Colonial Cemeteries

Among the extraordinary legacies of British India are hundreds of thousands of graves that lie strewn across the subcontinent, most of them in forgotten, weed-covered cemeteries that have little or no future in modern India. I first became aware of the abandoned cemetery problem when I visited the ruins of the Ramandroog hill station in Karnataka. The visit motivated me to return with some volunteers, document the graves, and put the information on the web. As time and opportunity permitted, I collected and posted to this website information about other European cemeteries and graves in and near the region in which I work.

My interest in posting this information is entirely that it seems the right thing to do. I listed these pages in the Research section of my web site simply because it seemed to fit better here than elsewhere on the site. Recently, however, my wife Sue finally convinced me that it would be a good idea to do an article on the Ramandroog hill station. So, it appears that the abandoned cemeteries really will become part of my South India research after all.

Here are the Karnataka cemeteries and regions about which I have information:

If you know additional details about any of the cemeteries, graves, or families on the above web pages, I will be delighted to hear from you. Email me at blewis@illinois.edu or write me at the postal address given on my home page.

Other Cemetery Source Material

Here are scanned, downloadable copies of some rare (public domain) books of cemetery inscriptions:

Nilgiri District, Karnataka

  • Anonymous (1905) List of European Tombs in the Cemeteries Attached to the Various Churches in the Nilgiri District. Government Press, Madras. Pp. 106. Revised to 15 Aug 1904. Covers Ooty, Coonoor, Wellington Cantonment Cemetery, as well as smaller district cemeteries. (pdf)
  • Rees, J. D. (1895) List of tombs of Europeans Interred in the Nilgiri district, with Inscriptions Thereon. (pdf)

Southern Andhra Pradesh

  • Anonymous (1894a) List of European Tombs in the Anantapur District and the Inscriptions Thereon. pp. 10. (pdf)
  • Anonymous (1894b) (Revised) List of European Tombs in the Kurnool District with Inscriptions Thereon, pp. 10. (pdf)
  • Mounsey (1893) List of European Tombs in the  District of Cuddapah and the Inscriptions Thereon. pp. 9. (pdf)

If you are researching your British, European, or Anglo-Indian ancestors in India and are looking for information and guidance, excellent places to begin are: