Zimbabwe, Death Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Zimbabwe Death notices, 1904-1976  and Zimbabwe, Death Registers, 1890-1977; Index to Death Register, 1892-1977.

Record Description

This collection includes records of Death Registers, from 1890 to 1977, Death Notices from 1904 to 1976 and Index to Death Registers from 1890 to 1977.

The records included in this collection consist of death notices and registers obtained from the National Archives at Harare and Salisbury, Zimbabwe. The collection includes indexes of closed and open files. The records are written in English.

The following explains the abbreviations found in the image indexes:

  • DR - Death Register
  • W - Will
  • ADM - Administration

The death registers have the abbreviations "D.R." and followed by the volume number/page number. It appears those records that are labeled ADM are probably administrations which are separate from the death registers and they contain wills and living Trust records. This conclusion was reached as a result of using the death register indexes and reading the film notes associated with these records in the Family History Catalog.

Zimbabwe was formerly known as Southern Rhodesia and became independent from Great Britain on April 18, 1980. Even though civil registration was established in 1890 it did not become mandatory until after independence. Birth registration began in 1891 and death registration in 1904. Birth and death registrations did not include African tribal members until 1963.

Birth and death certificates are currently registered through District Registries in each town or city, but all records are kept at the National Archives in the capital city of Harare, formerly known as Salisbury. The address for the archives is at The National Archives - Zimbabwe. Marriage certificates are also recorded.

Registers of deaths of citizens of Rhodesia were created due to several laws (listed below) regarding vital records:

  • The Executor's Accounts Act of 1864
  • The Administration of Estates Ordinance No. 6 of 1907
  • The Administration of Estates Act, Chapter 47 of 1952, and Chapter 51 of 1965

The records in this collection are generally reliable, although they contain some problems, as listed further along this article.

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in the Zimbabwe, Death notices, 1904-1976 collection, select the Browse.

For a list of records by surnames and dates currently published in the Zimbabwe, Death Registers, 1890-1977; Index to Death Register, 1892-1977 collection, select the Browse.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

"Zimbabwe, Death Registers, 1890-1977; Index to Death Register, 1892-1977" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Registrar General. National Archives, Harare.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

These death records usually contain the following information:

  • Full name, age and gender of deceased
  • Race, marital status, and residence
  • Occupation
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Duration of last illness
  • Intended burial place
  • Birthplace of deceased
  • Names of parents
  • Name of surviving spouse, if married
  • Number of children and whether they are major or minor
  • Medical attendant's name and residence
  • Informant and their qualifications
  • Informant's residence
  • Property left by the deceased

How to Use the Record

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

  • Name of deceased
  • Approximate year and place of death

Search the Collection

To search the collection image by image select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type"
⇒Select the appropriate "Year Range and Volume or Certificate Number" which will take you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

General Information About These Records

These civil registration records show the deaths occurring in Zimbabwe between (and including) 1904-1976. This information can assist those searching for death dates of family members who passed away in Zimbabwe during this time period.

For Help Reading These Records

These records are in Afrikaans. For help with reading the records, see the following wiki article:

Afrikaans Word List

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
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 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.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

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.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Zimbabwe, Death Registers, 1890-1977;" images, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org: accessed 10 July 2012), Death Register > 1906-1912, Vol. 14 > image 116 of 241, Ernst Victor Benson, died 27 May 1912; citing registrar General. Zimbabwe, death notices. National Archives of Zimbabwe, Harare, Zimbabwe.