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including the former British North Borneo.

Also see the Fibiwiki pages Straits Settlements and Malacca and Penang (Prince of Wales Island).


  • See General Register Office, UK. Also includes information about records such as British Consular Returns, including online sources.
  • National Registration Department, Ministry of Home Affairs [Malaysia] is responsible for birth , marriage and death registration. The page Corporate Information/History advises “Birth and death records kept by the National Registration Department since nearly 150 years ago continue to be preserved to this day.” The email address appears to be [email protected]
There has been some registration since 1859[1]. Marriage registration has been in place in Malaysia since the late 1800s[2].
It seems likely that records may be divided according to the current states and federal terrorities, so you would probably need to know geographical location.
  • Birth, marriage and death notices may have been published in Singapore newspapers. See Singapore - Newspapers for details of free online Singapore newspapers.
  • Birth, marriage and death notices may have been published in other publications, such as The Directory & Chronicle for China etc or The London and China Telegraph, refer Historical books online below.
  • BACSA have published the following books:
    • Ipoh and Taiping: War Graves and Graves of Europeans in the Cemeteries in Ipoh and Taiping, Perak, Malaysia by Justin Corfield, 2000. 108pp, 27 illustrations and plan
    • Kota Bharu (Malaysia): European Graves in the Jalan Hamzah Cemetery by Justin Corfield, 1999. 24pp, 23 illustrations and plan
    • Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia): St Mary's Cathedral and the Jalan Birch Cemetery by Justin Corfield, 2000. 24pp, 5 illustrations
    • Seremban, Malaysia: Graves in St Mark's Churchyard, and the Anglican Section of the Seremban Cemetery by E Beavington and Justin Corfield, 2000. 56pp, 11 illustrations
    • Teluk Anson (Malaysia): European Graves in the Jalan Anderson Cemetery by Justin Corfield, 2000. 20pp, 14 illustrations and plan
Some cemetery books are still available, see BACSA Books and select Cemetery Record Books.
BACSA have put indexes to the majority of their cemetery books online and these indexes are free to browse. If an indexed name is of interest then application can be made to BACSA for details of the relevant burial inscription - charges apply for this service.
  • British & Indian Armies in the East Indies (1685-1935) by Alan Harfield 1984 is available at the British Library. History of British and Indian Armies in Sumatra, Java, Sarawak, Malaya and Singapore from 1685-1935. Includes names of officers and men buried in these areas. Also includes name lists of persons in some military units which served in these areas.
  • See Malacca and Dutch for records for researching those with Dutch ancestry.

Military Operations

Civil Service

For an account of the varied duties of a Civil Servant from the 1920s, see The Memoirs of a Malayan Official by Victor Purcell, 1965. Available at the British Library (UIN: BLL01003009268), with details.[3]

External links

Singapore And Malaya Volunteer Corps Medals 10 March 2013 from “Singapore Volunteer Corps, Straits Settlements Volunteer Force, Malaya Volunteer Forces”
Malayan Volunteers Group Includes categories such as History, Stories, Malayan Volunteer Air Force, Evacuees, Armoured Cars, Sumatra etc.
"Nand Singh and Jangnamah Europe: Subaltern insights on the wars of Empire" by Raman Singh Chhina. Havildar Nand Singh was a Sergeant in the Malay State Guides and also an Indian poet who wrote using a genre of Punjabi historical poetic writing. He composed the Janganamah Europe giving an empirical account of the First World War. On September 26 1915 the regiment left Taiping to join the Aden Field Force.
See Historical books online, below.
  • “Obsession, isolation and the colonies” July 16, 2012 Retrieved 30 August 2014
  • States and federal territories of Malaysia Wikipedia
    • Kedah Alternative name Quedah, it was visited by trading ships in the time of the East India Company. “In the hope that Great Britain would protect what remained of Kedah from Siam, the sultan handed over Penang and then Province Wellesley (Seberang Perai) to the British at the end of the 18th century. The Siamese nevertheless conquered Kedah in 1811, and it remained under Siamese control until transferred to the British by the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909”.
    • Perak was visited by trading ships in the time of the East India Company. There was a British Resident from 1874. The capital is Ipoh.
    • Terengganu Wikipedia. Alternative name Tringaney. Terengganu's location by the South China Sea ensured that it was on trade routes from ancient times , and it was visited by trading ships in the time of the East India Company. The terms of the Anglo-Siamese Treaty of 1909 saw power over Terengganu transferred from Siam to Great Britain. A British advisor was appointed to the sultan in 1919, and Terengganu become one of the Unfederated Malay States.
  • St. Mary's Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur, an Anglican Church consecrated 1895. Photograph by DBHKer 2008. Originally called Church of St Mary the Virgin. History: The Anglican Church of St. Mary the virgin, now an archived webpage.
  • "The Presbyterian Church in Malaysia" by John Roxborogh, from Christianity in Malaysia. A Denominational History, edited by Robert Hunt, Lee Kam Hing and John Roxborogh, Petaling Jaya, Pelanduk, 1992, pages 75-106.
Rich built heritage of 100-year-old St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church Kuala Lumpur Includes photographs. St Andrew's Presbyterian Church Kuala Lumpur. St Andrew's was historically known as the ‘Planters Church’ or the ‘Scottish Kirk’ as the planters of Selangor were mostly of Scottish stock. Includes a photograph
"Planters, Estate Health & Malaria in British Malaya (1900–1940)" by Liew Kai Khiun Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, Volume 83, Part 1, June 2010, No. 298, pp. 91-115
"Mad Ridley and the rubber boom" by Dr Loh Wei Leng and Khor Jin KeonG 2011. The history of rubber in Malaya.
Video: A Rubber Plantation in Malaya, 1911 / La Cultivation du Caoutchouc en Malaisie, 1911 You Tube video.
Video: Henrietta Estate Album. Album of photographs of a Rubber Estate in 1920's / 1930's Malaya. You Tube video.
"Spreading the word: using cookbooks and colonial memoirs to examine the foodways of British Colonials in Asia, 1850-1900" by Cecilia Y. Leong-Salobir, University of Wollongong. From The Routledge History of Food 2015 (pp. 131-155)
"Mrs Beeton in Malaya" by Janice Loo. BiblioAsia Volume 9 Issue. 3 October-December 2013.


  • 1929 Motoring Map of Malaya Pages can be rotated if required. National Library of Malaysia.
  • Also see some Maps in Historical books online, below.

Historical books online

  • Repositori Digital Digital repository of the National Library of Malaysia. Book files are available as pdf downloads. Contains some books in English, although it does not appear possible to browse the English language books as a distinct category. For some books the “date of issue” appears to be the digitization date, rather than the date of publication. A number of the English language books are in the category Koleksi Peribadi. ASEAN Digital Library contains some content from the National Library of Malaysia, and can be searched by language.
Some downloads of books are sample pages only, but this may not be apparent from the catalogue entry. It is not known if this practice applies widely.
Books available from NLM include (and others are listed later):
Note this website in the past was often unavailable, and possibly may only be available during office hours, Monday to Friday: 8.00 am - 5.00 pm (local time), being GMT 00.00 to 9.00am
  • [Digital] Sejarah Melayu Library ( has an extensive collection of English language historical books to download as pdfs, with some to also read as text. Click on the titles for further details of the author and year published. If you prefer to read original images, look at the text version (if available), as for some books, it may be apparent they are available on websites such as or Google Books. Books available include
    • An extensive collection of Journals of the Straits Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (SBRAS) which became the Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (MBRAS). Click on individual journal issues, and the contents will be shown. These do not seem to be complete issues, but selected articles.
  • A History of the Singapore Volunteer Corps, 1854-1937 : being also an historical outline of volunteering in Malaya by T.M. Winsley 1938. A Limited preview of this book, including small copies of photographs is available online. Also available in a reprint edition,[8] which in turn is available online on the pay website fold3, owned by Ancestry, as A History of the Singapore Volunteer Corps.
  • The Journal of John Jourdain, 1608-1617 : describing his experiences in Arabia, India, and the Malay Archipelago edited by William Foster. Printed for the Hakluyt Society . Second Series, Volume XVI. 1905 The author was in the service of the East India Company.
  • The Burney Papers. Cover the period 1825 to 1849. See Thailand.
  • The Eastern Seas, or Voyages and adventures in the Indian Archipelago, in 1832, 33, 34 ... also an account of the present state of Singapore, etc. by George Windsor Earl 1837 Google Books
  • Travels in south-eastern Asia: embracing Hindustan, Malaya, Siam, and China with notices of numerous missionary stations and a full account of the Burman Empire by Howard Malcom
Volume I,Volume II 2nd edition, 1839 (2 Volumes in 1) Google Books. Tenth American edition [with deletions] c 1855
Malay Sketches by Sir Frank Althelstane Swettenham 5th edition 1921. First published 1895
British Malaya; an account of the origin and progress of British influence in Malaya by Sir Frank Swettenham, late Governor of the Straits Colony 1907, with a 1906 Map of the Malay Peninsula
India Rubber, Gutta-Percha, and Balata: occurrence, geographical distribution, and cultivation of rubber plants; manner of obtaining and preparing the raw material, modes of working and utilizing them, and statistics of commerce by William T Brannt 1900
"The Rival of "Para" Rubber in the East" page 219 The India Rubber World April 1, 1903
"Rubber Planting in Ceylon and the Malay States" page 225 The India Rubber World April 1, 1904
Three Months in Pahang in Search of Big Game : A Reminiscence of Malaya by Theodore R Hubback 1912
An illustrated guide to the Federated Malay States edited by Cuthbert Woodville Harrison, Malayan Civil Service. 3rd edition 1920. Missing the Map. 1923 edition Pdf download, National Library of Malaysia
Malaysia and Indo-China : Information for Visitors to British Malaya, Dutch-Indies (Java, Bali, Sumatra etc.) Siam, French Ind0-China. Published by Thos. Cook & Son, Singapore 1926. Pdf download, National Library of Malaysia.
R. H. Bruce Lockhart Wikipedia.
Return to Malaya R.H.Bruce Lockhart 1936 The author had previously left Malaya c 1910, see previous book.


  1. Malaysia Civil Registration FamilySearch Wiki.
  2. Esslemont, Don. BMD certificates (was Robert Darwood engineer) Rootsweb Malaysia Mailing List 18 Mar 2008, which quotes a source of information which no longer appears to be available. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  3. Details of The Memoirs of a Malayan Official by Victor Purcell Roots, National Heritage Board, Singapore.
  4. History of the Dutch in Malaysia by Dennis De Witt. Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01015564894
  5. Page 28, "Chapter 2: Creeping in Johore April 1930- December 1930, Malayan Spymaster: Memoirs of a Rubber Planter, Bandit Fighter and Spy by Boris Hembry 2011 Google Books.
  6. Page 208, "Chapter 13: The Planter’s World", The Devil’s Milk: A Social History of Rubber by John Tully 2011. Google Books
  7. "The Planter’s Life" by Christopher Hale, January 2013.
  8. A History of the Singapore Volunteer Corps, 1854-1937 : being also an historical outline of volunteering in Malaya Naval & Military Press
  9. The Spectator Archive: 10 July 1909, page 28