Cocos (Keeling) Islands Genealogy

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Guide to Cocos (Keeling) Islands ancestry, family history, and genealogy: birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, parish registers, and military records.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands Wiki Topics
Flag of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.svg.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Cocos (Keeling) Islands Background
Local Research Resources

Country Information[edit | edit source]

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are a territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean half way between Australia and Sri Lanka. It was formerly ruled by Great Britain and became an Australian Territory on 23 November 1955 with the proclamation of the Cocos Island Act 1955. There is no official language.[1] The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are located in the Indian Ocean some 2800 kilometers north-west of Perth. The territory consists of 27 coral islands in two atolls having a total land area of about 14 square kilometers.

History[edit | edit source]

The archipelago was discovered in 1609 by Captain William Keeling of the East India Company, on a return voyage from the East Indies. The islands were annexed by the British Empire in 1857. This annexation was carried out by Captain Stephen Grenville Fremantle in command of HMS Juno. Fremantle claimed the islands for the British Empire and appointed Ross II as Superintendent. In 1878, by Letters Patent, the Governor of Ceylon was made Governor of the islands, and, by further Letters Patent in 1886, responsibility for the islands was transferred to the Governor of the Straits Settlement to exercise his functions as Governor of Cocos Islands.
Allied planners noted that the islands might be seized during WW II as an airfield for German planes and as a base for commerce raiders operating in the Indian Ocean. Following Japan's entry into the war, Japanese forces occupied neighboring islands.
After the Fall of Singapore in 1942, the islands were administered from Ceylon now Sri Lanka, and West and Direction Islands were placed under Allied military administration. In 1946, the administration of the islands reverted to Singapore and it became part of the Colony of Singapore.
On 23 November 1955, the islands were transferred from the United Kingdom to the Commonwealth of Australia. Immediately before the transfer the islands were part of the United Kingdom's Colony of Singapore, in accordance with the Straits Settlements Act, 1946 of the United Kingdom and the British Settlements Acts, 1887 and 1945, as applied by the Act of 1946.

Getting Started[edit | edit source]

Getting Started with Cocos (Keeling) Islands Research

Links to articles on getting started with Cocos (Keeling) Islands research.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands Research Tools

Links to articles and websites that assist in Cocos (Keeling) Islands research.

Cocos (Keeling) Islands Map[edit | edit source]

Genealogy records are kept on the local level in the Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

Cocos Islands

FamilySearch Resources[edit | edit source]

Below are FamilySearch resources that can assist you in researching your family.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Cocos (Keeling) Islands," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 3 May 2016.