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South Africa, Methodist Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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South Africa

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South Africa, Methodist Parish Registers, 1822-1996
This article describes a collection of records at
South Africa
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Record Description
Record Type: Methodist Parish Registers
Collection years: 1822-1996
Languages: Afrikaans, English
Title in the Language: Suid-Afrika, Strata gemeente Registers
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Methodist Church of Southern Africa

What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection of parish records from the Methodist Church in South Africa covers the years 1822 to 1996, and includes images of baptisms, marriages, and burials from several towns in South Africa. These records are written in Afrikaans and English. See the section For Help Reading these Records for translation helps.

Methodism arrived in South Africa with British soldiers in 1806, but the mission was launched by Barnabas Shaw, who reached the Cape in 1816, and William Shaw (unrelated), who accompanied the British settlers of 1820. Barnabas Shaw established a mission among the Khoi at Leliefontein in Namaqualand, and colleagues ventured across the Orange River into present-day Namibia and what are now the northern provinces of South Africa. William Shaw established Methodism throughout the British settlement in Albany and rapidly planted a chain of mission stations between the Cape Colony and Natal. In the late nineteenth century, missionary work was extended into the gold-mining area in Gauteng and north through modern Limpopo into Zimbabwe. Six missionary districts of the Wesleyan Methodist church became an affiliated conference in 1883. An independent conference was constituted in 1927 and enlarged in 1931 to include the Transvaal Missionary District of the British Conference and the small Primitive Methodist Mission.

Church records include important vital information, which can also help identify other ancestors. The civil registration records can be researched also after 1895.

These parish records were created to record the events of baptisms, marriages, and burials for the members of the Methodist Church in South Africa, and are a reliable source for doing genealogical research in South Africa.

Reading These Records[edit | edit source]

These records are in Afrikaans and English. For help reading these records see the following guides:

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for South Africa, Methodist Parish Registers, 1822-1996.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:


  • Date and place of baptism
  • Name and gender of child
  • Parents’ names, including maiden name of mother
  • Parents’ residence
  • Child's age or date of birth
  • Name of person who solemnized baptism


  • Date and place of marriage
  • Full name and age of groom
  • Groom's marital status, occupation and residence
  • Full name and age of bride
  • Bride's marital status, occupation and residence
  • Marriage by license or banns
  • Names of person(s) giving consent for the marriage
  • Names of witnesses


  • Name and age of deceased
  • Residence of deceased
  • Date and place of interment
  • Name of person presiding at interment

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Coverage Table[edit | edit source]

The collection contains records from the following locations:

Province Municipality Record Type Year Range
Cape of Good Hope Aberdeen Baptism 1895-1940
Marriage 1895-1968
Death 1897-1968
Albany Baptism 1844-1868
Alexandria Baptism 1961-1987
Marriage 1956-1982
Aliwal North Baptism 1871-1911
Marriage 1871-1929
Barkly West Marriage 1908-1923
Bathurst Baptism 1868-1954
Marriage 1843-1894
Marriage 1925-1971
Beaconsfield Baptism 1880-1972
Marriage 1880-1971
Beaufort West Baptism 1859-1944
Marriage 1860-1953
Bellville Marriage 1956-1971
Bergvliet Baptism 1955-1996
Buntingville Baptism 1840-1881
Baptism 1965-1968
Marriage 1837-1880
Butterworth Baptism 1898-1904
Marriage 1899-1975
Cathcart Baptism 1880-1983
Marriage 1880-1973
Death 1880-1900
Clarkebury Marriage 1905-1922
Clumber Death 1836-1988
Cradock Baptism 1924-1991
Marriage 1929-1985
Dordrecht Baptism 1907-1915
East London Baptism 1877-1949
Death 1884-1940
Grahamstown Baptism 1826-1930
Marriage 1904-1971
Death 1895-1971
Griqualand West Baptism 1881-1891
Indwe Marriage 1908-1915
Klip River Location Baptism 1894-1907
Marriage 1897-1911
Platberg Baptism 1840-1851
Natal Durban Baptism 1842-1908
Baptism 1911-1993
Marriage 1847-1972
Orange Free State Odendaalsrus Death 1970
Vredefort Baptism 1860-1920
Welkom Death 1969-1970
Transvaal Alexandra Baptism 1932-1947
Barberton Baptism 1887-1970
Marriage 1888-1972
Death 1915-1968
Death 1975-1981
Denver Baptism 1887-1970
Marriage 1888-1972
Death 1915-1968
Death 1975-1981
Lydenburg Baptism 1905-1968
Wakkerstroom Marriage 1940-1952

How Do I Search the Collection?[edit | edit source]

You can search the index or view the images or both. Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page

  1. Select Country
  2. Select Province
  3. Select Municipality or Town
  4. Select Record Type and Years to view the images

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • 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 the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Switch to a different record collection. Depending on the time period, Civil Registration 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
  • 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[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

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 Historical Records.

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