South Africa, Eastern Cape, Estate Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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South Africa, Eastern Cape, Estate Files, 1962-2004 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Eastern Cape, South Africa
800px-Flag of South Africa.svg.png
Flag of South Africa
ZA Locator Map South Africa Eastern Cape.png
Location of Eastern Cape, South Africa
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Record Description
Record Type: Estate Files
Collection years: 1962-2004
Languages: Afrikaans
Title in the Languages: Suid-Afrika, Oos-Kaap, Boedel Lêers
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Grahamstown


What is in the Collection?

This collection contains records for the years 1962-2004.

The records include images of copies of primary genealogical records such as death notices, marriage certificates, birth certificates, and wills, from the probate estate files located in the Master of the High Court Offices in Grahamstown. This collection is being published as images become available.

For a list of records by dates and file number currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Sample Images

Click on images for a larger view.

The estate file records in this collection may contain the following information:

  • Name and age of deceased
  • Birthplace and nationality of deceased
  • Names of parents
  • Date and place of death
  • Occupation and marital status of deceased
  • Name of spouse and death date if deceased

How Do I Search the Collection?

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

  • Name of ancestor
  • Approximate year of death

To search the collection image by image:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒Select the appropriate "Year"
⇒Select the appropriate "File Number" which will take you to the images

Search the collection by image 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.

As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.

When you have found the ancestor that you are looking for, the following will help you further your research:

  • Use the ages on the marriage or death records to calculate a birth year for the bride and groom. This will make it easier for you to find the names of the parents for your ancestor.
  • The marriage place may be the birth place for the bride or groom. To find this, calculate the ages to get both of their birth years (bride and groom), and search for the bride and groom’s birthplaces with the birth year that you have found.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the age in the citizen to find an approximate birth year to begin your search in church or civil records.
  • Continue to search the records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives who may have moved, been recruited or lived nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify. Compile the entries for every person who has the same surname; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. This compiled list can help you identify possible relations that can be further verified by researching vital records indexes in the country.
  • When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. You should also look for leads to other records about your ancestors.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

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

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, either Civil Registration records or Church Records may be more useful.
  • While searching, it is helpful to know such information as the ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as an ancestor and that the ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
  • Keep in mind that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • 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. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of local genealogical societies.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one record to another.
  • Be aware that there may have been some transcription errors.

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, Eastern Cape, Estate Files, 1962-2004." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Grahamstown, South Africa.

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, Eastern Cape, Estate Files, 1962-2004.

How You Can Contribute

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.