The Anglo-Indians arose in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries as a result of the British colonization of the Indian Subcontinent. While they are usually defined as mixed Indian and British ancestry, it’s more complicated. For example, in British India, the word “British” would have included the Irish. It’s not uncommon for Anglo-Indians to have Irish, Scots-Irish and Anglo-Irish ancestry. Anglo-Indians also include mixed ancestry from the old Dutch, French and Portuguese subcontinent colonies.
The Anglo-Indians became their own English speaking subculture within the British Empire, and were recruited as civil servants and teachers. They found themselves in a unique position in Indian society as they were a people without a caste, but their education and occupations created its own caste-like aura.
As merchants, soldiers, government officials, workers and pensioners flooded into British India (modern Bangladesh, Burma, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), they would often intermarry with the local population. It wasn’t until the first half of the nineteenth century that European women began arriving in British India. While these incoming British men did intermarry with Muslims and Hindus, they also intermarried with native Christians. It must be remembered that the Eastern Christians (Syrian Christians), Roman Catholics, and Protestants have a long history on the subcontinent.
Most Anglo-Indians would immigrate, especially to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the USA. For this reason, you may find your Indian ancestor was actually Anglo-Indian with roots in Ireland. Prior to India’s independence in 1947, there were 500,000 Anglo-Indians residing in India.
More information can be found on www.anglo-indians.com and while the term Anglo-Indian is antiquated since 1947, it will be this term you will use in an Internet search to find additional material. Because of the Anglo-Indian association with the British Government on the subcontinent, they will found in the massive record collections generated prior to 1947.