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British South Africa Company

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:19 pm
by 35Tweed
Can anyone advise me where to find information in the UK about this organisation. My two gt uncles Alex and James McElhinney emigrated to Africa in June 1921. We believe they were headed to Rhodesia to build the railways there.
I found them on a ships passenger list headed for Cape Town and they gave their c/o address as the BSAC London. I know Cecil Rhodes started this organisation (which was similar to the more famous East India Company) but did they recruit through the press? What sort of contract would the adventurers be signing up to and where might I see records?
Once I have some basic answers on this I'll try to track down the pair through Africa.



Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 8:39 pm
by LesleyB
Hi Denis
There seem to be records mentioned on the National Archives site:

Also archives in Zambia
British South African Company Collection now digitized!
The British South African Company took control and administration over Northern Rhodesia (current Zambia) from 1896 onwards. Until 1911 Northern Rhodesia was divided in two: northeastern and northwestern Rhodesia. Amalgamation of the two territories took place in 1911. In 1924 the company officially handed over the administrative rule to the British Colonial Office. The British South African Company (BSAC) collection is therefore divided in the following categories:
BS1 - Northeastern Rhodesia 1896-1911
BS2 - Northwestern Rhodesia 1896-1911
BS3 - Northern Rhodesia (Amalgamated) 1911-1924
BS1 and BS2 are digitized. ... ptive-list

- and I think it looks like there may also be some archive material in the British Library.
It kinda looks like the archives are scattered about a bit, which is maybe not going to make things too easy.... I just had a quick google but maybe someone will be able to come up with something more concrete

Best wishes

Posted: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:15 pm
by Tracey
I seem to remember reading when looking to see when or why my gt grandfathers sisters migrated to S.A that the Wesleyan Church (i think)could have played some sort of part in them going which would have fit perfectly with one of the sisters.

Posted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:56 pm
by 35Tweed
Thanks folks. I had previously tried the online cataloge at TNA but it looks like it all pretty technical stuff on rights to mining and land and so on.

The Zambian site looks very promising and I hadn't considered the British Library before. Great, lots to do and maybe a visit into London to pour over some old papers. Ye canny beat it!