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Khmer-Siam Royal Family Tree

with 19 comments


By Khmerization
23rd July, 2010

1. Introduction

It is intriguing to learn that the Khmer and Thai royal families share the same ancestry. After an extensive search, I was able to obtain some crucial ancestry data and family lineage that have linked the two royal families together. What is more interesting is that both royal families were linked to the feudalistic family of Abhaiwongse, the rulers of Cambodia’s Battambang province and the aristocratic family of Bunnag, the most prominent and powerful family of ancient Thailand. With these interesting information, I will piece the jigsaw puzzles together in an attempt to link their ancestry in the article below.

2. The Khmer-Thai royal families are of Persian-Mon descent

Both the Khmer and Thai royal families were descended from the Persian (Iranian) (1) andMon ancestry (2). The first Persians to have come to Siam was Sheikh Ahmad the Persian Muslim merchant, along with his brother Muhamad Sa-id and his subordinates, who settled in Siam around 1600. Sheikh Ahmad was native to Qom, Safavid Iran, south of Tehran. Sheikh Ahmad established himself as a rich merchant in Ayutthaya. Then, he came under the service of Songtham, who appointed him as Lord of the Right Pier who supervised the traders that came from the West i.e. the Persians, the Indians, the Europeans, and Chularachamontri (palace official)- who oversaw all Shiites in Siam.

After subjugating a Japanese revolt under Yamada Nagamasa, Sheikh Ahmad became Samuha Nayok (First Prime Minister). Descendants of Sheikh Ahmad exerted control over Siamese politics, trade, and foreign affairs. Many of them became Samuha Nayok. They also monopolized the post of Chularachamontri. Some of them even converted to Buddhism.

One of Ahmad’s descendant was a man called Bunnag (3), who was a Buddhist. Bunnag married Nuan, who was the daughter of a wealthy Mon family and who was the sister of Nak(4). Nak, or Queen Amarindra (1737–1826), was the wife of Thong Duang, King Rama I (1736-1809) who took the name of Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke when he ascended the Siamese throne in 1782, establishing the first Chakri Dynasty.

3. The Bunnag family

The Bunnag family of Thailand was as powerful as the Thioun family of Cambodia. Thioun, a powerful palace minister in the late 1800s, and his descendants, the likes of Thioun Hell, Thioun Horl, Thioun Mumm, Thioun Chum, Thioun Thioeun, and Thioun Prasith, held high offices in the Cambodian political hierarchy. Bunnag, the first direct descendant of Ahmad, was then kinsmen to Thong Duang, Rama I. Though Thong Duang emerged as a powerful noble in Thonburi, Bunnag stayed far from the bureaucracy due to his childhood conflicts with King Taksin.

Thong Duang then became Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke, a child of ethnic Mon family (10), the first king who established the Chakri Dynasty in 1782, after he brutally usurped the throne and executed King Taksin, his childhood friend. During the Nine Armies War, Bunnag led the Siamese forces against the Burmese. Bunnag was then awarded the higher rank and eventually became the Samuha Kalahom as Chao Phraya Akka Mahasena.

The House of Bunnag was a powerful Siamese noble family of the Persian descent of the early Rattanakosin. By the nineteenth century, their power reached the zenith, as they were favoured by Chakri monarchs and monopolized high-ranking titles. Three Somdet Chao Phrayas came from the Bunnag family – Prayurawongse, Pichaiyat, and Sri Suriyawongse. They played a key role in government and foreign relations of Early Rattanakosin. However, after the Front Palace Crisis, the Bunnags gradually withdrew from Siamese politics as Chulalongkorn sought to undo the power of nobility and pursued centralization, though the Bunnags continued to fill important official ranks.

Akka Mahasena (military title) Prayurawongse was, of course, the primogenitor of the House of Bunnag. He sent his sons, including Dis and That, into the palace as the royal pages of Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke as an entrance to Siamese bureaucracy. Dis quickly rose to higher official ranks as Buddha Loetla Nabhalai favored the nobles from the Bunnag and Bangchang (his mother’s family) family. Dis then became the minister of Krom Tha, supervising trade and foreign affairs under King Jessadabodindra (Rama III) – a powerful post.

He was offered the position of Samuha Kalahom (Second Prime Minister) by the king but Dis said that the Prime Ministers died early. Dis then became Samuha Kalahom instead.

Somdet Chao Phraya Borom Maha Sri Suriyawongse (personal name Chuang Bunnag December 23, 1808 – January 19, 1883) was a prominent 19th century Thai figure and served as the regent during the early years of the reign of King Chulalongkorn.

A member of a family originally of Persian origin, Sri Suriyawongse was born the eldest son of Dis Bunnag and Tan Poo-Ying (Lady) Chan. Chuang was well educated for the time. King Mongkut made him Samuha Kalahom, one of the two Prime Ministers of old Siam.

4. How were Khmer and Thai royal families related?

One of the Bunnag descendants, Tuptim Bunnag (Thanpuying Tuptim Bunnag), married Lord Nhonh, better known as Yia Abhaiwongse, who was the Lord Governor of Battambang until 1895. Lord Nonh and Tuptim Bunnag produced 5 children. Two of them, Lord Chhum (Choom Abhaiwongse (1849 ( or 1861)-1922)), the last Lord governor of Battambang, and Lady Yem (Khun Chom Yem Bossaba Yem (?-1944)) who became the 20th wife of King Norodom (1834-1904) of Cambodia. King Norodom and Lady Yem Bossaba (5) produced two children and one of them was Prince Sutharot (1872-1945) who was Sihanouk’s grandfather. Prince Sutharot married Lady Phangangam (1874-1944) and produced King Suramarit (1896-1960), who was King Sihanouk’s father. According to some sources, Lady Phangangam was a Thai commoner. But according to Henry Szosinski, a compiler of Cambodia’s royal genealogy, she carries the Norodom surname, so she could be one of King Norodom’s children.

Lord Chhum (6) had more than 40 wives. One of his Thai wives, Lady Rord, produced him a son named Khuang Abhaiwongse who later went on to become the prime minister of Thailand three times in the 1940s (7). Lord Chhum also married Lady Ing (Khunying Sa-Ing Kathadhorndhoranintra) and produced 4 children and one of them is Loeum, better known in Thailand as Luam Abhaiwongse. Luam married Lady Lek Bunnag and produced a daughter named Krua Kaew, better known as Tew Abhaiwongse. In in 1924, Tew Abhaiwongse married King Vajiravudh (Rama VI) of Thailand and became Princess Consort and took the name of Phra Nang Chao Suvadhana (8). King Vajiravudh and Princess Consort Suvadhana produced one daughter in 1925 named Bejaratana Rajasuda. Now, Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda’s maternal grandmother, Dame Sri Sunthornnat (Thao Sri Sundhornnath – formerly Kaew Abhaiwongse) was a sister of Khun Chom Iem Bossaba (Yem Bossaba Abhaiwongse)[1864-1944], the 20th wife of King Norodom (1834-1904). Khun Yem Bossaba and Dame Sri Sunthornnat were daughters of Lord Nhonh and sisters of Lord Chhum, who was Bejaratana’s direct grandfather. So, Sihanouk is a great grand nephew of Lord Chhum and a descendant of the Abhaiwongse, a family he once allegedly called traitor.

The Khmer royal family also related to the Thai royal family through Lady Nuan and Lady Nak, the daughters of the wealthy Mon family who married Bunnag and King Rama I respectively. Bunnag and Thong Duang (Rama I) were very good friends before Thong Duang became king. Rama I was the great-great-great grandfather of Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda(9), who was the third cousin of ex-King Sihanouk of Cambodia, and the great-great-great grandfather of the present King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand, who took the title of Rama VIX. There are claims that the kings of the Chakri Dynasty had also married some of the Bunnag descendants who could then be direct relatives of the present Khmer king, but I am unable to trace their marriages here.

However, according to a book “Battambang During the Time of the Lord Governor” by Tauch Chhuong, there are verbal anecdotes which passed down from generations to generations which claimed that Rama I, or Thong Duang who took the name of Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke when he ascended the throne, was a Khmer child from Kampot province who grew up in the royal Thai capital of Ayuthaya. The anecdotes claimed that he was from Tram Sorsor village, Samrong commune, Touk Meas district in Kampot province. The anecdotes went on to claim he and his family was taken prisoner by the Siamese troops and brought to the Siamese royal capital of Ayutthya. When he grew up, he became a powerful military commander, usurped the throne, killed King Taksin, who was his childhood friend, and proclaimed himself king in 1782. It must be noted that there is no historical records to substantiate this claim and the claim that he was a Khmer. However, there are historical records to say that he was, like his wife Nak, a child of a wealthy Mon family. He came to power through usurpation, by killing his childhood friend, King Taksin, and executed all of Taksin’s relatives, including Prince Kasatranuchit who was his own grandson through a marriage to Taksin’s relative.

5. Conclusion

Now, the ancestry links between the Khmer and Thai royal families had been established. Sheik Ahmad, produced the Bunnag descendants and the Bunnag descendants produced the Cambodian princes, princesses, and kings. Some Thai kings were known to be married to some of the Bunnag descendants. Or at least Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda is a third cousin of Sihanouk because both were descended from the Abhaiwongse and the Bunnag ancestry. Yem Bossaba, the 20th wife of King Norodom was described by Henry Szosinski, a Cambodian royal genealogy compiler, as a daughter of a Battambang mandarin and a distant relative of the King of Thailand (5). The Khmer and the Thai royal families were related by blood of some sort because of their marriages to the two Mon sisters, Nuan and Nak. Nuan was married to a Bunnag who was a maternal ancestor of Prince Sutharot, King Suramarit, King Sihanouk and King Sihamoni. Nak was married to King Rama I, Thong Duang or Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke who was of a Mon descendant, was the ancestor of the present King Bhumibol Adulyadej (2), who is described as a distant relative of Yem Bossaba, the 20th wife of King Norodom and the great grandmother of Sihanouk.

References
(1). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunnag#Rise_of_Prayurawongse
(2). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddha_Yodfa_Chulaloke
(3). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bunnag
(4). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amarindra
(5).http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~royalty/cambodia/i135.html#I135
(6).http://khmerization.blogspot.com/2009/03/mansion-fit-for-king-mansion-of-chhum.html
(7).http://khmerization.blogspot.com/2008/11/aphaiwong-family-lords-of-battambang.html
(8).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suvadhana
(9).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bejaratana
(10).http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mon_people
(11).“Battambang During the Time of the Lord Governor” by Tauch Chhuong.

* I am forever grateful to Heng Soy of Ki-Media for drawing a wonderful Khmer-Thai Royal Family Tree diagram for this article.

NOTE: I have observed that many readers have misunderstood the content of the article about the Khmer Royal family descendants made by the researcher. Actually, the Khmer-Siamese family tree is really informative and it clearly states that the Khmer royal family doesn’t have any connection with the Amad family from the first establishment of the Khmer society  until the marriage of King Norodom and Yem Bosaba in the late 19 century. Actually, Bosaba was also half-blood, Khmer-persian.

On the other hand, it clearly states that the Tai/ pure tai /Siamese/Thai never have a chane to rule Thailand at all since they have created the Thai society in the southeast asean regoin or simply states that they just dont have such a competence to govern the country without the help, control, leadership of other races, Khmer-Mon, the Amads of persian and Chinese (Taksin).

Its also interesting to read “All Thai kings have Khmer blood except Taksin

PS: To know more about the history of Mon/Khmer or Khmer-Mon please read some of the articles herehere, here and here.

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19 Responses

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  1. False Khmer-Siam Royal Family Tree!!!
    Never heard of Ahmed and no Ahmed in Khmer history.
    Khmer are Indian-Native Khmer of Cambodia descendant not Persian-Mon. Khmer Kings and Khmer warriors wear Peung like Khmer Native people from Mondol Kiri, Rattanak Kiri, Steung Treing. Even Khmer Native Chak Kra Bei Pheuk Sra ចាក់ក្របីផីកស្រា are carved on the stone wall of Prasat Bayon Temple.

    Thai are Tai people descendant from Nanchao (Yunan) China, Thai tonal speaking language is proved Thai are not Khmer and Mon descendant.

    Read Royal Ark for the Khmer royal family.

    http://www.royalark.net/Cambodia/cambodia.htm

    .

    កម្ពុជបុត្រ

    July 24, 2010 at 1:49 am

  2. I think the family tree is really informative and it doesnt state that the Khmer royal family has a connection with the Amad family from the first establishment of the Khmer society either until the marriage of King Norodom and Yem Bosaba in the late 19 century. Actually, Bosaba was also half-blood, Khmer-persian.

    On the other hand, it clearly states that the Tai or pure tai never have a chane to rule Thailand at all since they have created the Thai society in the southeast asean regoin or simply states that they just dont have such a competence to govern the country without the help, control, leadership of other races (Khmer and the Amads of persian.

  3. Its true that the Siamese kings do have some Kmers royal bloodline. I am an example of that. My great grandfather King Naresuan father was from Praruang dynasty of Sukothai. The first Saim king’s wife lady Suang was a Kmer princess. The majority of the male lines however are from Khun Borom of Ai Laos royal line. Name like Po Khun is Lao descent. I am of Lao/Kmer/burma royal bloodline the real prince of Thailand. Chakri are not royal bloodline and they know it. My last name Som(det)kamsaeng is a proof of royal blood of King Naresuan, ask any educated Thai.

    sukothai dynasty

    October 18, 2010 at 12:23 am

  4. Please note that the dynasty tree prepared by you is very interesting. May I please ask you to privately provide the names of the Khmer Kings, Princes and Princesses written in Khmer? My e-mail address yohan_armstrong@yahoo.com. Thanks in advance. It’s not always clear how to properly pronounce the Khmer names when they are transliterated by Latin letters.
    One more note: Princess Phangagam (mother of the King Suramarit) was a daughter of the King Norodom as well as her husband, who was the 23rd son of the King Norodom. At least Wikipedia says that.
    Thank you very much. Highly appreciate your efforts.

    Yohan

    October 26, 2010 at 6:13 pm

  5. Hi, Khmer and Thai history didn’t only begin in the 13th century or from the Siamese/Burmese/Khmer era.

    It began in about the 7th century, with the advent of the Indians of Persian stock, who migrated from Kemboja, located near the Kashmir region. These kings were decendants from Persia. With their advance civilisation and their Vedic Culture, they introduced the Caste System to India.They introduced Hinduism to India.Even the Buddha, from Tibet, is from this race.

    Please google Khemboj Rashstra or Khemboj Society to get a better picture of the ancestors of SuryaVarma and JayaVarma.

    Also google ‘origins of the Vedic Culture’

    Like the Borobodur in Indon, the pyramids in Egypt and the Angkor Tombs, all the workers were the natives.

    The Kings were from the original Aryan Society, from the 7 rivers in the Middle East. Now known as Iran,Iraq, Jordan,Syria,Israel.

    In SE Asia, itself,the Khmer and Mon races dominated the entire political kingdom.Thai, Lao, Burman and the others came very much later.In Indonesia, the Javanese, the overlords of the original natives of Cambodia, were the dominant race, till today.

    In Sanskrit, Varma means King.Surya- Sun, jaya-victory.

    According to the Vedas, all the ruling races are to be led by Varna or skin colour. Only the fair skinned can occupy the priest,kings or important positions.Hence the class divide which prevails till today.

    Only the fair skins can be educated or read the Vedas.( Book of Knowledge)

    Sadly.

    History Buff

    December 10, 2010 at 5:04 am

  6. I’ve heard about this before. The tree picture seem small, can you send me a bigger picture, please.
    keospb@gmail.com

    KeoSovan

    December 18, 2010 at 12:03 am

  7. where were u in polpot regime? do you have any family death during that regime? think again about 7 jan 1979.
    and think again who is the leader?

    i know you lie

    January 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm

  8. Do you have any link sources to Sheikh Ahmad? I cant find it under the references.

    Waffle

    February 11, 2011 at 6:39 pm

  9. You have mental illness .Go see a doctor.

    Your mother fucker

    February 19, 2011 at 7:34 pm

  10. Oh man, you you building your own history.You intentionally jeopardize Khmer proper History.

    Your mother fucker

    March 13, 2011 at 5:23 am

  11. History wrote by people we called them scholars and/or historians. But many of them were ordered by the rulers or dictators to justify their desires or their conquest.
    I don’t believe history, because things can be possible.
    I am Sino_Thai but I go to school in the US, somehow I don’t believe the history wrote by Thais, Cambodians.. Vietnamese. They were enemies and why should they write the truth. Yeah some parts were true, but many are having so much lies. There are a few but no many Asian scholars that are good if the are educated in Europe and America. Still I don’t trust them like I don’t trust American media.

    Destin

    June 7, 2011 at 3:54 am

  12. Thank you for the very interesting article. However, I cannot follow what you say in your “sentence

    “.. Princess Bejaratana Rajasuda’s maternal grandmother, Dame Sri Sunthornnat (Thao Sri Sundhornnath – formerly Kaew Abhaiwongse) was a sister of Khun Chom Iem Bossaba (Yem Bossaba Abhaiwongse)[1864-1944], the 20th wife of King Norodom (1834-1904)”.

    Only two sentences earlier you say that her maternal grandmother was Lek Bunnag.

    Yours
    James

    James Hoard

    July 29, 2011 at 2:37 am

  13. hi all of my relative i am grateful your i am Mon man i interesting my Mon royal ancient palace so what can i do

    min chein ho

    May 28, 2012 at 7:16 am

  14. Fantastic website. Plenty of useful information here. I’m sending it to several pals ans also sharing in delicious. And naturally, thanks to your sweat!

    link

    August 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm

  15. It is an interesting account of the possible connection between the two royal families. However, one important issue I may need to point out here.

    Regarding the Bunnag family, you need to distinguish between the family name and a person. Bunnag in the diagram is the name of the founder of the Bunnags. That’s how the family name came about. He married Nuan and had no child named Tuptim. However, Tuptim is a daughter of Noi Bunnag, a cousin of Bunnag himself. There is no record that Noi Bunnag’s wife had any relationship with Nuan and Nak.

    If my explanation is true. The Khmer royal family is rather more related to the Abhaiwongse than the Chakri. There was no clear relationship between the two royal families until King Vajiravudh married Queen Suvadhana. And King Vajiravudh has only a daughter with no husband.

    PB

    November 17, 2012 at 4:16 am

  16. Wow, wonderful blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your website is great, as well as the content!. Thanks For Your article about Khmer-Siam Royal Family Tree | THE SON OF THE KHMER EMPIRE Be informed that FB Account Sokheoun Pang is Fake Created by CPP Supporter​ to Defame and Complicate Me. Mine is Khmer Sovannaphumi .

    Casey Schwabe

    May 29, 2013 at 7:34 am

  17. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you make blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is fantastic, let alone the content!. Thanks For Your article about Khmer-Siam Royal Family Tree | THE SON OF THE KHMER EMPIRE Be informed that FB Account Sokheoun Pang is Fake Created by CPP Supporter​ to Defame and Complicate Me. Mine is Khmer Sovannaphumi .

    Ria Karrels

    July 12, 2013 at 8:45 pm

  18. Hi, I would like to know if anyone has any information to support the possible migration of Irani Zoroastrians from Iran to Siam (Thailand) and then to Malaysia after the conquest of Siam by Burma. I m interested in the possibility of this event between the 15th and 18th centuries. Sorry if this query is outside of the scope of this topic. Thanks
    Regards.

    Amy

    July 17, 2013 at 2:19 pm

  19. Have you ever considered publishing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs?

    I have a blog based upon on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to have you share some
    stories/information. I know my visitors would value your
    work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an email.

    is huffington post down

    July 19, 2013 at 8:51 pm


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