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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 from c 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/probably 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]. At least one (but not all) Bengal Marriages Oct-Dec 1883 IOR/N/1/186 was missing from Findmypast, to be found on FamilySearch, as an index record from microfilm 510871. Marriages and most of the deaths from IOR/N1/444 Bengal: Baptisms, Marriages, Burials Apr 1920-Jun 1920 also appear to be missing from Findmypast (as at 2021/01/15).
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 (2022/06/26) a limited transcription only is available with no digital images for births after 1922, and for some births in 1922, where the baptism was after 1922, and for marriages after 1937. These dates have been increased since the original restrictions in place when the databases were introduced in 2014 (which were after 1914/1929), and over the immediate past years there has been 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), (and currently also from FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries some of which, particularly genealogical societies, may charge a visitor fee) which may however be geographically not feasible for some researchers. Also check whether there is a FamilySearch indexed record, which sometimes may contain more details than the Findmypast equivalent.

Other records

There are other Findmypast datasets which contain, or may contain, records relating to India, or other countries in the region.

  • 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 and "over 7,000" records for surnames beginning with the letters J and K, were added c 7 February 2020.
  • 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), with a fourth dataset "British Armed Forces and Overseas Browse", located in Life Events (BMDs). For a description of these records, some of them index records only, 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).
    • Database "British In Ceylon Parish Records". For more details, see Ceylon - Findmypast/Kabristan Archives
    • 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.
      • Dataset "Indian Army Records Of Service 1900-1947" located in Military, Armed Forces & Conflict/Regimental & Service Records. Index records only for service records which are held at the British Library, and which may be Searched for in the BL Archives and Manuscripts catalogue. See Indian Army-Records for more details.
      • 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). 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".
    • See West Indies for details of the database "Caribbean Rolls Of Honour WW1".
  • Findmypast category "Newspapers and periodicals". Online newspapers. Includes The Times of India database 1861-1888, with planned extension to 1889, and Madras Courier 1790-1818. See Newspapers and journals online - Pay websites.
  • 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 "Directories & Social History/Directories & Almanacs",
    • British In India, Directories 1792-1948 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.
    By comparison, an equivalent database on Ancestry "UK, Registers of Employees of the East India Company and the India Office, 1746-1939" located in Schools, Directories & Church Histories, includes many publications not available online elsewhere.
    • Asia, Far East Directories & Chronicles 1833-1941, with a Publication list, introduced 2021/12/10. The database is searchable by name. An examination of a sample of three volumes indicated they were all digitised by others (2 by Google Books and one by National Library of Scotland) and were available elsewhere, and it is suspected that the whole database is similar, and does not include any "new" digitisations. The Findmypast viewer for this database is slow, and it would be quicker to view a volume elsewhere. See China for alternative sources.
    • Britain, Royal and Imperial Calendars 1767-1973 introduced 2020/01/31, more records added 2020/06/19. From 1809 onward, the title was British Imperial Calendar, or some variant, and the publications which were scanned are probably located in the the Library at the National Archives. At 2020/06, the years from 1809 are missing 1844-46,75, 80,83, 85-86; 1919, 21-24, 26, 42, 44-45, from the database, and it is not known whether all Parts have been digitised. "The Imperial Calendars provide a valuable resource for tracing the whereabouts and careers of persons employed in various posts in the public sphere from the 1800s to 1973". "The later calendars from the 20th century evolved to include the Civil Service List and additional departments such as Home Office and Treasury".[3] The early calendars include persons serving in the East India Company and possibly there may be later references to persons in India. Also includes at least some military references. A sample volume looked at was for 1920 Part II, (Civil Service List) findmypast link, commencing at page 209, including "Air Ministry" page 249a. These volumes are designed to be searched, and are slow to browse, although it is possible.
A Browse database "Britain, Royal and Imperial Calendars 1767-1973 Browse" was introduced 14 April 2023, consisting of a selection of editions from the Search database, 39 at date of introduction, approximately 20% of the volumes in the Search database.
Some online volumes available elsewhere give an indication of the content
1811-1856 (broken range) Links to Google Books or HathiTrust editions.
1887 edition is available on a FamilySearch digitised Film # 005589525 (you need to be signed into FS to view), commencing image 361, Index image 362, image 531 page 218 Indian Political Department: Residents at Foreign Courts..Political Agents
  • Findmypast category "Education & Work"
    • Database "East India Company Madras Records Of Service 1741-1858" located in subcategory "Colonial Service". This record set is transcribed index records from a book of the same title by Charles Prinsep, published 1885, which is available online, see Indian Civil Service.

External links


  1. Glover, Jill. KENNEDY/HILL Saga – Disappointment Rootsweb India List 8 December 2015 (scroll down), now archived.
  2. W., Hugh Genealoge September 06, 2008. Retrieved 8 January 2015
  3. Fridays Findmypast blog 19 June 2020.
  4. Thomas Beer died Dibrugarh 1921. Findmypast (You must be signed in to Findmypast to view the link)
  5. Discover 150,000 new records from Ireland to India and beyond 24 June 2022 Findmypast blog.