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The Ponnattu Family Tree

Some Interesting Facts / Stories
The Ponnattu Family Tree

1. Mathai Varky – Founder’s son or Grand son. Apparently there was only one male member in two or three generations in this line (exept see note below). He was probably an agriculture or merchant like most of his peers. It is known that he was a Jacobite and a member of the cheria pally. He supposedly converted to C.M.S (Church Missionary Society) to oblige the bishop whose help he sought and received to evict the Muslims who had squatted and claimed the Ponnattu Mali. It would appear that he was a respected member of a respected family , for the Bishop (who was a powerful man in Kottayam at that time) to provide such assistance. His wife was from Ennasseril Family of Vazhoor (Near Changanacherry).
Mathai varkey was known to have had one sister, who was married to the Cembalathra family of Veloor. Mathai Varkey hadfour daughters and two sons. One daughter was married to the Thazhathu family of Puthuppally.(A daughter of this second daughter was married to the Vazhayil Family of Puthanangadi.) Two other daughters were married to families (Names not known at this time.) in Areeparambu and Kumarakom.
(Note: It appears that a Ponnattu man from Mathai Varkey’s or his father’s generation married the oldest of three sisters of Valanjattil and and died after the birth of one male child. This child founded the Chanta Ponnattu family. The name Chanta because they lived in Pazhaya Chanta, which was the Kottayam Chanta before the town expanded.)
2. Varkey Mathai: Oldest of the two sons of Mathai Varkey. Built his house on about half of the Ponnattu Mali (the present Kandapallil house). It seems that he was mainly an agriculturist, but was not generally known for his straightforward business dealings. It has been said that in order to scare people away from bidding on some back-water paddy fields he had his servants fill gunny sacs with sea shells and drop it from a parapet to make it took like loads of money. Apparently he won the bid! He was the Trustee of the Olessa Church continuously for many years. I have been told that Mattethra Mathaichan (Bishop M.M.John’s father) used some crooked ways of his own to finally dislodge him from the trusteeship and secure it for himself!
(i) Mathai Varkey : Oldest son of Varkey Mathai. Not much is known about this man, except that he once followed an elephant as far as Ettumanoor! Clearly he did not do any work. He died before I was born or when I was very young. I remember his wife (Oonichi), who was from the Valanjattil family. She was known to be a battle-ax.
(a) Varkey Mathai – Oldest son, bachelor, died at age 24.
(b) Varkey Cherian – Second son, known as Kunjariachayan, Worked for the Forward Bank and later the State Bank of Tranvancore. Very sick and frail now. His wife Annamma (Amminny) was from the Chowkkaparampil family of Kottayam.
(a’) Cherian Susamma (Baby) – Married Mathen Sacharia of the Padiyara family of Kuzhimattom. They are both Schoolteachers in Assam. One daughter - Esther.
(b’) Cherian Stephen (Joymon) – Works for the State Bank of Travancore Married Ivy Mary of the Earath family of Kottayam . One girl and one boy – Neethu, Emil.
(c’) Cherian Kunjujamma (Kunjujamma) Married A.I. Ninan of the Alothu family of Kuttickal Pampady. One son – Alex.
(d’) Cherian Cherian one daughter and one son, Neena and Chinnan (Aniyan Kunju) – Not working. Married Jessy of the Edakattu of Kuzhimattom.
(e’) Cherian Vinod (Kochumon) works for State bank of India married to Sheela of the Thondukandathil of Mannarkadu. One son Rahul
(c) Varkey Kurian – Youngest son, known as Kuriappychayan, did not work, died at age 78 a few years ago. I spent a lot of time with him growing up, especially during the summer holidays. My cousin Kutty and I played a lot of three person ‘Cards 28’ with him during the holidays. He was a good shot with catapults, and also made some good catapults for me.
(ii)Mathai Thomas – Second son of Varkey Mathai. The infamous Ottakutty, the name given by his detractors because he was squint-eyes. He was the local “chattambi,” given to picking fights easily, which eventually led to his murdering two policemen. He was eventually caught, and died in prison, probably beat up by the police.
He had only two daughters (a)Kocheliamma married Thomas of the Mullassery family of Kolladu (b) Chachikunju married Pappachan (Itty) of the Pullootta family of Thiruvarppu.
(iii) Mathai Anna – Only daughter, married into the Pallathuserry family of Kumarakom.
(iv) Mathai Ittiavira – Third son, the only cousin of my father that we really knew well. He used to call him Ittrachayan, and we called him Manappurathau Valyappan, as he made his home on the Manappurathu Property (probably inherited from his father) on the other side of the creek from Ponnattu Mali a little further inland. He married Sosa of the Thekkekutte family of Thiruvarpu.
He was in the copra business for some time, but apparently not very successful at it. Somewhere along the line he had a religious awakening and became a born again Christian, and took to preaching the gospel. It was during this period that most of us knew him. He was a little bit into family history, and claimed that we descended from a Brahmin family of Kumaranelloor. However, not much evidence was provided to back up this claim, except the following:
Kalappurakkal Tharakan was the holder of one of the 72 Ooraymas of the Kumaranelloor temple, and all the 72 Ooraymas had to be present or represented to begin the annual feast. (I do not believe its practice is in existence today). This Oorayma was apparently sold to Kalappurakkal Tharakan by the Ponnattu family three or four generations ago. Manappurathu Valyappan’s son told me several years ago that a member of the Kalappurackal family had mentioned this fact. The rest I leave to the reader’s imagination.
(a)Ittiavira Mathew – the only child of Mathai Ittiavira, known to us as Manappurathu Kunjachanachayan. He married Aliyamma (Amminy) of the Cherickal family of Kottayam. He worked for the Swaraj Plywood Company, which was owned by his brother-in-law Kunjachanachayan died a few years ago.
(a’) Mathew Abraham (Kunjumon) – Oldest son. Worked for FACT. Married to Molly of the Pulimoottil family of Aymanam Died Prematurely a few years ago. Children two girls Anjana & Renuka.
(b’) P.M. Joseph (Kutty) – Second son. Retired from the Indian Navy. Started engineering and marine repair businesses, Delco Engineering Works and Delco Marine Enterprises in Cochin. Both these businesses are doing well, which makes Kutty the most successful of this branch of the family. Married Alice (Alicekutty) of the Aryattuparambil Thachettu of Pallom. Children a boy and a girl Prakash Joseph and Hema Joseph.
Kutty was just a year older than I was. We were close friends but had occasional fights, which he usually won as he was very quick on the draw. He and I spent a lot of our summer holidays playsing various games, such at Vattu, Pamparam, Punnakka, Manjadikkuru and cards. He also taught me how to ride the bicycle.
(c’) P.M. Joy (Joy) – Third son. Retired Deputy Collector in Kottayam, Known for his integrity, which is rare these days. Married to Mary of the Mattathil family of Pallom. Children one boy and two girls Jessil.J.Mathew, Jayanthy, Jooly
(d’) P.M. John (Babu) – Fourth son. Worked in Ex. Military in the Middle East for a few years, and pretty much retired now. Married to Susan of Mekkatu Family of Illikkal. Children two boys, Joshi and Joby.
(e’) P.M. Varghese (Acha) – Fifth son. Died of complications from a botched brain surgery. Married to Elcy Chirayil family of Kanjikuzhy, Kottayam. A girl. Anu Varghese
(f’) Annamma (Santa) – Oldest daughter. Married to Kuruvilla of the Vattomchirayil Family of Kurichy, Kottayam
(g’) Mary (Metty) – Youngest daughter. Married to Thomas of the Kollamkery Manappuram Family of Aymanam Kottayam.
(v) Mathai Kora (Korechayan) – Fourth and youngest son of Varkey Mathai. First marriage to Elykutty , Mundakkayam.
Second marriage to Kunjamma the Chalukunnu Kottayam family.
He worked some time in Ceylon. The last few years of his life he lived in an outbuilding of my father’s house, doing fishing, vegetable gardening, etc.
(a) Pillechan (Pillechan) – son from the marriage. Was in the Cashier in State bank of Travancore (I think). Later settled down in Canada with family (son) but recently moved to Australlia.
(b) Chechamma (Thankamma) – daughter from the second marriage. Married to K. K. Varghese of the Kumbalasseril family of Mundakayam.
3. Varkey Kurian – Second son of Mathai Varkey. Inherited the Ponnattu Tharavadu. It was a traditional wood house (Arayum Nirayum) and the roof was Panayola. It had a Chavady also. Varkey Kurian (i.e., my grandfather) was a businessman and agriculturist. He was well known for his honesty and good nature. He was in the copra business, i.e., purchasing raw coconuts from local agriculturists, converting it to copra in any Atty (where coconut meet is separated from the shell and dried, in the sum and by smoking – interestingly the coconut shells were a good source of fuel for smoking), but taking the copra to Alappuzha in a Kettuvallam for wholesale. It seems to me that in those days only people who could manage this treacherous trip across the Vembanad Kayal (or those who can get reliable help) could do this business successfully. Perinchira Shankara Chokon was his main help for this trip as well as work in the Atty.
Varkey Kurian’s first wife was from the Kandapallil family of Kottayam. It turns out that later one of his brothers-in-law bought the house once owned by his brother on his side of the Ponnattu Mali. Now a days this house is known as Kandapally. This brother-in law (i.e., my grandfather) in great esteem, I have heard that he would not sit (i.e., stand only) in the presence of his brother-in-law. The chira where Kandapally Kunjachan lived was build by my grandfather, with money sent to him by his brother-in-law when he was working in the rubber of tea estate.
Varkey Kurian had three children from his marriage, 4 older girls and two boys. The boy (must have been Kurian Varkey) was known to be a smart fellow, but died at a young age when he was studying for Intermediate in the C.M.S. College. Apparently he was a casualty of a cholera epidemic, probably his mother as well.
The oldest daughter Eliamma (Kochupennu) was married to the prominent Pulikkamattathil family of Veloor. Her husband, well known as Pulikkamattathil Mani Master, retired as Mathematics teacher of the M.D. High School. He was very active in church politics, and was a close associate of Pulikkottu Methran.
The second daughter (Annamma) was married to the Vattakkattil Kandamundattil family, also a branch of the Pakalomattom family. Her husband (John) retired from the Forest Service.
Both the above daughters had been married by the time Varkey Kurian’s son died, and he reluctantly decided to marry. (Life must have been very difficult in those days without a homemaker). His second wife (Chechamma) was from the Thuruthel Elanjjikkal family of Manganam, and she had been married twice, with a child in each of those marriages. Her first husband was in the Travancore Government Service. She was supposedly very pretty, and apparently she was prohibited from watching the royal procession for fear of the lecherous king Sree Mulam!
Varkey Kurian and Chechamma had three children, a daughter, a son, and a daughter in that order. The son Kurian Kurian was my father, the famous advocate. Varkey Kurian died when my father was 14.
The first daughter Aleyamma was married to (Joseph) of the Cherukara family of Karapuzha. I believe he was an employee of the Punchiri Boat Company; their boats plied the Kottayam-Alapuzha line.
The other daughter, the youngest of the three, Chechamma was married to (Punnachan) of the Venkadathu family of Manarkad-Thiruvanchoor. He worked in one of the rubber or tea estates of the eastern hills, but died quite young.
This brings us to Kurian Kurian, the only heir to the Varkey Kurian line.
Kurian Kurian or P.K. Kurian, affectionately called Kochu by his older relatives, Kuriachan by his close friends, and generally known or referred to as Ponnatte’ Vakil, Kurian Vakil or Vakil Sar (Vakil is a Malayalmized Hindi word meaning Lawyer, Advocate or Solicitor or all of those). Was born on 12th July 1905.
He was brought up with great affection, but his father Varkey Kurian died when he was only 14. A boy with a lot of native intelligence, he was brought up pretty much the same way as his cousins, but the fatherless boy quit paying much attention to school and spent most of his time playing Vattu or Pamparam. In fact the he was very good at these local games. Unfortunately this led to his flunking the 5th grade. As he related it to me, this was wake-up call. He began to mind his books from that point on, and in fact, became a passionate and voracious reader. I am sure, his mother, who was tern disciplinarian, played a big part in it. He learned to write and speak simple but powerful English, which was a good reason for his success as a lawyer, apart from being very quick on his feet or sharp wit.
He graduated from the C.M.S. High School (matriculation) and college (Intermediate – 2 years only) and went on to Madras Christian College, and graduated with a degree in Maths. Then he joined the Bombay Law College and received his L.L.B. Degree. He took three years to finish his law degree (instead of the regular two years of those days) as he pretty much put himself through law school by working. He worked as the Bombay correspondent of a local newspaper. A lot was going on it India, especially Bombay, at that time. It was the 1920’s, and the freedom struggle under Gandhi’s leadership was in full swing. He was an ardent admirer of Gandhi and attended a lot of political meetings. He had a collection of “young India” edited and published by Gandhi.
During his high school and college years he was much influenced by his oldest brother-in-law, Pulikkamattathil Mani Master. In fact, Mani Master was very influential in his schooling and education. Although Mani Master was a prominent member and lay leader of the Jacobite Church, his real interest was only in its political and social aspects, for he was a confirmed atheist. Probably in large part due to his influence, P.K. Kurian was a full-fledged atheist by the time of his marriage. In fact, he told me that it was his thinking at that time that one only needed to got to church three times in life, for one’s own christening, marriage and burial! This is interesting because in his early forties he became a very active member of the church (but not of the born again variety).
Surprisingly he was never directly in politics or attempted to make a career in Politics. This was probably because he did not want to take this huge risk as he had a mother without a husband at home in Kummanam. Besides, he married my mother after the first year of B.A., and his oldest son was born while he was still in Bombay, and saw him only after he returned for Bombay for good.
He married Saramma the daughter of Itty Ninan of the well known family of Pulikkaprambil, Aymanam. The Ponnattu family as well as my mother’s family attended the same C.M.S. Church in Olessa. The Pulikkaprambil family, especially the C.M.S. branch, distinguished itself in many professional fields. Itty Ninan’s father ran the government salt factory in Kollam. Itty Ninan only completed Intermediate (2 year college) and he worked and retired as the Writer (administrative head) of the C.M.S. Bishop’s Office. In this capacity he served the famous and powerful English Bishops, Bishop Gill and Bishop Moore.
Apparently Itty Ninan had proposed my mother for marriage to my father soon after he graduated from Madras Christian College. But Amma (my father’s mother) did not pursue it. The other prominent family of Kummmanam, Karikkal, lived on the next large property from Ponnattu. It seems that Amma and the lady of that house had an informal understanding that Appachayan (my father) would marry their oldest daughter. But her father had other ideas, and when a proposal came from the Ooppoottil family of Kottayam for her it was accepted. Amma immediately sent word to Appachan (Itty Ninan) for Ammachy’s (Saramma, my mother) hand, and the marriage took place soon thereafter.
After running from Bombay he started his apprenticeship with Parampil P.C. Kurian Vakil. His father-in-law (my maternal grandfather) was largely instrumental in arranging this. A year or so later P.C. Kurian Vakil suddenly died, and P.K. Kurian inherited a good part of his practice. Of course, he was able to inherit the practice because he had established a name for himself in such a short time. This can be seen from the fact that, one of the other junior advocates, Pokkathil Kurian Vakil (a member of the Madasseril branch of the Pakolomattom Parayil family –mentioned earlier) did not inherit much of this practice.
In those days most of the legal work involved property disputes, inheritance, etc., and some torts and, of course, criminal cases. To be a good lawyer and advocate one had to be good in both civil and criminal law. He built up a roaring civil practice with occasional forays into criminal cases, some of which were well known. In a short period of about ten years he acquired many coconut and rice paddy properties. Also, the old wood family house was raised and a modern house was built.
It seems to me that in those days he worked about 14 hours a day including most Sundays. With the law practice firmly established he directed some of his energies to business ventures. The first of these was the founding of the Orient Central Bank with his friend K.P. Mathew (Kaduthodil). The two of them practically traveled most of Central and North Travancore and enlisted several wealthy families as initial investors and depositors. Prominent among these were Koottipparambil, Kochkudiyil, Murikkan, etc. The bank grew very rapidly and became the third biggest bank in Kottayam in a short time, after the Forward Bank and Kottayam Bank. P.K. Kurian was the Chairman and K.P. Mathew the Managing Director. Later the Kottayam Bank and the Orient Central Bank were amalgamated, and P.K. Kurian became a paid Director. Unfortunately all the large banks of Kottayam crashed after the Reserve Bank shut down the Palai Central Bank, and the Kottayam Orient bank was no exception.
He has the leading investor/partner in a dairy farm (Gosri Diary) Purchased from the Cochin Royal family in Ernakulam. This, and a bus business he was a partner of, was not successful. However, the closure of the dairy farm resulted in the back of our family property becoming a small dairy farm with several beautiful high yield milk cows. I still remember the names of some of these cows (some of which referred to their breed), Komby, Punjaby, Gir, etc (Flora = English cow)
I was about seven or eight when he bought our first car. It was a second hand Humber Super Snipe. This was a big event since there were not many cares in Kottayam at that time.
P.K. Kurian was a very generous man. He was always there to help people in need, relatives and just about any body that needed help with money, recommendations for jobs, and spending his own valuable time to solve their problems. The local people of all faiths and economic strata treated him with great respect. He was also the charter president of the Lions Club of Kottayam, and was very active in the club’s service to the poor.
I do not know when he decided to leave his atheist inclinations and become active in the church. I think this happened in his early forties. It may be because he was invited by the first native bishop of the C.M.S. (later C.S.I. – Church of South India) Diocese, Rt. Rev. Dr. C.K. Jacob, to become a lay officer of the diocese. He also started attending the Sunday services at the Olessa Church about two Sundays per month.
He was very active in the election of the next bishop. He and the then Lay Secretary (Trustee) A.V. George supported Rev. M.V. George. Rev. George was elected with the highest number of votes, and the names of the three top vote getters were submitted to the C.S.I. Moderator (Rt. Rev. Dr. Sumitra) some where in Andhra Pradesh. Unfortunately for reasons of politics unknown to the locals early on, the lowest vote getter of the three, Rev. M.M. John, was selected by the Moderator.
Rev. M. M. John was from the Mateethra branch of the Thondukuzhiyil family, i.e., we were distant cousins. Further, Rev. M.M. John and P.K. Kurian were classmates. A year or so after the investiture of Bishop John, A.V. George died and P.K. Kurian became the Lay Secretary (Trustee) of the Diocese.
Many of the decisions and policies of Bishop John, especially those involving schools, the relatively recently converted low caste segment of the diocese (which later formed a separate church), etc., were very controversial, which also got the diocese entangled in several law cases. This resulted in P.K. Kurian being both the Trustee and free Legal Advisor/Advocate of the Central Kerala diocese. He spent untold number of hours on these cases and traveled much at his own expense, and succeeded in disentangling the diocese from many of the problems it got into. P.K. Kurian also played a major role in establishing the Moore College of Mavelikkara. Bishop John was truly grateful to my father and really the whole Ponnattu family for all his services.
One other aspect of his character, especially from the standpoint of his children, must be mentioned. He was always able to see things in perspective, especially the long-term perspective with respect to education. When he decided to send my oldest brother to England for his legal education, many close relative and friends doubted the wisdom of this, especially in view of the fact he had eight children (later ten) then. He really didn’t have to think twice about this, as he truly believed that education is the best inheritance a father can provide his children. The same thing applied Rajan’s (my immediate younger brother) medical education, as well as my education in the United States. In all these cases the litany of “Aren’t you forgetting your younger children?” was played over and over again (by people with good intentions, but no foresight) to no avail.
As I mentioned earlier, he had a massive hear attack when he was only fifty. After this he slowed down only a little. He succumbed to his second heart attack at the age of sixty-one. This was on October 10, 1966 – exactly 24 days after I reached the United States for my post –graduate education, which he was financing. (My first had not reached him, but I had already received two or three from him! I do not know how he found time to write so many letters to all of us!!) This was a massive blow to me both emotionally and financially. I managed to get a scholarship and a part time job, in large part solving the financial problem, but I never truly overcame the emotional shock.
Bishop John and the Central Kerala Diocese gave him a funeral that Kottayam had not seen before. First his body was taken in a procession to the CSI Cathedral for a memorial service, then the funeral procession continued to Olessa Church where he was laid to rest.
I will now close this writing with the family tree of P.K. Kurian
1. Kurian Kurian – Oldest Son. Received his legal education in England (Bar-at-Law). Corporation and Labour Lawyer and Leading Partner of the firm “Menon & Pai Advocate, “ Ernakulam. He is of one of the leading labour lawyers in all of South India. Married Molly Jacob of the Puthuserril family of Cherayil.
(i) Kurian Mohan – Oldest son, Engineer. Worked in the United States for a few years. Returned to India and working for CEAT as purchasing Manager for Kerala. Married to Renu.
(ii) Kurian Jacob – Second son, Accountant. London Chartered Accountant. Now working for a British Company in Saudi Arabia, Married to Jyothi Puthiyottaparambil, Mavelikkara. One son, Jude
(iii) Kurian Sindhu – Daughter. Married to Prakash Kuruvilla of the Elanjikkal family of Niranam (father settled down in Trichur). Prakash is the Bombay Branch Manager of the Hong Kong Bank.

2. Kurian Chechamma – Oldest Daughter. B.Sc in Physics from Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam. Married to K.A Issac of the Kadapuram family of Kanjiramattom. Issac (Babychayan) retired as the University Librarian and Professor of Library Science at the University of Kerala, Trivandrum.He won the Fellowship of Rajaram Mohan Roy Library Foundation, Culcutta, 2003.He is a leading authority on the Colon Classification System, almost exclusively used in Indian libraries (similar to the Decimal classification System) in the United States, Chechamma later completed a master’s degree in Linguistics at the University of Kerala. She is written and published a book on Linguistics, An introduction to the theory of transformational generation Grammer.
Two sons: (a) Issac Abraham (Madhu) – practicing lawyer in Trivandrum, and (b) Issac Kurian (Balu) – Professor of Mechanical Engineering at I.I.T., Bombay.
Babychayan published four books:
(i) Libraries &Librarianship: A basic Introduction
(ii) Literature Search
(iii) Glimpses of Library And Information Science
(iv) Distance Education And Public Libraries

3. Kurian Marykutty – Second Daughter. B.Sc. in Physics from Maharaja’s College, Ernakulam. Married to Vargughese Mathew of the Kurudamannil family of Ayoor. Mathew (Monachayan) retired as Director and Professor and Head of the Department of Surgery at the Kottayam Medical College, now in private practice. He has an MS (Master of Surgery) from Madras and F.R.C.S. from Edinburgh. He was the first Syrian Christian to receive an MS degree from Madras, considered the toughest Master’s program in surgery in those days. He is a distinguished general surgeon and has made important contributions to the knowledge and technique of pancreatic surgery. Four sons: (a) Mathew Varughese – Engineer and Computer Specialist, Working for AT & T in New Jersey, (b) Mathew Kurian- ENT Surgeon, Working in Abu Dhabi, (c) Mathew George – General Surgeon, currently doing the surgery fellowship in New York, and (d) Mathew John – General Surgeon, working in Trivandrum.
4. Kurian Ninan – Second son. B.Sc.(Eng.) – Civil, from Trivandrum, M.Tech from I.I.T., Kharagpur and Ph.D. from I.I.T., Madras, both in Soil Mechanics &Foundation Engineering. (Changed the spelling of his name to Niainan!) He is now Professor of Soil Mechanics & Foundation Engineering at I.I.T., Madras. Married Elizabeth (Prema) of the family of Cherukara from Devalokam, Kottayam. Two children. Oldest daughter Vimala married to Anand, well known invasive Radiologist in Coimbatore. Son Ranjit, completed his Master’s Degree in Computer Engineering in the U.S. and working with Microsoft, Redmond, Washington.
5. Kurian George – This writer. Third son (fifth overall). B.Sc. (Eng.) – Mechanical, from Trivandrum and MS (Industrial Engineering ) and MBA (Finance) from the U.S. Resigned as Manufacturing Engineering Manager with Cummins Engine Company in Columbus, Indiana (1980) and joined Texaco (third largest Oil Company in the U.S.), currently Manager of Strategic Planning. Married to Abraham Shobna of Palathinkal, Kottayam. Two sons. Oldest Ajjit (George Kurian), Graduated from Rice University in Computer Science, and has master’s in Computer Science from University of Texas, Austin. Runs his own company of Computer Consultants in Austin, Texas. Youngest son Vijay (George Abraham) just graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy (Annapolis, Maryland) and commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps. He sis the first commissioned military officer in the Ponnattu family. (Mathai Joseph (Kutty) mentioned earlier was a non-commissioned officer).
6. Kurian Cherian – Fourth son. M.B.B.S. from Mangalore, and M.D. (Cardiology) from Louisville, Kentucky. Well known cardiologist in Louisville. Was a member of the first artificial heart program team lead by Dr. De Vries. Has inherited P.K. Kurian’s qualities of philanthropy and helping people in need. Married to Idiculla Sara (Ammu) of the Ooriyepadikkal family of Thiruvalla. (Her grandfather O.C. Ninan was the Trustee of the Mar Thoma Church for many years). Two children. Oldest daughter Priya (Cherian Sara) is a Harvard graduate and law graduate from the University of Chicago. Currently an associate with an Investment Banking Law Firm of Palo Alto, California, Married to Michael Huskins of Los Angeles, California, also a Chicago graduate, and associate with the same law firm. Second son Prasad (Cherian Kurian) Pre-Med graduate from Tuft University, Boston. Just entered the University of Louisville Medical School.

7. Kurian Mathai – Fifth son. B.Sc. (Eng.) – Civil, from Calicut, MS (Environmental Engineering) from the University of Dayton, Ohio. Senior Consultant with an Environmental Engineering firm in St. Louis, Missouri. Married to Asha of the Nellimoottil family of Adoor. ( She is a direct descendent of the historical figure Nellimoottil ammachi, who helped young King Marthanda Varma of Travancore during the Travancore Civil War by helping him hide inside an Ammachy Plavu. She was later given the title Nellimoottil Ammachi and Ooda Val). Two children. Oldest son Zubin (Mathai Kurian) has just completed his third year of Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University, Evanston. Illinois. He is an Eagle Scout. The daughter Tina (Mathai Sara) is a junior (pre-final) in high school at this writing .
8. Kurian Jacob – Sixth son. B.Sc. in Botany from C.M.S. College, Kottayam. He inherited the Ponnattu Tharavadu and most of the family properties. He manages these properties and the income there from. Married to Susan (Mol) of the Kaniyamkulam family of Kottayam. Illikkal Branch. Two sons. Oldest son Pramod (Kurien Jacob) is working in Kuwait after finishing his MCA.Married to Anu of Nattasseryedathil, Kottayam. She is a teacher working in the Ministry of Education, Kuwait. Youngest son Dilip Jacob is presently working in a IT company in administrative section. He is a very good cricket player, and is a bowler of the Kerala State team.
9. Kurian Joseph – Seventh son. B.Sc (Eng.) – Electrical from Quilon. (He showed some genius tendencies early on, like completing his third grade at the age of six. But this didn’t last very long!) He worked for Stokely Van Camp (Indianapolis) and ITT Continental foods ( Charlottesville) before joining the Frito Lay Division of Pepsico in 1980, where he is a senior executive in the Research & Technology Department. He is married to Nina of the Puthenveettilkulangara family of North Paravoor. Two children. Oldest son Joseph Kurian (Karun) is junior in high school, and the daughter Joseph Sara (Sara) is also in high school.
10. Kurian John – Eighth son (youngest and tenth overall) MBBS from Dhavangiri, and MS (ENT) from Christian Medical College, Ludhiana. (Changed the spelling of Ponnattu in his name to Ponnat!). Worked several years in Saudi Arabia and returned in 1997 to set up mhis practice in Trivandrum. Married Dolly Philip of the Cherukara Palkkamannil family of Pathanamthitta. Two children. Oldest daughter, Sara Ponnattu (Divya) and son Kurian Ponnattu (Arvin) are in high school..
I want to conclude this family history with a few word s about my sainted mother Ponnattu Saramma Kurian (whom we all called Ammachy), that I Purposely reserved for the end. She is in large part responsible for whatever success the children of P.K. Kurian and Saramma Kurian have achieved.
A quality of hers that I recognized only until her later years was her ability to absolutely and truly forgive people without holding any ill will. I have come to realize (although too late in life for me to even attempt to practice it and benefit from it, in any case difficult to do) that this is a prime character feature that a lot of successful people have. The fact is, this is one quality that makes almost everybody to like you, which is a prime ingredient for success. Saramma practiced this flawlessly, and it came naturally to her. She died in 1989, twenty- three years after the death of my father. She spent much time and money in the service of the poor and needy. She eventually became the Ammachy of just about all of Kummanam and a lot of others. The crowd and the sentiments expressed at her funeral are lasting testimonies to her greatness.