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Research: South African Ancestors Including Military Records
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This course covers the history of South Africa, genealogical sources and repositories for searching your ancestors. General genealogical topics covered include birth, marriage, death, church records, cemeteries, newspapers, and more. Also included is discussion on online databases. Research examples are provided to give guidance in various types of research projects.

In addition, the course looks at major wars and conflicts, and the records they produced. Starting with the Boer Wars, World Wars I and II, and ending at the Korean War. In particular, records of the South African Constabulary, South African Defence Force, South African Air Force and the South African Police are covered.


Course Content

Module 1
History of South Africa & The Boer Wars
Note about Web Addresses
Websites
Note about the Appendix
 
South African History
• Why do I need to learn the history of South Africa?
• How can the history of South Africa help with our research?
• 1820 Settlers
 
Searching National Archives and Records Service
• What is the NAAIRS?
 
Settlers Who Travelled to Natal from England, 1824-1857
 
Shipping/Passenger Lists
• How can these shipping lists help us?
• Other Websites for Passenger/Ships Lists
 
The Boer Wars
• Boer War 1899-1902
• South African Constabulary in the Boer War
• Medals of the Boer War - Queen’s South Africa Medal & King’s South Africa Medal
• Blockhouses
• South African Constabulary Casualties
• The Boers in the Boer War
• Anglo Boer War Medal
• Mentioned in Despatches
 
Suggested Reading
 

Module 2
How to Find My Ancestors
Websites
Introduction to Genealogy in South Africa
 
General Genealogical Topics
• Adoptions
• Afrikaans Words
• Apostille Stamp
• Baptism and Birth Records
• Census Records
• Cemeteries
• Death Records
• Family Tree
• Geographical Areas - Past & Present
• Marriages
 
Problems and Pitfalls
Restricted Access Files
School Records
Statistics
 
Sources for Genealogical Research
• Ancestry.com
• Cape Town Archives Repository
• Cape Town Record Centre
• Church Records
• Durban Archives Repository
• FamilySearch
• Free State Archives Repository
• Genealogical Society of South Africa
• Department of Home Affairs
• Masters of the High Court of South Africa
• National Archives and Records Service & the National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System
• National Archives Repository
• National Archives Repository, Transvaal Archives Depot
• Newspaper Records
• Pietermaritzburg Archives Repository
• Port Elizabeth Archives Repository
• Rhodesia & Zimbabwe (Genealogical & Military Records)
 

Module 3
Research Examples
Websites
An Unfortunate Flying Accident
Story of a Digitorium
Family Rumour
Armoured Train, Trafalgar
Where is Uncle Presbury?
An Unusual Casualty
Story of John Smith
Suggested Reading
 

Module 4
World War I
Websites
1914 Rebellion
 
World War I (1914-18)
• History of South Africa’s Involvement
• German South West Africa 1914-1915
• Actions Taken by the South African Forces
• Involvement of the South African Police in German South West Africa
• Researching men who served in German South West Africa
• German East Africa Campaign
• South African Native Labour Corps in East Africa
• South African Troops in France
• World War I Diaries
• Regimental Mascots
• Mentioned in Despatches
• Medals
• Germans Living in South Africa Placed in Internment Camps during World War I
 
South African Police in World War I
Suggested Reading
 

Module 5
World War II
Websites
 
South Africa during World War II
• A Brief History
 
South Africa Defence Force Records
• What records are available?
 
Department of Home Affairs
 
Obtaining a Certificate through a Private Company
• SADF Regulations Regarding the Application for Replacement Medals
 
World War II Diaries
 
German Families during World War II
• What information did Konrad provide to the researcher?
• What information did Konrad want?
 
Men Who Died While Serving in World War II
South African Police in World War II
Women’s Auxiliary Air Force & Women’s Auxiliary Air Service
Nursing in South Africa during World War II
Suggested Reading
 

Module 6
South African Police & South African Air Force in Korea
Websites
 
South African Police
• History of the South African Police
• Police service records up to 1960
• Are these records open to the public?
• Service Card
• Gallantry Awards & Decorations for Men Who Served in the South African Police
 
Rand Rebellion
Police Clearance Certificates
 
South African Air Force in the Korean War
• Are there records available?
• South African Air Force Records Available for Members Who Served in Korea War
 
Suggested Reading
Conclusion
 
Appendix
Abbreviations
 
Guide to Using the National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System
• National Archives and Records Service (NARS) Website
• National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System
• Searching the NAAIRS Databases
 
Reference Addresses
• Libraries
• Museums
 
 

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