Asia Genealogy Records
Below is a list and description of the most recent genealogy records for Asian countries (see list of most recent records for other countries). Many of these records can be searched using our free Genealogy Search Engine.
Philippines – FamilySearch has added four million more civil registration images to their Manila collection, bringing the total collection to some 5.9 million images. These are images of marriage and death records (no birth records). The records span the years from 1899 to 1984. Access is free. [Manila Marriage and Death Records]
India – The UK National Archives has put online 171 World War I unit war diaries of Indian Infantry units deployed to the Western Front. These particular diaries cover the Lahore and Meerut Divisions and the Secunderbad Cavalry Brigade. For those unfamiliar with unit war diaries, they document the daily activities of specific military units. Unit war diaries can be a rich source of information on specific individuals. In addition to the usual daily information, these particular diaries document the long sea voyage from India to Europe and how religious requirements were accommodated on sea vessels and on land. The diaries are available on the Operation War Diary website. [India WWI Unit War Diaries]
India – The 1947 Partition Archive is an oral history archive dedicated to preserving the stories of individuals who were affected by the partition of India at independence. An estimated 15 million people were thought to have been made homeless by the partition. Initially started by a former University of California postdoctoral student as a personal project, the archive has quickly grown to over 1,000 stories. The target is to gather at least an additional 3,000 more stories in 2014. The video below describes how the archive works. Access is free. [1947 Partition Archive]
Guam – FamilySearch.org has added a variety of images of genealogy records from Guam. Included are court records (1901 to 1935), land records (1896 to 1902), obituaries (1970 to 1999) and the 1897 Guam census. Access is free. [Guam Genealogy Records]
India – FamilySearch.org has put online a collection of some 214,000 images of Hindu cremation records. These records are created when a (typically male) member of a family is cremated and an offering is made to a priest according to Hindu custom. The records are arranged by caste and contain the name of the deceased, village of the deceased and the names of family members. Reference is also made in the records as to the last time a member of the family was cremated.
The records are from Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh and from Nasik and Trimbakeshwar in Maharashtra. Notionally, this collection spans the years from 1194 to 2012, but the records from U.P. are from 1800 to 1942 and the records from Maharashtra are mainly from 1750 to 1990. It is rare to find Hindu cremation records on the internet. Access is free. [Historic Hindu Cremation Records]
Philippines – FamilySearch.org has added an additional 6.4 million browsable images to its collection of Philippines civil registration records. This collection spans the years 1888 to 1981 and consists of birth, marriage and death certificates from local civil registry offices throughout the Philippines (excluding Manila). The records are organized by province. Access is free. [Historic Philippines Birth Records]
China – FamilySearch.org has increased their digital collection of Chinese genealogies from various public and private collections held in libraries and archives throughout the world. The collection is now composed of some 2.5 million images, with genealogies dating back as far as 1500 and as recent as 1900. The genealogies are organized by family name, country, province and county. Many of the genealogies originate from China. Access is free. [Chinese Genealogies]
Micronesia – FamilySearch.org has added a browsable collection of Pohnpei, Micronesia court records from 1951 to 2010. These are primarily case files for civil and criminal proceedings although the collection does contain some wills, documents relating to inheritances, land leases, deeds, etc. Access is free. [Micronesia Court Files]
Philippines – FamilySearch has added over 5.2 million civil registration records from the Philippines spanning the years 1945 to 1980. These are marriage and death certificates from regions other than the capital of Manila. This collection now comprises some 7 million records in total. Access is free. [Philippines Marriage and Death Certificates]
China – FamilySearch has added about 1.3 million Chinese genealogies spanning a wide time period of 1500 to 1900. This brings the total size of the collection to about 2.2 million images. These records are essentially Chinese family genealogies that have been gathered from various public and private collections. Most of the genealogies are of families with roots in China who then later migrated to other parts of Asia. Access is free. [Historic Chinese Genealogies]
India – This is a preannouncement. The Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) in New Delhi is about to launch online a major historical collection that will be of great interest to genealogists. NMML is a massive museum and library complex spread over 30 acres in New Delhi that specializes in preserving the Indian independence movement. The digitization program, which is expected to go online in about one month, focuses on digitizing the library’s collection of newspapers, manuscripts, photographs and other related documents. Already, 50 collections of manuscripts, 834 interview transcripts, 30,000 photographs and one newspaper dating back to 1905 have already been digitized. Online records from India are rare and the launch of this online collection could be a major source of new information for anyone with ancestors who lived or worked in India. [Nehru Memorial Library Digitisation Project]
Asia – GenealogyInTime Magazine has added 400 million new records to their two free search engines. The Genealogy Search Engine (which covers ancestral records) now searches an additional 100 million more records, while the Family Tree Search Engine (which covers genealogy forums and online family trees) searches approximately 300 million more records.
In total, the two search engines now cover 5.7 billion records across more than 1,000 different websites (split between the Genealogy Search Engine covering 1.9 billion records and the Family Tree Search Engine covering 3.8 billion records – there is no overlap of records between the two search engines).
GenealogyInTime Magazine now gets over 40,000 queries per month for the two search engines. This makes them one of the most popular alternatives to the FamilySearch website for people wanting to look for free ancestral records. Significant holdings exist for the United States, Canada, England/Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Continental Europe, Australia and New Zealand with minor holdings for the Caribbean, South America and South Africa.
Some of the highlights of the latest addition to the Genealogy Search Engine include:
• 55 million new records for the United States and 6 million new records for Canada. These are primarily ancestral records held in digital archives of public libraries and universities across North America. Many of these new records are historic photographs.
• 23 million new records for England, Ireland and Scotland. These are primarily twentieth century obituaries.
• 14 million new records for Europe. These are primarily birth/marriage/death records from Central and Eastern Europe.
• 2 million more ship passenger records.
In this latest release, the search routines for both search engines have also been strengthened to provide better results. In addition, the number of returned records for a search query has been increased from 8 pages to 10 pages. Finally, results are delivered even faster than before.
Access to both search engines is free and the underlying records are also free. [Genealogy Search Engine] [Family Tree Search Engine] GenealogyInTime Magazine also has a number of genealogy articles to help you become better at online genealogy searches.
GenealogyInTime Magazine is the world’s most popular online genealogy magazine. It is also now the fifth largest free genealogy website in the world (according to Alexa, the internet traffic people, the largest free genealogy websites in order are FamilySearch, Find A Grave, Geni, GeneaNet and GenealogyInTime Magazine).
Asia – The International Mission Photography Archive is a new collection of 60,000 historical photographs taken by missionaries throughout Africa and Asia. The images date from the 1860s to World War II. Missionaries tended to move around a lot and usually had a mandate to document their surroundings. As well, they were often assigned to more remote regions of Africa and Asia. As a result, missionaries were often the first people to photograph parts of Africa and Asia. They tended to focus on photographing local people and local scenes. The images in this collection range from visually stunning to technically crude. It is, however, a wonderful resource for anyone looking for genealogy context for historical images from Africa or Asia. The collection is managed by the University of Southern California and the images can be searched by phrase and country. Access is free. [Historic Tribal Images of Africa and Asia]
India – FamilySearch has added over 31,000 browsable images of historic Hindu pilgrimage records. Access is free. [Historic India Pilgrimage Records]
Philippines – FamilySearch has added 2 million new images from the Manila civil registration dating from 1899 to 1994. Access is free. [Manila Genealogy Records]
Japan – The National Diet Library of Japan has added 4 million records to WorldCat. Most of the collection comprises bibliographic records. This is a rare opportunity for anyone who has Japanese ancestors to consult online records. Access is free. The main search page is in English. [National Diet Library Online Catalogue]
China – FamilySearch has added images from about 78,000 family genealogies from the Fung Ping Shan Library at the University of Hong Kong. Most of the genealogies are from Guangdong Province, Hong Kong and the New Territories. The oldest family genealogy goes back to 1500. Access is free. [China Genealogy Records]
Philippines – Civil registration (birth, marriage, death) records from the Manila region have been added to the FamilySearch website. About 2.6 million records are in this collection spanning the years 1899 to 1994. Access is free. [Manila Genealogy Records]
Korea – Inje University in Korea has created an online genealogy library with help from FamilySearch. The library consists of over 500 Korean genealogy books that have been digitized and can be read online in Korean. The main page describes (in English) how to access the material. Access is free. [Inje University Genealogy Library]
Pakistan – Here is a rare digital archive from Pakistan. The government-supported Radio Pakistan will digitize their radio broadcasts. This includes over two million archived minutes of airtime. The digital collection will contain historic speeches from heads of states; interviews with historians and scientists; various historic news broadcasts and folk music from all over Pakistan. The digital archives when they are completed will be held by the Pakistan Broadcast Corporation (PBC). [Radio Pakistan Digital Archive]
UK/India – The Families in British India Society (FIBIS) has added more military records of UK servicemen based in Bombay. FIBIS now has some 183,000 records of British citizens resident in India during the colonial years. The records are free to search although most are not indexed. It helps to know what your ancestors did in India and where they lived. [British Military Records from Colonial India]