PROJECT Cemetery Records
Project leaders Peter and Beverley Moss
The Project is an initiative of the Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA).
The aim is to preserve information by managing the collection, recording, processing and safekeeping of cemetery data. This is achieved by recording the genealogical information, including birth, death and burial data, plus any personal historical data (e.g. occupation, marriage or any other family relationships) contained in the cemetery records.
The data is collected from all types of cemetery sources, including gravestones, burial registers, memorials and cremation memorial plaques.
The project covers all cemetery data of South African interest, inside and outside South Africa.
A prime focus of the project is the collection of information from the many farm cemeteries that exist throughout South Africa. These have no burial registers and the gravestones are subject to neglect and damage, unlike town cemeteries that are increasingly also under threat.
The Cemetery records project transcribes the information from various sources and take-on these records on in-house databases, on a continuous basis. This provides the information to produce two indices: a Cemetery Index and a Gravestone Transcription Index. The Cemetery Index is in essence a list of cemeteries (places) and the Gravestone Transcription Index a list of deceased persons buried in these cemeteries.
An annual snapshot of the Gravestone Transcription Index is published as an edition. The latest, Gravestone Transcription Index Edition 20, published in March 2022 contains 951,452 names from 3,196 cemeteries. This edition of the Gravestone Index can be procured as a digital download via the eGSSA’s OnlineShop, and contains the full index, as at the date of the edition.
Alternatively, the Gravestone Transcription Index, updated on a continuous (monthly) basis throughout the year, is also available in the following way: Individual records of the Gravestone Transcription Index can be procured through the WebShop; it provides a search engine to select specific records and procure them on a token basis.
Besides cemetery recording efforts at the various GSSA Branches, we have many volunteers who record data and assist with data processing. You are welcome to contribute to the collection – and the invitation is open to the public.
- Link to the Cemetery Index for downloadable files.
- Link to the Gravestone Transcription Index for purchase options.