How can I trace my ancestry in India?


I'm a Christian from Kundamkulam, Trissur, Kerala, India. It is said (there are no written evidences) that we once were Brahmins, got converted to Christianity in the 1st century AD (there are records of St. Thomas visiting the place), and got mixed up with Jews settled in local area (Arthat, near the place). Is there any way to trace our ancestry?

Jesse P Francis

Posted 2012-10-25T15:09:12.433

Reputation: 193

1This question is very broad in scope, though it does raise a number of interesting issues. Perhaps splitting it into several questions would have a better chance of eliciting answers – Sue Adams – 2012-10-25T22:14:05.697

5I suggest: 1 How could I trace the ancestry of current and recent Christians from Kundamkulam, Trissur, Kerala, India? 2 Were Brahmins in India converted to Christianity in AD 1st century and is this connected with St Thomas? 3 Was there a Jewish settlement near Arthat, [insert state/province], India? – Sue Adams – 2012-10-25T22:20:39.277


It's a bit of a leap to go from the present day to the first century AD without following the twists and turns in-between. It's more "origins" than "ancestry", like saying maybe the Celts came from present-day Bohemia a millenium ago. So, taking it step by step, how far back have you traced within India so far? Where does the paper trail run out? A lot of those records are in the UK now. For an introduction, see

– Rob Hoare – 2012-10-25T23:49:27.233

1@SueAdams REALLY like those questions. They have definite answers that can really help future researchers. – Canadian Girl Scout – 2012-10-26T04:41:29.470

2I like Sue's questions too, but I think #2 and #3 might be more appropriate on history.SE? – bstpierre – 2012-10-26T11:45:05.793



I suspect to understand your ancestry that far back, you would have to resort to DNA testing but I have no idea how feasible or informative this would be in the context of south-west India.

The Jewish Virtual Library has an overview of the long Jewish history in India, as does Wikipedia.


Posted 2012-10-25T15:09:12.433


I know the question was too braod to be answered: and this is a late comment! I will try split the questions as suggested by @SueAdams above, and give it a shot. By the way, DNA testing is out of picture here in India. And I did dig into Jewish Virtual Library and other similar documents available online, but not much of help. – Jesse P Francis – 2015-10-04T07:32:32.763

@JessePFrancis did you try searching the old church documents? – kiranvj – 2019-08-28T07:41:35.433

1@kiranvj Well, church documents doesn't go back to those days. In fact, the time we are talking about is the time of establishment of church (by St. Thomas) – Jesse P Francis – 2019-08-28T14:43:44.883