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TRACE YOUR ANCESTORS

Hindu pilgrimage records kept by various places in India at different places the records can pilgrimages for people & families making from numerous places throughout India. These records are created & updated when family members pass on. The records in the registers are arranged by caste and contain native place. Names of family members, the last occasion on which a family member came to this place of pilgrimage and made an entry in the register. the ceremony performed at the time and offering made to the priest. No women are mentioned unless their deaths are referred to indirectly. The registers represented here are arranged by the location of the Pandit, the Pandits name and then by the volume numbers or year ranges associated with the registers.

Over the years, the custom of visiting Haridwar to update family ledgers records are slowly dying which we want to promote People are now moving abroad and forgetting about these centuries-old customs. Most of them do not even know the names of their great-grandfathers or their original ancestral If they want to know we can help them in searching in these holy places

Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India
Kurukshetra-- PEOHWA--Haryana, India
Chintpurni, Himachal Pradesh
Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra, India

IN Haridwar who has maintained records of thousands of Hindu families from across India for hundreds of years down data in 300-year-old ledgers Move forward with the times to Records can be maintained better if preserved digitally. THEY have been maintaining handwritten records of family members of the deceased FOR MANY YEARS He normally sits in his office on the ghats of the Ganga River in Haridwar and writes them down on the scroll.

THERE is MORE THAN 2,500 PANDA WE CAN call THEM PUROHIT OR Genealogists who regularly update family registers (basis) of people who come to Haridwar to perform the last rites of their loved ones. Pandas are usually found at Har Ki Pauri, jotting down recent births, deaths, and marriages.

Pandas are usually found at Har Ki Pauri, jotting down recent births, deaths, and marriages

Pandas (Purohit) u meet at Har Ki Pauri jotting down recent births deaths and marriages.

“Over the years, the custom of visiting Haridwar to update family ledgers records are slowly dying,” which we want to promote People are now moving abroad and forgetting about these centuries-old customs. Most of them do not even know the names of their great-grandfathers or their original ancestral village. If they want to know we can help them in searching in these holy places

Pandas are usually found at Har Ki Pauri, jotting down recent births, deaths, and marriages

Pandas (purohit) u meet at Har Ki Pauri jotting down recent births deaths and marriages

in Haridwar who has maintained records of thousands of Hindu families from across India for hundres of years down data in 300-year-old ledgers Move forward with the times to Records can be maintained better if preserved digitally.

THEY has been maintaining handwritten records of family members of the deceased FOR MANY YEARS He normally sits in his office on the ghats of the Ganga River in Haridwar and writes them down on scroll.

THERE ARE MORE THAN 2,500 PANDA WE CAN CALLED THEM PUROHIT OR Genealogists who regularly update family registers (bahis) of people who come to Haridwar to perform the last rites of their loved ones. Pandas are usually found at Har Ki Pauri, jotting down recent births, deaths, and marriages.

A recent dip in footfall at Haridwar to perform last rites has prompted pandas like to digitise death records. It won’t be long before these handwritten records fade into oblivion. Soon, death records will be available online.

These 300 years old scrolls sometimes have handwritten data in both Devanagari and Urdu. (Photo courtesy - Cheena Kapoor) Most of these handwritten scrolls have been maintained by over twenty generations of panda, making it a popular family business in the region. Nowadays, pandas are in charge of designated registers categorized as original districts/villages of a particular family’s ancestors.

These 300 years old scrolls sometimes have handwritten data in both Devanagari and Urdu. (Photo courtesy - Cheena Kapoor) Panda for instance, received the family scrolls of Bhagalpur, and from parts of Punjab and Haryana after his father decided to divide his possessions among his sons. “We have been in the business for over 14 generations and have bahis (ledgers) older than Tulsidas’ Ramayana. Most of the older records were written on bhojpatra (leaves of the birch tree) and have been destroyed by moths. We have begun to transfer older records to new scrolls. A few pandas have even begun digitising records, and have thrown the old scrolls into the Ganga.” According to the Genealogical Society of Utah, Hindu family records dating back to 1194 were once maintained by these Haridwar genealogists.

An 800 years old scroll has handwritten data written in both Hindi and Urdu. (Photo courtesy - Cheena Kapoor) These records have been made available to family members on the society’s website. In fact, the society has been maintaining these records since 1981. In a rare find, a record from 1264 was found recently in an old trunk in the ancestral home of Aniruddha in Jawalapur, which is about 8 kms from Haridwar, by our reporter.

Two men perform last rites of their father on the ghats of river Ganga in Haridwar. Kushavarta Ghat is where Hindus perform last rites for departed souls. (Photo courtesy - Cheena Kapoor) For families who have converted to other religions, their records are not updated. Lachhi Ram, who has been a panda for 26 years, said, “There was a time when people used to come to us to update their family ledgers in order to settle family and property disputes. Things have changed now. Religious conversion and migration has reduced dependency on this process 10 Places Across the world that that help you trace your ancestors We all know where our parents and grandparents came from, what they did, where they grew up and when they were born. But how many of us know about our great grandparents or our grandparents’ grandparents? We don’t know much, let's be honest. But what if we told you that there are places where you can find out about them? You’d be more than happy to go. Pack your bags now, because we bring you 10 places that will help you trace your family history.

1. Haridwar, Uttarakhand, India

In India, Haridwar is the biggest genealogical centre. About 300 hereditary priests or pandas, as they are known, are still at work. You’ll find them sitting under thick banyan trees, with huge registers that have your family records. Although it can take you a long time to find your family priest, if you do manage, you’ll have answers to every ancestral question you have. In fact, you could update your own family scroll with your details which would help future generations trace their family history.

2. Ellis Island, New York City, US

Many families settled in the States trace their family history from Ellis Island. After all, it was the first stop for for over 20 million Americans. At Ellis Island, you can find out about people, and the passenger lists. This is the place where you can also study about immigrant ancestors and understand what they experienced when they entered a new land.

3. Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra, India

A few Hindu records can be found at Trimbakeshwar, Maharashtra. These include information about people from Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab and Rajasthan. These are updated when a family member visits and contributes details to it. The registers are arranged according to the caste and the native place.

4. Family history library, Salt Lake City, US

At Salt Lake City, there’s a Mormon Church that has records of people from about 110 countries. Their staff is in the process of digitising all the records which is good news, of course. But we still suggest that the best way to really get some information is to visit it. But make sure to do a little research before you go, because if you won’t know what exactly you are looking for then you’ll definitely get lost.

5. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, US

FAMILYSEARCH.ORG New England Genealogical society is vast. They have about 12 million documents, manuscripts, records, books, microfilms, photographs and even artefacts from the 14th century. According to their documents, the nation’s first family history dates to 1845.

6. Kurukshetra, Haryana, India

Kurukshetra is another place that has genealogical records. It functions exactly the way Haridwar does. You have to find a family priest (which can be a task), but once you find him, you’ll probably get information about your grandfather’s grandparents.

7. Candia Canavese, Italy

WIKIPEDIA Candia Canvese is a small village in Italy that was found in the 5th century. Many people go to this place especially in search of records, data and photos. But before you spend all that money and visit this place, you should build on what you already know and what you want to know. You can give information to the researcher in advance so that they’ve already found a bit about your family history before you've reach.

8. Lodge at Doonbeg, Ireland

For the Irish, finding out about ancestors is quite a fancy ride. The lodge is a part of a five-star hotel in County Clare on the Atlantic coast. The hotel has an on-site genealogist who can find your ancestral village and home.

9. Chintpurni, Himachal Pradesh

FLICKR At one point in time, Hindu pilgrimage and marriage records were kept safely. There have been incidents where these records, some belonging to 1800s, written in hand, have been stolen. Priests had written the name, date, hometown and purpose of visit for each pilgrim and these records were segregated according to family and ancestral home. A few years back, the Genealogical Society (GSU) of Utah, USA microfilmed Hindu pilgrimage records for Haridwar and several other Hindu pilgrimage centres. The holdings by GSU include Haridwar, Kurukshetra, Pehowa, Chintpurni, Jawalapur and Jawalamukhi.

10. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India

The ghats at Varanasi are another place you can find your family priests. Although some people say some records have been stolen from here, the priests still exist.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below! This includes records from 1194 to 2015. Hindu pilgrimage records are kept by Pandits in India. The records can be for people and families making pilgrimages from numerous places throughout India. These records are created and updated when family members pass on. No women are mentioned unless their deaths are referred to indirectly.

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 descendants 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 • Births • Marriages • Deaths

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.

Registers are arranged by "caste" and may 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

Before The National Archives were set up in India, there was a system of keeping manuscript records which were created by Hindu rulers, sultans, Mughal and other Muslim rulers.

Records may be available in the form of palm leaf, bark, parchment, silk, leather and cloth manuscripts. Records created by the Indian local rulers, Hindu temples, Islamic shrines, gurdwaras, and waqf authorities (the Charitable Islamic Trust) may be kept at the local state libraries, museums and relevant State Archives.

These documents can give a certain degree of family history information on elite families and higher-ranking officials who served the local rulers.