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British India Office Collection
The British India Office collection is a rich resource for those with ancestors who lived and worked in India. The records span the seventeeth to the twentieth century and include records of the East India Company, military personnel and civil servants, as well as other professions such as surgeons who travelled to the sub-continent.
The returns of baptisms, marriages and burials, now available on findmypast, enabled the government at home to know who was in India and were an authoritative source if information was required to resolve legal issues. These documents and the copies of numerous wills reveal the lives of people such as planters, entrepreneurs, missionaries and others in India who were not associated with the Company or Government of India. Both the East India Company and the India Office required people with a wide range of skills to work in their military and civil services and to manage relationships with Indian princes and with strategically important areas such as Afghanistan and the Gulf.
Like any employer, they needed information to enable them to recruit the right people and to manage them once they were in post. They also documented their financial obligations, such as the payment of pensions. As a result of their careful record-keeping, we can find out a wealth of fascinating details about people from all walks of life from the documents now available online through findmypast.
Data Protection In compliance with data protection laws fewer details and no images are available for births dating to after 1915 and marriages after 1930. Full details are available to researchers who visit the British Library in person.