Who Are You? Family History Tours

Family History Tours imageBritain has strong historical ties to the Indian Subcontinent: Charles II received the port of Bombay as part of his wife’s wedding dowry in 1661; the British East India Company built Fort William, kickstarting the development of Calcutta, in 1698; and from 1857 Calcutta and then New Delhi were the capital cities of the British Raj, a territory stretching across almost all of present-day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

With so many centuries of ties, economic and political as well as cultural and social, it should come as no surprise that millions of families in the UK trace at least part of their family history back to India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Burma, all of which are major Indus Experiences’ destinations. For many, their family’s origins are in the subcontinent, and their parents or grandparents migrated to the UK and settled there. For others, their forefathers went to India to serve with the Indian Army, with the Indian Civil Service, or as traders, missionaries, businessmen, and in numerous other capacities. Whatever your family’s link with India, wherever in the country they lived, our family history tours can help you learn about your past, and to put it in perspective.

Sy John Church Meerut

St John’s Church, Meerut

Each of our family history tours is carefully tailored to you own family, the places your ancestors lived, studied, worked, and, in many cases, were buried. If your father or grandfather served in the Indian military, for example, you might be interested in visiting significant battlefields, such as Kohima Ridge, where 1,500 British and Indian soldiers held out for 14 days against the Japanese Imperial Army, despite being outnumbered 10:1.

Thousands of Scottish engineers came to India to design and build the country’s vast rail network — the pride of India — and the trains were the primary means of transport within the subcontinent for foreigners and Indians alike. You can retrace the journeys of your ancestors, maybe even riding on a railway line they built, when you take one of our fascinating, not to mention photogenic, railway tours.

St John Cemetery Meerut

St John’s Cemetery, Meerut

For many families, then and now, the church played a central role in family life and was a social hub for the entire community. Travel with us to Goa or Pondicherry, and not only can you have a gloriously relaxing beach stay, but you can see the Roman Catholic churches too. Up in the hill stations of Shimla, Darjeeling, and Nainital (the ‘Lake District of India’), in the foothills of the Himalayas, are numerous Anglican churches, some of them near-perfect replicas of the missionaries’ parish churches back home. The cemeteries here, often lovingly tended by the modern congregation, are the final resting places for thousands of colonial Brits who were born and lived in India.

From April 7-9, the Who Do You Think You Are, Live exhibition will take place at Birmingham’s NEC. We will be on Stand 96 in the Society of Genealogists’ area, and will also be giving a talk, entitled Names, Graves and a Letter of introduction from the British High Commission, at 16.15 on Friday 8th in Theatre 3.  We hope to see some of you there.

Upcoming Family History Tours

‘Saving Spiti’ Documentary Film Launch

Spiti documentary‘Saving Spiti’ is an outstanding documentary film about Joan Pollock and her work with the Spiti Projects charity. The film is made by Hugh Purcell – former Head of BBC Documentaries. Hugh won a BAFTA for his series with Ken Burns on the American Civil War and has taught at International Film Schools in Denmark, Cuba, India and Eastern Europe.

The photographer and editor of the documentary is the award winning Zena Merton.

Film launch details

April 12, 2016 at 7pm
Royal Geographic Society
1 Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AR

Tickets £20.00 (Under 16’s £10)

BUY ONLINE

Doors open at 6pm with craft stall, raffle and photographic exhibition.
(Exhibiton Road entrance)

At the same time Joan is holding a photographic exhibition ‘Spiti. A Himalayan Story‘ in the Pavillion at the Royal Geographical Society from 11 April to 6 May 2016.

See also

Group Tours led by Joan Pollock

Family History Tours with Elaine MacGregor

Meet Elaine MacGregor
Consultant – Family History Tours

Elaine_MacGregor image

Elaine MacGregor. Consultant – Family History Tours

Elaine MacGregor is about to lead three family history themed tours that have been tailor made by Indus Experiences.

And hopes to post updates of the tours to her social media accounts along the way:

With fresh ideas for more family history themed tours to India and Burma next year, watch this space…….. 🙂

More about Elaine MacGregor

Experience

Elaine is an experienced traveller who combines a wide knowledge of Genealogy with an infectious enthusiasm for India, and broad experience of organising and managing specialist tours to the Indian sub-continent, as well as to Africa, Australia and the USA.

Her consuming interest in Genealogy began, as it does with so many people, in researching the lives of her own ancestors whose association with India reaches back into the 18th Century. Appreciating that one is never too old learn, she is currently studying for a Diploma in Genealogy with The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies at Canterbury, having already gained Certificates in Life and Local History at the University of Sussex.

Families in British India Society

For over a decade Elaine was a trustee of FIBIS, and in no small way helped it to become the prominent specialist organisation that it is today. Indeed it was with the understanding of this charity that she organised the highly successful “Indian Mutiny“ visit to India in 2007.

East Sussex Record Office

As a regular volunteer at ESRO, she assists visitors with their own research and also helps out as a conservator, cleaning and preserving original ancient documents.

Past Life

In a past life Elaine has written several best-selling books on practical patisserie and sugar craft and presented such techniques on videos for broadcasting. It was while engaged in this activity that she conducted six overseas tours for groups of cake decorators. She is still called upon to act as a specialist judge at Hotelympia for the Cookery and Food Association as well as other Cake Craft exhibitions, although these days she no longer has enough time for teaching in this area.

 

 

Pushpraj, the Young Pretender; a Bengal tiger with attitude

You may remember last year we ran a competition to name the Bengal Tiger cub we sponsored in Bandhavgarh National Park in India.  You can read about Kanvar, the winning name meaning ‘Young Prince’, in our blog post here.  We’ve recently had an update on him from Tiger Nation, and more especially his brother, Pushpraj, who’s clearly becoming a force to be reckoned with, in his Madhya Pradesh home .

TIGER DIARY   20th February 2014

Pushpraj the Bengal Tiger India - by Satyendra Tiwari

Pushpraj – The young pretender, in the Tala zone. C Satyendra Tiwari

Pushpraj, the young pretender, is elusive and introvert, broody and antisocial, but increasingly dangerous and aggressive. As a youngster he preferred his own company to those of his siblings and the henpecking of his mother. He never really liked his brother Kanvar and was often seen snarling at him as he preferred to spent time in the company of pretty sister Ananti. Continue reading

Sponsoring a Bengal Tiger

In early 2013 Indus Experiences decided to sponsor a Bengal tiger cub at Bandhavgarh National Park in India. Animal conservation is absolutely vital to the planet as we struggle to live in harmony with other animals.  Man has an insatiable hunger for land which is eating away at the natural habitats of many of the earth’s wildlife.  One of the most magnificent animals in gravest danger is the tiger.

Bengal tiger lying down, India - Photo Indus Tours

Bengal tiger – photo Indus Tours

According to the WWF there are only six living sub-species of tiger; the Amur (Siberian), Bengal (Indian), Indo-Chinese, Malayan, Sumatran and South China. Three other sub-species, the Bali, Caspian and Javan, are now extinct. Continue reading