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Is there any records for Archibald Kennedy and Catherine Hunter, parents of South African progenitor John Hunter Kennedy, born about 1803. (He could be from Aberdeen, Scotland).


John Hunter Kennedy is listed in the South African Genealogical Registers as the eldest son of Archibald Kennedy and Catherine Hunter. I do not have any evidence or record of the parents marriage. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. I do not have names of any brothers or sisters. I am currently trying to access local archives to see if I can find proof of his marriage and death record.


John Hunter Kennedy is listed as b1, eldest son. He was a farmer in Namakwaland, Western Cape, South Africa. He died on 11 April 1857, aged 54 years at Koornhuis, Namakwaland. So that tells me he was born about 1803. He married Anna Maria van Zyl on 7 January 1834, in Clanwilliam, Western Cape, South Africa.

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    Joey, can you tell us what you already know about this couple and where you've looked without success? It will help us provide a better answer without duplicating what you've already done. – user104 Jul 27 '13 at 12:22
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    Are you saying John or Archibald was from Scotland? Also, do you have any other information on Archibald or Catherine (vital records, marriage records, etc.)? What specifically are you looking for (birth cert., death cert, census records, etc.) ? – American Luke Jul 27 '13 at 18:18
  • @ColeValleyGirl, I found the information on John Hunter Kennedy in the South African Genealogy Registers. Archibald Kennedy and Catherine Hunter are listed as the parents of John Hunter Kennedy, born in Aberdeen, Scotland. I have no other records of his parents. John Hunter Kennedy is listed as b1, eldest son. He was a farmer in Namakwaland, Western Cape, South Africa. He died on 11 April 1857, aged 54 years at Koornhuis, Namakwaland. So that tells me he was born about 1803. He married Anna Maria van Zyl on 7 January 1834, in Clanwilliam, Western Cape, South Africa. – Joey Cordier Aug 5 '13 at 18:52
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You have not given enough information to answer this question properly. What can be suggested is a strategy for your own searching, eg on the online databases such as FamilySearch, Scotland's People or Ancestry.com.

  • You will probably have the most success starting from the most specific piece of information you are sure of. In this case, that is probably the combination of parents. There were plenty of Archibald Kennedys, and plenty of Catherine Hunters, in the world in the late 1700s. But the odds that a lot of the Archibalds married the Catherines is pretty low. So start by searching for a marriage record.

  • I couldn't find such a marriage record including the search on spouse name in FamilySearch, though I admit I didn't try that hard. So the next step is to consider whether you need to question the information you already know. Perhaps Catherine's maiden name was not Hunter? Was it spelt differently? Perhaps his name was not Archibald.

  • An alternative approach would be to search for John’s birth record. Since you don’t know place of birth, you will need to be quite expansive in your search by place. But a definite date of birth is a good start. Just remember that not everyone was baptised (1803 is before compulsory civil registration of births in the UK) and that by the 19th century, some people were not baptised until they were several years old (often on the same day as a younger sibling). Also, there is no guarantee his middle name is mentioned.

  • You will almost certainly end up with multiple candidate John Kennedys. As mentioned in several other answers, often to my questions, you then need to trace those candidates forward to eliminate them one by one. Did they die young? Did they remain in their home village and die there? For the UK, the 1851 Census will be particularly helpful, being the first one with town-level birthplaces.

This is about as much as can be suggested with such a vague starting point.

  • John Hunter Kennedy is listed in the South African Genealogical Registers as the eldest son of Archibald Kennedy and Catherine Hunter. I do not have any evidence or record of the parents marriage. He was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. I do not have names of any brothers or sisters. I am currently trying to access local archives to see if I can find proof of his marriage and death record. – Joey Cordier Aug 5 '13 at 18:59

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