Visiting Ghana

This guide was last updated in 2014

Sooner or later, research has to be done on the ground in Ghana. Ghanaian archives are in varying states, and it's worth employing a local researcher to help you if you are unfamiliar with the archives.

Most documents (births, marriages, deaths, wills) over 30 years old are held at the National Archives of Ghana in Accra (, other documentation may be held locally such as at Cape Coast. It is really vital to know dates before you can find the documents. Family information or Dr Doortmont’s database may have given you good leads on where to look.

However, don’t be discouraged if archival research seems a lost cause, as there’s still a lot to find in Ghana. Go to the places mentioned by relatives and ask around, visit the exact houses known to your family and any business premises, find and talk to people interested in local history – the knowledge may be impossible to find in archives, but it is alive on the streets in Ghana.

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