The Genealogical Society of South Africa

An Attempt to show Historically correct Place Names

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.

Click here to read the complete Article