South Africa, Free State Dutch Reformed Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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South Africa, Free State Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1848-1956 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Free State, South Africa
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Location of Free State, South Africa
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Record Description
Record Type: Church Records
Collection years: 1848-1956
Languages: Afrikaans and English
Title in the Language: Suid-Afrika, Vrystaat Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk Rekords
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Dutch Reformed Church Synod Centre, Bloemfontein


What is in the Collection?

This collection includes records from 1848 to 1956. It consists of an index and images of christenings, marriages and memberships.

The Dutch Reformed Church records have been maintained in good condition. The records are found in different registration formats, most are written in Dutch while others are in Afrikaans and English.

From 1652 to 1862, all church records are in the Dutch Reformed Church's Cape Archives. From 1862 to the present, the records are in individual churches and the church's provincial archives. From 1632 to 1780, the Dutch Reformed Church was the only established church, and it recorded other denominational baptisms. Forty-three percent of the white population in Free State, South Africa are members of the Dutch Reformed Church.

General Information about Free State

Under the Union of South Africa in 1910, South Africa had four provinces: the Transvaal and Orange Free State, previously Boer republics, and Natal and the Cape, once British colonies. In 1994, under South Africa’s new democratic constitution, the country was broken up into nine provinces: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, and Western Cape. Free State was originally the Orange Free State.

To learn more about Dutch Reformed Church Records, see the wiki article, South Africa, Dutch Reformed Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) for more information.

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

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for South Africa, Free State Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1848-1956.

Collection Content

Sample Images

Click on images for a larger view.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Christening records may contain the following information:

  • Full name
  • Date of christening
  • Place of christening
  • Parents' names
  • Date of birth
  • Names of witnesses

Marriage records may contain the following information:

  • Place of marriage
  • Date of marriage
  • Groom's full name and surname
  • Bride's full name and surname
  • Bride and groom's ages
  • Occupation of groom
  • Occupation of bride
  • Residence at time of marriage
  • Names of witnesses

Membership records may contain the following information:

  • Name
  • Date of baptism
  • Age
  • Place of residence

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the person you are looking for
  • Approximate date of the event (birth, marriage, 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


View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.

1. Select the appropriate "Province"
2. Select the appropriate "Town/Municipality"
3. Select the appropriate "Event Type" 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.

For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

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?

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 Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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.
  • Use the age to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in civil records.
  • 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.
  • 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 Who I'm Looking for, What Now?

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, Civil Registration records may be more useful.
  • Keep in mind that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • 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 other names or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for them 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'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.

Known Issues with This Collection

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki 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

A citation is a note that shows where you found information. Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Using citations allows others to find the same records.

Collection citation:

"South Africa, Free State Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1848-1956." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Dutch Reformed Church Synod Centre, Bloemfontein.

Record citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for South Africa, Free State Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1848-1956.


Image citation:

When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for South Africa, Free State Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1848-1956.


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