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Some South African Genealogy Milestones

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.

 1877 - An Archive Committee is established in the Cape Colony and the first chief archivist after Unification in 1910 was appointed in 1919. The first Archival Act in South Africa was promulgated in 1922.

1882 - Christoffel Coetzee De Villiers known as the 'father of South African geneaology' began writing his significant three volume genealogical register called Geslachtregister der Oude Kaapsche Familien (Genealogies of Old Cape Families). The system of genealogical numbering that he developed later became known as the de Villiers/Pama system.1893-95 After the death of De Villiers in 1887 the Geslachtregister der Oude Kaapsche Familien (Genealogies of Old Cape Families) was prepared for publication by G. McCall Theal. The Cape Government sponsored the publication posthumously.1910 - Who's who in Southern Africa.

1964 - Founding of the Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA) on June 18, 1964 and then in subsequent years the establishment of branches at regional level, Northern Transvaal, North West, Vaal Triangle, Western Gauteng, Johannesburg, Durban and Coast, Natal Midland; Free State, Eastern Cape, Western Cape.

1966 - Genealogies of Old Cape Families - updated by Dr. Cornelius (Cor) Pama.

1971 - The Genealogical Research Division at the Institute for Historical Research (IGN) at The Council for Scientific Research (HSRC) started functioning.

1974 - The National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS) saw the light. (http://www.national.archives.gov.za).

1976 - First Newsletter of the GSSA manuscripted by Johan Krige is published.

1984 - Port Elizabeth Genealogical Information System (PEGIS) Prof. Gideon de Kock and Janet Melville.

1984 - Cape Melting Pot. The Role and Status of the Mixed Population at the Cape 1652-1795 was published by IHR, authored by Dr. H.F. Heese.

1986 - Release of South African Genealogies / South African Genealogies.

1997 - TANAP (Towards A New Age of Partnership) was an international digitizing project initiated and funded by the Dutch government with the objective of better preservation and maintenance of the VOC archives worldwide. http://www.tanap.net/

1998 - Founding of the Genealogical Institute of South Africa (GISA) in Stellenbosch after the Genealogical Research Division at the HSRC closed doors..

1999 - The Genforum Conversation forum started on the Internet on June 21, 1999 but was terminated on December 21, 2003

1999 - Danie Viljoen and a team of GSSA, N Tvl First produced the first full-text electronic edition of FAMILIA for distribution to subscribers.

2000 - Voortrekkerstamouers 1835-1845 Dr Jan Visagie is published. The second edition appeared in 2011.

2002 - Custodians of our heritage. JG Le Roux, JJ Niemandt, Mariana Olivier and Ronel Olivier. The entire series was released per volume following its completion during 2002 to 2008.

2002 - E-Family website was established and received the Golden Web Award 2002/2003. (http://www.e-family.co.za).

2003 - SAGenealogie Conversation Forum born December 21, 2003 and still alive. (http://www.sagenealogie.com).

2003 - Buitenposten Conversation Forum born in December 2003 and still alive.

2004 - The TEPC (Transcription of Estate Papers at the Cape of Good Hope) project - the transcription and digitizing of estate papers, inventories and muster rolls with the overall goal of equitable access to significant archival resources associated with the history of the Cape of Good Hope. http://www.capetranscripts.co.za/project.htm

2004 - The Electronic Branch, eGSSA enters Cyberspace. (http://www.eggsa.org).

2009 - GSSA Google Earth ™ Cemetery Initiative conducted by Peter & Stewart Moss