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date: 08 March 2021

South Asian Genealogy 

The Oxford Companion to Local and Family History
Abi HusainyAbi Husainy

With over 2.3 million people, according to the UK 2001 census, South Asians are the largest non‐white population in Britain. South Asians first arrived in Britain 400 years ago. As colonization put more people on the move in the 18th and 19th centuries, Indian seamen, known as Lascars, toiled for the British merchant navy, and nannies, known as ayahs, were employed by East India Company elites and British officials. Indian royal families, including nawabs and rajas, and diplomats visited Britain for pleasure or to submit petitions on legal matters to the Crown, politicians came to argue for Indian independence, and merchants travelled to London on business. Anglo‐Indians sometimes settled in their ancestors’ country, others arrived as scholars to teach Persian and Hindustani languages, and in later times students came to study and take the Indian Civil Service examination. Indian communities grew in London and in several seaport towns when settlers married local women.... ...

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