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 a final link is made to complete a family line. It is an experience of a lifetime.

But for us it is more than just a family register. The family register can be augmented  with the family- and cultural history of the time. Actual experiences of family groups especiually 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 register.
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 accomodating. One gains acess 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. Perks include discount on genealogy books, dvd's and cd's.
We would like to welcome you to our home.

The newly establishe Southern Cape Branch

IMG 0873The Eastern Cape Branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa officially joined the fold during 1982.  The first general meeting of the Branch at which minutes were taken was on 13 January 1982.  The East Cape Branch of the GSSA is located in Port Elizabeth. The branch serves the Eastern Cape and surrounding areas.
Port Elizabeth has a history going back many years before the arrival of the 1820 British Settlers.
In 1799 a fort was built by the British and soldiers garrisoned there for the protection of Algoa Bay from attack from the sea.  Even before that Frederick Korsten lived on his beautiful manorial estate which was a haven to all weary travellers. The committee for 2014 was elected during the March 2014 meeting and can be seen here.
An interesting development in the Eastern Cape is the number of separate groups which have sprung up in a number of small towns around the Eastern Cape, which are not affiliated with GSSA.  A regular monthly meeting is being held with a group of researchers from Grahamstown, not all of whom are members of GSSA.  Visits are also planned for Port Alfred and Uitenhage and any other town that contacts us. An English group specialising in the United Kingdom, for which the the contact person is Liz Eshmade, who may be contacted by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Our meetings are open to the public and are conducted every third Monday of the month in the Lolly Shtein Hall at the Laubscher Park West Retirement Complex in Villiers Road, Greenshields Park. Meetings start at 19h30.  A variety of speakers address the meetings on a wide range of the aspects of life surrounding our families and the era in which they lived and also on specific surnames. 
East Cape Branch publishes a quarterly journal called "Chronicles."  Should one wish to contact the Branch per snail mail, the postal address of the branch is P.O.Box 1183, Port Elizabeth 6000.

this is the blog text

The story of the Eastern Cape Branch's cemetery project


The Natal Midlands Branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa is based in Pietermaritzburg, the capital of Kwa Zulu Natal and the location of the Pietermaritzburg Archives.

The branch is currently under the curatorship of the KwaZulu-Natal Family History Society (KZNFHS).

KZNFHS/GSSA meets on first Saturday of every month (except December and  January) at 9:30am for 10:00am, at the Hilton Library, Hilton Ave, Hilton. We alternate between speakers and workshops on all things related to Genealogy.

Extensive research sources are available to researchers at all meetings. Members have a wide range of genealogical interest of settlers to Natal including those from St Helena and India.

We are fortunate to have members who are specialists in their respective fields, such as Shelagh Spencer on early British settlers, Dr Krish Moodley on Indian settlers, Dr Mike O’Connor on Irish ancestry, to name a few.

The Chairman is willing to open the library at other times on request.

GSSA Helping_visitorsThe Durban and Coastal Branch presently has 37 members all enjoying doing research on their families. Some have made great progress and have even published the results of their research. Many are having fun doing voluntary work for the Society creating more and easily accessable research information.
They volunteer and help with -  the transcription of the RSA 1984 Voter's roll; - the photographing of gravestones; - the transcription of cemetery registers. Our Branch completed the Stellawood cemetery registers (114 000 entries) which is now available on CD.
Recently our members completed an index of all marriages registered in Natal from 1845 to 1955 (421 874 names) which will be available on the internet soon. We have monthly get togethers on the second Saturday of each month which are held at the Durban Family History Centre where we have access to the wealth of research information it houses.   We often invite speakers on related subjects to address us.  


Why become a member and How to Join

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.

  • We promote and facilitate:-
    • Interest & research in Genealogy and Family history to present members, to the g enealogical hobbyist & to all members of the public who may be interested in genealogy and/or family history.
    • We promote general understanding of Genealogy and its value
  • We provide:
    • a wide range of educational courses
    • each branch had unique library
    • a vast product list for sale
    • research programmes and services for the general benefit of GSSA branches and members
  • We encourage and develop links with Family History Societies & the National Archives
  • Each branch arranges it’s own program for the year and often includes:
    • Guest Speakers
    • Outings to history societies i.e. Family Search & the National Archives
    • Training on the various platforms
    • Even assisting in product development

We look forward to welcoming you to our family. Join today and discover your past!

The Johannesburg Branch of the GSSA serves genealogists in the immediate Johannesburg area. The Branch holds meetings on the 3rd Saturday of every month except December.

Place: Currently our venue is being negotiated so please contact one of our committee (see below Information) to confirm where the next meeting will be held.

Time and Format: Monthly meetings generally start at 12.00 noon with a research period followed by the main meeting at 14:30.

Research facilities include

  1. Experienced genealogists to assist with “brick walls”.
  2. Online computer facilities for accessing research websites.
  3. A library with many useful reference books.

Information: Please contact David Kinghorn on 082 808 4864  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  Doreen Piner on 083 650 2063

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Founded in 2004, eGGSA is the virtual branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa, and provides a virtual home for everyone from the beginner to the most advanced family historian.

To read more about us: click on the relevant links belows

Our Management Team


Some of our Projects

bible transcriptions  1820 settlers  newspaper extracts gravestone 1 postcard 
Family Bibles 1820 Settlers Newspaper extracts SA Gravestones

Post Cards

To become a Member


More VOC Ships' Pay Ledger Accounts (soldijboeken)

Johan Diedericks has extracted from the data at National Archief at the Hague, 123 more of these VOC employees who settle at the Cape of Good Hope, and made them available onthe eGGSA web site. They have now joined those previously extracted by Lizette Svoboda, on the Stamouers.com section of our web site. Our thanks go to Johan and Lizette for making their hard work available. 

VOC (Dutch East India Company) Accounts from Ships' Pay Ledgers, 1662-1805, contain information about many of its employees who settled at the Cape. Below are a number of excerpts from the online links to the Nationaal Archief (The Hague, Netherlands) web sites gahetNA and VOC - Opvarenden which seem likely to refer to those settlers. If you have any to add, please copy to a Word document and email them to the Stamouers editor.

The Nationaal Archief is making a huge effort to digitize the complete collection of the VOC and they hope to have it completed by 2017.

As of May 2016 almost all the Zeeland accounts have been digitized and put online, a large number of the Amsterdam ledgers are currently being scanned and should be available at the end of May or early June; the next batch is already planned.

For an introduction to these Ships' Accounts (soldijboeken) please see Corney Kellers' explanation on the Rekeningen uit de Scheepssoldijboeken 1662-1805 page.

800 000 Gravestone photos on the eGSSA website!!

Congratulations to Riana le Roux and her team of volunteers for this outstanding achievement. It is the product of many years of hard work, patience and dedication.

A big thank you to all of you going out to the cemeteries to take the photos, to those of you doing all the uploads onto the website, indexing the photos and cemeteries, maintaining our website. The project is extremely valuable to us and we appreciate your contributions.

The project is growing so fast that we are looking forward to the next milestone.




TafelbaaiAfter the Genealogical Society of South Africa was founded in 1964 on the farm Joostenberg in the then Cape Province the Society first functioned as a nationwide organization. 

On June 4, 1986, the Western Cape established their own branch of the Society .Dave Mitchell was the first chairman. The branch serves the Peninsula, West Coast, Boland and Overberg. Membership however is not limited to these areas.

The Western Cape branch is a genealogically active group and meet every second Saturday of the month at SASNEV (Suid-Afrikaanse Sentrum vir Nederland en Vlaandere), 4 Central Square, Pinelands, Cape Town. Meetings usually involves a speaker on a topic of interest and then socializing afterwards. Sometimes trips to historic sites are also undertaken. The branch also has a branch library that may be consulted by the members that is also accomodated at SASNEV.

The branch publish the quarterly, Capensis, distribute a quarterly newsletter, has a Facebook page and several interesting activities are undertaken, eg the Cemetery project, workshops and exhibitions by exhibition team. These activities have won some of the branch members numerous awards.

Good cooperation also exists among others with, The Genealogical Institute of South Africa (GISA); Huguenot Association of South Africa (HASA); the Drakenstein Heemkring; the Western Cape Archives and Records Service, Tygerberg Museum, the Cape Town Family History Society and Cape Town Family Research Forum.

Postal address: P.O. Box 4674, Tyger Valley, 7536 

Grootouers The Northern Transvaal branch is located in Pretoria and it serves the surrounding areas including Mpumalanga, Limpopo Province and some areas of the North West Province as well as the East Rand. The branch has 180 members and meets every second Saturday of the month except December and January. The meetings are held at the Art Gallery of the Voortrekkermonument and start at 13:30. Our aim is to support our members by providing training and guidance with research. We have a number of experienced "old hands" that assist newcomers to get them started. We encourage our members not to stop with the family register but to add the family history by using photographs and anecdotes related to a specific family member.

E-mail messages should be addressed to ntvl-by genza.org.za from where they will be redirected to the committee member concerned for the necessary attention. Our postal address is: PO Box 75292, Lynnwood Ridge, 0040

Located on the “West Rand”, the West Gauteng branch meetings are held at Jacaranda Retirement Village, 820 Hans Road, Honeydew and draws members from as far as the East Rand to the far West Rand but primarily from West Gaut Branch Logothe Roodepoort, Krugersdorp and Randburg areas – but all are welcome to join us. We meet every third Saturday of the month at 14h00 with the exception of the month of December when there is no meeting.
The branch has many experienced members who make themselves readily available to assist fellow members of all experience levels outside of meeting days. We are generally an e-mail or phone call away and draw on one another’s expertise to assist in resolving members unique research problems as they arise.
West Gauteng branch is the home of e-SAGI (formerly the Rinken-de Wet database) and you can be sure to get assistance from Lucas Rinken in exchange for some of your information! The database currently boasts in excess of 800 000 names, and is expanded daily. Other projects we are involved in are: the Family Bible Project (photographing family bibles with genealogical content), The Cemetery Recording Project (photographically recording headstones in cemeteries), the Funeral Leaflet Project (digitally recording information from funeral leaflets), to name but a few. Members are also involved in the transcription of the 1984 Census as well as Shipping Lists and numerous collaborations in tandem with their own research. We encourage members to be involved in all aspects of genealogical research, as participation has great spin-off for the Society and members alike.
The branch normally has a small but constantly growing library which is available to members on meeting days from 10am (and at other times by arrangement if necessary). With the recent move and the fact that a space for the library is not yet available, the collection of books is in storage until further notice. 
Members and visitors alike are encouraged to network over refreshments after the presentations at the meetings, to share experiences and learn more about this fascinating hobby/passion.Visit our Branch Blog at http://westgssa.blogspot.co.za/ for more information about topics of previous meetings, branch activities. This blog is no longer updated as the branch decided not to duplicate information. All email messages should be addressed to a committee member in the contact us menu to the right from where they will be redirected to the responsible committee member for the necessary attention.

For those who prefer, our postal address is:
P.O. Box 584


(Click on the Image to enlarge)

{module Free State Poster}

The branch is located in Bloemfontein, the City of Roses in an environment that is conducive to genealogical research. Numerous historical buildings create an atmosphere where the family historian can drown himself in historical documents of inter alia, the Anglo Boer War Museum. In 2010 an Agreement of Cooperation, whereby the GSSA represented by the Free State and the Museum would render support to each other, with various projects, was signed. This led to records such as the Cape and Natal Prisoners of War name lists, the call up lists of burgers for commando service, the names of all the Free State burgers being taken prisoner and sent to numerous off shore POW camps, etc. became available.

The branch meets every second Monday of each month at the Anglo Boer War Museum where topics of genalogical  relevance  are presented.

The branch is proud of the publications of members and former members of the branch. Some examples include: The Malan’s of South Africa by Hecules Malan

1998/9; The Jordaan’s in South Africa by M. J.S Jordaan; The Van den(r) Berg from the Cape to Witkraal, Petrusburg, by J.J. Pottas 2005 and more.

The branch members are ready to support newcomers and provide guidance to members that may struggle with particular research problems. Interested members of the public are welcome to join GSSA and can get in touch with the branch secretary. Details can be found in the team members section on this page.

Artikels van toepassing op die GGSA/e-GGSA as geheel

Links to items of interest housed on other websites.

This section for Branch pages in addition to the main Branch blog page.

Noordwes se maandbyeenkomste vir 2013

Die reeks artikels wat in die Potchefstroom Herald gepubliseer word om familienavorsing wyer bekend te stel. Dit is 'n projek van GGSA Noord-Wes

Foto's van Die Bybels in Museum Afrika soos afgeneem deur Neels Coertze

Onder hierdie afdeling verskyn 'n aantal stories wat taklede oor hulself en oor hul navorsing geskryf het.

Die stories word gepubliseer in die taal soos aangebied en ons vertrou dat u dit interessant sal vind.

This section contains a number of stories written by branch members about themselves and their research.

The stories are published in the language as presented and we trust you will find them interesting.

Reports on activities of the branch

Interesting stories for the East Cape

Th history of the Johannesburg Branch

Genealogy Stories from the Northwest Branch

Branch History

Extra items for particular Project pages - each will have a category.

Name the category whatever you want but start with the project idendifier, eg:

Cemetery_accordian  ...


one of the aternative 'menu' items on this page

We collect name information from various sources (headstones, memorials, registers etc) and publish this data annually in DVD form.

DVD 14 Image

The DVD is searchable by name, cemetery etc. DVD 14 published in March 2016 contains 765,671 names from 3047 cemeteries. 

For further information contact the DVD Data Coordinator Peter Moss. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The DVD can be ordered from the e-shop on www.eggsa.org

Cemetery Recording Reports

You will find a number of reports in our Cemetery Project Updates & Reports

Die begraafplaas DVD bevat 765 671 grafsteen transkripsies.  Die projek is nie identies met die Fotoprojek nie

Noord-Transvaal Tak se Jeugaksie saam met die Rietvlei Voortrekkerkommando

Tydens die Mei byeenkoms van die GGSA N-Tvl Tak is daar tyd ingeruim om lede van die Rietvlei Voortrekkerkommando onder leiding van Nico Louw, touwys te maak met familienavorsing. ʼn Wye reeks onderwerpe is kortliks bespreek en daarna is hulle na die biblioteek by die Erfenisstigting geneem.   
Hier het hulle kennis gemaak met die bronne wat gebruik word vir genealogiese navorsing en hoe die rekenaar as hulpmiddel ingespan kan word. Die gebruik van die SAG en SAF Volumes is gedemonstreer asook verskeie ander familieregisters is aan die jongelinge beskikbaar gestel

By die Tak se byeenkoms op 4 Augustus het twee van die Voortrekkers kom vertel hoe hulle weggeval het met familienavorsing. Christo Louw en Nel Nieuwoudt het hul ervarings tydens hul navorsing met die lede van die van die Tak gedeel.

Luister na die klanksnitte van Christo en Nel deur op die skakels hieronder te klik.


We collect name information from various sources (headstones, memorials, registers etc) and publish this data annually in DVD form.

DVD 14 Image

The DVD is searchable by name, cemetery etc. DVD 14 published in March 2016 contains 765,671 names from 3047 cemeteries. 

For further information contact the DVD Data Coordinator Peter Moss. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The DVD can be ordered from the e-shop on www.eggsa.org

Cemetery Recording Reports

You will find a number of reports in our Cemetery Project Updates & Reports

Die begraafplaas DVD bevat 765 671 grafsteen transkripsies.  Die projek is nie identies met die Fotoprojek nie

Cape Master's OfficeThe digitization of the Index to the Cape Master's Office Estate files was a project undertaken by the GSSA a number of years ago, under the leadership of Albert Semmelink.

The searchable database will appear on this website soon.

George St_Marks_cathedral_foto_gillian_mauchanWelcome to another joint project of GSSA in collaboration with SAGenealogie Gespreksgroep (SAGen). The Collection of Church Photographs, previously hosted on FOTKI, has been transferred to the new GSSA website and will be built up as a joint collection of both organisations.

With this project we not only strive to preserve part of our cultural heritage, but also part of our architectural heritage and it's development over time. The more information we can amass in relation to each church or place of worship, the more valuable a source of reference this webpage can become.

The photographs have all been indexed and arranged alphabetically within provinces according to city/suburb/town/village, congregation/parish and denomination. This makes it easier for the researcher to locate the data. Churches are fully searchable using the Search Engine.


If you submit a photograph or information about a church or place of worship, obtained from another source like a book or website, please make sure to supply the name of such source(s).

Welcome to the Collection of Funeral Programs
In loving Memory. This collection is dedicated as a Tribute to Family and Friends who made a difference to us.
This is a joint project of the GSSA and the SAGenealogy mailing list with GSSA acting as host for the collection of Funeral Programs.

GSSA's approach to the album:

  • When Funeral Programs are submitted for publication, GSSA automatically assumes that the contributor has obtained the necessary permission or consent from the families concerned and accepts no responsibility for this.
  • Funeral Programs are only published after a year or more from the Date of Death - any Programs sent to us prior to the 12 month period will be placed on hold until the period expires.
Funeral Programs are packed with useful genealogical information - they have all been indexed and arranged alphabetically and are fully searchable. Surnames with pre-fixes eg. de Beer, du Plessis, van der Merwe, du Toit, le Roux, etc. are filed according to the main part of the surname eg. Beer, Plessis, Merwe, Toit, Roux etc.

We have captioned the pictures with names and dates as they appear in the programs themselves. If you have any questions or contributions, or if you find an error has been made please contact me, Wilma Jansen van Vuuren.

When Funeral Programs are submitted to GSSA for publication, GSSA automatically assumes that the contributor has obtained the necessary permission / consent from the family concerned. GSSA does not accept any responsibility to obtain permission / consent from families concerned before publishing Funeral Programs submitted by individual contributors. An embargo is placed on publishing any Funeral Programs within one year of Date of Death. In the meantime, please submit Funeral Programs for which permission was granted / obtained to: These will be processed but will only be available to the public after one year from Date of death

The obituary funeral program is vitally important as it contains real world data that can be used for genealogical and historical purposes.
The collection provides extensive genealogical information about:

  • The deceased, including birth and death dates, maiden names,
  • Names of relatives,
  • Past residences, and place of burial.

Alongside this genealogical information, the obituaries provide a rich source of local history.
The Funeral Programs have all been indexed and arranged alphabetically, which makes it easier for the researcher to locate the data. The data is also fully searchable on the Search Engine.

Should you have Funeral Programs to contribute, or if you want to assist with the labelling process, please contact  the project co-ordinator.

Wilma Jansen van Vuuren  or one of her team members

Janine van der Merwe  or Hendrik Potgieter

When our volunteers were recording cemetery information they often noted the "GPS" coordinates of the cemetery, in the early days by using the 1:50000 map series and then, more recently, by hand held GPS. Thus the Cemetery Recording Project built up a database of cemetery location information. The development of free internet based mapping systems such as Google Earthâ„¢ provides a useful platform for visual display of coordinate information, and adds to the range of research services available for genealogists.

Contact the Web Manager

Feedback, suggestions and corrections are welcomed.

Please contact the Web Manager