South Africa, Cape Province, Civil Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: South Africa, Cape Province, Civil Deaths, 1895-1972 .
Title in the Language of the Records
Suid-Afrika, Kaap Provinsie, Siviele Sterftes
This collection includes death records that cover the years 1895-1972.
Entries are generally in chronological order and are usually grouped alphabetically by locality. In many cases, the English name rather than the preferred Afrikaans name is used to maintain alphabetical sequence. However, some records are filed out of alphabetical order. Most of the records are handwritten in English.
In South Africa, the National Archives holds records of births, marriages, and deaths on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs. The Registration of births and deaths was made compulsory in 1894 and began in 1895. Indexes and registers are available up to the early 1970s.
Compulsory civil registration began at different dates for the various parts of South Africa. For Cape Province, the birth and death records start with the year 1895 and the marriage records start in 1840. In Cape Province, provision was made for voluntary registering of births from 1880.
The National Archives of South Africa is the main repository of documents created before 1956. The National Archives has a number of repositories scattered throughout the country; the one for Cape Province is located in Cape Town (Western Cape).
The Department of Home Affairs maintains the records of births, marriages, and deaths, but the physical records are not accessible to the public for research purposes. To access information, you must apply in writing to the Department of Home Affairs and give exact information about the event.
Civil registration records such as birth, marriages, and deaths are recorded for vital statistics and to better serve public health needs.
For a list of records by dates and localities currently published in this collection, select the Browselink from the collection landing page.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information for collections published in FamilySearch.org. Source citations include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "South Africa, Cape Province, Civil Deaths, 1895-1972."Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Department of the Interior, Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths. National Archives, Pretoria.
Death records usually contain the following information:
- Full name, age and gender of deceased
- Date and place of death
- Cause of death and duration of illness
- Race or nationality, and place of residence
- Occupation and marital status at time of death
- Intended place of burial
- Name of informant and their residence
- Sometimes, the names of parents
- Date and place of registration
How to Use the Record
To begin your search, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:
- Name of deceased
- Approximate year of death
Search the Collection
To search the collection image by image
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒Select the appropriate "Year"
⇒Select the appropriate "Municipality or Municipality Range" 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. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
Using the Information
If you have found the record of your ancestor, the following information can aid you in your research:
- Use the age to calculate the year of birth
- The place of residence may help you determine if that is the place your ancestor was born.
- The place of residence may help you know where to find other relatives of the deceased person.
General Information About These Records
Civil registration gives important information about an individual, including personal details that may also help in finding other ancestors of the same family.
Known Issues with This Collection
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the "Show Citation" box: South Africa, Cape Province, Civil Deaths, 1895-1972
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