In a first for Northern Transvaal branch, we arranged a virtual meeting via Zoom with the Tasmania-based speaker Matthew (Matt) Bode to address no less than 67 members from around the country. Given the time difference with Australia, the meeting started at 10:00 instead of the usual 13:30.
Matt is known for his YouTube videos on Genealogy and is also active on the South African Genealogy Facebook group.
Researchers can access data on FamilySearch (FS) in two ways, through browsing indexed records (or collections) through the South African Home Page or through the FS catalogue where most of the unindexed records are to be found. Baptism, marriage and death records of the three Afrikaner ‘sister’ church can be accessed, as well as some Anglican and Methodist records. He pointed out there is a 100-year privacy rule on the Dutch Reformed (NGK) data. No such records can be accessed for the Presbyterian, Catholic, Jewish or Muslim faiths, although civil records of these adherents are kept in terms of the law.
Illustrating his search methodology with four examples, Matt then engaged the audience in an interactive manner by researching some queries in real time.
This meeting elicited numerous very positive comments and responses.