Archive tours - Report back

Participants are encouraged to share their impressions by means of some comments after each tour,
Feedback /reports on some of the completed archive tours
Download report
This was a major success - despite the various challenges caused by the Corona lock down and protocol!
Wating feedback from Ellen H
Western Cape
Tours are usually fully booked, but only a maximum number of 15 is manageable, i.e. the number of persons to fit in the various reading rooms etc.
Free State
This tour started per mini-bus in Pretoria which was a terrific ice breaker.

Participant comments

"The Research Tour of Ellen Harmse with 15 other members was a great joy. Her very thorough information on all aspects of the archives, GISA and Huguenot museum, was great!
The best part was being able to use your new knowledge of the archive and get the entries from your parents, uncles and aunt in the baptismal registers at GISA! Definitely a tour to recommend and with great praise to Ellen as a tour guide! ”
Annita Visagé (North West branch) 2015 Western Cape Tour [translated]
"I had absolute goose bumps when I was able to hold the 113-year-old original document in my hands. Telling stories is fantastic, but to see this document and its story in front of you is indescribable.”
Danie Joubert (West Gauteng branch) Gauteng Archive Crawl [translated]
"It was with only a single death certificate, that I was able to hold in my hands in the Bloemfontein archives, that I was able to follow in the footsteps of the entire Lategan family line of my maternal grandparents. For years it was the elusive connection I could not make and there it falls into place with only the names of parents and children on a single death notice. It makes the tour to the Bloemfontein archive worthwhile for me for two reasons, because you can share that moment there with others who are there with you and because the information was just there to give you new impetus for so much more! The War Museum is touchingly striking and a must for anyone whose families have been affected in some way by the Anglo-Boer War. I can recommend these archive tours anytime - it just makes research that much more personal and interesting and the tour allows you to talk to each other in 'genealogy'. The archive tours are always an experience and definitely worth it! Hope it can contribute to advertising for the archive tours and if I could, I would love to go every time! ”
Elmarie Cronjé (Northern Transvaal branch) 2016 Free State Tour [translated]
"I am grateful for the opportunity that was created during which I was able to focus on my personal research over five days. I was able to revisit documents, which I had consulted years ago, to record finer detail. I was also able to get to know fellow researchers better during sociable picnics, which Ellen prepared with effort for us. Thank you very much!"
Isabel Groesbeek (Northern Transvaal branch) 2020 Gauteng Archive Crawl [translated]
“Sitting in the CAPE ARCHIVE for days and collecting data is one of the most mind-expanding events one can experience! Especially if it takes place with well-informed tour members who walk, eat and talk Genealogy. This experience happened to me as a totally uninformed aspiring genealogist when I was able to follow in my ancestors' footsteps in the Mother City from 12 to 17 August.”  
Johanna Viljoen (Northern Transvaal branch) 2018 Western Cape Tour [translated]
"In genealogy giving up is not an option! After more than six years of searching for a great-grandfather's date of birth, I found it on the last day in the archives! And the nice thing about it, was that I could share it with fellow researchers who know what such a fund means.”
Linda Lombard (Northern Transvaal branch) 2018 Western Cape Tour [translated]
 “The tour to the Western Cape during August 2017 was very successful for me as I found what I went to search for. The accompanying tour members were special and very helpful as they were quite willing to share and assist with tips and advice. There was much excitement as the members discovered and found what they had been searching for and we all shared in their excitement and joy!”
Mike Hendriks (eGSSA branch & Southern Family History Society) 2017 Western Cape Tour
“The learning experience with the pre-homework prepared me well to search for new data. One of the big surprises was a new spelling of our surname that I came across at the National Archives.
At the same time, I came across quite a few documents that now require further follow-up work - enough research until the new year. ”
Nico Doman (Northern Transvaal branch) 2020 Gauteng Archive Crawl  [translated]
“I was able to find out more about my great-grandmother, abandoned on the Diamond Fields in the 1880s by her husband who disappeared, and also began to piece together my maternal grandmother's siblings.  There is still plenty more research that I need to do.”
Pat Bauer (Free State & eGSSA branch) 2017 Western Cape Tour
The highlight of my visit was when I saw the names of my great-grandmother, Isabella E Beukes, as well as those of my grandmother (my father's mother), Catharina (the English wrote it incorrectly Catrina) in the Heilbron Concentration Camp Register. (I attach a photo of the entry). Johan from the ABO Museum informed me that they were later transferred to the Kabusie Concentration Camp at Sutterheim. At the ABO Museum, I also received confirmation that my great-grandfather Beukes and his eldest son had been sent to exile in Umballa, India. Another important discovery was my great-grandmother's mother, Elizabeth Margaretha Heymans' death entry in the Casualty Register of the Heilbron Concentration Camp. She was 79 years old. I also found her name on the honor roll of ABO deceased. ”
Rina Steenkamp (eGSSA branch) 2016 Free State Tour [translated]
"The discovery of a sought-after farm, and being able to locate it, the information to make better use of Family Search and the willing helpers in the Library made the tour very meaningful to me. Big praise to Ellen for the thorough preparation to get our research fit and also her great arrangements for every day all week. Well done Ellen.”
Rina van Wyk  (Northern Transvaal branch) 2020 Gauteng Archive Crawl [translated]
“There is a lot of genealogical information on the Internet, if you are lucky you can get a death notice of the person you are researching, even more so if you find the distribution account as well, this research could take you ages.  In the National Archives you will find this information, quite quickly (if available) as well as numerous other titbits that will enhance your family's history and give an insight into their lives.
In my case some of the information that I was able to find was; a beautiful picture of the boat my grandfather served on as a boy, a picture of the Midland Railway construction (Graaff-Reinet) with a steam engine in the background, my paternal great grandfather was a steam engine driver. A receipt from the convent in King Williams Town for the repair of a window that either my grandmother or her sister broke.
But best of all you are touching and seeing the original wills, death notices and other items that were actually written by your ancestors.  We are really thankful to the care that Cape Town Archivists take of our documents and their assistance.”
Robert Bush (Johannesburg branch) 2017 Western Cape Tour