Andaman Islands

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Andaman Islands
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Presidency: Madras
Coordinates: 11.67°N 92.76°E
Present Day Details
Place Name: Andaman Islands
State/Province: Union Territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Country: India
Transport links

The Andaman Islands was the location of a penal colony during the British Raj. Port Blair is the capital.

A penal settlement existed for a short time in the 1790s but was abandoned due to disease. However, in 1858, after the Indian Mutiny, the penal settlement was re-established to deal effectively with native Indian troops who had recently rebelled. By the late 19th century the independence movement had picked up momentum. As a result, the number of prisoners being sent to the Andaman Islands started growing and the need for a high-security prison was felt. The construction of the Andaman Cellular Jail started in 1896 and was completed in 1906. Most of the prisoners were Indian political prisoners who were housed at the jail until 1937. The penal settlement was closed in 1945.

1st Superintendent
2nd Superintendent

The Japanese occupied the Andaman Islands from 1942 to 1945 during the Second World War.

FIBIS resources

India Office Records at the British Library

Church records at the British Library

A number of records appear on the LDS FamilySearch site, refer IGI.

The Church records for the Andaman Islands mainly appear in the Bengal Presidency records, although there are a few in the Madras Presidency records

It appears that from circa 1861 the Andaman Islands were administered by Burma, which in turn was part of the Bengal Presidency. At a later (unknown) date, but by 1893, it was part of the Madras Presidency, as show by this link, page 178 The history of India, revised by Sir Roper Lethbridge 1893.( At a still later date, the Presidency may have again changed, so if you are searching for church records, using the indexes, (either at the British Library, or by using LDS Microfilms) it is suggested you search in both Bengal and Madras Presidency records.

Other records

Records in respect of the Andaman Islands include:

  • Proceedings and Consultations of the Government of India and of its Presidencies and Provinces IOR/P includes Port Blair and the Nicobars Proceedings Proceedings of the Superintendent of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands 1876-1921
  • Administration Reports: Andaman and Nicobar Islands IOR/V/10/589-628 1872-1940
  • Andaman and Nicobars Gazette IOR/V/11/3695-3699 1895-1903
  • Histories of Services IOR/V/12 includes Histories of Services: Andaman and Nicobar Islands, 1886-1889 IOR/V/12/434
  • "The history of the Andaman and Nicobar Police" (anon) Mss Eur F161/26 1858-1960
  • Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Medical Department: Annual sanitary and medical report on the settlement of Port Blair, Andamans, 1869 IOR/V/24/3875
  • Coll 5/5(1); Indian Forest Service. Amendments to Cadre in Andaman Islands IOR/L/SG/7/337 11 Jun 1931-1947 Mar 14

External links

Part I 20 February 2012, Part II 23 February 2012 British Library Blog: Untold Lives: Sharing stories from the past.

Historical books online