South Africa Genealogy

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Getting started with South Africa research

New! Join a Genealogy Research Community for South Africa on Facebook or Skype

"A Research Guide for Beginners," by Rosemary Dixon-Smith

South Africa, Cape Province Dutch Reformed Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

South Africa, Orange Free State Estate Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)

History of South Africa

Listen to the tutorial at FamilySearch Learning Center on"The South African Empire" by Dr. Anne Samson.

Jurisdictions in South Africa

South Africa is divided into 9 provinces.

  • Free State
  • Gauteng
  • KwaZulu-Natal
  • Limpopo
  • Mpumalanga
  • Northern Cape
  • North-West
  • Western Cape

Research Tools

South Africa Wills

177 Wills listed in the On-Line Catalogue for the National Archives in London, where the "Cape of Good Hope" is shown as place of residence or former residence.  Wills dated from 1713 to 1857.

Nasionale Pers are in the planning stages of digitising their Media (Newspapers and other publications printed by them. Includes Die Burger, Volksblad, Natal Witness, Huisgenoot etc.)  A  media statement will be released when more information is known.

Ancestry24 which is part of Naspers and Media24 provides a comprehensive website for anyone starting their family history in South Africa. There is however a subscription but their Family Tree Builder is free as well as contacting Tree Owners, Forum Boards and Learning Centre.

There is a fantastic new website for people who are tracing their ancestors in South Africa who emigrated from the British Isles. Although it covers mainly those who came in 1820, it is an on-going project with new names being added all the time. More information.

Help Wanted (or other title)

(For example, help wanted list of activities for your users)

Jewish Records

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Useful Websites

More web sites

Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

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Key Topics to get Started:
  • Census
  • Church Records
  • Civil Registration
  • Probate Records

Other Topics:

  • Archives and Libraries
  • Biography
  • Cemeteries
  • Church Directories
  • Church History
  • Court Records
  • Directories
  • Emigration and Immigration
  • Gazetteers
  • Genealogy
  • Geography
  • History
  • Land and Property
  • Language and Languages
  • Maps
  • Military Records
  • Names Personal
  • Naturalization and Citizenship
  • Newspapers
  • Occupations
  • Periodicals
  • Schools
  • Shipping and Shipwrecks
  • Societies
  • Taxation

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