WG Bible Project

Bible Project

Neels Coertze, Sandton, 28 Desember 2012
A few years ago, Dennis Pretorius, a member of Western Gauteng Branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa remarked that genealogical information may lay undiscovered in Family Bibles and that it may also go hidden in museums and private collections. This urged Neels Coertse a member of the Western Gauteng Branch to start photographing Family Bibles that eventually resulted in 500 photographs from 76 Bibles being collected.
Neels and his helpers, Lucas, Rinken and Giel Nel, both members of Western Gauteng Branch embarked on this enormous task. They were the men who put on the gloves at Museum Africa ["MA"] to deal with the valuable items.  They went to Museum Africa (several visits) and also to the Johannesburg Public Library (JPL). Several private donations for the project were also received. The photos were bound in five bundles called "Pictures of Family Bibles and Genealogical / Family History contained therein".
Genealogists are always looking for stories and that tasty titbits of family history maybe even skeletons? Not always ugly stuff, but stories that make one sit upright. So they came across a family register from Adam dating to Mother Mary's time.  This can be seen in Bonham, TX Family Bible [JPL Q 220.52] [BOOK I page 7]. There are 36 beautiful pictures.
Neels's own immediate family was involved in the Anglo Boer War quite near the West Rand in the Ventersdorp district. The Coertse, Family Bible tells the story of fleeing Boers, the Tommy officer and the Bible on fire.  It was obviously an attempt by the British soldiers to get rid of the genealogical information in the Bible. The British officer returned the Bible to South Africa in 1959 and it is now available for research. RJ [MA1958-94] [BOOK I Page 93]
When one particular Bible was removed from its plastic bag, a second plastic bag fell out.  Giel was on hand and opened it. In surprise he took a step or two backwards and said: "And now Neels, what do we do now?" I told him: "We take pictures of course. We continued photographing. In the second bag there was a braid of Chatarina Mary Elizabeth BADENHORST hair cut on the day of her death. It can be viewed on the photo. [PRINSLOO, JP & BOSHOFF WH [MA6489] [BOOK IV page 384].
SNOW / BLIGNAUT MM Bible [MA1969-954] [BOOK V page 416] tells the story of Commandant Jan VILJOEN and his horse commando in 1864 interrupted the sermon of Rev Lion Cachet when they him used whips to chase him off the farm Koedoesfontein.
In the final agreement between the Western Gauteng Branch and Museum Africa the director gave permission that the photos may be published. The plan is that these photos will in the near future be published on the e-GSSA, Project Famliy Bibles Inscription Pages, to make it accessible to the public.
Thank you to Lucas Rinken and Giel Nel who helped me - although we sometimes were frightened, we mostly started laughing spontaneously out of sheer excitement.
Western Gauteng Branch would like to thank all the donors for their permission to photograph and preserve the images for posterity.
Click on an image to enlarge it
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Bybelprojek

Neels Coertze, Sandton, 28 Desember 2012
So 'n paar jaar gelede het Dennis Pretorius, ‘n lid van Wes-Gautengtak van die Genealogiese Genootskap van Suid-Afrika verwys na genealogiese inligting wat versteek is in Familiebybels en wat dalk opgesluit mag wees in museums en private versamelings. Dit het Neels Coertse lid van die Wes- Gautengtak aangespoor om te begin met die neem van foto's van Familiebybels waardeur uiteindelik 500 foto's uit 76 Bybels versamel is.
Neels en sy helpers, Lucas Rinken en Giel Nel, albei lede van Wes-Gautengtak het die taak aangepak. Hulle was die manne wat die handskoene by Museum Afrika [“MA”] aangetrek het om die waardevolle items te hanteer.  Hulle het saam na Museum Afrika [verskeie besoeke] en daarna weer na die Johannesburg Openbare Biblioteek [Johannesburg Public Library “JPL”] gegaan. Daar is ook verskeie privaat skenkings vir die projek ontvang. Die foto's is in vyf bundels genaamd "Foto's van Familiebybels en die Genealogiese/Familiegeskiedenis daarin vervat", ingebind.
Genealoë soek mos maar altyd die smaaklie stukkie geskiedenis en miskien die spreekwoordike geraamtes ook? Nie altyd lelike goeters nie, maar stories wat jou regop  laat sit. So het hulle op 'n geslagsregister afgekom wat vanaf Adam tot en met Moeder Maria se tyd dateer. U kan dit in BONHAM, G.A. se Familiebybel [JPL Q 220.52] [BOEK I bladsy 7] lees. Daar is 36 pragtige foto's.
Neels se eie verlangse familie was betrokke by die Anglo Boere Oorlog sommer naby aan die Wes-Rand en wel in Ventersdorp kontrei. Die Coertze Familiebybel vertel die verhaal van vlugtende boerekrygers, die tommie offisier en die brandende Bybel in die vuur. Dit was natuurlik ‘n poging van die Britse soldate om ontslae te raak van die genealogiese inligting in die Bybel. Die Britse offisier het gedurende 1959 die Bybel na Suid-Afrika terug gestuur en dit is nou beskikbaar vir navorsing. R.J. [MA1958-94] [BOEK I bladsy 93].
Toe een spesifieke Bybel uit die plastieksakke gehaal was, het daar ‘n ander plastieksak saam uitgeval.  Giel was byderhand en het dit oopgemaak. Hy het sommer so ‘n tree of wat teruggestaan en vra: “En nou  Neels, wat doen ons nou?” Ek sê vir hom: “Ons hou aan foto's neem." Daar is voortgegaan met die  fotografering. In die tweede sakkie was daar 'n haarvlegsel van Chatarina Maria Elizabeth BADENHORST wat op haar sterfdag afgesny was.  Dit kan besigtig word op die foto. [PRINSLOO, J.P. & BOSHOFF W.H. [MA6489]] [BOEK IV bladsy 384].
In die SNOW/BLIGNAUT M.M. Bybel [MA1969-954] [BOEK V bladsy 416] word die storie vertel Kommandant  Jan VILJOEN en sy perdekommando wat gedurende 1864 Ds. Lion CACHET se preek onderbreek het toe hulle hom met swepe van die plaas Koedoesfontein verwilder het.
Met die finale ooreenkoms tussen die Wes-Gautengtak en Museum Afrika het die direktrise toestemming  verleen dat die foto's publiseer mag word. Die plan is dat hierdie foto's later op die e-GGSA se, "Famliy Bibles Inscription Pages Project", publiseer sal word om dit vir 'n baie wyer publiek toeganklik te maak.
Baie dankie vir Lucas Rinken en Giel Nel wat my gehelp het – al het ons soms geskrik, meestal het ons van blote opwinding spontaan begin lag.
Die Wes-Gautengtak wil graag die skenkers bedank vir hul toestemming om die foto's te neem en vir die nageslag te bewaar.
Klik op 'n foto om te vergroot
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