Keeping up with the updates on FamilySearch

Site updates 10 dec 2013

Methodist Parish Registers :  The number of indexed records for this collection increased from 18 726 to 63 475

Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers : No additional images were added to this collection.  It seems that some registers may have been moved and the descriptions changed/corrected.


Site updates 5 nov 2013

A new collection was added to the site :  South Africa, Western Cape, Estate Files, 1966-2004

Estate files for 1974 were uploaded.  73456 images have been made available and it appears that the full contents of the files have been digitised.

The orginal estate files are housed at the Master of the Supreme Court offices in Cape Town.  

Indexes of the files kept at the Masters' offices around South Africa are availabe online through the Maseti project. These indexes are however not very easy to navigate and search.  

I have extracted and re-organised the 1974 Cape Town Index and uploaded it to this site.  Due to privacy laws here in the Netherlands, I am not publically publishing this index.   

You are however welcome to register as a site user to access the indexes.  Please use the "Login/Logout" menu option above to register.   In registering as a user, you agree to use the indexes for personal research purposes only and not to publish them in any form.



The Cape Province Civil Death records collection has been added to the indexing project!

For anyone wanting to contribute to indexing South African records, the familysearch site have added the Cape civil death registration certificates 1895- to their indexing project

Folks are given 10 certificates at a time to index and the following information is extracted :

Given Names  ,  Surname ,  Sex  ,   Usual place of residence  ,   Age  ,   Death day  ,   Death month  ,  Death year

The simple indexing program can be downloaded here :

Fun, easy and a great, free resource for anyone interested in family history - why not give it a try !





Site update 19 apr 2013

The familysearch site underwent a design and layout rework during the last week. Fortunately all datasets are still available.  To find the collections for Africa : Click on the Search Icon on the home page > click on the "Search historical records" button > Scroll down to browse by location "Africa"

In addition the site indicates that there was an update to the dataset "Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers 1850-2004" (Anglican church).    An additional 161 images were added to this record set.   I have been unable, as yet, to pinpoint exactly where these images (probably one register / set of images) were added

Thanks to Marco Graf for pointing out that the 161 images added are for the register : Cape Town, Wynberg, St Johns, Baptisms 1849 - 1896


Site update 22 feb 2013

New images were added to a number of existing collections.   The searchable database, where images are linked to information, does not seem to have been added to.


"Eastern Cape, Estate Files, 1962 - 2004"

Approx. 58,000 images were added to this collection.   File nrs. 789 - 2746 were added for 1962, which now looks to be complete. File nrs. 1 - 1460 were added for 1963.    

After unkowningly duplicating our efforts on the first batch of 1962 files, Gwyn Thomas and I are collaborating and working our way through the remainder of the 1962 files, after which we will start on the 1963 files.  Watch this space or her site  for updates of the Eastern Cape Estate File Indexes

 Finding 1951 Cape Province Estate Files using the NAAIRS database and familysearch

Familysearch has uploaded the majority of the 1951 Cape Province Estate files.  These files are indexed on the Naairs database but you will have to do a little detective work to find the information you might want.

The 1951 Estate files have been uploaded to the familysearch site by VOLUME number, with a volume containing a number of files.  Note that there are some volumes missing, but here is hoping that your file is one of the ones that is available! :-)  You can find the volumes in 2 different folders on the familysearch site 

In the collection "South Africa, Western Cape Archives Records 1796 - 1992" you will find folders entitled "Cape Town" and "Various Towns".  Search through these to folders to find the volume and file number you are interested in (found on the NAAIRS database - HERE)  

You can search the NAAIRS database by surname, with the beginning and ending date as 1951 and another search term "Estate", to filter out the 1951 estate files.  Alternatively, if you're more experienced with NAAIRS, you could browse through all the 1951 estate files and note all names you might be interested in.    Holding thumbs you'll run into yours!!

Finding 1952 Cape Province Estate Files

306 Files for 1952 were uploaded to familysearch.   More details and an index of these files HERE



Site updates 5 & 9 dec 2012

"Eastern Cape, Estate Files 1962 -  2004"

This data set is a new addition to the South African records collection.  10 749 images of the contents of 788 estate files were uploaded.  The original Estate files are currently held at the Master's Office in Grahamstown.  

This data set has not been indexed, or included in a current indexing project, by the familysearch folks. 

To help locate records in the meantime there is an index in progress, available under "Recently Added Indexes" on this site.

"Western Cape Archives, 1796-1922"

The following registers / images were added to this data set :

Aliwal North  Marriage Index Registers 1894-1970

Barkly East Marriage Registers from 1884 - 1971

Burgersdorp  Marriage Registers 1864 - 1972

Cape Town  Marriage records 1924-1926 and an additional 366 volumes of Estate Files from 1951 and 3 volumes from 1952.   These additional estate files are part of the same series of records uploaded under the section "Various Towns".  I'm updating the 1951 index this week to include the file images to be found under the "Cape Town" section.

Dordrecht  Marriages 1885 - 1955

Graaff Reinet  Marriages 1867 - 1883 and additional Tax Rolls

Hankey  Marriages 1956 - 1969

Idwe  Marriages 1905 - 1955

King Williams Town Marriages 1963 - 1972

Komgha Marriages 1878 - 1936

Maclear Marriages 1893 - 1955

Queenstown Marriages 1951 - 1969

Stellenbosch Tax rolls volumes J-241 & J-295

Steynsburg Marriages 1889 - 1971

Stutterheim Marriages 1880 - 1972

Swellendam Tax Roll volume J-123

Willomore Marriages 1883 - 1971




Site update 30 nov 2012 "Orange Free State, Estate Files, 1951 - 2006"

A large number of images were added to this data set, bringing the total number of images available to browse to more that 3 million!  

No additional records have been indexed and linked to the search function.  When the data was first made available there were approximately 16000 files that seemed to have been indexed and linked to the search function, mainly from the years 1958 - 1965.  

If anyone is aware of an index available for the rest of these records (held at the Master's Office in Bloemfontein) I'd be happy to host it here,  to help others find the information they might need.  In complaince with privacy laws here in the Netherlands I could only include information for deaths up to, and including, 1963. 

I have extracted a partial index of the 1951 files.  You can browse that HERE.  I will show updates of that index in this news feed.


The index is complete and can be browsed HERE 



Site update 9 nov 2012 "Free State Dutch Reformed Church Records, 1848-1956"

DRC Bloem smaller

The busy people involved in the Familysearch indexing project, have transcribed, indexed and updated the database for this record set.  This means that you get to search more records with ease and view the original image with a single mouse click. Yay for this resource!

Marriages have been transcribed and linked up to, and including, 1937.  Later marriage records are available to browse, but are not searchable.

You can search these records by clicking HERE

The original registers for the Dutch Reformed Churches of the Orange Free State are archived at the NG Kerk Archiewe in Bloemfontein.


Below is a table showing the registers included in this section. 

Town / Area Marriages Baptisms   Town / Area Marriages Baptisms
Bethlehem 1869-1899, 1902-1947 Heilbron 1888-1900, 1902-1929
Bethulie 1864-1922 Kroonstad 1874-1939
Bloemfontein 1870-1908, 1919-1945 1865-1911 Ladybrand 1870-1926 1895-1929
Bloemfontein-Noord 1935-1946 Lindley 1902-1939
Boshof 1878-1937 Parys 1910-1946
Brandfort 1901-1934 Reddersburg 1859-1900, 1902-1954 1861-1900
Dewetsdorp 1905-1949 Reitz 1909-1932
Fauresmith 1871-1900, 1902-1905 Senekal 1903-1951
Frankfort 1912-1942 Smithfield 1850-1857, 1861-1876
Harrismith 1891-1929 Zastron 1894-1900, 1902-1952