An often overlooked resource in tracing ancestors in British India and elsewhere is The Asiatic Journal. It went by different titles. For my present discussion I want to discuss the first three titles of this series taking the discussion from 1816-1845.
Contents and Images of The Asiatic Journal
The affairs of British India were published twice a year in The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British India and its Dependencies. Each month is then divided within the journal with news of the area. This is a major source for locating news “on the ground” about British Subjects, including the Irish, in British India. This can include births, marriages and deaths, government business, military appointments, furloughs, promotions, ecclesiastical appointments, passengers on ships and interaction with the locals.
Many of these are online at GoogleBooks and Archive.org and elsewhere. You have to think of this source as a newspaper covering an extended period of time. In the beginning of the source will be a list of what is in the journal. It is divided by area presidencies. In British India there were three: Bengal, Bombay and Madras. Each office handled its own affairs and reported accordingly. The amount of Europeans coming and going from British India is amazing.
Serial Titles for The Asiatic Journal
The Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British India and its Dependencies (1816-1829) was sponsored by The East India Company. Within it are detailed articles on the political, economic and cultural developments in the area. It became the Asiatic Journal and Monthly Register for British and Foreign India, China and Australasia (1830-43) and was issued three times a year. It became the Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany (1843-45).
Applications for Genealogy
I used The Asiatic Journal recently to trace the origins of a ship from British India on its route to the port of Valparaiso, Chile, then up to California when it was part of Mexico (1821-1848) on its way back to India. Since my subject was an Irish man who settled in Spanish California (pre-1821) I traced the route of the ship and realized it was possible his family had immigrated to Chile first, where he learned Spanish, and then as an adult moved up the coast. This source opened up new possibilities in my research!
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