Discovering and preserving our South African Heritage is significant for understanding our collective past... and in the words of the hit song, 7764 from Jimmy Nevis, in which he gives us a glimpse into his culture and childhood in Athlone on the Cape Flats, it's important to – "know where we're from... (and to be) proud of our roots."
Have you ever wondered who has shared your surname across generations? A patronymic surname – a last name originated from the father or a patrilineal ancestor – is passed down through the family lines and, has carried significant meaning for the past 1000 years. In anticipation of National Archives Awareness Week, we have taken a closer look at the 10 most common surnames in the Western Cape.
The top 10 surnames by province of birth registration, according to the latest report released by Statistics South Africa are as follows:
Do you know your family tree?
Just imagine what researching your family tree could uncover about your family history (and secrets) and, how it can help in understanding where you come from.
Could you be a descendant of slaves? The Western Cape Archives and Records Service can provide further insight.
The research, also known as genealogical research involves everything from archival records such as wills, death notices, death registers, baptismal documents, marriage documents to records tracing heritage back to the first slaves in the Cape and, some genealogical sources even date back to the 17th century.
Many descendants of slaves are using colonial-era Slave Office records to trace their family histories and, to reassess existing narratives of the history and heritage in the Cape.
These records include:
• original farm title deeds
• loan farm registers
• quitrent farm registers
• municipal and magistrate’s records
National Archives Awareness Week
The annual National Archives Awareness Week takes place from 15 to 19 July 2019 at the Western Cape Archives and Records Service under the theme: Archival Footprint: The relevance of Archives 25 years into Democracy.
The week-long programme includes; on-the-hour guided tours between 09h00 & 14h00 where you can learn about the importance of preserving our documented history and understanding of our cultural heritage, open exhibitions and public access to the Reading Room for research.
The annual National Archives Awareness Week officially launches on 12 July 2019 at the Western Cape Archives and Records Service in 72 Roeland Street, Cape Town. If you are interested in researching the history of the Cape or your own family tree, contact Amy at 021 483 0456 or send an email to Amy.VanWezel@westerncape.gov.za to book your tour.