Uasin Gishu derives its name from the Illwuasin-kishu Maasai clan that occupied this area as grazing land. During the Anglo-Maasai agreement of 1911, the Illwuasin-kishu surrendered the land to the colonial government and were subsequently pushed towards Trans Mara District. Uasin Gishu has had interesting occupants - both real and proposed. In 1903, the then British Uganda Programme seeking to resettle Jews escaping from Europe's growing antisemitism proposed it as a potential Jewish homeland. The British Jewish community leaders rejected it. In 1908, fifty-eight families of Afrikaans-speaking South Africans settled here. in 1911 another sixty followed. It was in these farms they established that Eldoret, the county's capital, was born.