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South African Genealogical Reference Centre

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Profiles

  • Cornelis Pama, Dr. (1916 - 1994)
    Cornelis (Cor) PAMA was born in Rotterdam on 05 Nov 1916, The son of Jan PAMA and Susanna KOOL. He passed away at home in Newlands on 23 Oct 1994. His funeral service was held at St. Andrew’s An...
  • Johannes August Heese (1907 - 1990)
    Johannes August Heese was born on 11 November 1907, on the farm Paarlzicht near Paarl, the brother of Kallie and Japie de Villiers Heese. He attended schools in Paarl (Laerskool Hugenoot and Hoerskool ...
  • Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g5 (1850 - 1887)
    Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers was born on 10 March 1850 in Swellendam, in the Cape Colony (now Western Cape). De Villiers is known as the 'father of South African geneaology' and began writing his si...

South Africa – Genealogical Reference Centre

To participate in a project you do need to first be a collaborator.

If you haven't yet visited the Geni Wiki pages please do so - there is a lot of information and guidance there.

This a reference project and so no profiles are to be added unless they are people of Genealogical importance!

Curators working on the South African Tree

For information regarding the completion of Profiles see -

South Africa - Profile Guidelines

See Random Acts of GENI Kindness - South Africa for small look ups.

See http://southafricanresearcher.blogspot.com.au/search/label/Sources

Index

Please scroll down for the various topics

Contents: Part 1 (See Below)

  • General Profile usage - see South Africa - Profile Guidelines
  • Abbreviations and Symbols used in South African Genealogy
  • Place names
    • Historical Time Line - Place names
    • Old and new place names in South Africa (link to pdf doc.)
  • South African vital Statistics

Contents: Part 2 (See Below)

Resources and records available for South African Genealogical Research

  • Databases
  • Types of Records Available
    • Certificates
    • Baptisms
    • Marriages
    • Deaths and Burials
    • Death Notices
    • Divorce
    • Wills
    • Inventories
    • Passenger Lists
    • Monumental Inscriptions
    • Family Bibles
    • Oral History
    • Church Minute Books
    • Military Records
    • Newspapers
    • Publications
  • Research Assistance
    • Professional Researchers
    • Online Guides and Resources
    • Reference Books and Published genealogical tables
  • South African Genealogical Societies
  • Starting dates for South African Church Registers
  • Word list – Glossary (Afrikaans to English)

Part 1

General Profile Usage

We need to encourage accurate recording of information on Geni profiles. Sources need to be added where they exist, documents need to be uploaded to support information and explanations given for conclusions in the "about me" section of the profiles where no hard evidence has been found. Information needs to be justified.

The information included in this project will hopefully help us do this - to keep records as accurate as we can and encourage users to make the most of available South African resources. Some information on South African Research can also be found at Family Search.

The information presented here is support material for ALL South African genealogical research - the practice described above should not be confined to only progenitors but to ALL profiles of people who lived in South Africa.

The same applies to profiles in general - support needs to be added for information presented. There is always a reason for our conclusions, and whilst sometimes there might not be hard evidence available, the reasons for using the information will have come from somewhere. If it is not from a primary source (for example you have gained the information from another published family tree either in a book or online) then you do need to say this so that other users know that the information does not have primary evidence. It should be our aim to add sources, documents and references for the information we add. Conjecture should not be translated into profiles - that should be confined to the notes on a profile!

One of the objectives in compiling the information here is to help explain some things that are peculiar to South African records. In particularly we want to encourage the correct use of place names - it is incorrect to use a place name with a province added that was not relevant to that time - so Bedford was in the Cape in the 1800's, not the Eastern Cape!

There are a few things that make a big difference to how the tree can be used and shared on Geni. For more in-depth use of the Profile fields please see the Profile Guidelines - South Africa project

Duplicate Profiles

If you add a profile which is a duplicate of one previously added please MERGE them. DO NOT DELETE PROFILES managed by other people - if there is problem please contact the manager!

After a profile has been merged with another please go to the profile page of the merged person and under the "Actions" menu at the top right see if there are any Merge conflicts that need to be resolved.

Private and Public Profiles

All living profiles should be marked Private. In addition profiles of people within the family group (4th cousins) can be set as private. However, profiles in the historical tree, beyond the family group, need to be marked PUBLIC. See this document for guidance on how to check your managed profiles.

South African Genealogical numbering system DVN/DVP

Please DO NOT add these to any field other than the SUFFIX field, AKA or About

These numbers MUST NOT be added to the surname, added as a middle name or used in a display name. They can be recorded in the SUFFIX field. The SUFFIX field is not editable in the "add a profile" menu, options are limited to a drop-down Menu. When you go back into the edit screen you can enter a suffix other than those previously available.

The genealogical numbers used in the South African tree was introduced in the 19th Century by C.C. de Villiers. (DVN or DVP) The old Pama/De Villiers genealogies were used by the HSRC and later GISA to compile the SAG volumes covering the years 1652 to 1830. This set of 17 books were completed in 2011. Then GISA started to produce the new set covering the years 1652 to 1930. This is now called SAF (SA Families).

In this system the genealogical number of the South African Stamouer/progenitor is “a” (although on the South African Geni tree we us SV/PROG instead), and his children are numbered chronologically “b1”, “b2”, “b3” etc.; his grandchildren are the ‘c” generation, great grandchildren “d” and so on. (e.g. b1c3d5e2f5g8 etc.)

In order to make the numbers less cumbersome and untidy on the tree the recommendation is that the full number, (2b4c6d7e7f5), be added to the AKA field and only the last two generations, (e7f5), used in the suffix field.

Please Note: This numbering system is not obligatory. It is not universally endorsed by everyone. You do not have to add them, but if you do, please respect the request above. If you do not wish to see them displayed then you do have the option to hide them in your preferences - something that can be done temporarily whilst viewing the South African tree.

If there was more than one SV/PROG then they would be SV/PROG1/ SV/PROG2 etc. and their family would be numbered SV1b2c6 etc. or SV2b4c6d7 etc.

Richard Ball has written an introduction to this System.

Deleting Profile Information

Rather than deleting other users' choices about naming fields, change your preferences to suit yourself (See detailed examples of the available options below). The same applies to the use of capitals on Geni, which we don't use - you can change your preferences to do that for you (tab at bottom of tree view).

Geni has taken a pretty clear stand on this:

"Please be advised that on the subject of deleting content off other users’ profiles without their permission, Geni is very clear in the Terms of Service:

http://www.geni.com/company/terms_of_use

Vl. Proprietary Rights in Content.

1. .... If, however, you invite other Members to share your family tree on the Service, or agree to merge your family tree with another Member's family tree on the Service (in either case, a "Shared Family Tree"), then you agree that you will not delete Content in the Shared Family Tree except to correct inaccurate or offensive data. Wilful destruction of Content in a Shared Family Tree without Geni's written permission is a breach of this Agreement and grounds for termination of your Member account."

C. Background History Of South African Naming Patterns

A Little Background History to the Legal Naming Conventions in South Africa:

Prior to the British occupation of the Cape in 1795, the Dutch custom of a woman using only her birth name throughout her life was followed, as the Dutch, Belgians and French were legally obliged to do. The English (or common law system) custom of women adopting their husband's names after marriage (dating back to the 1600s, & in some cases, as early as the 1200s) only became widespread in South Africa after the take-over by the British from 1795 onwards, with the largest influx in 1820.

Roman-Dutch Law, a variety of the European continental civil law, was the legal system of the Cape Colony before c.1800, and is still considered the basis of the SA legal system today. This may be why it is legal for a woman in SA to assume any name she has ever been legally entitled to – e.g. her father’s or any of her ex- or present husband’s surnames. It is still most common for white women in SA to legally change their surname to that of their husband when they get married.

A very interesting and informative article by Hermann Giliomee of University of Stellenbosch on the status and role of Afrikaner women pre-1930 has been attached to this project and is well worth reading.

Traditional Naming Patterns for First Names

In Afrikaans families children were often named according to European tradition. This tradition was also strong in Ireland and Scotland (less so in England) and across to eastern Europe, including the Netherlands and Germany. It seems to be most common from about the mid 1700’s to the first part of the 20th Century.

  • The first Son was named after the Father’s father
  • The second Son was named after the Mother’s father
  • The third Son was named after the Father
  • The fourth Son was named after the Father’s eldest brother
  • The fifth Son was named after the Mother’s eldest brother
  • The first Daughter was named after the Mother’s mother
  • The second Daughter was named after the Father’s mother
  • The third Daughter was named after the Mother
  • The fourth Daughter was named after the Mother’s eldest sister
  • The fifth Daughter was named after the Father’s eldest sister
  • Subsequent children were named following the same pattern, being named after the next eldest sibling of the father and mother.

This system can be very useful genealogically. If there is a break in the pattern or the names appear to be out of order it could indicate that a child has died young. The names were not usually used more than once (see note below), but the system can result in children having the same name, e.g. if the child is the third child, and the father is the first child of a father who was the first child!

Note - if a child died, the name was usually used again, particularly in Afrikaans families and commonly in English families. It was not the name of the dead child that was being re-used but the name of the grandfather or grandmother, etc, that was being given again. The system is by no mean invariable, even amongst Afrikaner families.

Abbreviations and Symbols used in South African Genealogy

			
  1. * Born/Geboorte
  2. ≈ Christened or Bapt./Doop
  3. † Died/Sterfte
  4. Ω Buried/Graf of begrafnis
  5. ω Cremated/Veras
  6. x Marriage/Huwelik
  7. xx Second Marriage, etc/Tweede Huwelik
  8. ÷ Divorced/Egskeiding
  9. s.o./s.v. Son of/Seun van
  10. d.o./d.v. Daughter of/Dogter van
  11. wed Widow/ Weduwee
  12. wew Widower/Wewenaar
  13. ca About Date (Circa)/Ongeveer datum
  14. ? Estimated Date/Geskatte datum
  15. ≡ Calculated date/Berekende datum
  16. < Before date/Voor datum
  17. > After date/Na Datum
  18. / Between dates/Tussen Datums
  19. NN Name Unknown/Van onbekend
  20. Pn Given names unknown/ Voorname onbekend
  21. sp Without descendants/Sonder nasate (sine prole)
  22. [ ] Related by marriage/Aangetroudes
  23. { } Title of person/Titel van persoon
  24. a. Arrival in South Africa/Aankoms in Suid Afrika

Place Names

There is an argument for using modern place names on Geni - in time it may be possible to generate distribution maps etc. and Google Maps cannot work on a combination of old and modern place names. It is historically and genealogically correct to use old place names for events that took place when those names applied. It would seem that the guideline is to use one or the other, not a combination of both. (This means that where both names have been use one or the other needs to be removed - the preference is for the place name as it was at the time of the event to be used)

'Dictionary of South African Place Names' - free online book

Historical Time Line - Place names

The Provinces of South Africa have changed over the last 360 years. Please do not use modern day place names for event that took place when these names did not apply.

The Union of South Africa was formed on 31 May 1910 as a parliamentary union of the four self-governing British colonies: See The South African War and Union at South African History Online.

  1. Cape of Good Hope Province (Cape Province; previously Cape Colony),
  2. Natal Province (Natal Colony),
  3. Orange Free State Province (Oranje Vrij Staat/Orange River Colony) and
  4. Transvaal Province (Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek/Transvaal Colony).

27 May 1994: South Africa was reorganized into nine provinces.

Cape of Good Hope was divided into 3 new provinces –

  • Eastern Cape (Capital Bhisho)
  • Northern Cape (Capital Kimberley)
  • Western Cape (Capital Cape Town)

Transvaal was divided into 4 new province –


  • Gauteng (Capital Johannesburg)
  • Limpopo (Capital Polokwane)
  • Mpumalanga (Capital Nelspruit)
  • North-West (Capital Mmabatho)
 
  • Orange Free State became Free State (Capital Bloemfontein)
  • Natal became KwaZulu-Natal (Capital Pietermaritzburg)
	
  • In 1995: Name of Northern Transvaal changed to Northern Province.
  • 29 Jun 1995: Name of Orange Free State province changed to Free State.
  • 24 Aug 1995: Name of Eastern Transvaal province changed to Mpumalanga.
  • 8 Dec 1995: Name of Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging province changed to Gauteng. (Another source says March 1995)
  • 11 Jun 2003: Name of Northern Province changed to Limpopo, and the name of its capital from Pietersburg to Polokwane.
  • 2004: Ulundi ceased to be co-capital of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • 2004: Name of capital of Eastern Cape changed from Bisho to Bhisho.
  • 26 May 2005: Name of administrative capital of South Africa changed from Pretoria to Tshwane.

Old and new place names in South Africa. pdf format.

South Africa - vital statistics

  • ISO code: ZA
  • Languages:

There are eleven official languages recognised in the constitution. Two of these languages are of European origin: Afrikaans, a language which originated mainly from Dutch, and English. Just under 80% of the South African population is of black African ancestry, divided among a variety of ethnic groups speaking different Bantu languages, nine of which have official status. South Africa also contains the largest communities of European, Asian, and racially mixed ancestry in Africa.

The main languages in order of usage -

  • Zulu / IsiZulu
  • Xhosa / IsiXhosa
  • Afrikaans
  • Sesotho sa Leboa
  • Tswana / Setswana
  • English
  • Suto / Sesotho
  • Ndebele / IsiNdebele
  • Tsonga / Xitsonga
  • Swati / SiSwati
  • Venda / Tshivenda

Read more: South Africa Information - Languages and Culture.

  • Time zone: +2
  • Capitals: Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein,Pietermaritzburg

Names in other languages:

  • Afrikaans: Republiek van Suid-Afrika (formal)
  • Danish: Sydafrika
  • Dutch: Zuid-Afrika, Republiek Zuid-Afrika (formal)
  • English: Republic of South Africa (formal)
  • Finnish: Etelä-Afrikka
  • French: Afrique du Sud
  • German: Südafrika
  • Icelandic: Suður-Afríka
  • Italian: Sudafrica, Repubblica Sudafricana (formal)
  • Norwegian: Sør-Afrika, Republikken Sør-Afrika (formal)
  • Portuguese: África do Sul, República da África do Sul (formal)
  • Spanish: Sudáfrica, República de Sudáfrica (formal)
  • Swedish: Sydafrika
  • Turkish: Güney Afrika, Güney Afrika Cumhuriyeti (formal)

South African Genealogical Source Documents

Databases

The National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS) is "a finding aid to assist users of archives to identify and locate archival material that is relevant to their requirements. NAAIRS contains only information about archival material and not the actual texts of documents. Having identified relevant material, a user would usually arrange to visit the repository concerned to consult the documents, or request further information or copies where such services are available".

The National Archives and Records Service is responsible for archives repositories and record centres in Pretoria, and Cape Town. The archival function of the repositories in Port Elizabeth, Pietermaritzburg, Durban and Bloemfontein has already been devolved to their respective provincial legislatures.

OFFICES WHICH FORM PART OF THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES AND RECORDS SERVICE OF SOUTH AFRICA.

The reference numbers of documents found in the NAAIRS indexes have prefixes according to the repository where the original documents are housed.

  • KAB: Cape Town Archives Repository
  • NAB: Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository
  • TAB: National Archives Repository (public records of former Transvaal province and its predecessors as well as of magistrates and local authorities)
  • TBD: Durban Archives Repository
  • TBE: Port Elizabeth Archives Repository
  • TBK: Cape Town Records Centre
  • VAB: Free State Archives Repository

Other databases

  • GEN: Data of the South African Genealogical Society on gravestones
  • HER: Data of the Bureau of Heraldry on heraldic representations registered
  • MAN: National Registers of Manuscripts and Photographs; National Archives' cartographic material, library material and copies
  • OVM: National Register of Audio-Visual Material
  • ROS: National Register of Oral Sources
  • SAB: National Archives Repository (public records of central government since 1910)

Types of records available

1. Certificates.

 

South African “Civil Registration” is not available for public viewing, so there is no index or personal searching. Getting certificates are not the easy option as you need dates - and usually this is why you need the certificate. It is also slow!

Full certificates include details such as names of parents, dates and places, etc.

If you are in South Africa official application forms can be completed and handed in at any Department of Home Affairs office within the town or city where you live or work, and the completed certificates will be posted to you.

To apply for certificates from outside South Africa you need to post a request to the Department of Home Affairs in Pretoria, or alternatively request these certificates through a South African Consulate within your own country.

Examples of Certificates

South African marriage certificates do not give the names and occupations of parents

Registration commencement dates vary according to the Provinces -

Cape

  • Births - 1895
  • Marriages - 1700
  • Deaths - 1895

KwaZulu Natal

  • Births - 1868
  • Marriages - 1845
  • Deaths - 1888

Transvaal

  • Births - 1901
  • Marriages - 1870
  • Deaths - 18951901

Orange Free State

  • Births - 1903
  • Marriages - 1848
  • Deaths - 1903

2. Baptisms

Entries in Church or Parish Registers aren't always easy to view, but these are steadily being transcribed and digitised by various organisations. Baptism entires generally give the full names and surname of the child, the birth date (but not before 1800 AD) and baptism date, the names of both parents and the names of witnesses. Witnesses are often close relatives that helps in building up family groups.

Afrikaans baptisms usually have witnesses listed and these are usually relativies of the parents, and can give clues as to which family the baptism belongs to.

  • FAMILYSEARCH - Dutch Reformed Church Records have added a large selection of the Registers of the Dutch Reformed Church Record from 1690-2007. These are not indexed, but Lea Herbst has made a start on explaining which registers can be found where in A Guide to FAMILYSEARCH which is and admirable document of enormous help.
  • See also the lists of Starting dates for Church Registers listed at the end of this project - prepared by Judi Meyer from information at Gisa.

3. Marriages

Example of Marriage Register Entry.

Marriage Register entries give the full names and surnames of both parties, their ages, occupations, whether married after banns or special licence and the names of witnesses, and of the officiant. Photocopies of the original are of particular interest as the signatures of your ancestors are often all that is available to you when there are no photographs.

5. Deaths and Burials

See example of death certificate above.

Some churches keep records of burials performed from the church or of persons buried on church property. These records vary greatly according to the minister involved, but they can be a useful source of information.

Burial Registers usually provide only the person's full names, the date of burial and the age at death. Burial registers only exist for cemeteries within municipal boundaries and are the property of the town council concerned.

These registers are particularly useful when a person is buried in a grave that doesn't have a headstone and the register is the only means of identifying where and when they were buried.

Further examples can be found at eGGSA: including images of the registers for the Stellenbosch burials

which are also at:

http://www.heemkring.org.za/Inleiding.htm and others

http://www.e-family.co.za/BMDs/nolene2/GenericList.asp

6. Death Notices

Example of Death Notice.

Death Notices are a particularly useful source of information for the family historian, and peculiar to Southern Africa. It does need to be remembered that the information relies on the knowledge of the informant, and this is not always accurate. The information can be very full giving full names of the children, their birth dates and their married names, sometimes including the names of daughter's partners. Often dates of marriage, previous marriages and birth dates are also provided. It is important to verify the information given - the inclusion of the names and dates on a Death Notice is not proof, just a valuable guide and often confirmation of information gleaned from other sources!

There are many Death Notices in the still growing collection at eGGSA

7. Divorce

Divorce papers can be quite useful. The NAAIRS archival references to divorces sometimes mention "illiquid cases" and/or "opposed applications". Sometimes details such as private detectives' reports, the names and ages of minor children and who got the custody are given.

8. Wills

No serious researcher should neglect wills.

Wills are included in the indexes at NAAIRS. - for example

  • DEPOT KAB
  • SOURCE MOOC
  • TYPE LEER
  • VOLUME_NO 7/1/139
  • SYSTEM 01
  • REFERENCE 88
  • PART 1
  • DESCRIPTION DE BEER, HERMINA CHRISTINA. WIFE OF WILLEM SMIT. WILL.
  • STARTING 18130000
  • ENDING 18130000
  • REMARKS FILED 1837.

But can be very disappointing! Transcript of MOOC 7/1/139 Ref 88

However - they can be extremely rewarding on occasion, particularly earlier wills, for instance the following examples kindly supplied by Richard Ball:

Early wills (before about 1750) will often mention parents names if still alive as residuary legatees and farm names. Wills of second marriages will usually name the children of the first marriage/marriages.

Inventory and Will for Maria Jacoba Grundling (Transcription).

Reference at NAAIRS -

  • DEPOT KAB
  • SOURCE MOOC
  • TYPE LEER
  • VOLUME_NO 7/1/72
  • SYSTEM 01
  • REFERENCE 9
  • PART 1
  • DESCRIPTION GRUNDELING, MARIA JACOBA. WIFE OF THOMAS KNOESEN. WILL.
  • STARTING 18150000
  • ENDING 18150000
  • REMARKS FILED 1816.

9. Inventories

The inventories of the Orphan Chamber are invaluable sources for researchers interested in the life and times of people at the Cape from 1652 till 1834. The inventories list all the possessions in a deceased estate, including livestock and slaves.

Example Inventory Huibrecht Bothma

Estate distribution accounts, L&D accounts are usually very useful and often extraordinarily so - see Willem van Wyk - Liquidation and Administration

10. Passenger Lists

It is always good to establish when an ancestor went to South Africa. The eGSSA branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa has embarked on a project to transcribe all the passenger lists in the South African Archives that the archivists can find for them and some wonderful information has been found at the Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository and at the Roeland Street Archives, Cape Town.


11. Monumental Inscriptions

Gravestone inscriptions provide a wealth of information as they often provide the dates of birth and death as well as the names, maiden surname and 'pet names' of the deceased.

The eGGSA has an extensive program of photographing and Indexing graveyards throughout South Africa. Their Gravestones in South Africa is an essential port of call.

12. Family Bibles

If you are lucky enough to have a family bible in your possession you will know what a rich source of information these can be. There are collections housed in various repositories and Museums.

The Anglo-Boer War Museum has a large collection in need of restoration.

eGGSA Family Bibles is an on-going project photographing Family Bibles in the collection of the National Cultural History Museum organised by Colin Pretorius. This project is still in progress, the most recent large addition being the Family Bibles in the collection of the National Museum, Bloemfontein, which have been photographed by Sudré Havenga of the National Museum, and appear by kind permission of that institution.

13. Oral History

Most of us start by asking living relatives for information about our ancestors, recording what we learn and then taking the research from there.

In many societies Oral History is the principal method used to record the knowledge of ancestral lines - in particular indigenous people; for example the Australia Aboriginal people, Native Indians and the African tribes in South Africa.

14. Church Minute Books

Information of interest to the genealogist can be found but is a secondary rather than a primary source.

15. Military Records

  • Cape Rebels
  • Prisoners of War
  • Farm List
  • Boer Internees Portugal
  • Foreign Volunteers
  • Joiners

Elizabeth van Heyningen has written an in-depth article about the camps - well worth reading.

16. Newspapers

Newspaper Extracts - transcripts by Sue Mackay and a team of many others at eGGSA.

17. Publications

There are publication which can help with your research - but always check data where-ever possible. If you use for instance SAG to build a family please mention that in the "About me" section on the profile so that others will know where the information came from and make comments, add supporting sources etc.

South African Genealogies

South African Genealogies are a comprehensive set of books ( 17 SAG) and DVDs (34 Volumes, 20 SAF A-K & 14 SAG A- Z) processed and researched by GISA - extremely valuable but a secondary source that has irregularities. See related project Irregularities in South African Genealogies/Suid-Afrikaanse Geslagregisters

Genealogies of Old Cape Families

by C.C. de Villiers, revised, augmented and rewritten by C. Pama, A.A. Balkema, Cape Town 1966.

British Families in South Africa

Lists more than 1,100 surnames, their meanings and origins. It also includes many different coats of arms. This is product is a must for all family historians in South Africa with an interest in the British heritage.

Research Assistance

Professional Researchers

Sometimes you need the assistance of a professional researcher who can find information on your behalf for a reasonable fee. The following are people who undertake such research. Contact them to see if they can help you and what they woud expect the cost to be.

If this is something you do please add yourself to the list.

  • Anne Clarkson undertakes research in Cape Town Archives and other Cape records. Please contact her for more information about her services. anne@family-research.co.za
  • Judi Meyer can get Death Notices and other documents available at the Pretoria Archives. Please contact her for more specific information.

Online Guides and Resources

  • Records and Resources - an online repository & secondary sources relevant to family & social history research in Southern Africa, with the goal of making it simple & keeping it free.
  • Overview of SA Family History on the Web by Sharon Marshall is very useful, giving a broad look at where to go online for South African research.
  • There is an online branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa - [http://www.genza.org.za/ - which is very helpful. There are documents, gravestones and research facilities which are particularly useful. Also collections of Funeral Programs and Church pictures
  • The First 50 Years Project is an invaluable resource. It is a project which aims to transcribe and make available copies of records relating to individuals who lived at the Cape during the first decades of the settlement after 1652.

Please note Delia Robertson does not approve of the pages from The First Fifty Years Project being added to Geni as documents. Please add a link to the relevant page rather than the URL as a source (which automatically creates a document of that link and adds it to your documents.

  • Richard Ball has shared his very comprehensive research into his South African ancestors. If your family is one of those he has researched then consider yourself very lucky!
  • (Ancestry24 Subscription but many free pages)
  • Cape Master Death Notice Index Project - by Adelbert Semmelink
  • Cape Slave Transactions, by A.M. van Rensburg. Includes several searchable databases concerned with slaves at the Cape.
  • Cape Town Baptisms, part of Daniel Jacobs' Gendata web site. An index of baptisms of various denominations at the Cape (mostly of English speaking people and mostly situated in the Cape Peninsula) as well as some baptisms at the Cape Town Lutheran Congregation. It covers the period 1808 to 1854, but not for every congregation. You will need to use FireFox or Chrome browsers to view this database as it does not appear to be compatible with Internet Explorer.
  • Church Register transcripts, a project in progress, the eGGSA branch of the GSSA.
  • Church Register transcripts, a section from a variety of sects - various periods covered, to be found on the e-family web site.

eGGSA has a fairly valuable 1820 settler site by Sue Mackay with extra info from Church registers, etc.

	

Reference Books and Published genealogical tables

  • British Families in South Africa : Lists more than 1,100 surnames, their meanings and origins. It also includes many different coats of arms. This is product is a must for all family historians in South Africa with an interest in the British heritage.
  • Die Groot Familienaamboek : 3,000 South African families are discussed, approximately 450 Family Crests and Coats of Arms are available in full colour and another 350 signatures of ancestors add value to this resource.
  • Genealogies of Old Cape Families, by C.C.de Villiers, revised, augmented and rewritten by C.Pama, A.A.Balkema, Cape Town, 1966
  • The original edition of 1894, compiled by G.M. Theal from the work of C.C. de Villiers, in three volumes, can be found in Adobe Acrobat pdf format on the University of Pretoria's web site: Geslacht-register der oude Kaapsche familien (Genealogies of old Cape families)

  • South African Genealogies, compiled by J.A. Heese, edited by R.T.J. Lombard, GISA, 1986 - 2008.
  • They Were South Africans by John Bond

South African Genealogical Societies

South African Genealogical and Historical Societies links and contacts.

  • eGGSA is the virtual branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa. They also have a Facebook page

(Awaiting further contributions)

Starting dates for South African Church Registers

  • Albanie (Riebeeck-East) - 1831 Cape
  • Alexandria - 1854 Cape
  • Aliwal North - 1852 Cape
  • Beaufort West - 1819 Cape
  • Bloemfontein - 1848 Orange Free State
  • Boshoff - 1856 Orange Free State
  • Bredasdorp -1839 Cape
  • Burgersdorp - 1846 Cape
  • Caledon - 1811 Cape
  • Calvinia - 1847 Cape
  • Cape Town - 1665 Cape
  • Clanwilliam - 1826 Cape
  • Colesberg - 1826 Cape
  • Cradock - 1818 Cape
  • Darling - 1853 Cape
  • Drakenstein (Paarl) - 1691
  • Fauresmith - 1848 Orange Free State
  • Fraserburg - 1851 Cape
  • French Hoek - 1845 Cape
  • George - 1813 Cape
  • Glen Lynden (Bedford) - 1829 Cape
  • Graaff Reinet -1792 Cape
  • Harrismith - 1849 Orange Free State
  • Hopefield - 1851 Cape
  • Humansdorp - 1848 Cape
  • Knysna - 1851 Cape
  • Ladismith - 1855 Cape
  • Ladysmith - 1854 Natal
  • Lydenburg - 1850 Transvaal
  • Middelburg (Cape) - 1852
  • Mossel Bay - 1845 Cape
  • Napier - 1848 Cape
  • Oudtshoorn - 1853 Cape
  • Pietermaritzburg - 1839 Natal
  • Pietersburg - 1852 Transvaal
  • Piketberg- 1833 Cape
  • Potchefstroom - 1842 Transvaal
  • Pretoria - 1854 Transvaal
  • Prins Albert - 1842 Cape
  • Richmond - 1843 Cape
  • Rivesdale - 1839 Cape
  • Robertsham - 1853 Natal
  • Roodezand(Tulbach) - 1743 Cape
  • Rustenburg - 1850 Transvaal
  • Smithfield - 1848 Orange Free State
  • Somerset East - 1825 Cape
  • Somerset West - 1825 Cape
  • Springbok (Namakwaland) 1850 Cape
  • Stellenboch - 1686 Cape
  • Swartland (Malmesbury) - 1745 Cape
  • Swellendam - 1798 Cape
  • Tijgerberg (Durbanville) - 1826 Cape
  • Uitenhage - 1817 Cape
  • Utrecht - 1854 Natal
  • Victoria West - 1844 Cape
  • Wellington - 1841 Cape
  • Winburg - 1841 Orange Free State
  • Worcester - 1825 Cape
  • Wynberg - 1829 Cape

Word list – Glossary (Afrikaans to English)

See [http://www.tanap.net/_glossary_KaapDeGoedeHoop/index.html GLOSSARY Resolutions of the Council of Policy of Cape of Good Hope] - early Cape language

  • aan, to
  • aangenome, adopted
  • aangestel, appointed
  • afkoms, descent
  • afstam, descended
  • afstaaeling, descendant
  • afsterwe, died
  • agter, behind
  • albei, both
  • almal, everyone
  • algemene, general
  • ander, other
  • baba, baby
  • naie, many
  • begrawe, buried
  • behalwe, except
  • behoort, belonged to
  • bekende, well known
  • benoem, appointed
  • besetting, occupation
  • Boer, farmer
  • boiu, build
  • broer, brother
  • buite-egtelike, illegitimate
  • burger, citizen
  • by, near/at/with
  • daar, there
  • dag, day
  • derde, third
  • dieselfde, the same
  • dogter, daughter
  • dood, dead, death
  • doop, baptism
  • Duitsland, Germany
  • eers, first/formerly
  • eerst, first
  • eeu, century
  • einaar, owner
  • Engelse, English
  • en, and
  • familielid, relative, relation
  • Frankryk, France
  • Franse, French
  • geboorteplek, birthplace
  • gebore, born
  • gedoop, baptised
  • geen, no
  • gekom, arrived
  • geland, landed
  • geloof, faith
  • gemeente, congregation
  • genoem, called
  • gesin, family
  • geskei, divorced
  • geskiedenis, history
  • geslag, family
  • getroud, married
  • getuie, witness
  • gevlug, escaped
  • godsdiens, religion
  • grootvader, grandfather
  • herkoms, origin
  • hertrou, remarried
  • het, had/had
  • hier, here
  • hierdie, this
  • hom, him
  • hoof, head
  • Hugenoot, Huguenot
  • huis, house
  • hul(le), they
  • huwelik, marriage
  • hy, he
  • Indiese, Indian
  • ingeskeep, embarked
  • ingeskryf registered
  • jaar, year
  • jare, years
  • jongedogter, spinster
  • jongman, bachelor
  • jogste, youngest
  • Joods, Jewish
  • Kaap, Cape
  • Keer terug, returned
  • kerk, church
  • kind, child
  • kinderloos, childless
  • kinders children
  • klein, small/little
  • kleindogter, granddaughter
  • kleinseun, grandson
  • kneg, labourer
  • konsentrasiekamp, concentration camp/burgher camp
  • koop, purchased
  • kort na, shortly after
  • kwartierstaat, table of descent/ancestral chart
  • laaste, latest/last
  • landbou, agriculture
  • landbouer, farmer
  • langs, along
  • lewe, life
  • Lutherse, Lutheran
  • Lutherse kerk, Lutheran church
  • lys, list
  • maand(e), month(s)
  • maar, but
  • matroos, sailor
  • met, with
  • milisie, military
  • moeder, mother
  • moontlik, possible
  • na, to
  • naam, name
  • naby, near
  • nag, night
  • nagelaat, left
  • nageslag, descendants
  • neem deel aan, took part in
  • neef, cousin, nephew
  • nege, nine
  • niggie, cousin/niece
  • nodig, necessary
  • nog, yet
  • noorde, north
  • Noorweë, Norway
  • nou, now
  • nuwe, new
  • onbekend, unknown
  • oneg, illegitimate
  • ongeklassifiseer, unclassified
  • ongetroud, unmarried
  • ontbind, dissolved
  • onwettig, illegal
  • oom, uncle
  • oor, over/ear
  • oorlede, deceased
  • oorleef, survived
  • oorspronklike, original
  • ooste, east
  • op, on
  • oud, former/old
  • ouderdom, age
  • ouderling, elder
  • oudste, eldest
  • ouers, parents
  • ouma, grandmother
  • oupa, grandfather
  • plaas/plase, farm/s
  • pokke, smallpox
  • pos, position
  • reeds, already
  • saam met, together with
  • see, sea
  • seun, son
  • siekte, sickness
  • sien, see
  • skei, divorce; geskei, divorced
  • skip, ship
  • Skotse, Scottish
  • skoondogter – daughter-in-law
  • skoonmoeder – mother-in-law
  • skoonseun, son-in-law
  • skoonvader – father-in-law
  • slaaf – slave
  • soldaat, soldier
  • stamouers, progenitors
  • stamreeks, genealogy in the direct male line
  • sterf, died
  • sterfkennis, death notice
  • suster, sister
  • swaer, brother-in-law
  • sy, hius/she
  • tak(ke), branch(es)
  • tans, today
  • tante, aunt
  • teen, towards
  • teenworgige, present
  • terwyl, while
  • tog, yet
  • tot, till
  • trou, married
  • tussen, between
  • twee, two
  • tweede, second
  • tweede hiwelik, second marriage
  • tyd, time
  • uit, out
  • uitgekom, came out
  • vader, fatgher
  • van, surname
  • van, of
  • vanaf, from/since
  • vandag, tpo=day
  • verder, further
  • verdrink, drowned
  • verlaat, left
  • verlof, leave
  • vermoedelik, probably
  • vermoor, murdered
  • verskillende, different
  • versoek, requested
  • vertrek, departed
  • verwysing, reference
  • vierde, fourth
  • vir, for
  • Vlaander, Flanders
  • vlugleling, refugee
  • volg, followed
  • volgens, according to
  • voor/voordat, before
  • vroeēr, earlier
  • vrou, woman/wife
  • vrygesel, bachelor
  • waar, where
  • waarskynlik, probable
  • wat, what/which
  • weduwee, widow
  • weens, because of
  • weesmeisie, orphan girl
  • wewenaar, widower
  • woon, live
  • word, became

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