News Release

South African Genealogical Collections Now Available Online

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ ‘FamilySearch’ website added new searchable collections online this week for South Africa and several other countries.  The South African collections are titled: ‘Orange Free State, Estate Files, 1951-2004’; and ‘Western Cape, Various Records.’  

“There are a growing number of South Africans calling New Zealand home," says Michael Higgins, New Zealand - Pacific Islands Area Family History Manager for FamilySearch. "South Africans living in New Zealand with an interest in genealogy, and their compatriots around the world, now have additional resources to draw upon.”

According to FamilySearch, additional genealogical collections for Austria, Chile, China, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Korea, Peru, Portugal, Spain, and the United States were also posted online last week. These collections can be searched and 2.8 billion other records free of charge at

Searchable historic records are made available on through the help of thousands of volunteers from around the world. These volunteers transcribe (index) information from digital copies of handwritten records to make them easily searchable online. 

FamilySearch representatives say that more volunteers are needed, particularly those who can read foreign languages, to keep pace with the large number of digital images being published online at Learn more about volunteering to help provide free access to the world’s historic genealogical records online at

FamilySearch is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. 

To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. 

Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources for free at or through more than 4,600 family history centres in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States.

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