10 September 2016
The people of Gibraltar voted to remain a British dependency on 10 September 1967
On this day in history, 1967: the people of Gibraltar vote to remain a British dependency, rather than become part of Spain.
This tiny densely populated island is just 2.6 square miles, with a population of 30,000 people, and has been a British territory – first since the Anglo-Dutch forces captured it from the Spanish in 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession – and fully since the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht ceded it entirely to the British. It’s been a valuable territorial gain, proving strategically advantageous in the Battle of Trafalgar and during the Second World War for instance – the location of the island being at the ‘entrance’ to the Mediterranean Sea.
The earliest Gibraltar census dates from 1753, and it records a population of 434 British, 185 Spaniards, 25 Portuguese, 575 Jews and 597 Genoese. If you wish to make a start with researching ancestors in Gibraltar check out the birth and baptism index free online at https://familysearch.org/search/collection/1770864 (covering the years 1704 to 1876). Many British soldiers were garrisoned on the Rock over the years – perhaps you have a Gibraltar ancestor connection yourself. If so, we’d love to hear.
Pictured: A view of the Rock of Gibraltar.