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

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Location of East Timor in Indonesia


East Timor is officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, and is a country in Maritime Southeast Asia. It is located in the Indonesian archipelago. It comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an exclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor.


Indonesia it self has been settled for many Millennia, and was always considered a part of that country until very recent times.

Descendants of at least three waves of migration are believed still to live in this portion of Indonesia. The first were related to the principal Australoid indigenous groups of New Guinea and Australia, and arrived more than 40,000 years ago. Around 3000 BC, Austronesians migrated to Indonesia, and are thought to be associated with the development of agriculture on the island.

The Portuguese established outposts in Timor and Maluku. Effective European occupation of a small part of the territory began in 1769, when the city of Dili was founded and the colony of Portuguese Timor declared. A definitive border between the Dutch-colonised western half of the island and the Portuguese-colonised eastern half of the island was established by the Permanent Court of Arbitration of 1914, and it remains the international boundary between the successor states East Timor and Indonesia.

After WWII, Portugal abandoned any claims to east Timor, and a series of brutal uprisings occurred between the East Timorese and the Indonesian Government.

In late 1999, the administration of East Timor was taken over by the UN through the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET). The INTERFET deployment ended in February 2000 with the transfer of military command to the UN. By May 2002, over 205,000 refugees had returned, and East Timorese independence was formalised on 20 May 2002 with Xanana Gusmão sworn in as the country's first President. East Timor became a member of the UN in 2002.


Religious persecution and unrest was the foundation for the conflicts that resulted in the separation from Indonesia. Indonesia is fundamentally a Muslim country (in fact, the largest Muslim country in the world). Since WWII, there was constant violence against this Christian minority, resulting in the UN mandate to interfere.

According to the 2010 census, 96.9% of the population profess Catholicism; 2.2% Protestantism or Evangelicalism; 0.3% are Muslim; and 0.5% practice some other or no religion


East Timor has a market economy that previously depended upon exports of a few commodities such as coffee, marble, oil, and sandalwood. East Timor's economy grew by about 10% in 2011 and at a similar rate in 2012.

This occurred because Timor now has revenue from offshore oil and gas reserves, but little of it has gone to develop villages, which still rely on subsistence farming. Nearly half the population lives in extreme poverty. East Timor is labelled by the International Monetary Fund as the "most oil-dependent economy in the world".[


At present all Birth, Marriage, and Death records in East Timor are almost non-existent. What records that did exist during the Portuguese occupation have either been destroyed or lost.

DILI, East Timor, 22 February 2011 – Children in East Timor get a further boost in claiming their rights with the launch of the National Birth Registration Campaign. East Timor, one of the youngest nations in the world, launched the campaign which runs from 21 to 25 February 2011. It aims to cover over 200,000 children under the age of five who have not yet been registered.

The following links can provide a start:

Geneanet east Timor

Forbears UK


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  • This page was last modified on 11 December 2015, at 21:28.
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