New Direction for MadAboutGenealogy

Families in British India genealogy

My techie chap (my son!) and I spent yesterday going through the Mad About Genealogy website and tweaking lots of things behind the scenes and this will make the site run faster and smoother. Also we had lots of discussions on what the direction the site should follow, the upshot of this is that I shall be blogging in a slightly different way from now on. I’ll still bring you news of the latest releases and events, but I shall also be writing about my personal family history research and also answering readers queries in the main part of the blog.

Hope you enjoy the new blogging Smile

Let’s start off with the first query written in by Rosana – here is her query.

Hello Linda,
I have obtained 2nd marriage and death records for my maternal grandfather Robert Smith Lyall (1894 – 1945) for the period he was in India during the British Rule in India which ended 1947.
I only know from my relatives that he was in born in the UK and that his first wife died at Child birth.
Is it possible to find about the period he was in the UK, the place he lived etc? He served in WWI in Iraq before coming to India.
Any info would be highly appreciated.

Firstly a search for Robert Smith Lyall on shows that he was a member of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, the records show that he was born 27 September 1894 and that he worked in London for 2 years and in Calcutta for 9 years. The records show his education, apprenticeship, and subsequent career. It shows that he was at school in Calcutta and Lahore between 1899 – 1915 so I presume that he was living in India with his parents.

FindMyPast has an entry for him leaving England in 1929

Name Mr R S Lyall
Last UK address 107 Anerley Road, Anerley S E 20
Port at which passenger is landing Colombo
Occupation   Port Service
Age 37 years
Country of last permanent residence England
Country of future permanent residence India

The website Families in British India Society doesn’t come up with any entries for Robert.

I could not identify a birth for Robert in the GRO Birth Index, did the marriage and death certificates give any clues to Roberts parents names? Also do you know which regiment he served in in WW1? There are a number of Robert Lyall’s in the army records index so it is difficult to know which one if any are your Robert.

Sorry I haven’t been able to help you further, perhaps you would like to let me know if there are any further information on parentage on Robert’s certificates.

Kind Regards,


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