Welcome to the GSSA


Our Business is Genealogy

Written by Admin-F on Tuesday, 02 August 2011 12:41.

Click on the images too enlarge

We serve a community of dedicated amateur family researchers. No one that has not yet started with genealogical research can imagine the passion, the determination and the great exultation that the genealogist experience when achieving a breakthrough, and makes a final link to complete a family line. It is an experience of a lifetime.

Moreover, for us it is more than just a family register, it is a family register augmented with the family- and cultural history of the time. Actual experiences of family groups, especially in remote areas, could be an indication of political, religious and cultural values of that time. This may be completely lost to later generations if not recorded in the family. 

The advantages of joining the GSSA are numerous. One becomes part of a family of like minded researchers with vast experience and one can interact with them on a personal level. You know that you can call on the help of people that is supportive and accommodating. You will gain access to research and educational resources and remain up to date with developments in the world of genealogy. You get the opportunity to go on outings to sites of genealogical significance and listen to experts in the research field. Benefits include discount on genealogy books, DVDs and CDs.


Here is an example of the

research done by one of our genealogists, Jeanette Clements and the obstacles she encountered.     There was a wall to cross during the research done on the CLEMENTS, we have not yet found the progenitor, but keep on researching. (It's not the Clementz as in the South African Families Book), they are Clements from England, with inter alia John James CLEMENTS born *1872 in Middelburg, Cape. During the Anglo - Boer War, he was a member of the Rimington Tigers and was awarded a VC for bravery. Here is the point that we came to a dead end. His parents’ name are only mentioned on his sister's death notice, but does not appear in anyone of the descendants (Higgs CLEMENTS x Mary PRETORIUS) documents. The search goes on.

Click here to see the researh done by Jeanette

The Genealogical Society of South Africa was founded on 18 June 1964 on the historical farm Joostenberg.


Since then the { society  has made big strides and genealogy is firmly established as a dynamic and growing phenonmonon in the South African Society. Many people spend hours in researching their family and the GSSA is proudly supporting them, newcomers as well as experienced researchers. The picture on the left is of the 11 founding members of the society. 

Read more about the founder members:

Members of the GSSA have over the years produced works of great genealogical significance. It would be an injustice listing only some of the works. But in many of our branch libraries you will find books, DVD's and CD's on names such as the Du Toit's; James Mundell and his descendants; Die De Beer-Familie, Drie Eeue in Suid-Afrika; The Dexter Family; Van Stamvader Jean Prieur tot Pieter Johannes du Plessis; Die Du Preez-Familie in Suid-Afrika 1688 – 1988 and many more.

 One of the goals of the GSSA, is to produce Family Registers and other Genealogical Products making it available to family researchers. We assist with preparing members' research for printing or writing it to CD. The GSSA also act as a publisher to assist with marketing the completed product.- click here to have a look at the products available - also look at the eGSSA website.


GSSA celebrates 50th Anniversary

Written by Admin-F on Monday, 10 November 2014 15:30.

The conclusion of the 50 Year Commemoration of the establishment of the Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA) reached a climax with the final program presented by the Free State Branch of the GSSA in Bloemfontein on 8 November 2014. The National Executive Committe (NEC) and several branches were present at this function. The program started on Friday evening with a visit to the Naval Hill Planetarium where members were treated to a spectacular visual journey through the vast universe. The various solar systems were highlighted and the audience watched in awe as they gleaned information on the size and age of the galaxy.


The  final celebration at the National Afrikaans Literary Museum and Research Centre (NALN), bore witness to the dedication of genealogists in pursuing  their interests. The NALN preserves, and documents a rich literary corpus dating back to  Dutch era of the 17th century and pre-colonial roots, capturing linguistic blending of West, East and Africa, and highlighting a vibrant and dynamic literary production over


especially the past 100 years.

While enjoying a glass of sherry, Otto Liebenberg briefed the guests on role and importance of NALN as a national asset. It is the custodian of the largest


collection at a single institution of material pertaining to Afrikaans literature and related arts. The museum collection consist of inter alia books, manuscripts, media clippings, magazines and periodicals. Some of the rarest books in Afrikaans are preserved at NALN which provides a haven of opportunity for researchers.

The theme for the evening was windmills. While guest enjoyed  a scrumptous meal, Johan Pottas cleverly intertwined the history of windmills with reference to celebrated authors who hail from the Free State such as CM van den Heever, Dot Serfontein, Carl Schoeman and Antjie Krog including brief discussions of their ancestry. Two of these writers grew up in the shadow of the modest windmill and Johan explained that each windmill has its own pedigree.

The National President of the GSSA, Petro Coreejes-Brink concluded the meeting with a short summary of the year's activities and thanked the branches for their participation in arranging meetings of a high calibre in which most of the countries of origin were represented.


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Written by Admin-F on Wednesday, 08 October 2014 12:41.

Argiewetoer vanaf Gauteng na die Weskaap
Dié toer is vir menige familienavorser 'n hoogtepunt om na uit te sien. Hierdie toer word nou deur die NUK van die GGSA aangebied met die bekwame Ellen Harmse as toerleier. Elke toer word opnuut beplan maar die besoeke aan argiewe is standaard.
Vir drie dae tydens die toer gebruik toergangers die tyd in die Kaapse Argief-bewaarplek in Kaapstad vir navorsing. Dis  waar die spanning hoog loop. HierArgieftoer 2015 kan veral sterfkennisse, boedels en inventarisse van stamouers besigtig en afgeskryf word. (Sodra mens met jou kwartierstaat besig is, kom jy agter: voor ±1835 was meeste van die voorouers nog in die Kaap.) Daar is ook kaarte met plase se liggings, joernale van weipermitte, foto’s en dies meer om te raadpleeg. Tussenin word 1 dag by GISA in Stellenbosch deurgebring. Hier kan gekyk word na mikrofilms met die doop- en huweliksregisters van verskeie gemeentes. Daar word ander besoeke by die program ingesluit soos bv. besoek, Oranjezicht, Plaas Zondernaam (nou Bien Donné Manor House) en Zandvliet (nou Solms-Delta Wynlandgoed ens.

Archives tour from Gauteng to the Western Cape 2015
This tour is for many a family researcher one of the highlights to look forward too. This tour is now organised by the NEC of the GSSA by the competent Ellen Harmse as the tour guide. Every tour is planned but a visit to the archives is a given.
Three days of the tour are allotted to the Cape Town Archives Repository for personal research. Here research can be done with fervour and stress sometimes run high. Especially death notices, estates and inventories of progenitors can be seen and transcribed. (When one gets involved with one's pedigree sheet you soon realise that prior to ±1835 most of one's forebears were still resident in the Cape). Maps with farm locations, journals of grazing permits, photographs etc are available for scrutiny. In between one day is spend at GISA in Stellenbosch. Microfilms with baptism and marriage records for the various church communities are available to researchers. Apart from this other visits are also included such as Oranjezicht, Plaas Zondernaam (now Bien Donné Manor House) en Zandvliet (now Solms-Delta Wynlandgoed), etc

Klik hier om meer te wete te kom/Click here to learn more


Genealogy & Family Heritage Festival

Written by Admin-F on Tuesday, 09 September 2014 10:51.

On Saturday 6 September this action packed seventh annual festival took place in Lynnwood Ridge/Lynnwoodrif, Pretoria. This event promotes genealogy & family heritage and provides an opportunity to researchers, societies, book publishers and members of the public to liaise. Numerous stalls showed the dedication of genealogists to their family roots and history. Amongst the surnames, we found the Bekkers, Dreyers, Fouries, Harmses, Humans, Jordaans, Lemmers, Lombards, Vorsters, Malans, Barkhuizens, Diedericks and Labuschagne. At these stalls, enthusiastic visitors could discuss their family ties with researchers, discovered relations and found that vital clue for more research.
The Huguenot Society of South Africa/Hugenote Vereniging van Suid-Afrika had their own stall and to our amazement, a visitor told us who the model was for the figure of the women in the Huguenot Monument. One of the resources available for family research, initiated by Lucas Rinken and now a project of the West Gauteng Branch in collaboration with the University of Johannesburg is the e-Sagi (ElectronicSA Geslag index) More than 800 000 names are included on this DVD.

Diedericks of the Northern Transvaal Branch gave tips to a packed hall on how one goes about starting one's family research, where one can look for information and some of the computer programs available for family research. Otto also inter alia researches the Diedericks family and he showed visitors the unique method that he use to display the various generations of the family complete with photographs collected over the years and from long forgotten photo albums. The second information session was presented by Isabel Groesbeek. She discussed critical aspects in genealogical research under the theme 'The ABC of Genealogy/Die ABC van Genealogie'
One of the other outstanding displays was of the Barkhuizen Family. Johan Barkhuizen and his brother Alec showed their perseverance and passion for tracing the history of the Barkhuizen’s back to their origin in Niederbarkhausen in Germany. 
The initiative for the event comes from the well-known Isabel Groesbeek, the organiser of this great festival. With her vast knowledge of family research in South Africa and the extensive database on her computer she could answer many a visitor's query regarding that distant missing relative. Isabel is a family researcher since 1988 and the former head of Genealogy Information, HSRC. She also presents a course for beginners called "Van waar Gehasi?" to promote the correct method of research and genealogy as a field of interest.
Click on Images to enlarge



GSSA 50 years 18 June 2014

Written by Admin-F on Wednesday, 18 June 2014 13:37.

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The Genealogical Society of South Africa was founded on 18 June 1964 on the historical farm Joostenberg. Since then the


society has made big strides and genealogy is firmly established 

 as a dynamic and growing hobby in the South African Society.
Today was the 50th Anniversary of the Society. It was a pleasant cold winter's day without rain in Joostenberg. About 50 people, in good spirit, attended the event. Part of the festivities was to unveil a plaque that was donated by Philip Albert Myburgh the son of founder member Philip Myburgh. The plaque was donated by the Myburgh Alliance (Myburghbond) of South Africa, Trust. 
The same hospitality that was shown to the founder members with the establishment of the Society was experienced by the genealogists attending the unveiling of the plaque today. The guests were entertained at a tea party with traditional pastries.

For a full report click here

A short video of the unveiling of the the plaque on 18 June can be seen here


How do I join

Written by Ferdie Van Wyk on Monday, 25 March 2013 12:51.

New Applicant, how do I join?
boertjie drink teeMembership fee for the Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA) can either be R200,00(Abroad R350) or R150,00. This is based on whether you engelsman braai vleiswould like to receive the quarterly Journal of the Society, Familia, by post or electronically. When you decide to join you will be allocated to a particular branch e.g. Johannesburg Branch, Vaal Triangle Branch, Western Cape Branch, etc. There are 12 land based  branches and 1 Cyber branch called the eGSSA- this is an web based branch.
The various branches of the GSSA in some instances levy an additional mandatory fee for the newsletter of the branch, this differs from branch to branch.
A copy of the application form can be downloaded here. Application Z2014
There are two options to choose from should you wish to become a member of the GSSA
1)     Decide on the branch that you would like to join by visiting the GSSA website http://www.genza.org.za. On the page of the branch of your choice select the menu “contact us” and forward your completed form to the membership committee member.
2)    You can join via the eGSSA branch. Visit this page: http://www.eggsa.org/sales/eshop_e_dc_membership.htm and follow the instructions. The membership fee of the eGSSA consists of three elements, i.e. membership of the GSSA; membership of the eGSSA and optional member of a land based branch as well.
Should you have any queries kindly contact a committee member of the branch of your choice.


Stadsarchief Amsterdam

Written by Ferdie Van Wyk on Wednesday, 07 August 2013 06:56.

Rentia Landman (Klik op die Foto om te vergroot)
Die meeste van ons stamvaders het via Amsterdam na die Kaap gekom en daarom is die stadsargief van Amsterdam vir ons in Suid-Afrika ‘n skat van inligting. Dit is egter nie nodig om duisende rande te bestee om die argief persoonlik te besoek of om iemand te betaal om dit vir jou te doen nie. Byna alle basies data is gedigitaliseer en op internet beskikbaar. Daarby is die soektogstelsel van die


Amsterdamse stadsargief baie gebruikersvriendelik en net ‘n plesier om te gebruik.
Rentia Landman in die Stadsargief van Amsterdam in die hoop om nog iets oor die Landman’s te vind wat sy nie reeds op die argief webwerf in haar eie studeerkamer kon vind nie.
1.    Gaan in op http://stadsarchief.amsterdam.nl/
2.    Daar is ‘n taalkeuse tussen Engels en Nederlands, maar die Engels bied beperkte keuses aan. Hou liefs by die Nederlands.
3.    Kyk heel regs kom ‘n groot rooi blok op. Klik op Genealogische zoeksystemen
4.    Dan kom daar weer op die regterkant ‘n langwerpige rooi blok op met die verskillende versamelings. Begin met die volgende:
Begraafregisters voor 1811


Some South African Genealogy Milestones

Written by Administrator on Friday, 09 November 2012 09:28.

Since the earliest days at the Cape far sighted individuals recognised the need for recording genealogical information of the new arrivals to the Cape since 1652 From 1652 there were exceptional milestones reached by the recording of genealogies. Genealogy in South Africa today is the hobby of many South Africans and a growing science. It would be unfair to say that the following list is comprehensive but it still reflects the growth and development of genealogy in South Africa.

1652 - Diary of Jan van Riebeeck.