The Genealogical Society of South Africa

The Eastern Cape Cemetery Project

RECORDING CEMETERIES WITH PENCIL AND PAPER
The first cemetery to be recorded in Port Elizabeth was St. George’s

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Recordingbyhand

Park, followed by St. Mary’s and Uitenhage.  Thereafter members started work on Old South End Cemetery.  When this was almost finished North End Cemetery was started and St. Mary’s finalised.
While work on North End was underway, work began on cemeteries in Settler Country and further afield, up to 150km from Port Elizabeth.  This encompasses everything from the Fish River to Kareedouw.
The task then expanded to checking recordings of the Grahamstown Old Cemeteries done by other individuals.  Included in this was Port Alfred.  Eventually the focus became the remainder of Settler Country.  The late Mike Wakeford was of great assistance here.  
Humansdorp, Jeffrey’s Bay and Kareedouw followed. John and Lorraine Drury took on South End Extension. However, Lorraine sadly did not survive to see the final product.  John, Mary Runciman and Liz Eshmade soldiered on doing Bushmans River and a number of “Unknown” local cemeteries with graves in deep grass and thick bush. In the end, a core group of 4 volunteers persisted with the project.
RECORDING CEMETERIES IN THE DIGITAL AGE
Carol started recording gravestones digitally in 2010.  This involves taking photographs of the various headstones and memorials with a digital camera and namingthe photographs according to the inscriptions. Typing up of the registers also became a priority. Many other people, including Janet Melville, Emerentia Ferreira, Marielle Ford, Sunelia Heath, Walter Renze, and others to numerous to mention, have also taken the initiative and taken photographs of cemeteries far and wide.     A large cemetery such as South End, in Port Elizabeth, with over 9,000 headstones, takes approximately 6 weeks of photography, with 3 to 4 hours spent there per week. On the Eastern Cape Cemeteries CD, in excess of 1,500 cemeteries are recorded as having been completed.  New projects include the recording of cemeteries in the Gamtoos River Valley, with the help of the Jeffrey’s Bay Genealogical Group. Read more about the Project in the Menu to the right.
Symbols on Gravestones

On all my expeditions to various cemeteries around the country, I have always wondered what the different symbols meant and took it upon myself to find out. Surfing the web I came across a wonderful website that gave me all the different types of symbols and there meanings. Click here to see  pdf Symbols on Headstones
We hereby acknowledge the copyright of Tomb with a View, ©1995-2003. In the event that the copyright extends past 2003, kindly advise, so that permission may be sought.
Pictures were not included in the original document and once again time was spent trying to find the closest pictures to the symbols I had seen. The pictures were downloaded from: • www.clker.com • http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main Page
I hope that all who read this will find out as much as I did. A journey well worth taken. A supervisor at a cemetery once said to me, "Have you ever found a headstone showing that a person in the grave was not the innocent, sweet person that they make him/her out to be." This really hit home. This still concerns me today. A thought I put to all of you.