Friday, December 19, 2008

What an amazing coincidence!

Last night (18th December 2008), I was looking through the boxes containing the papers and records I had collated over 37 years relating to my family history. I have decided to get all of the information down on paper before I finally join my ancestors.

The first record that I pulled out of the box was the death and burial record for my maternal great grandfather, James Henry Thomas. He had died in Dacca on the 18th December 1887 and was buried the following day at St. Thomas' Church, Dacca. I couldn't believe my eyes. It was exactly 121 years ago to the day that he died! What an amazing coincidence!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Where has 2008 gone?

This year has come and has almost gone and it has left me feeling exhausted.

My passion is The Indiaman Magazine. Even though I no longer publish the magazine its website and it's online community keeps me busy answering questions about genealogy and researching our ancestors in British India and South Asia.

Following the research I carried out for the BBC's "Who Do You Think You Are?" programme for Alistair McGowan in 2007, a small piece about the Indiaman Magazine appeared in their magazine for the programme.

At the beginning of the year we launched the first of our 16 day fully guided tours to India through September into October. The tour went well and thankfully, our tour party who were staying at the Taj Hotel in Mumbai had been and gone when the terrorists attacked in November. All of our planned tours to India are currently on hold until normality returns to the country.

Following numerous requests I made the complete set of The Indiaman Magazines (issues 1-42) available on CD. I also made the entire set available in 11 A4 bound books. The demand was greater than I imagined but it highlighted just how interested we are in this subject and a whole new audience are enjoying the magazine once again.

I republished several out of print books like the Bengal Obituary and even gave some away as a FREE download. Over 700 people chose to download one of those books in the short time that I made it available to our online community.

What is in store for 2009. Well, next year I will be launching a "Members Area" on the Indiaman website. If you would like to suggest topics and or products that you would like to see in there to be made available to you then please feel free to leave your comment here.

I have also set up an Indiaman Magazine Group on Myspace at: feel free to visit.

I will also be publishing 5 very rare books containing the details of the British in India, but that information will only be made available in our "Members Area" when it is up and running.

Next year I will be writing a book about my own family history in India. This was something I have been compiling for years but have ignored since 1996 when I launched The Indiaman Magazine. After 12 years I will now be concentrating on my own family history too for a change.

I dug the boxes out the other evening and I really need to copy my family records out and get everything down on paper before I finally join my ancestors! :-)

There will be more articles about India from me appearing in the genealogy magazines, the first is scheduled for January, so look out for items about India appearing in the genealogy magazines in the New Year.

I hope that you have a good Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Years.

With best wishes
Paul Rowland.