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This article details sources for monumental inscriptions and cemetery records.

See also:

FIBIS resources

  • The FIBIS database has a category of records called Cemeteries
  • FIBIS Fact File No 6: Graves in British India by Richard Morgan 2011.
    • Part 1 explains what sources, paper and online, there are for Memorial Inscriptions in British India.
    • Part 2 suggests how to make best use of your time and resources if you wish to visit India and transcribe or photograph MIs of ancestors there.
Available to buy from the FIBIS Shop

British Library Records

  • The British Library has the book, in three volumes, The Oriental Obituary being an impartial compilation from monumental inscriptions on the tombs of those persons whose ashes are deposited in these remote parts since the formation of European Settlements, to the present time To which is added Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, etc by William Urquhart of Madras. Published in Madras by Journal Press, 1809. Shelfmark: General Reference Collection C.55.d.23.
  • Official Publications: Church Registers IOR/V/27/73 gives details of the four volumes of the book List of burials at Madras / compiled from the register of St. Mary’s Church, Fort St. George by C.H. Malden, for the period 1680-1900, published 1903-05. Also available as Shelfmark OIR 929.5 open access , where the four volumes are bound in one.
  • Official Publications: Monumental Inscriptions and Monuments IOR/V/27/74 1848-1946. Many of these items are books on the open access shelves.
    • Two of these books, items IOR/V/27/74/69 -70, A list of inscriptions on Christian tombs or monuments in the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Kashmir and Afghanistan possessing historical or archaeological interest Part 1 by Miles Irving (1910) and Part 2 by George William De Rhe-Philipe (1912), the latter containing biographical information, have been reprinted by the Naval and Military Press under the title Soldiers of the Raj, available through the FIBIS Online Bookshop . These books are also available to read online, refer below.



A very useful resource for locating ancestors buried in South Asia is the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia (BACSA). This organisation is dedicated to preserving European cemeteries in the region and has completed many projects to preserve cemeteries. It has many records in its archive at the British Library. In addition, BACSA publishes many useful books on the subject of South Asia, including complete transcriptions of all the monuments in many cemeteries, see Cemeteries and monumental inscriptions reading list.



If your ancestors died this century whilst serving with Commonwealth armed forces (e.g. Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand) then their graves will be maintained in special cemeteries by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. These are scattered throughout Asia (and other parts of the world) and are beautifully maintained.

Inscriptions in online books

Other external links

  • Koi-Hai - 'Graves' - an article covering various parts of India and Ceylon, with photographs.
  • Kabristan Archives 'Old Irish and Indian Graveyards' - has books on cemeteries in India and Ceylon.
  • Details of the book Armenian Graves, Inscriptions and Memorials in India: Dacca 1722-1977 by Liz Chater 2011
  • Obituary: Theon Wilkinson, 1924-2007, founder of BACSA. The Times, 18 January, 2008
  • Dead men’s tales The Telegraph, Calcutta 17 February 2008. John Kendall and indian-cemeteries.org
  • "Cemeteries, Public Memory and Raj Nostalgia in Postcolonial Britain and India" by Elizabeth Buettner published in History & Memory - Volume 18, Number 1, Spring/Summer 2006, pages 5-42.
html version, original pdf
  • Find A Grave - millions of user added grave inscriptions from around the world, some with photos. Asian cemeteries not well covered but some with war graves/memorials have many entries.
  • deceased online which states : "The central database for UK burials and cremations". Includes database coverage. Search for free and pay to view records.