This article details connections between Colonial India and The Cape/South Africa, with particular reference to emigration/immigration.
A large group of Anglo Indians migrated to Cape Colony in the 1820s.
The Cape was also a popular destination for people who were on furlough (leave) from their work in India, who had been obliged to leave India for health reasons, and did not wish to travel all the way back to England.
- 1 Records
- 2 Northern and Southern Rhodesia
- 3 Jager (Jaeger) Corps
- 4 Also see
- 5 External Links
- 6 Historical books online
- 7 References
- FamilySearch: South Africa Indexed Historical Records and Images, a very extensive collection of records with original images. A free website. You must be signed in to FamilySearch to view the records. See IGI for more details about FamilySearch.
- The FamilySearch databases include many records from The Anglican Church of Southern Africa, previously known as the Church of the Province of Southern Africa. The original records are held at the Historical Papers Research Archive, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa, where the records are also available online. It seems likely that all the parish registers are also available on FamilySearch, but possibly there may be additional databases which are not parish records on the University of the Witwatersrand website, but this is unclear.
- Refer External links below for a 1976 LDS Church guide, equivalent now to FamilySearch.
National Archives of South Africa
- National Archives & Records Service of South Africa contains a Search facility. Click on "Search National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System", on the left hand side of the webpage. the databases include “Data of the South African Genealogical Society on Gravestones”.
Genealogical Society of South Africa
- eGGSA is the virtual or online branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa, Genealogiese Genootskap van Suid-Afrika . Also referred to as eGSSA. The eGGSA Library (link from the Main page) includes
- Transcriptions from Church Registers in South Africa with links to records elsewhere, including online records.
- South African gravestone photographs which also includes a section Worldwide
- Monumental inscriptions at the Cape of Good Hope 1799-1861. Transcriptions, in 1907, of graves in two Cape Town cemeteries extracted from General History and Social Life of the Cape of Good Hope by C. Graham Botha 1962. Include many with India connections.
- Stuart Green transcribed, in April 2003, the following entries from the SA Genealogical Society database at the National Archives of South Africa for the Rootsweb India Mailing list, archived:
- Gravestones in South Africa - Bombay Connections
- Gravestones in South Africa - Madras connections
- Gravestones in South Africa - Bengal connections
- Gravestones in South Africa - India connections
- Gravestones in South Africa - Calcutta connections
- Gravestones in South Africa - Burma connections
- Gravestones in South Africa - Ceylon connections
- Gravestones in South Africa - Karachi connections
- Gravestones in South Africa - HEIC connections
- e-Family A free site for those researching their roots in South Africa, with a Search facility for transcribed records. Includes First Fifty Years - a project collating Cape of Good Hope records, a project to transcribe and publish copies of records relating to individuals who lived at the Cape (Cabo da Boa Esperança / de Caep de Goede Hoop / Die Kaap die Goeie Hoop) during the first decades of the settlement after 1652.
Ancestry is a pay website
- Ancestry Card Catalogue of all Record Databases (located as an option under the Search tab). Use Search terms such as Africa, and South Africa. Includes
- "South Africa, Church of the Province of South Africa, Parish Registers, 1801-2004" [Anglican records] and
- "South Africa, Methodist Parish Registers, 1822-1996"
- "England, Andrews Newspaper Index Cards, 1790-1976", This is part of the Birth, Marriage & Death, including Parish, section of the Ancestry database and holds some genealogical information relating to colonial countries including Africa.
Findmypast is a pay website.
- Under the tab "Search records" is a category "A-Z of record sets" which is a listing of all the record databases. Use Search terms such as Africa, and South Africa.
- Anglo-Boer War Records 1899-1902 located in Military, Armed Forces & Conflict/Boer Wars. All the records appear to be transcripts, without images, from a variety of sources, including medal rolls from The National Archives, Kew in the series W0 100. Also see Medal Rolls. Medal Rolls are also available as free downloads from TNA , and from the pay website Ancestry.
- First World War database South Africa Roll Of Honour 1914-1918, located in Armed Forces & Conflict/First World War. These records appear to be classified by Findmypast as "Great Britain". Most of the data will also be on the CWGC database, but additionally may include cause of death. Includes data to the official end date of the war, 31 August 1921. The most likely source of this database is a South African publication, Roll of Honour 1914-1918 Ererol [the latter word is Roll of Honour in Africaans].
- Findmypast in the category "Newspapers & periodicals", with the same contents also available on the British Newspaper Archive, both pay websites, includes the titles
- Natal Mercury, published daily in Durban, Natal, South Africa (Details). Added Nov 21, 2022 , with available years 1878 only, with details on a BNA page. (BNA Region=South Africa, or County=Natal, South Africa or Place=Durban, Natal, South Africa. Fmp County=Natal, South Africa, Place=Durban, Natal, South Africa).
- Natal Witness, published in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa. (Details). Added Nov 21, 2022 , with available years 1878 only, with details on a BNA page. (BNA Region=South Africa, or County=Natal, South Africa or Place=Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa. Fmp County=Natal, South Africa, or Place=Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa).
- See General Register Office UK
- Gazettes.Africa Government Gazettes from various African Countries, including South Africa. Generally more recent years, but some more distant years and worth checking out, particularly when researching deaths.
- Military related records WW1 and WW2.
- For missing or POW soldiers, see the relevant section on the page British Army, including WW1 British Red Cross & Order Of St John Enquiry Lists For Wounded And Missing
- For soldiers who died during WW1 (possibly also those who became disabled) see British Army - WFA WW1 pension record cards as a possible source of records.
- See Cemeteries for Commonwealth War Graves Commission records WW1 and WW2.
Other records, not online
- See Society of Genealogists, London.
- Held at the British Library, London The Medical, Dental and Pharmacy Directory of South Africa, 1924(-1926-7) ... Edited by Ewald Herbert UIN: BLL01000948630 . The 1924 edition is also available at the Society of Genealogists.
- The 1896 and 1897 editions are available online, see below.
Northern and Southern Rhodesia
Northern Rhodesia was administered by the British Government as a protectorate from 1924. Prior to that it was administered by the British South Africa Company (BSAC), see the Wikipedia page Northern Rhodesia. Similarly Southern Rhodesia was administered by British South Africa Company (BSAC) until 1923 when it became a British crown colony, see the Wikipedia page Southern Rhodesia. Perhaps some South African records may also contain early Rhodesia records.
Jager (Jaeger) Corps
Also known as the British German Legion or the German Legion
In 1860 the 109th Regiment of Foot in India was joined by over 500 men of the Jaeger Corps who had volunteered from the Cape Colony (part of South Africa under British Occupation until 1910) for service in India on the outbreak of the Indian Mutiny The Jager (Jaeger) Corps had its origin in the German Legion sent to the Crimea, which was then resettled in South Africa
For further details , see Jager Corps.
- Boer War
- East Africa
- General Register Office [United Kingdom] for general information about birth, marriage and death records for British nationals abroad.
- Passenger lists
- Subscription websites-online newspapers, journals and directories : African publications.
- Information about the database African Newspapers, Series 1 and 2, 1800-1925; and African Newspapers: The British Library Collection, both part of Readex World Newspapers Archive, both of which are available at the British Library. Also information about a database containing a collection of African Blue Books from thirteen colonies across Africa, including Cape of Good Hope, 1821-1909, also available at the British Library.
- Website containing some information re Indian and Ceylon Units in the Boer War AngloBoerWar.com
- Lumsden's Horse was a Volunteer Regiment from India which fought in the Boer War. The full history of the regiment is given in The History of Lumsden's Horse; a complete record of the corps from its formation to its disbandment by Henry H. S Pearse 1903 Archive.org
- On return of the regiment to India, page 409 of the History states "They left nearly sixty of their number in South Africa, some as administrators, some in the Regular Army, some in the Police" and page 418 of the History gives a List of Lumsden’s Horse who joined the Johannesburg Police in December 1900.
- See POW Camps in India-Boer War for details of the Boer prisoners of war who were taken to camps in India, Ceylon and elsewhere. Some of the prisoners in India died there.
- "Genealogical Word List: Afrikaans" and "Major Genealogical Record Sources in South Africa. The Genealogical Department of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Series K, No 1 1976" (Equivalent now to FamilySearch). lib.byu.edu.
- South Africa Genealogy FamilySearch Wiki.
- South African Genealogy includes
- FAQ which includes a section "Civil Registration of Births Marriages and Deaths"
- Conrod Mercer’s South African Genealogy Page, archived website at 21 February 2020. Advice about records available.
- National Archives of South Africa: Research
- All birth, marriage and death certificates as well as immigration, naturalization and name change records are kept at the Department of Home Affairs. From other links in this section, there does not appear to be an easy way to obtain copies of records from Department of Home Affairs.
- Update October 2022. A website page of The South African Military History Society gives the contact email for the National Archives of South Africa as [email protected]
- Information about Documentation Centre (Department of Defence Force Archives) which holds military records, including personnel records. archivalplatform.org, now archived. Note, contact details have changed as follows:
- Update February 2023. It appears that the contact address is as given above for the National Archives of South Africa [email protected].  It is also possible to hire a researcher.
- South Africa War Graves Project The goal of the South Africa War Graves Project is to archive photographs of every single South African & Rhodesian war grave located in countries worldwide, from the 2nd Anglo-Boer War onwards, including WW1 and WW2. Currently a work in progress. Includes a database to Search.
- 1820 Settlers to South Africa The website includes transcriptions of Baptisms, Marriages and Cape Civil Death indices from records held on FamilySearch and links to a website “Records and Resources”
- The South African Military History Society: Die Suid-Afrikaanse Krygshistoriese Vereniging. Includes links to online Journals and other links such as "South African Bookdealers who specialise in Military Subjects", and "South African Museums and Societies".
- Bibliography: The Irish in South Africa Irish Ancestors. This site allows "five free page-views".
All Rootsweb Mailing Lists (part of Ancestry) have been discontinued from 2 March 2020, but the Archives will remain available. Search all Rootsweb Mailing List Archives.
The Ancestry Message Boards remain active and there may be a relevant Message Board. Search all Ancestry Message Boards. Freely available - you do not need to be an Ancestry member, but must register to post.
- Past Rootsweb South Africa Mailing Lists. Details no longer appear for
- South-Africa-Immigrants-British Mailing List
- A mailing list for the discussion and sharing of information regarding the immigrants from the United Kingdom to South Africa prior to 1900. However, Archives are Searchable as follows
- Search South-Africa-Immigrants-British Mailing List Archives
- Past Rootsweb Africa Mailing Lists also include some South Africa Mailing Lists
Historical books online
- "Extracts from registers of deaths at the Cape of Good Hope 1795-1815" by C Graham Botha. Page 170 The Genealogist 29, 1913. Archive.org
- "Extracts from the register of deaths at the Cape of Good Hope 1816-1826" by C Graham Botha. Page 47 The Genealogist 32, 1915. Archive.org
- "Extracts of marriages at the Cape of Good Hope 1806-1821"; and "Extracts of Baptism at the Cape of Good Hope 1810-1821" by C Graham Bortha. The Genealogist 30, 1914. (digital page 632/744).These are separately numbered sections towards the back of the book. Archive.org
- Alternative version: Marriages and Baptisms from The Genealogist Volume 30, Supplement 11, 1913-1916 by Colin Graham Botha. Archive.org.
- A brief guide to the various classes of documents in the Cape Archives for the period 1652-1806 by C Graham Botha in charge of Cape Archive. 1918 Archive.org
- The French Refugees at the Cape by Colin Graham Botha (of the Cape Archives) 2nd edition 1921 Archive.org
- Records for the early history of South Africa by C Graham Botha 1921 Archive.org
- "Prices in the eighteenth century" by C Graham Botha, Chief Archivist, Union of South Africa. Reprinted from the South African Journal of Science, vol. XX, pp. 552-554, December, 1923. Archive.org
- "The dispersion of the stock farmer in Cape Colony in the eighteenth century" by C Graham Botha, Chief Archivist, Union of South Africa. Reprinted from the South African Journal of Science", vol. XX, pp. 574-580, December, 1923. Archive.org
- Social life in the Cape Colony in the 18th century by Colin Graham Botha 1926 Archive.org.
- The writings of C Graham Botha were re-published in 1962 as The Collected Works of C. Graham Botha, in three volumes, being Volume 1 General History and Social Life of the Cape of Good Hope; Volume 2 History of law, medicine, and place names in the Cape of Good Hope and Volume 3 Cape Archives and Records. It appears that at least volumes 1 and 3 include genealogical transcriptions. Available at the British Library UIN: BLL01000426508
- Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette at Archive.org broken range of editions 1829-1910.
- Blue Book for the Colony of Natal at Archive.org broken range of editions 1863-1891.
- The Cape of Good Hope Civil Service List 1888, 1889, 1891 Archive.org
- South African Medical Directory 1896, South African Medical Directory 1897 Archive.org. Includes Dentists. Also includes Bechuanaland, Rhodesia.
- The Voyage of François Leguat of Bresse, to Rodriguez, Mauritius, Java, and the Cape of Good Hope edited and annotated by Captain Padfield Oliver 1891. Volume I, Volume II. Printed for the Hakluyt Society. Archive.org. The narrative commences 1689.
- Dutch-Asiatic Shipping in the 17th and 18th Centuries Volume I . Introductory volume by J.R. Bruijn, F.S. Gaastra, I. Schöffer, with assistance from ACJ Vermeulen. Translation by Mrs J Harris 1987. From Resources Huygens ING. Includes "Chapter 7. The Cape of Good Hope" page 107.
- Travels in the Interior of Southern Africa by William J Burchell. Volume I 1822, including Map; Volume II 1824. Archive.org. The travels took place 1811-1815.
- Article "Heartbroken on St Helena: the naturalist William John Burchell" 1781-1863. Part One 23 January 2020; Part Two 30 January 2020. British Library Untold lives blog. William John Burchell Wikipedia.
- A Subaltern's Sick Leave: Rough notes of a visit in search of health to China and the Cape of Good Hope by Nicolas Polson, Bengal Native Infantry 1837. Archive.org Ministry of Culture/ National Library of India Collection. Elsewhere it is stated the author was in fact Lieutenant Peter Nicholson (or Nicolson). He sailed from Calcutta July 1835.
- History of the colony of Natal, South Africa: To which is added, an appendix, containing a brief history of the Orange-River sovereignty and of the various races inhabiting it, the great lake N'Gami, commandoes of the Dutch Boers, &c., &c. by The Rev. William C Holden 1855 Archive.org
- History of the Zulu War by A Wilmot 1880 Archive.org. Zulu War, 1879.
- The National Army Museum book of the Zulu War by Ian Knight 2004, first published 2003. Archive.org Books to Borrow/Lending Library.
- Austral Africa: Losing it or Ruling it being incidents and experiences in Bechuanaland, Cape Colony, and England by John Mackenzie 1887. Vol. I, Vol. II Archive.org, Ministry of Culture/National Library of India Collection.
- South Africa as a health resort : with especial reference to the effects of the climate on consumptive invalids : and full particulars of the various localities most suitable for their treatment : and also of the best means of reaching the places indicated by Arthur Fuller 2nd edition 1889 Archive.org
- Geslacht-Register der Oude Kaapsche Familien by Christoffel Coetzee De Villiers c 1894 Archive.org (in Dutch/Africaans). Gives details/trees for families who settled in the Cape area of South Africa.
- Part 1 A-J, with index. Part 2 A-O, with index, Part 3 P-Z, unfortunately index missing, with some additional entries at the end
- This page mentions the East India Company.
- Big Game Shooting, Volume I by Clive Phillipps-Wolley 1894 Archive.org. Part of The Badminton Library of Sports and Pastimes.
- History of the Cape Mounted Riflemen [1796-1841]; with a brief account of the colony of the Cape of Good Hope 1842. Google Books. Part of the official series Historical Records of the British Army.
- Africa Libraries Collection Archive.org. includes
- Record of South Eastern Africa, volumes 4-7, 9 (as catalogued) by GM Theal 1899-1903. Full title: Records of South-Eastern Africa collected in various Libraries and Archive Departments in Europe.
- Records of the Cape Colony. Copied for the Cape Government, from the manuscript documents in the Public Record Office, London by George McCall Theal. 1897-1905. 35 volumes were published, together with Volume 36 Register of the Contents Volumes I to XXXV 1905
- The Story of the 1st Battalion Cape Corps, 1915-1919 by Captain Ivor D Difford  Archive.org. Includes service in East Africa, and Egypt and Palestine.
- Old Cape Highways by Dr E E Mossop 1927 Archive.org
- There's a Secret Hid Away: Memories of Unusual Experiences and Mysteries in Southern Africa and African Isles... by Lawrence G Green, first published 1956. Archive.org
- A History of Natal by Edgar H Brookes and Colin de B Webb 1965. Archive.org Books to Borrow/Lending Library.
- Hilda's "Where is it?" of recipes : containing, amongst other practical and tried recipes, many old Cape, Indian, and Malay dishes and preserves: also directions for polishing furniture, cleaning silk, etc. and a collection of home remedies in case of sickness by Hildagonda J Duckitt 1908 edition Archive.org. First published 1891
- The Colonial Office List for .... Includes a section on each country, and the Colonial Office List at the end of each volume. First published 1862. See Directories online - Colonial Office List for a broken range 1862-1920s.
- Lehmkuhl. Anglo-Indians at the Cape Rootsweb South-Africa-Immigrants-British Mailing List 5 September 2003, archived. Anne Lehmkuhl's article in Generations - A South African genealogy newsletter
- Rootsweb South- Africa- Immigrants- British Mailing List 9 August 2003, archived.
- South Africa’s Roll of Honour for the First World War southafricaremembers.wordpress.com.
- Roll of Honour 1914-1918 Ererol, archived page from eBay.
- "Hot Off The Press – New Titles This Week" November 28, 2022. The British Newspaper Archive Blog (Scroll down).
- Taking into account website page of The South African Military History Society, together with RussT Service Records of South African Troops Great War Forum 2 October 2022. Retrieved 2 October 2022.
- Keith_history_buff South African Service papers WW1 Great War Forum 7 January 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2023.