Bedford Borough Council logo Central Bedfordshire Council logo

The Virtual Library

Follow us on Pinterest Follow us on Twitter Contact us on  Facebook Home  Page What's On Contact Us Help

South Asian Family Tree Top Tips

Local and family history A-Z > Family history

Before you start

Laad Bazaar in Hyderabad, India
  • Talk to your family and try to obtain as much information as possible such as first-hand accounts, memories and stories, especially from older generations. They can often provide you with names, dates and key family events - although you should never take anything at face value, as it will be your job to investigate family myths
  • It is also important to look through old family correspondence, photos, heirlooms and other material that can find its way into trunks, drawers, attics or cellars. You will be amazed how much information you can extract from these objects to obtain vital clues. Also try to establish where your family is from, as this will play an important role in where to look for relevant records
  • Visit 'Moving Here', an archived website, which is a great starting point for those tracing ancestors who were not born in the UK
  • Read all you can about the subject. Using the online catalogue, search the catalogue using terms such as 'family history', 'genealogy' or 'Asians in Britain'

Your research begins

  • The accepted method of research is to start with the known (yourself) and then to work backwards, one step at a time, from relatives living here in Britain. Decide which branch of your family to research first, your father's or mother's
  • If your ancestors were born in England or Wales on or after 1st July 1837 start your search with Births, marriages & deaths (civil registration)
  • If your ancestors settled in the England or Wales after 6th June 1841 take a look at Census records (1841-1901)
  • If your ancestors were not born in England or Wales visit the 'Tracing your roots' section of the Moving Here web site for hints on how to trace your South Asian roots
  • If you wish to read up on the history of South Asian settlement see the 'Migration histories' section of the Moving Here web site
  • The Local and family history A-Z describes other sources that are held in Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire libraries that may help you learn more about your ancestors once settled in England and Wales
  • The Multicultural family history page of the Family history section of Weblinks lists further useful web sites

Going further in your research

Good luck with your search!

Page last updated: 15th June 2020