Ancestral Genealogy and the DBU’s Marvellous Service-by Michael Roberts

Ancestral Genealogy and the DBU’s Marvellous Service-by Michael Roberts

Michael Roberts


Nick Van Der Hoeven, whose choice of title was “The Dutch Burgher Union while highlights have been imposed by The Editor, Thuppahi

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I have been reflecting on how lucky we are (as a group) to have such incredible access to the history of our ancestors. Yes, its very interesting: the diverse biological backgrounds (Dutch, British, Prussian, French, Portuguese, local etc). I am, however, a second generation Australian-born Burgher on my father’s side (plus Hungarian on mothers) and no doubt have a different reading history than those who ‘lived it’ back in Ceylon for those 500 years of colonisation.



For me the

greatest gift is knowing the names and some of the stories of ancestors dating back 22 generations — regardless of where they are from. This is unique and is in my opinion one of the greatest legacies of the DBU. The shipping manifests, the Dutch churches, the British churches, the various journals and off course the DBU records themselves.

I can also thank Kyle Joustra (again) for adding to those records and putting them in a format that will be passed down for generations. As an exercise, I decided to list the names (alphabetically) of all my direct relatives (so my grandparent x 1…..22) And it is by no means exhaustive. So many are missing. If we all had full information about every direct ancestor going back 22 generation (the dark ages) I am sure a maths wiz would tell us they would be in the many hundreds at a minimum. I wanted to list them here because so many of you have the same surnames (who at onetime lived in Ceylon) and we are all most probably related. Your history is my history.

So here it goes (in alphabetical order) ……………

My grandparents X

Aertsdr, Anderson, Andree, Anthonisz, Arends

Baak, Bakker, Baptist, Bellamy, Betker, Beven, Bussier

Christiaansz, Claessen, Coorn, Cornelisz, Couvreur, Carstens

Daniels, De Almeida, De Bruyn, De Keyzer, De Krause, De Jonge, De Lichtervelde, De Meunick, De Pays, (pain in) De Neck, De roode, De Rooy, De Silva, De Vos, De Wolff, Dias, Dormieux, Douwe, Driemont, Deuer

Ebert, Ernst, (meet the) Fock, Franzs, French, Fybrandsz

Galikam, Germanis, Gerritsz, Giffenicht, Giffening, Goutier, Grant

Heijzer, Helmuth, Hesler, Heyzer, Hoepels, Hollowell, Holst, huigen, Hulo, Huybertsen

Jansz, Johnson, Johnston, Jooris, Joris

Kasperse, Kerfbyl, Kerfbijl, Kriekenbeek, Koertz

Lampe, Livingstone, Lebeck, Lobeck, Lorenz

Maartensz, Maartensen, Mack, Mak, Melgers, Meyer, Muller, Newman, Noe, Nopperis

Pardoen, Parera, Perera, Pietersen, Philipsz, Pluymert, Podree, Polsnitz, Poynton,

Reckerman, Ribera, Ritmeyer, Rodrigues, Rottiers, Rose, Roelants, Rousseux, Runstdorff, Rycken

Schneider, Schockman, Schoorman, Smith, Sommer, Sonderburg, Staats, Steenkuyl, Swyku

Theunis, Toussaint, Trek


van Blankenburg, van Caloen, van Dam, van Engelen, van Grolshagen, van Kriekenbeek, van Hoven, van Meyert, van der Beke, van den Berghe, van den Bussche, van der Blom, van der Hoeven, van der Laan, van der Spar, van Huyzen Van Suchtelen, van Westerman, Verschuur, Verwyk, (baron) von Conradi, von Dahlen

Willemsz, Wambeek


I’m sure the DBU founders could not envisage an ‘internet’ where this type of connection would be possible some 130 years later.


The Dutch Burgher Union at Buller’s Rd in Colombo in all its homely splendour

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