Archive tours - Annual schedule

The schedule for 2021 is as follows:
 Dates
 Days
 Status
 Destination
 Accommodation
 Cost
 Comments
 1
 Aug-21
 5 days + travel
 Fully booked
 Western Cape
 Included
 R8500
 Postponed to May 2022 due to Covid
 2    
 Sep-21
 5 days
 Fully booked
 Gauteng
 On request
 800
The provisional schedule for 2022 is as follows:
 
 Dates
 Days
 Status
 Destination
 Accommodation
 Cost
 Comments
 1
 May-22
 5 days + travel
 Confirmed & fully booked
 Western Cape
Included
 R8000
 Postponed from 2021
 2
 Aug-22
 5 days + travel
 Considered
 Western Cape
 Included
 R8500
 
 3
 Sep-22
 5 days
 Considered
 Gauteng
 On request
 R850
 (either Gauteng / Bloemfontein)
or 3
 Sep-22
 5 days + travel
 Considered
 Bloemfontein
 Included
 R5500
 (either Gauteng / Bloemfontein)

Gauteng archive tour (September 2021 / September 2022)

Participants are prepared by means of advance email briefing documentation in this way, they know exactly what they are looking for and hoping to find answers to.
To make sure they do not “reinvent the wheel”, they first visit the genealogical library of the GSSA and Northern Transvaal branch on Monday to consult registers and books that already exist.
On Tuesday and Wednesday they spend full days in the National Archives (Transvaal archival respository). For beginner researchers is it suggested they mainly copy family information from estates documents. These files usually contain information about parents and children. As they progress participants will be able to study other files, e.g. dealing with farms, government departments, court cases and much more. One also can find maps and photographs!
On Thursday they visit the National Library, one of the legal deposit libraries. Authors publishing more than 100 books are obliged by law to donate copies to these deposit libraries. Thus, one may find a copy of a book from way back when books were printed. One also finds copies of all Government Gazettes, many newspapers, university theses, etc. For the genealogist, there is also a large genealogical book shelf.
Friday follows an interesting excursion by Gautrain to Parktown in Johannesburg where the research centre of the Church of the Latter Day’s Saint (LDS) is situated. Here one can scroll through film rolls of church registers of many congregations and learn how to make full use of the well-known FamilySearch.org online programme.

Cape Town archive tour (May 2022 / August 2022)

GSSA members planned to visit the Cape in August 2020… and then Corona happened.  When we say ‘planned’ it means that the accommodation and places of interest were all booked and participants already received lots of information.  We had to postpone, first to May 2021 (the second wave over Christmas gave us a scare), then August 2021 (the new winter lock down made us to rather not go) and now to May 2022.
But South Africans are very accommodating and all our bookings could just be rolled forward.  (However, three eGGSA participants from other countries pulled out completely, afraid of Covid-19 tests, long flights, quarantines or isolations.  But their deposits are paid and they want to join the next Cape trip as soon as the pandemic has calmed down.)
After flying on Sunday from OR Tambo (Johannesburg) we break the ice at supper and meet the local tour members.  On Monday morning after an early breakfast and a sturdy walk to the Cape Archive in Roeland Street Cape Town the two day research marathon starts.  Only short intervals for a quick coffee down the street can intercept the enthusiasm of researchers, novices or advanced!  On Tuesday the same programme is followed. After some rest in the afternoon debriefing and shop talk takes place at the daily dinners.
On Wednesday a bus takes us to Wellington where the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) now houses in its library the genealogical collection inherited from GISA (Genealogical Institute of South Africa and which had to close its doors).  Here we can work in books, registers, films of church records, photographs and much more.
Then on Thursday in the National Archive in Cape Town we have another chance to continue our work from Monday and Tuesday.  If time allows it, some could visit friends or join a tour to the National Library.
On Friday the bus takes us to Franschhoek where we make an appointment with the Huguenot Society which keeps many family registers of French ancestors who arrived in South Africa in 1688. When participants work on their pedigree sheets they usually find that many of their ancestors belonged to this group: examples are Marais, Roux, Pienaar, Fourie, Bruwer, and many, many more.
After a special good-bye-lunch the bus takes us via a scenic route to the Cape Town Air Port making us arriving on OR Tambo at about 21:00.

Bloemfontein Archive Tour (September 2022)

The typical tour to the Free State starts on a Sunday mid-morning with a mini-bus trip to Bloemfontein.  There we stay in a hotel with two meals a day.  Some members of course stay in the Free State or fly in from other provinces.  All can be arranged.
Two full days will be spent in the Free State National Archive and then on Wednesday we are guests of the Boer War Museum (Oorlogmuseum, ABO). But this is not only an ordinary museum visit.  As participants studied the vast lot of information of what can be ordered there, they already have sent in their interests about persons, happenings, prisoners, deaths etc.  Great is the surprise getting there and finding the neat individual piles with documents, photographs, maps, lists … especially set out for them.  Personal interviews are arranged with the well-equipped and knowledgeable staff members.
The fourth day allows for a visit to the concentration camp cemetery or to the National library before starting the minibus trip back to Gauteng.