British nationality (born in India)

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Persons of British background born in British India prior to Independence in 1947 were generally entitled to British nationality under the British Nationality Act 1948. However, this provision did not extend to persons, and their descendants born in Princely States, which were not under the direct control of the British, even when births took place in cantonment areas controlled by the British. Individual application was required, and nationality status could be denied, refer External links below. Some decisions appear arbitrary. "People, even siblings, with exactly the same circumstances were treated differently.[1]


  • British Library records IOR/L/PJ/8/1-76 Collection 101: Aliens ‎ (1931-1950)] includes IOR/L/PJ/8/13-15 Coll 101/10; British Nationality Bill ‎ (Jul 1947-Feb 1948)] , Coll 101/10/1; British Nationality Bill and Act, 1948 ‎ (Feb 1948-Aug 1948) and Coll 101/10/2; British Nationality Act, 1948: interpretation and operation ‎ (Aug 1948-Apr 1950). Search for these records in the Archives and Manuscripts catalogue.
  • The Society of Genealogists has records referred to as the Anglo Indian Research papers, two boxes containing about 400 cases of correspondence relating to work undertaken by Lieutenant-Colonel Percy-Smith and the SoG in 1949-1950 on behalf of British Subjects and their descendents in the Indian sub-continent and at home, seeking to prove their nationality under the 1948 British Nationality Act. A name index attached to the papers supersedes that published by the British Families in India Society.[2]

Naturalisation in India

A 1946 naturalisation request was seen on National Archives of India website. Application from ... For A German Jew, For Nationalization Under the British Nationality Status of Aliens Act 1914. [Should be Naturalization]
Search National Archives of India website

External links


  1. Tillyer, Anthea. Case-by-case with the Home Office Rootsweb India Mailing List 17 August 2015, now archived. (Scroll down).
    Gutheridge, Sue et al. Passport Rootsweb India Mailing List 15 February 2019, now archived.
    louliefamily et al. Re: Passport Rootsweb India Mailing List 16 February 2019, now archived.
  2. page 35 Ancestors Magazine 57