South Africa Probate Records
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Wills and Probates
Research use: Mainly to show relationships and to verify information in church records. Also to provide pedigree connections and names of living children and children’s spouses, which sometimes cannot be found elsewhere.
Probate records : death notices/estate records
Record type: Death notices, wills, probate packets.
Time period: 1834 to present.
Contents: Death notices - name, birth date and place, names of parents, age of deceased, marital status, date and place of death, names of children, and property. Wills - name of testator, residence, heirs, relationships, description of land and property, date of will and probate, signatures of witnesses’ and executors, etc.
Location: Provincial archives and the various masters of the Supreme Court.
Population coverage: 50% of Whites and also many Coloreds, Asians, and Africans.
Reliability: Highly accurate. The records had to be proved in a court of law.
- Forebears South Africa Wills and Probate Records.
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. Prior to 1994, death notices were created under the following five jurisdictions:
Click on the name of the province for more information on the death notices available for that province.
Orphan Chamber Records
Research use: They are mainly used to show relationships and to verify the information found in church records. Valuable in providing pedigree connection and names of living children and children’s spouses that sometimes cannot be found elsewhere.
Record type: Testaments, inventories, Pupillen Register (register of wards - children under the protection of a guardian), and death registers.
Time period: 1689 to 1834.
Contents: Testaments - certified copies of wills. Inventories - inventories of estates of deceased persons. Pupillen Register - full names of wards and their parents, birth dates, and who the ward married. Death registers - name of deceased, occupation, place of birth, burial and death; age.
Location: Cape Archives, 62 Queen Victoria Street,Cape Town, South Africa.
Population coverage: 50% of White population.
Reliability: Highly accurate. The records were recorded in a court of law.
- 1869 - 1958 - South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court, 1869-1958 at FamilySearch — index and images
- The Family History Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, “Family History Record Profile: Southern Africa,” Word document, private files of the FamilySearch Content Strategy Team, 1987-1998.