Democratic Republic of the Congo Compiled Genealogies

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Democratic Republic of the Congo

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 the 1880s 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 tradition’s dies out and the information is lost.

Oral genealogies

Research use: These records link families together and greatly supplement the research process. Helpful for establishing family relationships and linkage. Their value is particularly important since other record types are often not available.

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

Time period: Varies to present.

Contents: Family pedigrees.

Location: National Archives, Kinshasa.

Reliability: Good.

Population coverage: Could be as much as 35% of the Zairians depending on how much of the information is still in existence. Many of these people are not covered in other record types.[1]


  1. The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Zaire,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-2000.