Navorscher 1900, p 239 and 1907, p 438).
21       Maria Alebos baptized in Colombo 8-4-1668, daughter of Claas Claasz and Annetje Hendriks Molenaar (Navorscher 1905, p 168).
22       In 1696 written behind his name: Hardersleven" (?).
23       In 1696 is written Jan Sietenhoff.
24       Willem van Santen, baptized in Amsterdam NK (Nieuwe Kerk) 28-3-1655, son of Willem Danielsz and Mayke Joosten.


Links to 1694 Census Tables of Jaffnapatnam


Table-1 Part 1                                         Table-2 Part 1

Table-1 Part 2                                         Table-2 Part 2

Table-1 Part 3                                         Table-2 Part 3

Table-1 Part 4                                         Table-2 Part 4

Table-1 Part 5                                         Table-2 Part 5

                                    Table-2 Part 6


Kind courtesy of Ms. Jennifer van der Greft, Kfar Saba, Israel

posted to the Sri Lanka Genealogy Forum