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In 1819, the British East India Company, led by Sir Stamford Raffles, established a trading post on the island of Singapore, which was used as a port along the spice route.

Singapore formed part of the Straits Settlements, together with Penang (Prince of Wales Island) and Malacca.


  • Ecclesiastical Returns: Baptisms, Marriages and Burials at the British Library. Prince of Wales Island [Penang], Malacca and Singapore 1799-1829 in IOR N/8. These records are included in the digitised records now available on the commercial site findmypast
The FamilySearch (LDS) film number for these records is 498606, item 2. LDS batch number for baptisms 1828-1829 C310051. Data for the baptisms 1828-1829 has been transcribed on the LDS website Family Search. Enter batch number C310051, and baptismal records for Singapore on film 498606 will be shown. It is not known whether the data is a complete transcription or not. These records are in the World category (All Records Collections) in a group of records called World Miscellaneous.
Returns are continued in the Bengal returns 1830-1868, N/1. For Malacca marriages 1820-1824, see also IOR: R/9/39/3.
  • This FamilySearch (LDS) catalogue entry gives details of the church and cemetery records available for Singapore.
  • BACSA has published the book Singapore: Early Cemeteries by Alan Harfield 1988 (revised edn) "Comprehensive record of all main cemeteries. 400pp, over 150 illustrations, maps and plans". See BACSA Books. This book is included in the BACSA Search database which is free to search. If you want a copy of the full record, a fee applies.
  • British & Indian Armies in the East Indies (1685-1935) by Alan Harfield 1984 is available at the British Library. History of British and Indian Armies in Sumatra, Java, Sarawak, Malaya and Singapore from 1685-1935. Includes names of officers and men buried in these areas. Also includes name lists of persons in some military units which served in these areas.
  • Birth, marriage and death notices were published in Singapore newspapers. See following section for online newspapers.


Recommended reading

  • Raffles and the Golden Opportunity by Victoria Glendinning, published 2012.
This book has been reviewed by Beverly Hallam in FIBIS Journal Number 30 (Autumn 2013) page 43

Also see

External Links

Encylopedia entries



The Malayan Volunteer Forces by Rosemary Fell.
Singapore And Malaya Volunteer Corps Medals 10 March 2013 from “Singapore Volunteer Corps, Straits Settlements Volunteer Force, Malaya Volunteer Forces”
"Spreading the word: using cookbooks and colonial memoirs to examine the foodways of British Colonials in Asia, 1850-1900" by Cecilia Y. Leong-Salobir, University of Wollongong. From The Routledge History of Food 2015 (pp. 131-155)

Historical photographs online

Historical books online

Index to journals nos. 1 to 50 of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society and to notes and queries I to IV, published 1909. BookSG (which also has 1878 and 1880 editions)
CSCA: Source Documents in Anglican Missions in Southeast Asia compiled by Michael Poon.

Medical history of Singapore

  • Cholera (1973 Mar)
  • The Pauper Hospital (8 Parts-1973 Mar; 1974 Mar; 1975 Jun; 1975 Sep; 1975 Dec; 1976 Mar; 1976 Jun; 1976 Sep)
  • Smallpox and Vaccination (4 Parts- 1973 Dec; 1976 Dec; 1977 Mar; 1977 Jun)
  • Prostitution And Venereal Disease (2 Parts-1980 Oct; 1980 Dec)
  • The Mental Diseases Hospital Singapore (1st 100 Years) (4 Parts-1992 Aug; 1992 Oct;1992 Dec;1993 Feb)
  • The Coroner (2005 Oct)
  • Radiology (2006 Feb)
  • Anaesthetics (2006 Mar)
  • Pharmacy (2006 May).

Also see Apothecary and Nurse


  1. A History of the Singapore Volunteer Corps, 1854-1937 : being also an historical outline of volunteering in Malaya Naval & Military Press