Inscriptions on gravestones and memorials – ‘Monumental Inscriptions’ – often provide valuable genealogical information, and in the course of its work of preserving and recording cemeteries BACSA has naturally accumulated much information useful to family history researchers. Some of it is published in its series of Cemetery Record Books, for which there is an online index in the burials database on this site, and unpublished inscriptions are scattered throughout its cemetery files held in the British Library, sometimes with photographs of the actual gravestones. Also to be found in its archives is a series of United Kingdom Memorial Inscriptions (UKMIs) commemorating people with Indian connections but who did not die in India. Their names are included in the burials database with a reference to the relevant UKMI file. Finally, the archives also contain a number of family histories varying in scope from brief notes or family trees through short memoirs to full blown histories.
These resources are a ‘lucky dip’. They are worth a try but there is no guarantee that you will find your ancestor in them. For a website specifically devoted to family historians researching their British India antecedents and the historical background against which they led their lives in India under British rule go to the website of our sister organisation The Families in British India Society (www.fibis.org) where you will find a rich and varied range of genealogical and historical information.
United Kingdom Memorial Inscriptions (UKMIs)
There are a great many memorial inscriptions in the United Kingdom of people who lived or served in British India or elsewhere in Asia. Most of them do indeed come from the UK but there are also some from other countries notably the Republic of Ireland. The archive currently contains almost fifty UKMI Files arranged by English county with separate files for Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and overseas. A name index to the files can be found on the Burials database. BACSA continues to collect ‘UKMIs’ and the database is updated as they are received. If you spot an India-related memorial in a UK church or cemetery, do make a copy of the inscription and send it to Miss Caroline Whitehead – see Contacts Page.