Church registers

This guide was last updated in 2010

Church records can be extremely useful when looking for vital records on your ancestors that do not appear in civil registration. Sometimes these will be the only record that one of your ancestors existed.

Church records in South Africa are stored around the country and are not consistent to the province in which they originated. Anglican Church records are either housed at the Anglican Church Archives at Witwatersrand University in Gauteng (Transvaal), or in their own parishes. 

The majority of Methodist Church registers can be found at the Cory Library in Grahamstown. Other denominational records such as Baptist, Presbyterian, Jewish and Congregational records can also be found here. Websites have already started their roll out of online Anglican Church records.

WATCH OUT: Many English people were baptised and married in the Dutch Reformed Churches before any English churches were founded in South Africa - and so the records will be in Dutch.

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