South Africa Orange Free State Death Notices
Death notices are essential documents for research in South Africa. These important documents typically supply age, date, and place of death, whether married nor not, names of children, and, if known, the names of the parents of the deceased, so are of great value.
Death notices were held under the jurisdiction for which they were created. The first death notices in the Orange Free State were created in 1832. Prior to 1994, death notices for Free State were all created by the Master of the Supreme Court of the old Orange Free State.
Indexes for these notices are available in paper form or on microfilm at the Family History Library; see the catalog entry here.
The South African National Archives have also indexed these records online. To search the death notices, visit the National Archives index page for the Free State Archives Repository by clicking here. This index searches all types of records held within the Free State Archives Repository; to list only death notices and estates, type in "MHG" as one of the search terms for entries. The volume number and reference are essential in order to find a copy of the death notice and estate record. The reference should look something like this:
MHG B208, Rudolf Marthinus Brits, year 1868
Prior to 1922, death notices and estates for the Orange Free State were filed by first letter of the surname (which may be the married or maiden name for women); their reference numbers, such as the case above, include a letter followed by the file number. Starting in 1922, the death notices were filed strictly numerically.
Microfilmed records at the Family History Library
These records have been microfilmed through 1950 and are available at the Family History Library; click here for the catalog entry. Death notices prior to 1922 in the catalog will be by the letter of the alphabet, followed by the file number and year. To find the film for Rudolf Marthinus Brits, The entry for 1868 reads:
B 128-247 1864-1871, Film 1367688
Rudolf Marthinus Brits is notice number 208 in the letter B; the notice would be located on this film.
For notices in 1922 and after, the catalog lists them strictly numerically. In the Orange Free State, the numbers are not re-used.
Online records at FamilySearch.org
Records after 1950 have been digitized and are available at FamilySearch.org. For more information on post 1950 death notices and estate records, see the article South Africa, Orange Free State, Estate Files (FamilySearch Historical Records) here.