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Families in British India Society image

Anita Rani with FIBIS trustees and volunteers at the ‘Who Do You Think You Are? Live 2016’ show

It is estimated that three million Britons lived and served in India over the three and a half centuries of British presence on the sub-continent, and it is not surprising that large numbers of family historians have discovered that they have ancestors who spent some or all of their lives in the British Empire’s ‘Jewel in the Crown’. A fascination with India, its culture and its people runs deep in our psyche.

Today the Families in British India Society, or FIBIS for short, is the leading family history organisation focusing on assisting genealogists to research ancestors who lived in India.  FIBIS was established as a charity in the latter half of 1998 and membership has grown to well over 1400 people in the UK and overseas.

The charity’s primary aim is educational – to help individuals research their ancestors and the society in which they lived. The geographical area covered is pre-1947 India and associated countries such as Burma (Myanmar), St. Helena, Straits Settlements (Singapore and Penang – formerly Prince of Wales Island), and other parts of Asia of interest to British India, such as Persia (Iran), the Gulf and China.

Aims of the Families in British India Society

Our mission is to assist British India researchers in the following main ways:

  • The transcription and publication, primarily on our website, of information gleaned from archives and other relevant historical sources, to assist researchers, wherever in the world they live, in piecing together their family history.
  • The twice-yearly publication of the FIBIS Journal, with articles that explain how to find relevant data so that readers can understand the kind of life their ancestors experienced in British India.
  • The provision of a ‘Members’ Interests’ service to encourage networking between members with common surnames or interests.
  • The organisation of lectures on research techniques, personal research success stories and social background to the lives in India of ancestors of differing social classes and occupations.
  • The publication of research guides and other genealogical, biographical and historical books relating to British India.
  • The provision of a limited research service for those who live far from the British Library or other research centres.
  • The provision, in our Fibiwiki, of images and historical, military and geographical data which will help you to gain an understanding of the life led by your ancestor in British India.


Memorandum and Articles of Association