South Africa, Transvaal, Probate Records from the Master of the Supreme Court - FamilySearch Historical Records

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
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Record Description[edit | edit source]

This collection includes records from 1869-1958 and are in both English and Afrikaans. See the Afrikaans Genealogical Word List for translation help.

South African probate records often include heirs, locations, property transfers, wills, and other important information. The most useful records in the collection are the death notices which give detailed information. The probate records usually have multiple pages and are included in a probate file, which is identified by a probate number.

When a person died, the nearest relative or other connection should have completed a death notice and sent it to the Master of the High Court within 14 days of the death.

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

The original probate records from the Master of the Supreme Court in Transvaal, South Africa are located in the Transvaal Archives Depot, Pretoria, Republic of South Africa.

Record Content[edit | edit source]

Death notices within the probate records generally contain the following:

  • Name of the deceased
  • Birthplace of the deceased
  • Age of the deceased
  • Names of the deceased’s parents
  • Occupation of the deceased
  • Names of surviving or deceased spouses (with death date) if any
  • Date and place of death
  • Names of the children of the deceased
  • Whether the deceased owned property
  • Whether the deceased left a will
  • Name of the informant

Search the Collection[edit | edit source]

To search by index:

Fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

To browse by image:
⇒Select “Browse through images” on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate “Description” which takes you to the images

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.


Tips to Keep In Mind[edit | edit source]

  • Use the death notice to identify the spouse and parents
  • Use the death notice to identify dates and places of birth for listed family members
  • Use the death notice to determine specific localities where ancestors lived
  • Use the probate records, such as the will, to identify additional family members
  • The probate record may contain an inventory of personal property, and a list of who received the property


When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.


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Don't overlook FHL Place South Africa, Transvaal items or FHL Keyword South Africa, Transvaal items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see South Africa Archives and Libraries.

Related Websites[edit | edit source]

Related Wiki Articles[edit | edit source]

How You Can Contribute[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Citations for This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.


Collection Citation:

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.



Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.


Image Citation:
This template has been deprecated and is no longer used.

The image citation will be available once the collection is published.