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Tracing South Asian Roots
Perspectives on UK Records
Military Service Records
Records in Other Countries
Pulling It All Together
Although tracing the family history of migrants should start with the most recent records in Britain, eventually it will necessary to consult the records available at the country of the immigrant's origin. It is therefore important to establish, and define more precisely, where the family or immigrants came from.
According to Rashmi Desai in Indian Immigrants in Britain [from the National Archives reference (PRO)HO 344/194]:
Almost all South Asian immigrants come from the two traditional areas of emigration, the Punjab and Gujarat. The chief regions are the Jullunder and Hoshiarpur districts of the Punjab and Central and Southern Gujarat. Pakistanis come from the Punjab area of West Pakistan, the Mispur district of Kashmir and Sylhet in East Pakistan. Since 1960 some Gujaratis have come to the United Kingdom from East and Central Africa.
Of course, there are exceptions to these generalisations, particularly in earlier periods, but such rules of thumb provide a good place to start your research in the absence of any other details.
The states of East and West Pakistan were not created until August 1947.
You should consider asking the following questions:
Family recollections, personal documents, names of villages and good historical maps are invaluable in helping to determine some of these questions. The Latter Day Saints organisation, via the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU), has microfilmed a number of record sets. Follow the link to GSU Microfilm Records.
For details of what records are available, and how to access them, select the country you wish to research:
Creators: Abi Husainy
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