Yemen Genealogy

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Learn how to get started with your Yemen research.

Yemen is located in the Middle East, bordering the Arabian Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Red Sea, between Oman and Saudi Arabia.

North Yemen became independent of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. The British, who had set up a protectorate area around the southern port of Aden in the 19th century, withdrew in 1967 from what became South Yemen. Three years later, the southern government adopted a Marxist orientation. The massive exodus of hundreds of thousands of Yemenis from the south to the north contributed to two decades of hostility between the states. The two countries were formally unified as the Republic of Yemen in 1990.

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Jurisdictions in Yemen

Yemen is divided into 19 governorates (muhafazat, singular - muhafazah):

  • Abyan
  • 'Adan
  • Ad Dali'
  • Al Bayda'
  • Al Hudaydah
  • Al Jawf
  • Al Mahrah
  • Al Mahwit
  • 'Amran
  • Dhamar
  • Hadramawt
  • Hajjah
  • Ibb
  • Lahij
  • Ma'rib
  • Sa'dah
  • San'a'
  • Shabwah
  • Ta'izz

note: for electoral and administrative purposes, the capital city of Sanaa is treated as an additional governorate

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