South Africa Vital Records Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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|This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.|
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|Record Type:||Vital Records Index|
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|Genealogical Society of Utah|
What is in the Collection?
This index covers events from 1845 through 1894.
This index is not complete for any particular place, region or time period. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.
- Family Records
- Church Records
- Civil Registration
It may also include indexes generated by the internet indexing project sponsored by the LDS Church.
There may be entries that cite a specific source such as the following:
- "Vital Record of Rhode Island, 1636-1850: a Family Register for the People" by James Arnold
- "Paul Dingwell Genealogical Collection" by Paul Dingwell
- A county or state vital record registration
These entries are in this collection for one of the following reasons:
- They were submitted by private individuals to the LDS Church and as such are part of the IGI resulting in their inclusion in this index.
- They have been indexed through the internet indexing project sponsored by the LDS Church. If this is the case, the index they are a part of has been included as part of this database.
The Vital Record Index databases are not necessarily intended to index any specific set of records although some sub-indexes (an index to a set of records within the database) have been found. When we identify a sub-index, we remove it from the database and post it separately on FamilySearch under its appropriate title.
This index is not complete for any particular place or region.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsored the indexing of this collection to help individuals find information about their ancestors.
Church records and civil registration were official records and are some of the most reliable sources of information available for those who were born, married, or died in South Africa.
For over 30 years, volunteer indexers extracted this information from microfilm copies of the original records. This index is an index of the births or christenings; marriages; and deaths or burials throughout South Africa. The index is not necessarily complete for any particular place or region.
Birth or christening index entries may contain the following information:
Marriage index entries may contain the following information:
Death or burial index entries may contain the following information:
How Do I Search the Collection?
Use this index to help you learn more about your ancestors. The information could help you identify family relationships and lineages as well as direct you to original records of your ancestors, which may contain additional information.
In birth or christening records, if a surname is not listed for the child, the indexer often assigns the father’s surname to the child. This surname may not be correct. So if you are looking for a birth or christening, search by the given name of the child, adding parents' names and as much locality information as is permitted.
Each entry in this index has a source listed which includes a batch number. You will need to trace the batch number for the individual entry to learn its source. Please see the following wiki articles for more information on batch numbers:
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.
- "South Aftica Vital Records Index," index, "FamilySearch" (https://www.familysearch.org). Index based on the International Genealogical Index, Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah. FHL digital index. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
| 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.