South Africa, Reformed Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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South Africa

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South Africa, Reformed Church Records, 1856-1988
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
South Africa
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Record Description
Record Type: Church Records
Collection years: 1856-1988
Languages: Afrikaans
Title in the Language: Suid-Afrika, Gereformeerde Kerk Rekords
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Reformed Church Archives, Potchefstroom


What is in This Collection?

This collection includes christenings, marriage, and membership records from 1856 to 1988. These records are from various areas of Angola, Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Reading These Records

These records are in Afrikaans and English. For help reading the records, see the following wiki articles:

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for South Africa, Reformed Church Records, 1856-1988.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptism

  • Name of child
  • Date and place of baptism
  • Child's birth date
  • Names of parents, including maiden name of mother
  • Name of person performing baptism

Marriage

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Race of both husband and wife
  • Name and age of groom
  • Groom's country of birth
  • Groom's occupation and residence
  • Name and age of bride
  • Bride's country of birth
  • Bride's occupation and residence
  • Marriage by license or banns
  • Consent or order for marriage given by whom
  • Names of witnesses
  • Name of officiant at ceremony

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

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

  • Name of ancestor
  • Approximate year of baptism and marriage

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the 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?

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?

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

  • Use the age to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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. Try searching for these names as well
  • 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
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another
  • Be aware that there may have been some transcription errors


Known Issues with This Collection

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

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, Reformed Church Records, 1856-1988." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Reformed Church Archives, Potchefstroom.
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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