South Africa Civil Registration

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Dates of Registration

The following table lists the approximate commencement dates for registering births, marriages, and deaths:

Province Births Marriages Deaths
Cape 1895 1700 1895
Natal 1868 1845 1888
Transvaal 1901 1870 1901
Orange Free State 1903 1848 1903
South-West Africa (Namibia) 1913 1908 1913

Marriages

Marriage records are also very valuable in South African genealogical research. Marriage records provide the following information:

  • Date when the marriage occurred
  • Full names, marital status (single or widowed) and places of birth for both the bride and groom
  • Full names, and places of birth for the parents of the bride and groom

Matrimonial court records

Research use: Helpful for pedigree linkage because of additional information given on the registers. Also includes information on marriages not recorded in the parish register, especially when the parish register is missing. They may also give an indication of the actual marriage place which otherwise could not be found without extensive searching.

Record type: Marriage records of banns.

Time period: 1794 to 1906.

Contents: Permission to have banns called; register of permissions granted: names, ages, residence, written consent of parents, birthplace, religion, marital status, occupation of bridegroom.

Location: Cape archives and magistrate’s offices where local matrimonial courts were held.

Percentage in Family History Library: 100%.

Population coverage: 75% of White population.

Reliability: Very good.[1]

Online

  • Civil registration (marriages), Natal, 1845-1899
  • Civil registration (marriages), Transvaal, 1861-1899
  • Civil registration (marriages), Orange Free State, 1848-1899

References

  1. 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.