updated October 2013

D'Silva Family Origins

For many years, I have been researching the history of the D'Silva family from India. Three main lines of ancestors came together to create the 20th century family of William D'Silva and his wife, Florence Simmonds, these are:

  1. D'Silva

    I have only manged to trace the D'Silva family back to Francis D'Silva, probably born around 1875. Francis was the father of William D'Silva

    The D'Silva name suggests that the family originated in Portugal, probably before the British colonial period.

  2. Simmonds

    William D'Silva's wife, Florence Simmonds, was a descendant of an English soldier in the Honourable East India Company Madras European Regiment and his "Special Friend" Elizabeth Wheatley or Page who was the daughter of another British Soldier and either an Indian or Anglo Indian lady.

    The early Simmonds family line in Colonial India followed the common pattern of British soldiers having Indian or Anglo Indian wives / partners. The Anglo Indian girls being the daughters of other British soldiers in the same regiment and their local wives / partners. After the late 1800's the marriages tended to be with other Anglo Indians.

  3. Shedden

    William D'Silva's mother was Christina Shedden who was the daughter of Alexander Hall Shedden and Margaret Graham.

    It is thought that Alexander Shedden probably had Scottish, or at least British, origins, although I can find no proof of this. I know that in 1845 Alexander was promoted from sub-assistant revenue surveyor to assistant surveyor, this occupation was typical of that held by an Anglo Indian. It follows that either his father or grandfather could have been from Britain.

    Alexander's wife Margaret Graham, was the daughter of a Scottish soldier, William Graham, in the H.E.I.C. Madras European Regiment and his Anglo Indian Wife.

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