Estate files, Transvaal, South Africa, 1910-1984

Manuscript/Manuscript on Film
  • English
  • Afrikaans
Salt Lake City, Utah : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 2003-2012
on 2174 microfilms ; 16 mm. & 35 mm.


Microfilm of originals in the National Archives, Pretoria, South Africa.

Note: In South Africa there are significant differences between (a) the 'death notice' and (b) the 'death certificate'. (a) The Death Notice is completed soon after death, usually, but not always, by next-of-kin. It is a legal document used to inform the relevant authorities of the death and is forwarded to the Master of the High [Supreme] Court, where it becomes the founding document in the estate file. The estate file remains with the High Court for a specified period, after which it is archived at the relevant archive depot. (If there is no estate, the death notice will be archived immediately.) Death notices typically provide the following information: date and place of birth; name of spouse(s) and children, including married names of daughters; date and place of death; place of residence; whether the deceased left property (moveable and immoveable). The extent and accuracy of the information depends on the informant. -- (b) The Death Certificate must always be completed by someone who is considered legally competent to certify death, usually, but not always, a doctor. It is a civil document and is sent to and archived by the Department of Home Affairs. Usually a mortician (the first person who requires the certificate after the death, since burial or cremation cannot take place without it) obtains the original from the doctor and files it with Home Affairs. Once the original certificate has been filed, then Home Affairs issues official copies for a variety of uses, both legal and civil. A copy of the death certificate is often, but not always, found in the estate file. It does not include as much information as the death notice, but lists cause of death.

Text in English and Afrikaans.

Estate files are mainly those of Whites and Indians.

Some films contain images of poor quality and may be unreadable.

Some packets are misfiled and some are missing.

Estate files may include: death notices, death certificates, affidavits, antenuptial contracts, divorce decrees, wills, letters of administration, acceptance of trust as executor, etc.



Call Number
Call Number
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Film/Digital Notes

Note Location Collection/Shelf Film Image Group Number (DGS) Format
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This item is available on microfilm at this family history center.

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