I discovered an interesting genealogy database recently.  My great-grandfather lived in India in the 1840’s and I was doing some research about his life.  I found a free site called “The India Office Family History Search”.  You can find the website here.

The information in the database is “taken from a card index …available only at the British Library.  The card index was compiled by members of staff at the India Office Records from the mid-1970s on to meet the growing interest in genealogy.”

The India Office Records is the custodian of the archives of the: East India Company (1600-1858); the Board of Control (1784-1858); the India Office (1858-1947); and the Burma Office (1937-1948).

“The collection contain much information of interest to family historians, mainly relating to European and Eurasian people. There are biographical sources for official and non-official inhabitants of the many overseas areas where the East India Company and India Office had influence, and also for home staff based in Britain.”

The records include details for: civil servants, military personnel, mariners, medical staff, chaplains, railway workers, law officers, and non-official inhabitants such as merchants and planters, free mariners, and missionaries.  Included are: 300,000 births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials in the India Office records; biographical notes from a variety of sources for mainly British and European people in India c.1600-1949; and for people in other countries connected with the history of the British in India.

It can be difficult to find early records of Americans in foreign lands and, because this database is focused more on the British in India, I did not have any luck with it.  However, it looks like a good resource so I thought I would pass it on – happy research!