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The commercial site findmypast has digital images and transcriptions from the India Office Records at the British Library, (released 29 January 2014).

For a description of the databases, see External links below: "FindmyPast British India Office Collection".

Categories often cover a wide range of records. This is particularly true for those which might, at first glance, appear to relate only to church records. For example, the sections on births and baptisms also include such records as Addiscombe Cadets and Writer applications and those in the Deaths and Burials category show returns of death of uncovenanted civil servants and other officers which give details of family and property left by the deceased.

A list of the records available in the British In India Collection on findmypast can be found on the British Library website, refer External links below. Subsequent to the initial release, the India Office databases now (2019/03) include some additional records, some transcriptions licensed from FIBIS, and in the India Office Deaths, transcriptions from the Kabristan Archives. Perhaps other records may also be included.

Note that some India Office Records will not be found in the findmypast database, (for technical or other reasons) but may be found on FamilySearch, as transcribed index records and digitised microfilms. Examples are some/all of the records from Madras: Baptisms, Marriages, Burials ‎ (Oct 1815-May 1818) IOR/N/2/6 FamilySearch microfilm 506957, and Madras: Roman Catholic Returns of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials ‎ (1838-1839) IOR/N/2/RC/1-2 FamilySearch microfilm 530008[1] . Note that names may be transcribed incorrectly which will affect the findmypast Search. If you cannot find a record you are looking for, cross check with records on Familysearch, or try a more general search on findmypast. See "11 tips for searching", External links below.

For privacy reasons be aware that currently (2019) a limited transcription only is available with no digital images for births after 1918, and for marriages after 1933. These dates have been increased since the original restrictions in place when the databases were introduced in 2014 (which were after 1914/1929), and currently there appears to be an increase on an annual basis. Expanded details of these restricted records can be obtained from the British Library, (payment required) or from FamilySearch microfilm/digitised microfilm, from (and see) FamilySearch Centres, (available for free) which may however be geographically not feasible for some researchers.

Other records

There are other findmypast datasets which contain, or may contain, records relating to India.

  • findmypast category "Travel & Migration", subcategory Migration.
    • British In India. Released 24 December 2015. Transcriptions and images from cards completed by Major Vernon Charles Padget Hodson (1883-1963), Lt. Col. Herbert Kendall Percy-Smith FSG (1897-1975) and others held at the Society of Genealogists, "British in India documents female relatives of officers of the Bengal Army, Madras Army and Bombay Army, along with British civil servants, chaplains, merchants, plantation owners, labourers and British people in India after the East India Company period". Note: The Search facility does not pick up the majority of the female names, only the male names. Most of the female names are only revealed when looking at the male records.
Update: An additional 56,729 records were added to the British In India dataset 9 February 2018.
  • findmypast category "Travel & Migration", subcategory Passenger Lists contains the dataset "Passenger Lists Leaving UK 1890-1960". Also see Passenger lists.
  • findmypast category "Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records"
    • British Armed Forces and Overseas Births, Marriages, Deaths. (3 datasets). For a description of these index records see Chaplains Returns and General Register Office.
    • British Armed Forces, Roman Catholic Registers, covering 1836-1975 (introduced 2017/11). There is a related Browse database. The registers were created by the Bishopric of the Forces, the religious officials of the Roman Catholic Church responsible for the pastoral care of Roman Catholics in the military, and are from The Scottish Catholic Archives. Includes locations in the UK as well as bases in Cairo, Cyprus, Malta, and more.
    • Previously there was a dataset called "British Overseas Marriages" 1818-2005, included some transcriptions of marriages at St John's Calcutta and, in spite of the dataset title, appear to be from the late 1700s/early 1800s. These were transcriptions, elsewhere [2] stated to be from records at the Society of Genealogists, and were very limited in information. Only the year of marriage was given, and there were no details of the spouse. See Calcutta for possible sources of these records. There were also records from other counties in this dataset. However, this no longer exists as a separate dataset, but appears to have been incorporated into the British Armed Forces and Overseas Marriages dataset above, as British Overseas Marriages (Cliff Webb Collection).
    • Records relating to BMD events at sea have now been incorporated into British Armed Forces and Overseas Births, Marriages, Deaths. (3 datasets), refer above.
    • A dataset called "Probate Calendars Of England & Wales 1858-1959", located in the sub-category "Wills & probate". For more details, see Wills, Administrations, Probate and Inventories.
  • For military records:
    • See British Army
    • Indian Army. There is an incorrectly titled dataset "British Army, Indian Volunteer Force Medal Awards 1915-1939", located under Armed forces & conflict/Medal rolls and honours. The information for each transcript was extracted from the Indian Army Orders by Kevin Asplin.
    • findmypast category "Armed Forces & Conflict/ Other Wars & Conflicts" contains a database
    "British Subjects Who Died In The Service Of The Indian Empire", (introduced 2018/08/10).[3] No details of the source of this database is provided, but it is most likely taken from the Naval & Military Press reprint Soldiers Of The Raj, originally in two volumes published in 1910 as A list of inscriptions on Christian tombs or monuments in the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Kashmir and Afghanistan possessing historical or archaeological interest. The latter two volumes are available online, (free), see Cemeteries - Inscriptions in online books. and note that the content does not appear to be restricted to "Armed Forces & Conflict".
    • See South Africa for details of the database "South Africa Roll Of Honour 1914-1918".
  • findmypast category "Newspapers and periodicals". Online newspapers. See Newspapers.
  • findmypast category "Census, Land & Surveys"
    • Census records may be useful for locating children at school in Britain, whose parents are in India. Census records are also available on Ancestry. Note: 1911 Census of Scotland is not included - this is available on ScotlandsPeople.
    • This category also contains electoral registers which may be useful if you are tracing a person who has returned or immigrated to the UK. The main database is "England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1832-1932", although there are gaps in the records for various years, and not all constituencies are included (ongoing project). These records are displayed as pdf documents. There is also the associated dataset "England & Wales, Electoral Registers 1832-1932 Image Browse". Read the findmypast Search tips. There are also electoral registers on Ancestry.
  • findmypast category "Newspapers, Directories & Social History/Directories & Almanacs", "British In India, Directories 1792-1948 Browse",[4] introduced 2018/05/18. Of the titles examined as a sample, most were freely available elsewhere, (and in fact may be the same digital files), see the Fibiwiki pages Directories online, Newspapers and journals online and Indian Army List online, but one volume not seen elsewhere is Times Of India Bombay Directory, 1936. Additionally, it is necessary to use the search, (or browse) to find the exact years of publication available. These publications are not currently searchable by name. The findmypast viewer for this database is slow, and it would be quicker to view a volume elsewhere.

External links


  1. Glover, Jill. KENNEDY/HILL Saga – Disappointment Rootsweb India List 8 December 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2018.
  2. W., Hugh Genealoge September 06, 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2015
  3. British Subjects Who Died In The Service Of The Indian Empire findmypast.
  4. British In India, Directories 1792-1948 Browse findmypast.
  5. Thomas Beer died Dibrugarh 1921. findmypast (You must be signed in to findmypast to view the link)