Cemetery offices such as the Cape Metropolitan council keep records and registers of burials. These registers are invaluable for the amount of information that can be found. The big black book records the deceased persons name, age, date of death, date of burial, cause of death, place of death, mortician, officiating minister, cemetery, plot number, depth at which the body is buried as well as religious denomination e.g. Episcopal, Lutheran, Jewish, Muslim etc. Coming soon Maitland Cemetery Records.
Tombstone inscriptions are not necessarily as accurate as the registers themselves. For example, the number of names on the headstone might not match the real number of people buried in the plot. During epidemic times and still births, these peoples names were not engraved in tombstones and sometimes the only evidence that the person ever lived are in these books and on the plot cards. These records are also helpful when a death notice cannot be found.
Farm and rural cemeteries records are housed in local municipalities. Many burial registers for the Churches are now housed in various Archival Repositories around the country, but not necessarily the Province of their origin. The Anglican Church records are housed at University of Witwatersrand and the Methodist Church at Cory Library in Grahamstown.
Ancestry24 has an ongoing project to digitise as many Internment Registers as possible as well as photograph hundreds of thousands of tombstone images. Please consider contributing images here or by e-mail. Browse through our list of databases, which include many cemetery records.