Hello to all,
I am new to the list and very uninformed in regards to genealogy in Ceylon.
I recently received information that my husband's gggrandfather, Robert
WHITTLE, and mother, Isabel, were in Ceylon in the early to mid 1860's.
As the story goes they married in England, date unknown, and left soon after
for Ceylon as they had received word that there was work there that was the
type of work Robert had interest in. They arrived in Ceylon and took rooms
at a hotel and were there for an unknown period of time. Then after a scare
with a very large snake they decided to go elsewhere. They ended up in
Charleston, New Zealand just as it was beginning to boom because of the gold
find and there Isabel gave birth to Walter Elsley WHITTLE in 1868. They went
there because of the mining.
Can anyone tell me, might there be any records in Ceylon, or from ships or
whatever that may give us information regarding this couple. Any ideas on
what line of work may have drawn them to Ceylon at this time?
Also, what would have been the typical route to Ceylon from England in the
Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. I look forward to hearing from you.
I'm also sending a copy of this reply to the list in case anyone else is
Civil registration officially started in Ceylon in 1867 which unfortunately
post dates the death of your ancestor. Even if he had died after the start of
civil registration he wouldn't necessarily have been registered even being a
European. It's all a bit hit and miss prior to about 1900 when registration got
more comprehensive. There are records prior to this which have been taken from
various church registers and incorporated into the records of civil
registration. Everything depends on knowing exactly where a birth, death or
marriage took place on the Island as this is how the records are organised,
otherwise it's like searching for a needle in a haystack.
To find what records are available look at Latter Day Saints Familysearch web
site by clicking on the following URL:
You may like to look in the various miscellaneous St.Catherine's House indexes
to overseas consular registration of birth, deaths and marriages in which you
may pick him up. Another avenue to pursue would be English probate. He would I
am sure have either left a will which may have gone to probate in England or
had an Administration of his estate. Providing he died after 1858 the English
Probate indexes are easy to search as this is the year they centralized the
probate system to create a single list.
As a European planter I am sure he would have been aware of the potential of a
premature demise in the tropics due to some exotic decease and would have made
a will just in case.
Hope this helps and best regards.
"Samuel C. Wait, jr." wrote:
> Hello Gordon,
> I saw the exchange between you and Gay Fielding back in June of this year.
> How far back do the records of marriage and death go in Ceylon? I have an
> ancestor, a coffee planter, who arrived in Ceylon in 1844 and died prior to
> Thank you.
> Sam Wait