History of the D’Abreu Family

July 15, 2010 at 11:25 pm (Andersen Roots) ()

D’Abreu Coat of Arms

The early history of the D’Abreu is recorded in the History of the Portuguese in India. It dates back to 1503. The great ancestor was Antonio D’Abreu, a young nobleman, who was sent by King Emmanuel of Portugal to India. He served under Viceroy Albuquerque. With three sailing ships of war under his command, he was sent to Albuquerque to explore the Maluccas and the Spice Islands. This was done with success. Incidentally, in command of one of the three ships under Antonio D’Abreu was Fancisco Serras, who carried with him a young Portuguese gentleman, Fernado de Magalhaes. Ferndo later made the first voyage around the world, who as Magellan has left his name upon the map of the world. This was under the service of the King of Spain. The map was edited by Sir W. Hunter in 1897.

The more ancient members, about 1520, are buried in the ruins of the Church of San Antonio at Fort Bassion. The Fort is 38 miles north of Bombay. The tombstones still exist, but are fast going into decay because of their great age. 6 D’Abreu families are interred there. The names that are still visible are the following: Gregorio D’Abreu and his heirs, Gaspare Branca D’Abreu and his wife, and Francisca D’Abreu, her husband and heirs.

Our later history shows that with the advent of the British in India and the waning of the Portuguese power, the family seems to have moved to North India and obtained service under the British. As far as living memory, our great-grandparents only spoke English and we must have adopted English after 1794. This period shows many alliances with the English and English names begin to enter the family. The Indian meeting in 1857 led to great upset in the country and loss of much documentary evidence. The records I have now are chiefly from family members who are now dead.


  1. Bruno D’Abreu said,

    Very cool text of the origin of our familly… i live in Brazil and there are few D’Abreu families here

    • E.Ilango said,

      If any one knows any A’Breu in Chenni or elswhere in India please give details.

      • E.Ilango said,

        If any one knows any A’Breu in Madras (now called Chennai )or Mylapore (near and now in Chennai) or elswhere in the state of Tamil Naadu in south India please give details.

    • Paula-Marie Da Breo said,

      Hi, I’m Paula-Marie Da Breo, I live in Trinidad and Tobago. My grandfather was born in Grenada and eventually the family moved to Trinidad.

      From what i can recall, he mentioned his father (George) had many relatives who all moved to different islands throughout the Caribbean as well as South America, each of them all having families.

      The difference in the spelling is common, but from what I understand, they are all related in some way regardless of variations. I hope to find out more as I continue to search and hope this helps a bit.

  2. Joe D'Abreu said,

    My name is Joe and I am 13 years old. It was nice to know that the D’Abreu family went so far back . My granddad came from south america and I now live in london

    • Bruno d'Abreu said,

      You are lucky, lol… I’m actually planning to move to another country. I don’t know what made my grandparents move to Brazil, but I think it wasn’t their brightest idea… Hope I can get back to England one day!

  3. Giovanni said,

    My surname is Abreu am I related to this family? There is no D

  4. Antonio d'Abreu said,

    Je vis en Guyane francaise et je pense que mon grand-pére José d’Abreu est né au guyana à Demerara si quelqu’un pouvait me donner plus de détails j’en serais tres heureux

    • Julie said,


      I live in French Guiana and I think my grandfather José Abreu was born in guyana in Demerara if someone could give me more details I would be very happy

      • Angie said,

        My family is from Guyana and we have the last name of D’Abreu, it isn’t a common name is Guyana.

  5. Ralph Abreu said,

    My father was born in Sagua la Grande Cuba. His name is Luis Fransisco Lauro Abreu born 1906-1995. His father Jose Aberu came from the Canary Islands

  6. Santanu said,

    Hi, I am interested in learning more about Ellen Barbara d’Abreu. Please advise.

    • Dr. Hemant Sane said,

      Ellen Barbara d’Abreu was the first Indian lady to graduate in modern medicine from Calcutta in early 1880s. Her father’s family had settled in Nagpur, India. Her brother or uncle was first full time curator of Central Museum at Nagpur.
      I am also interested in more information about Dr. d’Abreu.

      • Amanda D'Abreu said,

        The curator of the Nagpur Museum was my grandfather, Edward D’Abreu. He wrote many articles for the Natural History Society.

      • Hemant Sane said,

        Edward d’Abreu’s father was one of 6 brothers and 11 sisters of d’Abreu family (of probably Calcutta). He was a zoologist. I do not know the name of his father and mother but would like to know. I am preparing an article for Central Museum Nagpur. The previous curator, RJD Graham was a botanist. I would very much appreciate if any photograph of Edward is available. Aubin Reginald d’Abreu worked for sometime in Albert Victor Hospital, Lahore, India (now in Pakistan). Ellen Barbara d’Abreu was Edward’s paternal aunt who married Morten Anderson and settled in Daishpet near Banglore India.

      • Hemant Sane said,

        Information about Edward d’Abreu (curator of Central Museum Nagpur may be sent to hysane1950@yahoo.co.in. Thanks.

  7. heather said,

    If anyone knows about Charly D’Abreu from Por of Spain., Trinidad had a catel farm in the late 1800 also his brother Richard nickname Dick lived in the Gran Saban, Port of Spain. something to do with money lending, not sure if he ever got married but he was quite involved with his secretary? lol…. Please email me .. .there was someone called Carrot head a nickname given to her must have been one of his daughter..( Charly) .that’s all I can recall from past stories… thanks. can anyone help me please with this story thks. .

  8. A. said,

    My parents are from Guyana and my dad has the last name of D’Abreu. I’m aware that his cousins and his parent’s cousins now live all over Europe (ex: Sweden, London) and some still reside in Guyana. Don’t know much about the history.

    • AEF said,

      Hi – my family is also DeAbreu from Guyana. don’t have much information. grateful for any leads – grandfather’s name was Ivelaw (ivan) DeAbreu.

      • AEF said,

        Update: I have now have thenames of my dad’s grandparents – William (Guilherme) and Cristina De Abreu. Cristina died about 1920.

      • Andrea Farmer said,

        Update – Christina’s maiden name was Gomes

      • Heather CN said,

        Heather Noeckel

  9. Richard DAbreu said,

    I am Richard DAbreu of Bunbury Australia. I was given the same C of A by my uncle together with a list of defendants mostly from India.

  10. Shelley Rodgers said,

    Greetings. I have a cousin from Guyana, named Dorcellita Gonsalves (her maiden name, now deceased) who married a D’Abreu. Dorcellita was born around 1927. Dorcellita and Mr. D’Abreu had 3 children, 2 girls and a boy. Our families have lost touch with each other over the years, as members emigrated to other countries.

    If anyone has a Dorcellita Gonsalves of British Guiana (now Guyana) in their family tree, would very much like to get in touch with you. My email is pirateshelley AT gmail DOT com.

    • Simone D said,

      My last name is D’Abreu and my family is from Guyana. I currently live in the US but the D’Abreu’s in Guyana are very small, so most likely there is a relation.

  11. Violet.Loan said,


    • Mani Kandasamy said,

      Dear Andersen and D’Abreu families, I find your family history fascinating. In a Iway, I am connected with you, not by blood but through business. I live in New Jersey now. My father bought some lands, in the 1960s, which during the colonial India times belonged to a certain Mr. Dyre. Mr. Dyre (likely related to General Dyre of the Jalinwallahbagh massacare? This is a question I am still researching). Mr. Dyre had many hundreds of acres of land in Sembianoor, in Kadayampatti that became Danishpet, (these two separated by 10 miles as the crow flies), yercaud, connoor, etc,. Mr. Dyre never married, he gifted many of his land parcels to his several companions, ended up penniless and died poor. One part of his Sembianoor land was auctioned off in bankruptcy which land was arranged to be bought, drumrolls please, by Mr. Sathianathan. Yes, the same Mr. Sathianathan who bought from Theo Anderson in 1932 the 100 acres of Danishpet lands for Rs. 95,000. I saw a mention here also that the same land was later bought by the government for 5 lakh rupees. Wondered, what happened there?!

      I wonder if the previous owner of my ancestral farm, Mr. Dyre, and the Andersens here, had any connections in those days. They definitely shared the business connection with Mr. Sathianathan. It appears Mr. Sathianathan had also accumilated many other plantations from the colonial owners of that time in yercaud, Ooty, etc,. The third generation of this Mr. Sathianathan still thrive in Salem, owning many of these estates along with the still thriving N. S. Bus Services of Salem.

      I return to Salem once in a while. Next visit, to Sembianoor (Bommidi), I will stop by Danishpet to pay homage to the Andersens.

      If anyone can share anything about this Mr. Dyre and his family tree, that would be awesome.

      It is such a marvellous linkage we all share, though we are of different origins then and living now scattered around the world. Such is the history and bondings we inherited, a legacy, worth our passing on to the generations to come.

  12. B said,

    I am trying to figure out where the DeAbreu are, my mother is a DeAbreu, Grand father Cecil DeAbreu, great grandmother Anna DeAbreu

  13. BRaman said,

    Would Dr Hemant Sane please reply?Dr Ellen Barbara d’Abreu was the first Indian lady to graduate in modern medicine from Calcutta in early 1880s. Pl give me all details of her ,name of the course,college,University,year of passing, etc. Would anyone please give me email id of Julie. I want the details of the Bangalore family of D’Abreu, church connection, etc. I often visited Bangalore as I am trying to buy a house there. We want to settle there. Would you please reply.

    • Hemant Sane said,

      I will send you the information I have if you will send me your email address. My email is hysane@yahoo.co.in. I am going our for next week so if I get your communication early it would be possible for me to send you information early. What is your interest in d’Abreau ? The information will be filterec accordingly.

  14. David Abreu said,

    I am David de Abreu and I live in Finland. I immigrated from California USA as a missionary. My Grandfather Americo Abreu, is from Madeira. There is a popular pop singer here in Finland named Anna Abreu…

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