Thank you to Larry & Colleen. I already knew it was hopeless to search for the birth
records of two children in one of my families but I couldn't have explained it clearer
or more concise than you have. Because their father became an officer of the Black Watch
later in his military service, I did finally find their birth dates listed in his service
record. And because every other date of his ten children on that officer's record
matched what I had already documented I have accepted these dates as accurate. It's a
sticky business trying to glean anything out of Ceylon/Sri Lanka and I have appreciated
the dialogue on this message board.
Regards - Margo McKinstry, Research Consultant, British Reference, Family History Library,
Salt Lake City
From: srilanka-bounces(a)rootsweb.com [mailto:email@example.com] On Behalf Of
Sent: Monday, June 10, 2013 7:24 AM
Subject: Re: [SRILANKA] Registrations
Dear Penny, Toni and fellow researchers, so as not to get all your hopes up, please note
that all British Ceylon BMD registrations are held by the Registrar Generals Office, in
No Bishop's transcripts for British Ceylon have been found in England nor India, and
the only note of records going back to England was when the first Chaplain of Brigade to
the Forces, Rev. Heywood took the Marriage Register home to enter in the Registry Office
of the Bishop of London, unfortunately the Rev and the Register were lost at sea in the
ship, Jane, Duchess of Gordon, when a cyclone hit a convoy of 3 ships in 1809, and all
We checked with the offices of the Bishop of London and the Bishop of Canterbury but
were assured there were no Ceylon records.
Fortunately the Ceylon Army records in the National Archives at Kew have records of
Officers marriages for that period.
The British Library has the Indian records, but no Ceylon records, even from the 1795-1798
Madras Presidency administration and 1799-1802 joint Madras/Crown administration of
The LDS has filmed a lot of the Registrar Generals records, but you need to know where and
when the BMD occurred and the District and Division to find the right film. The films
could be in Sinhalese, Tamil or English, and a lot are in very poor condition, missing, or
Only the Dutch Churches in Colombo, for the British period, are on LDS film. Jaffna,
Galle and Matara are not on film, although we found 2 sets of Jaffna Dutch Church records
in The Hague, from 1806 to 1823 and 1866 to 1877, which had been photographed in Colombo
by the Dutch Archives. A copy on microfiche was given to the Central Bureau voor
Genealogie, which is in the same building as The Dutch Archives, and we have a copy of
both in our library, for lookups.
There are also 3 original Jaffna Dutch Church books in the Prins collection in the Dutch
Archives of which 2 have been transcribed in the
2008 "De Indische Navorscher" by Martijn Maarleveld.
We photographed 2 of the 3 books in 2010, including our Anderson/Toussaint marriage in
1803, and subsequent Anderson baptisms.
No Protestant or Catholic Church LDS films have been found for marriages or baptisms in
There are Wesleyan and Catholic records on LDS films, but the ones that we have looked
at have not been ascribed to any particular church, and seem to be villages, or Missionary
The latest death LDS film seems to be 1938 for 1 district only.
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