GUIDELINES FOR TRACING ONES ROOTS

email : K. Chetty

1. The first step is to ascertain whether ones ancestors came as indentured labourers or as traders/passenger Indians. If either the male or female (or both) came as passenger Indians then their records may be traceable from the Who's Who or from family records and correspondences. The Home Affairs Department may be able to assist in this regard. The Documentation Centre has a complete set of the Who's Who.

2. Indentured Indians. One needs to obtain relevant documents that would assist in tracing ones roots e.g. a certificate of indenture, certificate of discharge, an immigration pass, marriage certificate that has indenture numbers etc. It is not necessary that one needs documents of ones parent or grandparents. Documents of even distant relatives may be sufficient- as long as they lead to the same root (e.g. grandparent's(male side) sister's marriage certificate would have numbers that would lead to the same root as the grandparent (male)). Similarly, one could follow through with the grandparents (female) side.

3. Not all persons were married on arrival. Some were single, came as children or as single mothers/parents with children. It is therefore important when looking up the registers to look for numbers before and after a given number for husbands, relatives and children, if any.

The Documentation Centre has a copy of the Indenture Registers.

4. It is advisable to scan the documents when requesting information on one's ancestors - Often serial numbers of certificates or colonial numbers are confused with indenture numbers. Colonial numbers are assigned to those born in the colonies and are not the same as indenture numbers.

email : K. Chetty