Tuesday, November 9, 2010

How My Indian Princess Led Me Back To William The Conquerer!

I am convinced that if we could trace back everybody that we are descended from, we would eventually discover that we are all related to one another. My recent research into my Ogilvie ancestors has convinced me of this.

I had discovered that my 5 x gt grandfather, John Hugh Donnel Ogilvie had been a Judge in Madras and that he had married an Eliza Letitia Catherine Ricketts there in 1802, returning to England around 1831 after 42 years service with the Honourable East India Company.

From the discovery of John's Will I discovered that he and Eliza were living at an address in Dover and that he had died in Boulogne-Sur-Mer on March 10th 1851.

Boulogne-Sur-Mer at this time was full of the English great and the good. Charles Dickens and the explorer, Richard Burton to name but two could also be found there in 1851.

Whilst searching for John's death record in the General Register Office indexes we found his death recorded in the Consular Death Indices. It gave his abode as Boulogne-Sur-Mer and further investigation showed that he had been buried in All Souls Cemetery, Kensal Green in the district of Kensington and Chelsea in London. Kensal Green Cemetery is where the Victorian elite were buried.

I have contacted the Cemetery via their website to enquire if there is a headstone and any details for John Ogilvie and I will let you know if I receive a response.

John's wife, Eliza Letitia Catherine Ricketts has a very interesting family tree. She was the only sister of Vice-Admiral SIr Robert Tristram Ricketts who was created 1st Baron Ricketts in 1828. Because of his Baronetcy his family tree can be found in various volumes of Debretts, Burke's Peerage and books detailing the genealogy of the Landed Gentry. The current Baron Ricketts is Sir Stephen Ricketts who became the 9th Baron on the death of his father in 2007.

Debretts state that the family surname was originally Ricards and was of Norman extraction. They record that Eliza's grandfather was a William Ricards, a Captain in Cromwell's army. It also states that William's father was Thomas Ricards, a Colonel in King Charles I army during the Civil War and was killed at one of the sieges of Lichfield.

Much work has been done on the Rickett's lineage and it was interesting to me to discover that one of Eliza's nephews, Cornwallis Ricketts the 2nd Baron Ricketts married, Lady Caroline Augusta Pelham-Clinton, daughter of the 4th Duke of Newcastle in January 1852.

It appears that the Ricketts are descended from "everyone" including William De Warenne 1st Earl of Surrey and even William the Conquerer. How true that is I do not know at the moment but it amused me because the Dukes of Newcastle's former estate of Clumber Park is only a few miles from where I live, and my local village church was built by William de Warenne in 1079!

All of this information came about after discovering my Indian Princess in Madras earlier this year!

Best wishes

Paul Rowland

The Indiaman Magazine

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

You wait 39 years for a new discovery and two come along at once!!

Genealogy is an emotional subject for those of us who have been bitten by the bug. Once bitten, the consequences can be fatal... especially for other family members who don't share our enthusiasm!

I regularly liken genealogy to crossing a river on stepping stones. All too often the stepping stones run out leaving you stranded mid-stream wondering which way to turn. Occasionally, you make it to the other side, but this is very rare because the records are not available to lead you back to our very distant family members.

I have met many people who claim that they can trace their family tree back past the Norman Conquest but usually they simply gather similar sounding surnames together and make the assumption that they are all related. I can't bring myself to do that. Unless I can prove beyond doubt that I have the correct person I won't enter them into my records. I discovered Captain Henry Tristram Ogilvie 20 years ago but it has taken me that long to prove beyond doubt that we are definitely related.

Yesterday a letter arrived from Canada from a lady who is distantly related to me through the Ogilvie branch of my family tree. This is a branch of my family tree that was virtually unknown to me until last year when I finally discovered the name of my Indian princess that family legend recounted. Obviously, she was not a princess but an "Indo-Briton". The child of an English man and an Indian woman.

The letter was a revelation to me because the writer knew nothing of my Indian princess or her brother who were born to an Indian woman by the name of Paupah in Madras in 1832 and Captain Henry Tristram Ogilvie of the 23rd Madras Native Infantry. She did however inform me that Captain Henry Tristram Ogilvie married a Miss Avice Chapman on November 12th 1835 in Singapore. At the moment I do not know if he was a widower or if indeed he was ever married to Paupah but I have ordered a copy of this marriage record to see if I can learn more.

Interestingly, in December 1835 Captain Ogilvie was returning to England for his health onboard the ship True Briton when he died enroute. Presumably, his new wife was with him and arrived in England a widow after less than a month of being married.

Captain Ogilvie's mother was Eliza Letitia Catherine Ogilvie (nee Ricketts) the only sister of the 1st Baron Ricketts and the wife of John Hugh Donnel Ogilvie, a former judge in Madras. In the letter from my new contact she says that she thinks she has a picture of Eliza but she knows nothing more about the Ogilvies.

The excitement that her letter has stirred up in me is indescribable. Contact with a distant relation from this branch of the family and her piece of information about Captain Ogilvie being married in Singapore are new stepping stones that I intend to follow as far as I can.

Paul Rowland.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

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Best wishes

Paul Rowland
Editor, The Indiaman Magazine.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Happy Christmas!

A good friend just sent me the video below which made me chuckle, so I am placing it here in the hope that it will make lots more people chuckle too!

Happy Christmas from The Indiaman Magazine!

Best wishes
Paul Rowland
Editor, The Indiaman Magazine.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Ultimate British Raj Collection

The Thacker's 1905 Indian Directory 12 x CD boxed sets are now ready and
will be despatched shortly to everyone who has already ordered a copy in
time for Christmas.

The 1905 version of Thacker's Indian Directory is the rarest and largest
version of Thacker's that is currently available to the public anywhere in
the world and it can now be yours to enjoy in the comfort of your own

This very rare volume is THE ULTIMATE DIRECTORY OF THE BRITISH RAJ and it
contains details of every profession and aspect of British life in India
at the height of the British Empire from the army, the civil service, the
railways, tea, opium, forestry commission etc., street maps and street
directories identifying the names and addresses of where people lived in
Calcutta, Madras and Rangoon. This is incredibly useful if you want to
know exactly where your ancestors lived.

This volume of Thacker's Indian Directory contains 11 maps (some in
colour), numerous adverts and photographs which helps to bring the British
Raj to life once more.

The book also contains an alphabetical surname index that spans more than
400 pages and it will prove to be an invaluable source of information for
any family historian who had ancestors in British-India.

We have had a few extra sets made, so we are able to offer you A VERY
SPECIAL LIMITED OFFER to the first 20 people who take action now. These
sets will be sold on a first come, first served basis.

If you had British ancestors in India, Burma or Ceylon, then you need to
order this attractive 12 x CD boxed set TODAY because I HAVE A VERY

For a limited period only we are offering family historians everywhere the

When you order the Thacker's 1905 Indian Directory 12 x CD boxed set you
will also receive the following:

The 1905 India List & India Office List on 1 x CD.


The 8 x CD boxed set of the British India Marriage index - Madras
1698-1801 & Bengal 1801-1948. (This 8 x CD boxed set contains details of
every marriage in Madras and Bengal from 1698 to 1948).

This complete set of 21 x CDs is worth £591.00 but you will receive the
entire collection of 21x CDs for ONLY £197.00! IF YOU ACT IMMEDIATELY


by going to the Indiaman website at: http://www.indiaman.com

Best wishes
Paul Rowland.
The Indiaman Magazine

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thacker's 1905 Indian Directory OUT NOW!

It has taken us eight months to copy and digitize the 2,000 plus pages in the Thacker's 1905 Indian Directory.

This rare volume contains 11 maps, an alphabetical surname index spanning over 400 pages of Europeans who were living in India, Burma and Ceylon in 1905 and details of every aspect and trade operated by the British in India and it is now available for you to own in an attractive 12 x CD boxed set.

This attractive 12 x CD set has been designed to resemble the original book so it won't look out of place on your bookshelf. You can learn more about this very rare book by visiting the following website: http://www.thackersindiandirectories.com

If you go to The Indiaman Magazine's website http://www.indiaman.com you will also discover how you can receive a copy of this attractive 12 x CD boxed set and even more CD's about the British in India absolutely "FREE"!

This special boxed set will make an ideal Christmas present for the genealogist in your life.

What are you waiting for? GO NOW! http://www.indiaman.com

Best wishes
Paul Rowland.
Editor, The Indiaman Magazine.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Campbell's Are Coming!!!

Last week, I mentioned that I was going to meet up with a distant relative, Steve Leake at the weekend who had recently contacted me regards assisting him with some genealogical research into his Van Ristell family in India.

I had never come across the Van Ristell family before, so when I contacted Steve for further information, my chin hit the floor when he emailed to me a photo of my great grandfather, John Walker Campbell.

Steve had thought that the photo was of his gt. gt. grandfather, Albert Edward Van Ristell. At the time neither of us realised that the connection that linked us both was that Albert Van Ristell's wife, had married John Walker Campbell's youngest sister, Caroline Campbell.

When I emailed the exact same photo back to Steve, we knew we had to talk. It was then that Steve searched through his records and made the connection between the Van Ristell's and the Campbell's and we discovered that we each own copies of the same photographs.

We have now discovered that we share common ancestors in the Campbell family from Ghazipur and Patna in Bengal.

On Sunday when we met up, it was a great day with us both sharing information and photographs and filling in gaps in one another's family trees. We chatted and theorised about different family members over four and half hours that flew by much too quickly.

Since that first initial contact, between us we have managed to track down even more family members in the last week whom we hope will be able to shed even more light on this branch of our family.

Steve is due to fly out to India next month in search of our ancestors and I have given him copies of records and maps in my possession so that he can go there with confidence to different cemeteries and search for some of our ancestor's graves. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that he can find their graves and that they will have headstones on them.

We have already discussed making a trip to India together, possibly next year to carry out further research over a much wider area in search of the Campbell's and other family members.

In the meantime, we will try to gather as much information as we can about our family and the other branches that married into the Campbell's in the hope that we can finally identify the many faces in our photo albums that are currently unidentified.

After 38 years it appears it feels that the Campbell's are finally coming out of the woodwork... or should that be the ether?