Thursday, February 11, 2010

Later Cape immigration sources

Registers of arrivals and departures of ships at Table Bay and Simon’s Bay 1822-1917, as well as arrivals and departures at Algoa Bay (Port Elizabeth) 1846-1901, are held at Cape Archives Repository under the Archives of the Secretary, Cape Town Chamber of Commerce (CC). The lists giving the name of the captain and sometimes the names of first class passengers. (Most family historians are usually more interested in who was in steerage.)

Letters of Naturalization 1826-1902 and Applications for Letters of Naturalization 1865-1911 are in the Archives of the Colonial Office (CO) at Cape Archives Repository and can be an alternative to passenger lists. The Archives of the Secretary for Public Works (PWD) include Applications for Aided Immigration 1875-1889, Indexes of Applications 1878-1881 and Registers of Applications 1882-1902. These are all potential avenues for family history research.

If a PIO file for your ancestor should emerge on NAAIRS, this indicates documents in the Archives of the Principal Immigration Officer, Cape Town, covering 1904-1967, and they are informative. Passengers entering a South African port had to complete a declaration form giving name, age, birthplace, nationality, occupation, marital status, names of spouse and children, age and birthplace of spouse, reason for entering the country, port of embarkation and name of ship.

Colonial Office Emigration Correspondence 1817-1896 (not only South Africa-related) is held at The National Archives, Kew, in CO 384.

For Cape passenger lists see:

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