This episode of Finding Your Roots touched me in a very unexpected way. The focus was on experiences of first- and second-generation Americans. One of the aspects discussed was how these children born in America have felt cut off from much of their family histories. One thing in particular that was mentioned was the belief that no records existed that could help them learn more about earlier generations of their families.
But the researchers for Finding Your Roots found something! Apparently not all the family histories are oral only. Two brothers are responsible for Gupta's family chronicle. The records are only for the men in the family, but they are written and they go back eight generations. When I saw the book I was in tears.
Karm was Sikh, not Hindhu. I have no idea if similar books might exist for Sikh families. But just learning that written records from before Partition exist for any native Indians gives me hope. Karm's family is said to have been prominent (Karm's grandfather was supposed to have been the last "headman" of the village before the British took over). Important families in other cultures are more likely to leave records documenting their history; why not in Punjab?
And I promise that as soon as I can I'll get back to Who Do You Think You Are? ....