Cameroon Compiled Genealogies

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Oral genealogies

Research use: Very useful supplement to civil and church records especially prior to 1850; often the only source of family information available for native Africans.

Record type: Oral genealogies, tribal and family histories, pedigrees, etc. covering many Cameroonians not in the civil registration, church or census records etc.

Time period: Approximately 1700 to present.

Contents: Family pedigrees.

Location: Transcribed genealogies may be found at the National Archives in Yaoundé and provincial archives. Those not yet transcribed will be scattered throughout the country.

Population coverage: May cover up to 50% of the native population.

Note: African countries offer a unique challenge. Prior to European colonial domination genealogies were traditionally kept only orally. Native Africans will not generally be found in written record format before 1850s when Christian church missionaries began work among them. Efforts need to be made to preserve the earlier genealogies before the generation still holding to the old traditions dies out and the information is lost.[1]

References

  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Cameroon,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1999.