Archive tours - Annual schedule

The schedule for 2023 & 2024 is as follows:

 21-25 Aug  5 days
 Fully booked
 Gauteng  On request  R900  Fully booked
2  22-27 Oct  5 days + travel  Fully booked
 Western Cape  Included  R9000  Fully booked
1 Jul 2024  3 days + travel  postponed  Pietermaritzburg  Included  Ca. R3500  2024 on Request
Aug 2024
 5 days + travel
 On request

 2024 on Request
3  Sept 2024  5 days + travel  Considered  Bloemfontein  Included  R5500  2024 on Request
 Oct 2024
 5 days + travel  Considered  Western Cape  Included  R9500  Book NOW
2022 Archive Tours of previous years

Pietermaritzburg archive tour (July 2023)

A good number of interested persons already are on this list and it is foreseen that this tour can happen in 2023. However, it will be GSSA’s first tour to KZN. Thus investigation into accommodation and research centres still has to be done. But the pattern will be very much like the other tours: drive with a required size vehicle, stay for two to three nights with two meals per day and do research in the archive. A visit to GSSA’s Natal Midlands branch will also be included.


Gauteng archive tour (August 2023)

Participants are prepared by means of advance email briefing documentation; in this way, they know exactly what they are looking for and hoping to find answers to.
To make sure they do not “re-invent the wheel”, they first visit the genealogical library of the GSSA and Northern Transvaal branch on Monday to consult registers and books that already exist.
On Tuesday and Wednesday they spend full days in the National Archives (Transvaal archival repository). For beginner researchers it is suggested they mainly copy family information from estates documents. These files usually contain information about parents and children. As they progress, participants will be able to study other files, e.g. dealing with farms, government departments, court cases and much more. One also can find maps and photographs!
On Thursday they visit the National Library, one of the legal deposit libraries. Authors publishing more than 100 books are obliged by law to donate copies to these deposit libraries. Thus, one may find a copy of a book from way back when books were printed. One also finds all Government Gazettes, many newspapers, university theses etc. For the genealogist, there also is a large genealogical book shelf.
Friday follows an interesting excursion by Gautrain to Parktown in Johannesburg where the research centre of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) is situated. Here one can scroll through microfilm rolls of church registers of many congregations and learn how to make full use of the well-known online programme.

Bloemfontein archive tour (September 2023)

The typical tour to the Free State starts on a Sunday mid-morning with a mini-bus trip to Bloemfontein.  There we stay in a hotel offering two meals a day.  Some members of course stay in the Free State or fly in from other provinces.  All can be arranged and costs will be adjusted accordingly.
Two full days will be spent in the Free State National Archive and then on Wednesday we are guests of the Boer War Museum (Anglo-Boere -oorlogmuseum, ABO). But this is not only an ordinary museum visit.  As participants studied the references for a vast amount of information that can be ordered there, they already have sent in their interests about persons, happenings, prisoners, deaths etc.  Great is the surprise getting there and finding the neat individual piles of documents, photographs, maps, lists… already set out for them.  Personal interviews are arranged with the well-equipped and knowledgeable staff members.
The fourth day allows for a visit to the concentration camp cemetery or to the National library before embarking on the minibus trip back to Gauteng. 

Cape Town archive tour (October 2023)

After flying on Sunday from OR Tambo (Johannesburg) we break the ice at an introduction and the first supper when we also meet the local tour members.  On Monday morning after an early breakfast and a short walk to the Cape Archive in Roeland Street, Cape Town, the two day research marathon starts.  Only short intervals for a quick coffee can intercept the enthusiasm of researchers, novices or advanced!  On Tuesday the same programme is followed. After some rest in the afternoon, debriefing and shop talk take place at the dinner table.
On Wednesday a bus takes us to Wellington where the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) now houses in its library the genealogical collection inherited from GISA (Genealogical Institute of South Africa).  Here we can work in books, registers, films of church records, photographs and much more.
Then on Thursday back in the National Archive in Cape Town we have another chance to continue our work from Monday and Tuesday.  If time allows it, some could visit friends or join a tour to the National Library.
On Friday the bus takes us to Franschhoek where we made an appointment with the Huguenot Society which keeps many family registers of French ancestors who arrived in South Africa in 1688. When participants work on their pedigree sheets they usually find that many of their ancestors belonged to this group: examples are Marais, Roux, Pienaar, Fourie, Bruwer, and many, many more.
After a special farewell lunch the bus takes us via a scenic route to the Cape Town international Airport for us to arrive at OR Tambo at about 21:00.