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India Office Records: Family History Sources

A guide to family history sources in the India Office Records

New Over 2.4 million records of baptisms, marriages, burials, wills, pensions, military and civil career information in the British in India Collection on Find My Past’s website, managed by DC Thomson Family History.

The India Office Family History Search contains biographical information about the British and Europeans in India between 1600 and 1947.

Family History

Family History © The British Library Board.


Types of documents available for family history research in the India Office Records:

Other Internet sources:

Search Services

We offer a remote ecclesiastical search service for enquirers who are unable to visit our reading room. The Ecclesiastical Returns (copy registers of births/baptisms, marriages and burials of European and Eurasian Christians in India, Burma and territories controlled from India) held in this collection are not complete. We estimate that 20-30% of the returns are missing. Therefore with any search conducted there is the possibility of failure. Certified copies, i.e.. an official copy with the seal of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, can also be provided. The fees for Ecclesiastical Searches and Certificates are as follows:

£36 per search for enquirers of EU countries (includes VAT)
£30 per search for enquirers of non-EU countries
£18 per certified copy

Applications for Ecclesiastical Records Search (PDF file and print)

For further guidance on our Ecclesiastical search service please contact Reference Services at the Asia, Pacific & Africa Collections

Readers wishing to pursue their own research are welcome to consult the collections in the Asia Pacific & Africa Collections by using the services and facilities of the Reading Room, where general advice is available to researchers at the Reference Enquiries Desk. Please refer to the Reader Registration page for advice on obtaining a Reader Pass. The British Library regrets that its staff are not available to carry out private research for individuals or organizations on subjects other than those of ecclesiastical nature. Enquirers who are unable to make a personal visit to the Asia Pacific & Africa Collections may wish to employ research agents to pursue enquiries on their behalf:

Private Research Agents (PDF file)

Training sessions in using India Office Records family history sources

The first three introductory training workshops for 2017 will be held on 22 February and 23 March, starting at 11.00, 26 April and 23 May at noon, and lasting ca. 75 minutes. Taking into account comments made on some evaluation forms by attendees of the long-established introductory sessions in family history, Asian & African Studies Reference Services working in tandem with the Families In British India Society (FIBIS) are delighted to present specialized sessions looking at biographical sources for military personnel. No previous knowledge of the subject is expected or required. If, therefore, you believe you have European ancestors who served in the Indian sub-continent whether as officers or private soldiers, please book your free place by contacting Depending on the level of interest shown, we plan to offer repeat sessions at regular intervals. The date of the next session will be announced in due course.


Asian and African Studies enquiries
The British Library
96 Euston Road
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7873
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7641

E-mail: Ask the Asian and African Studies Reference Team

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