The genealogy website Family Relatives has added more than 200,000 records to its collections.
Family Relatives says: “We are delighted to add some unique records to our expanding collection and existing 850 million records. We have added over 200,000 records in a number of directories in our ‘Rest of the World Collection’ providing some fascinating insights.
“Among the famous names listed are Lord Delamere, one of the leaders of the white settler community; Colonel Grogan, famous for walking from Cape to Cairo between 1898 and 1900; and Lord Egerton of Njoro, Kenya, whose estates and name adorn the prestigious agricultural college.
“Kenya made headlines during the Mau Mau campaign. Two African politicians were at the forefront of the campaign for independence: Tom Mboya, a rising young man cruelly assassinated in a Nairobi street, and Jomo Kenyatta, who went on to become Kenya’s first president. A further search among the burgeoning Indian and Ismaili community reveals Eboo Pirbhai, already knighted by the Queen, and H.R.H. The Aga Khan whose foundations and community stretched from India to Africa.
“In the European community were Sir Wilfred Havelock, a key minister in the pre-independence colonial government, and Michael Blundell, who was considered to be leader of the white settlers.
“With the railways playing a key role in the development of East Africa, East African Railways and Harbours features prominently. East African Airways together with Telecommunications, the Currency Board etc. remind us of a bold attempt to achieve a federation which with the independence of Kenya and Uganda, as well as Tanganyika and Zanzibar (now Tanzania) soon succumbed to national pressure and was dissolved.
“Following independence, there was no great exodus, but many expatriates chose to leave in the years following. In Uganda, for example, Idi Amin forcibly removed the Indian community who formed the middle class and owned many businesses.
“Southern Rhodesia was one of three colonies which formed the Central African Federation together with Nyasaland and Northern Rhodesia. With the break up of the Federation, and a unilateral Declaration of Independence, the directory of Southern Rhodesia in 1958 preceded the change to majority rule and shows the European population at its peak before Robert Mugabe began his policy of taking over white-owned farms. In 1980, (Southern) Rhodesia became the independent Republic of Zimbabwe.
“Society names and Big Game hunting are all in the telephone directory. White Hunters such as Kerr and Downey, the Muthhaiga Club, Mount Kenya Safari Club or the famed Norfolk Hotel from where many safaris began. Treetops Hotel faces towards Mount Kenya where Queen Elizabeth II learned of her accession following the death of King George VI.
“As a collection, these erstwhile colonial directories provide an eclectic mix of settlers, administration, justice, police and military together with businesses, and in eastern Africa, show the importance of the railways (East African Railways and Harbours) which opened the three east African territories to trade, commerce and settlement.
This directory is distinct from the others, for this lovely island had gained its independence three years earlier, but not much had changed for its citizens who had deep roots in the country from way back. Besides, it was an island thriving on its tourist industry, as could be seen from its many hotels and guest houses.”