India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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- 1 Title in the Language of the Records
- 2 Record Description
- 3 How to Use the Record
- 4 Related Websites
- 5 Related Wiki Articles
- 6 Contributions to This Article
- 7 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Title in the Language of the Records
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The records in this collection span from 1750 to 2005.
Hindu pilgrimage records were kept by a Pandit Madhukar Balkrishan Akolkar at Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra, India. They include records for people from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan, India, and are created and updated when family members pass on.
For a list of volume numbers currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
These Hindu pilgrimage records were kept by a Pandit Madhukar Balkrishan Akolkar at Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra, India. They include records for people from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan, India. The records are created and updated when family members pass on.
The ancient custom of keeping family genealogies is not well-known today to Indians settled abroad. Professional Hindu Brahmin Pandits, popularly known as "Pandas", kept detailed family genealogies over the past several generations at the Hindu holy city of Haridwar. The registers are handwritten, having been passed down to them over generations by their Pandit ancestors, and are classified according to original districts and villages of one's ancestors. Special designated Pandit families are in charge of designated district registers, including ancestral districts and villages that were left behind when Hindus had to migrate from Pakistan to India after the Partition of India.
In several cases, present-day Hindu descendents are now Sikhs, Muslims, and even Christians. It is not uncommon for researchers to find details of up to or even more than their past seven generations in these genealogy registers.
Hindu ancestors have visited the holy town of Haridwar for centuries for various religious and cultural purposes, including:
- Religious pilgrimage
- Cremation of their dead
- Immersion of a kin member's cremated remains into the holy river Ganges
For centuries, Hindu ancestors who have visited Haridwar for any of these purposes also visit the Pandit in charge of their family registers and update the family's genealogical family tree with details of all marriages, births, and deaths in the extended joint family.
In present-day India, people visiting Haridwar are dumbfounded when Pundits unexpectedly step forward and invite them to come update their very own ancestral genealogical family tree. The news of a visiting family travels quickly to the Pandit in charge of their district.
With Hindu joint family system having broken down into nuclear families, the Pandits prefer visitors to Haridwar to come prepared after getting in touch with all of their extended family and to bring all relevant genealogical events, such as:
- Ancestral district and village
- Names of grandparents and great grandparents
They also ask for as much information as is possible about the families they are marrying into. A visiting family member is required to personally sign the family genealogical register furnished by his or her personal family Panda after updating it for future family visitors and generations to see and to authenticate the updated entries. Friends and other family members accompanying on the visit may also be requested to sign as witnesses.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Madhukar Balkrishan Akolkar. India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records. Pandit Madhukar Balkrishan Akolkar, Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra, India.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
The registers are arranged by "caste" and contain the following information:
- Native residence
- Names of family members
- Last occasion on which a family member came to this place of pilgrimage and made an entry in the register
- Ceremony performed at the time
- Offering made to the priest
How to Use the Record
Before you begin your search, it is important to know your ancestor's name and the year in which they made their pilgrimage.
No women are mentioned unless their deaths are referred to indirectly.
To search the collection select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page ⇒Select the “Volume No. and Description” which takes you to the images
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination
- Hindu Pilgramge Sites: an Interactive Map
- Other Hindu Geneological Records
- BBC Video Report of Meera Syal as she traced her Indian ancestry.
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
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A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Examples for a Record Found in a FamilySearch Historical Collection
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“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” digital images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clemtina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata.
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