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How to find your Ancestors

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Khush_Mendossa sarah_7 anonymous_4

So you want to trace your roots? You can have your own reasons to do so. For legal, cultural or just curiosity. But I should give you a word of warning first. It may be possible that while researching your own background, this might lead to some disappointments or bad surprises. For instance, you may discover that your ancestor did not share your religious beliefs. So, discretion is advised and it will be better if you keep the information away from sensitive persons.

If you are already in Mauritius the first step is to go the Mahatma Gandhi Institute (Mahatma Gandhi Avenue Moka, Mauritius, Phone No:(230) 403 2000, Fax No:(230) 433 2235).

To find your ancestors, it is essential that you have the Immigrant Number. Without this, you can do nothing.

Now, let us consider the following scenarios:

You do not currently have the Immigrant Number Go to your Civil Status Office and tell the officer that you are researching on your ancestors and you need either of these documents: birth certificate of all your grandparents, death certificate of all your grandparents or marriage certificate of all your grandparents. The Immigrant Number will be present on these documents. Please note that by all grandparents it is meant that grandparents dating back till 1843. If the officer is a capable officer then it should be done quickly.

Else, if you have title deeds of any property that you think may lead to your ancestor then you can normally find the Immigrant Number on it. You may find title deeds at the Registrar General Office (6th Floor Emmanuel Anquetil Building, Cnr SSR & Jules Koenig Streets, Port Louis, Mauritius, Tel : (230) 201 1740. Fax : (230) 208 0662). Note that a fee around Rs100 is applicable.

You are a Mauritian and you believe your ancestors are of Indian Origin You must get a certified document of your ancestral arrival either from: Mahatma Gandhi Institute, National Archives and Passport Office.

You believe your ancestor was an indentured labourer between 1842 and 1910 You must contact Mahatma Gandhi Institute Immigration Archives for a certified document provided the relevant documents and information required are submitted (for instance: Immigrant Number).

Your ancestor came after 1902 You must contact the Passport Office for the required relevant documents – date of arrival, passport if any, and passport number or any other documents testifying this arrival. (Passport & Immigration Office, Sterling House, 9-11, Lislet Geoffroy Street, Port Louis, Telephone No : - (230) 210 9312, Fax No : - (230) 210 9322, E-Mail Address :

Your ancestor was a Free Indian Immigrant between 1826 and 1902 The solution is to contact the National Archives (Development Bank of Mauritius Complex, Coromandel - Mauritius, Tel: (+230) 233-2791/(+230) 233-2170, Fax No. (+230) 233-4299, E-mail:

Also, you can retrieve information about your ancestors' arrival in the registers containing lists of passengers in the custody of the National Archives. You must obligatory possess any of these documents:

  • Identification number of the passenger found on the birth certificate of the children of the passenger or any other travelling documents like Certificate of Arrival at port OR Passport.
  • Appropriate year of his arrival. Note: Immigrants arriving after 1902 can retrieve information about their ancestors at the Passport Office in the records passenger lists inwards.

Moreover, you can try your luck with the following site if your ancestor was a slave under the British Colonial Dependencies, 1812-1834: Ancestry

This article will soon cover a detailed example with pictures.

Khush_Mendossa Published 18 Jun 2012


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1308 members . 1838 topics . 5966 posts
anonymous_4 17 Sep 2013

I want to know about my ancestors and to which caste my family belong family name is unjore they came from bihar.

sarah_7 23 Dec 2019

Were they Tamils?

nick 31 Dec 2019

I believe my ancestor was French and came to the island in late 1700s or early 1800s. can you point me in the right direction please?

sarah_7 23 Dec 2019

Mine are chinese. Do you know how I should proceed?

doorsaso 30 Jul 2015

My great grand grand father, Immigrant no 340399 arrived in Mauritius on the 13th of June 1870 by the ship 'PALMYRA'no 1185.Grateful if the link to access the passenger's list of the ship be made available to me.

Akasha08 07 Feb 2013

Interesting indeed!! I don't seem to have much information though. Except that my great grandparents were born and bred in Mauritius. Due to unforeseen circumstances (not sure of the year)- they left Mauritius to Malaysia on a boat. My grandma was born in 1924 at Selangor. I may have my grandma's birth certificate.Would that be helpful? It's also believed that parts of my great grandparents family / descendants are still living in Mauritius.

Khush_Mendossa 07 Feb 2013

Yes your grandma's birth certificate would be helpful to trace back your roots.

anonymous_4 22 Nov 2012

How do I find descendants of the my ancestor who came from india? I have the immigrant number and birth certificate of the his child, however we do not know for sure if he had other children, any way to find this out? i.e. to know the descendants of the immgrant who came from india?

xuser3483 23 Jun 2012

Interesting. My father made our family's genealogy tree on a software on Win98 back in the old days. We even included photos and it was complete with the only exception that there were none of our ancestors. We planned on doing the researches but never had time and the project was abandoned.

Gotta find that software and its database.

gices 18 Jun 2012

So for someone like me who can get access to only his father's (or mother's) date of birth, it's going to be a difficult task. Dad was born in the 1940s and grandparents would have been 1880-1890 I think.

Would I need grandparents birth certificates as well (and grandparents parents too)? Or just dad's ones would be fine?

Khush_Mendossa 19 Jun 2012

Perhaps your dad has kept an identity card of his dad/mom. With this you can go to the C.S.O and surely get a death certificate of your grandparent (even with your dad's ID you can get one). With this you can go back to the first person in your lineage being 'registered' officially.

Else if you already have death certificate of grandparent you could opt going to the National Archives to retrieve information or go directly to the MGI. This is the normal procedure.

Any old documents will be of upmost importance. The more you have the better it will be.

According to this procedure, you only need your grandparents death certificate to trace back your ancestors ( your grandparents' parents surely arrived in Mauritius around 1850 or were native Mauritians hence can be easily traced).

sarah_7 23 Dec 2019

Kush do you know the procedure for chinese ancestry