Guyana History

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The original area of Guyana included present-day Suriname, French Guiana, and parts of Brazil and Venezuela. The area was first sighted by Columbus in 1498, but the first European settlement wasn’t made until the late 1500's by the Dutch. For the next 150 years, rule of the area alternated between the Dutch and British--except for a short period of French rule. Although the British exercised effective control after 1796, the area was not ceded to the United Kingdom by the Dutch until 1814. Guyana became a republic in 1970.[1]



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