Not finding a reference on NAAIRS, the SA National Archives online index, doesn’t mean the ancestor did not spend some time in
It could be that his activities didn’t generate any public records, or that his
sojourn was brief and he remained invisible as far as records were concerned.
If you’re searching for a deceased estate, bear in mind that not everyone who died in
Africa had an estate file lodged with the
Master of the Supreme Court. Where there are minimal assets – literally no
‘estate’ – a deceased estate file would not be opened. The death might have
occurred within the last 20-30 years, in which case there would be no reference
on NAAIRS: the file would be at the Master’s Office in the area where death
occurred. Incidentally, there’s no legal or other obligation for the Master to
send estate files to archival repositories at any stage; it’s incorrect to speak of deceased estate files
being automatically ‘transferred’ to archival repositories.
The ancestor, contrary to what you or your family believe, may not have died in South Africa but moved on elsewhere or even returned to his place of origin: emigrants were extremely mobile.
The name you are looking for might not be correct: quite apart from variations in spelling names were sometimes changed completely if a person wanted to start out with a clean slate in the colonies. Do some lateral thinking - he might have used his mother’s maiden name.
If his time in the country pre-dates 1834 you won’t find a death notice for him.