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South Africa Cape Province Death Notices

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South Africa > Probate Records > Cape Province 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 Cape were created in 1834. In 1872, a second court was established in Kimberley. Prior to 1994, death notices for the three Cape provinces (Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, and Western Cape) were all created by the Master of the Supreme Court of either Cape Town or Kimberley, under the old Cape Province.

Available Indexes[edit | edit source]

Indexes for these notices are available in paper form or on microfilm at the Family History Library; see the catalog entry here for Cape Town and here for Kimberley.

The South African National Archives have also indexed these records online. To search the death notices, visit the National Archives index page for the Cape Town Archives Repository by clicking here. This index searches all types of records held within the Cape Town Archives Repository; to list only death notices, type in "Death Notice" as one of the search terms for entries before 1917, and "Estate Papers" for 1917 and later. The source (always shown as MOOC), as well as the volume number and reference, are essential in order to obtain a copy of the death notice. The reference should look something like this:

MOOC 6/9/21, 4309 - Matthys Jacobus Greeff, year 1840.

Microfilmed records at the Family History Library[edit | edit source]

These records have been microfilmed through 1950 and are available at the Family History Library; click here for the catalog entry. Death notices on the catalog will be noted with a D.N., followed by the reference number and year.

To find the entry for Matthys Jacobus Greeff, the entry for 1840 reads:

D.N. 4100-6104 1840-1843 Family History Library INTL Film 1281533

Matthys Jacobus Greeff is notice number 4309; the notice would be located on this film.

Online records at[edit | edit source]

Records after 1950 are not found on microfilm. The following years are available online at

1951-1953 are found in the online collection: "Cape Province, Western Cape Archives Records, 1792-1992" under "Cape Town". Some 1951 estate files are located under "Various Towns". See the collection found here.

1962-1971 estate files are found in the online collection "Eastern Cape, Estate Files, 1962-2004"; see the collection found here.

1974 estate files are found in the collection "Western Cape, Estate Files, 1966-2004"; see the collection found here.

Death notices not microfilmed[edit | edit source]

Other but must be obtained in person from the Cape Town Archives Repository in Cape Town, South Africa. They are located at:

Western Cape Provincial Archives and Records Service
72 Roeland Street
Cape Town
South Africa

If you are not able to obtain the record in person, the South Africa National Archives has provided a list of researchers at the link here.