The Princely, Native or Indian States are those States in India which remained nominally under the control of their traditional or hereditary rulers.
By treaty, the Indian Government maintained Army cantonments in many of these States. These cantonments appear to have been under direct British control, as part of one of the Bengal, Madras or Bombay Presidencies, and their records were part of the Presidency records.
In contrast, Railway Colonies located in Princely States do not appear to have been under British control, and their records were not part of the British records.
List of main states at Independence
- Baluchistan Agency
- Central India Agency , 148 states including Gwalior and Rewah
- Eastern States Agency
- Hyderabad, the Nizam's Dominions
- Kashmir and Jammu
- Punjab States Agency
- Rajputana Agency, 20 states including Jaipur and Jodhpur
- States of Western India
British Library APAC records
- Baptisms, Marriages and Burials - Indian (Princely) States 1890-1946, N/5, which consists of two volumes only. The index to these records is a single, slim volume.
They are original records and the forms have been completed in a variety of different cramped handwriting and writing materials, making many of them very difficult to read. However, the amount of information provided, particularly in the case of death, is often considerably more detailed than that found in the usual presidency returns. These records are identified in the general Z/N series of indexes. There is also a name and date index from 1923-1950 to be found on LDS film 498603; and the entire set of records is contained on two films 527422 and 527423.
These records, including images, are also available online on the pay website findmypast.
- Imperial Service Troops, later called Indian States Forces.
- List of Indian Princely States - Wikipedia
Historical books online
- India and its native princes. Travels in Central India and in the presidencies of Bombay and Bengal by Louis Rousselet New edition 1882 Archive.org. First published 1876, relates to travels in c 1865-1866
- An Historical Sketch of the Native States of India in subsidiary alliance with the British Government by Colonel G B Malleson Bengal Staff Corps, Guardian of His Highness the Maharaja of Mysore 1875 Archive.org
- British Enactments in Force in Native States by J M Macpherson Archive.org
- Central India, 2nd edition 1899, Rajputana 2nd edition 1899, Southern India (Hyderabad) 2nd edition 1900.
- For possible additional volumes Archive.org
- Indian States Register and Directory 1929 Archive.org, Digital Library of India Collection]. Index page 641.
- Sample pages: Indian States: A Biographical, Historical, and Administrative Survey edited by Arnold Wright 1922 Google Books
- The Princes Of India with a Chapter on Nepal by Sir William Barton 1934. Archive.org, Digital Library of India Collection.
- Palace Days: the adventures and misadventures of a Guardian to a Rajah's heir by R B Van Wart [Reginald Bramley] 1934. Archive.org. His role included being a tutor and performing an administrative assistant type role, and, at the end of the book, he was involved with the 1911 Delhi Durbar. His account starts approximately 3 years prior to this. The author was admitted to the Order of the British Empire (OBE) 3 June 1925 at which time he was Principal, Rajput Schools, Jodhpur, Indian Education Service.
- The Indian States and Princes by Lieut.-General Sir George MacMunn 1936 Archive.org, Digital Library of India Collection.
- The Princely India I knew, from Reading to Mountbatten by Sir Conrad Corfield, former Political Adviser to the Viceroy. 1975 Archive.org Books to Borrow/Lending Library. Published by the Indo British Historical Society. The author was the last official head of the Indian Political Service, which he had joined in 1925 after preliminary service in the Punjab Province from 1921.