Northern Transvaal Branch - Monthly Presentations 2021

One of the benefits of GSSA membership is the opportunity to attend a monthly talk by a knowledgeable speaker. The Northern Transvaal branch is renowned for the quality, professionalism, and relevance of its presentations on a myriad of genealogy related topics. Navigate to the presentation video, text or slide set. Each presentation is in the language of the topic. For a summary of each presentation, see below. 
  Click on the to open
 2021-05-08  Wendy Cox  Die Argief: 'n Historiese perspektief
 2021-04-10  Jaco Strauss  Kaap-Nederlandse DNS-projek
     Vrae en antwoorde
 2021-03-13  Aubrey Springveldt  Ons slawe-voorouers?  
 Carol Delaney
 My 1820 Settler's Story

 Northern Transvaal Branch - Monthly Presentations

The Archive: A Historical Perspective

DELANEY Carol PHOTO 2021 02 13Wendy Cox , 08 May 2021
Wendy gave a beautifully structured presentation on the origin and development of archives.
The concepts related to the archive environment were set out, such as the definition, the task of the archivist as well as the role of the institution.
Main events in the origins of records beginning with the Sumerians, Ancient Egypt, the Greeks, Romans, the Middle Ages, the church up to and including the French Revolution were highlighted and some of the periods were illustrated with examples.
Timbuktu has been discussed briefly as an important reservoir of knowledge in Africa where archival documents have been preserved in various languages, in Arabic script.
The consequences of the destruction of documents during and after the French Revolution were touched upon as well as the role of Napoleon and the contribution of the Dutch to the preservation of documents of especially the VOC that are important to SA.
The fire at the University of Cape Town, and the silent fire of neglect were addressed. Wendy emphasized the importance of the project, FutureFit.
It was a wake-up call to all the members of the GGSA - be aware of what is going on and help to preserve.

Cape-Dutch DNA project

DELANEY Carol PHOTO 2021 02 13Jaco Strauss , 10 April 2021
Jaco's interest was piqued when he started researching his own family tree (as we all probably too).
He then went on to focus on DNA and currently administers the Cape Dutch group with a focus on the period 1652 - 1806.
He explained the different Haplogroups, represented by letters of the alphabet, in a table showing how men with specific surnames match each other according to their Haplogroups, and women’s DNA mother lines confirm their paper trails to the direct female ancestor.
He focuses on direct father and mother DNA  (Y-DNA and MtDNA) tests and told interesting stories about adopted and even illegitimate children whose facts were concealed at the time. The relationships came to light after DNA tests were done.
Interesting is the story of the "deserter" who changed his surname and it passed unnoticed until a family member had a DNA test done.  This confirmed the family lore when his DNA confirmed that he did match with other men carrying his birth surname.
It was an interesting and informative talk by a person who has a passion and love for what he does.
That the members who listened to the talk were very interested in the topic became clear during the question-and-answer session. It lasted just as long as the talk!

Our slave ancestors?

DELANEY Carol PHOTO 2021 02 13Aubrey Springveldt, 13 March 2021
The question mark can mean denial but in fact it is a challenge to all South Africans to dig into their past and many will discover that there is a slave ancestor in the genealogical register.
The interesting presentation clearly depicted the often-forgotten tragedy of slaves as well as their pain and marginalisation.
He illustrated with examples how the slaves became part of our ancestors. Slave women in particular were imported from Asia.
Some of the white slave owners fathered children with their slaves and some of the children were included in the owner's household, especially if the child looked European. Some of the freed slave women were also married to whites.
An interesting case study is the one by Carolina Charlotte Weber.  Aubrey did in depth research of her history.
He recited the poem by Diane Ferus: Ons kom vandaan, a sad poem about our slave ancestors.
This talk was very well received and many questions were asked during question time.

My 1820 Settler's Story

DELANEY Carol PHOTO 2021 02 13Carol Delaney, 13 February 2021
Carol Delaney researched her ancestors, James and Rebecca Randal, who were part of the 1820 British Settlers.
There was opposition to the move to South Africa but an information pamphlet was distributed that set out the benefits of moving.
In light of conditions in England, one can understand that people have seized the opportunity for a new, better life. The church in Westbury, Witshire, helped pay for the Settlers' passage.
James and Rebecca Randal left Portsmouth on board the HM Store Ship Weymouth in January. The Settlers set foot ashore after five months at sea. They could not imagine what awaited them.
An interesting piece of information was that Rebecca's father gave her a rose and she planted it in her new home. The Settlers brought a lot of rose plants and in later years an effort was made to create a rose garden with some of the old roses that were found in gardens and even in cemeteries.