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Tuvalu (Ellice Islands)

Tuvalu is a group of nine small atolls in the western Pacific Ocean,. The main island lies north of Fiji. Tuvalu is the world’s second smallest country. The languages spoken are Tuvaluan and English. Tuvaluans are threatened by rising sea levels because the highest point is just 16 feet above sea level. The estimated population is 10,500. 

The islands are Nanumea, Nanumanga, Niutao, Nui, Vaitupu, Nukufetau, Funafuti, Nukulaelae, and Niulakita.

Historical background
1400 The first settlers are Samoans or Tongans
1818-25 Whalers and traders visit the islands. Some settle there.
1826 The islands are mapped and named after a British Member of Parliament named Edward Ellice,

         who owned the ship that landed on Funafuti in 1819.
1850s Jack O’Brien, of Australian-Irish descent, comes to Funafuti and marries Sarai, the daughter of the King of Funafuti.

          This royal family still bears the O’Brien name.
1860 Britain annexes the islands to protect them from Peruvian slave traders, who have kidnaped 400 Tuvaluans.
1865 The London Missionary Society installs Samoan pastors on various islands.
1892 The islands are a protectorate of Britain, called theGilbert and Ellice Islands.
        Traders fromAmerican, British, French, and German trading companies settle and leave their names:

        Duffy (Nanumea), Buckland (Niutao, Nitz (Vaitapu), O’Brien (Funafuti), Restieaux, Fenisot (Nukufetau), and Kleis (Nui).
1915 Britain annexes them as the Gilbert and Ellice Island Colony.
1975 TheEllice Islands break away from the Gilbert Islands and become known as Tuvalu.

       The Tuvaluans are more Polynesian while the I-Kiribati of the Gilbert Islands are more Micronesian in ethnicity and culture.
1978 They become independent with the name Tuvalu.
1979 The U.S.A. gives Tuvalu four islands that have been U.S. territory.
2000 Tuvalu joins the United Nations.

Resources available
Civil registrations of birth, marriages and death records are available for the years from 1866-1979. They are microfilm of original records in the Tuvalu Archives, Funafuti. There are 10 rolls of microfilm.
Number 1213002
contains records of births in Funafuti from 1974-1979. Births inNanumanga from 1902-1952 and from 1968-1973. Births in Nanumea from 1903-1975. Birth in Niutao from 1905-1952, from 1890-1899, and from 1952-1955.
Number 1213003 contains records of births in Niutao from 1955-1874. Births in Niu from 1903-1976.  Births in Nukufetau from 1904-1975.

Number 1213004 contains births in Nukulaelae from 1903-1975. Births in Vaitupu from 1866-1952, 1866-1905, and 1952-1974. Births in Northern Ellice from 1968-1972.

Number 1213005 contains births in Northern Ellice and Southern Ellice from 1968-19754. Death records in Funafati, Nanumanga, Nanumea, Niutao ranging from 1903-1969.

Number 1213006 contains death records in Nui, Nukufetau, Nukulaelae, Vaitupu, Northern Ellice, and Southern Ellice ranging from 1903-1979. Marriages in Funafati from 1933-1979

Number 1213007 contains marriage records in Nanumanga, Nanumea, Nui, ranging from 1889-1974. Marriage records in Nukufetau from 1973-1974 and in Nukulaelae from 1952-1968.
Number 1213008 contains marriage, adoption, and divorce records ranging from 1911-1975.

Number 1213009 contains records of Peruvian slave raids, Tongan wars, old men’s tales, archeological site to 1900, and history and genealogy records up to 1900.

Number 1213010 contains notes and genealogies, some of them oral genealogies, and Number 1213008.


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