Many of the Germans in India in the late 1700s-early 1800s were, or had been, soldiers. They were recruited by the East India Company as part of entire regiments such as the Hanoverian Regiments, or Wurttemberg Regiment, regiments for hire which in todays terms would be considered mercenary regiments. Alternatively they were individual soldiers recruited into the Dutch East India Company, Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie or VOC, some of who subsequently were recruited into East India Company regiments such as the 1st Madras (European) Fusiliers.
Article "German Voices from India : Officers of the Hanoverian Regiments in East India Company Service" by Chen Tzoref-Ashkenazi, in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Volume 32, Issue 2 August 2009 , pages 189 - 211. Abstract First page of article. Available at the British Library
- Some Catalogue entries for the India Office Records at the British Library are:
- Deputation of Lieutenant John Owen to the Cape of Good Hope to enlist German, Austrian and Polish recruits for the Company's European Regiments IOR/F/4/3/634 Nov 1787-Sep 1796
- Additional allowance granted to Lieutenant John Owen for enlisting German, Austrian and Polish recruits at the Cape of Good Hope in 1796-97. IOR/F/4/74/1609 Aug 1795-Aug 1799
- Complaint of Baron de Reiger alleging ill-treatment of the prisoners of war of the Wurttemberg Regiment at Madras not upheld by the Court of Directors. IOR/F/4/53/1182 Oct 1793-Feb 1798
- Papers regarding the disbandment of the Wurttemberg Company, (includes a Muster Roll of the Company). Memorial of Lieutenant Paul Kellner requesting permission to transfer to the Madras Army. IOR/F/4/183/3685 Jul 1804-Mar 1805
- Question of the pensions and allowances to be granted to the officers of the Swiss Regiment De Meuron (includes lists of officers of the regiment and a copy of the Capitulation of 25 September 1798) IOR/F/4/78/1728 Sep 1798-Apr 1800
- Six months' advance of pay is made to Captain N.J. De Bergeon and Captain Francois Louis Lenn, two officers of the Regiment De Meuron who remained behind in India when the regiment left for Europe. IOR/F/4/234/5396 Jul-Oct 1806
- British Army in India: Nominal and Casualty Rolls of Jager Corps Volunteers IOR/L/MIL/15/31-36 1860-1866
- National Archives of India
- Search National Archives of India website abhilekh-patal.in. Particularly for the Second World War period there are known to be some records from the Aliens Advisory Committee which have either already been digitised, (Digitized Collection : Digitized Public Records, Home Political) or can be requested to be digitised for a fee. A 1946 Naturalisation request was seen: Application from ... For A German Jew, For Nationalization Under the British Nationality Status of Aliens Act 1914. [Should be Naturalization].
Also see External Links, below
- POW Camps in India for details of POW and Internment camps during the First and Second World War.
- Hanoverian Regiments
- Jager Corps
- Sardhana for a brief mention of of a German mercenary, Walter Reinhardt.
- The Wurttemberg Regiment’s German name was the Württembergisches Kapregiment or Cape Regiment Kapregiment Wikipedia written in German and associated Wikimedia.
- "German soldiers in eighteenth century India" by Chen Tzoref Ashkenazi 2019. Archival sources. projekt-mida.de
- British Library Blog Untold Lives: Missionaries and madams 31 October 2011 and 'Unfortunate' women 7 November 2011. Repatriation of Germans and Austrians during World War 1
- The Swiss in India (German/French language) Historisches Lexikon der Schweiz
- "German-Speaking Medical Exile to British India 1933-1945" by Margit Franz. Website of Institut für Südasien-, Tibet- und Buddhismuskunde, Universität Wien. From the 2010 book Helmut Konrad, Stefan Benedik (eds.), Mapping Contemporary History II. Exemplary fields of research in 25 years of Contemporary History Studies at Graz University/Exemplarische Forschungsfelder aus 25 Jahren Zeitgeschichte an der Universität Graz. [Limited selection from] pages 61- 86 Google Books.
- These doctors were mainly Jewish. Between the years 1933 and 1938, there were three waves of forced emigration to British India. The first started in the year 1933 with German doctors. A second wave started with Jewish refugees coming from Italy. The Austrian exodus after the German occupation in March 1938 formed the third wave of medical refugees coming to British India, at which point Czech and Hungarian Jewish medical refugees started joining the population of refugees.
- Margit Franz is the author of Gateway India. German-speaking Exile to India between British colonial rule, Maharajas and Gandhi. There is an interview with Dr. Margit Franz in a 2017 article "From the Reich to the Raj" (jewishstandard.timesofisrael.com).
- India Includes "German Missions in India" mainly in German language but includes extracts from the book German Missions In British India Nationalism: Case And Crisis In Missions by Paul Von Tucher 1980 concerning internment of German missionaries during World War 2 at Premnagar near Dehra Dun, Purandhar, about 40kms south-east of Poona and Satara.gaebler.info.
- Wiele & Klein, Madras and Ootacamund: "The German Photographers of Madras" by Gabrielle Landwehr Part 1 , Part 2 (scroll down) Madras Musings Volume XVIII No. 14, November 1-15, 2008 and No. 15, November 16-30, 2008; Madras on glass 9 July 2003 The Hindu
- German language and other aids
- Germany Genealogy includes Germany Languages which in turn includes German Genealogical Word List and Germany Handwriting. Family Search (LDS) Wiki.
- German Church and Civil Records FamilySearch Help Center/Lessons
- Old German Script 3 Parts. FamilySearch Help Center/Lessons
- German Paleography Seminar series with links to 10 Lessons. FamilySearch Help Center/Lessons
- Another guide is Handwriting Guide: German Gothic, feefhs.org archived, originally from FamilySearch (1999)
- FamilySearch Indexing Help then select "Language Resources and Handwriting Helps"/German.
- Converting between old Germanic Print and Cursive in One Step stevemorse.org
- Learn Suetterlin - the "German handwriting" taught from 1915 to 1941 in German schools. suetterlinschrift.de
- "Learning to read Sütterlin" Great War Forum Blog 24 August 2021, details.
- Kurrentschrift.net German language website. Contaims examples of handwritten and printed letters of the alphabet. How to Cope With That Old German Script by Sabine Schleichert c 2005. Includes examples of various types of scripts and genealogical symbols used. ggrs.com, archived.
- The Bohemian Genealogist includes word lists, including abbreviations for Latin and German words, occupations etc with many handwriting examples.
- Rudy Schmidt’s German Glossary of Causes of Death and other Archaic Medical Terms. now archived.
- German-English Illness Translations Odessa Digital Library
- Note some German church records are written in Latin. See French - External links for some Latin language aids.
- Sütterlinstube Hamburg e.V is a non profit organization based in Hamburg which will, for a donation, transcribe from Old German to Latin script, old handwritten documents, such as diaries or other family documents. German language website. Some browsers, such as Chrome offer a translation to an English version, top right hand corner of the webpage. Alternatively, use Google Translate or similar.
- German Resources feefhs.org. Includes link to "Former German Professions", maps, Gazetteers etc.
- The 12 Best German Genealogy Websites by James M. Beidler familytreemagazine.com. Includes
- No.1. Archion, a pay website which is a project "der Evangelischen Kirche in Deutschland (EKD)", (of the Evangelical Church in Germany). These are Protestant records. Archion includes an English language option.
- No.2. Matricula Online Free portal for online images of church registers (mostly books of birth, marriage and death) from various European countries (currently Austria, Germany, Poland, Serbia and Slovenia). Although interdenominational, the emphasis appears be on Roman Catholic records. Matricula Online Church Record Portal FamilySearch Wiki. About Matricula Online portahistorica.eu, probably written c 2013.
- "German Surname Changes" November 25, 2017. Lind Street Research. Farm name (Hofnahme) changes in regions in northwest Germany. Includes the practice of ultimogeniture, where the youngest inherits the farm.
- For researching Prussia (German speaking), now Poland, article "Gazetteers and Maps by Marek Koblanski" FamilySearch. Possibly a presentation by Marek Koblanski at 2016 European Family History Conference. Includes mention of
- Gemeindelexikon für das Königreich Preußen German language volumes available both on the FamilySearch Digital Library and as digitised microfilm. To view, you must be signed into FamilySearch. Note: There is an English publication based on some/all? of these books, digitised by FS but not currently viewable online, Gazetteer of parish and civil jurisdictions in East and West Prussia by Stephen S. Barthel published c 1991.
- Familienforschung in Schlesien "Family research in Silesia", an Austrian (from 1526) then Prussian (from 1742) area to after World War I (German speaking), now part of Poland. German language website.