Hindu genealogy registers at Haridwar
Something that is not well known today to Indians and to those settled abroad, in an ancient custom detailed family genealogies of Hindu families for the past several generations are kept by professional Hindu Brahmins popularly known as Pandas, at the Hindu holy city of Haridwar in hand written registers passed down to them over generations by their Brahmin ancestors which are classified according to original districts and villages of ones ancestors, with special designated Brahmin families being in charge of designated district registers, even for cases where ancestral districts and villages that have been left behind in Pakistan after Partition of India with Hindus having to migrate to India. In several cases present day decedents are now Sikhs and many maybeMuslims or even Christians. It is common for one to find details of up to, or even more than, ones seven past generations in these genealogy registers kept by the Pandas of Haridwar.
For centuries when Hindu ancestors visited the holy town of Haridwar for any purpose which may have mostly been for pilgrimage purposes or/and forcremation of their dead or for immersion of ashes and bones of their kin after cremation into the waters of the holy river Ganges as required by Hindu religious custom, it has been an ancient custom to go to the Pandit who is in charge of ones family register and update the family’s genealogical family tree with details of all marriages, births and deaths from ones extended joint family.
In present day India people visiting Haridwar are dumbfounded when Pandas out of the blue solicit them to come and update their very own ancestral genealogical family tree, news travels like wildfire among the Pandas with ones family’s designated Panda being quickly notified of ones visit. Nowadays with Hindu joint family system having broken down with people preferring more nuclear families, record keeping Pandits prefer visitors to Haridwar to come prepared after getting in touch with all of ones extended family and bringing all relevant details regarding ones ancestral district and village, names of grand parents and great grand parents and marriages, births and deaths that have occurred in the extended family, even with as much details as possible of the families married into. A visiting family member is required to personally sign the family genealogical register furnished by ones 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. However it is preferable to visit one’s family pandas before immerson of ashes of one’s kin as they will help properly in this rituals.
India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: India, Hindu Pilgrimage Records, 1194-2012 .
Title in the Language of the Records
भारत, हिंदू तीर्थ रिकॉर्ड्स
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This includes records from 1194 to 2012. 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
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.
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