Sri Lanka Sinhalese/Burgher Family Genealogy
PIERIS DERANIYAGALA - FAMILY # 1005
1 Pieris Deraniyagala
1 Manuel (?) Pieris, b:1640, hailed from Attidiya near Colombo. Member of the Lascarins (Sinhalese foot-soldiers) under the Dutch, and was the recipient of several Paraveni Lands as a reward for his services
2 Paulo Samarasinghe Siriwardena Mohandiram + Dona Angela Dias, m:11/8/1737
2 Deraniyagala Pieris Samarasinghe
2 Deraniyagala Louis Pieris Samarasinghe, b:1680 + Maria Siriwardena de Saram (d/o Anthonan Siriwardena de Saram & Johana Dias), Maria died in 1746 (3126)
3 Deraniyagalage Cornelis Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena Basnayake Arachchi + Dona Magdalena of Wolfendhal (+ 2nd spouse Dona Ana de Saram)
4 Deraniyagalage Isaak Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena Mohandiram Ralahamy b:17 Apr 1763 + Louisa de Saram Lama Etini m:3 Jun 1804. (3126)
5 Deraniyagalage Jacob Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena + Fredricka de Saram, m:28 July 1841 (3126)
6 Deraniyagalage Sophiya Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena + Don Baron Martinus Rupasinghe
7 Henry Foster Rupasinghe
8 Hugh Fred Rupasinghe
9 Harsha Rupasinghe
6 Deraniyagalage Richard Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena + Apolonia Ranasinghe.
7 Deraniyagalage Louis Edwin Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena
8 Deraniyagalage Basil Ivor Pieris Samaranayake Siriwardena (Civil Servant) + Eileen Wickremasinghe (Principal Visakha Vidyalaya 1983-87)
9 Udaya Siriwardena
9 Aruna Siriwardena b:1960 STC Mt. Lavinia
9 Cyrene Siriwardena + Paul Steele
10 Sumaya Steele
3 Deraniyagalage Wilhelmus Pieris Samarasinghe Siriwardena (Mohandiram) born 1730 died 24/8/1816 + m:1756 Maria de Livera Wirekon d1812(daughter of Jacabous de Livera)
4 Jacobus Pieris bp:11/9/1766 (died 1/6/1816) + Jacaba de Silva, d/o Simon de Silva Mudaliyar
5 Wilhelmus Nicholas Siriwardena Mohandiram bp 25/11/1792, d:10/3/1862 + Johana Agnetha de Silva (d/o Bernedt de Silva and Catherina de Saram, and Grand daughter of Louis de Saram) (3126)
4 Isaac Renaldus bp:29/1/1770.
4 Elizebeth Pieris Siriwardene bp:19/8/1763 + Don Hendrick Dias Bandaranaike Mohandiram of Siyane Korale(became Mohandiram 5/6/1794) (1001)
4 Johan Louis Samarasinghe Siriwardena Pieris Mudaliyar Siyane Korale
(Mace bearer of the Supreme Court)b1773 d17/6/1857 + m:6/6/1805 Johanna Corneliya Perera, b:7 Apr 1784 (d/o Abraham Perera)
5 John Martinus Pieris Siriwardena, b:circa 1810 + Johanna Louisa Dias Bandaranaike, b:12/12/1820, m:1851, d/o of Don Johannes Dias Bandaranaike and Fredricka de Saram, grand daughter of Don Conrad Peter Dias Bandaranaike (1001)
6 Dr William Christoffel Pieris Siriwardena, b:1867, lived at 40,Silversmith Street Colombo. Educated at STC and later at Marischal College Aberdeen. He became a Senior medalist in Pathalogy and Bacteriology. He graduated in MBCM. He was a visiting Physician of General Hospital. Lecturer in clinical medicine at Medical College. District Medical Officer Haputale.Later Judical Medical Officer (see pic below) + Ethel Obeyesekere, (b:1885, d:1930), m:1915 (3051)
6 Rosalyn Pieris Siriwardena
6 Harry Pieris Siriwardena
6 Elizebeth Pieris Siriwardena
6 Lydia Pieris Siriwardena
6 Felicia Pieris Siriwardena
6 John Louis Pieris Siriwardena (see pic below) b 1852 (educated at Royal College, Colombo) + Florence Elisa Bandaranaike born approx 1865, m:1895 (daughter of Conrad Peter Dias Bandaranaike b:1827) (1001) (ref: 20th Century impressions of Ceylon by Arnold Wright)
6 Sir Paul Edward Pieris, b:16/2/1874-d:1955, educated at STC Mount Lavinia.Writer of Sinhala books and Historian, Received University scholarship in 1891. Wrote the book Sinhalese families which was published in 1911. BA Trinity College Cambridge. LLM and Litt D(Cantab).Barrister of Inner Temple 1895.Ceylon Civil Service 1896-1935.Trade Commissioner for Ceylon in England. Organiser of National day movement in 1913, 1903 District Judge Matara,1905 District Judge Kegalle,later District Judge Kalutara. + Lady Hilda Obeyesekere m:1905 (3051)
7 Paules Edward Pieris Deraniyagala b;8 May 1900 - d:1976, Director National Museum of Ceylon 1939-1963, Dean Faculty of Arts Vidyodaya University 1961-64, Specialist on fossil and recent animals of Indian Sub continent. Scientist, Zoologist + Prini Molamure (3117)
8 Isanth Deraniyagala
8 Arjun Paulus Mayadun Deraniyagala
9 Yvani Deraniyagala
8 Dr. Siran Upendra Pieris Deraniyagala, b:1942, Ekneligoda Walauwa, Kuruvita, Director General Dept of Archaeology, MA Cambridge University,Post Graduate Diploma in Archaeology,Phd Harvard University.
8 Ranil Yudisthira Pieris Deraniyaga
7 Justin Pieris Deraniyagala
7 Ralph St. L P Deraniyagala + Ezlynne Obeyesekere (3051)
8 Ralph Deraniyagala (Bando) + Indrani Nugara
9 Arubind Deraniyagala
7 Miriam Pieris Deraniyagala 1908-1999 + F Robert de Saram (s/o F R de Saram) (3126)
8 Rohan de Saram (Cello) + Rosemary de Saram
9 Sophia de Saram
9 Suren de Saram
8 Druvi de Saram (Piano) + Sharmini de Fonseka
9 Mandhira de Saram
9 Radhika de Saram
8 Niloo de Saram + Desmond Fernando
9 Jeevani Fernando
8 2nd spouse of Niloo de Saram + Jehan Edwards
6 David George Pieris Deraniyagala + Enid Muriel Dias Bandaranaike (1001)
7 Sumana Pieris
7 Mallika Pieris
7 Indrani Pieris + Ronald Doyne Seneviratne (m:1936), (1906-2001), (STC) (Director Medical Reserch Institute,Dy Director of Health)
8 Ranjith Seneviratne
8 Manil Seneviratne + Tennakoon
9 Anushia Tennakoon + Devaka Cooray
10 Devin Cooray
10 Janek Cooray
7 Merrick Pieris
7 Chandra Pieris Deraniyagala, d 2008 + James Godwin Vaughn de Livera 1917-2003 (3109)
8 Gayan de Livera.
8 Yasmin de Livera (Aus) + Ramesh Abeysekera
9 Jehan Abeysekera + Ishini Jayamaha
5 Jhon Martinus Paulus Pieris + 2nd spouse
6 Henry Ashmore Pieris (eldest son) b:14/10/1861 + Dassenaike
7 Ashmore Pieris + Corneliya Obeyesekere
8 Sita Pieris
8 Wimala Pieris
8 Hemal Pieris
8 H.S. Mevan Pieris b:1946 (cricketer STC & Sri Lanka) + Dr Nirmala Gunathilake
9 Dilani Pieris + Hiran Yatawaka
10 Amithra Yatawaka
10 Kiyana Yatawaka
9 Nilanka Pieris (Stc cricket captain 1997 + Dilushi
2 2nd spouse of Louis Pieris, b:1680 + Dona Natalia, m:27/3/1746
2 Dernigellege Pauloe Pieris Samarasinghe
1 Deringellege Joan (John?) Fernando
3 Abraham Pieris, a proponent in the Dutch Reformed Church
1 Thomas C Deraniyagala Pieris + Leela Wickremanayake (3121)
2 Edward Deraniyagala Pieris, Presidents Counsel 1936-2004 (STC Mt Lavinia), Died in Tsunami on 26/12/2004 at Yala Safari Game Lodge + Gemini D Pieris, Died in Tsunami on 26/12/2004
3 Rajiv Pieris Deraniyagala (Nestle)
3 Dr Sonali Deraniyagala Pieris*, b:1964, Economics Lecturer-UK, escaped the Tsunami in Sri Lanka after being carried several miles inland by the waves in 2004 + Dr Steve Lissenburgh, Researcher, 1964-2004, Died in the Tsunami on 26/12/2004 Near Yala Safari Game Lodge, Resident of UK, and was on holiday in SL when he met his tragic death
4 Vikram Lissenburgh, 1997-2004, died in Tsunami.on 26/12/2004
4 Nikhil Lissenburgh, 1999-2004, died in Tsunami.on 26/12/2004
*Ethel Pieris b1885 d1930 married Lionel Wellinton de Saram.*Johan Godfred Cornelis Pieris Samaraweera Siriwardena Mohandiram of Atapattu b16/3/1808 d:15/5/1887 married Caroline Perera on 18/6/1834. *Johannes Adrian Peter Pieris Samarasinghe Siriwardena Mohandiram b19/4/1811 d 21/10/1877 married Eliza Perera on 21/10/1847.
Sinhalese families by PE Pieris(1911)
Chieftains of Ceylon (1936)
20th Centuary Impressions of Ceylon by Arnold Wright.
Prepared by :
Manjula de Livera
Last Updated: 31 Mar 2011
Justin Edward Pieris Justin Deraniyagala Sir Paul E Pieris
In the fall of 1968 there was a late south-western monsoon. It might have been late August. Whenever it was, reflecting an enthusiasm for ocean swimming and a naivete about its dangers at that time of year, I had gone to the beach just north of the Mount Lavinia Hotel as I often did during that initial time of my assignment in Ceylon. Despite the grey and cloudy sky, the thunderous waves, and a major undertow, I nevertheless plunged in foolishly alone in the stretch of beach, which is now seldom unpopulated.
I swam for half an hour or so, testing my skills and unconsciously, in retrospect, challenging the monsoonal sea. Resting on the beach in exhaustion and exhilaration, staring out to sea, I noticed to my surprise and curiosity another swimmer. He was doing what I had done, but with more skill and familiarity, and, I learned later, awareness of the danger.
The other swimmer was Skanda de Saram. After he emerged from the sea, we chatted and relaxed and, after a time, Skanda invited me home to meet his family. (Skanda's extended family, like so many in Sri Lanka, is a story in itself). But that first day of our acquaintance, only his mother was home. What a mother! Miriam (Pieris/Deraniyagala) de Saram who died March 13, 1999 at the age of 91, became an intellectual and social focal point for me, a young diplomat on a first assignment in an alien and exotic place. Unconventional, controversial, independent minded, erratic, talented, and tough-minded, Miriam de Saram had since childhood been a rebel. Daughter of Sir Paul E. Pieris (Deraniyagala), the historian and author as well as Ceylon's first Trade Commissioner in London, Miriam demonstrated her grit and determination when she insisted on becoming the first Ceylonese woman to study, master, and perform publicly, both Kandyan and South Indian dancing. (She appeared as an "exotic, oriental" dancer in Alexander Korda's famous film, "The Drum", starring Raymond Massey, Valerie Hobson and Sabu in 1937. When marriage outside the tightly delineated universe of family consent and approval was unthinkable, headstrong Miriam secretly married a handsome, tennis-playing lawyer, Robert De Saram. Essentially, though not permanently, outcast by her family for such a marriage (which occurred in London, when her father was Trade Commissioner), Miriam was unbendable; determined to make her own choices regardless of the consequences. The marriage produced Rohan, Skanda, Druvi and Niloo.
From day one of our acquaintance, something special transpired between Miriam and me. Miriam had studied deeply in both Hindu and Buddhist thought. Born and dying a Church of England Protestant, Miriam de Saram nevertheless pursued psychological and religious enlightenment - whatever its source and wherever it led. Thus, for me, she was a fascinating source of insights, adventures, and wisdom. She had studied with a Hindu saint in Jaffna, with Buddhist scholars around the island; she had travelled to India in search of knowledge into the multiple religious and spiritual disciplines there. (Readers will excuse me if I note that such searches were not for magico-religious gurus so popular now in Sri Lanka and India; they were for religious adepts who themselves were searching, reflective of the long history of Indian, including Buddhist, religious thought). When Miriam discovered I was interested in such issues, she shared with, and challenged me to open up to possibilities of self-knowledge and enlightenment, which flow from these Indian traditions.
She took delight in introducing me, through the culinary virtuosity of her longtime cook, William, to traditional Sinhalese cuisine.
Whether string hoppers, hoppers, or rice, every conceivable sambol, mouthscalding crab, cuttlefish, or lobster curries, fish balls and cutlets and curries, incredible vegetable dishes from vegetables I had never heard of, let alone tasted (snakegourd and ma-karal come to mind), ambul thiyal, coconut-laced lentils and other parippu dishes - what an introduction! And jaggery/hakkuru sweets; with curd for dessert.
Miriam also liked in drink, as I do. She introduced me to milk-wine, to shandies, even to scotch!
We would sit on the veranda of her then home at 61, Ward Place, sipping whatever, and talking for hours about Ceylon, its history, its politics (my job as third secretary at the U.S. Embassy at the time), its sociology, but, most all, its religious thought, as refracted through colonial religions, and indigenous traditions. I learned of Kataragama, of Adam's Peak, of caste distinctions among the Buddhist nikayas, of Carnatic music to be heard during the Vel festival at the devales on Galle Road; of Dutch Reformed cemeteries in Hulftsdorf where some family ancestors lay buried. It went on and on, reflecting both the rich religious diversity of Sri Lanka and the extraordinary depths to which Miriam had studied and learned.
Miriam also combined her interest and knowledge of things Indian with a profound understanding of Western culture, including classical music and literature. She forced all her children to pursue Western music. As a result, both sons, Rohan and Druvi are professional musicians in the UK. Rohan, in particular, was considered a prodigy as a cellist, and Miriam accompanied him throughout Europe to study and play with the masters, including Pablo Casals. A single mother, as we Americans would say now, Miriam was both a demanding tyrant and a challenging intellect with her children. She insisted on excellence and would accept nothing less.
She also, unusually for a woman of her social background, personally managed inherited coconut estates, part of the huge legacy of the Bandaranaike-Obeyesekere family in and around Horagolla. A determined, sometimes dangerous, driver of an antiquated Volkswagen beetle in the late 60s, for which no spare parts were legally available during those years of draconian import restrictions, Miriam drove at top speeds between Ward Place and the estates. She reviewed accounts with a hawk eye and terrified estate workers what she thought, often rightly apparently, of theft beyond the norm.
I departed Ceylon in August l970, just prior to the first JVP insurgency, but kept up a lifelong correspondence with Miriam de Saram. Whether I was in Washington, or Calcutta, or Kathmandu, or Bahrain, the arrival of occasional aerograms with her spidery, densely knit handwriting brought a wave of excitement and anticipation - and never disappointment.
I made a few drop-by visits to Sri Lanka during the next 25 years and always had at least a brief call on Miriam. She was one of those amazing people — with whom one could conflate years and catchup immediately. And she almost always had a new intellectual enthusiasm she was pursuing with characteristic relentlessness and childlike wonder.
When I returned to Colombo as U.S. Ambassador in January 1996, Miriam was one of my first calls. Sadly, by then, she was resident in the Joseph Fraser Nursing Home, frail, brittle-seeming, and painfully thin. But, on nights out - whether at Skanda and his wife Sharadha's, or with niece Sunethra Bandaranaike, or at my residence on Horton Place, she never failed to demonstrate her dazzling intellectual skills and her humour. She could tell stories on herself - and mercilessly on the rest of us - and laugh at a high and joyous pitch. She was at that stage in life when she liked to reminisce over her life and adventures - and moments shared with special people. Sharadha and I organized a viewing of her famous film one night and, on another, her grandchildren, Tesalia and Ishviyan, gave a beautiful classical recital. Miriam was delighted and overwhelmed.
Living now in Manhattan where I am the US. Ambassador to the United Nations, I was awakened in the early morning hours of March 13 with a call from Sharadha saying that Miriam had passed away. A fax arrived hours later with details of the simple funeral ceremony. A week later a long e-mail from Skanda arrived, describing Miriam's last days.
Among many other accomplishments, Miriam de Saram was a prolific writer of poetry. Her early poems, organized and published privately by Skanda in the early '9Os, provided, focused and distilled images of Miriam's religious and philosophical searches. My favourite:
I am a wanderer
In strange entanglements of opposites
In a circus of confusion
They appear to adjust themselves
To this environment for their existence
Where do we seek an answer?
I think it is - to look within
A constant Remembrance
In silence - calm
To look within
The writer is a former US ambassador to Colombo.
27 October - 28 November 2007
ROHAN DE SARAM
In November 2005 Rohan bid farewell to the Arditti Quartet in order to pursue his own artistic vision. He now works with other artists, friends and composers around the world, bringing together music from different musical periods and different parts of the world, both eastern & western, classical and contemporary, composed music and improvisations, with players from many musical backgrounds.
Although he has been more recently known as an outstanding performer of contemporary music, it was as a classical artist that he made his name as a teenager and in his twenties and thirties. Having studied cello from the age of 11 with Gaspar Cassado in Siena and Florence, he was awarded, at the age of 17, the coveted Suggia award to study in the UK with John Barbirolli and in Puerto Rico with Pablo Casals. At the invitation of Dmitri Mitropoulos, who described him in 1957 as "a rare genius... .a born musician... an amazing...cellist", Rohan was invited to give his Carnegie Hall debut in 1960 with the New York Philharmonic, playing Khatchaturian’s Cello Concerto under the baton of Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.
Rohan has performed with the major orchestras of Europe, USA and the former Soviet Union with conductors such as John Barbirolli, Adrian Boult, Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa and William Steinberg, as well as with composers conducting their own works such as Luciano Berio. After the UK premiere of Il Ritorno degli Snovidenia for cello and orchestra Berio said of him: "Your performance of Ritorno is splendid, but besides Ritorno, your sound, your perfect intonation, your phrasing and bowing technique, make you a great performer of any music." As a result Berio wrote for him his final Sequenza, no XIV, for solo cello which, as a tribute to Rohan, includes large sections based on the rhythms of the Kandyan drum of Sri Lanka, an instrument which Rohan himself has played since his childhood in Sri Lanka.
Rohan has worked with Kodaly, Shostakovich, Poulenc and Walton, as well as more recently with many leading contemporary composers such as Pousseur, Xenakis and Berio who have, amongst others, written works for him. Some of his recordings include Vivaldi's Sonatas, Rubbra's Soliloquy for cello and orchestra, Britten's Cello Suites No 1-3, John Mayer's Ragamalas & Prabhanda, Xenakis' Kottos and Carter's Figment I and II. Rohan's recordings of Berio's Sequenza XIV awaits its release on Edition Zeitklang (also including works by Xenakis, Carter, B. A. Zimmermann, Ruzicka, Gelhaar, Pröve and Steinke) and on Mode (release April 2006). Upcoming recording projects include Beethoven's Cello Sonatas and Feldman's Trio.
In December 2004 Rohan was awarded an honorary D. Litt. from the University of Peradeniya , Sri Lanka. A year later, in December 2005 he received the Deshamaniya, a national honour of Sri Lanka, given by the President of Sri Lanka.
Rohan's future engagements include solo recitals and concertos as well as duos with piano and duos with guitar, trios with piano and violin as well as improvisation concerts. His concerts in the immediate future will take him to cities such as Stuttgart, Berlin, Edinburgh, London, Turin, Rotterdam and Heidelberg. He will also be teaching and performing at Darmstadt in the summer of 2006. The successful collaboration with trumpet player Rajesh Mehta in the Innovative Music Meeting will also be continued.
Recent reviews include the following from The Strad - of a recital at the Wigmore Hall, London on 17.10.99: "This recital marked the 40th anniversary of the great cellist's debut... with a colossal performance of the Kodály solo sonata which will stay with me as long as I live. The interpretation went far beyond virtuosity into that exalted sphere where only the most timeless music resonates…"
Of his performance of Dvorak's Cello Concerto at St. John's Smith Square in May 2004: "This was not only a moving and involving performance. It was the kind of thing one hears very seldom in our pre-packaged, cling-film modern concert life. Here was a man, renowned for his involvement with contemporary music, showing how well he comprehended every aspect of a late Romantic masterpiece... in the finale... technique was used as it should be, to aid understanding rather than to show off skill. The poignant statement of the song towards the end... was one of those moments where the clocks seem to stop. ... our rapt concentration was suspended by the merest thread. Few soloists have the courage or the means to achieve this effect, or the rhythmic control to make it work in context".