A Death Notice is the official documentation handed to the Master of the High Court whose office has jurisdiction over the estate. It is used for informing the Master whether the deceased had assets, property or possessions to be passed on to heirs or claimants such as creditors, providing names of potential heirs, supplying the Master with details of where the deceased resided at the time of death and informing the Master whether the person reporting on the death is qualified to do so.
Death notices as we know them today only came into existence in 1834 and sometimes it took several years until someone filled it in. However there were also death notices earlier than 1834 for slaves which appear in the deeds office as slaves were listed as property and not people. These early death notices can be found under the following references in the Cape Town Archives:
KAB MOOC 6/1 Vol 3 (year 1758 – 1796)
KAB MOOC 6/2 (year 1797 – 1821)
KAB MOOC 6/3 Volume 4 (year 1822 – 1833).
One must bear in mind that when a person dies, the family is distraught and one of the members of the family will normally be the person filling in the Death Notice.
Sometimes the death notice states a female’s surname as her maiden name (especially in Afrikaans families), even though she is married. People also tended to lie about their ages or sometimes do not know when and where they were born. Please remember that a death notice could either be perfect, semi-perfect or completely inaccurate and could send you on the wrong trail in tracing your ancestors. Make sure that you have other resources to complement and verify this information.
Please remember that a Death Notice is completely different to a Death Certificate and should not be confused. Death Notices and Death Certificates are generally found within a deceased persons Estate Papers.
Please post enquiries and questions to our forum board.
If any member of the public or organisation wishes to take photographs of documents from The Cape Town Archives, permission is needed and an application form needs to be filled in.
This application covers the following areas:
1. Film And Photograph Archival Records At The Western Cape Archives And Records Service, And / Or
2. Single / One-Time Use Of The Image(S) For Publishing, Transmission Or Broad-Casting, Or
3. Reproduce Images Of Archival Records Already In Your Possession.
Please note that a completed application form must accompany all requests to film or photograph records or activities at the Western Cape Archives and Records Service. Application forms must be filled out in pen. This application form must be accompanied by the following supporting documentation:
1. A covering letter on letterhead stationary explaining in detail the reason(s) for your wish to film or photograph records or activities at the Western Cape Archives and Records Service.
2. A list of the archival records you wish to film or photograph. You must supply the archival reference numbers for these records.
3. A clear photocopy of either: your South African bar-coded identity book; your passport (the “face page”); or, your South African driver’s license.
Please consult the Western Cape Archives and Records Service’s reference document, or contact the Archives regarding information about other criteria that may apply to your application.
Please submit your application as early as possible. Applications will require a minimum of two weeks for consideration and processing.
Contact Details of Cape Town Archives
Postal address: Private Bag X9025, CAPE TOWN 8000
Street address: 72 Roeland Street, CAPE TOWN
Tel: (021) 466 8100. Fax: (021) 465 2960
Archives@pgwc.gov.za (for General Correspondence)
Records@pgwc.gov.za (for Records Management enquiries)
Readroom@pgwc.gov.za (Reading Room Enquiries)
Outreach@pgwc.gov.za (Outreach Activities)
As an adopted child in South Africa and having very little information about my birth parents and my adoption, meant that tracing my ancestors and living relatives was proving to be impossible.
Before 1987, the Social Welfare Services would not divulge any information whatsoever to an adoptee about the circumstances of his/her adoption – even if the adoptee was over the age of 21! Now things have changed and Ancestry24 helped me. Even if one has the most wonderful adoptive parents and a very happy childhood (as I did) there is a fundamental need and a natural curiosity to find out about one’s background.
A lack of knowledge about one’s background is unsettling. It doesn’t sit well in one’s psyche, and it affects one’s sense of identity.
One’s sense of identity is made up of so many things – your childhood experiences, you family dynamics, your education, your friends, the choices you make and the paths you go down through your life. It is like a jigsaw puzzle, with lots of pieces, that becomes larger and more complex as you get older. When you are an adoptee, there is a piece of one’s identity jigsaw that is missing. The picture is worryingly incomplete. And the piece that is missing is a significant one as it is right in the middle of the jigsaw. Weeks can go by when you don’t think about it at all. But every now and then, it surfaces into your consciousness and is disturbing.
I had recently watched the TV series of ‘Who do you think you are?’ with great interest. The message that comes through loud and clear is that tracing one’s ancestors is an enthralling and deeply fascinating exercise. Ancestry24 provided me with the necessary tools to help me achieve this – knowing some names of relatives and birth dates can help you with your search.
I began actively searching for my birth mother in 1989. The adoption laws in South Africa had changed, but not so in Zimbabwe where my adoption took place. The Social Welfare Services in Harare were immovable in my request for information about my natural mother and the circumstances of my adoption. Letters were written and phone calls were made, but to no avail. We did not have the power of the internet in those days, and the postal system in Zimbabwe was dire.
I decided to approach the Child Welfare Adoption Centre to see if they could help me. A report to the International Social Services in Geneva was written to ask them to intervene on my behalf. It took two years for the Adoption Authorities in Zimbabwe to release information to a social worker giving details of my mother’s name, birth date, and last known address. At the age of 42, I finally knew my mother’s identity. It was mind blowing, but unfortunately, this small amount of knowledge didn’t seem to help me very much.
I wish that I had kept a diary of all the avenues I went down in my search for my birth mother, and all the blank walls that I hit. I have lost count of all the letters that I wrote and the phone calls that I made. We now had the internet to help me in my search, but nothing came to light. Life was busy, and the years went by. Fourteen of them! I had almost resigned myself to the fact that I was not meant to find her. So much time had elapsed since my adoption and it was very possible that my birth mother had died. I thought about my mother on what would have been her 87th birthday in July, but nothing could have prepared me for what happened in the next few days. Fate intervened and took me totally by surprise.
Using simple methods + records
Fate came in the form of Heather MacAlister of Ancestry24. She gave me some excellent and simple advice: “Ask the neighbours”. In other words, ask the people who lived on the same street as my birth mother if they remembered her, and if she still lived in the same town. From this point on, things moved very quickly, thanks to the awesome power of Google. Phone calls were made, new facts emerged, and finally, the estate records of my natural mother were called up using Ancestry24.com Government Gazette records. She had indeed died, but at the bottom of the record was the name of her daughter, and my half-sister. My search of 21 years was finally over.
Since then, I have made contact with my half-sister, my half-brother, and a cousin and an aunt. They have unhesitatingly welcomed me into the family, and given me all sorts of information about my other relatives (hoards of them!) and my ancestors. Aesthetics have always been important to me, but I have never known the reason why. I have learnt that creativity and artistic ability are very strong traits in my family. I am now in a position to use Ancestry24.com to draw up a family tree and I can’t wait to do it! I now have closure on a matter that has been troubling me for years, and my identity jigsaw puzzle is now complete.
Did you know that a creating a blog is like being a journalist for your own newspaper and reporting and telling stories about you and your family? And Forums is where you post queries and ask for help like the classified section of the newspaper.
Our Forums have 13 different categories such as Adoption, Cape Slavery, Cemeteries, Contributions Q + A, Desperately Seeking, DNA, General Topics, Heraldry, Genealogy Software, Reunions, Immigration to South Africa and Military And Naval. Each one of these categories has been carefully selected as to the most common questions asked by family historians and genealogists.
Our Desperately Seeking Forum is by far the most popular forum and the one that gets the most visits by people searching for family names and lost relatives on the internet. What a better time than now to start posting your questions on our forum board. These boards also create a springboard to our members listingwhere you can connect with other users and send private emails to them and share your information. This is also a great way to see who is online when you are.
This is where you the user write your family history or story and create your news articles pertaining to your family. Your story can either be written daily like a diary, weekly or monthly. The key to a successful blog is to keep updating it as the more you write the more interest and captive audience you will receive. You can read some of our regular bloggers pages like Daniel Jacobs’s Stories, Die Stemmet’s and Our Heritage,
If you are a regular blogger and want your blog featured on our front page, we would love to hear from you. Please email us now.
You can have as many blogs as you like as long as they are not asking questions or for help or they are not left empty.
The story starts when thousands of Jews were trying to flee Nazi persecution in Europe around 1940. About 1,600 Jewish refugees escaped Europe by boat and when they reached Haifa, Israel, they were not allowed to stay but were deported to the island of Mauritius by the British.
They arrived on island on December 27, 1940 and were taken to Beau Bassin prison where the men were separated from their wives and children who were placed in barracks. They were deprived of all basic human rights.
On January 11, 1941 the Jewish community of South Africa tried to assist in improving the conditions of the refugees but the Colonial Office took a clear stand against it.
When many became sick and died because of the poor conditions a plot of ground at one end of the St Martin Cemetery in Petite-Rivi`ere became the Jewish Cemetery.
The Zionist Association of Mauritius (ZAM) wrote to the Maccabi, a Jewish club of Cape Town, asking for books and Jewish newspapers. This letter was published in the South African Jewish Chronicle. There was a huge response from South Africa and 10 cases of books and magazines, as well as 60 cases of clothing were sent to the camp. This shipment was followed by others on a monthly basis.
The Jewish organisations in South Africa took an interest in the detainees and announced their intention to send a delegation to Mauritius to meet the refugees and have a first-hand look at the conditions in the camp. Reluctance was shown by the Colonial office. The Chief Rabbi appointed Mr. Birger, the only Mauritian Jew on the island to be the representative between South Africa and the detainees.
On August 11, 1945 the detainees left Mauritius on board the Franconia. They were worried what would happen to the Jewish cemetery. The government of Mauritius decided to transfer the property to the South African Board of Deputies. Over time the poor quality stone eroded because of the bad weather and it was also knocked over by cyclones. Today this cemetery is in a very good condition. Donations were sent and it was restored by the South African Board of Deputies and the United Jewish Appeal and also the Birger family in Mauritius. Mr. Jacques Desmarais maintained the cemetery at his own expense out of a sense of idealism.
By Anette Lenk
Stamvader: Floris Slabbert, van Aagtekerke in Seeland (Nederland). Kom in 1699 hier aan. Trou met Huibrecht Jasperse, van Nederland (7 kinders).
Wapen: Charles Bell gee in sy manuskrip ‘n afbeelding van ‘n helmteken met die datum 1750 (afb. 261). Dit is ‘n griffioen wat uit ‘n wrong oprys. In dié geval sou die wapenskild dan ‘n klimmende griffioen kon gewees het. Ca. 1946 is die volgende wapen blykbaar nuut ontwerp, want die herkoms is onbekend: Gedeel: I in goud ‘n omgewende klimmende leeu van rooi; II in blou ‘n boom op ‘n grasgrond vergesel van twee toegewende klimmende leeus van silwer, met rooi kloue en tong, teen die stam. Oor alles heen in die skildhoof ‘n rooi hart.
Kyk na Frederick Van Zyl Slabberts se profile.
Is jy verwant aan die Slabbert gesin? Gebruik ons soekenjin om meer inligting te vind.
The Western Cape Archives and Records Service invites you to join our celebration of National Archives Week at the Western Cape Archives and Records Service, located at 72 Roeland Street, Cape Town. National Archives Week offers a great opportunity for everyone to visit the archives and to learn about the importance of preserving our documented memory and its impact on our daily lives.
The special program for National Archives Week will run every day from Monday to Friday 08:00 – 15:00. The activities include guided tours of the building, video shows and exhibitions. The duration of the visit, which includes a tour of the building, will take approximately an hour.
In addition to the tours, a two-day workshop on paste paper making and basic bookbinding will be offered (17 – 18 May 2010); and the very popular workshop on researching your family history using the many documentary sources at the archives on 19 May 2010 from 8:30 – 12:00. Due to the intense one-on-one instruction required for both courses, participant numbers for the two workshops will be limited to 20 participants each. We recommend that bookings for both workshops be made well in advance, in order to avoid disappointment.
Our purpose is to make this event a learning experience for the public with our main goal to promote the use of archives by the general public and learners.
To book for the workshops contact the National Archives Cape Town on: Tel: (021) 466 8100. Fax: (021) 465 2960
Betekenis: Dorp in Noord-Holland (Nederland).
Stamvader: Johannes Oosthuyzen of Oosthuysen, van Weert (Nederland). In 1691 burger in Drakenstein. Trou met Johanna Maartens, van Grypskerk in Groningen (Nederland) (7 kinders).
Wapen: In 1946 is ‘n nuwe wapen ontwerp, wat ‘n onderdeel van die wapen van die Nederlandse familie Van Oosterhuizen insluit, nl. drie rose, maar waaraan ter onderskeiding ‘n skildhoof met ‘n klawerblaar toegevoeg is, sodat dit nou is: In rooi drie goue rose, geplaas 2 en 1, en op ‘n skildhoof van goud ‘n groen klawerblaar.
Overview of Lesson Plan: This lesson will create an awareness regarding the importance of tracing your ancestors and cemeteries. Pupils will examine their family trees, grave symbols and epitaphs, as well as focusing on their connection to both their family and the societies in which they lived. Pupils then create a family tree; create an epitaph and a brief biography of a deceased family member or historical figure that they admire.
Suggested Time Allowance: 1 hr 45 minutes
1. Fill in forms to record their family history and interview their parents and relatives for the relevant and correct information
2. Visit the local cemetery and record dates of births and deaths of various families (e.g. groups of family names)
3. Write their experiences as to the conditions of the graves and how they are kept.
4. Examine the epitaphs and grave symbols on the various tombstones and try to find out what background the individual comes from or what society or regiments they belonged.
5. Design an epitaph for a deceased member of family or historical figure.
6. Research and write a brief biography on one of the above.
7. Note the different types of material the tombstones are made from and how they have changed.
Classroom, blackboard, pens, pencils, clipboard, paper
Pre cemetery visit
1. Students need write the first thing that comes to mind about when they hear the word “cemetery”. The then discusses the various aspects of cemeteries and how they interpret it.
2. Pupils are to fill in family group sheets and find out when and where there ancestors were born and died
3. Pupils to visit local cemetery
4. Discuss the ages of the people that died and
5. Discuss what epitaphs are, and what can they tell us about the person about whom they were written?
5. Discuss what interesting information you discovered in the cemetery about the people buried there.
6. Discuss why it is important to record family history and tombstone inscriptions.
7. Discuss future ways of preserving the writing on the tombstones and come up with innovative ideas for preservation.
Homework: Students research the historical figure that is the focus of their epitaph and write a brief biography of the person. Students should include date of birth and date of death (if known), important accomplishments achieved, and a short explanation of how the created epitaph is appropriate in honouring this individual.
In what ways can graveyards be rich historical sources?
What historical information can we gain from visiting cemeteries?
What are epitaphs, and what can they tell us about the person about whom they refer?
What connections can be made among people buried in a particular cemetery other than familial relations?
Why would a person want to visit a cemetery?
Are cemeteries safe and what should be done about improving that?
Evaluation / Assessment:
Students will be evaluated based on written composition about graveyards, participation in class discussions as well as in cemetery. Write an epitaph of a family member or famous historical figure as well as a biography.
Learn new words that are not often used
1. Visit both a modern and an older graveyard. What similarities exist in the layouts of the plots and the headstones and monuments?
What differences exist?
2. Find out about a local graveyard that your class or school can “adopt” from a municipal office or historical society. Then, visit the cemetery and “adopt” a grave by cleaning it up and making it beautiful.
Create a map of a local cemetery and get a GPS to map its coordinates.
Find out more about the art of gravestone-making and visit a local monumental mason.
Find out about becoming an undertaker or a monumental mason.
To find out more about visiting cemeteries and the permission needed please contact Ancestry24 or volunteer to help transcribe + photograph headstones
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