South Africa, Eastern Cape, Estate Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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South Africa
Eastern Cape


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South Africa, Eastern Cape, Estate Files, 1962-2004
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
800px-Flag of South Africa.svg.png
Flag of South Africa
ZA Locator Map South Africa Eastern Cape.png
Location of Eastern Cape, South Africa
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Record Description
Record Type: Estate Files
Collection years: 1962-2004
Languages: Afrikaans and English
Title in the Language: Suid-Afrika, Oos-Kaap, Boedel Lêers
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Grahamstown


What is in This Collection?

This collection contains records for the years 1962-2004.

The records include images of copies of primary genealogical records such as death notices, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and wills, from the probate estate files located in the Master of the High Court Offices in Grahamstown. This collection is being published as images become available.

Reading These Records

These records are in Afrikaans and English. For help reading these records see the following guides:

General Information about Cape Province

The Union of South Africa was established in 1910 by combining four British colonies into four original provinces of the Union: Cape Province, Transvaal Province, Natal Province and Orange Free State Province. In 1994 all of these provinces were dissolved and the current nine new provinces were established. The Cape Province was broken up into three smaller provinces: the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. Parts of it were also absorbed into the North West.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for South Africa, Eastern Cape, Estate Files, 1962-2004.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

These records may contain the following information:

  • Name and age of deceased
  • Residence
  • Birthplace and nationality of deceased
  • Names of parents
  • Date and place of death
  • Occupation and marital status of deceased
  • Name of spouse and children and possible death date if deceased
  • Details of estate

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

To begin your search, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:

  • Name of ancestor
  • Approximate year of death

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Year
  2. Select File Number to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?

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?

When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the age in the record to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records
  • Use estate records to identify heirs and relatives
  • You may be able to use the estate record to learn about adoptions or guardianship of any minor children and dependents
  • Use the document (such as the will) or the recording dates to approximate a death date
  • You may be able to use the estate record to learn about land transactions
  • Use the birth date or age along with the residence or place of birth of the deceased to locate census, church, and land records
  • Use the occupations listed to find other types of records such as employment or military records
  • Use the recording date to approximate the death date. (For example, a letter of administration was usually written shortly after the time of death.)
  • Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. This compiled list can help you identify possible relations that can be further verified by researching vital records indexes in the country
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have moved, been recruited or lived nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, either Civil Registration records or Church Records may be more useful
  • While searching, it is helpful to know such information as the ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as an ancestor and that the ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names
  • Search the indexes and records of local genealogical societies
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800's
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another
  • Be aware that there may have been some transcription errors


Citing This Collection

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
"South Africa, Eastern Cape, Estate Files, 1962-2004." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Department Justice and Constitutional Development, Grahamstown.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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