Welcome to eGSSA - the virtual branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa. Join us on an exciting genealogical journey!

eGSSA, founded in 2004, is the virtual branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa, and provides a virtual home for everyone from the beginner to the most advanced family historian.

2013 May 18 - eGGSA Outreach at Humansdorp - Museum Day 2013

Humansdorp Museum Day at Jeffreys Bay - Click pic for slideshow

Humansdorp Museum Day at
Jeffreys Bay (click for slideshow)

Museum Day in South Africa was intended to draw attention to the plight of museums in the country and I was asked to take part in the Humansdorp Museum’s Exhibition where I was able to promote eGSSA’s Outreach Program.

Trudie Marais and I, together with our husbands Tinus and Ludwic, set off before sunrise to arrive at Jeffrey’s Bay’s Fountain Mall by 8 am to set up for the Exhibition. Before we were even finished setting up the first few eager seekers arrived. From there it became a never ending stream of people, surnames too many to remember. Some people did, however, stand out:

WILLIAMS - a young couple now living in Mexico.
SCHARNIK - a wonderful gentleman desperate to find out all he can about his family.
OLIVIER - we could help him with the help of one of the Jeffrey’s Bay group who researches the OLIVIERs who had popped in to say hello.
DEYSEL – (German descent) we referred the seeker to a gentleman at the Exhibition who had the Deysel book, so we had another satisfied member of the public.
FOWLDS – Yvonne, looking for her parents COCKCROFT/FOWLES marriage.
ARENDT - researching his German family, he spoke to Trudie MARAIS, the leader of the German Group in Port Elizabeth.

Best of all, and I forget the surname, was a woman who knew absolutely nothing about her father’s family as he had grown up in an orphanage. She could give me his name and date of birth. We were very fortunate to find this family. Her father was one of 20 children, an absolute shock to her.

eGGSA also obtained permission to photograph an old HUMAN family register in the safekeeping of the Museum, as well as a number of family bibles. I will try to do this as soon as possible.

If you don’t mind us bragging a little, it certainly seemed to us that the eGGSA stall received by far the most attention at the Exhibition. As a result, we had a busy day helping many people and set many on the correct path.

I believe that we are reaching people who did not know that help was available - the Outreach Program is working.

Carol Beneke

18th May 2013 - Cape Frontier Times 1840 to 1853 extracts

Extracts from the Cape Frontier Times 1840 to 1853 are currently being transcribed by Sue Mackay from the copies preserved in the British National Archives at Kew. So far completed are the years 1851 to 1853 and Sue has now started on 1847. These can be found on in the Newspaper Collection along with the many other extracts from South African newspapers old and new done by many different volunteers and collected here by Sue.

8th March 2013 - Index to Stellenbosch NGK marriages 1788 to 1815 added

Ockert Malan has added an index to the Stellenbosch NGK marriages 1788 to 1815 with images of the pages to his growing collection of transcripts and indexes - the new index can be found here in the SA Records transcribed section, and notes on the whole collection will be found in the article Stellenbosch NGK registers in the same section

3rd March 2013 - Cape Town NGK transcripts continue with 1712-1756

Corney Keller is continuing his transcripts of the early Cape Town NGK church registers and is now working on the marriage register of 1713 to 1756. He has so far completed years 1713 to 1734 and these can be seen in the eGGSA transcript library. This project, which he began in March of 2012, so far covers the earliest church registers, from 1665 to the end of the second register book 1712, baptisms and marriages.

In addition he has transcribed the letters sent as reports to the Classis Amsterdam (the body governing the church at the Cape) by the sieckentrooster, Pieter van der Stael, for the period 1656 to 1663, before a regular minister and registers were established at the Cape. These transcripts can be found here: The Van der Stael Letters, and the birth and marriage records contained in them have been extracted and are available here: Baptisms 1653 to 1664 and Marriages 1656 to 1662.

H N Minnaar grave in Potchefstroom Main Cemetery

20th November 2012 - Mary Beth Frederick writes:

We all owe a debt of gratitude to you and the other volunteers who have participated in the gravestone photo project. Thursday is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States; your group will be at the top of my list.

My husband's great-grandfather's stone has appeared recently on your site. H N MINNAAR died in 1903 and is buried in a cemetery in Potchefstroom.

As you probably know, all of those with the surname MINNAAR are descended from the same French Huguenot who landed at the Cape in 1688. However, so far I haven't been able to fill in the large gap between that person and Hendrik Nicolaas. The blog has generated some responses from other MINNAARs, and I hope that it will help to solve this mystery.

graves in Graaff-Reinet

7th November 2012 - eGGSA Passenger Lists updated

A number of records have been added to the Passenger list database.

New to the database are the lists in the Cape Archives IBC 6 series, passenger lists of emigrant ships 1858 to 1861 - twenty ships carrying 5000 or so passengers, transcribed by Richard Wolfaardt and his international team of transcribers,

and also around 42,000 passenger from the lists of departures and arrivals found in The Colonies & India (a weekly newspaper) April 1883 to December 1888, transcribed by Trisha McLeod.

23rd October 2012 - eGGSA on Facebook

eGGSA on Facebook

You will now find eGGSA on Facebook - click on the blue Facebook symbol to access the eGGSA page. This has been set up by June Barnes and is being maintained by June, Daan Botes, Judi Meyer and Leith Woodall. They hope you will enjoy what you will find there.

23rd Aprl 2012 - a new part of the web site for transcripts:

A new section has been added to the web site to bring together the many transcripts we have available. Here, at South African Records Transcribed, you can now find the Muster Rolls, and the Cape Baptisms and Marriages 1665-1696. These have been revised and corrected by Corney Keller and he has just added to them a transcript of the Cape Town NGK marriages 1696 to 1712. You will also find some earlier baptisms and marriages found in the De Stael letters to the Amsterdam Classis, that Corney found in the Amsterdam Archives who have given permission for the letters themselves to be transcribed - letter reports to Amsterdam from Peter Stael, siekentrooster at the Cape from 1654 to 1663. Also there is a transcript of the French baptism register of Drakenstein, 1694 to 1713, with translations into English.

In addition Corney has acquired scans of 25 soldijboeken of early 17th and 18th century settlers at the Cape which are displayed with the permission of the Nationaal Archief, Den Haag, Nederland, and also provided a transcript to a few of them.

19th December 2011 - an appreciation from Dianne Dever:

I am the niece of a '19 year old lad' from Manchester England who found himself in a war and a country I am certain he had little knowledge of. He tragically lost his life in January 1943 and is buried in Stellawood Cemetery, Durban. His name is Bernard Vaughan Healey, born to impoverished parents who had 7 children to feed and clothe. His childhood was miserable and before he had a chance at making a better life for himself, lost that life at such a young age. He was buried thousands of miles from home and of course no family members ever visited his grave. He has been long forgotten, his parents and siblings all long dead. I never knew him, being born 15 years after he died.

But because of the fantastic work you all have done, including those who tend and care for the graves, Bernard Vaughan Healey has been cared for more in death than he ever was in his short sad life.

He is 'at peace' in a beautiful corner of the world being watched over by angels who at the least deserve heartfelt thanks and praise for the dedicated work you all do. I will always think of you all with gratitude and praise.

Yours sincerely
Dianne Dever
Manchester

1st December 2011 - GSSA Voters Roll Project - Letter S complete

When the eGGSA branch first started on Project S (the transcription of the whole of the letter S in the 1984 South African Voters' Roll, 296 668 names and addresses) we were simply just going to type forever!! You must know when the S's first arrived at my desk, I sommer put the computer off for 2 weeks, not knowing where to start. eGGSA's initial plans for handling the transcriptions were also put to bed and we had to come up with a new approach. The simplest for us was to approach anybody with even the remotest interest in the S-surnames, family and friends were also not safe.

The first of the S's were typed with the start of the Soccer World Cup in 2010. In the first quarter of this year we set ourselves a deadline for completing Project S by the end of December 2011. We typed right through the Rugby World Cup and today we won the S-CUP!!! The transcription of the letter S is now complete - 31 days BEFORE the deadline!!

Thank you so much to everyone who put so many hours into the project. We really appreciate your time, dedication, patience and friendship! I really enjoyed working with you guys! A big thank you to the S-pensioners who have offered to continue transcribing other surnames.  Alta Griffiths.

The Roll of Honour ( transcriber and number of names transcribed ):

Alet Swanepoel, 4200
Alta Griffiths, 26504
Amanda Stander, 4033
Annette Goussard, 3801
Carmen van de Riet, 3570
Carol Beneke, 10542
Celeste Rachman, 20055
Dalina van Zyl, 4242
Dan Strydom, 5271
Deirdre Eygelaar, 7519
Erna Buber-de Villiers, 715
Fay Lea, 588
Frans Rudolph, 28603
Gert Schepers, 106
Glynis Millet-Clay, 1053
Hannetjie Riekert, 76550
Heleen Nel, 11602
Hobbie Stoffberg, 4819
Jacobus Swanepoel, 7119
Jacqui Foster, 273
Judi Meyer, 5271
Karn Kruger, 1764
Kobus Snyman, 3507
Lee Marais, 273
Levien Smuts, 13399
Melanie Smit, 5271
Minnie Pretorius, 2814
Paul Bosman, 819
Paxie Kelsey, 3261
Richard Atkinson, 5271
Richard Wolfaardt, 26355
Straffen Short, 462
Swannie Swanevelder, 1197
Talita Lofty-Eaton, 1764
Tanite Smart, 1029
Tobie de Villiers, 421
Wolfaardt familie, 2625 (Richard Wolfaardt, Dalina van Zyl and Henry Wolfaardt)

graves in Graaff-Reinet

18 September 2011 - 350 000 Gravestones on the web site!

The total number of gravestone pictures in the online Gravestones in South Africa collection has now passed 350 000 thanks to all those who have generously donated their time to the project.

Donations of appropriate photographs can be sent to Alta Griffiths at cemphoto@ggsa.info

Berlin Cemetery Register re-discovered

For some months now I have been nagging them at the Cambridge Cemetery Office for the Burial Register of the Berlin (Eastern Cape) Cemetery.

The lady at the Berlin Office. whom I know personally and who has lived in Berlin all her life, tells me that some years ago someone from the Town Office (Buffalo City) sent a courier out to collect the register, which now appeared to be lost?

Quite by chance, about three weeks ago, I mentioned this to a staff member who happened to be at the Cambridge Office. He told me he was sure he had seen the Register at the Mdantsane Office, just outside East London, and gave me the cellphone number of one of the supervisors whom he knew out there, I contacted the man and made arrangements for the register to be brought to the Cambridge Office.

Berlin is about 40 kilometres from East London. on the road to King William’s Town. It became part of East London in 1973, until which time it had its own Village Management Board. It was well populated with descendents of early German Settlers (hence the name).

There are very few descendants of the original German settlers now living permanently in Berlin but I am told that some of those who once lived there, when they pass on, are having their ashes, together with a Memorial Stone, placed on the grave of their parents.

I have now photographed and transcribed the register. The transcript can be searched on the eGGSA Burials page.

Brian Barrett

Document Ordering Service

We are able to organise the photographing of documents from the South African Archives at Pretoria (TAB), Bloemfontein (VAB), Pietermaritzburg (NAB) and Durban(TBD).

Please read the FAQ for more information.

Stamouers.com

This web site, created by Andre van Rensburg, is now maintained by the eGGSA branch of the GSSA.

It provides details of South African progenitors (stamouers / original immigrants) and their children. The information is provided by contributors. All progenitors, whatever the date of their arrival, can be included.

Information includes only the progenitors' immediate families, not further descendants.

You can access it here: Stamouers.com

eGSSA serves its members by:

  • providing genealogical skill development through information, publications, research education, and networking opportunities.

  • establishing important links with other groups world-wide.

  • increasing public awareness of opportunities for discovering family history.

  • promoting interest in the fascinating field of genealogy.

  • promoting a number of projects aimed at expanding the availability of South African genealogical sources online.

For many years, there have been people who, for various reasons, could not join a regular GSSA branch. Some of these reasons include living too far from a branch or living outside South Africa. These people still have a need to belong to a branch and to enjoy the benefits of GSSA membership, such as receiving GSSA's journal, Familia. eGSSA has been established to meet these needs. This is an ideal opportunity to become part of GSSA and to step into this exciting era.

At eGSSA we have an online shop where you can buy the various publications of the Genealogical Society of South Africa, as well as a number of other genealogical, historical and cultural items.

There are indexes to the articles in Familia, the quarterly journal of the GSSA and those in genesis, journal of eGGSA itself. In addition we now have a download library with some free books in pdf format, a number of documents from the South African Archives as well as photographs of graves in South African cemeteries.

Check out the benefits of becoming a member!