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Research: British India Ancestors
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This course gives an introduction to researching ancestors in India, during the time of British involvement and rule. The course focuses mainly on British ancestors, but includes records that are relevant to other Europeans in India, as well as Anglo-Indians.

In this course, the author will use primary and secondary material to demonstrate how to research ancestors in British India in depth.


Course Content

Module 1
History of the British in India
Note about Web Addresses
Websites
Additional Information
Recommended Reading
East India Company & Beginnings of British Involvement in India
1857 Indian Mutiny
India Office Records & direct rule from Britain
Rise of Indian nationalism
1947 Independence
Life (and records) from 1948
Bibliography
 

Module 2
Maps & Place Names
Websites
Changing Borders of ‘British India’
Princely States & other areas beyond direct British control
Variants in spelling & place name changes
 
Travel to & from India: changes over time
• Suez Canal
• Passenger Lists
• Ship Records
 
Bibliography
 

Module 3
Vital Events, Church Records & Probate
Websites
Online Indexes
Digital Books
Church records (Anglican & non-Anglican)
 
Civil registration
• Transcription Forms
• Baptism Record
• Marriage Record
• Burial Record
 
Christianity in India
• Schools & orphanages
• Cemeteries
 
Probate
• Probate in India
• Probate pre-1727
• Probate in the UK
 
Bibliography
 

Module 4
Armed Forces & Merchant Seaman
Websites
 
East India Company’s Armies
• Cadet Papers
• Other Records of Officers
• Printed Books
• Hodson’s Index
• Soldiers and NCOs
• Soldiers in the British Army who served in India
 
Indian Army
• Officers
 
British Army
• Other Ranks
 
Indian Navy & Royal Indian Marine/Navy
• East India Company Naval Service
• East Indiamen
• EIC Mercantile Marine
• Bengal Marine
• Bengal Pilot Service 1669-1948
• Bombay Marine 1613-1830
• Indian Navy (1830-1863) & Royal Indian Marine/Navy (1877-1948)
 
British Merchant Seamen
• Officers’ Records
 
Royal Navy
Royal Indian Air Force & Royal Air Force in India
Chaplains, Medical Service (and Subordinate), Veterinary Corps & Bandsmen
 
Indian Army Nursing Services & Women’s Auxiliary Corps
• Nursing
• India & Burma
 
Bibliography
 

Module 5
Occupations
Websites
Main occupations of the British in India (outside of the armed forces)
 
Civil servants: covenanted & uncovenanted (EIC)
• Uncovenanted Civil Servants
• Civil Service from 1749
• Entry Papers: Index of Writers’ Petitions
 
India Office & Burma Office
• Civil Service records in the Raj period
 
Trade: tea, jute, coffee and other products
• Merchant Travel to India
• Country Trade & Free Mariners
 
Tea Trade
• Assam history
• Tea companies
• Coffee Planting
 
Railways
• History of the Railways
• Life as a Railway Worker
• Indian Railway Companies
• Staff Records
• State Railways
• Railway Companies
 
Bibliography
 

Module 6
Miscellaneous Records
Websites
Memoirs, letters & diaries online & in collections around the world
Directories: what exists and what exists online
 
Newspapers and online databases
• Newspapers
 
Family papers
Other published sources & how to access them
 
Case Study
 
Appendices
Abbreviations
 
Useful Addresses
• Archives in the UK
• Archives in India
 
Online Indexes
• General UK Genealogy
• British India
 
Timelines
• Governors & Viceroys of India
• Governors-General of India (1773-1858)
• Viceroys of India (1858-1947)
 
Bibliography
 
 

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