The Genealogical Society of South Africa
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Welcome in our Midst

Collage Landman 3eWe serve a community of dedicated amateur family researchers. Anyone who hasn’t ever dabbled in genealogical research can imagine the relief, joy and great exultation that the genealogist experiences on having made a breakthrough, or finds the final link to complete a family line. It truly is the experience of a lifetime.
Families have migrated far and wide within South Africa. Later descendants of families that arrived in South Africa as early as 1676 trekked North and East, some ending in the present day Namibia and or even further afield to Angola and Kenya. Tracing their footsteps, opens up new worlds, and gives one insight into cultural, political and the religious motivation for these great treks.
The Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA) that was established in 1964 has twelve branches of which eleven are land based and one which is an electronic branch catering for members worldwide, via the internet. Each branch arranges its own activities and meets all year round apart from December and January. More information can be gleaned by visiting the branch pages of Members of the various branches assist each other with research and give guidance to newcomers.



2016 Argieftoer/Archive Tour
Die jaarlikse toer na die Argief- en Rekorddiens van die Wes-Kaap het gekom en gegaan. Soos in die verlede het die 15-tal genealoë weer waarde vir hul geld gekry en menige sukses aangeteken in hul soeke na daardie ontwykende brokkie informasie. Waar hul ookal gegaan het is hul met ope arms ontvang en kon hul ongestoord en in kalmte op hul navorsing konsentreer. Wat opgeval het is die hulpvaardigeheid van die personeel by die verskllende Argiewe. Afskrifte van dokumente is vinng en akkuraat verskaf. 'n Pluimpie kan gegee word vir die toewyding en ondersteuning van hierdie personeel.
Klik hier vir die Verslag van die toer opgestel deur Margaret Gundry. Afrikaans  English

South African War Graves Project

SA Wargraves ProjectThe goal of the South Africa War Graves Project is to archive photographs of every single South African & Rhodesian war grave from the 2nd Anglo-Boer War, Bambatha Rebellion, WW1, Rand Revolt, WW2, Korea, Freedom Struggle, Angola-Border War, Non World War and Police to present day. These photos will either be in the format of a picture of a headstone or a name on a memorial. 

Die Drakenstein Heemkring is 'n hulpbronsentrum vir inwoners van die Paarl en die omliggende dorpe, en word ook gebruik deur kultuurhistorici, argitekte, genealoë en navorsers.
TDrakensteinhe Drakenstein Heemkring is a resource centre for residents of Paarl and its surrounding towns, and is also used by cultural historians, architects, genealogists and researchers.  
Klik Hier om die Nuusbrief te lees

Join the Family Research Journey

Margaret Gundry
Fifty years ago my father wrote a family history. Of his grandmother he wrote – “whether she was South African or English born, I do not know.”

In 2012 this was still a family mystery until one evening I decided that I would not go to bed until I had found her Death Notice on the Internet. Seven hours later, it was 2-30 in the morning, I found it and discovered that she had been born on the island of St Helena.
St Helena? I Googled it. I bought some books. What strange names I found – Dry Gut, Three Tanks, Half Tree Hollow, Longwood, Deadwood...hang on, Deadwood? Somewhere I had a photograph of George’s grandfather and on the back was written “Deadwood, Christmas 1900.”censors

 You don’t stop at 2-30 in the morning when you discover where Granny was born. That is just the beginning. Names and dates can be terribly boring. It’s the stories that make your family history interesting.
To me genealogy is finding out the stories of a very ordinary family and turning it into an exciting tale that will interest future generations and so I use this story of my St Helena research to show you what genealogy is all about.
So, those of you who have not begun your family history, START NOW!
So much is available on the Internet, but you really need to connect with like-minded people. This is where joining a society like GSSA is so necessary. You can muddle along on your own but sooner or later you will need help or advice – where to find an elusive record, what family tree computer programme to use or even how to publish your family history.

Join Now

boertjie drink teeThere 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 Then on the page of the branch of your choice select  “contact us” and forward your completed form to the membership committee member. 2) You can join via the eGSSA branch. Visit this page: and follow the instructions. The membership fee of the eGSSA consists of three elements, viz. membership of the GSSA; membership of the eGSSA and optional member of a land based branch as well. Download the apllication, complete the form and submit the form to the branch of your choice as descibed above


Versameling Grafte 1
Many people pass idly by cemeteries and little graveyards next to the roadside. Very few people realise that on headstones a wealth of information lies to be exploited. Many genealogists will go out of their way to visit graveyards and cemeteries, Information such as birth and  date of death, full names of the deceased and in some cases the name of the spouse can be found. This may lead to a breakthrough in the family researcher's quest. Over the years the members of the GSSA photographed thousands of headstone. These have been uploaded to eGSSA website. 

DNA Research

dna logo Jaco

 There are basically three types of DNA tests: Y-DNA – Y-DNA is passed on from father to son along a direct paternal line and it is therefore possible to track the paternal surname from one generation to the next. For this reason, only men are eligible for this test. mtDNA – All children inherit mtDNA from their mothers and since mtDNA traces generation after generation of one's direct maternal ancestors, both sexes are equally able to determine the origin of their maternal line. Autosomal DNA – this ‘Family Finder’ test literally hundreds of thousands of possible SNPs for precise DNA correlations/matches with others across all of one's genetic lines. This test is therefore also available to both sexes