Hints & Tips

Search our databases for    
First Names :  
Surname :  
Maiden Name :  

We understand that researching your family history can be a daunting and occasionally frustrating task.

To assist you in your research we have compiled a list of practical hints and tips that we discovered through our own efforts in researching our South African roots:

  • If you are unsuccessful when searching on a name, try variations of the spelling e.g. Fourie was often spelled “Vorie” in the 1800’s.
  • If you are unsuccessful when searching on a name try a partial name search e.g. If you were searching for Holtzhausen then search on “Holt” as it may be that the name was spelled differently in the past or even miss-spelled on the original record.
  • Where the details on a photograph of a gravestone are difficult to make out, zoom in on the photograph as often this makes it easier to read especially with graves that have been weathered.

    In order for you to zoom in on the photograph you will first need to save a copy of the photograph to your computer an then open the photograph that you saved.

    If you would like to save a copy of one of our photographs or images for your own records then right click on the picture that you want to save and select the "save picture as" option which will allow you to then save a copy of the picture to your computer.
  • Often “s” and “z” were interchangeable so always remember to conduct a search on both e.g.  “Holtzhausen” and “Holtshausen”.
  • In many cases the male child’s second or third name was their mother’s maiden name. It will therefore sometimes be beneficial to use the mother’s maiden name when conducting a search on the first name. E.g If the mother’s surname was “Page” then her son may have been called John Page Smith.
  • If you didn’t find any records on your initial search, give us a few weeks and try again as we update our database of records on a weekly basis.
  • In the early years the church often spelled a person’s name phonetically so when searching also try doing a phonetic search as well.


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