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genza bannerWe serve a community of dedicated amateur family researchers. Anyone who hasn't ever dabbled in genealogical research can imagine the relief, joy and great exultation that the genealogist experiences on having made a breakthrough, or finds the final link to complete a family line. It truly is the experience of a lifetime.
Families have migrated far and wide within South Africa. Later descendants of families that arrived in South Africa as early as 1676 trekked North and East, some ending in the present day Namibia and or even further afield to Angola and Kenya. Tracing their footsteps, opens up new worlds, and gives one insight into cultural, political and the religious motivation for these great treks.
The Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA) that was established in 1964 has twelve branches of which eleven are land based and one which is an electronic branch catering for members worldwide, via the internet. Each branch arranges its own activities and meets all year round apart from December and January. More information can be gleaned by visiting the branch pages of www.genza.org.za. Members  become close friends and are more than happy to assist newcomers with their research. Many a dead end has been resolved by discussing the issue with a fellow genealogist.

Our aim and goal is:

  • To promote and facilitate interest and research in genealogy and family history to present members, to the genealogical hobbyist and to all members of the public who may be interested in genealogy and/or family history.
  • To promote general understanding of Genealogy and its value, to understand and maintain professional status and dignity for genealogists amongst members of the Genealogical Society of South Africa and the general public.
  • To encourage the observance of the highest standards of research by members of the Society.
  • To provide a wide range of educational courses, research programmes and services for the general benefit of GSSA branches and members, as well as any other service or assistance as may from time to time be decided upon by the National Council of the GSSA.
  • To encourage and develop links with Family History Societies.
  • To establish and maintain contact with like minded Societies throughout the world.
  • To establish a certification program to promote the reliability, professionalism and integrity of all South African Genealogists and Record Researchers.
  • To assist in the preservation of all genealogical records and memorabilia

                                                                          

 

The Familia / Best Article 2019

1e Familia BuitebladThe Familia / Best Article 2019

The Familia is the Quarterly Journal of the Genealogical Society of South Africa. On the photo above, the first cover of the Familia published during 1965/66 can be seen. The Northern Transvaal Branch of the GSSA has since the early 2000 presented a yearly prize, available for the best article published during a particular year.

The criteria by which such an article must comply includes the following: 

  • Does the article deliver a significant contribution to Genealogy; is it new information?
  • Is the article professionally set up with good source references etc.?
  • Does it read easily; is the presentation interesting; engaging and a good balance between readability and academic correctness maintained?

The Panel's Comment: It's a good, well laid out article that reads well and is abundantly illustrated with photos and which contains new information about the family. The author's references refer to bibliographic requirements and the genealogical notations which is required by Familia. In addition to meeting all the criteria as required, it is one of the few articles that provide sources as far as criteria is concerned, research, namely, that genealogists can follow it up and check.

In 2019 the best article in Familia was awarded to Wilhelm Bernhardt for his article:

'n EKONOMIESE RAAMWERK VIR GENEALOGIESE NAVORSING

Een van die beoordelaars het die volgende te gehad: Die outeur slaag goed daarin om moderne navorsingspraktyke, nl genealogiese en historiese navorsing te gebruik deur die opstel van ‘n ekonomiese raamwerk en ‘n nuwe manier om ‘n geïntegreerde prentjie te veskaf van hoe jou voorouers geleef het. So ‘n benadering kan dan deel vorm van suiwer genealogie as deel van ‘n meer holistiese benadering. Die artikel dien as uitstekende voorbeeld vir ander genealoë hoe om soortgelyke navorsing aan te pak, is iets besonders en lees lekker. Tegnies, is dit egter nie ‘n suiwer genealogiese artikel nie maar die oorspronklikheid van die aanslag, maak dit dit nie vir my ‘n groot problem nie. Click here to download the article

 This what you can expect to inspire you when you start your journey into the exciting world of Family Research.

5th Article –1820 settlers the story The Settler Lists

1820 SETLAARS

5th Article - The 1820 Settler Lists

From The Settler Hand Book by MD Nash  - Living with The 1820 Settlers by Marion Robertson.

 The official settler lists can be accessed at the Cape Archives and the Public Records Office, London.

(Cape Archives CO 6138/1 and 2)

But these lists are not always correct.

Each party head had to submit a list of settlers to the Colonial Office when applying to emigrate. This would have been in August 1819. But they were only notified of a successful application in October or November. By this time many prospective settlers had changed their minds.

As people cancelled, others took their place, sometimes travelling under the names of the persons they had replaced. Even at the docks unofficial replacements slipped in as people changed their minds about travelling to a strange far off land. Then there were stowaways.

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4th Article –1820 settlers the story The Abeona

4th Article –1820 settlers the story The Abeona

In November 1820, the transport-ship Abeona was chartered by the Government for the conveyance of emigrants to the Cape of Good Hope. Having taken on board fourteen passengers at London she proceeded to the Clyde, where 126 emigrants embarked. There were 21 crew on board and with a fair wind the ship left Greenock, Scotland on the 13th October 1820 and began her voyage down South.

She caught fire at 4°30’N, 25°30’W and burnt for 15 hours. She was completely destroyed.

Three boatloads of survivors were rescued by a Portuguese merchant ship and taken to Lisbon.

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3rd Article - 1820 Settlers the story

3rd Article - 1820 Settlers the story

The Fanny and the East Indian both sailed from the Cove of Cork, Ireland on the 12th February, 1820. On the 30th April the East Indian arrived in Simon’s Bay, followed the next day by the Fanny.  Only leaders of parties were allowed ashore.

The leaders met with the Colonial Secretary, Colonel Bird, who informed them that they would not be heading for Albany but were to be settled in the Clanwilliam district. This would reduce the number of settlers arriving in Albany by about 350 and would also keep the hot-headed Irish apart from the other settlers.

Parker and two other men left for Clanwilliam on horseback on the 13th and on the 17th were shown the locations by the Land Surveyor. Horrified at, what he considered, the awful conditions and the position the settlers would find themselves in, the three men hurried to Saldanha Bay to try and prevent the settlers leaving the ships.

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2nd Article: 1820 Settlers the story

2nd Article: 1820 Settlers the story

Following the events earlier described, three philanthropists, Vernon, Harberd, and Stracey proposed a privately owned emigration scheme to the Cape of Good Hope. The editorial which appeared in The Times on 12 July 1819 promoted the scheme.

The proposal of the three philanthropists saw discussion in parliament on 12 July 1819 and £50 000 was voted by the government to finance the scheme. A condition of the availability of the fund was that it had to be spent within six months .This stipulation had the effect that not sufficient planning could be done before the implementation phase commenced. It can be said that this was one of the reasons for the failure of the scheme. The scheme was managed by the Colonial Office and was advertised by way of pamphlets which were distributed.

The Colonial Office received more than 90 000 letters of application. Some journalists described the mood in the UK as emigration fever.

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1st Article - 1820 Settlers the story

1st Article - 1820 Settlers the story

In the latter stages of the 17th century and in the early stages of the 18th century the dominant population groups in the Eastern Cape area were the white cattle farmers and the black cattle farmers. Both groups were constantly looking for more land on which their cattle could graze. These opposing groups clashed in a series of skirmishes or wars.

Colonel John Graham was the originator of the plan to settle a large group of Scottish Highlanders in this area. He was in charge of the British troops at a fort in the area. The fort later becomes Grahams Town. The plan was not implemented due to the fact that Britain was still involved in the war with Europe and emigration schemes were not priorities.

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Welcome to the 1972 Voters Roll Project - Rhino

Rhino1972 Voters Roll Project - Rhino

The Rhino project has entered a new phase! Phase 1 was to photograph all the pages of the 1972 Voters Roll. Thanks to branches supporting the project and a sponsorship of US$4500, that is now done! All 105 000 photographs have been taken.

We are now moving on to phase 2, where the PDF's will be converted to OCR to make is searchable. This will take some time as the project has to be outsourced and we have to generate the necessary funds. At this stage GSSA can offer you selective surnames in PDF format.

Administration fee: R50 per surname, this includes the first 10 pages.  Thereafter, R1 per page if your chosen surname includes more than 10 pages.  The images will be sent to you via Dropbox.

Orders can be placed with Annemarie Dreyer, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Click here to download the order form

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Goals and Objectives

  • To promote and facilitate interest and research in genealogy and family history to present members, to the genealogical hobbyist and to all members of the public who may be interested in genealogy and/or family history.
  • To promote general understanding of Genealogy and its value, to understand and maintain professional status and dignity for genealogists amongst members of the Genealogical Society of South Africa and the general public.
  • To encourage the observance of the highest standards of research by members of the Society.
  • To provide a wide range of educational courses, research programmes and services for the general benefit of GSSA branches and members, as well as any other service or assistance as may from time to time be decided upon by the National Council of the GSSA.
  • To encourage and develop links with Family History Societies.
  • To establish and maintain contact with like minded Societies throughout the world.
  • To establish a certification program to promote the reliability, professionalism and integrity of all South African Genealogists and Record Researchers.
  • To assist in the preservation of all genealogical records and memorabilia.

JOIN US GENZA ARTWORK 2

Why become a member and How to Join

The Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA) that was established in 1964 has twelve branches of which eleven are land based and one which is an electronic branch catering for members worldwide, via the internet. Each branch arranges its own activities and meets all year round apart from December and January. More information can be gleaned by visiting the branch pages of www.genza.org.za. Members  become close friends and are more than happy to assist newcomers with their research. Many a dead end has been resolved by discussing the issue with a fellow genealogist.

  • We promote and facilitate:-
    • Interest & research in Genealogy and Family history to present members, to the genealogical hobbyist & to all members of the public who may be interested in genealogy and/or family history.
    • We promote general understanding of Genealogy and its value
  • We provide:
    • a wide range of educational courses
    • each branch has a unique library
    • a vast list of product for sale
    • research programmes and services for the general benefit of GSSA branches and members
  • We encourage and develop links with Family History Societies & the National Archives
  • Each branch arranges it’s own program for the year and often includes:
    • Guest Speakers
    • Outings to history societies i.e. Family Search & the National Archives
    • Training on the various platforms
    • Even assisting in product development

We look forward to welcoming you to our family. Join today and discover your past!


Membership fees for the Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA) are laid out as follows:

Membership fees mean you belong to the GSSA National AND a home branch and you receive the quarterly publication Familia depending on your option choice:

Option 1 - Familia in electronic format only Fee R250

Option 2 - Familia in Hard copy Fee R360 (RSA only)

Option 3 - Familia in Hard copy Fee R590 (Abroad)

These fees excludes the branch fees. When you decide to join you will be allocated to a particular branch e.g. Johannesburg Branch, Vaal Triangle Branch, Western Cape Branch, etc. There are 12 land based  branches and 1 Cyber branch called the eGSSA- this is a web based branch.
The various branches of the GSSA in some instances levy an additional mandatory fee for the newsletter of the branch, this differs from branch to branch.

A copy of the application form can be downloaded here Mermbership Application 2020 and all the relevant information you require is on this form.
There are two options to choose from should you wish to become a member of the GSSA
1)     Download the relevant Application form above, decide on the branch that you would like to join and pay the applicable fees. Send your completed from to the address on the form and you will be notified via email of your membership.
2)    You can join via the eGSSA branch. Visit this page: http://www.eggsa.org/sales/eshop_e_dc_membership.htm and follow the instructions. The membership fee of the eGSSA consists of three elements, i.e. membership of the GSSA; membership of the eGSSA and optional member of a land based branch as well.

Should you have any queries kindly Click here .

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