Difference between revisions of "Kiribati (Gilbert Islands)"

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#REDIRECT[[Kiribati Genealogy]]
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[[Image:World War II guns on Tarawa, Kiribati.png|thumb|right|300px|World War II Japanese gun on Tarawa, Kiribati.]]
=== Research Help ===
*[[Pacific Island Guide to Family History Research|Pacific Island Guide to Family History Research]]
=== General Information  ===
[[Image:Kiribati.png|border|right|745px|Kiribati.png]] The '''Republic of Kiribati''' (pronounced ''Kiribas'') is an island nation covering a vast area of the central tropical Pacific Ocean. The islands straddling the equator and border the International Date Line to the east. North of Fiji and southwest of Hawaii. <br>Kiribati was formerly known as the '''Gilbert Islands''' and was named after the British '''Captain Thomas Gilbert''', who sighted the islands in 1788. The name Kiribati is derived from the local pronunciation of "Gilberts".
Kiribati consists of about 32 atolls and one island, Banaba. The groups of islands being:
*'''Banaba''' (or ''Ocean Island''): an isolated volcanic island between [[Nauru Genealogy|Nauru]] and the Gilbert Islands
*'''Gilbert Islands''': made up of 16 atolls located some 930 miles (1,500 km) north of [[Fiji Genealogy|Fiji]].
*'''Line Islands''': made up of 8 atolls and one reef, located about 2,050 miles (3,300 km) east of the Gilbert Islands. These include '''Kirisimati''', or ''Christmas Island'', which is the largest coral atoll.
*'''Phoenix Islands''': made up of 8 atolls and coral islands located some 1,100 miles (1,800 km) south-east of the Gilbert Islands. The only inhabited island is Canton (Kanton or Abariringa) with 41 residents in 2005.<ref>"Phoenex Islands" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Islands (accessed 31 December 2008).</ref>
The population in 1995 was about 80,000.
For further details about the geography of these islands, [[Kiribati Historical Geography|click here]].
For Kiribati research tools and web sites see [[Kiribati Genealogy|Kiribati]].
=== Historical Geography  ===
==== Gilbert Islands  ====
The Gilbert Islands lie south of the Marshall Islands and north of Tuvalu. Tarawa is the most populous island. The climate is equatorial. There are no rivers, but most islands enclose a lagoon. The islands are: <br>'''Abaiang''', '''Abemama''', '''Aranuka''', '''Arorae''', '''Beru''', '''Butarituari''', '''Kuria''', '''Little Makin''', '''Maiana''', '''Marakei''', '''Nikunau''', '''Nonouti''', '''Onotoa''', '''Tabiteuea''', '''Tamana''' and '''Tarawa''' are geographically connected. '''Banaba''', a mined-out phosphate rock island, is nearby and is included politically in the chain.
==== Line Islands  ====
Formerly known as the ''American Islands''. They are a group of islands in the central Pacific Ocean, south of Hawaii, between the equator and 6°N, and about 160°W.
'''Kiritimati''' (''Christmas Island''), '''Tabuaeran''', '''Palmyra Atoll''' and their attendant islets belong to the USA. They are so named because they were frequented for their guano by traders from the United States. Guano and mother-of-pearl shells are the principal articles of export. '''Kiritimati''' is probably the largest atoll in the Pacific (it is about 90 miles in circumference).<br>Currently there are about 5,300 people on '''Kiritimati''', 1,800 on '''Tabuaeran''', and 2,000 on '''Teraina''' (formerly ''Washington Island'') for a total of 9,100 on the '''Kiribatese''' portion.
'''Malden''', '''Starbuck Island''', '''Flint Island''', '''Vostok Island''' and '''Caroline Island''', which form the '''Southern Line Islands''', are all uninhabited.
The '''American Islands''' in this group, '''Jarvis Island''', '''Palmyra Atoll''', and '''Kingman Reef''' are all usually uninhabited.
The '''Line Islands''' form the time zone with the latest time in the world, UTC + 14, with the same time of the day as Hawaii, but one day ahead, and even 25 hours ahead of some other islands in Oceania.
==== Phoenix Islands  ====
The chain includes '''Kanton''' (or ''Abariringa''), '''Enderbury Island''', '''Rawaki''' (formerly ''Phoenix''), '''Manra''' (formerly ''Sydney''), '''Birnie''', '''McKean''', '''Nikumaroro''' (formerly ''Gardner'') and '''Orona''' (formerly ''Hull''). Previously uninhabited, '''Orona''', '''Manra''' and '''Nikumaroro''' islands were colonized with people from the overcrowded '''Gilbert Islands''' between 1938 and 1940. By 1963, the three settlements had failed and the entire population was moved to the '''Solomon Islands'''. These three islands now have virtually no permanent population.
=== Historical Background  ===
'''1300''': Samoans, Fijians and Tongans merged with the older population.<br>'''1777''': Discovered by British Captain Cook.<br>'''1800s''': Whalers arrived in northern islands<br>'''1837''': British settlers arrived<br>'''1850s''': Protestant missionaries arrived<br>'''1857''': Hiram Bingam, a Protestant minister on '''Abiang''', devised a written form of the language<br>'''1886''': British, German, and Americans traded with the islands. Some islanders were kidnapped and taken to Fiji, Samoa, Tahiti, Hawaii, and Central America as slaves. <br>'''1888''': The islands were annexed by Great Britain with a view to laying the Pacific cable with '''Tabuaeran''' (then Fanning Island) as a relay station. That cable functioned between 1902 and 1963 except for a short period in 1914 when German naval forces landed at Fanning to cut the cable. <br>'''1892''': The '''Gilbert and Ellice Islands''' became a British protectorate. Headquarters were in Tarawa.<br>'''1880s''': The '''Phoenix Islands''' were annexed by Britain<br>'''1900''': '''Banaba''' was annexed by Britain, and mining of phosphates began until the total island’s soil was removed. The total population of the islands dwindled to about 300.<br>'''1915''': The '''Gilbert and Ellice Islands''' became a British Crown Colony.<br>'''1919''': '''Kiritimati (Christmas) Atoll''' became a part of the colony.<br>'''1935''': The USA took over '''Howland''' and '''Baker''' islands<br>1937: The '''Phoenix Islands''' became a part of the British colony.<br>'''1938''': The United States claimed sovereignty over '''Kanton''' and '''Enderbury''' <br>'''1939''': The USA and Britain agreed to exercise joint control over the two islands for 50 years. <br>'''1941''': '''Tarawa''' and others were occupied by Japan. All but one man in '''Banaba''' were massacred.<br>'''1943''': U.S. forces reclaimed the islands. Inhabitants of '''Banaba''' were moved to Rabi Island, Fiji because of land loss.<br>'''1975''': The '''Ellice Islands''' separated and became '''Tuvalu'''.<br>'''1976''': The Education system of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints started a program in '''Kiribati'''.<br>'''1979''': '''Kiribati''' became an independent Republic that remains part of the British Commonwealth.<br>'''1984''': Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was 500.<br>'''2008''' Membership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was 12,446.
=== Research Tools  ===
'''FamilySearch Catalog'''<br>Microfilms from the [[Family History Library|Family History Library]] of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints can be viewed at [[Introduction to Family History Centers|Family History Centers]] near where you live.
*{{FHL|Kiribati|subject|disp=Nationwide Kiribati sources}}.
*{{FHL|438|subject-id|disp=Individual island sources}}.
'''Records Available'''
*Civil registration (birth, marriage and death records) began in 1898.
*Land records and land court records are microfilmed from 1948-1991.
*Some genealogies go back 16 generations.
*[Micronesia Genealogy Project for Kiribati]-link broken
*[http://www.parliament.gov.ki/ The Parliament of Kiribati]
*[http://www.phoenixislands.org/ The Phoenix Islands]
*FamilySearch Research Wiki [[Kiribati Genealogy|Kiribati]]
=== Sources  ===
{{Pacific}} <br>

Latest revision as of 21:32, 31 March 2021

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