Post 100: Anglo-Indian Project

Interact with the Anglo-Indian Project

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August 5th 2014, I posted the first blog post on the Anglo-Indian Project. Finally. I had deliberated for years and wondered about my ancestry, particularly the lineage in India through my late Nana, Elaine. The act of finally putting a blog together and actually posting on to it was a significant step.

6 months later, I published blog post number 2.

That half year between blog post one and two was not a lost one, but I could have done more, sooner. Life got in the way and all the usual excuses for putting something off. Some significant steps were made though, and through my membership with the Families in British India Society (FIBIS) and the British Library in London I uncovered a wealth of fascinating information about my ancestors. Both of these organisations remain an exceptional source of support.

That first day in the British Library, over a year ago, was the best so far, and there have been many exceptional days on this project. Discovering the many ancestral records was overwhelming. I had expected to find a few and get stuck, hit the brick wall and give up. The uncovering of English, Indian and Portuguese ancestors was a strange experience. As I read through the baptism, marriage and burial records, I felt a strange connection to the people. My ancestors. Some of the causes of death were particularly sad – dysentery, exhaustion, brain fevers, to name but a few – given the modern day cures we are fortunate to enjoy.

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The main sources of interest though, were Nana, Elaine Cynthia Wheeler and Grandad, Stanley Wheeler. Their marriage, was my connection to India. The evolution of the Anglo-Indian Project is motivated by them. There are many future posts to come about my Grandparents and their lives in India.

Some personal favourite blog posts include the discovery of John Pereira and his curious links to both the Hassett and Wharton lines and the fascinating story of Edith Aileen Wharton, which continues to develop.

The project hasn’t just focused on family. It has been an exploration of Anglo-Indian life and culture; a fascinating community. Lots of posts about the historical context of British India have enriched the individual stories that have emerged.

I’ve always had a love for Indian food, and this project has deepened my understanding of this delicious cuisine, especially the many Anglo-Indian dishes that exist. Hopefully the food posts are providing others with interest and new-found tastes for Anglo-Indian food. Many more to come.

As I reflect on the project so far at this 100-post milestone, I still have the same motivation and desire to discover and learn more about this fascinating community. In September 2016, I will make my first trip to India to explore the many places discovered so far, and see for myself what a great country it is.

A question I ask myself often is: How long can this project go on for? I try to publish two blog posts a week and currently have over 100 drafted posts – that’s another years supply of blogs. The conclusion I usually come to is: forever. As technology evolves, perhaps the blog itself will become redundant. But, hopefully there’s some children in the family who will want to continue the Anglo-Indian journey.

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Interact with the Anglo-Indian Project

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