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Major locations


  • The Opium Wars:


Additionally, Search the FamilySearch Catalog for microfilm/digitised microfilm records relating to China by using keywords such as China. As an example
"Cemetery records of old and new cemetery, 1859-1899 and Seaman's cemetery, Pootung, in Shanghai, China, 1859-1879" catalogue entry microfilm 418134 has been digitised and may be viewed at a FamilySearch Centre.
Births, deaths, marriages from Canton and Hong Kong newspapers, arranged chronologically, 1828-1862 catalogue entry microfilm 1208508 has been digitised and may be viewed on your home computer.
  • Ecclesiastical Returns: Baptisms, Marriages and Burials at the British Library - Macao and Whampoa [Canton] 1820-1833, IOR N/9. These records are now available on the pay site findmypast
  • Refer online Hong Kong newspapers, a free database, for birth, marriage and death notices.
  • For those with access, (refer below) there may be birth, marriage and death notices in online newspapers which are part of ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chinese Newspapers Collection and Japan Times Archives.
  • Refer China Coast Family History in External links below.
  • Refer Historical books online, below.
  • China: Sources in the India Office Records Guide to records at the British Library
  • British and Indian Armies on the China Coast 1785-1985 by Alan Harfield 1990 is available at the British Library. Includes lists such as “List of Known Recipients of the Hong Kong Plague Medal 1894” and “List of Officers who served with the Hong Kong Regiment 1892-1902”. This link lists some “Military Commanders of Hong Kong and China” from the book (pages 483-484)

British Army and Navy

The British Army leased for a time Wei-hai-wei (a fine natural harbour) on the mainland and Liu Kung Tao island. There was a garrison of British Troops. A naval depot serviced the Royal Navy's China Squadron,[2] whose main base was at Hong Kong. Wei-hai-wei was the summer port for the Submarine Flotilla.[3]

Following the fall of the Manchu dynasty China was plunged into civil war and Japanese intervention, and international forces were sent to preserve foreign interests. The 30th, 34th, 47th, 55th, 59th, and 81st, all served there in the 1920s and 30s, guarding the legations in Peking and defending international settlements at Tientsin, Canton, and most importantly Shanghai.[4]The Shanghai Defence Force was established by the British Government during a period of tension in 1927, see Shanghai for more details. An additional regiment known to have been in China in the 1920s is the Queen's Royal Surrey Regiment - there may be others.

Also see "Historical Books online", below for a c 1900 description of Wei-hai-wei, and the fictional account, based on personal experience, Yangtze Skipper. The author served on HMS "Scarab" (river gunboat) in 1919-1920.

Also see

Information about the English language Chinese newspaper database ProQuest Historical Newspapers: Chinese Newspapers Collection, and Japan Times Archives.

External links

Historical books online

  • Article in the Asiatic Journal, Volume 13, January-June 1822. "A Succinct Historical Narrative of the East India Company’s Endeavours to Form Settlements and to Extend and Encourage Trade in the East and of the Causes by which those Endeavours have been Frustrated":
    • Section 1 Sumatra, Borneo, Java, the Eastern Islands, etc . pages 1-11
    • Section 2 The continental kingdoms of Siam, Cochin-China [Southern Vietnam], Tonquin [Northern Vietnam], Pegu [Burma], and Ava [Burma]. pages 11-20,
    • Section 3 Japan and China pages 105-118
    • Section 4 China pages 209 -220
  • Chronicles of the East India Company trading to China, 1635 to 1834 by Hosea Ballou Morse 1926. Five Volumes. Volumes 1, 2, 3 and 4 are available to read online on the Digital Library of India website, as TIFF images (single pages), or as pdf downloads: Volume 1, Volume 2 (volume no. not catalogued), Volume 3, Volume 4, with mirror versions Vol. I, version, Vol. III, version, Vol. IV, version. All volumes are also available as pdf downloads from GIPE Digital Books-Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics (GIPE), Pune. Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Volume 5, Supplementary, 1742-74 Hathi Trust Digital Library.
  • "Canton" page 97 An account of the trade in India: containing rules for good government in trade, price courants, and tables: with descriptions of Fort St. George, Acheen, Malacca, Condore, Canton, Anjengo, Muskat, Gombroon, Surat, Goa, Carwar, Telichery, Panola, Calicut, the Cape of Good-Hope, and St. Helena... To which is added, An Account of the Management of the Dutch in their Affairs in India by Charles Lockyer 1711 Contents
  • A Voyage to the East Indies in 1747 and 1748. Containing an Account of the Islands of St. Helena and Java. Of the City of Batavia. Of the Government and Political Conduct of the Dutch. Of the Empire of China, with a Particular Description of Canton ... 1762 Google Books. The Preface states the author was an officer in the service of the East India Company.
  • The Portugues Asia: Or, The History of the Discovery and Conquest of India by the Portugues; Containing All Their Discoveries from the Coast of Africk, to the Farthest Parts of China and Japan; All Their Battels by Sea and Land, Sieges and Other Memorable Actions; a Description of Those Countries, and Many Particulars of the Religion, Government and Customs of the Natives, &c. ... by Manuel de Faria e Sousa, a Portuguese historian. Translated into English by Cap. John Stevens 1695
Volume I Google Books. Volume II, Volume III Qatar Digital Library. Two different pdf downloads are available from the University of Ghana Digital Collections , volume numbers not stated Download A, Download B. There was a three volume reprint edition published in 1971.
This publication had many titles over time and with different publishers: The China Register (1862, 1863, 1874). The Chronicle & Directory for China, Japan & the Philippines (1873, 1879). In 1889 included Corea, Cochin-China, Annam, Tonquin, Siam, Borneo, Straits Settlements, Malay States. In 1889 included Indo-China (replacing Cochin-China, Annam, Tonquin). In 1899 included Netherlands India. By 1905 the title had changed to The Directory & Chronicle…
Editions are available to read online on the Hathi Trust Digital Library, or on (Previously most/all browsers could not read the online versions on, but this problem appears to have resolved.)
In addition,
The digital collection of the University of Macau, Books on China Online, 16th – Early 20th Century, contains various titles for 1865, 1868, 1870 and 1875, using the Search term Directory.
1862 1863 1873 1874






1889 FamilySearch















  • The London and China Telegraph. Published in London. Covers China, Hong Kong, Japan, Straits Settlements (Singapore, Penang), Batavia and perhaps a wider area. There are two series of digitisations, both on Google Books, one from the Bavarian State Library, the other from Cornell University, the latter labelled A. Links for both series are provided, in case the digitisation quality varies.
1860 1861 1863 1864 1865
1866 1867

1867 A


1868 A


1869 A

1870 A

1871 A


1872 A


1873 A

1874: Jan-June

1874: July-Dec

1874 to Dec. A

1875 to Dec.

1875 to Oct. A

British Parliamentary Papers: Mortality of Troops in China 1863 and 1866 Reprinted 1915
Report giving the history of the Chinese Labour Corps used behind the lines in France 1917-19 British Library Mss Eur F288/110. Part of the family papers of Sir Leslie Fry, Mss Eur F288, (so possibly written by a family member?) British Library Digital.
The Roof of the World : being a narrative of a journey over the high plateau of Tibet to the Russian Frontier and the Oxus Sources on Pamir by Lieutenant-Colonel T E Gordon, Honorary Aide-De-Camp to the Viceroy of India, lately attached to the Special Mission to Kashghar 1876 Includes Kashghar.
  • Across Chrysê, being the narrative of a journey of exploration through the South China border lands from Canton to Mandalay by Archibald R Colquhoun, Executive Engineer, Indian Public Works. Volume I 3rd edition 1883 (probably first published also 1883), Volume II 1883 Also available Volume I, Volume II 1883 British Library Digital Collection with rotatable images. Chryse (Chrysê) is the Greek short name of gold-producing Chryse Chersonesos (The Golden Peninsula) in the East Indies (Wikipedia)
Report on the Railway Connexion of Burmah and China ... with account of exploration-survey by H. S. Hallett. Accompanied by surveys, vocabularies and appendices by Archibald R Colquhoun 1888
Twenty Years in the Far East : Sketches of Sport, Travel and Adventure by William Spencer Percival 1905
Note, this title may be the American title as it appears to be the same book as River of Golden Sand by Thomas Woodrooffe. A review of River of Golden Sand [5]
Through Deserts and Oases of Central Asia by Ella Sykes and Percy Sykes, 1920 Covers the brief period in which Percy Sykes relieved Macartney at Kashgar while the latter was on leave in 1916 but is really Percy's sister Ella Sykes’s travel account and says little about consular affairs.
  • Includes a Map, in two sections.
Chinese Central Asia by C P Skrine. Indian Civil Service, British Consul General in Chinese Turkistan 1922-1924. First published 1926 Index.Hathi Trust Digital Library version where images are rotatable. The Consulate was at Kashgar. Clarmont Percival Skrine Wikipedia.
Also see Norperforce for more about the Kashgar Mission during WW1 prior to 1922.
The Antique Land by Diana Shipton 1950. Lending Library. A memoir by the wife of Eric Shipton, the last British consul in Kashgar before the consulate closed in 1947.



  1. World Miscellaneous Births and Baptisms, Coverage Table (FamilySearch Historical Records) FamilySearch Wiki. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  2. Great War Forum thread Wei-hai-wei and Liu Kung Tao, then and now by Bushfighter 15 April 2008. (retrieved 7 July 2018). Log-in to the Great War Forum is required if you cannot see the images, see Mailing lists.
  3. 1926 Submarines and HMS Titania, comment at the bottom by Nashie on 2013-11-07.
  4. The Regimental History of the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment
  5. Books of the Week: Morning Tribune, 28 January 1937, Page 16