Die Genealogiese Genootskap van Suid-Afrika

Johannesburg Tak

johannesburg-skyline-bigDie Johannesburg-tak van die GGSA bedien genealoë in die onmiddellike Johannesburg omgewing. Die tak hou vergaderings om 02:30 op die 3de Saterdag maandeliks by die RJM Hall by Randjes Estate, Randjeslaagte Road, in Highlands-Noord bied veilige parkering.

Maandelikse vergaderings word begin met 'n spreker of 'n lesing oor genealogie verwante onderwerpe. Hierdie vergaderings word gevolg deur tee wat deur die Komitee voorsien word.  Na tee is die biblioteek oop vir navorsing doeleindes.

In 2012 sal die Johannesburg-tak elke vergadering betrekking hê op 'n spesifieke gebeurtenis in daardie maand. Byvoorbeeld in die "Mother's Day Maand" in Mei konsentreer ons op die Matrilineale lyn van 'n paar van ons lede, en later in die jaar in Oktober vier ons Johannesburg se verjaarsdag met' n spreker oor die vroeë Johannesburgse Argitektuur.

Die Johannesburg-tak is ook gasheer vir familie stambome, 'n 30 minuut genealogiese program aangebied op Radio Today (1485 op die radio of DSTV Chanel 169). Potgooie van hierdie uitsendings is beskikbaar by www.1485.org.za volg die skakels na potgooie en rol alfabeties af vir familie stamboom.

Belangstellendes word uitgenooi om die voorsitter Natalie da Silva 011 6468456 of ons Skakelbeampte Joan Augustyn 011 786 6911 of ons lidmaatskap sekretaris Margaret Gundry by 011 828 7176 te kontak.

Visit to Jewish Roots in Belarus

Stan Close who will be telling us about his visit last year to Belarus in search of his Jewish Roots. This promises to be a very interesting meeting and has raised my interest me so much that when I realised how little I knew about the Jews in South Africa.
“I was born in Bulawayo in (then) Rhodesia, attended primary school in Bulawayo and Ndola, and senior school in Johannesburg.
Stanley John Close married Edith Close (yes – maiden name Close) on 12 December 1970 in Graaff Reinet. The fact that the couple shared the same surname begged the obvious question whether the two Close families were related in any way. And so Stan’s genealogical research began. Back in the seventies this was not easy as the internet wasn’t around, most other family members were luke warm on the subject, and all charts and family trees had to be done by hand. Stan’s research dribbled along until 2015, when some new information on the Jewish side of the family came to hand, and he decided to revive his research work, on the Jewish line as well as the two Close lines.
The Jewish line : Stan’s grandfather, Alan Robert Close, married a young Jewish lady, Lilian Sylvia Rosenberg in (then) Salisbury on 23 July 1919. Lily was the daughter of a Russian Jewish couple, Coppel and Mathilda (née Mechanik) Rosenberg, who had emigrated from two small villages in then Russia, now Belarus, to settle in Bulawayo, Rhodesia. This part of the research concerns the origins of the Jewish family in Belarus, the passage of the Rosenbergs from Belarus to Bulawayo, their lives in Bulawayo, and follow up on Rosenberg descendants in South Africa, England and the USA.
In August 2015, together with a local genealogist/ guide, Stan and his cousin Paul Tomlinson (Paul’s mother was my grandmother Lily Rosenberg’s sister) visited Vilnius in Lithuania and the towns of Vashiliski, Zheludok and Scuchin in Belarus – where our Jewish family originated - to uncover as much information as possible regarding the original Jewish family (ies) who had lived there, and also to expose ourselves first hand to the typical way of life in these small Belarusian villages.

May Meeting

The meeting gave an opportunity for members to tell about their recent discoveries, each giving a short presentation. 11 Members briefly shared their experiences during their research. Marion Hofmeyr remembered her grandmother and showed a certificate authorising her grandmother to teach weaving. Also she showed some of her grandmother’s later crochet work as well as small bust of her grandmother. Warren Cassidy discussed some of his Cassidy relatives, one of whom was South African-born doctor who was the physician to King George V. Also he showed how he was related to the Spencer family.
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The Shaw Presentation

George Shaw gave a fascinating insight into his 40 year’s research into his family history to the Johannesburg Branch of the GSSA for their April 2016 meeting. George’s approach to genealogy is not just lists of names, places and dates. Rather it is to collect documents and photographs and other items from the period, making up a detailed story of what was going on at the time
Click here to read the article

The Bible Project

The Johannesburg Branch got involved in the Bible Restoration Project following a talk on Radio Today specifically about the Bibles which were looted during the Anglo-Boer War, in the time of Vicky HeunisKitchener’s Scorched Earth policy. Elria Wessels of the War Museum, in Bloemfontein explained that it was through the tireless insistence of The Quakers or the Society of Friends that many looted bibles made their way back to this country.
The Johannesburg Branch took up the challenge to raise funds and become directly involved in the Bible Restoration Project run by the War Museum, Bloemfontein.
Bible records are a PRIMARY source for genealogical research - do you have an old Family Bible – or know of someone who has one? GET IN TOUCH with a member of the GSSA- they know what to do!! Vicky Heunis holding the Bible we chose to be restored with funds donated by the Joburg Branch of the GSSA.

Using The Johannesburg Branch Library

The Johannesburg Branch of the Genealogical Society boasts a very well stocked Library. Making useof the Library suits the beginner, just starting out and certain publications and guides offer excellent advice for the more experienced researcher too.

 Concentrating on South African resources, all researchers are welcome to peruse a complete set of Indexes to Estate Files for each Archives depot in South Africa; these indexes are a mine of information and although they are available online, we generally find that in the printed form, name variants, or groups of surnames are easier to see when searching for Death Notices and Probate references. Formal Sources in the Library include the well-thumbed Guide to Genealogical Research; and of course A-Z Genealogies of Old South African names now published by the Genealogical Institute of South Africa. Another excellent book is Esme Bull's Aided Immigration 1856-1866 which gives fantastic details about new
English, Irish and German settlers to these shores.
To counter the possibility of re-inventing the wheel, we heartily encourage new members to check the numerous publications on South African family histories such as Van Der Merwe, Le Roux and Truter books so that if a Family Tree exists, one can check information or even collaborate with the Author.
What members find particularly useful is the printed version of the GSSA product of selected Cemetery Recordings in South Africa. Keeping up with the times and moving swiftly into the 20th Century the Genealogical Society has for a number of years offered these Cemetery Recordings on DVD and the Library has a full set of them. Members researching specific settlers refer to British Settler's in Natal by Shelagh O'Byrne Spencer or The Cotton German's of Natal or Afrikaner Families in Natal and of course Pieter Coertzen's Huguenots of South Africa and those with 1820 Settler stock will find several publications of old Settler families very useful, for example The Tarr's of Rokewood or 1820 Settlers by Guy Butler but a favourite must surely be The Guide to Manuscripts held at Cory Library in Grahamstown second only to the List of Photographs (A-G} which is held at the Albany Museum.
A good number of members busy tracing their Scottish, English or Irish ancestors, will find our Library is well stocked with Guides to researching Census Records or Baptisms and Marriages in Methodist, Baptist or Church of England records, as well as several Guides to researching in Public Record Offices in Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. The more experienced researcher will be pleased to learn how to make use of Tudor England's Muster Rolls, the Poor Law Union records or even Hearth Tax records for various counties in England.
Heraldry research compliments historical and Genealogical research thoroughly. The Library has several publications on Heraldry such as The Complete book of Heraldry by Stephen Slater an excellent publication covering an international history of heraldry and its contemporary uses. In the same vein, descendants of landed Gentry may find the well-known Whitakers or Burkes Peerage of good use. Books are available to the researcher when the Library is opened after each monthly meeting every 3,d Saturday monthly at the RJM Hall, Randjes Estate, Highlands North.icon Library Book List