When my database was donated to the West-Gauteng Branch of GSSA (The Genealogical Society of South Africa), it contained about 100,000 individuals and was known as the Rinken/de Wet Database. De Wet because it contained the de Wet file kindly sent to me by the late Tesselaar Bryan de Wet of Winnipeg, Canada. It now contains in excess of 900,000 individuals and has been put together from files submitted by many individuals. As the number of individuals contained grew and we started to sell same for Branch Funds, Dennis Pretorius suggested that the name be changed to e-SAGI (The South African Genealogical Index). Soon we were selling the CD all over the world and I knew that many users, particularly overseas, were not familiar with South African history and the changes this created in the Republics and Colonies which became Provinces of the Union, and later, Republic of South Africa.I then attempted to use place names pertaining to the historical timeframe involved. At first, this was just hit and miss as I thought was the case, but gradually I realised that more research was necessary in order to ensure that I was not misleading users.This is not easy as the sources consulted, do not always give specific dates and the history of the various areas are intertwined. The following is, thus what I have put together and I am, consequently, slowly converting the data accordingly.
West Gauteng Branch
Located on the “West Rand”, the West Gauteng branch currently has its home at the Memorial Hall, Krugerstraat 1, Krugersdorp, and draws members from as far as the East Rand to the far West Rand but primarily from the 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.
Committee members are available to assist with queries for an hour before the branch meeting. Click on the image to enlarge.
For those who prefer, our postal address is:
P.O. Box 584