Welcome to eGGSA - the virtual branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa. Founded in 2004, eGGSA is the virtual branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa, and provides a virtual home for everyone from the beginner to the most advanced family historian.
Museum Day in South Africa was intended to draw attention to the plight of museums in the country and I was asked to take part in the Humansdorp Museum’s Exhibition where I was able to promote eGSSA’s Outreach Program.
Trudie Marais and I, together with our husbands Tinus and Ludwic, set off before sunrise to arrive at Jeffrey’s Bay’s Fountain Mall by 8 am to set up for the Exhibition. Before we were even finished setting up the first few eager seekers arrived. From there it became a never ending stream of people, surnames too many to remember. Some people did, however, stand out:
WILLIAMS - a young couple now living in Mexico. SCHARNIK - a wonderful gentleman desperate to find out all he can about his family. OLIVIER - we could help him with the help of one of the Jeffrey’s Bay group who researches the OLIVIERs who had popped in to say hello. DEYSEL – (German descent) we referred the seeker to a gentleman at the Exhibition who had the Deysel book, so we had another satisfied member of the public. FOWLDS – Yvonne, looking for her parents COCKCROFT/FOWLES marriage. ARENDT - researching his German family, he spoke to Trudie MARAIS, the leader of the German Group in Port Elizabeth.
Best of all, and I forget the surname, was a woman who knew absolutely nothing about her father’s family as he had grown up in an orphanage. She could give me his name and date of birth. We were very fortunate to find this family. Her father was one of 20 children, an absolute shock to her.
eGGSA also obtained permission to photograph an old HUMAN family register in the safekeeping of the Museum, as well as a number of family bibles. I will try to do this as soon as possible.
If you don’t mind us bragging a little, it certainly seemed to us that the eGGSA stall received by far the most attention at the Exhibition. As a result, we had a busy day helping many people and set many on the correct path.
I believe that we are reaching people who did not know that help was available - the Outreach Program is working.
Extracts from the Cape Frontier Times 1840 to 1853 are currently being transcribed by Sue Mackay from the copies preserved in the British National Archives at Kew. So far completed are the years 1851 to 1853 and Sue has now started on 1847. These can be found on in the Newspaper Collection along with the many other extracts from South African newspapers old and new done by many different volunteers and collected here by Sue.
Corney Keller is continuing his transcripts of the early Cape Town NGK church registers and is now working on the marriage register of 1713 to 1756. He has so far completed years 1713 to 1735 and these can be seen in the eGGSA transcript library. This project, which he began in March of 2012, so far covers the earliest church registers, from 1665 to the end of the second register book 1712, baptisms and marriages.
In addition he has transcribed the letters sent as reports to the Classis Amsterdam (the body governing the church at the Cape) by the sieckentrooster, Pieter van der Stael, for the period 1656 to 1663, before a regular minister and registers were established at the Cape. These transcripts can be found here: The Van der Stael Letters, and the birth and marriage records contained in them have been extracted and are available here: Baptisms 1653 to 1664 and Marriages 1656 to 1662.
New to the database are the lists in the Cape Archives IBC 6 series, passenger lists of emigrant ships 1858 to 1861 - twenty ships carrying 5000 or so passengers, transcribed by Richard Wolfaardt and his international team of transcribers,
and also around 42,000 passenger from the lists of departures and arrivals found in The Colonies & India (a weekly newspaper) April 1883 to December 1888, transcribed by Trisha McLeod.
You will now find eGGSA on Facebook - click on the blue Faceook symbol to access the eGGSA page. This has been set up by June Barnes and is being maintained by June, Daan Botes, Judi Meyer and Leith Woodall. They hope you will enjoy what you will find there.
A new section has been added to the eGGSA web site to bring together the many transcripts we have available. Here, at South African Records Transcribed, you can now find the Muster Rolls, and the Cape Baptisms and Marriages 1665-1696. These have been revised and corrected by Corney Keller and he has just added to them a transcript of the Cape Town NGK marriages 1696 to 1712. You will also find some earlier baptisms and marriages found in the De Stael letters to the Amsterdam Classis, that Corney found in the Amsterdam Archives who have given permission for the letters themselves to be transcribed - letter reports to Amsterdam from Peter Stael, siekentrooster at the Cape from 1654 to 1663. Also there is a transcript of the French baptism register of Drakenstein, 1694 to 1713, with translations into English.