Roche Family Genealogy Blog

My ramblings and sites while on the quest to trace the Roche family history. If you're on the same quest, join the Roche Genealogy mailing list.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Pierre Simon de la Roche

Debbie Broderick has posted her family genealogy. This includes a few de la Roche - starting with Pierre Simon de la Roche (c. 1766 to 24 Dec 1830).

Pierre was a Count and was an officer of Louis XVI's household guards. He escaped from France, to England, during the Revolution.

His Wife Marie Celestine TONDEUR (1766 to 20 Jun 1846) was Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Marie-Antoinette.

Technorati Tags: , , , , .

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Rice Family

Ossie Rice has put up a genealogy page for the Rice family at His family settled in the Trivandrum-Cochin-Coimbatore area.

Technorati Tags: , , , , .

Sunday, December 05, 2004

The Digital Colonial Documents Project (India)

The La Trobe University has a section on the Digital Colonial Documents Project (India) which hosts some rare seminal colonial documents.

Some of the documents its hosts are listed below:

Technorati Tags: , , , , .

Murray's Guide

The Murray's Guide to the Madras Presidency is available online and you can search its full text.

I did a search of Roche, but could not find any entries there.

there a few references to Mangalore - though it was referred to as Mangalur in most places.

For instance for pages 234 - 238 its described as -

(f) Mangalúr (Mangalore), Skr. Mangala, "rejoici(**)" ur, "town," "Glad-town," or, according to Graul, from Mangala Devi, who has a temple there, in lat. 12° 52', long. 74° 54', is the princi­pal civil and military station in Kanara, and has a population of about 20,000 souls. This includes the seven villages of Bázár, Alláwar, Nirawalya, Kodial­bail, Kadre, Mangalúr, and Bolúr. Hamilton tells us that the population was estimated at 30,000 in 1806, and has probably greatly increased since. This is a proof how erroneous mere es­timates are; for we know, by census, that the number of inhabitants was only 11,548 in 1836. Graul, however, who travelled from 1850-1853, makes the number 40,000. Mangalúr is separated from the sea by a backwater, formed by the junction of the Bolúr, called by some the Netrawati, a large river, which rises in the Gháts, and flows in a W. direction, past Buntwálá, a trading place near the Gháts, whence from 50 to 200 boats, laden with rice, daily start for Mangalúr; and the Balure, which, rising in the same locality, passes to the coast by a more N. course. In the rains these rivers, which flow round two sides of a peninsula, on which the town and cantonment of Mangalúr stand, bring down a large quantity of water, and they are then navigable for boats of some burthen, to a considerable distance inland. In the dry season there is but little current in either, except that caused by the influence of the tide, which flows to about nine or ten miles from their mouth. The banks of these rivers—particularly of the Bolúr—are high and steep, and, unlike those of

most others in this country—which are covered with rank vegetation — are, where the soil permits, planted with cocoa nut trees, or laid out in gardens and rice fields. On the cantonment side of the backwater, immediately under some high ground, is a level belt of land surrounding the peninsula, but little raised above the sea, and varying in breadth from 100 to 200 yards. At the S. end it is converted into rice fields, or thickly planted with cocoa nut trees, and thence N. along the edge of the backwater, most of the fishermen and laborers of the place reside. At the back of the present landing place, and on ground contiguous to the said belt, the great bázár commences, and stretches N. on the edge of the back­water about half a mile. It is irregu­larly built, and though the trade carried on here is considerable, there is little indication of the wealth it may be sup­posed to possess. In this low site good water is procurable only in the dry season. That which is to be had is always more or less impregnated with iron from the laterite through which it percolates. The small tanks in the neighbourhood are seldom dry, but in the hot season they become covered with, slimy vegetable matter. The general appearance of Mangalúr from the sea is picturesque. The houses are detached, particularly those towards the N., on separate hills, whence an extensive view is to be had, while the thick woods on these heights, and intervening valleys, add much to the beauty of the place. Immediately beyond the cantonment, however, the country alters consider­ably, the hills attaining a greater eleva­tion, with a barren and rugged aspect. We know that Mangalúr has from ancient times been a place of very great commerce. Ibn Batuta, in the middle of the 14th century, speaks of 4,000 Muhammadan merchants as resident there. Forbes speaks of it, in 1772, as the principal seaport in the domi­nions of Haidar 'Alí, and well situated for commerce. Moreover, both Haidar's and Típú's ships of war were built at Mangalúr of the fine teak produced on the slopes of the Gháts. But in the last 40 years considerable changes nave taken place in the harbor, which, com­mercially, have much injured it. The harbor was of much greater extent and depth than now. The old jetty and stone embankment, raised to prevent the encroachments of the sea, are now almost buried in sand, and though the tide rises 4 ft. 5 in. on the bar at springs, the native craft are obliged to anchor in the narrow channels of the rivers; and between these and the shore a mud-flat is now exposed at every ebb-tide. These changes in the harbour appear to have originated, in the first place, from an opening having been cut by the natives through a narrow part of the back sand, to the N. of the present outlet, to permit the escape of the freshes in the river, which had caused alarm in consequence of an unusual rise. The sea entered the cut, and, besides the changes alluded to, has formed an ex­tensive and permanent opening.

The Cantonment is situate on the N. side of the village of Mangalúr, properly so called. The ground is tolerably level, rising gently till it reaches the place of arms, the centre and highest part. Thence it slopes on all sides, except towards the N.E., when the elevation continues till it is lost among the hills. To the S. of the parade ground, with merely the high road intervening, are lines for one regiment of Native Infantry. The huts are of clay and are thatched with grass. They lie in parallel lines E. and W. Mangalúr is considered a healthy station, and is favorably re­garded by the troops, especially by the natives.

In the variety of the tribes which frequent its marts, Mangalúr may be called a miniature Bombay. Europeans, Indo-Portuguese, Indo-Britons, Pársís, Mughuls, Arabs, Sídís, Konkanís, Má­pillas, Kanarese, and Tamulians jostle one another in the streets. The mother language of the place, however, is the Tuluva, for Mangalúr is the chief town of the Tuluva country. The Tuluva language is a dialect of Kanarese, which approaches closely to the ancient lan­guage of Halla-Kanada, and bears more resemblance to the Tamulian than to the

modern dialect. As a singular perver­sion of terms of world-wide use, it may be noticed that in Tuluva amma means "father," and appa, "mother."

The Mission House at Mangalúr is worthy of a visit. Formerly the Kacheri or Collector's office occupied the spot, but that being burnt down by the rebels in 1837, a new house was erected at the expense of Mr. Blair, the collector, and most liberally presented by him to the Mission. The site is, perhaps, the best at the station, commanding a fine view of the sea and surrounding country, and being considerably elevated above the camp. The missionaries are Mora­vians, and indefatigable, excellent men. They have a school with about 50 scholars. An industrial school is at­tached, where a watchmaker and typo­graphic printer give lessons. The out­break in 1837, alluded to above, was one of some importance. The Mápillas were as usual foremost in the fray, but several thousand people assembled also from Kurg, and cut off two companies of Sipáhís. They likewise attacked the station of Mangalúr, and burnt several of the houses. It is said the authorities on the spot did not behave well, and but for the arrival of troops from Bombay and other stations, the insur­rection would have become very for­midable.

The Burial Ground at Mangalúr is neat and well kept. It is enclosed and the gate is locked. There is an obelisk to the memory of Brigadier-General Carnac, who died here, aged 84, in 1806. He was second in command to Clive at the battle of Plassy. A tomb to the captain of the Faiz Rahmán may also be remarked. He with his wife and two children all perished, when the vessel foundered off camp, on the 1st of May, 1840. The oldest tombs are dated 1803.

There is a curious old ruin at Man­galúr, apparently a Muhammadan tomb, but respecting which tradition is silent. It is a square building with minarets at the corners, and a large arched gate in front. Numerous small openings in five regular rows permeate the walls. The most remarkable port of the building, however, is its curious top, an inverted cupola, open like a cup. Before leaving Mangalúr, the hill of Kadiri, two miles off, should be visited. Here is a Hindú, or rather Jain, pagoda, a Dargáh or shrine of the Muhammadans, and the residence of a Mahant, or Abbot, of the Kánphattís, a sect of Hindú as­cetics, distinguished by their split ears. It is a pretty spot shaded with trees, and rich in a spring of the clearest and most delicious water. The pagoda con­tains four images of Tirthankars, most Egyptian looking idols. The priests say that these divinities were Tapawís, or ascetics, thousands of years ago, and at­tained Siddhánt or beatitude by their devotion. The Dargáh is said to have been the residence of a noted holy man, one Shaikh Farí, who performed a most unpleasant and unbecoming penance, hanging by one leg in a well for 12 years with his head downwards, by which he was purified from all sin. The visitor who has studied Hindú and Muhammadan lore will remark how, amongst the common people, the reli­gious belief of both sects approximates, as in the above legend, which is tho­roughly Hindú in its character. The Saints' chamber adjoins the well, and is a very uncomfortable niche cut out of a huge block of laterite. The Mahant is a native of Benares, and being a person of great sanctity, treats his visitors with uncommon haughtiness. He occupies the sole chair his tenement can boast of, while he leaves the traveller stand­ing. There are here caverns in the rock which are said to extend to a vast distance.

The Jain Temples at Muda Biddarí and Kárkal may be conveniently visited from Mangalúr. Muda Biddarí is about 30 miles from Mangalúr, to the N.E. A very hilly road leads to Gonpur, 12 miles, and the next stage of 18 carries the traveller to the Rájá's palace at Muda Biddarí. The Rájá receives about 800 rupees yearly from Government, and has given up half his palace for the re­ception of European travellers. It is a large, rambling, native house. Among the ornaments is an elephant carved in wood and formed of the figures of

five mermaids. At a short distance from the palace are the temples. The principal one is a very large building, the outer wall forming an oblong of 300 yards by 200. In front is a grace­ful pillar about 40 ft. high, and formed of only two blocks. At the base are steps. The capital is well executed with the figure of a lion carved on the top. The temple itself is of granite, and the basement is curiously engraved with figures of men and beasts, among which is the cameleopard very tolerably de­signed. The people about the temple do not know what animal it is intended to represent, but if asked, say they sup­pose it is meant for a camel. In a dark chamber, in the interior of the temple, is a sanctuary, with an image of Páras­náth, dimly shewn by a few flickering oil lights. There are numerous inscrip­tions, but the iron stone in which they are cut has so mouldered away that they are now quite illegible. Round the chief temple are sixteen smaller ones, all of the same character, with a solitary pillar in front of each. The town was once considerable, but has gone to ruin, and there are many streets of crumbling houses filled with jungle.

A journey of four hours takes the tra­veller to Karkal ("Black-stone"). The road is very stony and hilly, and for some miles passes through thick jungle, where are tigers and bison. A stream about four feet deep must be passed, and the pálkí is carried on the bearers' heads. In the rains this stream would be a for­midable obstacle. It is full of fish. On entering Kárkal, the traveller passes a tank, with a neat Gothic looking house built on an island in the centre. The village is small, and has but an open shed for a traveller's banglá, and this, too, situated at a most inconvenient dis­tance from the road. The view from it, however, is good, with a bold range of hills called the Durg to the N., at the foot of which is a belt of deep jungle. The Jain temples, two in number, are about half a mile from the traveller's banglá, on the top of bare black rocks, without any coating of earth, and con­trasting strongly with the verdure of the subjacent fields. The nearer temple is the larger of the two, and is said to be very ancient, though, in point of fact, its age probably does not exceed three centuries. It is of the same shape as the temple at Biddarí, but has no pillar in front. The most curious part of it is the roof, which is of solid stone cut into squares, which are supported by pillars. The weight must be enormous. Timber has not been used in any part of the building. On the door is sculptured the figure of a Dwárpal, or warder, lean­ing on a mace, and along the walls are some strange grotesques. In the in­terior are 12 figures of Párasnáth in black marble, three facing each quarter of the horizon. From this hill the gigantic image of Gautama Swámí, at the next temple, has a most singular appearance. The sun shining on the huge black figure shows its enormous bulk, with a strange and almost super­natural effect. It requires but a little stretch of the imagination to suppose that some hellish monster has descended from the dark mountains in the distance, to prey on the fair country around. One cannot but feel a sickening sense of the folly and hateful impiety of idolatry, while gazing at this demon form black­ening against the pure sky. The figure is erect, and bears an Egyptian look. The hair curls close to the skull; the ears are broad flaps, which descend half­way to the shoulders, and these again are of great breadth. The hands are stretched close down to the sides. One holds a bell; the other, the Shesh Nág, or "many-headed cobra." A tall man, standing at the foot of the figure, just reaches to the calf of the leg. The height of the figure is said to be 45 ft. According to an inscription on the stone itself, the statue was made by Víra Pándia, son of Bhairava-Indra, 419 years ago. In the portico of this temple, or rather before it, is the usual pillar, surmounted by an image with a sort of tiara. Below is the representa­tion of a man on horseback, not unlike St. George, but the priests call it Brahmá Dev. They further assert that these temples were erected 423 years ago by Byás Sandel, the Rájá of Hublí. A vast stone was cut out from a spot on the hill

close by, dragged up to the summit, and then formed into the present erect figure. The quarry from which it was cut is shown. Certainly the removal and erection of so vast and ponderous a mass deserves to be ranked as a work of labor with the performances of the Egyptians and Assyrians. An entrance, supported by pillars, leads into the inner room of the temple. On the right is a double row of eight pillars. Behind the statue is a kind of verandah and twelve pillars. To the right of the statue is a sacred tank. There is a Játra, or pilgrimage, to this place once in seven years. From the top of the hill is a good view of the surrounding country, which is chiefly covered with jungle, and shews but little cultivation, though there are two very large tanks close to the village.

Leaving Mangalúr, the road passes through a large bázár, on the banks of the backwater, for 2 miles 4 fur­longs, to the Bolár river. After cross­ing the river, for which any number of boats may be procured, the road is very bad for two miles, passing through heavy sand. It then turns inland and im­proves. The traveller's banglá at Su­ratkal stands on an airy eminence, at the foot of which the sea breaks vio­lently. Mulkí is a small town, the seat of the Basle mission. It stands on the Shambawatí river. The long street of the bázár is enveloped in a luxuriant thicket of jungle. The Tulu churches are entirely indebted to Mr. Amman, the missionary at Mulkí, for the trans­lation of the New Testament into their language. This work was printed at the Mangalúr press. A good road leads through the village of Káp to Udapí.

After this the books continues to Udupi.

Technorati Tags: , , , , .