About Karukayil Family
It starts with a Syrian Christian whose name is not known. He came from Thevalakkara and settled down at Karukayill in Edathua in Central Travancore of Kerala. This person had three sons – Oommen I, Varkey and Chandapilla I. No other details are known about them.
The eldest of the above-mentioned three - Oommen had three sons. They were Chandapilla II, Chacko and Oommen II. No further details are readily available about them.
The eldest of these three – Chandapilla II had a son. He was Oommen III.
Oommen III had five sons – Chandapilla III, Kurien, Varkey, Mathai and Thommi. He died on 14 February 1880.
Chandapilla III is the great grandfather of George Thomas (Suku). He married W. Eli from Poovathoor on 2 June 1853. Eli died on 22 December 1875 at Alleppy and is buried at the Thalavadi CSI Church. Chandapilla III died on 2 September 1911 and was buried in Calicut.
Chandapilla III was a “writer” of land registration documents. He switched from the Syrian Orthodox Church to the Anglican Church under the influence of the Church Missionary Society (CMS) missionaries who were then active in Central Travancore. However, a large section of the Karukayil family continues in the Orthodox Church tradition. In fact, there is a well-respected Orthodox priest (presently resident in Trivandrum) from Karukayil family.
Chandapilla III had two sons – Thomas I and Varghese. Thomas I married Mary George from Parambil family of Mavelikkara on 11 January 1883. The second brother Varghese married from Thayyil family of Kottayam, had no children, and he died in Thrissur. Both Thomas I and Varghese were among the early graduates of the then Travancore State. They took the BA degree from the Madras University. Thomas I and Varghese had four sisters.
Thomas I is the grandfather of George Thomas (Suku). He retired as District Registrar. He was born on 5 September 1861 and died on 10 October 1923 at Mavelikkara, and was buried at the CSI Church there. His wife Mary died on 26 November 1949. She was buried at the side of her husband in Mavelikkara. Thomas I was a quiet person with high integrity. He chose to settle down at Mavelikkara (his wife’s native town) after retirement from Malabar. Mary was known for her generous heart, and for her high standards of house-keeping and food preparation skills.
Thomas I had seven children – Chandy, Elizabeth, George I, Thomas II, Anna, Tharyan and Mathew. Chandy (Kunjachen) was born on 21 September 1885. He retired as Sub-Registrar, and was quite active in the church-life of Mavelikkara CSI Church. He had a son (Raju) and eight daughters (Ammini, Gracey, Ammu, Chinnamma, Lilly, Susy, Sally and Christina). He died on 28 April 1967 and was buried in Mavelikkara CSI Church. George I (Kochooti) was born on 5 August 1890. He became Head Master of the CMS High School, Kottayam and later Principal of the NSS College, Changanacherry. He was a well known disciplinarian and a good speaker. He died on 9 November 1971 and was buried in Mavelikkara CSI Church. Tharyan (Thampi) was born on 25 August 1899. He was a high school teacher in Singapore. He was the first person in the family to go outside India. He had two daughters (Cecily and Kunjumol). He died on 13 August 1976, and was buried in Mavelikkara CSI Church. Mathew (Pappachen) was born on 20 August 1907. He was also a high school teacher. He lived in Mumbai for a long time along with his wife who was a professor of zoology. He was buried in Chennai CSI Church. He had no children. Thomas II (Kunjai) is the father of George Thomas (Suku). His particulars are presented separately.
Together with the only son of Chandy and the three sons of Thomas II, the generation of George Thomas (Suku) had/have just four male members in this particular branch of the Karukayil family. The next generation stemming from these four males has six male members of which three are in India (Roy, Jagan and Timmy), one in UAE (Vinod), one in USA (Pramod) and one in Denmark (Abhay).
Honesty, integrity and perfection in discharge of duties are the cardinal values which the Karukayil family seems to have upheld over generations. Yearning for higher education and expansion of mind was the driving force which sent Thomas I and his brother to the Madras Christian College almost 130 years ago. Acquisition of wealth was neither a priority nor a major concern.