Archives Repositories

The documents available at an Archives repository include:

There are archives repositories in Pretoria, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Durban and Pietermaritzburg, all of which are responsible for the custody of the archives and other documents that have a bearing on the province in which they are situated.

In addition there is the National Archives in Pretoria that houses the archives of central government departments and the Transvaal Archives Repository.




Cape Archives Repository (CAR)

Cape Province estates  (MOOC);

Kimberley and district estates  (MOK)

Grahamstown and district estates (MOG).

to 1950

to 1956

to 1961 

The Durban Archives Repository (DAR) has two groups of African Estate files.

The estate files of the Magistrate and Commissioner Pinetown (2/PTN).

The estate files of the Commissioner Durban (2/DBN).    







Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository (PAR) 

Estate Files 

to 1974

Free State Archives Repository (FAR)

Free State estate files up to and including 1950. 

to 1950

National Archives Repository (NAR) 

Transvaal Estate Files

1873 - 1976

Each Archives Repository has a well stocked library with many books of a genealogical and historical nature.

In addition each repository is supplied with microfilm readers which can be used to read, access and copy specific microfilmed records. Many of the earlier estate files have been microfilmed and researchers are encouraged to make copies from the relevant microfilm record.

In many instances photocopying restrictions apply to earlier estate files to prevent further damage to them, as result of handling and light from the photocopying process. To this end researchers are given a blank death notice form to transcribe the details from the estate file.

The following photocopying restrictions and where applicable, availability of microfilm records and costs associated with obtaining these, apply:


Photocopying Restrictions

Other info and costs

Cape Archives Respostory


MOG can be copied at a cost per A4 folio (Up to 3 death notices are transcribed per enquiry free of charge).

Durban Archives Repository

No restrictions

Cost per page

Free State Archives Repository

No photocopying of estate files prior to 1931

(Up to 4 death notices are transcribed per enquiry free of charge). All available on microfilm.

National Archives 

No photocopying of files between 1873-1959.

Microfilm records available for 1873-1940 at a cost per page.

Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository

No photocopying of files

(Up to 3 death notices are transcribed per enquiry free of charge).
Microfilm records exist to 1950.

The microfilming of these records was done by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and are therefore available at most Family History Centres.

No money should be sent to any Archives Repository until they have had the opportunity to check what records are available, if any, and have determined the costs of the documents and postage. In all instances these costs will be communicated and once payment has been received, the relevant copies will be made and be forwarded. This excludes the free of charge transcribing of death notices.

The National Archives prefer that private researchers are hired if more than 3 copies are required.

The Archives are also linked to a programme called STAIRS and one can request a look-up on a particular person or surname, with a resultant print-out being made of all references to information contained in any of the repositories for that particular person or surname. This is particularly helpful to obtain the reference numbers prior to requesting the relevant information. In some instances this information can be provided on stiffy disk, if the requestor supplies the disk:

Researchers can get access to marriage and death registers older than 20 years from the relevant Archives Repository, although the issue of certificates can only be done by the Department of Home Affairs and the records cannot be photocopied.