Going there

This guide was last updated in 2010

Planning your trip to visit the various places for your research is critical. South Africa is a vast country and the information you are looking for will not all be held in the same place.

The archives change their rules daily with regards to the use of cameras, as well as limiting the amount of documents that can be ordered in one day.

It would be a good idea to contact local archives before you visit and get prior permission for the use of cameras, if necessary. Searching the archive’s website’s National Automated Archival Retrieval System database and compiling a list of documents you want to look at before your trip will reduce the time wasted searching through these indexes manually.

Make sure you get to the archives by opening time (8am Monday to Friday) before it gets too busy – if possible get your readers’ ticket the day before. Parking shouldn’t be a problem if you get there early.

Church records are not all stored in the same place and are located in various repositories, according to the particular denomination.

Only more recent church records are housed in the present-day churches.

Contacting the local family history society prior to your visit and seeking advice from them could be extremely useful and save you time. It can also be a good idea to attend one of their meetings when you arrive as personal contacts can help.

Joining the local forum boards for South Africa on Rootsweb will also assist in urgent queries before your research trip.

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