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20 April 2015

South Africa, Orange Free State, Estate Files, 1951-2006

This collection, the Estate Files of the Orange Free State, South Africa, 1951-2006 has over 3.8 million images of the estate files held by the Master of The Supreme Court in Bloemfontein, South Africa. This collection which is available free of charge at FamilySearch, is extra nice for researchers , because in most cases the records contain information on multiple generations. The majority of the records are those normally associated with death, such as death notices, inventories and wills. The record are for those who lived in the Orange Free State region.

Whenever a do a general search in a new database, I always use the name Cohen. I do this for 2 reasons, first, it is a name that is almost always a Jewish name and second by seeing the number of hits, I am able to compare it to other searches to see the level of coverage of the database. In this case there were 449 results that cam e back for the surname Cohen. Almost every result included multiple generations. From the results, I clicked on the link for David Cohen, who died on 4 January 1974 in Harrismith (below). 

From this we now have the names of his parents, Nathan and Gita,  and his spouse Bessie Kadey. In addition we are given the names of three children, Cyril Herchel, Edwin Bernard and Phyllis. While this is great information, if we continue further by clicking on the "View the document" tab, we also are able to get the place of birth as well as his place of residence at the time of his death.

This source can be a great way to link together multiple generations of your families. As with all FamilySearch records it is also free to use.