Not a FIBIS members and would like to view these records and other member only material?. Then why not consider joining? Find out about more benefits of membership at http://www.new.fibis.org/membership
Personal Research Services (FIBIS Members)
FIBIS is currently able to provide personal research services at the India Office Records at the British Library and certain other London Archives to those of its Members who are unable to access records due to distance or disability. For further information email research
‘Baxter’s Guide‘ will also give you a good insight into the types of records held in the India Office Records at the British Library.
“My ancestor was in the Bengal Artillery around 1857, where would I find out more about him?”
“My ancestors were Catholic, where would be the best place to search?”
“My ancestor worked on the railways around the 1880s, what sort of records exist?”
100 years ago, British and Indian engineers were well-versed in spanning the sub-continent’s formidable rivers with most of the pre-fabrication undertaken by workshops back in Britain. Because of this, the builders on site were often accused of being little more than ‘Meccano engineers’ but the reality was that “erection was a demanding task that stretched the ingenuity of the engineers and the safety of the workers” (Ian Kerr, Building the railways of the Raj 1850-1900).
The Beas, one of the five tributaries of the Indus that gives the Punjab (“five rivers”) its name, was first bridged by the Scinde, Punjab & Delhi Railway as early as 1869. Badly damaged by floods in 1871 and subsequently rebuilt, by 1908 the cast-iron edifice was in need of replacement. FIBIS has acquired a remarkable series of photographs believed taken by the North Western Railway, the SP&DR’s successor, that chart the construction of the new bridge during the building season of 1908-1909. This collection can now be seen on the FIBIS Social Network.
The British in India museum was opened in Colne in 1972, moving to Nelson in 2006. The founder, Mr Henry Nelson, sadly died last year but we are happy to hear that the museum will remain open.
On show are:
- swords and kurkis
- commemorative boxs and plates
- models carved in ivory
- photographs and paintings
- Indian army cap badges and buttons
- a tiger skin shot in the Saugor area in 1915
- clothes worn by E.M. Forster when he was secretary to H.H. The Maharajah of Dewas State Senior.
- uniform of F.M. Sir Claude Auchinleck.
- The last flag to be lowered at the Residency, Lucknow in 1947.
- Many other items too numerous to mention.
British in India Museum
Lancashire BB9 8AD
Tel: 01282 613129
Closed Christmas and Bank Holidays
|Ticket Type||Ticket Tariff|
|Child Ticket||£1.00 per ticket|
|Adult Ticket||£4.00 per ticket|
Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.
At the FIBIS Open Meeting last month members were shown a privately, but professionally, made film of many aspects of the Indian Mutiny, 1857-59. The film featured a visit to India by Philip Geddes and Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Shireff plus the latter’s son, to visit the places known to their illustrious ancestors at the time of the mutiny. Among the many places featured was the cemetery of Morar, close to Gwalior, which FIBIS Members visited during our tour of 2007.
Philip Geddes mentioned after the showing of the film that it could be purchased on DVD through BACSA (British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia) by FIBIS members for private viewing only with all proceeds going to BACSA. We have had numerous FIBIS members enquiring on how to purchase a copy. Any FIBIS member wishing to purchase a copy should contact Caroline Whitehead, 21 Pentlow Street London SW15 1LX direct. The price is £10 including postage and packing.
Readers might be interested to know that The Times of India is currently available as a free online trial (until 3 June only) from the University of Cork through Proquest. The web site is as follows:
Readers might be interested in the following press release received from the Gunsgreen House Trust:
In 1736, 275 years ago this June Alexander Dow was born near Comrie in Perthshire. In the early 1750s he was in Eyemouth, working for John and David Nisbet, notorious smugglers, at Gunsgreen House.
In 1757 – at the age of 21 – he was on the Privateer (state licensed pirate ship) King of Prussia at Dartmouth in Devon making his will, in which he left everything to “my beloved friend David Nisbet”.
Just eleven years later he was in London, having travelled to the East, become a Colonel in the East India Company in Calcutta and translated and edited the “History of Hindostan”, the first English language history of India. He had a play on at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, produced by David Garrick and was a friend of David Hume.
After returning to India, he was back in London again in 1772, when he had his portrait painted by Joshua Reynolds and arranged to have another play performed. Back in India, he died, aged just 43 in 1779. He had never made another will, so his wealth – some £10,000 (perhaps as much as £1m in today’s terms) – should have come to David Nisbet.
To mark this anniversary and Dow’s close links to Gunsgreen House, an afternoon event is being held on Sunday 19 June from 2.00 until 6.00. Derek Janes of Gunsgreen House will describe the Colonel’s career and his close connections with the Nisbet Brothers, Anne Buddle, of the National Galleries of Scotland will talk about Scots in India in the Eighteenth Century and there will be readings from Dow’s works and from writings about Dow. Afterwards Derek Janes will give a guided tour of Gunsgreen House.
The Gunsgreen House website is www.gunsgreenhouse.org
Title: Edinburgh drop-in surgery – 21 June 2011
Location: Holy Cross Church Quality Street, Davidson’s Mains, Edinburgh, Scotland
Description:FIBIS trustee, Elaine MacGregor, will be giving a general talk and presentation on researching British India family history and afterwards she and other experienced FIBIS members will be holding a FREE drop-in ‘surgery’ to offer advice to anyone wishing for help in furthering their British India family history research.
For directions visit http://www.holycrossedinburgh.org/?page_id=328
Start Time: 14:30
Title: Researching British India Family History – 18 June 2011
Location: The Crown Inn, 749 Lincoln Road, Peterborough, PE1 3HD
Description: FIBIS trustee, Richard Morgan, will be giving a general talk and presentation on researching British India family history.
After the talk FIBIS Trustees, Richard Morgan and Valmay Young, will be holding a ‘surgery’ to offer advice to anyone wishing for help in furthering their research.
To book in advance please email email@example.com or phone 07841423979
Start Time: 14:00
End Time: 17:00
Title: Researching Ancestors who served in the Armies of India – 12 July 2011
Location: British Library, 96 Euston Road, London, NW1 2DB
Link out: Click here
Description: APAC Reference Services working in tandem with the Families In British India Society (FIBIS) are delighted to present a specialized session 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Start Time: 14:00
End Time: 17:00