South Africa, Cape Province, Civil Deaths (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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South Africa

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South Africa, Cape Province, Civil Deaths, 1895-1972 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Cape Province, South Africa
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Flag of South Africa
ZA Locator Map South Africa Cape Province.png
Location of Cape Province, South Africa
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Record Description
Record Type: Civil Deaths
Collection years: 1895-1972
Languages: Afrikaans, English
Title in the Language: Suid-Afrika, Kaap Provinsie, Siviele Sterftes
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
National Archives, Pretoria


What is in the Collection?

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.

Civil registration records such as birth, marriages, and deaths are recorded for vital statistics and to better serve public health needs. 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.

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. 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.

General Information about Cape Province

The Union of South Africa was established in 1910 by combining four British colonies into four original provinces of the Union: Cape Province, Transvaal Province, Natal Province and Orange Free State Province. In 1994 all of these provinces were dissolved and the current nine new provinces were established. The Cape Province was broken up into three smaller provinces: the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Northern Cape. Parts of it were also absorbed into the North West.

Reading these Records

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, Cape Province, Civil Deaths, 1895-1972.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

Death records usually contain the following information:

  • Name, age and gender of deceased
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death and duration of illness
  • Race and residence
  • Occupation and marital status at time of death
  • Intended place of burial
  • Name of informant and their residence
  • Medical Man's (Practitioner's) Name
  • Date and place of registration

Collection Contents

Sample Image

Click on image for a larger view.

How Do I Search the Collection?

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

  • Name of the person you are looking for
  • Approximate year of 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 "Year"
2. Select the appropriate "Municipality or Municipality Range" 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?

Civil registration gives important information about an individual, including personal details that may also help in finding other ancestors of the same family. If you have found the record of your ancestor, the following information can aid you in your research:

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find or verify their birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents (if the deceased is a child) to locate church and land records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, Church Records may be more useful.
  • 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 nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names.
  • Check for a different index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.

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 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

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection citation:

"South Africa, Cape Province, Civil Deaths, 1895-1972." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Department of the Interior, Registrar of Births, Marriages, and Deaths. National Archives, Pretoria.

Record citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for South Africa, Cape Province, Civil Deaths, 1895-1972.


Image citation:

The image citation is available by clicking 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, Cape Province, Civil Deaths, 1895-1972.


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