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Southern Africa Jewish Genealogy SA-SIG

Web-site and E-mail addresses, Newsgroups


Editor: Dr Saul Issroff
Copyright © 2000-2015 Saul Issroff, Mike Getz, SAfrica SIG
and Jewishgen Inc.
Revised: 16 September 2015


Our thanks for additional information go to Garri Regev, Reuben and Naomi Musiker, Steven Weiss and Peter Zinn.


Adobe Acrobat™ reader
If you need to view PDF (Portable Document Format) files then click here
to download a free copy of the latest version of the program.

Adoption records South Africa
A very interesting web site is Adoption Reunion:
Alternatively contact Irene Berman . She is a social worker in Cape Town who specialises in adoption.
Some adoptions may also be found on NAIRS.

Andre van Rensburg's Stamouers site

Anne Lehmkuhl's SA site

Australian Jewish Genealogical Society

Beth Hatefutsoth: Cape Town, South African Community and Synagogue Site

SA Friends of Beth Hatefutsoth

From MavenSearch newsletter, 23 July 2002:
The Jewish Community of Cape Town, South Africa
Founded in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company as a victualing station at the Cape Of Good Hope, southernmost tip of Africa, on the sea route to India and the Far East. The town had Jews among its early settlers. The rules of the company, however, allowed only Protestants as settlers; two Jews were converted to Christianity in Cape Town as early as 1669. After the British occupation of the Cape in 1806, a steady flow of Jewish immigrants came from Central Europe and England and later, in larger numbers, from Eastern Europe.
Source: Category: South Africa.

Beth Hatefutsoth Country Communities Project: Jewish Dorps
The South African Friends of Beth Hatefutsoth was established in 1983 following the temporary photographic exhibition of The Jews of South Africa show in Tel Aviv and in South Africa. In August 1992, South African Friends committee, under the chairmanship of Dennis Fox, undertook a research project to document the history of the Jewish communities that lived in the "dorps" of South Africa in order to fill the gaps in the Museum. Currently, in 2003, the research is still under way. Over 1400 places have been identified as having had a Jewish presence. To contact us or to request books on "Jewish Life in the South African Country Communities" please email us via

Bnei Akiva

Cape Jewish Chronicle - monthly communal newspaper

Cape Town Family History Society

Center for Jewish History
15 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011, U.S.A.
Telephone: +1 (0)212-294 8318
The web-site pages include FAQs, a virtual exhibit, a complete list of our reference collection and PDF files of all fact-sheets.

Chabad House, Cape Town

Chabad House, Johannesburg

Chabad of the North Coast

Chevra Kadisha - Johannesburg

CIA Factbook page on South Africa

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Conrod Mercer's SA Genealogy site

Cory Library at Rhodes University
Eastern Cape collections.

Cyndi's List of genealogy sites on the internet

Dafanie Goldsmith's 'Researching In South Africa'

Dr Keith Tankard's Knowledge4Africa Web-site
History and educational web-site covering the following topics:
1.. Worksheets for English Literature
2.. Aspects of World History
3.. East London, South Africa
4.. South Africa: A Brief History
5.. German Settlers to the Eastern Cape

Distance calculator
Straight line distances measured in kilometres:

Douglas E. Goldman Jewish Genealogy Centre at Beth Hatefutsot

Dutch East India Company research

Family web-sites

Family Tree, The
The tree describes the following main places and surnames:
1.. Latvia: Jelgava: Kahn; Riga: Kahn.
2.. Lithuania: Papile: Gochin; Telsiai: Goldfuss; Tryskiai: Piel.
3.. South Africa: Cradock: Bergman, Kahn, Perl; Grahamstown: Barnett, Gordon, Kahn; King William's Town: Kahn, Navra; Port Elizabeth: Berger, Bergman, Berman, Gochin, Klein, Perl.
4.. USA: Diverse Berman-Tuber descendents
5.. Australia: Melbourne & Sydney: Bergman, Kahn, Perl
Contact: Dennis Kahn

FamilySearch (Latter Day Saints)

Genealogical Institute of South Africa

Genealogical Society of South Africa

Genealogy and genetics
1.. How FTDNA, JewishGen's partner, worked to verify family connections:
2.. DNA newsletter:
3.. Genealogy by Genetics programme:

Genealogy Forum: Jewish Resource Center, The

The Genealogy Homepage
Extensive list of links.

Genealogy Primer, see South African Genealogy Primer.

Genealogy World
A large web-site almost entirely devoted to South African resources. Curiously, many e-mail and web-site addresses are displayed as text and not as live links. You will need to "copy & paste" the addresses into your browser or e-mail program.

German Given Names Database

German Jewish genealogy sources

Habonim in South Africa

Heather's South Africa Genealogy Help List
Links on this site include ...
   Military & shipping:
   Arrival of passengers in South Africa:

Heraldry in South Africa

Historical Research Bureau (a.k.a. Factsfound)
Telephone (Cape Town): 021-715 9156
Holocaust search-engines

Home Affairs, Department of

Huguenot Memorial Museum

Israel Genealogical Society

Israel Genealogy Research Association - IGRA

Israel United Appeal - United Communal Fund (IUA-UCF)

Jewish Genealogical Society of Georgia, Inc. [10 July 2002: may be off-line]

Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain

Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Boston

Jewish Genealogical Society of New York, Inc., The
A non-profit organization founded in New York in 1977.

Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State

The Jewish Genealogical Society of Willamette Valley Oregon

Jewish Genealogy and Avotaynu
David M. Fox of the Jewish Genealogy Society of Greater Washington has prepared for Avotaynu a list of some 50 sites that are worth visiting.
(Avotaynu=our forefathers)

Jewish Genealogy Society of Long Island, Inc., The

Jewish Genealogy Society of Oregon

Jewish Genealogy Society of Ottawa
[ web-site last updated: 26 October 1998 ]

Jewish Genealogy Society of Southern Alberta

Jewish South Africa
Comprises several sections: Community, Diary, Kashrut, Links, News, Organisations, Parsha, Publications, Simchas.

Jewish Surname History

Jewish Web Index
This link leads to a page which includes various items of information about the following countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, South Africa, Tunisia and Zimbabwe.

Jews Temporary Shelter database

Johannesburg Jewish Report (weekly newspaper)

Len Stratford's 1820 Settlers site

Library of Congress, U.S.A.

Lithuania (Litvak) SIG

Museums in South Africa, links to
The site includes a geographical menu map for ease of use.

National Archives of South Africa (NASA)
The National Archives Repository is in possession of considerable sources with regard to genealogical research.
Voters rolls 1936-1978: Unfortunately limitations of time and staff precludes the archive from doing extensive photocopying and research on behalf of members of the public. Emmerentia van Rensburg, a private researcher, will do the research and photocopying for you in exchange for an agreed fee.
See also our NASA page

National War Museum

Netherlands Genealogy site

Netherlands Society for Jewish Genealogy

Plunge, Lithuania
Plungianers in South Africa by Steve Kitnick
References to links between South African and Plungian Jewry may be found in Pinkas Hakehillot Lita, edited by Dov Levin and Yosef Rosin and translated by Peter Zinn:

These are lists, usually in book form, and they contain the names of subscribers or sponsors who supported the compilation and production of the book by payment or donation prior to its publication. Prenumeranten are a rich source of genealogical data and are likely to be accurate because the subscribers paid for the privilege of inclusion. The term is a Yiddish word meaning prior numbers. Harduf's Transliterated English<>Yiddish Dictionary gives numeriren for number. Alternative spellings are: prenumeraten, prenumeratin, prenumeratn.
Two good descriptive resources are:

A copy of the only known example of a South African prenumeranten list is on this web-site at

Railways in South Africa
Approximate dates for construction of various sections of the railways in South Africa. Very useful as Burman's book (Cape railways only) stops at 1910 and leaves out a few post-Union lines in the Cape:
Topographical maps - first 1:250 000 then 1:50 000 which can be ordered from the Surveyor-General in Cape Town should be the best source for railway siding names as they were drawn in the early 1980's when even the most obscure station siding was still operational before privatization. The Surveyor-General's website is:

Rhodes University Cory Library


Seeker's Genealogy Sites, The
Extensive list of genealogy web-sites.

Ships and passenger lists

SMIT Homepage
Expired address:

South African Board of Jewish Education (SABJE)

South African Expatriates

South African Friends of Beth Hatefutsoth
See Beth Hatefutsoth, above.

South African Genealogical Societies information

South African Genealogy Primer
The Primer is in Adobe PDF format and the site includes a click-through button to download a free copy of the Acrobat Viewer program.

South African Geographical Names System
Part of the Department of Arts and Culture.

South African Government
Main web-site:
Department of Home Affairs:

South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD)

South African Jewish Communal Information

South African Jewish Rootsbank
Centre for Jewish Migration & Genealogy Studies
The primary aim of the project is to research the estimated 15,000 core families who migrated to Southern Africa between 1850-1950 from England, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia and Belarus:
• to map the entire history of Jewish migration to South Africa with the aim of providing authoritative and definitive data for the Discovery Centre at the South African Jewish Museum (SAJM),
• to integrate the genealogical data in multi-disciplinary research initiatives under the auspices of the Isaac and Jessie Kaplan Centre at the University of Cape Town.

South African Military History Society

South African National Library
Search by Author, Title, Keyword, Publisher, Subject, ISBN or ISSN, Class No, Series Title and Shelf Number.

South African Time Line
Covers dates on when railway lines were opened, founding of various churches, cemeteries, etc.

South African Union of Jewish Students (SAUJS)

South African Zionist Federation (SAZF)

South African Zionist Federation in Israel

Southern Africa Jewish Genealogy

See Len Stratford's 1820 Settlers site, above.

See: South African Zionist Federation in Israel, above.

Union of Orthodox Synagogues of South Africa (Cape Council)

University of Cape Town Jewish Studies Library
• Library home-page:
• Bibliography of South African Jewry/Towns and Villages in Eastern Europe which lists South African articles written on Litvak shtetls:

University of Stellenbosch's Image Database

Western Province Zionist Council (WPZC)

Yeshiva College of South Africa

Yizkor web-site
This website, set up by the Israeli MOD, has a searchable database of all those who fell in Israel's battles since 1948. Individual pages for each biography. Data is entirely in Hebrew. - The Jewish Supersite





Genealogical supplies

Avotaynu - Publisher of works on Jewish genealogy

Blair's Book Service
2503 Springpark Way, Richardson, TX 75082, U.S.A.
Bulletin Board (BBS): +1 703 459-5898 (8N1).
Books on genealogy, family history, local history, CD-ROMs, software.
Source: Bob Blair, via Usenet:soc.genealogy.jewish


Genealogical Newsgroups


Newsgroups (a.k.a. discussion groups) are public discussion areas on the Internet and they were active many years before the World-Wide Web became a reality. Twenty-five years ago (1980s-1990s) there were reputedly over 30,000 newsgroups covering every conceivable topic. Many newsgroups are now dormant or empty but others are resonant with requests for information, debate and trivia. The newsgroups represent a kind of hidden world and most people do not go beyond the boundaries of e-mail and the World-Wide Web.

Your Internet browser should include a facility, usually the e-mail program, to read newsgroups and to post messages to them. You may need to ask your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to make the service available. You can also view newsgroups via a web-site.

Google Groups

Yahoo Groups
  1. (Iberian, Spanish, Portuguese) (very active)
  2. (Pultusk, north of Warsaw) (active
  3. )
  4. (Cape Town) (active)
  5. (Sephardi Jewish Mendoza family) (active)
  6. (Sephardic J Gen) (dormant)
  7. (active)
  8. (Piotrkow, Poland) (active)
  9. (slight activity)
  10. (dormant since 2001)
  11. (active)
  12. (dormant)
  13. (dormant)
  14. (Sawin, Poland) (slight activity)




Miscellaneous resources
South African search engines:
Commencing in about 2002, six South Africa-specific search engines were listed here. They were Aardvark, Ananzi, Max, SA Web, SA Worm and Zebra. In September 2003, only Ananzi remains active. It suffers from a very slow response time.
The search engines all have different indexes and contents and will produce different results when searching. It is recommended that you try several for the same query.
    Working, but very slow to respond and it delivers many irrelevent results.
SA Web:
    Working, but apparently hardly any content. Using wynberg as a search key yielded only two results in September 2003.
Search ZA:
Search engines worldwide:
Researching a topic or country via large general-purpose search engines such as Google and Yahoo does not always produce interesting and useful results. You can however use Google and Yahoo to easily find specialist search engines by entering "search engine" AND countryname or "search engine" AND topicname into the query box.
National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS)
On-line Historical Directories
Braby's South African Business Directory

Links to telephone directories.

Please note that telephone directories are likely to be incomplete. Telephone users may have taken over an account and never changed the previous owner's name to their own name, they may have registered their accounts in names other than their own, eg. spouse, pre-marriage or business name, use of some mobile telephones may be anonymous, some telephone companies do not allow access to their customer indexes:

  1. British Telecom:
  2. British Telecom:
  3. Phonebook:
  4. TelDir:
  5. Telkom (South Africa):
  6. SA Residential Telephone Directory:

Links to name-finder services:
There are many such services usually offered on a paid-for basis. The following appear to offer a free service.
  1. ZabaSearch:
  2. People.Yahoo:
  3. UK.bigfoot:
  4. Missing-You:


Family Records: a portal to the UK Public Records Office, National Archives of Scotland and the Family Records Office:


British Library Newspaper Library:



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