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Hidden history of the British in India, the leading family history website, and the British Library announced today the online publication of 2.5 million records detailing the lives of the British in India from 1698 to 1947.

London  ()

Covering over 200 years of rich and colourful history, the newly-released records chronicle the lives of Europeans living in areas under British influence and include individuals from all walks of life. Soldiers, army officers, surgeons, doctors, wealthy merchants, members of the military, civil, legal and public works establishments, their families and many others such as traders, planters, missionaries and mariners can all be found within the collection.

Previously only accessible as original documents or on microfilm at the British Library’s Reading Rooms at St. Pancras, the British in India collection can now be explored online at anywhere at anytime. Fully indexed and easily searchable, the records can be searched for free and scans of the original documents can be downloaded for less than £1. No expert knowledge is needed, allowing anyone to begin uncovering the lives of their ancestors who headed east.

The details of their lives and deaths are documented in a variety of records ranging from returns of baptisms, marriages and burials, civil and military pensions and wills, to East India Company cadet papers and applications for the civil service. The British in India collection makes it possible to find missing ancestors and build a vivid and detailed picture of what life was like for those early expats.

The records will be of interest not only to family historians, but also social historians, academic researchers and biographers. Insights can be gained into the culture of British India as the records reveal much about the careers and family lives of expats, the offices of power and the men who held them, infant mortality, Anglo Indian marriages and family relationships.



British Library
Editorial Contact:
Ben Sanderson
+44 (0) 1937 546 126