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The British in India Collection

Find My Past’s British in India Collection contains over 2.4 million records of baptisms, marriages, burials, wills, pensions, military and civil career information from c. 1700 to 1947. Access to the online indexes is free on the Find My Past website, but there is a small charge for downloading images or transcriptions of the documents from the India Office Records.

The indexes, images and transcriptions can be viewed free in the British Library’s Reading Rooms, but they cannot be downloaded. There is a charge for printing in the Reading Rooms.

The Find My Past website is managed by DC Thomson Family History.

Some of the records in this service may contain details for individuals who are still living, and therefore full-image views and transcriptions have been redacted so that only a basic index is available. In line with the Information Commissioner’s advice on data protection, this is set at:

  • 100 years for birth/baptism records
  • 84 years for marriage/career records

The full records may be consulted in person at the British Library.

Summary list of the British in India Collection

Detailed list available below

Baptisms, marriages, and burials c.1700-1969

  • Bengal 1713-1948 including Burma prior to 1937, Madras 1698-1948, Bombay 1709-1948
  • Indian States 1890-1946
  • St Helena 1767-1835
  • Fort Marlborough (Benkulen, Sumatra) 1759-1825
  • Prince of Wales Island (Penang) 1799-1829
  • Macao 1820-1833
  • Burma 1937-1957
  • Kuwait 1937-1961
  • Aden 1842-1969
  • Deaths of Uncovenanted Servants 1870-1949
  • Madras Army Officers’ marriage notifications 1869-1888
  • Bombay Army Officers’ marriage notifications 1867-1888
  • Cooper's Hill Engineering College: Birth/baptismal certificates of candidates for the Indian Telegraph Department, 1865-1869
  • Cooper's Hill Engineering College: College Chapel Baptismal Register, 1897-1904
  • Ecclesiastical records can include birth and death information. Papers of recruits to the military and civil services often include details of birth or baptism.

Wills

  • Wills, probates, administrations, inventories 1774-1948
  • Soldiers' wills 1820-1881
  • Officers' wills 1831-1875
  • Treasury Deposits (EIC and Indian Armies) 1792-1915 returns of estates of deceased European officers and other ranks
  • Military Estate Papers 1849-1937

Appointments

  • Writers (Writers' petitions and Haileybury records) 1749-1856
  • Bombay Marine and Pilot Service 1822-1832
  • Indian Navy 1838-1859
  • Indian Army 1789-1860
  • Medical Officers 1787-1896
  • Veterinary surgeons 1826-1859
  • Indian Forest Service 1906
  • Telegraph Department 1865-1869, 1877-1888
  • Engineers (Cooper's Hill records) 1855-1864, 1871-1903

Papers may include the following information: birth or baptism, education, testimonials.

Pensions

  • Civil funds: Bengal 1885-1960, Madras 1762-c1950, Bombay 1882-1950
  • Military: Lord Clive Fund 1770-1886, Bengal 1866-1950s, Madras 1808-1960, Bombay 1858-1960, Non-Effective Account for officers and warrant officers 1883-1913
  • Bengal Military Orphan Society 1818-1960s
  • Mercantile Marine (Poplar Fund) 1809-1838
  • Indian Navy - compiled 1855 and 1864

Pension records may include details of marriages and deaths of pensioners.

Other family history sources

Further family history sources can be consulted in the British Library’s Asian and African Studies Reading Room. Please see our general family history web pages and our catalogue of archives and manuscripts for details.

 

India Office Records referenceFull list of the British in India Collection available on the Find My Past website, arranged in reference number order

NB some volumes could not be included because of their fragile condition
  
IOR/J/1/1-2, 5, 8-19Writers’ Petitions, 1749-1805
IOR/J/1/21-90Committee of College References and Papers, 1806-1856
  
IOR/L/AG/21/10/4-16Military (Lord Clive) Fund Pensions: Payments to Officers and Widows, 1860-1886
IOR/L/AG/21/10/35-4Military (Lord Clive) Fund: Pensions of Widows of Other Ranks, 1820-1869
IOR/L/AG/23/2/20-22Lord Clive Fund: Registers of individual applications, 1772-1798
IOR/L/AG/23/2/23-24Lord Clive Fund: Accounts of the Paymaster of the Fund, 1770-1792
IOR/L/AG/23/2/41-61Lord Clive Fund: Statements of Expenditure/Lists of Pensioners (Widows only) paid in India, 1779-1867
IOR/L/AG/23/2/62-64Lord Clive Fund: Registers of receipts by pensioners for payments made in London, 1822-1829
IOR/L/AG/23/2/65-66Lord Clive Fund: Registers of admissions to pensions in UK, 1830-1882
IOR/L/AG/23/2/67-69Lord Clive Fund: Registers of deceased pensioners, 1820-1882
  
IOR/L/AG/23/5/1-3Bengal Civil Fund Pension Records, 1885-1960
  
IOR/L/AG/23/6/1-12Bengal Military Fund, 1824-1950s
  
IOR/L/AG/23/7/7-9 Bengal Military Orphan Society: lists of orphans, c1818-1866
IOR/L/AG/23/7/10-11Bengal Military Orphan Society: Register of pensioners and pension payments, Jul 1866-Dec 1876
IOR/L/AG/23/7/12Bengal Military Orphan Society: 1) Register of pension payments Jan 1877-Mar 1881; 2) Register of orphans admitted to pension before Sep 1888, with record of their marriages/deaths up to 1950s
IOR/L/AG/23/7/13 Bengal Military Orphan Society: Register of orphans admitted to pension after Jul 1888, 1888-1960. With Record of their marriages/deaths up to 1960s 
IOR/L/AG/23/7/15-18Bengal Military Orphan Society: Registers of subscriptions paid in England, 1856-1909
IOR/L/AG/23/7/20 Bengal Military Orphan Society: 1) Quarterly reports of births, deaths, etc of subscribers' children in India 1877-1884; 2) Quarterly returns from India relating to subscribers to the Bengal Military Orphans Society and Bengal Military Fund, their wives and children 1884-1907; 3) Annual lists of orphans in India 1877-1910 
  
IOR/L/AG/23/8/1-3, 3aMadras Civil Fund, 1762-1864, 1886 onwards
  
IOR/L/AG/23/10/1Roll of subscribers to Madras Military Fund, 1808-c 1939 
IOR/L/AG/23/10/2 Madras Military Fund: Roll of wives, widows and children of subscribers to Madras Military Fund, 1808-c.1960
IOR/L/AG/23/10/7- 8Madras Military Fund: Register of pensioners and pension payments, Jul 1866-Dec 1876 
IOR/L/AG/23/10/9Madras Military Fund: Register of pension payments Jan 1877-Mar 1881, and register of pensioners admitted to pension before Jun 1882, with records of their marriages and deaths up to 1950s
IOR/L/AG/23/10/10Madras Military Fund: Register of pensioners admitted to pension after Jan 1882, with records of their marriages and deaths up to 1960s
  
IOR/L/AG/23/11/16Bombay Civil Fund: Family register of living subscribers, compiled c1883
IOR/L/AG/23/11/18Bombay Civil Fund: List of those in receipt of pension on 1 Apr 1882 and those subsequently admitted, 1882-1950 
  
IOR/L/AG/23/12/1-6Bombay Military Fund: Statements of contributions, 1866 onwards
IOR/L/AG/23/12/10-13Bombay Military Fund: Registers of pensioners and pension payments 1866-1960
  
IOR/L/AG/23/18/2-3Indian Navy Fund: Family Registers, compiled c 1855 and 1864
  
IOR/L/AG/26/14/2-3Cost of British Army Personnel: Non-Effective Account: Officers and Warrant Officers.
Lists of departmental officers and warrant officers, Indian Army  admitted to pension in India. Dated 1883/84- 1911/12
IOR/L/AG/26/15/1 Cost of British Army Personnel: Non-Effective Account: Widows of Officers and Warrant Officers.
Lists of widows and children of officers of the Indian Army, Indian Medical Service and Royal Indian Marine who were admitted to pension in India. Apr 1898-Mar 1913 
IOR/L/AG/26/15/2Cost of British Army Personnel: Non-Effective Account: Widows of Officers and Warrant Officers.  
Lists of widows and children of departmental officers and warrant officers, Indian Army, in India who were admitted to pension. Dated 1883/84-1907/08 
IOR/L/AG/26/15/3Cost of British Army Personnel: Non-Effective Account: Widows of Officers and Warrant Officers.
Lists of widows and children of departmental officers and warrant officers, Indian Army, in India whose pensions ceased. Dated 1883/84-1907/08 
  
L/AG/34/14A/1-17Returns of Deaths of Uncovenanted Servants and Other Officers, 1870-1949
  
IOR/L/AG/34/27/1-250, 253-385B, 387-425AInventories and accounts of deceased estates - Bengal, Madras and Bombay, 1780-1937
IOR/L/AG/34/29/1-380, 382-386Wills, probates, administrations and inventories of estates of persons who died in India and Burma, 1774-1948
IOR/L/AG/34/30/1-29Soldiers' Wills: Bengal, Madras, Bombay 1820-1881
IOR/L/AG/34/30/30Officers' Wills: Bengal, Madras and Bombay, Apr 1831-Jul 1875 
IOR/L/AG/34/33/1-25Treasury deposits: East India Company armies and Indian Army, 1792-1915
IOR/L/AG/34/40/1-156Military estates papers: Bengal, Madras, Bombay 1849-1937 
  
IOR/L/MAR/C/688Lists of appointments to Bombay Marine and Pilot Service, 1822-1832.
  
IOR/L/MAR/C/710-714Volunteers (cadets) for the Indian Navy, 1838-1859
  
IOR/L/MAR/C/785-788Poplar pensioners, with particulars, 1809-1821
IOR/L/MAR/C/789-840Poplar: petitions with certificates and other documents attached for pensions, compensations etc, 1809-1838
  
IOR/L/MIL/9/107-126, 128-133, 135-215, 218-221, 223, 226-239, 241-254 Cadet Papers, 1789-1860
  
IOR/L/MIL/9/358, 360-364, 366-396Assistant-Surgeons’ Papers, 1804-1854
IOR/L/MIL/9/397-408Papers of Assistant-Surgeons selected by the Board of Examiners,, 1855-1881
IOR/L/MIL/9/409Annual list of Assistant-Surgeons appointed giving Presidency, nominating Director and date of appointment, with separate lists of rank, 1787-1791
IOR/L/MIL/9/410Annual lists of Assistant-Surgeons appointed giving Presidency, nominating Director, date of appointment and ship, 1791-1814
IOR/L/MIL/9/411 Annual lists of rank of Assistant-Surgeons, Madras Bengal and Bombay, 1794-1814
IOR/L/MIL/9/412Register of candidates for Assistant-Surgeon posts giving address, dates of application and examination, result, and date of returning diplomas. 1865-1877
IOR/L/MIL/9/413-418Papers of Surgeons selected by the Board of Examiners, 1882-1894
IOR/L/MIL/9/419Papers of candidates selected for the Indian Medical Service, 1895-1896
  
IOR/L/MIL/9/433Veterinary Surgeons' Papers consisting of petitions, certificates of age, testimonials and related correspondence, 1826-1859
  
IOR/L/MIL/11/100Madras Army Officers Miscellaneous Madras Army officers' marriage notifications returned under the Widows' Pension Regulation of 1855, 1869-1888
  
IOR/L/MIL/12/108Bombay Army Officers Miscellaneous Bombay Army officers' marriage notifications, returned under the Widows' Pension Regulation of 1855, 1867-1888 
  
IOR/L/PJ/6/776  File 2951: Applications for the Indian Forest Service, 16 Aug 1906-22 Nov 1906
  
  
IOR/L/PWD/2/220Telegraph Department appointment papers, 1877-1878 
  
IOR/L/PWD/8/3Cooper's Hill Engineering College: Index of civil engineers appointed to the Indian Public Works Department giving details of the appointment, the Presidency, references to appointment correspondence, the salary, and 'remarks', 1855-1864
IOR/L/PWD/8/6Cooper's Hill Engineering College: Birth/baptismal certificates of candidates for the Indian Telegraph Department, 1865-1869
IOR/L/PWD/8/10-12Cooper's Hill Engineering College: Alphabetical list of students admitted to the College giving dates of admission and of leaving, and 'remarks', 1871-1903
IOR/L/PWD/8/404Cooper's Hill Engineering College: College Chapel Baptismal Register, 1897-1904
  
IOR/N/1Bengal: Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1713-1948
IOR/N/2Madras: Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1698-1948
IOR/N/3Bombay: Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1709-1948
IOR/N/5/1-2Indian States: Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1890-1946
IOR/N/6/1-3St Helena: Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1767-1835
IOR/N/7/1Fort Marlborough (Benkulen, Sumatra): Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1759-1825
IOR/N/8/1Prince of Wales Island (Penang): Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, 1799-1829
IOR/N/9/1Macao: Baptisms, Marriages, Burials; Whampoa: Burials, 1820-1833
IOR/N/10/1-5Burma Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1937-1941
IOR/N/10/6-7Burma Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1942-1957
IOR/N/11/1-11Returns of Registrar Marriages in Bengal, Madras, Bombay and Burma, 1852-1911
IOR/N/12/1-16Kuwait Political Agency Births, Marriage and Burials, 1937-1961
IOR/N/13/1-5Aden Baptisms, 1842-1951
IOR/N/13/6-12Aden Marriages, 1840-1969
IOR/N/13/13-21Aden Burials, 1842-1942