The Genealogical Society of South Africa

Welcome to the Genealogical Society of South Africa.

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  become close friends and are more than happy to assist newcomers with their research. Many a dead end has been resolved by discussing the issue with a fellow genealogist.

Kop vir 2018 Argief toere Click here for more information


This is what you can expect to find on your journey once you get your teeth into family research.

GSSA celebrates 50th Anniversary

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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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

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.

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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.
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GSSA 50 years 18 June 2014

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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


Kieserslys DVD

DVD 2 met die data van die 1984 Kieserslys is nou beskikbaar. DVD 2 bevat 572 Excel lêers elk met tot 5271 name. (die totale 1984 Kieserslys). Die lêers word in Excel formaat sowel as in Zip formaat op die DVD verpak. Die data is in die volgorde soos dit in die kieserslys mikro-fiche voorkom maar dit is dan ook soekbaar d.m.v. Windows Explorer Soekfunksie. Daar is net minder as 3 miljoen name met geboortedatums, van en volle name, nooiensvan, adres soos deur Binnelandse Sake aangetoon in 1984 en dan ook die beroep van die persoon.
DVD 2 kos R 280,00 plus posgeld binnelands R 35,00 en R 75,00 buitelands. GGSA Takke kan bestellings plaas vir hulle lede en korting van 15% vir hulle takke verdien. Die data kan ook per Dropbox of WeShare gestuur word – tel net R 35 by vir datakoste (ipv R 35 vir posgeld) aangesien die volume nogal groot is – die data word dan in Zip-formaat gestuur.
84 KieserslysBestellings kan geplaas word by Versending kan ook per Dropbox of WeShare gedoen word. R 35,00 word gehef vir data koste: Totaal R315-00. Korting van R 42, 00 per DVD vir GGSA takke wat bestel
Doen inbetalings by: Nedbank. Rekeningnaam: GGSA-GSSA; Killarney Tak Takkode: 191605; Rekeningnommer: 1916051332. Verwysing: KS+Voorletters en Van. [Voorbeeld: KS-MEduToit].
LW: Volledige afleweringsadres asook bewys van betaling moet verskaf met bestelling.


GENEALOGIESIMPOSIUM: SATERDAG 12 AUGUSTUS 2017                           GGSA Logo met onderskrif Versag               GGSA Logo met onderskrif Versag

Aangebied deur vier takke: Noord-Transvaal, Vaaldriehoek, Johannesburg en Wes-Gauteng.               
97 ywerige genealoe het die simposium bygewoon. Die sprekers het hulle baie goed van hul taak gekwyt.     
Die onderwerpe was uiteenlopend van aard. Apart from providing well researched family stories intertwined with history a factual  
description of the implications of the amendments to the the Copyright Act provided food  for thought for the attendees. 
An exciting insight into the little known resources of the Police Archives was provided.



 Margaret Gundry -  Five Women from St Helena -   I have been researching Sarah Riley on Tristan da Cunha and St Helena and again and again in my research I came across the   Margaret Gphrase “In 1827 Captain Amm/Ham brought five ladies from St Helena as wives for the five bachelors on the Island.” It became my mission to work out who these ladies were by working from the baptismal and marriage records and then to try and trace them back to St Helena. I can’t say that I have been really successful so far although I think I have traced Sarah Riley back to a baptism on St Helena.                      

Isabel GIsabel Groesbeek - Die sinergie tussen genealogie en godsdiens (500 jaar na Reformasie.  As genealoog sedert 1988, eers as navorser by Genealogie-Inligting, RGN en later as private navorser, het ek ‘n besondere waardering vir kerkregisters ontwikkel. Vanjaar vier die Protestantse kerke regoor die wêreld 500 jaar Reformasie en met die viering in gedagte het ek gedink dat ek graag oor die sinergie tussen genealogie en godsdiens met u wil gesels.

Charline Wentzel -
Ouma vertel ons bietjie.......   'n Reis deur ou  kiekies om met die kleinkinders te deel hoe interessant en gevarieerd hulle voorgeslagte  se geskiedenis was. Charline WEenvoudige mense tot die met meer aansien, tog is nie een se verhaal minder belangrik nie . Ouma se verhaal het as 'n jong dogtertjie op die plaas tydens die Anglo-Boereoorlog begin. Glashelder kon sy die verskillende gebeure verhaal. Ouma Catharina Magdalena Vorster (x ZA de Beer) het hulle wedervarings opgeteken en aan elkeen van haar kleinkinders n boekie oorhandig. Dit bly n baie kosbare besitting. Daarmee saam het talle foto's behoue gebly.                        

Robert B Robert Bush - Sometimes it is Easy. Researching my maternal grandfather, Jasper Bradley Hall lead me to a very interesting lady Catherine Hall (Wager).  The Wirksworth.Org.UK web site, run by John Palmer provided a one stop research site for the Wirksworth area and I obtained a lot of interesting information on Catherine. ……. and …….. Sometimes it is Not So Easy. The second lady that I discussed was my paternal great-grandmother Emmah Miller (Hannah) 1861 to 1893, Graaff-Reinet, my oldest South African born ancestor.  She is my one of my three brick walls and I have not been able to research her line any further.

 Erna Buber-de Villiers - Formidabele Vroue/ Unsung heroines. Ek bespreek die elf lede van my pa se matriargale lyn in Suid-Afrika vanaf stammoeder  Margaretha Geertjen/Grietje GERRITS Erna B(mtDNA T2b3-C151T)  tot by my my ouma, Johanna Barbara Frederika BUITENDAG. Hul stories strek vanaf 1662 tot 1980, vanaf lewe in e vroeë Caeb en die latere ontberings tydensdie Suid-Afrikaanse Oorlog, tot die omswerwinge van ‘n Spoorwegman se se vrou in die eerste helfte van die 20e eeu.

Neels CNeels CoertseVoorgestelde wysiginge  aan die Outeursregwet - Die voordrag het in hooftrekke oor die wysigingswetontwerp oor outeursregte gegaan. Oa voorgestelde wysigings t.o.v. musiek, videos, literatuur, kunswerk & rekenaarprogrammatuur ens word gedek. Die outeursreg van tabelle hoewel nie die inhoud nie, maar die samestelling is ook bespreek. Die filosofie van wetsopstelling het verander en daar word gesorg vir die minderbevoorregtes

Brig. Hennie Heymans Onderbenutte Genealogiese Polisiebronne. Misdaad is so oud soos die Hennie Hmensdom self. Polisie hou oog oor gemeenskap. Daar is wettige bedrywighede, onwettige bedrywighede of versuime en algemene verdagte optrede. Bronne sluit dinge in soos medaljes - soldaat en polisieman se CV wat hy op sy bors dra, nommer, rang en naam rede vir  toekenning. Die  SAP se magsorders sluit  aspekte in soos sterftes, eervolle vermeldings, toekenning van medaljes, dekorasies en ordes. In ou magsorders is sterftes, attestasie,  bevordering, eervolle vermeldings, sportkampioene, eksamenrade, In die ou polisie argiewe is daar verdagtes se leggers, bekende moordenaars die diamanttak – oudste  aaneenlopende polisie-eenheid. En meer.


 Die simposium is opgeneem op video en kan besigtig word by  hierdie skakel: The symposium was recorded and can be viewed at this link.

  het hierdie fasiliteit beskikbaar gemaak.

3H7B0847 Saal3H7B0860 Margaret3H7B0965 Dave K3H7B1121 Janine en span3H7B1139 Middagete


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 described above
Application/Aansoek (Scroll down on the page for the Afrikaans version)


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