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Peter Bailey (British in India)

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Re: Peter Bailey (British in India)

Postby BritInd » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:27 am

MoVidger wrote:Dear Peter,

My friend and I have hit a brick wall with one of her India-born ancestors:

Mary Simpson was born in Cuddalore, India in 1852 (according to the 1891 UK census).

Father: James Simpson (age and occupation unknown)
Mother: unknown

In 1870, Mary married Abraham Holmes in St Thomas, Madras whilst he was serving in the British Army (45th Regiment). Their first 3 children were born Wellington, Rangoon, and Bangalore. By 1879, the Abraham had re-located his family to Bradford, West Yorkshire where the family continued to grow.

We have checked with the India Office at the British Library, but they only have the brief 1870 marriage entry for Abraham and Mary. This record indicates James Simpson as Mary's father, and her 1852 birth year.

We have also searched the India Office Records on familysearch for a likely birth/baptism entry for Mary Simpson, but to no avail.

If you can offer any suggestions with regards to researching Mary's birth and parental details a bit further, we'd be very grateful.

Thanks very much,
Mo


Hello Mo,

I am not exactly sure what you mean by “brief” 1870 Marriage entry for Abraham & Mary. It looks as if what you have found is not so brief since it gives Mary’s father’s name.

I take it that you also will have asked the India Office Library to look for Mary’s baptismal entry and that they were unable to help. They have of course the originals of the same records as are on FamilySearch and now, also those available on FindMyPast.
So it looks as if Mary’s baptism is not recorded in them.

My suggestion is that you now focus on finding more records of James Simpson in Cuddalore around 1852, especially those which might mention his occupation. These might help to build up a career for him and lead to more family details.

Hope this helps!

Best wishes – Peter
BritInd
 
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Re: Peter Bailey (British in India)

Postby BritInd » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:37 am

mjob wrote:My grandfather Edward O'Brien was born in Subathoo, Bengal on November 9th, 1885. His mother was Alice O'Brien, nee Power, born in Clonmel, Tipperary in 1853. His father John O'Brien had married Alice on May 12th, 1882 whilst he was based in the Infantry Barracks in Clonmel, having enlisted in 1879, aged 21. He was born in Limerick in 1858. I don't know when they left for India, only that my grandfather was born in 1885. By 1901, Alice was back in Clonmel with the growing family, though Edward was the only one born in India. In that census, it says that John is a colour sergeant with the RIR in Woking, Aldershot. By 1911, John is widowed and at home in Clonmel with his family and has left the army and opened a grocer's shop.
Is it possible to find out anything about his career, especially what he would have been doing in Bengal? One family story is that he was with the Bengal Lancers, but this could be fanciful. I would be grateful for any pointers.
MJOB


Dear Mr O'Brien,

I'm afraid that you will have to look into the history of the Royal Irish Regiment to find out where and when they were posted to the various garrisons in the world, including India. It is quite possible that they were garrisoned with a regiment of the Bengal Lancers when in India. However, especially since only officers of the Indian Army served with the various Regiments of Bengal Lancers, I feel that the story is rather fanciful.

Best wishes - Peter
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Re: Peter Bailey (British in India)

Postby Henley » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:38 am

Hello Peter,

A relative by marriage died in India in 1930 serving for the First Royal Dragoons. I've identified books on the regiment, but wondered whether you could recommend background material on 1920/30s India/Raj/British Army.
Last edited by Henley on Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:44 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Peter Bailey (British in India)

Postby BritInd » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:41 am

steph9555 wrote:Hi Peter
I am at a brick wall and have been for some time. I, trying to find out information on my 3 great grandmother Jane Burke born 1850 Secunderbad India father Chales Burke. Jane was married when she was 14 to a soilder William Doyle 1864 Kamptee Bengal, was this normal to marry just a child, and why was she so young? William served as a sergent in the RHA, and together they had three children, Ellen 1866 Kamptee Bengal, William 1869 Kamptee, Fanny 1871 Trinmlgherry Madras, William died 28th Aug 1871 in India, but a I don't know how to find this out, and how can I locate his army records? would there be any since he died in India. Jane went on to Marry Robert Welch 1872 again in Trinmlgherry. I hope you are able to help me, many thanks for your time in advance.
Kind regards steph
Hello Steph,

Firstly, 14 was not too young to get married in India in the mid-nineteenth century. My own gg-grandmother was 14 when she got married. The Army usually paid an allowance to soldiers for their daughters until they were 14 – then it stopped and the girls had to fend for themselves! So many got married at this age.

Now, since William was still serving in the British Army when he died, most sadly his service records would not have been required any more and so were destroyed. (Records for soldiers serving to retirement are available in the WO97 series at the National Archives). You seem to know the date of his death already. So now I suggest that you try to learn which Battery and Troop that William served in and try to follow where this was stationed and when, throughout his career. This should be available in the Presidency Army Lists for Madras and Bengal. These should give an idea of his life in the army and, possibly, indicate any battles in which he served.

Further, if you find that William had originally joined the EIC Army Horse Artillery, and then transferred to the British Army after the Mutiny, the India Office Records before 1858 are very good and can give details such as his place of birth

Good Hunting! – Peter
BritInd
 
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Re: Peter Bailey (British in India)

Postby leslam » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:46 am

Hi Peter

One of my husband's direct ancestors was Hugh George Christian. He was married to Anne Fisher in Meerut in Jun 1822 and was employed by the Bengal Civil Service. He returned to England for good in 1828, after the birth and death in India of three children in the period from 1823.
My question is - is it possible to find out more about the period of his life and others in India at that time? I have consulted the book on him in the British Library (written by his son); it concentrates on his life in the Civil Service and is a bit short on what life was actually like for someone in his position at that time - so social history resources for this time.

Any help will be greatly appreciated - thanks

Lesley
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Re: Peter Bailey (British in India)

Postby BritInd » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:49 am

Henley wrote:Hello Peter,

A relative by marriage died in India in 1930 serving for the First Royal Dragoons. I've identified books on the regiment, but wondered whether you could recommend background material on 1930s India/Raj/British Army.

I have to say that it is very difficult to recommend a general book on the British Army in India during the 1930s and I apologize for not being able to recommend one which is not too stuffy to read. There are books describing the various individual regiments and I would propose that there is probably one written on the First Royal Dragoons.

I apologize for not having a name "on the top of my head" at the moment

Best wishes - Peter
BritInd
 
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Re: Peter Bailey (British in India)

Postby BritInd » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:52 am

leslam wrote:Hi Peter

One of my husband's direct ancestors was Hugh George Christian. He was married to Anne Fisher in Meerut in Jun 1822 and was employed by the Bengal Civil Service. He returned to England for good in 1828, after the birth and death in India of three children in the period from 1823.
My question is - is it possible to find out more about the period of his life and others in India at that time? I have consulted the book on him in the British Library (written by his son); it concentrates on his life in the Civil Service and is a bit short on what life was actually like for someone in his position at that time - so social history resources for this time.

Any help will be greatly appreciated - thanks

Lesley

Dear Lesley.

I have found that a book called "The Ruling Caste" by David Gilmour gives a very good survey of the sort of lives led by Civil Servants in India over quite a length of times in India

I hope that this helps - Peter
BritInd
 
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Re: Peter Bailey (British in India)

Postby Henley » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:55 am

BritInd wrote:
Henley wrote:Hello Peter,

A relative by marriage died in India in 1930 serving for the First Royal Dragoons. I've identified books on the regiment, but wondered whether you could recommend background material on 1930s India/Raj/British Army.

I have to say that it is very difficult to recommend a general book on the British Army in India during the 1930s and I apologize for not being able to recommend one which is not too stuffy to read. There are books describing the various individual regiments and I would propose that there is probably one written on the First Royal Dragoons.

I apologize for not having a name "on the top of my head" at the moment

Best wishes - Peter


Thank you.
I would be reading from a FH and academic perspective so 'stuffy' books are fine!
Henley
 
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Re: Peter Bailey (British in India)

Postby BritInd » Sat Oct 04, 2014 10:57 am

Millst wrote:Hi Peter
Please would you advise me on how to find more information about my 3 x great grandfather, Edmond O'Brien.

Edmond died in 1827 and his burial record gives his occupation as a Police Officer. In a testament included with his will, he is described as a fire fighter with the Calcutta Police Force. His wife, Mary, and two daughters were living in London but Mary obtained a bond and they travelled out to India. The probate was not finalised until 1831. I have not found a widow's pension record for Mary.

I would like to find out more information about Edmond, his occupation and whether there are attestation papers that may give his place of baptism and name of parents. The cause of death was not recorded on the burial record and I would love to know whether he died of illness or whether there was some sort of incident.

Mary and her daughters may have stayed in India, or returned later, as Mary Ann married Captain Henry FitzSimon of the 29th Bengal Native Infantry and Ellen married Joseph Burke of HM 50th Regiment in 1843.

I am a member of FIBIS and of FindMyPast and have been searching for Edmond on both these websites.

Many thanks.
Hello Millst,

This is an interesting one since the Police Force in India was not formally constituted until rather later. I would try to locate him first in the more general publications such as The East India Register, or the Bengal Directory or, possibly, in the Calcutta Newspapers of the day. This latter may be productive if his death was in any way unusual. If his origin was not that of the army and that he was specially recruited for the job, he should have undertaken a bond and so feature in the ‘O’ series records in the IOR. In any case, it is highly unlikely that he would have signed any Attestation Papers.

It seems to me that for his wife and two children to be living in London whilst he was in Calcutta, is strange and might have meant that he was operating under the terms of a short term contract. Yet a position as a fire fighter with the Calcutta Police would not, I would have thought, been a highly paid position, unless he was the Boss. It sounds like he should be classified as an Uncovenanted Civil Servant and in the 1820s you might find mention of him in the Military Statements L/MIL/8, or even in the Court Minutes, IOR: ‘B’ series

I’m sorry if this is vague but hope this helps
Best wishes – Peter
BritInd
 
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Re: Peter Bailey (British in India)

Postby BritInd » Sat Oct 04, 2014 11:00 am

pat lea wrote:Hello Peter
Can you advise me please where in Mumbai I can find records about my Great Grandparents, they were born there and lived and had a family there.From 1830s on and they were of Jewish origin.
Their surname is Grossman.They had business in Mumbai and Kolkata.
Patricia Lea
Hello Pat,

If you can find a contact in Mumbai – perhaps via the Rootsweb ‘India List’ – who can advise on the name of a Jewish correspondent there. You might get them to look at the records of a local Synagogue to help piece the family together there. More generally, the sources of information concerning their business activity can usually be found in the various Directories and Almanacs of the day. More specifically, the best place might be the various local newspapers, many of which are available on microfilm at the British Library. These can be soul-destroying to research but I understand that they are scheduled for digitisation and placing on-line quite soon and it might be worth waiting until this has been achieved.

Baxter’s Guide on ‘Biographical Sources in the India Office Records’ P 43 gives a good list of records of “Non-Official Inhabitants” and it could be useful to follow up on some of these.

I cannot quote the name of any book on the subject of Jewish Business Families in India but suspect that they probably exist.

Best wishes - Peter
BritInd
 
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