This article details sources for monumental inscriptions and cemetery records.
- List of cemeteries in British India, for records of individual cemeteries and districts
- Cemeteries and monumental inscriptions reading list
- LDS Microfilms of Church registers in India includes burial registers
- The FIBIS database has a category of records called Cemeteries
- FIBIS Fact File No 6: Graves in British India by Richard Morgan 2011.
- Part 1 explains what sources, paper and online, there are for Memorial Inscriptions in British India.
- Part 2 suggests how to make best use of your time and resources if you wish to visit India and transcribe or photograph MIs of ancestors there.
- Available to buy from the FIBIS Shop
- FIBIS blog: Book of the month. A comprehensive new edition of Burma Register of European Deaths and Burials, edited by Rosie Llewellyn-Jones, published by BACSA, 2015. Covers burials up to 1948. 212pp
- "Some Unpublished Inscriptions from the Cemeteries of Jaipur" by Syed Faizan Raza FIBIS Journal Number 37 (Spring 2017) pages 47-51. See FIBIS Journals for details of how to access this article
British Library Records
- The British Library has the book, in three volumes, The Oriental Obituary being an impartial compilation from monumental inscriptions on the tombs of those persons whose ashes are deposited in these remote parts since the formation of European Settlements, to the present time To which is added Biographical Sketches, Anecdotes, etc by William Urquhart of Madras. Published in Madras by Journal Press, 1809. Shelfmark: General Reference Collection C.55.d.23. This book must be read in the Rare Books Reading Room. The first volume of The Oriental Obituary is available online at archive.org, refer below. It appears that some or all of the contents of this book has been borrowed by M Derozario for his 1815 book The Complete Monumental Register, available online, refer below.
- Official Publications: Church Registers IOR/V/27/73 gives details of the four volumes of the book List of burials at Madras / compiled from the register of St. Mary’s Church, Fort St. George by C.H. Malden, for the period 1680-1900, published 1903-05. Also available as Shelfmark OIR 929.5 open access , where the four volumes are bound in one. Volume 3, for the period 1800-1850, is available online, refer below.
- Official Publications: Monumental Inscriptions and Monuments IOR/V/27/74 1848-1946. Many of these items are books on the open access shelves.
- Two of these books, items IOR/V/27/74/69 -70, A list of inscriptions on Christian tombs or monuments in the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Kashmir and Afghanistan possessing historical or archaeological interest Part 1 by Miles Irving (1910) and Part 2 by George William De Rhe-Philipe (1912), the latter containing biographical information, have been reprinted by the Naval and Military Press under the title Soldiers of the Raj. These books are also available to read online, refer below.
- An additional book at the British Library is List of Inscriptions on Tombs or Monuments in H.E.H. the Nizam's Dominions : with biographical notes by O.S. Crofton.1941 (UIN: BLL01001781826)
- United Kingdom High Commission files relating to cemeteries IOR/R/4/1-539 1943-1967. Transferred from Indian Public Works Department to the British High Commission, New Delhi, and from there to the India Office Records in 1972-73. Includes
- File 12a Military memorials of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders in India and Pakistan IOR/R/4/87 Dec 1948-Dec 1950
- File 12b Military memorials of the Royal Artillery in India and Pakistan IOR/R/4/88 Jul 1947-May 1948
- File 12e Military memorials of the Royal Engineers and the Sappers and Miners in India IOR/R/4/91 Jul 1947-Dec 1947
- File 18/1 Durham Light Infantry monuments IOR/R/4/97 Aug 1949-May 1950
- File 18/4 Graves of foreign nationals IOR/R/4/114 Mar 1890-Sep 1950
- Also contains items "List of inscriptions". As an example, the FIBIS data base contains Transcriptions of summary data from gravestones in Chakrata taken from IOR/R4/539
- Note these records are available on LDS microfilm  where there is more detail provided about the individual items, in the "Film Notes".
- Bengal Past and Present which was the Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society was issued from 1907. Some issues contained articles about burial inscriptions. Most editions are held by the British Library, although some appear to be missing. There is also an Index volume for the years 1907-1985, available on open access in the Asian & African Studies Reading Room
- There is an extensive collection of records in the BACSA archive at the British Library, refer British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia
A very useful resource for locating ancestors buried in South Asia is the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia (BACSA). This organisation is dedicated to preserving European cemeteries in the region and has completed many projects to preserve cemeteries. It has many records in its archive at the British Library. In addition, BACSA publishes many useful books on the subject of South Asia, including complete transcriptions of all the monuments in many cemeteries. To view the Cemetery Record books currently available, and also those out of print, go to BACSA Books and select Cemetery Record Books. Also see Cemeteries and monumental inscriptions reading list.
- Indian-cemeteries.org has hundreds of transcribed memorials from cemeteries all over India.
If your ancestors died during the First, or Second World War whilst serving with Commonwealth armed forces (e.g. Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand) then their graves will be maintained in special cemeteries by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. These are scattered throughout Asia (and other parts of the world) and are beautifully maintained. The dates covered for commemoration on the CWGC website are 4 August 1914 to 31 August 1921 and 3 September 1939 to 31 December 1947. There were some additional military burials in cemeteries maintained by the CWGC, outside these dates, which are also maintained, but the names will not be included in the database on the website.
- Commonwealth War Graves Commission Homepage. To find the cemeteries in India on the CWGC database, select "Find a Cemetery" and enter India in "Country"
The CWGC has a long term program in India for the reinstatement of First World War Cantonment Graves which were previously declared un-maintainable
For images, see the "War Graves Photographic Project" below
Inscriptions in online books
- The Oriental Obituary: Volume 1 by William Urquhart 1809, published in Madras. Archive.org
- Asiaticus : In Two Parts. Part One, Ecclesiastical, Chronological and Historical Sketches. Part Two, the Epitaphs in the Different Burial Grounds in and about Calcutta by John Hawkesworth 1803. (80 pages) (Google Books)
- The Complete Monumental Register: Containing All the Epitaphs in the Different Churches and Burial Grounds in and about Calcutta...together with General Inscriptions from the Presidencies of Madras, Bombay etc.] by M Derozario 1815 (230 pages) (Google Books). Index of names.The author advises he has borrowed the contents of Asiaticus by Mr Hawkesworth and of the Oriental Obituary by Mr Urquhart of Madras.
- The Bengal Obituary: or, a record to perpetuate the memory of departed worth, being a compilation of tablets and monumental inscriptions from various parts of the Bengal and Agra presidencies 1851 Google Books Index of Names
- List of inscriptions on tombs or monuments in Bengal possessing historical or archaeological interest by C R Wilson, 1896 is available as a free pdf type download from FamilySearch (located, if the given link is not permanent, by searching the Library catalogue). Includes index. Part I contains the Calcutta inscriptions; part II contains inscriptions from the Lower Provinces. c 248 pages This link may have download problems during maintenance night time Utah Time (Utah Time=GMT less seven hours). Try again at another time. Adobe Acrobat reader probably required.
- Inscriptions on Tombs or Monuments in Madras possessing historical or archaelogical interest Julian James Cotton 1905 archive.org.“It includes all epitaphs of adults earlier than 1800 and such entries of later date as possess historical or local interest”. Covers the Madras Presidency. Table of Contents An Index of names appears at the end.
- A revised edition, with additional information, was published in two volumes 1945-46. The first volume relates to the City of Madras, French India, Indian States and Fort Marlborough on the West Coast of Sumatra. The second volume relates to the districts of the Madras Presidency. There are two indexes at the end of each volume, an index to names on tombs or monuments, and an index to names in notes. Volume I Contents, Volume II Table of Contents Archive.org.
- The three volumes are also available on the Digital Library of India website, and in the DLI Collection on Archive.org
- List Of Tombs And Monuments of Europeans &c In The Madras District 1898 Archive.org. There is no index. Listed by cemetery and year of death, with deaths up to the 1890s. (65 pages). Also available on the Digital Library of India.
- List Of Burials At Madras (In St Mary's Cemetery) from 1801 to 1850 from the Register of St Mary’s Church, Fort St George by Rev CH Malden 1904. Archive.org Also available on the Digital Library of India (two files). Pdf download, Digital Library of India.
- A list of inscriptions on Christian tombs or monuments in the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Kashmir and Afghanistan possessing historical or archaeological interest: Part I by Miles Irving (1910) Index (Hathi Trust Digital Library), Part II Biographical Notices of Military Officers and others whose names appear in the inscriptions of Part I by George William De Rhe-Philipe (1912), (Archive.org) . Both these books were later reprinted under the title Soldiers of the Raj. Part 1 is also available on Archive.org, and previously it did not seem possible to read the book online, but this problem seems to have resolved. The two volumes also may be read online on the Digital Library of India website.
- "God’s Acre in North-West India" by Colonel R. H. Firth Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps 1914. A record of the names, the careers, and details as to the graves of, or monuments to, all the medical officers buried or memorialized in the Punjab, the North-west Frontier Province, and Kashmir. Part 1 Volume 23:3 320-333 and Part 2 Volume 23:4 415-439
- List of Inscriptions on Christian Tombs and Tablets of Historical Interest in the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh by Sir Edward Arthur Henry Blunt (1911) Archive.org. Index of names, following page 263.
- Articles in Bengal, Past and Present, Archive.org, mostly from the Digital Library of India Collection.
- "Forgotten Graveyards" by D G Crawford, Lt.-Colonel IMS p189-201 BPP Volume 3, April-June 1909. Archive.org/DLI.
- "Some Notes on Burial Grounds" by Walter K Firminger page 183 BPP Volume 10, April -June 1915. Archive.org/DLI.
- "Some Old Burial Grounds" by Walter K Firminger page 107, BPP Volume 12, January-March 1916. Archive.org/DLI.
- "Some Old Graves at Dacca" by Walter K Firminger pages 1-4 BPP Volume 15, part 1. 1918. Archive.org/DLI.
- 3 Graves at Katwa, page 54 BPP Volume 15, part 1. 1918. Archive.org/DLI.
- "Inscriptions on Christian Tombs, Akyab, Arakan" [1836-1906] page 15, BPP Volume 18, Jan-June 1919. Archive.org/DLI.
- "List of Tombs of Historic Interest in Dacca Cemetery" by H E Stapleton page 10, BPP Volume 31, January-March 1926. Archive.org/DLI.
- "Monumental Inscriptions in the United Provinces Part 2" Nos. 123-223 by Captain H Bullock, pages 148-156 (digital file page 72) Bengal, Past and Present Volume 41, Part 2, April-June 1931. Archive.org. Includes some corrections to Blunt transcriptions.
(Part 1 is pages 58-67 Volume 41, January-March 1931, unfortunately not online.)
- "More Monumental Inscriptions III", Nos. 745-815, page 169 BPP Volume 44 July-Dec 1932. Archive.org/DLI.
- "Anglo-Indian Monumental Inscriptions in Kent and Sussex", Nos. 1406-1456 by H Bullock, page 137, BPP, Volume 49 January-June 1935. Archive.org/DLI.
- "Monumental Inscriptions, Third Series", Nos. 1457-1577 by H Bullock page 90, BPP, Volume 50, July-December 1935. A continuation of Kent and Sussex inscriptions, and a list from Bhuj, Cutch. Archive.org/DLI.
- More Monumental Inscriptions Part V. Nos 1831-1889 by H Bullock, Major. Page 39 BPP Volume 53 January-June 1937. Archive.org/DLI.
- "Monumental Inscriptions, Third Series" Part VI. Nos.1891-2000 by H Bullock, Major. Page 89 BPP Volume 53 January-June 1937. Archive.org/DLI.
- See Calcutta-Historical books online for Calcutta burial records 1713-1788 from BPP.
- The following books are available to read online on the Digital Library of India website, in TIFF format, or as pdf downloads. or now with mirror editions on Archive,org.
- List of European Tombs in the Tanjore District 1914 Contents, digital file page 6 (Madras Presidency, includes Tranquebar). Pdf download Archive.org version.
- List Of Inscriptions on Tombs or Monuments in the Central Provinces and Berar by O S Crofton 1932. Contents digital file page 11 from Mandla (the previous page appears to be missing). A number of pages are missing at the beginning of the book. The inscriptions commence page 2, (missing pages 1 and 3) Pdf download. Archive.org version. Also available as Archive.org, 2nd file which seems to be the same digital file. The author is stated to be Olive Crofton, wife of a Civil Servant, and there is reference in the Introduction to "the husband of the writer". Crofton, in the Introduction, also mentions that the numbers killed by tigers and other animals of the jungle “is considerably larger than would appear from the lists”. This book is also available on LDS microfilm 795967, and has been digitised and may be viewed on a FamilySearch computer at a FamilySearch Centre, see FamilySearch Centres.
- List of Inscriptions on Tombs or Monuments in Rajputana and Central India by O S Crofton. Table of Contents digital file page 14. Author is catalogued as Croften and publication date 1905, but the latter appears to be c 1934-35. Pdf download, Archive.org version. Also available as Archive.org, 2nd file.
- Olive Crofton also wrote List of Inscriptions on Tombs or Monuments in H.E.H. the Nizam's Dominions : with biographical notes, not available online, but available at the British Library.
- Barry Lewis’ Colonial Cemeteries contains many transcriptions, together with downloads of the following publications
- List of European Tombs in the Cemeteries Attached to the Various Churches in the Nilgiri District 1905 (106 pages)
- List of Tombs of Europeans Interred in the Nilgiri District, with Inscriptions Thereon by J D Rees 1895
- List of European Tombs in the Anantapur District 1894
- List of European Tombs in the Bellary District with Inscriptions Thereon by J J Cotton 1894 (41 pages)
- List of European Tombs in the District of Cuddapah by CH Mounsey 1893
- List of European Tombs in the Kurnool District 1894
- A record of Inscriptions at the Catholic Church at Patna, Bihar and Orissa Prepared by the Rev A Gille 1917 Archive.org
- Jesuit Missionaries in Northern India and Inscriptions on their Tombs, Agra (1580-1803) by Rev H Hosten SJ (1907) Archive.org
- The Annals of Karnal- Chapter 6 Churches and Cemeteries by Major C H Buck 1914 Archive.org lists some of the inscriptions in the cemeteries at Kurnaul
- List of inscriptions on tombstones and monuments in Ceylon, of historical or local interest, with an obituary of persons uncommemorated by J Penry Lewis 1913 Archive.org. The information from this book has now been transcribed and is available on the FIBIS Database
- Restricted basis, available to those in North America and some other countries: List of Inscriptions on Tombs or Monuments in Assam 1902. Hathi Trust Digital Library.
- List of Graves at Howrah Cemetery in a ruinous condition page 701 Gazette of India April 3, 1915. Subsequently repeated page 774 Gazette of India April 17, 1915.
- Search individual location pages for other book links.
- Kabristan Archives 'Old Irish and Indian Graveyards'
- Dead men’s tales The Telegraph, Calcutta 17 February 2008. John Kendall and indian-cemeteries.org
- The War Graves Photographic Project. Worked in conjunction with the CWGC until June 2016. Covers “all nationalities and military conflicts”. A researcher found an image for a British Army soldier who died in Hong Kong c 1900. There is a fee payable if you require a high resolution image or photograph.
- "An Indian Idyll: A Tour of Indian War and Cantonment cemeteries" by David Milborrow Probably early 2011 (archive.org link)
- "On the Road to Mandalay" by David Milborrow February 2013. Burma cemeteries (archive.org link)
- British War Graves: War Grave Photographs is a site which provides free photographs of War graves from some cemeteries around the world. Includes category "Memorials to the Missing" which includes Basra Memorial.
- Asia War Graves. Provides free photographs of War graves in Asia for selected cemeteries, mainly relating to the Second World War.
- Find A Grave - millions of user added grave inscriptions from around the world, some with photos. Asian cemeteries not well covered but some with war graves/memorials have many entries.
- deceased online Search for free and pay to view records. Mainly UK records
- Includes a section on burials at overseas military garrisons. For details, select coverage, then scroll down to " “The National Archives - Military Burials” date added: 12 Dec 2013". The records are mainly from Malta, Egypt and Cyprus. Selected records from WO 156/103-122.
- Stephen Lewis' Soldiers Memorials lists NCO and other ranks graves in India by surname, amongst other memorials. Officers Died is the equivalent commissioned ranks site.
- Memorials to Indian soldiers and sailors First World War cwgc.org, now an archived webpage.
- Memorials to Indian soldiers and sailors Second World War cwgc.org, now an archived webpage.
- Microfilm catalogue entry British High Commission cemetery records, ca. 1870-1967 (Ordering microfilms)
- charlie2 A CWGC anomaly Great War Forum 22 March 2017. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
- 2011-2012 Annual Report page 19 (located in “Learning and Resources” section of the website)
- 2ndRWF. 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers graves hong kong Victorian Wars Forum 18 Nov 2012. Retrieved 15 February 2016