India Church Records

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For information about records for non-Christian religions in India, go to the Religious Records page.

Church records are an excellent source for accurate information on names and dates and on places of births, marriages, and deaths. Many people who lived in India have information recorded about them in a church record. Since civil authorities did not begin registering vital statistics until 1872, church records are the best source for family information before that date.

The first step in researching European or Anglo-Indian ancestry in colonial India is to use the church records. For administrative purposes, colonial India was divided into three Presidencies, Bombay, Madras, and Bengal. Protestant and Catholic churches began to keep records in India in 1698 (Madras), 1709 (Bombay) and 1713 (Bengal). Each year, these records were transcribed and sent to the capital of the Presidency, where they were indexed. The records and indexes were then sent to headquarters in London. This practice ceased at Independence in 1947. Learn more about family history in the India Office Records.

Parish maps can help you determine which parish to search. Maps will reveal neighboring parishes to search if your ancestor is not listed in the parish where you expected him or her to be. See India Maps for more information.

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Christian parish records[edit | edit source]

These include records of baptisms, marriages, and burials. Includes not only British, and European members, but native Indians as well. They generally exist from 1700 to present. Some churches were established in the 1600s, but records generally do not exist from that time.

Burial records give date and place of death and deceased name, if in the military has detachment, if a mariner the name of his ship, if a colonist the words “inhabitant”. European nationality was given if not English and if a native Indian the words “India Man” were used. Initially no age was given however, if an infant it was so noted. Cause of death given. Christenings, baptisms and births are often mixed together in the register. The event’s date, the name and sex of the child, it’s father’s name and sometimes that of the mother is given as is European nationality if other than English. The marriage records show date and place of marriage, full name of bride and groom except in the case of an Indian woman where only a European first name is given, the groom’s military affiliation if any and the word “inhabitant” was generally noted.

Locating Church Records[edit | edit source]

To find an ancestor in church records, it helps to know his religion and the parish where he lived. The Imperial Gazetteer may help you find the parish. See the "Gazetteers" section of this Wiki for information about the gazetteer and for other help in finding a parish.

More than 200,000 transcriptions of indexes to church records are available on FIBIS Families in British India Society and India Office Family History Search. All of the church record transcriptions and indexes have been microfilmed and are available on microfilm at the Family History Library (direct link to a list of FHL Microfilms of Church registers in India). They can be found by using the Place Search for India - Church Records.

Church of North India (Anglican)[edit | edit source]

The Church of North India is comprised of seven diocese: Calcutta, Mumbai, Chotanagpur, Lucknow, Nagpur, North East India, and Nasik. The church was formed by the union of the Church of England in India, the Church of Pakistan, and the Church of South India. It includes all of the states and Union Territories of India with the exception of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana.

The Diocese of Mumbai covers the entire state of Gujarat, as well as parts of the states of Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan.[1][2] During the Bombay Presidency (1843 to 1936), it also included Anglican churches in what is now Yemen. The seat of the bishop is located at St. Thomas Cathedral, Mumbai.

Church Saint Also Known As Location Established
All Saints Church Bijapur
All Saints Church Dharwar 1888
All Saints Church Kirkee 1869
All Saints Church Lonavala 1903
All Saints Church Malabar Hill, Mumbai 1891
All Saints Church Kolhapur
Anscesion Church Deshpandenagar, Hubli 1905
Ascension Church Hubli 1905
Christ Church Ahmedabad
Christ Church Byculla 1837
Christ Church Deesa
Christ Church Karwar
Christ Church Lusadia Village 1904
Christ Church Mahableshwar 1842
Christ Church Rajkot 1842
Christ Church Surat 1820
Christ Church Ahmednagar
Christ Church Steamer Point Aden (Yemen)
Church Mission House Mumbai
Church of Good Sheperd Ranibennur
Church of Holy Angels Rasta Peth, Pune 1883
Church of Holy Name Hubli, Dharwar
Church of Holy Name Guruwar Peth, Pune 1883
Church of Sholapur Epiphany Church Sholapur
Church of St Mary the Virgin Mary the Virgin Castel rock 1926
Church of the Good Sheperd Dharwar 1888
Church of the Resurrection Betgari, Dharwar
Emmanuel Church Mumbai 1869
Garrison Church Ghorpadi, Pune 1866
Holy Cross Church Mumbai 1898
Holy Home University Settlement Thane
Holy Nativity Church Matunga 1925
Holy Redeemer Church Dadar 1925
Holy Trinity Church Purandar 1865
Kadoli Church Karoda, Kolhapur 1906
Resurrection Church Gadag 1895
Seaman’s Institute Bombay Prince of Wales Seamen's Club Ballard Estate, Mumbai
St Andrew’s Church Andrew Agripada, Mumbai 1916
St Andrew’s Church Andrew Bhileda, Vijaynagar
St Andrew’s Church Andrew Keshavpur, Hubli
St Christopher Church Christopher Goa 1837
St Christopher Church Christopher Kalyan 1837
St Crispin's Church Crispin Pune 1907
St Francis Church Francis Panvel 1992
St George’s Church George Ahmedabad 1882
St Georges Church George Kaira 1824
St James Church James Baroda (Vadodara) 1818
St James Church James Thane 1825
St John the Evangelist Church John the Evangelist The Afghan Church Colaba 1824
St John’s Church Army United Church John Colaba, Mumbai
St Mary’s Church Mary Belgaum 1869
St Mary’s Church Mary Parel 1884
St Mary's Church Mary Kirkee 1915
St Mary's Church Mary Pune 1821
St Mathew’s Church Matthew Pune 1893
St Matthias Church Matthias Broach (Bharuch)
St Paul’s Church Paul Pune 1867
St Peter’s Church Pachgani Peter Satara
St Saviour’s Church Saviour Mount Abu 1834
St Stephen’s Church Stephen Bandra 1853
St Thomas Church Thomas Satara 1847
St. James' Church James Mount Abu (Rajasthan)
St. Mary's Church Mary Aden Crater (Yemen)
St. Thomas Cathedral Thomas Mumbai 1676
Umerkhadi Church Mandvi, Mumbai

References[edit | edit source]

  1. The Bombay Diocesan Trust Association Pvt Ltd. Churches accessed 7 April 2020.
  2. The Bombay Diocesan Trust Association Pvt Ltd. Properties accessed 7 April 2020.

Digital Copies of Church Records in the FamilySearch Catalog[edit | edit source]

Watch for digitized copies of church records to be added to the collection of the FamilySearch Library. Some records might have viewing restrictions, and can only be viewed at a Family History Center near you, and/or by members of supporting organizations. To find records:

a. Click on the records of India.
b. Click on Places within India and a list of towns will appear.
c. Click on your town if it appears, or the location which you believe was the parish which served your town or village.
d. Click on the "Church records" topic. Click on the blue links to specific record titles.
e. Some combination of these icons will appear at the far right of the listing for the record. FHL icons.png. The magnifying glass indicates that the record is indexed. Clicking on the magnifying glass will take you to the index. Clicking on the camera will take you to an online digital copy of the records.

External Links[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]