South Africa Civil Registration

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
South Africa Wiki Topics
Flag of South Africa.svg.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
South Africa Background
Local Research Resources

The FamilySearch moderator for the South Africa is Daniel Jones.

Online Records[edit | edit source]

FamilySearch Online Collections[edit | edit source]

Indexes and Images[edit | edit source]

Indexes[edit | edit source]

Images of Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Images of Death Records[edit | edit source]

Offices to Contact[edit | edit source]

Department of Home Affairs

  • The Registrar, Births, Marriages and Deaths
    Department of Home Affairs
    Sentrakor Building, 173
    Pretorius Street
    Pretoria 0001, South Africa
    Postal Address: Private Bag X114
    Pretoria 0001
    Tel.: 012-3148109

What is very important to remember with regard to genealogical research is that as a rule none of the records created by the Department of Home Affairs would ever be transferred to the National Archives Repository. In terms of their legislation they would keep such records with them and they even have an archives for those records that they do not need on a day to day basis anymore. The National Archives Repository has no access to or control over this archives. The kind of records that they would keep would include Birth-, Marriage- and Death Registers, Identity documents, passports, information about persons home addresses, etc.[1]

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

The following table lists the approximate commencement dates for registering births, marriages, and deaths:

Province Births Marriages Deaths
Cape 1895 1700 1895
Natal 1868 1845 1888
Transvaal 1901 1870 1901
Orange Free State 1903 1848 1903
South-West Africa (Namibia) 1913 1908 1913

Coverage and Compliance[edit | edit source]

Births[edit | edit source]

The legal informants for a birth are parents, guardian, or any other person legally responsible for the child. Requirements for birth registration:

  • Identification of the child’s father
  • Identification of the child’s mother
  • Forenames and surname of the childUnicef South Africa

Marriages[edit | edit source]

Legal age for marriage is 18 years for both sexes. Exemptions: Girls under 18 years but older than 15 years need parental consent to marry; girls under age 15 need the consent of the Minister of Home Affairs. Unicef South Africa

Deaths[edit | edit source]

No specific requirement concerning who should register a death, can be a traditional leader in rural areas.

Requirements for death registration:

  • Medical death certificate
  • Identification card
  • Date of death
  • Age at death
  • Birth certificate for a minor Unicef South Africa

Information Recorded in the Records[edit | edit source]

Birth Records[edit | edit source]

Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is in charge of registering births. Contents: Unicef South Africa About the child:

  • Name
  • Date of birth
  • Date of registration
  • Place of occurrence
  • Type of place of occurrence (hospital, home, etc.)
  • Sex

About the mother:

  • Date of birth or age
  • Marital status
  • Ethnicity
  • Educational attainment
  • Place/country of birth
  • Children born alive to the mother during her entire lifetime
  • Birth order parity
  • Date of last previous live birth
  • Date of marriage

About the father:

  • Date of birth or age
  • Marital status
  • Ethnicity
  • Educational attainment
  • Place/country of birth
  • Acknowledgment of paternity in regard to a child born out of wedlock

Marriage Records[edit | edit source]

Marriage records are also very valuable in South African genealogical research. Marriage records provide the following information:

  • Date when the marriage occurred
  • Full names, marital status (single or widowed) and places of birth for both the bride and groom
  • Full names, and places of birth for the parents of the bride and groom

Matrimonial court records[edit | edit source]

Helpful for pedigree linkage because of additional information given on the registers. Also includes information on marriages not recorded in the parish register, especially when the parish register is missing. They may also give an indication of the actual marriage place which otherwise could not be found without extensive searching.

Marriage records of banns[edit | edit source]

Time period: 1794 to 1906. Contents:

  • Permission to have banns called
  • Register of permissions granted
  • Names
  • Ages
  • Residence
  • Written consent of parents
  • Birthplace
  • Religion
  • Marital status
  • Occupation of bridegroom

Location: Cape archives and magistrate’s offices where local matrimonial courts were held. Percentage in Family History Library: 100%. Population coverage: 75% of White population.

Death Records[edit | edit source]

Contents: Regarding the deceased:

  • Name
  • Sex
  • Date of birth or age
  • Marital status
  • Place of usual residence
  • Date of death
  • Date of registration
  • Place of occurrence
  • Place of registration
  • Cause of death
  • Certifier
  • Type of place of occurrence (hospital, home, etc.) Unicef South Africa

Older records may be in Dutch and may include:

  • Name
  • Birth place
  • Names of parents
  • Age
  • Profession
  • Marriage status
  • Date of death
  • Place of death
  • Whether there is a will
  • Whether left moveable or inmoveable property
  • Is the estate above L25
  • Name of children

Reliability: Very good.The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Southern Africa,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1998.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Genealogical Research', National Archives and Records Service of South Africa,, accessed 11 July 2022.