Additional Member - Wilhelm Bernhardt 2022

Germaine SmithWilhelm Bernhardt was born on 7 January 1970 in the Provincial Hospital in Belfast in the erstwhile Transvaal, the eldest son of Wilhelm Bernhardt and Jacomina Johanna Venter. His childhood was mostly spent in the village of Waterval Boven where his parents were teachers. He matriculated in 1987 at Belfast.
In 1990 he obtained a degree in Political Science from the University of Pretoria (Tukkies), followed by an Honours degree in Political Science. He joined the National Intelligence Agency in 1992, currently the State Security Agency. In 1998 he obtained a Master's degree in Political Science at the University of Stellenbosch and in 2004 completed his D.Phil at Tukkies, again in Political Science.
Wilhelm's predilection for history and genealogy was especially fueled by his maternal grandfather, Willem Frederik Venter. Grandpa Willem, a particularly intelligent man and farmer from the Machadodorp district, knew the history and stories of his ancestors at his fingertips, and retold them on countless times to his children and grandchildren.
Wilhelm, who married Isabel Nel in the year 2000, already has published several genealogical publications, including his magnum opus that appeared in 2015: "Die Familiegeskiedenis van Corli en Anica Bernhardt" (The Family History of Corli and Anica Bernhardt). In it he explores the ancestry and history of his two daughters on both the paternal and maternal side (32 families in total), down to the respective patriarchs and mothers.
He is a strong supporter of a holistic approach to genealogy, and thus promotes pedigree research, as well as the broader concept of science-based family history writing. In 2020 he won the GSSA's award for best article in Familia, and in 2021 he was elected chairman of the GSSA's Northern Transvaal branch. When he is not engaged in genealogy, he spends his free time writing history, collecting books, restoring classic cars, riding motorcycles, travelling with his wife, snooping in antique shops and markets, and just hanging out in his garage to tinker with all sorts of things.