Taking the Trail

Alta Du BuissonAlta Du Buisson Roux, 13 November 2021
Alta explained how archival resources can help one learn more about the life of an insignificant, very poor bywoner.
Alta's grandfather died when she was five years old and she knew nothing about her great-grandfather. How does one find out more?
She used the archives in Pretoria, Bloemfontein and Cape Town as well as death notices, cemeteries and baptismal registers. Her golden nugget was an old family photo album.
With her search she built an image of a man who, like many others at the time, had to farm even though he was not essentially a farmer. He wandered around a lot, went bankrupt, left the Riversdal area, appeared in various places in the Free State. One sees this when the baptismal registers are checked and it seems that he did not stay in one place for long.
Nine children were baptised in nine congregations in the OFS.
He ended up in Ermelo, was unpopular because he was pro-English and then went to live with his daughter in Schweizer-Reneke. In 1914 he died of acute bronchitis and thus ended the life of a poor, struggling bywoner.