West Gauteng Newsletters

Die Delwer The Digger Augustus 2017

At our last council meeting on Saturday 26 August 2017 our very able librarian Marie De Lange gave an original FAMILIA’s published during 1964/65. I asked her what shall I do with this lot? She looked at me and told me to read it. In the 1964/65 No 3 edition I found this delightful article by the historian Geo. M. Theal that was first published some 123 years [1894] ago. Then the thought struck me to re-publish it for the benefit of my readers.

Die Delwer / The Digger August 2019

VIPs in my family tree
Presentation by Richard Y Ford – West Gauteng branch of the Genealogy Society of South Africa 17 August 2019
My research and documentation of family registers from various ancestors to me was undertaken mainly between the years 2000 and 2005. This work resulted in the publication of my book Necessarily the Hero – The Story of Richard Y Ford in 2001. The aim of my research and the publication of this work were mainly to provide a legacy for my children. The latest revision was completed in November 2018........

In hierdie artikel word julle bekendgestel aan die legendariese drie Peiker-susters van Brandfort. Hulle was die dogters van Julius Peiker, ’n meestermeulenaar wat na die Eerste Wêreldoorlog uit Duitsland na Suid-Afrika geëmigreer het.
Julius Peiker * 7.9.1886 (Pawlowitzke/Gnadenfeld, Silesië).........

En nog baie meer!

Die Delwer / The Digger July 2019


If we think about it, we all know people of talent who remain unknown, unproclaimed and unacknowledged all their lives. No doubt you have never heard of Albert Arthur Bisset. I knew him because he was my wife’s father. Born 16th September 1889, he was a descendent of 1820 settler stock, originally the Gardner-Bissets. This means he would have been 130 years old if he were alive.  According to the records in Grahamstown, the Gardner-Bissets were a prominent, respected family which included a magistrate, a judge and senior military persons of rank and standing.


Tydens ’n besoek aan Piet en Adriana Stofberg het sy my hierdie van Zyl-familiebybel gewys wat sy na haar broer se dood gaan haal het, sodat dit nie verlore moet gaan nie. Dit is tans in haar seun se besit. Hy woon in die VSA.

Die Delwer / The Digger June 2019


From the labels shown here, can be seen that this noble port is a wine of Paul and Hugo de Villiers and that Landskroon was established in 1692 and has been in the de Villiers family for 5 generations!

I read all this with interest while enjoying the wine but never really thought about what this meant.

And THEN by chance, when adding further de Villiers family members into e-SAGI (The Electronic South African Genealogical Index), I happened to see the notes applicable to, Pierre de Villiers, the third son of one of the de Villiers Progenitors.

His father, also Pierre was a French Huguenot who arrived at the Cape onboard the 'Zion' on the 6th May, 1689, with his two brothers Abraham and Jacob. Abraham had only daughters so Pierre and Jacob are the progenitors of the De Villiers family of South Africa

  1. Baird in Norvalspont Konsentrasiekamp

ʼn Hele klomp jare gelede besoek ons familie die Norvalspont konsentrasie- kamp aangesien ek baie in die geskiedenis van die twee Anglo Boere oorloë belang stel. Die kamp is in November 1900 opgerig om verligting vir die Bloemfontein konsentrasiekamp, wat ʼn watertekort beleef het, te bring. Die eerste kampkommandant was Luitenant St. John Cole Bowen. Die konsentrasiekamp was in die Kaap Kolonie geleë maar was deel van die Oranje Rivier Kolonie konsentrasie kamp kompleks. Afrikaner vroue en kinders is oorspronklik hier gehuisves. In Februarie 1902 het die kamp 3479 inwoners gehuisves. ʼn Skool is teen einde Julie 1901 vir omtrent 500 kinders geopen. ʼn Maselsepidemie het in die kamp uitgebreek. Baie inwoners het as gevolg hiervan asook van skarlaken- en ingewandskoors gesterf. In ʼn periode van ses maande vanaf Januarie tot Julie 1901 het 412 mense gesterf.

ʼn Gedenkteken is in die plaaslike begraafplaas ter ere van die persone wat in die kamp gesterf het, opgerig. Groot was my verbasing toe ek die naam van Anna Maria Baird op die gedenkteken sien. Ek was onbewus van die feit dat enige van my Baird-voorgeslagte by die ABO betrokke was

Die Delwer /The Digger May 2019

In this edition you will read something about John Robert Dunn – a European who became a Zulu Chief. This is a story on how one can be side tracked, as it were, doing research. It is like reading a Dictionary, you force yourself not to go too far and widely off the track. It is, however, worthwhile.

Another story is about the intersect between modern day DNA and old-fashioned genealogy and how to solve a murder that happened 36 years ago!