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Guide to Laos ancestry, family history and genealogy parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

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Location of Laos in S.E.Asia


Laos is a landlocked country on the South East Asia Peninsula. it's official name is the Lao People's Democratic Republic. It has a population of close to 6.5 million people.

Initially a loose adjunct to ancient Imperial China, Laos became a separate entity following the establishment of the kingdom of Lan Xang somewhere about 1350 A.D. In 1893 it became a colony of the French, and briefly gained independence from France in 1945 after the WWII Japanese occupation. However it gained autonomy in 1949, and became an independent state in 1953, with a constitutional monarchy.

Finally, after a long civil war, the communist Pathet Lao came to power, establishing a communist government. Today the country functions as a Socialist power, with the military exercising control over the people.

It is an economically destitute country, with a third of the population living on less than US$1.25 per day. The Global Hunger Index places it as the 25th. hungriest nation in the world. Most houses are cobbled together from scrap materials, and those houses are cohabited by people and their domestic animals. (See lead picture above)

Laos also has a very bad human rights record, particularly with the genocide practiced by the government against its Hmong minority.

There is almost no industry as such in Laos. Its present economic strategy is to use its rivers to generate electricity and sell that electricity to neighboring countries. However recently large deposits of industrial metals have been discovered, and mining is becoming a major source of income.

Contents

Getting started with Lao research

There is very little information available on Lao genealogy. The following link provides some basic information: http://www.myheritage.com/research/category-Laos/laos

Laos does have a registry office for births, marriages, and deaths. The following link provides information on this: http://www.ospp.net/Enlish/ospp%20in%20English.htm?FamilyRegistrationLaw.html

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  • There are no central registries of vital records in Laos. There are no standard forms for any civil record other than the Household Registry Book and national Identification Card. Documents can be obtained only by those applying in person and resident in Laos, and occasionally by family members applying in person. All documents should be considered unavailable to applicants outside of Laos.
  • Documents regarding events that took place before 1975 are unavailable. The Japanese Army destroyed virtually all extant French colonial records when it invaded Laos in World War II. When the Pathet Lao came to power in 1975, they destroyed most extant records of the former Royal government.
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  • This page was last modified on 7 December 2014, at 02:03.
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