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Welcome in our Midst

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We 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 www.genza.org.za. 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.

                                                                                                                                                 

1820 SETTLERS

In the latter stages of the 17th century and in the early stages of the 18th century the dominant population groups in the Eastern Cape area were the white cattle farmers and the black cattle farmers. Both groups were constantly looking for more land on which their cattle could graze. These opposing groups clashed in a series of skirmishes or wars.

Colonel John Graham was the originator of the plan to settle a large group of Scottish Highlanders in this area. He was in charge of the British troops at a fort in the area. The fort later becomes Grahams Town. The plan was not implemented due to the fact that Britain was still involved in the war with Europe and emigration schemes were not priorities.

In 1817 captain Benjamin Moodie brought 50 young Scottish men who were artisans to the Cape as indentured workers. Later on he brought out a further 150 men. Cape citizens bought the contracts of the first group of artisans however some members of the second group absconded; thus leaving captain Moodie with a financial loss. In the final analysis the Cape gained 200 much needed artisans.

Peter Tait tried to emulate Moodie’s model but only managed to recruit 30 settlers.

On 22 April 1819 Xhosa Chief Mdushane attacked Grahams town with 10 000 warriors and overran the settlement.

This attack as well as the successful settlement of the Moodie settlers motivated the authorities at the Cape to write an appeal to Lord Bathurst to implement a settler scheme.

The end of the European war brought misery to the British population due to inflation, unemployment and the general stagnation of the economy. These miserable conditions lead to food riots in London in May 1819.

These riots in London added pressure to the then Tory government to consider an emigration scheme to the Cape.

                                                                                                                                                 

The Archive Crawl

Archive Crawl ENG cropped****click on the image for more details****

                                                                                                                                                 

Rhino Project - 1972 Voters Roll

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****click on the image for more details****

To download a copy of the INDEX and Order Form click here

                                                                                                                                                

Die Familia / Beste Artikel 2018

1e Familia Buiteblad

Die Familia is die Kwartaalblad van die Genealogiese Genootskap van Suid Afrika. Op die foto hierbo kan die eerste buiteblad van die Familia wat gedurende 1965/66 gepubliseer is, gesien word. Die Noord-Transvaal Tak van die GGSA stel sedert die vroeë 2000 jaarliks ʼn prys beskikbaar vir die beste artikel wat gedurende ʼn bepaalde jaar publiseer is.Die kriteria waaraan so ʼn artikel moet voldoen sluit ondermeer die volgende in:
• Lewer die artikel 'n wesenlike bydrae tot ons genealogiese kennis, m.a.w. is dit nuwe inligting?
• Is die artikel professioneel opgestel met goeie bronverwysings en so meer?
• Lees die artikel lekker, is die aanbieding interessant, boeiend en word daar 'n goeie balans tussen leesbaarheid en akademiese korrektheid gehandhaaf?
Die kommentaar van die paneel: Dis ‘n goed taalversorgde artikel wat lekker lees en ryklik met foto’s geïllustreer is en wat nuwe inligting oor die familie bevat. Die skrywer se bronneverwysings beantwoord aan bibliografiese vereistes en die genealogiese notasie dié wat deur Familia aanvaar word. Behalwe dat dit aan al die kriteria soos verlang voldoen, is dit een van die min artikels wat bronne volgens navorsingskriteria voorsien, nl. dat mens dit kan opvolg EN kontroleer. 

In 2018 is die beste artikel in Familia toegedig aan Charlie Els vir sy artikel, Die Verstoteling - Een van die be beoordelaars het die volgende resensie ge lewer:

"Die tema van hierdie artikel is verfrissend oorspronklik en die skryftrant hou die leser se aandag gevange. Hoewel die tema van melaatsheid beskou word in die konteks van die skrywer se ‘verlore’ familielid, word ook die oorsaak van die siektetoestand, die oorsprong van die gepaardgaande stigma en die wyer implikasies vir geaffekteerde indiwidue en hul families deur die eeue heen in detail en met empatie hanteer.

Die skrywer maak die soekende genealoog indirek bewus van nog ‘n moontlike bron waar ‘n afwesige, verlore of verdwene familielid gesoek kan word – die rekords van melaatheidsheidshospitale, psigiatriese fasiliteite of soortgelyke instansies – waaraan menige genealoog nog nooit aan gedink het as ‘n soekplek nie. Die genealoog word ook subtiel uitgedaag om alle inligting te verifieer deur primêre bronne te konsulteer, om sodoende óf verkeerde aannames t.o.v. die sterfplek en oorsaak van dood van ‘n person óf doelbewuste foutiewe inligting wat deur vorige generasies gegenereer is, in ‘n poging om gewaande skandes of stigmas te verdoesel, uit te snuffel."

Klik hier om die artikel te lees

Dit is wat jy kan verwag om op jou reis te vind sodra die gogga van familienavorsing jou byt!


                                                                                                                                                 

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How do I join

GSSboertjie drink teeA & eGGSA Membership New Applicant
Membership fee for the Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA) can either be R340,00 or (Abroad R570) or R230,00. This is based on whether you would like to receive the quarterly Journal of the Society, Familia, by post or electronically. This also excludes the branch fees 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 2019
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 selecting the Branches Tab on this website, select the branch of your choice and select the menu “contact us”. By clicking the relevant chairman's name will open a "contact form" form which can be completed.
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.

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Our Business is Genealogy

Click on the images too enlarge

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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.

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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.

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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.

Read more: Our Business is Genealogy

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Goals and Objectives

  • To promote and facilitate interest and research in genealogy and family history to present members, to the genealogical hobbyist and to all members of the public who may be interested in genealogy and/or family history.
  • To promote general understanding of Genealogy and its value, to understand and maintain professional status and dignity for genealogists amongst members of the Genealogical Society of South Africa and the general public.
  • To encourage the observance of the highest standards of research by members of the Society.
  • To provide a wide range of educational courses, research programmes and services for the general benefit of GSSA branches and members, as well as any other service or assistance as may from time to time be decided upon by the National Council of the GSSA.
  • To encourage and develop links with Family History Societies.
  • To establish and maintain contact with like minded Societies throughout the world.
  • To establish a certification program to promote the reliability, professionalism and integrity of all South African Genealogists and Record Researchers.
  • To assist in the preservation of all genealogical records and memorabilia.
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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.

Read more: Some South African Genealogy Milestones

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