British ancestry

This guide was last updated in 2014

Given the Gold Coast’s lengthy and diverse history, it is possible that like Reggie Yates, you will come across European ancestry.

The most likely origin for your European ancestors will be British or Dutch. These European names have been passed down for generations.

If your British ancestor was a Royal African Company officer on the Gold Coast, you can begin your search at The National Archives in Kew. They hold the records for the Cape Coast Castle administration, but they are poorly indexed. If you know the fort they worked at, begin with the fort daily journals to help build a picture of their career.

The good news is there were never many RAC men on the Gold Coast at any one time, so finding your ancestor is entirely possible, even if you only have the roughest of dates. The journals may also reveal if your ancestor had any relatives on the Coast at the same time – the RAC (and succeeding companies) were very much family affairs.

Your British ancestor may equally have been involved on the Gold Coast in private enterprise. If this was the case, try and find out which company he worked for from relatives. It may well have been registered in the UK, in which case the records may be at Kew, which will reveal the nature of the business.

If you aren’t sure, check Gold Coast newspapers if you know the dates they were in Africa –they follow the movements of Europeans exhaustively, and may reveal the name of the company.

If you don’t have dates for their time on the Coast, check census returns for the UK, as well as any marriages and births, and try and build up a timeline this way.

Visiting Ghana
previous Step
Gold rush ancestors
next Step
We use cookies to improve your experience of our website. Cookies perform functions like recognising you each time you visit and delivering advertising messages that are relevant to you. Read more here