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Sources of the information found in the India Office Family History Search

Part 1 India Office Records

B: East India Company: Minutes of the Court of Directors and Court of Proprietors 1599-1858

The minutes of the Court of Directors constitute the central record of the Company's activities in London. The stockholders' activities are recorded more briefly in the minutes of the Court of Proprietors. Biographical information contained in the Court Minutes includes: appointment records of Home Civil Servants of the East India Company; pre-1749 appointment records of Covenanted Overseas Civil Servants of the East India Company; pre-1858 appointment records of Uncovenanted Overseas Civil Servants; early appointments of European Officers of the East India Company Armies, East India Company army surgeons, chaplains in India, officers of East India ships.

E: East India Company: General Correspondence 1602-1859

The series of Company correspondence comprises letters in a chronological sequence relating to all kinds of subjects. The series includes: 'home' correspondence; correspondence with the Board of Control; early correspondence with the Company's overseas factories, and official correspondence with Bengal, India, Madras and Bombay. A limited amount of biographical information relating to senior Company servants may be found in some correspondence.

G: East India Company Factory Records c.1595-1858

Letters, minutes, diaries and other papers for each of the factories, presidencies and agencies established by the Company in India and elsewhere from the seventeenth century to the nineteenth century. The biographical information contained in this series is limited, relating mostly to subordinate (uncovenanted) overseas Civil Servants of the early period. Also includes information on wills, administrations, probates, inventories and estates of covenanted overseas Civil Servants of 1618-1725.

J: East India College, Haileybury 1749-1857

The Haileybury records relate to the recruitment and training of the Company's writers and civil servants at the East India College, Haileybury (1806-1857), and include appointment papers of the East India Company's civil servants (1749-1805) J/1/1-19, giving details of parentage and educational attainment (the series is incomplete). It is continued by the 'Committee of College References and Papers' (1806-56), J/1/21-90. A catalogue has been published: A.J. Farrington, The Records of the East India College, Haileybury, and other institutions (London, 1976).

L/AG: Accountant-General's Records c.1601-1974

The Accountant-General's Department dealt with the comprehensive and systematic recording of receipts and disbursements by the Company and the India Office, with the staff of the home establishment and their salaries, with the estates and wills of persons dying in India, and with the leave and furlough pay and pensions of members of the Indian civil and military services. Among financial activities peculiar to the Company period are the ledgers of the early joint-stock voyages and the registers of Company stockholding and stock transfers. The records reflect almost all the functions of the Company and the India Office, and also include the records of the London offices of various Indian railways, irrigation and canal companies.

L/MAR: Marine Records c.1600-1879

These records cover most aspects of the organisation and operations of the Company's maritime service, the Bombay Marine, the Indian Navy and the Bengal Pilot Service.

L/MIL: Military Department Records 1708-1959

The military records reflect and document the whole spectrum of military affairs both of the East India Company's armies and of the armies of the Government of India. Some relate to the appointment, pay, leave, promotions and pensions of individual officers and soldiers in the Indian Army, the Indian Medical Service and the Royal Indian Navy. A catalogue has been published: A.J. Farrington, Guide to the Records of the India Office Military Department (London, 1982).

L/PWD: Public Works Department Records 1839-1931

These records provide documentation on matters involving bridges, roads, canals, and irrigation, civil engineering, railways, telegraphs, wireless telegraphy and civil aviation, until that responsibility was devolved to Indian provincial governments. Some correspondence contains information relating to appointments made in the UK from 1855-1924 of Uncovenanted Overseas Civil Servants, Warrant officers in the Company’s armies serving mainly in the Ordnance, Commissariat and Public Works Department.

L/PJ: Public and Judicial Department Records 1795-1950

These records deal with a wide range of matters concerning the domestic affairs of British India. They include some records of appointment for staff serving in India.

L/PO: Secretary of State for India: Private Office Papers 1858-1948

Papers relating to issues on which Secretaries of State acted personally were kept by the private secretaries and were not registered in India Office departments. The papers concern major political and constitutional issues, including relations with princely states and foreign governments.

N: Returns of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1698-1969

Returns of baptisms, marriages and burials, relating mainly to European and Eurasian Christians in India, Burma and other areas administered by the East India Company and the Government of India. The returns were transmitted by chaplains and ministers to the Government of India, and thence to the India Office, primarily for record purposes. Apart from the series for the three Indian presidencies (Bengal 1713-1948; Madras 1698-1948, and Bombay, 1709-1948), there are returns for St Helena (1767-1835), Fort Marlborough (1759-1825), Penang (1799-1829), Macao and Whampoa (1820-1833), Burma (1937-1957), India and Pakistan (1949-1968), Kuwait (1937-1961), and Aden (1840-1969). Copies of the contemporary indexes and microfilm of many of the registers may be consulted directly in the Reading Room.
Baptism records generally give the following details:
  • name of church
  • date of birth
  • date of baptism
  • name of child
  • names of parents
  • abode
  • profession of parents
  • copy-signature by whom baptized
Marriage records generally give the following details:
  • name of church
  • date of marriage
  • names of groom and bride (include her maiden name)
  • ages (age over 21 expressed as “full”)
  • rank of profession
  • names of fathers
  • by banns or licence
  • copy-signatures of both parties and witnesses
  • name of priest
Burial records generally give the following details:
  • place of burial
  • date of death
  • name
  • age
  • profession
  • date of burial
  • cause of death
  • name of chaplain (no signature)
  • Details

O: Biographical Series 1702-1948

Various series and compilations of a biographical nature, which do not fall into the main archive classes, are brought together here: bonds, agreements and warrants for civil servants and other residents in India; records relating to Europeans in India and "personal records" compilations made at East India House.

R/2: Crown Representative: Indian States Residencies Records c.1789-1947

These records, from the offices of Residents and Political Agents in Indian States, consist of material about the internal affairs of particular states and the activities of their rulers. This website includes Consular returns of births and deaths registered at Srinagar, Kashmir, 1940-1946.

R/9: Malaya: Malacca Orphan Chamber and Council of Justice Records c.1685-1835

This website includes marriages at Malacca, 1820-1824.
IOR Reference Content Dates
B East India Company Court Minutes: scattered biographical references 1599-1858
E East India Company: General Correspondence 1602-1859
E/3/1 no. 97 Deaths on board ships Clove, Hector and Thomas from London to Bantam 1611-1613
E/3/10 no. 1175 Seaman killed in action against the Portuguese in the Persian Gulf Feb 1625
E/3/40 no. 4687 Deaths at Bombay 1679
E/3/40 no. 4689List of orphans at Bombay31 Dec 1679
E/3/40 no. 4710 Deaths at Bombay1680
E/3/48 f.252Deaths at Benkulen1691
G East India Company Factory Records c.1595-1858
G/32/10 Baptisms and deaths recorded in St Helena Consultations 1737
G/32/12-26Baptisms and deaths recorded in St Helena Consultations1747-1766
G/32/41-47Summaries of civil and military establishment on St Helena1780-1794
G/32/102Wills and inventories recorded in St Helena Judicial Consultations1820-1826
G/32/105 ff.31vPassenger lists Bombay Merchant and Return1668-1669
G/32/105 ff.75r-v Passenger lists Bombay Merchant and Return1668-1669
G/35/9Baptisms, marriages and burials at Benkulen1740-1742
G/40/23Early wills1615-1723
JEast India College, Haileybury1749-1857
J/1/1-19Birth/baptismal certificates for Covenanted Civil Servants in Writers' Petitions and Committee of College References 1749-1856
J/1/21-90Birth/baptismal certificates for Covenanted Civil Servants in Writers' Petitions and Committee of College References1749-1856
L/AGAccountant-General's Recordsc.1601-1974
L/AG/23/10/1-2Madras Military Fund family registers. Established 1808, closed to new subscribers 1862. Provided benefits for the widows and children of regular officers and chaplains of the Madras Army - optional for Madras medical officers up to 1847. Rolls of subscribers and their wives and children give subscriber's dates of birth, marriage and death, wife's dates of birth and remarriage/death, children's dates of birth and daughters' dates of marriage/death. 19th & 20th centuries
L/AG/30/5Lists of labourers appointed to the warehouses of the East India Company in London.1801-1832
L/MARIndia Office: Marine Recordsc.1600-1879
L/MAR/A/XCVIIIDeaths on board the Russell to Madras and Bengal1695-1697
L/MAR/A/LXIIDeaths on board the Mary to Surat, Persia and the Red Sea1636-1640
L/MAR/B/338FDeaths on board the Royal Admiral1792-1793
L/MAR/B/397D-EDeaths on board the Suffolk1755-1757, 1758-1761
L/MAR/C/10Wills and inventories on board the Reformation to Bantam1639
L/MAR/C/11Wills and inventories on board the Restoration1660-1661
L/MAR/C/688Birth/baptismal certificates of Bombay Marine volunteers1823-1832
L/MAR/C/710Birth/baptismal certificates of Indian Navy volunteers1838-1844
L/MAR/C/779-780Petitions from former seamen etc of East India Company Maritime Service1795-1903
L/MAR/C/789Non-officer applicants to the Poplar Fund [pension fund]1809-1810
L/MAR/C/790Non-officer applicants to the Poplar Fund [pension fund]1810-1811
L/MAR/C/791Non-officer applicants to the Poplar Fund [pension fund]1811-1812
L/MAR/C/792Non-officer applicants to the Poplar Fund [pension fund]1812
L/MAR/C/849Certificates of age etc of non-officer applicants for East India Company Maritime Service compensation payments1834
L/MAR/C/850A-GCertificates of age etc of non-officer applicants for East India Company Maritime Service compensation payments1834
L/MILMilitary Department Records 1708-1959
L/MIL/9/85Entries for officers in Embarkation Lists, giving age and place of origin1753-1763
L/MIL/9/107-112Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application years1789-1803
L/MIL/9/116-117Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet PapersApplication years1806-1807
L/MIL/9/120-124Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application years 1809-1811
L/MIL/9/140-141 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1820
L/MIL/9/146 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1821
L/MIL/9/152 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet PapersApplication year 1823/4
L/MIL/9/158 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year1824/5
L/MIL/9/165-171 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application years 1826/7-1827/8
L/MIL/9/193 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1839/40
L/MIL/9/197 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1840/1
L/MIL/9/199-202 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1841/2
L/MIL/9/206 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1843/4
L/MIL/9/208-210 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1844/5
L/MIL/9/212-215 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application years 1845/6-1846/7
L/MIL/9/218 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1847/8
L/MIL/9/222 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1849/50
L/MIL/9/231 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1853/4
L/MIL/9/235 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1854/5
L/MIL/9/240-242 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1856/7
L/MIL/9/243-244 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1857/8
L/MIL/9/246 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1858/9
L/MIL/9/248 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application year 1858/9
L/MIL/9/250-251 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadet Papers Application years 1858/9-1859/60
L/MIL/9/254 Birth/baptismal certificates in Cadets' and Assistant Surgeons' Cancelled Appointments Application years 1833-1858
L/MIL/9/358-396 Birth/baptismal certificates in Assistant-Surgeons' Papers Application years 1804-1854
L/MIL/9/397-408 Birth/baptismal certificates in Assistant-Surgeons' Papers Application years 1855-1881
L/MIL/9/413-418 Birth/baptismal certificates in Assistant-Surgeons' Papers Application years 1882-1884
L/MIL/9/419 Birth/baptismal certificates in Indian Medical Service candidates' papers Application years 1895-1896
L/MIL/9/433 Birth/baptismal certificates in Veterinary Surgeons' application papers Application years 1826-1859
L/MIL/11/100 Madras Army officers' marriage notifications 1869-1888
L/MIL/12/108 Bombay Army officers' marriage notifications 1860-1882
L/MIL/15/23-35 Discharge papers of British Army soldiers transferred to the Indian Establishment 1859-1861
L/MIL/17/2/151-266 Casualties by death reported in the Bengal Army List 1859-1889
L/MIL/17/5/1-120 Casualties by death reported in the Indian Army List 1889-1917
L/PO Private Office Papers 1858-1948
L/PWD Public Works Department Records 1839-1931
L/PWD/2/220 Birth/baptismal certificates in Indian Telegraph Department candidates' application papers 1877-1878
L/PWD/8/6 Birth/baptismal certificates in Indian Telegraph Department candidates' application papers 1865-1869
L/PWD/8/11 Birth/baptismal certificates in candidates' application papers for the Royal Indian Engineering College at Cooper's Hill 1871-1903
L/PWD/8/404 Baptisms in Cooper's Hill Chapel 1897-1904
L/PJ Public and Judicial Department Records 1795-1950
L/PJ/6/776 Birth/baptismal certificates in Indian Forest Service candidates' application papers 1906
N Returns of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials 1698-1969
N/1/1-2 Bengal baptisms, marriages and burials 1713-1783
N/1/3 Baptisms, marriages and burials at the Mission Church, Calcutta 1758-1787
N/1/5-61 Bengal baptisms, marriages and burials 1797-1841
N/1/66-69 Bengal baptisms, marriages and burials Jul 1844 -Jun 1846
N/1/280-281 Bengal baptisms, marriages and burials Jan-Mar 1900
N/1/283-289 Bengal baptisms, marriages and burials Apr1900- Mar 1901
N/1/290 Burma baptisms, marriages and burials 1878-1891
N/1/522 Bengal baptisms Jan-Mar 1930
N/1/524 Bengal baptisms Apr-Jun 1930
N/1/526-527 Bengal baptisms, marriages and burials Jul-Sep 1930
N/1/528 Bengal baptisms Oct-Dec 1930
N/1/550-641 Bengal baptisms, marriages and burials Jul 1933-1948
N/2/1 Madras baptisms, marriages and burials 1698-1784
N/2/42 Madras baptisms, marriages and burials 1861
N/2/128 Madras baptisms, marriages and burials Jul-Dec 1920
N/3/RC/1-5 Bombay Roman Catholic Returns 1842-1854
N/6/1-3 St Helena baptisms, marriages and burials 1767-1835
N/7/1 Baptisms, marriages and burials at Benkulen (Fort Marlborough) 1760-1825
N/8/1 Baptisms, marriages and burials at Penang (Prince of Wales Island) 1799-1829
N/9/1-1A Baptisms, marriages and burials at Macao and Whampoa 1820-1833
N/10/6-7 Burma general returns (late registrations and reconstructions) 1942-1957
N/11 Returns of Registrar Marriages in Bengal, Madras, Bombay and Burma

Z/N/11/1-11 indexes 1852-1911 added May 2008
1852-1911
N/11/8 Bengal, Madras & Bombay: Registrar and Non-Conformist marriages 1891-1895
N/12/6-7 Deaths registered at Kuwait 1953-1960
O Biographical Series 1702-1948
0/1/1-4 Bonds and covenants
Z/O/1/8-12 indexes to Bonds 1814-1865 added May 2008
1741-1798
R/2 Crown Representative: Indian States Residencies Records c.1789-1947
R/2/1086 Consular returns of births and deaths registered at Srinagar, Kashmir 1940-1946
R/9 Malaya: Malacca Orphan Chamber and Council of Justice Records c.1685-1835
R/9/39/3 Marriages at Malacca 1820-1824

Part 2 Publications

Asiatic Journal Asiatic Journal New SeriesA monthly register for British India and its dependencies, 1816-1845. Apart from scholarly essays, news articles and commercial information from both Asia and London, the journal contains biographical information such as appointments, promotions, resignations, births, marriages; and deaths of persons in the employ of the East India Company in England or abroad, with index of names appended. This website includes details of marriages and deaths from issues nos. 2-5 (1816-1818), no.28 (1829), and New Series nos. 29-32 (1839-1840). The British Library shelfmark for the series is ST 76.
Bath Chronicle Biographical information extracted from obituaries.
Bengal Obituary Bengal Obituary (Calcutta, 1848) A compilation of tablets and monumental inscriptions from various parts of the Bengal and Agra Presidencies. Also includes biographical sketches and memoirs of eminent persons in British India from the early 18th century to 1848. The website should contain full transcriptions of the entries in the book. The British Library shelfmark is OIR.929.5
Bengal Past and Present Bengal Past and Present (Calcutta Historical Society, 1907 -) A quarterly journal devoted to the historical research of places and British personalities who lived or worked in Bengal. This website includes references to Christian tombs at Bankipore and Patna taken from issue 9 (1914, pp.28-39, 176-180; and monumental inscriptions in Kent and Sussex taken from issues no.49 (1935), pp.136-141, and no.50 (1935), pp. 90-97. The British Library shelfmark for the series is SV 84
Boase Frederic Boase, Modern English Biography (1965). Biographical information is available in this publication for the people indicated, but details have not been extracted for inclusion on this website. The British Library shelfmark is OIA.920.041
Crawford D. G. Crawford Roll of the Indian Medical Service 1615-1930 2 vols. (London, 1914) A compilation of all members of Bengal, Madras and Bombay Medical Services, including those who were posted or gazetted to the service but never joined. The following information is attached to each name in the list: (1) date of birth (2) medical school (3) degrees and diplomas (4) dates of successive commissions (5) date of retirement (6) date of death (7) service relationship (8) any service or event of special interest (9) honours and decorations (10) war services (11) authorship, works. Full details have not been extracted for inclusion on this website. The British Library shelfmark is OIR.355.345
Rhé-Philipe George William De Rhé-Philipe, Inscriptions on Christian tombs or monuments (Lahore, 1912). Facsimile reprint of 1910 original volumes of transcriptions from memorials in European cemeteries. Covers 'Christian Tombs or Monuments in the Punjab, North-West Frontier Province, Kashmir and Afghanistan'. The first part records the inscriptions and the second provides brief biographies. Full details have not been extracted for inclusion on this website. The British Library shelfmark is OIR.929.5
Dictionary of National Biography Biographical information is available in this publication (up to 1950) for the people indicated, but details have not been extracted for inclusion on this website. The British Library shelfmark is OIA.920.041
East India Register East India Register (1808-1844) Returns of births, marriages and deaths from 1807. Only partial extracts at present. The British Library shelfmark for the series is OIR.354.54

Births, marriages and deaths extracted from the volumes for 1809-1844 added May 2008
Hodson V. C .P. Hodson, List of the Officers of the Bengal Army, 1758-1834 4 vols. (London, 1927-47) Alphabetically arranged and annotated with biographical and genealogical notices, giving details of: (1) rank and brief career history (2) family information (3) service records: regiments or battalions in which the officer served (4) references to wills if they exist, to monumental inscriptions, or to mentions in publications. Full details have not been extracted for inclusion on this website. The British Library shelfmark is OIR.355.332
Indica Indica 8 (1971) B. A. Fernandes, ‘American tombs in Bombay 1794-1868’ Tomb inscriptions of American missionaries in Bombay. Includes ten inscriptions from the European cemetery on Queen’s Road, Bombay, dated from 1794 to 1867, and three inscriptions from the Colaba European cemetery from about the early 19th century to 1868. The British Library pressmark for the series is ST 1278 (specify the year 1971 when ordering)
Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research Journal of the Society for Army Historical Research (1922-) Historical research of military campaigns and personalities. The index of the journal gives the names referred to in the articles. The British Library shelfmark for the series is SV 302
Keble Register Basil St G. Drennan (ed.), The Keble College Centenary Register (Oxford, 1970). Short biographies of all the graduate and undergraduate members, Wardens, Bursars, Fellows and Tutors, Lecturers, etc. of Keble College, Oxford, and of members of the former Keble College Council, 1870-1970. Each entry contains (1) date of birth (2) education (3) career history (4) publications (if any) (5) name of spouse (if known) (6) date of death. The British Library shelfmark is V18226
Madras Burials C. H. Malden (ed.), List of burials at Madras from 1660 to 1746, compiled from the register of St Mary’s Church, Fort St George (Madras, 1903). The list gives the following information of each person: (1) name (2) condition (status of the person) (3) date of death. This website includes entries for 1680-1697 and 1699-1703 which do not appear in IOR: N/2/1, Madras baptisms, marriages and burials 1698-1784. The British Library shelfmark is OIR.929.5
Madras Marriages Marriages at Fort St George, Madras (Exeter, 1907). Transcription of the Register books of St. Mary’s, Fort St. George, 1680 – 1805. Apart from the names of brides and grooms, names of the priests were recorded in the first two years of the register (1680-82). Thereafter, the names of ministers were not consistently recorded. From the late 18th century, the occupations of the grooms were occasionally mentioned. Arranged by dates. No index of names. This website includes entries for 168-1695, 1697, and 1699-1703 which do not appear in IOR: N/2/1, Madras baptisms, marriages and burials 1698-1784. Entries for 1696 are missing in both London and Madras. The British Library shelfmark is OIR.929.3
Phillimore R. H. Phillimore, Historical records of the Survey of India (Dehra Dun, 1945-48) Includes biographical notes of persons involved in the geographical and historical survey of India (the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India) from 1777 to 1843, giving brief details of: birth and death, family information, and career information. Full details have not been extracted for inclusion on this website. The British Library shelfmark is OIR.354.54
Times The Times Biographical information is available in published obituaries for the people indicated, but details have not been extracted for inclusion on this website. 
Who was Who Who was Who Biographical information is available in this publication for the people indicated, but details have not been extracted for inclusion on this website. The British Library shelfmark is OIA.920.041

Part 3 Other sources at the British Library

Memorial inscriptions Inscriptions in the UK and elsewhere recorded by the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia
IOR Biographical File Information on people connected with British rule in India, compiled from printed sources such as obituaries. The file is available for consultation in the Asian and African Studies Reading Room at the British Library. The British Library shelfmark is OIR.920.054

Part 4 Sources from outside institutions

Commonwealth War Graves Commission register Entries on this website were taken from a printed register of war graves issued by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The most up-to-date information can be found on the Commission’s website.

 
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