SA Publications

Published Genealogies

South Africa is unique in that information on all the earliest settler families and their descendants was published as "Geslacht Register der oude Kaapsche Familiën" (Genealogical Register of the old Cape Families), before 1895 in three volumes.

This publication gave, as it were, a general survey of the entire white population of the Cape Colony from its very beginning in 1652 till the end of the Netherlands administration in 1806, and in many instances even much later.

In the intervening years this great work was corrected and added to by several investigators and although out of print, the information was republished in two volumes as "Genealogies of old South African Families, edited by Dr C Pama.

The above works concentrated primarily on the Afrikaans families, in other words those of Dutch, German, French and Scandanavian descent, to the exclusion of English families.

A new body of work is in the process of being prepared, initially under the auspices of the Human Sciences Research Council, who published the intitial four volumes of what is intended to become a seven volume set.

These four volumes cover surnames starting with A to K and supplement the earlier works mentioned above. They also include some English surnames, though not all.

With the demise of the genealogy section of the Human Sciences Research Council, all the information has been passed on to the Genealogical Institute of South Africa (GISA) and they intend publishing the remaining volumes of SA Genealogies.

If you have genealogical information on your family please send it to GISA so that it can be included in later volumes of SA Genealogies or can be made available to other researchers. Corrections to published information should also be sent to GISA.

Other Published Works of use to the Genealogist

Obviously none of the works mentioned above can contain all the details about a particular family, or trace all the members of a particular family from 1652 until the present.

Individual families have published more comprehensive genealogies and an attempt should always be made to discover if such a genealogy exists. The Genealogical Institute of South Africa (GISA) contains all published genealogies and a number of unpublished typed manuscripts on various families, and GISA should always be contacted very early in ones research to discover if any research has been done on your family.

Other general genealogical works are available covering particular groups of people or settlers such as the 1820 settlers, French Huguenots and the Byrne Settlers among others.

In addition, many corrections and additions have been made to particular branches of the various families contained in the De Villiers/Pama publications in Familia, the quarterly journal of the Genealogical Society of South Africa.

An invaluable reference work for anyone considering genealogical research in South Africa is the "Handbook for Genealogical Research in South Africa," published by Dr RTJ Lombard and available from the Genealogical Institute of South Africa (GISA).

Biographical information on well known South Africans is contained in the "Dictionary of South African Biography" which should be obtainable from any reputable library or which can be purchased from the Genealogical Institute of South Africa.