Essay on My Family's Ancestry

1453 Words 6 Pages
Gathering research about my family and its history turned out to be an interesting and insightful opportunity, through which I learned much more than I expected. When I started this project, I knew that I would not be able to find as much useful information on the Internet as some of my peers. In effect, I realized that I would have to rely on other primary resources such as my parents and grandparents to reveal the story of my ancestry to me. After I had interviewed them, my family history became much clearer to me. More than 2 millennia ago, around the 3rd century BC, a group of Tamil-speaking people from present-day South India migrated to the nearby island of Sri Lanka. Among these people, known today as “Sri Lankan Tamils”, are my …show more content…
Gathering research about my family and its history turned out to be an interesting and insightful opportunity, through which I learned much more than I expected. When I started this project, I knew that I would not be able to find as much useful information on the Internet as some of my peers. In effect, I realized that I would have to rely on other primary resources such as my parents and grandparents to reveal the story of my ancestry to me. After I had interviewed them, my family history became much clearer to me. More than 2 millennia ago, around the 3rd century BC, a group of Tamil-speaking people from present-day South India migrated to the nearby island of Sri Lanka. Among these people, known today as “Sri Lankan Tamils”, are my ancestors. Centuries later, in the 1200’s, these Tamils formed the Jaffna Kingdom, an independent monarchy covering the northern part of Sri Lanka. In 1505, the Portuguese took control of almost the entire island, and, over the next few centuries, control of the island shifted between the Portuguese, the Dutch, and the British. After several wars and treaties, Britain gained total control of Sri Lanka (then called “Ceylon”) by 1815. After the Sri Lankan Tamils arrival in Sri Lanka, over time, a caste system developed in their society. There were the Karaiyar (fishing) and Piramanar (Brahmin) castes for example. Both my maternal and paternal ancestors were members of the Vellalar caste, which is composed of agricultural landlords. Members of
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