The Genealogical Institute of South Africa (GISA) was founded during September 1997 in Franschhoek by seven founding members and is since 1 March 1998 situated at 115 Banghoek Road, Stellenbosch. The aim of this institute is threefold and is thus worded in the constitution:
(1) the collection and preservation of genealogical data,
(2) research from available sources; and
(3) compiling of genealogical publications (the continuation and completion of the series South African Genealogies which has priority).
With the termination of the Genealogical Division at the HSRC in Pretoria, the genealogical collection of books and manuscripts including the copyright of the HSRC publications and those manuscript intended for publication was legally handed over to GISA.
The Institute has the most comprehensive collection in the world with regard to the oldest families in our country commencing with the first settlement at the southern end of Africa in 1652. As GISA has access to the records (baptism, marriage and membership) on microfilm of the three Afrikaans churches (NGK, NHK and GK) it can claim to have the genealogy of South Africa under one roof, supplemented by a considerable database, death notices, publications, manuscripts, genealogical magazines and family files. Registration of births, marriages and deaths were only made compulsory by law during the 1890â€™s in the Cape Colony (1900 for the rest of South Africa) therefore the church records are the main (sometimes the only) source to trace information of births and marriages.
GISA became an affiliated member of the GSU on 1 October 2006. This means that the records which are available on microfilm at the GSU can be ordered by GISA, in the same way that films are presently ordered from the Family History Centres. The affiliation gives researchers at GISA access to a large number of sources, within South Africa as well as abroad.