How to find your South African ancestors

By Guest, 27 July 2018 - 9:42am

Who Do You Think You Are? series genealogist Sara Khan explains how you can trace your South African ancestors – just like Shirley Ballas does in the latest series of the programme...

 

Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas’s great grandfather, George Rich, came to the UK from Cape Town towards the end of the 19th century. If you also have South African ancestors, you may be able to find records for them using the free website South African Genealogy.

 

Step 1

South African Genealogy Website

Navigate to the website’s homepage. The site currently holds information on two databases: a collection of passenger lists, and details of military deserters in the Cape Colony during the 1800s. Click ‘Search the Database’ in the menu bar to begin.

Step 2

South African Genealogy Database

Enter the name of the ancestor you are searching for, in this example ‘mcmahon’. The site will search both databases simultaneously, so you may want to add a first name or specify a date range to reduce the number of results. When you’re ready, click ‘SEARCH’.

Step 3

South African Genealogy Database Search

You will see a list of the results of your search in both databases, although my example ‘mcmahon’ has only been found in the ‘Military: Deserters’ collection. Click the green ‘+’ beside each name to see the information in the index entry, including the name of the record it is sourced from.
 

WDYTYA? episode summary: Shirley Ballas
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WDYTYA? episode summary: Shirley Ballas
previous blog Article
Five things you might not know about WDYTYA? star Marvin Humes
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