Schooling was at Kaavil school(no more), Thiruvalla. Varkey, eldest of six, setup a shop selling groceries and hardware both wholesale and retail at Market Road, Thiruvalla. Marriage to Esther (Ikarethu, Pandanad, Chenganoor) took place in 1901. The house they lived was behind and attached to the shop, typical of Hindu dwelling with a central courtyard, wooden granary and a cellar . Location: Midway between Gov. Hospital and MGM school. Varkey was known as "Bowdy Varkeychen" (meaning unclear). Successful at his trade, he acquired 4 properties, each less than 1/2 acre within in a 2 mile radius of his house. He was a very active member of then the very first Church in Thiruvalla. Varkey and Esther had 1 daughter and 4 sons. Aged 51, Varkey developed intestinal obstruction, became very ill within a week and was unfit to undergo an operation. A photo of his coffin surrounded by his 4 sons and others exists. Varkey's younger sister was married to a tea estate manager at Peermade and the couple lived next door to Kongalath at Cheriyil house. Varkey's youngest brother, Abraham and two of his cousins lived at Kavumbhagam and Kaavil.
Presently, there is one Kongalath family at Kollam. The name Kongalath was believed to be originally that of a Hindu illam. A Brahmin who embraced Christianity was an ancestor of Varkey in the 16th century from Koravalangad, it is believed ! The Kongalath shop and house at Market Road, Thiruvalla were replaced by new owners with a four storey building in 2001.




Hailed from a family known as Ikarathu, Pandanad,Chenganoor. Esther was a devout Christian who insisted on family prayers twice a day. She had 5 children after losing earlier pregnancies Following husband Varkey's death she and eldest daughter-in-law Kunjamma ran the household providing meals daily for 15-20 members and staff working at the shop. Esther's first cousin sister's daughter lived at Paipad (Mathilunkal Family) two miles away from Kongalath house.
She was well acknowledged for her charitable deeds such as feeding the needy at Paliakara and giving refuge to distant relations of Kongalath family. Notable among them were a woman and her two children (Thankachen and his sister). Later, Kunjappy, his wife and their daughter were also given jobs and shelter at the Kongalath home. Esther maintained the position as head of the family assisted by eldest son George for financial affairs. Esther's ear lobes had about 1 1/2 inch holes and she wore very large gold ear ornaments (Wallika) a fashionable jewellary very reminicent of earlier times. The terminal illness was that of a heart failure marked by gross swelling of legs lasting for a few weeks.
Both Varkey & Esther were laid to rest at the Paliakara Church grounds near the front entrance.


Achamma spouse of K I Koshy, Karipal , Kottayam, Post Master at Kottayam. Parents of founders of Karipal Hospital..
George- Hardware Shop owner, Market Road,Thiruvalla.
Oommen- Superintendent of Police.
Abraham -Barrister in Bahrain and Estate owner at Mundakayam. Author of the book entitled "British Justice in Bahrain."
Mary - spouse of Abraham -Doctor in Bahrain and at Pushpagiri Hospital, Thiruvalla.
Philip- Managing Director, Rallies India. Mumbai(Bombay)
Kunjubaby-(Dr. Koshy wife Ammini(Dr) Founders of Karipal Hospital, Kottayam.
Lilly- spouse of P Mathew, Puthumana, Puthupally, Owner of Private bus service at Puthupally.
Others not mentioned provided commendable supportie role to their spouses and were utterly devoted to the welfare of the family members.


Mohan(Oommen Vergis) Architect at Chennai was awarded honours by the professional body for his lifetime achievement in 2010.
Silvy - Over 50 of her paintings were exhibited at Indian Embassy in Kuwait ( 2001)
Susheela- Over 250 Bonsai specimens created and nurtured at Chennai.
Vini and daughter Sarah- Degree qualifications in music
Alex - Rock guitar player. Over 45 Youtube entries( trackable) - alexkvx10
There are several others who play musical instruments regularly.
Conor- Over 30 medals for swimming and a price for the best painting at a province wide school competition(Sinking Titanic)
Sasha- Selected for swimming team for Norther Ireland. Vijay- 1000 mile cycling in UK to raise funds for charity. (2012)
George- Trekked Mount Kilimanjaro to the summit for charity-'Water Aid' (2013)

Descendants of Varkey & Spouse -Grand parents of Varkey-'Bowdy', Born 1837 approx.

1st Generation Spouse 2nd Generation Spouse 3rd Generation
Varkey Varkey Achamma,Ettadiyil, Thayilparambil,Venpala, Thiruvalla Varkey(Bowdy) Esther, Ekarethu, Pandanad, Chenganoor Achamma, George, Oommen, Abraham, Philip
Varkey Mathen,Kuttychayan Kunjademma, Parambil, Karthikapally Thankamma,Achamma,KM John
Varkey Chacko,Kunjachayan Mariamma, Paingana, Mundakayam Thankamma,Chellamma,PC.Varghese
Varkey Abraham Aleyamma, Kunnath, Thiruvalla Moni,Bapsy,Juby
Sister at Kallupara
Sister at Thiruvalla
Varkey Oommen Mariamma KV John Sosamma Shelly
KV Varghese Rosamma
KV Thomas
KV Abraham Aleyamma
KV Thomas Mariamma
Ammini Chacko
Kunjunjamma Samuel
Reji Varghese
Varkey Mathen Kunjadamma Mathen Mathai,- Muppiriyil, Oliyil,Edasseriparambil, Peediackal

Ancestors of Kongalath Family,
Thiruvalla, 1790 Approx.

Taken from page 15 of Kongalath family Ledger
(Daughters's names were not recorded on the tree)

Chacko Varghese
Mathen Varkey Mathen Varkey ?Varkey
Varghese Varkey ?Varkey
Mathunni Varghese Mathai
Koshy Mathen
Mathai Mathen Varghese
Varghese Mathai
Chacko Mathai Chacko
Varghese Chacko

Kongalath Family History.

The very first recorded Kongalath family meeting took place on Sunday 23 May 1933 attended by 51 members. Minutes of 3 meetings of subsequent years were entered on a single ledger.On page 155 there is a reference to ancestor of Varkey who was expelled from Kongalath Maddum at Koravalangad near Kottayam for embracing Christianity. However, it could not be ascertained whether Chacko was the one from Koravalangad. A file of personal data of members prepared in 1985 contains the following text on its opening page.

"Family is the oldest form of human institution. In many ways it is the most important. It is society's most basic unit. Entire civilization have survived or disappeared depending on whether family life was strong or weak."

Only a few Kongalath families exist at Thiruvalla now, the rest are scattered all over Kerala state, India, Middle East, UK, USA and Canada. The latest Kongalath gathering was held on 31 Dec 2016 at Thiruvalla.

Kongalath masterfile with life history of many members is being compiled and would be available to members on request.