Durban & Coastal Branch

GSSA Helping_visitorsThe Durban and Coastal Branch presently has 37 members all enjoying doing research on their families. Some have made great progress and have even published the results of their research. Many are having fun doing voluntary work for the Society creating more and easily accessable research information.
They volunteer and help with -  the transcription of the RSA 1984 Voter's roll; - the photographing of gravestones; - the transcription of cemetery registers. Our Branch completed the Stellawood cemetery registers (114 000 entries) which is now available on CD.
Recently our members completed an index of all marriages registered in Natal from 1845 to 1955 (421 874 names) which will be available on the internet soon. We have monthly get togethers on the second Saturday of each month which are held at the Durban Family History Centre where we have access to the wealth of research information it houses.   We often invite speakers on related subjects to address us.  

Feedback from our April & May Meetings

Our speaker, (and also member), Prof. Ken Knight, was most interesting. Now 94 years old, he had us all enthralled recounting his genealogy experiences. His interest was sparked 35 years ago while he was attending the Grahamstown Festival. He and his wife decided to go Prof Ken Knightinto Crahamstown Cathedral where they found a plaque which honoured a Capt. Arthur Knight. After taking a photo of the words, Ken spent time at the Cory Library from which he gained an amazing amount of information ... and, yes, he was descended from Arthur Knight!
So began his "journey". Prof stated that on the software package that he uses, he has 500 000 names on one of the versions, and 600 000 on the subsequent version - not all his family of course, but names of many other people he has researched.

Duncan 1"Sugar and Settlers - A History of the Natal South Coast 1850 -
1910"
Our guest speaker was Duncan Du Bois, the author of this book. He is an entertaining speaker who is a passionate historian. The book, published last year, is the product of research done by Duncan for his Ph.D. Thesis which he completed at the University of KwaZulu Natal in 2013. The south coast of Natal has had very little written about it, so his idea was to attempt to produce a critical, comprehensive, wall-to-wall account reflecting the lives of  those pioneers set within the colonial and imperial context. It is also an account of how the colonization process affected the lives of the indigenous African population and experience of Indians both as indentured labourers and as free settlers.

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