South Africa Emigration and Immigration
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The FamilySearch moderator for the South Africa is Daniel Jones.
Online Records[edit | edit source]
Passenger Lists[edit | edit source]
- Archives South Africa Immigration Lists GG Archives
- South Africa Passenger Lists eGGSA passenger list project.
- South African Passenger Lists
- 1680-1690 Ships Passenger Lists to South Africa 1680-1690
- 1688-1950 South Africa, Passenger Index, 1688-1950 at Ancestry; index only ($)
- 1690-1700 Ships Passenger Lists to South Africa 1690-1700
- 1700-1800 Ships Passenger Lists to South Africa 1700-1800
- 1850-1890 Passengers arriving in South African Ports - by the The Genealogical Society of South Africa
- 1858-1986 South Africa, Immigration Index, 1858-1986 at Ancestry; index only ($)
- 1878-1960 UK and Ireland, Incoming Passenger Lists, 1878-1960, at Ancestry.com, index and images. ($)
- 1890-1960 Passenger Lists Leaving UK 1890-1960 at FindMyPast; index & images ($); includes those with Destination of South Africa
- 1892-1924 New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island), 1892-1924 Search results for South Africa
- 1900-present Ships Passenger Lists to South Africa 1900-present
- 1946-1971 Free Access: Africa, Asia and Europe, Passenger Lists of Displaced Persons, 1946-1971 Ancestry, free. Index and images. Passenger lists of immigrants leaving Germany and other European ports and airports between 1946-1971. The majority of the immigrants listed in this collection are displaced persons - Holocaust survivors, former concentration camp inmates and Nazi forced laborers, as well as refugees from Central and Eastern European countries and some non-European countries.
- United States Immigration Online Genealogy Records
Early Settlers[edit | edit source]
- Genealogical card indexes for South Africa
- 1732-1950 South Africa, Settlers Index, 1732-1950 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index
- 1820 British 1820 Settlers to South Africa
- 1820 1820 British Settlers in South Africa Geni.com
- 1820-1920 1820 Settlers' centenary genealogical records, 1820-1920 Alphabetically arranged genealogical certificates and notes tracing ancestry from the 1820 English immigrants to South Africa. Includes name of settler, boat on which he or she came, the party with whom he or she travelled, the living ancestor with his or her spouse, children and parents; and the names and addresses of other known living descendants. Includes other genealogical notes submitted by respondents to the survey undertaken by the 1820 Settlers' Centenary Committee in 1920.
Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]
- The French refugees at the Cape, e-book
- 1820-1920 The settlers and Methodism, 1820-1920, e-book
- 1850-1950 South Africa Jewish Database. The primary aim of the project is to research the estimated 15,000 core families who migrated to Southern Africa between 1850-1950 from England, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus.
- 1860-1911 South Africa, Natal, Passenger Lists, 1860-1911 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index & images, includes "South Africa, Natal, Protector of Indian Immigrants, South and North Indian Ship Register Book, 1860-1911"
- 1900-1902 Afrikaner refugee records from Portugal, 1900-1902 at FamilySearch Catalog; images only
- 1910-1987 South Africa, Natal, Home Affairs, Documents relating to Indians, 1910-1987, images
- 1925-1960 Civil registration (marriages - Indians and Chinese), South Africa, 1925-1960, index
Slavery[edit | edit source]
- 1658-1835 South Africa, Slaves and Free Blacks Records Index, 1658-1835 at Ancestry, index. ($)
- 1762-1838 South Africa, Register of Slaves, 1762-1838 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; index Includes name of slaveholders and name, sex, age, homeland and occupation of each slave or servant. Includes information on manumissions, transfers, inheritances, births, deaths, marriages, and ownership.
Miscellaneous Records[edit | edit source]
- 1692-1844 Opgaafrollen, 1692-1844 Tax census roles containing names of taxable males (16 years and up), name of wife if married, the no. of children, the farm name of residence, and statistical information on all possessions. Also includes list of early free citizens and information about immigrants.
- 1788-1890 Admission, discharge and other records, 1788-1890 These are the records of the Royal Philanthropic Society, organized in 1788 "for the admission of the offspring of convicts and the reformation of criminal poor children." This society housed, clothed, fed, schooled and apprenticed these children with the end goal that that they would become "useful members of society." Records exist of those who went to Canada, the U.S.A., Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. The majority of the children were from the streets of London, but originated from all over Great Britain. In later years, many came from Cheshire. Many of these children were the sons and daughters of a parent or parents transported to Australia.
- 1819-1820 Quarter sessions records, 1723-1820 Papers pertaining to the colonization of the Cape of Good Hope, 1819-1820. These include lists of names of emigrants, with their respective ages, occupations, and names and ages of family members accompanying them.
Finding the Town of Origin in South Africa[edit | edit source]
If you are using emigration/immigration records to find the name of your ancestors' town in South Africa, see South Africa Finding Town of Origin for additional research strategies.
South Africa Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]
"Emigration" means moving out of a country. "Immigration" means moving into a country.
Emigration and immigration sources list the names of people leaving (emigrating) or arriving (immigrating) in the country. These sources may be passenger lists, permissions to emigrate, or records of passports issued. The information in these records may include the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, destinations, and places of origin or birthplaces. Sometimes they also show family groups.
Immigration[edit | edit source]
- In the 17th century, the southernmost point of Africa where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet became a desirable half-way haven for the Dutch East India Company which was trading with India. By order of that company in 1652, Jan van Riebeeck arrived with a few other Dutch settlers at the Cape of Good Hope to establish this half-way station so that fresh vegetables and fruits could be provided to prevent scurvy among the Company’s sailors. Emigrants from Holland were then encouraged to settle and colonize, but they were soon joined by settlers from other countries, as the following list shows:
- 1657-1675: 49 settlers, comprising 34 Dutch, 7 German, 3 Swedes and others.
- 1675-1700: 152 settlers, comprising 57 Dutch, 38 German, 51 French [Huguenots) and others
- 1700-1725: 261 settlers, comprising 122 Dutch, 102 German, 22 French and others
- 1725-1750: 273 settlers, comprising 78 Dutch, 180 German, Scandinavians, and others
- 1750-1775: 399 settlers, comprising 88 Dutch, 267 German, Scandinavians, and others
- 1775-1795: 392 settlers, comprising 115 Dutch, 212 German, Scandinavians, and others
- From 1795 onwards there were a few British residents at the Cape, many of whom were military personnel.
- Starting in 1814, when Britain gained formal possession of the Cape, British immigration increased. The economic crisis in Britain following the Napoleonic wars made emigration with promise of land and opportunity very attractive.
- British emigration culminated in the arrival of the 1820 Settlers. The new colonists were induced to settle for a variety of reasons, namely to increase the size of the European workforce.
- During the early 1800s, many Dutch settlers departed from the Cape Colony, where they had been subjected to British control, in a series of migrant groups who came to be known as Voortrekkers, meaning "pathfinders" or "pioneers". They migrated to the future Natal, Free State, and Transvaal regions. The Boers founded the Boer Republics: the South African Republic (now Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga and North West provinces), the Natalia Republic (KwaZulu-Natal), and the Orange Free State (Free State).
- The discovery of diamonds in 1867 and gold in 1884 in the interior started the Mineral Revolution and increased economic growth and immigration.
Emigration[edit | edit source]
- The largest concentrations of South African emigrants are to be found in the United Kingdom, followed by Australia, the United States, New Zealand and Canada.
- At the time of the 2001 UK Census, some 141,405 South-African-born people were present in the UK. In Australia, there were 145,683 South-African-born people living in the country at the moment of the 2011 Census, having an increase compared with those 78,444 recorded by the 2001 Census. The 2000 United States Census identified 68,290 South-African-born people.
- According to the most recent data compiled by Statistics South Africa, between 2006 and 2016 the most popular overseas destinations for South African émigrés were: 
- 1. Australia (26.0%)
- 2. United Kingdom (25.0%)
- 3. United States (13.4%)
- 4. New Zealand (9.5%)
- 5. Germany (6.0%)
- 6. American Samoa (United States territory) (4.4%)
- 7. United Arab Emirates (4.2%)
- 8. Cuba (4.0%)
- 9. Canada (3.0%)
- 10. China (2.0%)
Records of South Africa Emigrants in Their Destination Nations[edit | edit source]
|One option is to look for records about the ancestor in the country of destination, the country they immigrated into. See links to Wiki articles about immigration records for major destination countries below. Additional Wiki articles for other destinations can be found at Category:Emigration and Immigration Records.|
For Further Reading[edit | edit source]
There are additional sources listed in the FamilySearch Catalog:
- South Africa - Emigration and immigration
- South Africa - Emigration and immigration - Indexes
- South Africa - Colonization
- South Africa - Colonization - Indexes
- South Africa - Genealogy
- South Africa - Minorities
References[edit | edit source]
- "South Africa", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Africa, accessed 17 June 2021.
- "South Africa diaspora", in Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_diaspora, accessed 17 June 2021.