2019 Awards held at Howick - Natal Midlands

It was a dark and stormy night!

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As we navigated our way around the potholes on the road out of Howick to the Tumbledowns Cafe & Restaurant on the Curry Post Road the venue for our Annual Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony.

And then the heavens opened.

And then the lights went out! (only a true South African will be able to find the humour in all this!)

But the show went on as we gathered together to acknowledge the work done by members. The nomination letters were read out and it soon became evident why they were about to receive their awards. We have some very hard working members doing amazing work.


Rentia Landman

Dr Keith Meintjes


Rentia Landman is so well known in the Genealogical world that her nomination for Fellow was inevitable. She has been on the radio and television, and has written articles for Familia and other journals. Her work for the Society and the Pretoria Branch has been invaluable and she is a worthy recipient of this award.

Keith Meintjes: For more than 40 years Keith has been an active genealogist, has reformatted and indexed the Meintjes family history and has had numerous articles published in Familia , Capensis and other journals. He has funded projects at the NGK Archives in Stellenbosch and was also a founder member of eGSSA.

Ferdie van Wyk, who sadly passed away earlier this month, was an invaluable member of the Genealogical community at Branch and National level where he was editor of Familia and managed the Website.

The Golden Banner

Is awarded to those who have made a valued contribution to the genealogical community. This year the recipients were:-

Riana le Roux 300Riana le Roux who took over the eGSSA gravestone project from Alta Griffiths at the end of 2015 and since then she and her helpers have added more than 156,000 photographs to the web-site.

The Genesis Editorial team: Genesis is a showpiece for eGSSA. The team work well together and their experience, creative abilities and genealogical knowledge contribute to the excellence of the publication.

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Doreen Piner who has been a most valued member of the Johannesburg Branch, helping out with all aspects of the running of the Branch.


The Extra Mile

Award is made at the sole discretion of the National President. This year he nominated three members for their contribution to the Society.

Otto Diedericks


Andrew Kok

Otto Diederichs who, on his own initiative, put together an Access data base consolidating members information and financial data from the branches.

 Robert Bush was nominated for his contribution to the smooth running of the Johannesburg Branch as well as his contribution to the Elephant project.

Andrew Koks contribution to Genealogy is immense –through the Western Cape Archives, NG Church Archives, the Huguenot Society and GISA.

The Best Article in Familia is a Northern Transvaal award and they decide who the recipient will be
This year they nominated Charlie Els for his article Die Verstoteling


Long Service

certificates are Branch awards and some are amazing as can be seen by those of the Western Cape Branch and certainly needed to be acknowledged. Simone Kay handed the certificates out at their April 2019 branch meeting.




Gerhard Geldenhuys- 43 years

Pierre du Plessis - 33 years

Shirley du Plessis - 33 years




Russel & Edna Hudson - 32 years


June McKinnon - 20 years

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2018 Annual General Meeting of the GSSA - Report


The GGSA Annual General Meeting was presented this year at the Wilderness Hotel located on the Garden Route between George and Knysna. The hosts were the Southern Cape Branch of the GSA. From the outset, it became clear that this branch went out of their way to make the AGM a success. The chairman, Abri de Swardt and his team should be congratulated on this attempt.

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The AGM started exactly in time and after the welcome address by President, Simon du Plooy, the work started in earnest. The agenda was long but the issues were addressed as a matter of urgency.

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One of the challenges for the GGSA is to reverse the age profile of its members by recruiting younger people. Currently, the members are mainly older people. Each branch is to conduct research so as to address the situation at branch level.

The National Council decided that the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the 1820 Settlers be squarely placed on the shoulders of the branches and their members. In the run-up to the celebrations, it was decided to focus the archival tour of 2019 specifically on visits to various archives in the Eastern Cape. It is also planned to fill all the editions of the FAMILIA 2020 with articles about the 1820 Settlers. The Eastern Cape Branch will link with local authorities to participate in activities that take place in the Eastern Cape.

The Finance of the GGSA has been examined in detail and the treasurer has given a thorough account of the state of affairs. The statements will be audited before submission to the receiver of revenue.

One of the many highlights of the AGM was the presentation by Dennis Pretorius regarding the progress with the development of the GGSA Web Shop. In short, it is expected that data in future will be purchased from the 1984 Voters List, the E-SAGI Database and the Cemetery Recording Database. This report was received with appreciation and enthusiasm. Projects in the pipeline include the transcript of the 1972 voters list ('Project Roster'), making available information of the 'old' green ID card as well as a project to erect a wall of remembrance for those deceased whose graves are covered by the water of the Vaaldam.

At the Gala evening that took place on Saturday night, the guest speaker was the famous Gavin Cowley. Gavin decided to research the Cowley family several years ago. Like a seasoned genealogist, he made his aim to find detail on grass root levels. His ad lib presentation, was received with great appreciation.

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2018 Algemene Jaarvergadering

Die Algemene Jaarvergadering van die GGSA was vanjaar aangebied by die Wilderness Hotel geleë op die Tuinroete tussen George en Knysna. Die gashere was die Suid-Kaap Tak van die GGSA.      Uit die staanspoor het dit duidelik geword dat dié tak uit hul pad gegaan het om die AJV ʼn sukses te maak. Die voorsitter, Abri de Swardt en sy span moet geluk gewens word met hierdie poging.

Die AJV het presies betyds begin en na die welkomwoord deur die president, Simon du Plooy, het die werk in alle erns begin. Die agenda was lywig en die sake is met groot erns aangepak.

Een van die uitdagings vir die GGSA is om die ouderdom profiel van sy  lede om te keer deur jonger mense te werf. Tans is die lede hoofsaaklik ouer mense. Elke tak gaan navorsing doen om die situasie op takvlak aan te spreek.

Die Nasionale Raad het die viering van die 200-jaar herdenking van die 1820 Setlaars vierkant op die skouers van die takke en hul lede te plaas.  In aanloop tot die vieringe is besluit om ʼn argieftoer van 2019 spesifiek te rig op besoeke van verskeie argiewe in die Oos-Kaap. Dit word ook be-oog om al die uitgawes van die FAMILIA in 2020 te vul met artikels oor die 1820 Setlaars. Die Oos-Kaap Tak sal met plaaslike instansies skakel om deelname aan aktiwiteite wat in die Oos-Kaap te evorder.

Die Finansies  van die GGSA is onder die loep geneem en die tesourier het deeglik rekenskap van die stand van sake gegee. Die state sal ouditeer word alvorens dit na die ontvanger ingedien word.

Een van die vele hoogtepunte van die AJV is die voorligting wat Dennis Pretorius oor die stand van sake met die ontwikkeling van die GGSA se Webwinkel aangebied het. Kortom kom dit daarop neer dat in die afsienbare toekoms data aangekoop word vanuit dei 1984 Kieserslys, die E-SAGI Databasis en die  Begraafplaas Databasis wat bykans ʼn miljoen name bevat.

By die Gala-aand wat Saterdagaand plaasgevind het was die gasspreker die bekende Gavin Cowley. Gavin het etlike jare gelede besluit om die Cowley familie na te vors. Soos ʼn gesoute genealoog het hy tot op die been gekerf om besonderhede op te spoor. Sy voordrag, uit die vuis, is met groot waardering ontvang.

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2018 Awards


As per custom, the work done by members of the GSSA and others in the field of genealogy was acknowledged at the Awards Ceremony during the 2018 Annual General meeting of the GSSA These awards are based on recommendation and thorough motivation by branches and individuals who are members of the Society..


Gerard GeldenhuysThis award was earned by Prof Gerhard Geldenhuys. Gerhard Geldenhuys, Emeritus Professor in Applied Mathematics, University of Stellenbosch, has been a member of the Society and attached to the Western Cape Branch since 1976. Over the years, he served the branch in various capacities, including branch chairman in the early 1980s and as member (including convener) of the Capensis editorial committee from 1992 to date.
During this period, Gerhard made several exceptional contributions that made a noticeable difference in the field of South African genealogy, but it is especially his involvement in various studies on communicable diseases where he proves the role of genealogy as auxiliary science in medical research. In 2017 Gerhard is honoured by the SA Academy of Science and Art with the Huguenot Society and DF-du-Toit-Malherbe Prize for Genealogical Research. The importance of his research is evident from the recognition message of Prof PA Brink
Professor Gerhard Geldenhuys is honoured for the special role played by his genealogical research in the unravelling of the molecular causes of certain highly inherited cardiac muscle and movement diseases. Knowledge of the extent of the relationship between the caregivers has played a major role in finding causal genes and, where none was known, explaining the varying degrees of severity of the diseases due to other influences.


For the genealogist the Barkhuizen Family Register offers comprehensive and unique research material which offers a fresh look at family research. This is not just a family register, but it's the way the author sets it up, toJohan Barkhuizen reproduce the history of the ancestor and his progeny and descendants. This is a version of history that not only broadens the knowledge about our country and people, but also the process of early settlement in the country. The Barkhuizen Family Register is a genealogical work that is a scientific testimonial of outstanding research over a period of 40 years.       
The Barkhuizen Family Register is certainly one of the most outstanding genealogical publications that have been published and with this publication, the author managed to broaden and enrich the standard and field of genealogical research. Johan Barkhuizen is surely a worthy recipient of this award.


The Golden Banner Award is awarded by the President of the Society to individuals who provide special service to the Society and its members. This award is made for special contributions that are of great value to the genealogical community. This award has this year been given to Rita Quebbemann, Hester Marx, Matthew Bode and Margaret Gundry. The President of the GSSA's Gold Banner Award awarded to Rita Quebbemann and Hester Marx for their continued contribution to the GSSA's members with the search and listing of relevant genealogical information from newspapers. Congratulations and a big thank you for this ongoing effort. Matthew Bode is a young man who enjoys helping people with genealogical research in South Africa and abroad. He has a YouTube channel where he regularly uploads new videos with explanations of how to locate South African records on Margaret Gundry received the award for her absolute dedication in sustaining the wellbeing of the Johannesburg Branch editor of the branch newsletter and her ongoing research of St Helena and its people.

 Matthew Bode Red Margaret Gundry   Hester Marx Red   Rita Quebbeman

                       From left to right: Matthew Bode, Margaret Gundry, Hester Marx and Rita Quebbemann               

 THE EXTRA MILE Award       

 This award is made by the President of the GGSA to members of the Society for diligent work to make available genealogical data to the family research community. The extra mile awards this year go to three members, Willieta de Swardt of the Southern Cape Branch for her ongoing research on the De Swardt family during more than thirty years. Maureen Schnittker of the Durban and Coastal Branch for the photography of the Stellawood Cemetery in Durban and Alta le Roux also from the Southern Cape Branch for the work to record the church registers in the Southern Cape.



The award was initiated by the Northern Transvaal Branch of the GSSA. They appoint a panel of three adjudicators for this purpose. The judges were unanimous in their decision. This award goes to Sam J Basch for his article “Of Mine and Mines – A Brief Look at Descendants of Alexander Basch in South Africa.” The article appeared in FAMILIA Volume 54 – 2017  Nommer / Number 1  





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