The Cape Town Archives Repository

The Western Cape Provincial Archives and Records Service is located on Roeland Street, Cape Town. It is free for the public to search. If you may like to park in the archive parking you will need to call in advance (021) 466 8100. Otherwise there is street parking around the archives. When you arrive you will sign in at reception. You will receive a badge, a locker number and key and table number in the reading room. Laptops and camera’s are allowed. (see recent pot on camera use!)

Record ordering occurs on paper forms. you will need the call number found on NAAIRS database. Delivery of records/books etc is fairly fast, except for a lull over lunch time.

You can search the Deatehr Notices and Estate Files, Wills and Inventories in the paper files there (arranged by years and surname) or online. By searching online you can also search other archives in South Africa.

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Filed under Archives, Research

42 responses to “The Cape Town Archives Repository

  1. Dear Jacquelin,
    I was attempting to gain access to the Cape Town Genealogy Library and accidently came across your web site. I came to live permanently in the USA in 1959. I have been researching my ancestry for the last 14 years, beginning with one..Pierre Blignaut born ca 1619 in Monthelon, France located in the Champagne District just to the east of Paris. We’re having a problem as to the “true” progenitor Jan(Jean) Blignaut who came to the Durch Cape Colony in 1723. Some say he was born June 7, 1677, others say he was born ca 1700 in Amsterdam. Recently a christening entry of Sepember 20, 1686 was located in the Monthelon Village Church records as Jean Bleignot (same parents as the other two) I believe this man to be our true SA progenitor? The only way to be sure, is to “find” a death date of the son born June 7, 1677.
    I realize it’s a long shot…can you perhaps throw some light on this puzzle?
    I’d be delighted to receive your response.
    Kind regards and best wishes with your humongous project!
    Cecil B.

  2. I’m glad that you found the site. It is hard to comment without a indepth study of the information, (and i am not an expert in French research), however what I can say is that do not trust “hearsay” or information on the internet or anywhere else UNLESS it has a source.

    What you find on the internet or information you are given from another researcher should only be a guideline if it does not contain sources, because often these can be erroneous and will send you in the wrong direction.

    Regarding the birth date of Jean, I would trust the christening record, however, this Jean may have been a sibling to your Jean for instance. Often if a child died their parents would name a later child after them, so you need to be sure that the one born 1677 was the one that came to South Africa.

    One way to see if you have the right ancestor would be to go through the parish burial registers and look for any deaths of Jean Bleignot’s if you don’t find any this may be your ancestor which emigrated, but not necessarily. I would also go through the registers and look for any Bleignot’s and try and build a “picture of their family” in Monthelon and surrounding areas. finding all the children born to the parents etc.

    Now you may not read French or be able to go to France, but if you are serious in finding the answer, I have a contact in France that has her own business and you may be able to hire her to do the research you need. If you are interested let me know and I can contact her. I spent a week researching with her in France(actually she was teaching me and some other students about French research) while I was there so I know she can do the job.

    I hope what I have said has been helpful & you will make use of this blog in the future. I also have another blog for general posts on genealogy.

    All the best with your research.
    Jacqueline du Plessis

  3. damiata

    can you help me access archives of Maitland Cemetry Cape Town. Thank you.

  4. damiata



    That is a link I found with information regarding Maitlyn Cemetry. If you want to apply for a Birth or Death Certificates here is the link to the post I made on the Department of Home Affairs:

    You could alos try searching for a Death Notice on the South African Archives site. You can read about it by clicking on ARCHIVES under POST CATEGORIES to the right.

  6. dewald

    plz help me my mother is trying to locate her real mother,the person i am looking for is jennifer hauptfleisch

  7. Stephen John Brimacombe

    I am trying to put together a proper record of the Brimacombe family in Cape Town.
    There are huge gaps and any help would be appreciated.
    My postal address: box 4399 Old Oak, 7537 Republic of South Africa

  8. redewaan josias

    hi, how do i go about starting to look for the josias family tree? Im from cape town. Many thanks.

  9. joan parker

    my mother was born in south africa in 1926 luckily she is still with us. I am trying to find out where her mother was buried my mother was quite young when her mother died about 13 and is unsure which cemetry she was laid to rest she thinks maybe Plumstead in Cape Town could you point me in the direction as to where to start looking many thanks Joan Parker

  10. gjcox


    Just found you today and was wondering if there is any way to find record of birth of my daughter’s grandfather, Albert Laurier Scrase. Always recorded in USA that he was born in Cape Town 23 Feb, 1904, most of his life spent in Detroit, Michigan and retired to Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Believe his parents were George and Martha Scrase.

    Any guidance would be appreciated. Thank you.

  11. Tremaine Moses

    Hi, my great grandfather left capetown long ago and moved to Eshowe in KZN. I’ve been intrested in my roots, I’m in search for any information, saddly I don’t know his name. I just want to know somrthing about were the Moses’ come from and who are our ancestors. My name is Tremaine Moses

    • Caroline Moses

      Hi Tremaine,
      I am married to Collin Moses, whose father, Neville Moses was born in Cape Town. His father, Charles Christian Moses was in Cape Town. Neville is now 72 years old. I wonder if there is some connection? Do you have any other family names at all?

  12. Shane Barnes

    It is very exciting to browse through my family’s history, and thankyou for this website i really appriaciate it.

  13. elma ross

    This website appears to be a god-send, as my time in South Africa is very limited.
    Could someone please supply me with information on ancestry DNA-testing in Pretoria?
    To anyone remotely helping me find this information: a BIG thank you.

  14. Hello,
    I am trying to find my grandfather’s date of birth or I.D. number. His name was Alexander Wilson and was married to his first wife in UK (Patricia)(possibly on 07.10.1909)and then to his second wife in SA, Louise Julia Sydney (possibly on 07.10.1909).
    Alexander Wilson was an accountant and died on the 19th of July in 1933 at Clifton-on-Sea, Cape Town.
    My father,Dennis Ernest Wilson,was born on 15.12.1929 to Alexander and Louise Julia Wilson, in Mouille Point.
    I am presently residing in Cromarty, Scotland, and would really appreciate your help in finding Alexander Wilson’s date of birth.
    Many thanks,
    Deon Wilson.

  15. Debbie Rigger

    Hi, I know the name of some relatives that died in Cape Town. But their names are not on the death records on, though i think i may have found a relative i didnt know about. Can you tell me if all deaths are recorded and why I might not be able to find people. If you know of any more Free records site (marriage and birth too) of South Africa please let me know thanks

  16. Hopewell Joshua

    Dear Jacqueline,
    I’ve just come across your site, I’m trying to find the birth & parents of my wife’s Grandfather. His name was Hopewell Joshua,he was born in around 1884-1886 in Cape Town. I know he had a brother called Walter Joshua born 20th March 1884-1888 & twins brothers ‘Arthur Joshua & twin brothers name unknown on the 13th March 1890 in RSA. would there be any records there to find out any other information on them,like records of there entry into RSA,or exit from the RSA back to St Helena.I would be most grateful for any help!
    Thank You
    Frederick Stuart

  17. Hayley Clancy

    Hi, I’m just looking for a point in the right direction really. I am from England and I am looking for a family of Crossley’s who moved to South Africa between 1890 and 1911.

    Father: John Crossley D.O.B 1864
    Mother: Hannah Crossley D.O.B 1863
    Daughter: Susan Crossley D.O.B 1884
    Daughter: Hannah Crossley D.O.B 1888
    Daughter: Mary Ann Crossley D.O.B 1890

    They also had another daughter named Ada Crossley (my Grandma’s Grandma) who did not go with them and stayed in Rochdale, England. I really have no idea where I should be looking. I’ve tried passenger lists etc. My eventual hope is to find whom the daughters married in South Africa (if they did marry) and their possible children. Although at the moment I just need a hand off the starting block!

    Many thanks
    Hayley Clancy

  18. Andrew Lynott

    I would like to know if there is a website or an area where I could find information about Russians who stayed in a hotel which was located on hottentot square. They were here about 1864.
    I have had a look at old town layouts but I cannot find the square anywhwere. Please could someone help.

    • Hilton Teper

      What was ‘Hottentot Square’ was known as ‘Boereplein’ and is now Riebeeck Square. On the attached map it’s 3 blocks to the right of ‘Q’

      Cape Town Map, c1845


      Portion of Hottentots Square

      Section of Hottentots Square

      Good Luck,

  19. Kathy

    Please can anyone help, I’m trying to find any information on Richard Sydney Wilson. He was born in Scotland, died in Cape Town, South Africa.
    Had 7 sons.
    Many thanks.

    • Harry Rogers

      I am trying to find my grandfathers marriage certificate.His name is Johannes Rudolph Weidemann. Grandmother is Aletta Susannah Ernstzen. Year about 1890-1900.
      Any information would be much appreciated.

  20. Chantal de Jay

    Good day, I’m trying to track down my past ancestors their sunrame was De Jay . Can you please help me thank you

  21. Harry Rogers

    I am trying to find my grandfathers marriage certificate.His name is Johannes Rudolph. Grandmother is Aletta Susannah Ernstzen. Year about 1890-1900.
    Any information would be much appreciated.

  22. Cindy-Jo

    My name is Cindy-Jo Rensburg nee Davids. I am trying to locate my birth mother is there anyone who can help me my parents who adopted me have both passed away and all the information died with them. My name at birth was Rachel Johnson. Please can somebody help me

  23. Cindy-Jo

    Hi Im Cindy-Jo Rensburg nee Davids
    Can somebody please help me, I am looking for my birth mother. My adopted parents both died and all the information died with them. I have papers and know my birth name was Rachel Johnson i was born 24/06/1985. I know this is a long shot but anybody if you have advice please help. Thanks

  24. claudina johnson nee(de caires) and gerald johnson.


    Can you please help me find my grandparents marriage,death or even birth certificates please?
    My grandma was Portugues & passed away in the late 1970’s @ Groote Schuur Hospital of a brain hemorrage.Both my grandparents are buried @ the Maitland Cemetery in Cape Town.Please be so kind as to let me know if you can locate these.


  25. Marlene Mackinnon

    I am looking for my grandfather and his mother and father records that come out to South Africa and stayed in cape town in late 1800 or early 1900 from Scotland from the Isle of skye. My grandfather name is Donald Alexarder Mackinnon. He also had bothers and sister. He was in the first and second world war in South Africa.
    Thank you

  26. samuel daniel kok

    assist with the death notice of SD Kok born 4 September 1880 and died 5 November 1964

  27. assist with death notice for SD KOK date of death 5 November 1964

  28. I have a painting by Simon de Vlieger, which is thought to have been brought from Holland by Simon van der Stel. It may have been a gift to him from his sponsor and relative Johan Huyderkoper, who may have obtained it from his brother-in-law Jan Jacobzoon Hinlopen- he was a close connection of de Vlieger, and thought to have bought many of his paintings.
    I’m looking for records of the goods Simon van der Stel he brought with him from Holland as Governor, and a record of the auction held in 1714 when his effects were sold? There a number 1502 on the back of the painting.
    I had the painting X-Rayed to establish whether lead paint had been used, and there seems to be some writing under the mounting.
    Is there someone in Cape Town who can research it for me, for a fee of course?

  29. averyll penwright

    im trying to get my late parents marraige dates my mom was marie josephine andrews married marie maurice boulle ??1938/45 notsure but did have a sister born 1939 molly madeline 15 ;02; a brother born 13 jan 1940, im desperate to find this information also not sure if it was a court marraige or church i would have thought church as both parents where catholic

  30. averyll penwright

    just checking if any replies to my recent query

  31. Dear Sir Could you please let me know the institution my great uncle Caleb Edwin Jesse Irving was in between 1909-1912 Yours Faithfully John Dedman (England)

    VOLUME_NO 905
    SYSTEM 01
    REFERENCE 17692
    PART 1
    STARTING 1909
    ENDING 1912

  32. Dear Sir Could you please tell me what institution my great uncle Caleb Edwin Jesse Irving was in from 1909-1912 from this information Yours Faithfully John Dedman (England):::

    VOLUME_NO 905
    SYSTEM 01
    REFERENCE 17692
    PART 1
    STARTING 1909
    ENDING 1912

  33. Lesley Dare

    Hi – can you please point me in the right direction to obtain a copy death certificate of someone who died in Capetown South Africa in 1994.

  34. I just finished reading ”The Life Of Dr. James Barry. I want to know how to get copies of portaits of Dr Barry which I belive are in the Cape Town Archive Repository. Any ideas would be helpful.

    Thank You………Mike O Carroll

  35. Valerie Cooper-Bondar

    I am trying to find out more information about my great-great grandfather. His name was James F Cooper. (from Scotland/Oudtshoorn). There are two death notices in the Cape archives:

    Cooper, James Fred Grey. death notice lodged 1885 Vol 6/9/216 ref 17; and
    Cooper, James Farquhar. death notice lodged 1904 Vol 6/9/492 ref 425.

    I live in Jhb and am unable to come there myself. Would you be kind enough to see which one had a son, George Stewart Cooper (my great-grandfather). This James would then be the correct one I am looking for. Could you email me any certificate/documents with family details, ie spouse, children, places and dates of birth, parents details etc, should you have them with his archive file/certificates. I deeply appreciate this. Thanking you.
    Val Cooper-Bondar

  36. Lorraine Axon nee Presance

    My father was born in Soweto Cape Town on October 9th 1918 to an african mother and irish father. His name was James Edgar Presance. I have photos of a brother and sister and remember receiving a necklace from my grandmother when I was about 10. I would like to trace any relatives I may have and maybe get to meet them. I am sure I have cousins aunts and uncles still living in Africa.

  37. l looking foor my mum birth certificate born in joeburg or near it thora may simpson march 13 1913 thanks l did have one but my mother lost it so it ill be there
    father william simpsom mother joesphine mcgregor

  38. Shanaz

    I am trying to help a friend who is looking for any birth info regarding his late mum Mariam Greenland who came to Southern Rhodesia as a baby. Mariam Greenland was born in Cape Town. Her son’s name is Mohammed G Greenland but goes by the christian name of Joseph. Anyone with any info can contact me, Shanaz Petker at email

  39. Bradley

    Hi I will like to read up on my family history what can I do?

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