Cook Islands Colonial Records

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European Influence and British Colonization (18th century-20th century)[edit | edit source]

During the 16th-18th century, the Cook Islands were mapped and given various names by Spanish, Portuguese, and British explorers. They appear to have first been named the Cook Islands (after the British navigator James Cook), by the Russians in the 1820s. Christian missionaries from England were among the first European settlers in the Cook Islands, arriving in 1821. In 1881, the Cook Islands became a British protectorate, and in 1900 most of the islands were annexed by Great Britain. The islands were placed under the boundaries of the British colony of New Zealand in 1901. New Zealand granted the Cook Islands the right to self-govern themselves in 1965.[1]

Record collection Years covered Record type Language Who is in the records
Cook Islands, Public Records, 1846-1989 at FamilySearch - index and images 1846-1989 Births, marriages, and deaths English Cook Islanders
British Armed Forces and Overseas Births and Baptisms, Cook Islands at FindMyPast - index and images ($) 1881-1890 Births and baptisms English Children born to those working within the armed forces, merchant navy, and consular forces, as well as, civilian ship passengers.
Birth registers, 1876-1920, for Arutanga at FamilySearch - images 1876-1920 Births English Children born in the Arutanga, Cook Islands
Birth registers, 1883-1916, for Pukapuka at FamilySearch - images 1883-1916 Births English Children born in Pukapuka, Cook Islands
Church records, 1902-1931 at FamilySearch - images 1902-1931 Baptisms English Christians in Rakahanga, Cook Islands
Church records, 1838-1954, of Rarotonga at FamilySearch - images 1838-1954 Births, baptisms, marriages, and deaths English Christians in Rarotonga, Cook Islands
Register of births, marriages and deaths in Rarotonga, 1861-1907 at FamilySearch - images 1861-1907 Births, marriages, and deaths English People in Rarotonga, Cook Islands

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Cook Islands," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 24 March 2020.