Websters Dictionary states: “History is a written account of what has or might have happened” Therefore family History may be defined as a systematic account of the development of a family, usually in chronological order, with analysis and explanations. In Analyzing, correlating and explaining of past events, the family historians usually make their own judgments of past events and also make certain assumptions, which may be justified.
History of Illickal Thazhackal & Thazhakkamattom Families
On the basis of enquirers made and written records kept in the various family branches, our ancestors at Anickadu believed and the present generations continue to believe that our first Christian moolakudumbam was Nadackamkunnel at Kummannoor within the area of Cherpunkal Holy Cross Church.
It is believed that Nadackamkunnel (former Nadakamkunnel) family was founded in the second half of the 11th century AD by Sankaru Ithakk Ittyavirah, the only son of Sankaran Namboothiry, one of the descendents of Sankarapury Illam at Azhuvancherry. In AD. 52 St. Thomas baptised only those members of Brahmin Families like Sankarapuri, Pakalomattom, Kalli and Kaalikavu who were living at Kodungaloor & nearby areas. The Azhuvancherry branch of Sankarapury Illam was in close contact with the famous family of ‘Azhuvancherry Thamprakkal’. Sankaran Namboothiri was highly educated in ‘aayudavidhya’ manthra and thanthra at Azhuvancherry Kalari under a great Guru related to the Thamprakal family. At the request of the Raja of Kodungaloor Sankaran Namboothiry and his Guru joined the Kodungaloor Military service. While in service this Sankaran Namboothiry married an young Brahmin girl at Kodungaloor. A son was born in this family and he was given the name Sankaru.
The establishment of Nakkamkunnel Illam at Kummannoor
Nadackamkunnu (former Nadakkakunnu and further Nakkamkunnu) was a large hill area owned by Kallampally Harichandran Namboothiri, one of the top advisors of Meenachil Kartha and Nattu Raja of Poonjar. This hill area, which situated opposite to Kallampally Illam in the valley, was a dangerous place for human inhabitation. People were afraid of going to this hill area. With the help of Meenachil Kartha and Poonjar Raja, Harichandran Namboothiri managed to bring Sankaran Namboothiry and family along with the Guru from Kodungaloor to Kummannoor to solve this problem. For their living, an Illam was constructed in the midst of the hill area (Just below the present Nadackamkunnel Devi Temple). After settlement in the Illam a small ‘Koodaram’ was constructed underneath a big tree above the Illam. The Guru had brought a small statue of Kodungaloor Devi. It was placed in this Koodaram’ by the Guru after necessary poojas. Daily morning & evening Poojas started there and the Hindus in the nearby areas started going to this place for worship. This was the beginning of the present Nadackamkunnel Devi Temple. Gradually the ’Nadakkakunnu (Nadakkan Padillatha Kunnu)’ became a Nadakamkunnu.
Sankarus Education & Marriage
Members of Nadakkamkunnu Illam & Kallampally Illam were in close contact. Azhuvancherry Gurukkal started teaching at the Kallampally Kalari , where Sankaru was educated along with the sons & daughters of Harichandran Namboothiry. In the course of time Sankaru started loving the only daughter of Kallampally Namboothiry and this ended in their marriage.
Sankaru’s contact with the Cherupunkal Christians
Long before 1000 AD there was a small Christian community at Cherupunkal, Kummannoor. In page 23 of ‘Cherpunkal Pally’ written by Prof. Joseph Mattam and published by the church, it is stated “Kavanattintheerathu valepeedika muttathu Thoma Sleeha Kurisu nattiya sthalathu Cherupunkal aadya Christhava Samooham roopamkondu. Cherippu vacha sthalathu pannitha Koodaram(Panthal) aadyathe prarthanalayam. Athu Cherupunkal palliyum, Kramenna Cherpunkal palliyumayi . Sarkar recordukalil Cherpunkal ennalla Cherupunkal ennannu eppozhum vyavaharickapedunnathu’’.
Cherupunkal Christians used to assemble regularly in the above prarthanalayam for prayer and other ceremonies. It was in the northern bank of Meenachil river at Moonnupeedika Kadavu Angady in the Valemattom puraydam owned by Kallampally Namboothiry. This Angady was one of the prominent trading centres on the bank of Meenachil River.
Sankaru and his wife started contact with the Christians there. There were many reasons for this development. In the first place Sankaru had established contact with the Sankarapuri Christians living at Kuravilangadu area. The thoughts and activities of these people very much influenced Sankaru’s thoughts. Secondly the educated Sankaru disagreed with the other Brahmins under the Kidangoor Temple in many matters. Thirdly after the death of Azhuvancherry Gurukkal, Nadackamkunnu Illam was neglected by majority of the 16 Brahmin Illams under the Kidangoor Temple Devasam. In the circumstances Sankaru, his wife and parents with the consent of Kallampally Namboothiry decided to accept Christianity as their religion and be part of the Christian Community at Cherupumkal, Kummannoor.
Sankaru becomes Sankaru Ithak Ittiyavira.
Around 1090 AD all members of Nadakkamkunnel Illam received baptism at the St. Thomas Church Pala, the earliest Christian Church in the Meenachil area, established on July 3rd 1002 AD by four Christian families- Erakonny, Vayalakompil, Tharayil & Koottumkal. The heads of these families were in the service of Meenachil Kartha, the Naadu vazhy of Meenachil. Sankaru’s father Sankaran Namboothiri accepted the Christian Name Ittiyavurah and his wife accepted the name Saara. Sankaru was named Ithakk Ittiyavurah and his wife was named Mariam. Sankaru came to be known as Nadackamkunnel Sankaru Ithakk Ittiyavurah.
Shifting of Cherupunkal Church to the southern Bank of Meenachil River
The recorded history of Cherpunkal Holy Cross Church is full of references to Nadackamkunnel Ithakk Ittiyavurah. Ever since his acceptance of Christianity he led the Christian community at Cherupunkal Kummannoor. In the first official publication of Cherpunkal Church titled “Cherpunkal Pally” in page 28 (Chapter 4) it is categorically stated “Nadackamkunnu Illathil angamayirike Christhumargam sweekaricha Sankaru Namboothiri aanu Ithakk Ittiyavurah. Kallampally Illathuninnum Christhumatham sweekaricha oru Brahmanna yuvathy aayirunnu Ithakk Ittiyavurayude sahadarmini.”.
Poonjar Raja was a frequent visitor of Kallampally Illam. In page 27 (chapter 4) of the above book it is stated: “Poonjar Thampurante Palliyodam aduthirunnathu Moonnupeedikakadavilayirunnu. Kadavil ninnu oru kilometer akaleyannu Kallampally Illam. Noottandukalude charithra sakshiyavumayi eppozhumundu prasthutha Illam”
“Oru divasam pathivu sannarsanathinu Thampuran ethiyappol ………. Kadavilake echil elakal. Thampuran kopakulanayi. Kallampally Harichandran Nampoothiri sathiyam paranju. Evide Christiyanikallude oru palliundu. Aviduthe thirunnalinodu anubandichu paachoru narcha undayirunnu. Paachoru kazhichasesham avar errinja echil elakalanniva. ………………Evide daarallam Christhyanikalundu. illathe chila allukallum Pallyil pokunnundu. Athukondu pally polichumattaan kalpikkaruthu ……… Avar Kallampally Illathu ethiyappozhekkum pally prasanathinu pariharavum kandethiyirunnu. Pally Meenachilarinte thekkekaraylekku Mattaam . Avide Illam vaka kurre sthalamundu. Kozhimalakunnel ennu peru. Ezhavar chena nattirunna sthalam. Christhyanikal avide pally panithukollatte” (page 27).
“In 1112 AD Pally panni Poorthiyayi ………Pally matti sthapikkunnathu sambanthicha chumathalakalellam Nadackamkunnel Ithakk Ittiyavurah annu Kallampally Namboothiri bharamelpichirunnathu’’. (page 30).
The documents for the land on the southern bank of Meenachil River was written in AD1096 in a ‘Thaliyola’ signed by Vennmala Naduvazhy in favour of Nadackamkunnel Ithakk Ittiyavurah(see page 28).
In page 31 of ‘Cherpunkal Pally’, K.S. Krishnan Namboothiri who is still living in Kallampally Illam makes the following declaration: “Cherpunkal pally Kallampally Illathinu janmavakasamulla Valemattam puraydathilannu sthithi cheythirunnathu. Ennal panthrandam noottandarambathil pally meenachilarinte thekkekarayilekku matti sthapikkendi vannu. Athinuvendi Vennmala Naduvazhiude anuvadam vangiyathum pally panniyude chumathala Nadackamkunnu Ithakk Ittiyavurahye elpichathum Kallampally Harichandran Namboothiri aayirunnu”
(In all editions of the above book ‘Cherpunkal Pally’ all the above statements are included)
The expansion of Nadackamkunnel family
a) Expansion to north : Maruthookkunnel and sub branches During the 12th to the 16th century Nadackamkunnel family expanded and a number of new branches came into existence. One of the new branches was the Maruthookunnel family at Maarridom with sub branches like Poovathunkal, Puthuppilly, Mangamthanathu, Madaliyankal, Pallathukuzhy, Parampettu, Mattathinkara, Pennaparampil, Puthuppallyel, Thonnanal, Palakkiyil, Koorackanal etc. etc. Most of these families are having branches in Kozhikode and Kannoor Districts. Maruthookunnel Jacob Cheriyan (Jr)is still having land & a Banglavu in the original Nadackamkunnu property in the north east part, on the road side. Jacob Cherian (sr ) was one of the directors of Pala Central Bank LTD. Many prominent families in Pala, Bharanganam, Edamattam, Meenachil, Aruvithura, Plasanal, Ramapuram, Kadanadu, Kadaplamattom and Kuravilangadu are considered to be the branches of Nadackamkunnel family .
Expansion to the south – Alunkal Karottu, Alunkal Thazhathu, Moolamundayil, Kyppamplackal, Pittathankal, Illickal Tazhackal & Thazackamattom Branches and sub branches
In Anickadu towards the end of the 17th century there was a Royal Family called Ambazhathinkal (under the Raja of Thekkankoor). Ambazhathinkal Kartha ruled Visala Anickadu & nearby places. As requested by Ambazhathinkal Kartha, the Meenachil Kartha sent the family of Avirah Thomman a descendent of Nadackamkunnel Ithakk Ittiyavurah to Anickadu. In page 30 ‘Cherpunkal Pally’ it is stated : “Ittiyavurayude Kudumbam Kalamtharathil Aanickadu Moolayil purayidathilekku thamasam matty. Appozhum Cherpunkal Pallyil aayirunnu avar adhyamikavasiangalku ethiyirunnathu”
“Moolayilninnum Aalumkalekku maari thamasicha ee kudumbathinte oru sakha Edamula Thekkel enna purayidathilekku maarri. Avideninnum moolamundayleckum pinnedu Kyppanplackalekkum. Moolamunda kudumbathil oru vytheekan undayirunnu. Fr. Abraham Moolamundayil ……….Kozhuvanal Pally sthapichathu athehamannu”
The family of Avira Thommen settled at Moolayil Aanickadu included his wife two brothers and his aged parents . Avirah Thomman was soon appointed as the kaariasthan (Administrator) of ‘Mukkatham Cherickal’. His parents and the youngest brother continued to live at Moolayil Puraydam (the present Ettolil Puraydam where the MCBS congregation has set up its Anickad branch). From this family Moolayil family branched out at Anickad.
Mukkatham Cherickal was a large agricultural area with more than 1000 acers given by the Thekkankoor Raja to the Thekkumthala Temple Upadevasam. It situated east of the temple. (It is near the Thekkumthala Devi Temple The K.R. Narayanan Memmorial Film Institute now functions) For the convenience of Cherickal Administration Avirah Thomman was given the Alunkal Illam at Alunkal Thakidi east of Thekkumthala temple. His brother Avirah Manni & family was allowed to settle in the valley of Alunkal Thakidy with the house name Alunkalthazhathu. Avirah Thommen came to be known as Alunkal karottu Avirah Thomman.
Branching out of Edamulla Thekkel, Moolamundayil, Kaipanplackal & Panthalanickal families
One of the sons of Avirah Thommen Alunkal karottu called Avirah, after marriage settled at Edamula Thekkel north of Kozhuvanal. The major branches and sub branches of this family are Moolamundayil, Kaipanplackal, Kochukozhuvanal, Thekkethil, Panthalanickal, Choorackal, Choorackamattom, Vettikombil, Ponninpuraydam, Vettuvelil, Kalappurackal, Kunnathumakkal, Myladiyil, Periyilakattu, Maramkuzhiyil, Vavalumackal, Vengathanathu, Manthara, Maniyamgattu, Mampuzhayil, etc. These families are mostly settled at Kozhuvanal, Meveda, Kanjriamattom and Moozhoor (Indebted to : 1. Illickal Kudumbacharithram by P.A. Abraham (Kunju) Illickal Poovathunkal & 2 Panthalanickal Kudumbacharithram by K.A. George Panthalanickal)
Branching out of Alunkal Karottu & Alunkal Thazhathu Families
As noted above one of the sons of Alunkal Karottu Thommen after marriage had settled at Edamula Thekkel near Kozhuvanal. Alunkal Karottu families’ other main branches are Pazhayaparampil Parappallythazhe, Puthuppallythakidi & Alunkal Karottu. Of these Pazhayaparampil family’s sub branches are Paarayil, Pulkunnel, Poolaniyil, Pazhayaparampil karottu, Pandiyapallil, Puraydathil, Pazhayaparampil Thazhathu, Mudanthiyaniyil, Palaparampil, Thekkethil, Kakkanattu & Meenthathiyil. Parappallythazhe branches are Thykoottathil and Uthirakulathu. Parappallythakidi branches are Plathara Kottangattu, Pulthakidy & Puthuppallythakidi. The youngest of the five sons of Alunkal Karottu Avirah Thommen called Thomman, continued in the Tharavad and had two sons and a daughter. This only daughter of Thommen was married to a person belonging to Mattathil family Kezhuvankulam. Most of the leading figures including Rev. fathers and Prof. Joseph Mattom in the Mattathil family are the descendents of this daughter. Of the two sons Thommen Varkey founded Inchikalayil branch and the other one Thommen Avirah married Mariyamma, daughter of Puttathankal Thekkekuttu Thommen near Parakadavu Anickadu and he founded the Pittathankal Vadakkekuttu family.
The main branches of Alunkal Thazhathu family are Thachaparampathu Elampurayidam, Thattamparampil, Thekkekuttu, Cheeramkunnel etc…… (Indebted to Illickal Kudumbacharithram by P A Abraham Illickal Poovathinckal)
The main branches of Puttathankal Thekkekuttu family
The main branches of Puttathankal Thekkekuttu family (the family of Mylapoor Theerthadakan Avirah Kuruvilla Appooppan’s mother) are : Pullattu, Vattakuzhyckal, Kunnumpuram, and Thevady (Kuzhivelil). The daughters of Puttathankal Thekkekuttu families were married to Edapady, Edathazhathu, Kochurumpil, Pottananickal, Akkara, Vadakkel, Kizhakkel, Karackattu, Nellimalamattathil etc. (Indebted to Illickal Kudumba charithram by P.A. Abraham Illickal).
Branches of Pittathankal Vadakkekuttu Family.
Thommen Avirah Pittathankal Vadakkekuttu had only one son, Avirah Kuruvilla, who was the famous Mylapoor Theerthadakan Kuruvilla Appooppen. Kuruvilla Appooppan had two sons and five daughters. The eldest son Kuruvilla Avirah (Avirah Mappilla) after Marriage settled in the land north of Pittathankal Puraydam full of ‘illies’ and he was the founder of the Ellickal family. The younger son Kuruvilla Cheriyathu stayed in the tharavadu and came to be known as Pittathankal Kuruvilla Cheriyathu (Kochukunju Mappilla).
The Ellickal family branched out into three
3 :i. Ellickal Thazhathu, ii. Ellickal Vadakkethil & iii. Ellickal Karottu.
Ellickal Thazhathu family branched out into 2 : i. Illickal Thekkeputhuvayalil & ii. Illickal Thazhathu.
Ellickal Vadakkethil family branched out into 3 :i. Ellickal Kizhakkethil, ii. Ellickal Thazhathu & iii. Ellickal Vadakkethil.
Ellickal Karottu family branched out into 2 : i. Illickal VadakkePuthuvayalil and ii . Ellickal Karottu
The family of Pittathankal vadakkekuttu Kuruvilla Cheriyathu branched out into 3 :i. Thazhackal, ii. Thazhackamattom and iii. Pittathankal.
The details of all the branches and sub branches of Ellickal and Pittathankal families are given in the chart ‘(Branches and Members)’ given below, after a brief description of Kuruvilla Appoopan’s Mylapoor Theerthadanam and the life and death of Late Rev. Fr. Joseph Illickal who was our guide and inspiration for the fromation of the Kudumbayogam.