Tracing an ancestor in India

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by haggler, Mar 11, 2012.

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  1. I am trying to find out information on British army officers in India from mid 1850s to about 1920

    My grandfather was born in Bengal, as was my great great grandmother but i need to find out about great grandfather.

    I can apply for grandfathers service records which may give fathers rank ????

    I have joined but furthest I have got is record in 1911 census of grandfather aged 1 in a barracks in england with his mum that gave nationality as british but born in bengal.

    help me save a bob or two
  2. seaweed

    seaweed LE Book Reviewer

    The Mormons may have something on Familysearch but otherwise the India and Oriental Studies section in the British Library has a raft of stuff from British India up to 1947, including bishops' transcripts of C of E baptisms, marriages and burials, all indexed in ledgers. Various directories as well. If your forebear was Indian Army the BL holds those records also; if British Army there may be stuff in the National Archives at Kew. Unfortunately for you, one has to foot it to the BL (almost next door to Kings Cross/St Pancras/Euston) & take ID.
  3. Thanks for your reply.
  4. I decend from the Jemadar,s of the British Army of India.
    you may find it helpfull to search "Sikh awards british army "on google
    good luck
  5. If you manage to locate a specific garrison or parish (in India), then it might be worth even going there to investigate, or contacting the local church. As a teenager, I lived in Calcutta and Dacca; I remember that expat historical groups were able to view church registers dating back to the eighteenth century - births, deaths, weddings and christenings of East India Company staff and other Christian foreigners.
  6. India Office records in the British Library might be worth a look.

    Try here

    India Office Family History Search

    but also search the main catalogue at

  7. Oh - and the BL holds copies of the Indian Army List that you can plod through, as does the National Archives at Kew, although I recall the BL's holdings as being more comprehensive.
  8. I've just found the record of one my ancestors birth ( Sealkote in India now Sialkot Pakistan) b 1852 on this site indian section. Wont be visiting in the near future though.
  9. Further information.
    He was a Cpl in 1st Battalion 24th Regiment of Foot (2nd warwickshire)

    Their service in India ties in with his childrens births as shown.

    5 March 1847 - October 1848 Agra, India ------Harriett 22 Sep 1848
    3 October 1848 - March 1849 2nd Sikh War (Chillianwallah, Goojerat)
    April 1849 - December 1852 Wazirabad, India ------Eli John 20 Oct 1850
    5 December 1852 - 1 November 1854 Sialkot, India ------Robert 19 Aug 1852 #my ancestor
    28 November 1854 - December 1856 Peshawar, India ------William Alexander 25 Sep 1855
    13 December 1856 - 1858 Indian Mutiny @ Rawalpindi ------Dorothea 18 Mar 1858
    1858 - 22 March 1861 India, various stations @ Ferozepore -------Thomas 07 Jan 1860
    22 March 1861 - 27 July 1861 At sea
    27 July 1861 - 22 May 1862 New Barracks,Gosport, Hampshire
    22 May 1862 - September 1862 Anglesea Barracks, Portsea, Hampshire ------Henrietta 4 Jul 1862

    He later emigrated to N Zealand and died in 1894 (the day after his wife died)