updated March 2015

D'Silva Family

Members of the D'Silva family that I have been researching, lived in Calcutta between at least the late 1800's and early 1900's.

The family describe their nationality as 'Anglo Indian'.

The D'Silva, Pierce and Simmonds families all appear in the 1897 Thackers Directory living at 42 Metcalfe Street (formerly Nigzag or Zigzag Lane), Calcutta. Thomas Pierce died in 1888 so his widow, Christina (Shedden) must have been living there with her four children.

The D'Silva family probably lived in Calcutta from the mid 1800's but it is possible that the family may have come to Calcutta from Trivandrum where they may have been friends of the Shedden, La Bouchardiere and Prince families.

Francis Osmund D'Silva

The earliest D'Silva that I have been able to find is Francis D'Silva, he lived from about 1873 to about 1948 the family remember that he died in 1948 aged 75. His family know that he was a schools inspector in Calcutta.

In the Thackers Directories around 1897, Francis's occupation is Asst in Charge Bruce Institution. The Bruce Institution was a foundation set up to give disadvantaged Anglo Indian girls an education.

The only formal documentation that I have been able to find mentioning Francis, is on the birth and marriage records of his son, William Osmund.

Francis is known to have had at least two brothers, Albert and Walter. Albert and his wife had a large family and lived in Ranchi.

Francis married Christina Shedden, widow of Thomas Pierce, around 1896 and they had four children.

Christina Matilda Shedden

The family remember Christina as being a Scottish nurse known as 'Tiny', a little lady with grey-blue eyes, she was actually born in Trivandrum in Southern India in 1859.
Christina's parents were Alexander Hall Shedden and Margaret Graham, at least part of her Scottish connection was through her grandfather, William Graham who was born in Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland and went to India after joining the East India Company Army in 1816.

Christina had five brothers and four sisters, all born in Trivandrum, she married Thomas Albert Pierce in Ajmere in 1882 and they had four daughters (one may have died in infancy).

Thomas Pierce died in 1888 in Allahabad and Christina married Francis D'Silva, probably in 1896 or 1897.
C.M. Pierce, Midwife appears in the 1897 Thackers Directory living at the same address as Francis D'sliva and Samuel Simmonds.

Francis and Christina had three daughters and one son.

Christina is believed to have died in Calcutta around 1929.

Documentation that I have for Christina confirms her Baptism/birth, Marriage to Thomas Pierce, Death of Thomas Pierce and the marriage of her parents.

William Osmund D'Silva

William was the son of Francis and Christina D'Silva, he was born in Calcutta in 1896. He had three sisters, three half sisters and one half brother.

William was a dental technician and in 1920 he married Florence Simmonds in Calcutta. William and Florence had three sons and two daughters, they lived in Calcutta and Bombay in India and then, after independence, in North London and Surrey in UK.

William died in Surrey in 1980.

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