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Hindu Genealogy Registers

Hindu genealogy registers at Haridwar
Genealogy registers, of Hindu families, maintained by Brahmin Pandits (Priests) or ‘Pandas’, who double up as professional genealogists, at Haridwar, has been a subject of study for many years now. In several cases, these voluminous records or Vahis (Bahi), have also been used in settling legal cases regarding inheritance or property disputes, as these records are held sacrosanct both by the pilgrims and the Pandas themselves, and in many places these records trace family history, for over twenty prior generations, stretching across many centuries.As Haridwar has traditionally been a site, for death rites and also Shraaddha, amongst Hindus, it soon also became customary for the family pandits (priest) to record each visit of the family, along with their gotra, family tree, marriages and members present etc., grouped according to family and home town. And over the centuries, these registers became an important genealogical source for many families, part of splintered Hindu families, in tracing their family tree and family history as well, especially after the Partition of India in 1947, and later amongst the Indian diaspora.In present day India people visiting Haridwar are dumbfounded when Pandits out of the blue solicit them to come and update their very own ancestral genealogical family tree, news travels like wildfire among the Pandits with ones family's designated Pandit 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.
 

   
 
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