South Africa, Methodist Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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South Africa

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South Africa, Methodist Parish Registers, 1822-1996
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South Africa
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Record Description
Record Type: Methodist Parish Registers
Collection years: 1822-1996
Languages: Afrikaans, English
Title in the Language: Suid-Afrika, Strata gemeente Registers, 1822-1996
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Methodist Church of Southern Africa

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection of parish records from the Methodist Church in South Africa covers the years 1822 to 1996, and includes images of baptisms, marriages, and burials from several towns in South Africa. Church records include important vital information, which can also help identify other ancestors. The civil registration records can be researched also after 1895. These records are written in Afrikaans and English. See the section For Help Reading these Records for translation helps.

Methodism arrived in South Africa with British soldiers in 1806, but the mission was launched by Barnabas Shaw, who reached the Cape in 1816, and William Shaw (unrelated), who accompanied the British settlers of 1820. Barnabas Shaw established a mission among the Khoi at Leliefontein in Namaqualand, and colleagues ventured across the Orange River into present-day Namibia and what are now the northern provinces of South Africa. William Shaw established Methodism throughout the British settlement in Albany and rapidly planted a chain of mission stations between the Cape Colony and Natal. In the late nineteenth century, missionary work was extended into the gold-mining area in Gauteng and north through modern Limpopo into Zimbabwe. Six missionary districts of the Wesleyan Methodist church became an affiliated conference in 1883. An independent conference was constituted in 1927 and enlarged in 1931 to include the Transvaal Missionary District of the British Conference and the small Primitive Methodist Mission.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

These records are in Afrikaans and English. For help reading them see:

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for South Africa, Methodist Parish Registers, 1822-1996.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:


  • Date and place of baptism
  • Name and gender of child
  • Parents’ names, including maiden name of mother
  • Parents’ residence
  • Child's age or date of birth
  • Name of person who solemnized baptism


  • Date and place of marriage
  • Full name and age of groom
  • Groom's marital status, occupation and residence
  • Full name and age of bride
  • Bride's marital status, occupation and residence
  • Marriage by license or banns
  • Names of person(s) giving consent for the marriage
  • Names of witnesses


  • Name and age of deceased
  • Residence of deceased
  • Date and place of interment
  • Name of person presiding at interment

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Coverage Table[edit | edit source]

The collection contains records from the following locations and years:

Province Municipality Baptism Marriage Death
Cape of Good Hope Aberdeen 1895-1940 1895-1968 1897-1968
Cape of Good Hope Albany 1844-1868
Cape of Good Hope Alexandria 1961-1987 1956-1982
Cape of Good Hope Aliwal North 1871-1911 1871-1929
Cape of Good Hope Barkly West 1908-1923
Cape of Good Hope Bathurst 1868-1954 1843-1894, 1925-1971
Cape of Good Hope Beaconsfield 1880-1972 1880-1971
Cape of Good Hope Beaufort West 1859-1944 1860-1953
Cape of Good Hope Bellville 1956-1971
Cape of Good Hope Bergvliet 1955-1996
Cape of Good Hope Buntingville 1840-1881, 1965-1968 1837-1880
Cape of Good Hope Butterworth 1898-1904 1899-1975
Cape of Good Hope Cathcart 1880-1983 1880-1973 1880-1900
Cape of Good Hope Clarkebury 1905-1922
Cape of Good Hope Clumber 1836-1988
Cape of Good Hope Cradock 1924-1991 1929-1985
Cape of Good Hope Dordrecht 1907-1915
Cape of Good Hope East London 1877-1949 1884-1940
Cape of Good Hope Grahamstown 1826-1930 1904-1971 1895-1971
Cape of Good Hope Griqualand West 1881-1891
Cape of Good Hope Indwe 1908-1915
Cape of Good Hope Klip River Location 1894-1907 1897-1911
Cape of Good Hope Platberg 1840-1851
Natal Durban 1842-1908, 1911-1993 1847-1972
Orange Free State Odendaalsrus 1970
Orange Free State Vredefort 1860-1920
Orange Free State Welkom 1969-1970
Transvaal Alexandra 1932-1947
Transvaal Barberton 1887-1970 1888-1972 1915-1968, 1975-1981
Transvaal Denver 1887-1970 1888-1972 1915-1968, 1975-1981
Transvaal Lydenburg 1905-1968
Transvaal Wakkerstroom 1940-1952

How Do I Search the Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Collection Browse Page:
  1. Select Country
  2. Select Province
  3. Select Municipality or Town
  4. Select Record Type and Years to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Add any new information to your records
  • If available, check the image for additional information
  • Analyze the entry to see if it provides additional clues to find other records of the person or their family

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • The person may be recorded with an abbreviated or variant form of their name
  • Try searching by surname only
  • Remember that spelling was generally not standardized until the early part of the 20th century

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you research your family in South Africa.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.