The Genealogical Society of South Africa

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pdf Newsletter No 87 January 2017 Popular

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In this edition of the Johannesburg Newsletter, you can read the intriguing story of the burial of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, what is fact and what is fiction? Also, read a report of a fascinating discovery of a 250-year-old census that became known during cataloguing by the National Register of Archives for Scotland (NRAS). The census lists 90 people living on the remote archipelago on 15 June 1764 - 38 males and 52 females, including 19 families and 9 individuals. Until now, the earliest record dated from 1822. The islands, which lie about 40 miles west of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, were home to generations of people until the last were evacuated in 1930.

pdf Newsletter No 86 November 2016 Popular

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Newsletter No 86 November 2016.pdf

pdf Newsletter No 85 October 2016 Popular

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Newsletter No 85 October 2016.pdf

Our speaker this month is 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 visited The Jewish Museum in Cape Town. As it happened they were celebrating “175 years of Jewish Life in South Africa”. More about that later. “I was born in Bulawayo in (then) Rhodesia, attended primary school in Bulawayo and Ndola, and senior school in Johannesburg. I served 12 years as a SA Naval Officer, 12 years with Eskom as a business performance management specialist, and since 1989 have owned and operated a business which assesses, trains and coaches entrepreneurs. This company has helped some 2500 small businesses to start up and grow in South Africa and in four other African countries.

pdf Newsletter No 83 August 2016 Popular

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Newsletter No 83 August 2016.pdf

pdf Newsletter No 82 July 2016 Popular

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Newsletter No 82 July 2016.pdf

Read all about the Concentration Camp Symposium of the North West Branch. A second topic of interest concerns finding the fatehr of an illegimate child. Information regarding the work of Yvette Hoitink a professional genealogist in the Netherlands. Read the story about Denys Reitz book "No Outspan."

pdf Newsletter No 81 June 2016 Popular

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David wrote the report on a very successful "Show and Tell" held last month when nearly every member present had a story to tell. Then there is an answer to the question posed - What was the role of the Orphan Chamber? From the Ancestry website. We have 5 tips to find missing birth records of your English ancestors and I was playing on Google earth when I saw Arlington Cemetery. The information on this enormous cemetery came from Wikipedia.

pdf Newsletter No 80 May 2016 Popular

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Newsletter No 80 May 2016.pdf

There is a short explanation as to why you may not find your ancestor on the UK census. Also a short history of Parish records in England. Then pictures of Doreen Piner's grandmother's grave before and after restoration.

pdf Newsletter No 79 April 2016 Popular

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Newsletter No 79 April 2016.pdf

pdf Newsletter No 78 March 2016 Popular

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Newsletter No 78 March 2016.pdf

Our speaker this month is George Shaw and he has sent a very comprehensive e-mail to David explaining his lifelong interest in Genealogy as well as his story of the diary.The Boer War Diary of Jocelyn F de F Shaw. Last month David gave a talk on the Lighthouse Stevensons and the lighthouses they had built along the coast of Scotland. Among them is the Bell Rock lighthouse, built on a rock that is only exposed for four hours a day. Also read the Story of Durban High School that celebrates 150 years

pdf Newsletter No 77 February 2016 Popular

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Newsletter No 77 February 2016.pdf

On 20 February Dave Kinghorn will talk about his book on the Stephenson family and the building of the Scottish lighthouses by the ancestors of Robert Louis Stevenson. Not to be outdone by the Scots we have our own Slangkop Lighthouse. Dave will relate his experiences when visiting the Slangkop Lihthouse at Kommetjie in the Western Cape. To add confusion to the already confused mind of the genealogist read about Stepbrother, Half brother, Full siblings, Half-siblings, Stepsibling, Godsibling, Foster siblings and Adoptive siblings. Once done you will fully comprehend this family relations business!

pdf Newsletter No 75 December 2015 Popular

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Newsletter No 75 December 2015.pdf

Read Dave Kinghorn's overview of the activities of the branch. There were a few outstanding contributions.
He also addressed the membership status of the branch, something of value for all members of the GSSANeed to ask questions like
− What contribution have I made to the branch?
− What have I learned and what new skills have I developed?
− How can I improve in terms of my own research and furthering the good of the GSSA as a body?
− To start off with, it is important to recognize why people join non-profit organizations and what causes them to be fully functioning and effective board members. People join non-profits out of a passion for the issues or cause, personal experiences or because someone they know asked them to join.

pdf Newsletter No 74 November 2015 Popular

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“Henry Bowe’s widow and children stayed at the “Thatched Tavern” next to the old Town Hall, about the last inn in Cape town to have a sign board.” This quote from family papers sent me on a quest – where was the Thatched Tavern and what happened to it? Originally built in 1757 it survived in various forms until the late 1900’s when it succumbed to “progress”. Join us for an illustrated story of the building over the 200 years of its existence – a presentation by Margaret Gundry

pdf Newsletter No 73 October 2015 Popular

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Natalie has put together a collection of íïee sites to be found on the Internet. Can you add more? This will be an open meeting and we would like members to participate - Tell us about your favourite free sites. Read about the Clarendon High School for Girls, East London.

pdf Newsletter No 72 September 2015 Popular

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Newsletter No 72 September 2015.pdf

The subject of our meeting this month is the preservation of old documents. It will be hosted by Natalie Da Silva. The gallery at the Brenthurst Library has a special display on at the moment – how (or when) to restore or repair old books. Apparently it is sometimes better to leave a book in the state you find it rather than fix it. For your information the bit below is from the Brenthurst Library web page: The Library has an on-going programme of exhibitions on a variety of topics in which artworks, manuscripts and rare books from the collection are featured. These exhibitions are changed periodically during the year. Please phone the library (011 544-5400) to make an appointment to view any our current exhibitions.

pdf Newsletter No 71 August 2015 Popular

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Newsletter No 71 August 2015.pdf

The Burma Road was a road linking Burma with the southwest of China. Its terminals were Kunming, Yunnan, and Lashio, Burma. It was built while Burma was a British colony in order to convey supplies to China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Preventing the flow of supplies on the road helped motivate the occupation of Burma by the Empire of Japan in 1942. Use of the road was restored to the Allies in 1945 after the completion of the Ledo Road. Some parts of the old road are still visible today. Read more
.....and also As genealogists we usually work on family trees. Sometimes we may even do the “family tree” of a house (I am working on one at the moment for the November meeting) but I have never heard of any one doing the “Family tree” of a motor car!!!

pdf Newsletter No 70 July 2015 Popular

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Read more about Van Riebeecks Hedges. This hedge of wild almonds was planted in the year 1660 A.D. by order of Commander Jan van Riebeeck to mark the southern frontier of the Cape Colony, from Kirstenbosch along Wynberg Hill, to a point below the Hen and Chickens Rocks. Thence the hedge was continued by a fence of poles across the camp ground to the mouth of the Salt River........ So you’re related to Charlemagne? You and every other living European… by Adam Rutherford. Irish parish registers online for the first time. Irish baptism and marriage records dating back to the 1740’s can now be accessed on the web free of charge thanks to a major digitization project. Find out how.

pdf Newsletter No 68 May 2015 Popular

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Newsletter No 68 May 2015.pdf

In this issue of the news letter an article about the GSSA's coat of arms can be read. Valda Napier researched the origin and registration of the Coat of Arms. I also found the following notification in the newsletter: "I don't know how many of you have 1820 settler ancestors but with over 4000 of them having arrived the chances are pretty good you'll find a link somewhere! Sue Mackay a staunch supporter of the 'share genealogy' ideology, spends a great deal of time in London photographing the Grahamstown Journal and then transcribing the information she gleans from these and then shares it to our eggsa (http://www.eggsa.org/1820- settlers/index.ph) and the rootsweb list (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) ...so if you don't already subscribe to this list, you really ought to sign up. It's free and very easy to use.

pdf Newsletter no 67 April 2015 Popular

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A Grave story. This weekend we went to Machadodorp and armed with some co-ordinates from the Cemetery DVD we headed off to Carolina hoping to take photographs of some of the graves and memorials that had been transcribed but not photographed.This should have been a simple exercise and the first was a piece of cake - a Boer War memorial.There it was on the street corner, large as life.Then it was off to find the Volunteers War Memorial. But it was not where I expected it to be. Just a new shopping centre. Well we drove up and down Kerk Straat, now Church Street on the GPS, and never did find anything that could possibly be a memorial........... read more in the Newsletter.

pdf Newsletter No 66 March 2015 Popular

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pdf Newsletter No 65 February 2015 Popular

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Newsletter No 65 February 2015.pdf

In this Issue
Due to a high number of interested groups, schools, individuals and potential sponsors etc. who would like to take part, the cycle tour has been planned to take place in December 2015. What started as a mere good gesture has now turned into a national project seeking to include each and every South African who loves their history and heritage!
When Johannesburg was originally planned, it was crammed with as many stands as possible to maximise income - especially from the corner stands. As a result, there was very little open space and no public park. In 1886, 12 stands were allocated for a small cemetery between Bree, Harrison, Diagonal and De Villiers streets (roughly where the Traffic Dept is today) but this proved hopelessly inadequate.