Johannesburg Newsletters


Newsletter No 65 February 2015
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In this Issue
Due to a high number of interested groups, schools, individuals and potential sponsors etc. who would like to take part, the cycle tour has been planned to take place in December 2015. What started as a mere good gesture has now turned into a national project seeking to include each and every South African who loves their history and heritage!
When Johannesburg was originally planned, it was crammed with as many stands as possible to maximise income - especially from the corner stands. As a result, there was very little open space and no public park. In 1886, 12 stands were allocated for a small cemetery between Bree, Harrison, Diagonal and De Villiers streets (roughly where the Traffic Dept is today) but this proved hopelessly inadequate.

Newsletter No 68 May 2015
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In this issue of the news letter an article about the GSSA's coat of arms can be read. Valda Napier researched the origin and registration of the Coat of Arms. I also found the following notification in the newsletter: "I don't know how many of you have 1820 settler ancestors but with over 4000 of them having arrived the chances are pretty good you'll find a link somewhere! Sue Mackay a staunch supporter of the 'share genealogy' ideology, spends a great deal of time in London photographing the Grahamstown Journal and then transcribing the information she gleans from these and then shares it to our eggsa ( settlers/ and the rootsweb list ( if you don't already subscribe to this list, you really ought to sign up. It's free and very easy to use.

Newsletter No 70 July 2015
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Read more about Van Riebeecks Hedges. This hedge of wild almonds was planted in the year 1660 A.D. by order of Commander Jan van Riebeeck to mark the southern frontier of the Cape Colony, from Kirstenbosch along Wynberg Hill, to a point below the Hen and Chickens Rocks. Thence the hedge was continued by a fence of poles across the camp ground to the mouth of the Salt River........ So you’re related to Charlemagne? You and every other living European… by Adam Rutherford. Irish parish registers online for the first time. Irish baptism and marriage records dating back to the 1740’s can now be accessed on the web free of charge thanks to a major digitization project. Find out how.

Newsletter No 71 August 2015
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The Burma Road was a road linking Burma with the southwest of China. Its terminals were Kunming, Yunnan, and Lashio, Burma. It was built while Burma was a British colony in order to convey supplies to China during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Preventing the flow of supplies on the road helped motivate the occupation of Burma by the Empire of Japan in 1942. Use of the road was restored to the Allies in 1945 after the completion of the Ledo Road. Some parts of the old road are still visible today. Read more
.....and also As genealogists we usually work on family trees. Sometimes we may even do the “family tree” of a house (I am working on one at the moment for the November meeting) but I have never heard of any one doing the “Family tree” of a motor car!!!

Newsletter No 72 September 2015
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The subject of our meeting this month is the preservation of old documents. It will be hosted by Natalie Da Silva. The gallery at the Brenthurst Library has a special display on at the moment – how (or when) to restore or repair old books. Apparently it is sometimes better to leave a book in the state you find it rather than fix it. For your information the bit below is from the Brenthurst Library web page: The Library has an on-going programme of exhibitions on a variety of topics in which artworks, manuscripts and rare books from the collection are featured. These exhibitions are changed periodically during the year. Please phone the library (011 544-5400) to make an appointment to view any our current exhibitions.

Newsletter No 77 February 2016
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On 20 February Dave Kinghorn will talk about his book on the Stephenson family and the building of the Scottish lighthouses by the ancestors of Robert Louis Stevenson. Not to be outdone by the Scots we have our own Slangkop Lighthouse. Dave will relate his experiences when visiting the Slangkop Lihthouse at Kommetjie in the Western Cape. To add confusion to the already confused mind of the genealogist read about Stepbrother, Half brother, Full siblings, Half-siblings, Stepsibling, Godsibling, Foster siblings and Adoptive siblings. Once done you will fully comprehend this family relations business!

Newsletter No 80 May 2016
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There is a short explanation as to why you may not find your ancestor on the UK census.Also a short history of Parish records in England. Then pictures of Doreen Piner's grandmother's grave before and after restoration.

Newsletter No 85 October 2016
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Our speaker this month is Stan Close who will be telling us about his visit last year to Belarus in search of his Jewish Roots. This promises to be a very interesting meeting and has raised my interest me so much that when I realised how little I knew about the Jews in South Africa, I visited The Jewish Museum in Cape Town. As it happened they were celebrating “175 years of Jewish Life in South Africa”. More about that later.“I was born in Bulawayo in (then) Rhodesia, attended primary school in Bulawayo and Ndola, and senior school in Johannesburg. I served 12 years as a SA Naval Officer, 12 years with Eskom as a business performance management specialist, and since 1989 have owned and operated a business which assesses, trains and coaches entrepreneurs. This company has helped some 2500 small businesses to start up and grow in South Africa and in four other African countries.

Newsletter No 86 November 2016
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Lees die aanbieding by die Wes-Gautengtak. LM & MARIANA DU PLESSIS : BETROKKENHEID BY DIE DORSLANDTREK-VERENIGING:Weens die beperkte spasie beskikbaar, is dit onmoontlik om reg aan die geskiedenis te laat geskied. As ‘n gebore (1945) Suidwester, het ek al die jare ‘n belangstelling in geskiedenis gehad. In Augustus 2003 en 2008 het ek byeenkomste as ‘n nasaat van die Dorslandtrekkers se feesvieringe by Swartbooisdrift in Kaokoland bygewoon. In 2008 het ek van daar ook Angola besoek, om te kyk waar my ouers gebore is. In my soeke na my wortels, het ek 8000 kilometers gery! Dit het verdere belangstelling by my gewek, en so het ek my familie-navorsing begin.

Newsletter No 87 January 2017
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In this edition of the Johannesburg Newsletter, you can read the intriguing story of the burial of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, what is fact and what is fiction? Also, read a report of a fascinating discovery of a 250-year-old census that became known during cataloguing by the National Register of Archives for Scotland (NRAS). The census lists 90 people living on the remote archipelago on 15 June 1764 - 38 males and 52 females, including 19 families and 9 individuals. Until now, the earliest record dated from 1822. The islands, which lie about 40 miles west of Benbecula in the Outer Hebrides, were home to generations of people until the last were evacuated in 1930.

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