South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court, 1869-1958 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Transvaal, South Africa
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Flag of South Africa
ZA Locator Map South Africa Transvaal.png
Location of Transvaal, South Africa
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Record Description
Record Type: Probate Records
Collection years: 1869-1958
Languages: Afrikaans, English
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Master of the High Court, Pretoria


What is in This Collection?

This collection includes records from 1869-1958.

South African probate records often include heirs, locations, property transfers, wills, and other important information. The most useful records in the collection are the death notices which give detailed information. The probate records usually have multiple pages and are included in a probate file, which is identified by a probate number.

When a person died, the nearest relative or other connection should have completed a death notice and sent it to the Master of the High Court within 14 days of the death.

The original probate records from the Master of the Supreme Court in Transvaal, South Africa are located in the Transvaal Archives Depot, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa.

Reading These Records

These records are written in Afrikaans and English. See the section For Help Reading These Records for translation helps.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Death notices within the probate records may contain the following information:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Birthplace of the deceased
  • Age of the deceased
  • Names of the deceased’s parents
  • Occupation of the deceased
  • Names of surviving or deceased spouses (with death date) if any
  • Date and place of death
  • Names of the children of the deceased
  • Whether the deceased owned property
  • Whether the deceased left a will
  • Name of the informant

Collection Content

Sample Images

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person you are looking for
  • Approximate date of death

Search the Index

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


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.

Remember to:

  • Print or download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed.
  • In case you need to find this record again later, copy the citation found on each record or image. Familysearch wiki has a Example Research Log that you can download and use for this purpose.

For Help Reading These Records

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

What Do I Do Next?

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

  • Use the age in the death records 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.
  • 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.

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, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court, 1869-1958." Database and images.FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org: accessed 2017. Citing Master of the High Court, Pretoria.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
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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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

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