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
 2021-10-09  Nina de Caires  Aannemings en die herkomsinterpretasie van die volwasse aangenome kind
 2021-09-11  Mia Rich  Food, Psalms and tunes that the VOC brought to the Cape.
 2021-08-14  Germaine Smith  Genealogical Research: A few tricks to the trade (training)
Session 1 (NAAIRS, basic FamilySearch, Cornel Viljoen spreadsheet & website)

Session 2 (Unindexed records on FamilySearch catalogs)

 2021-07-10  Dr. Liza-Mari Coetzee  Verengelsing aan die Kaap na die Britse bewindsoorname
 2021-06-12  Arnold van Dyk  Kindersterftes in die konsentrasie­kampe tydens die ABO
 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?  

 2021-02-13  Carol Delaney
 My 1820 Settler's Story

 2023  Gauteng North Branch - Monthly Presentations
 2022  Northern Transvaal Branch - Monthly Presentations
 2021  Northern Transvaal Branch - Monthly Presentations
 Northern Transvaal Branch - Monthly Presentations

Adoptions and the interpretation of the adult adopted child

 Nina de CairesNina de Caires. 09 October, 2021
Nina underscored the strict protocol followed during the adoption process. She highlighted the legal aspects and it was clear that the child's interests are put first.
At the beginning of the adoption process, the child takes centre stage. The biological parents receive attention and support and then it is the adoptive parents' turn.
The interest of all parties are taken care of. The process is strictly monitored. Before the time, adoptive parents are visited and references are contacted. Even a medical report is requested which, inter alia, indicates HIV status.
After the processes have been completed, there must be a process if the biological parents – mostly the mother – are looking for the child. The adopted child can also look for her/his biological parents. The Children's Act has strict requirements regarding to whom and when information from the adoption register may be disclosed. This is after the adopted child has turned eighteen and then only the biological parents, the adoptive child or the adoptive parents may request the information.
The talk not only highlighted the legal aspects but it also underscored the good work that Child Welfare does with empathy in order to benefit all the parties involved.

Food, Psalms and tunes that the VOC brought to the Cape.

Rich Mia Mia Rich, 11 September 2021
As a schoolgirl, her interest in sailors was piqued by the teacher's graphic narrative of sailors with scurvy.
The United East India Company (VOC, founded in the early seventeenth century) was a powerful company at a time when the Netherlands had a monopoly on trade. The VOC was strictly Calvinistic and it, inter alia, reflected in the music, based on the Geneva Psalter.
Three days before a ship sailed, a drum was struck. Sails were stretched to the beat of music. On the ship, the drum (tabor) was used for certain commands on the ship and the baroque trumpet for others. The drummer had to be proficient on a moving sailing ship, though the trumpet player earned twice as much as the drummer. The sailors had to know what the music meant and what orders were being given. Sick comforters were lead singers.
Van Riebeeck planted vegetables, there were cattle as well as wine - a great improvement on the diet of the sailors who had pickled pork, pickled pork and pickled pork as food on board. Music accompanied explorations and in schools psalm singing was part of the curriculum. There was a big difference between the music that was practiced in Cape Town and the music in the countryside. Willem Sluiter's songs were especially intended for the countryside.
The unique, informative talk was illustrated by appropriate sound clips and photos.

Genealogical research: training session

DELANEY Carol PHOTO 2021 02 13Germaine Smith, 14 August 2021
Germaine was kind enough to make some of the documents available in advance, and sent a Dropbox link via Niki where they could be downloaded.
The talk was started by an introduction to NAAIRS (National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System) and then a search was made on Family Search, the website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS).
She did the search with the very common name of John Smith and based on the search gave tips such as "less is more" when entering search terms.
She went to "probate records" and explained what icons mean like the magnifying glass as well as how to copy to your own records.
She gave many practical tips like how to find an original document among lots.
She continued after question time and inter alia explained terminology, like the difference between "civil death" and "death notice".
She also did a search for information that has not yet been indexed and how one can nevertheless find information.
She helped some of the members, who had requests, to search and find information.
After two hours, the meeting ended. The large number of members who attended and that the vast majority remained seated in front of their computers for more than two hours is evidence of the popularity of the presentation.

Anglicisation of the Cape after the British takeover

DELANEY Carol PHOTO 2021 02 13Dr. Liza-Mari Oberholzer, 10 July 2021
Three families were highlighted and each was discussed in detail.
Anglicisation took place in various ways after the Batavian period at the Cape, which came to an end at the end of 1806. Initially there was little assimilation between the two language groups before 1920 but as time went on, the groups interacted more socially.
The ancestor of the Van Reenens was a wealthy man at the time of his death and his eldest daughter married Baumgardt and they moved in English social circles where she was especially popular among the British officers. Her popularity it gave them access to the British elite in the Cape. Their children were anglicised son was in the British Navy for about 40 years.
The ancestor of the Cloetes was very poor and when his wife died, the children were still small and three of them were placed in foster care. One of the boys, Henrik (Hendrik) later bought Groot Constantia. He became a member of the civic council and his children later went to England. Henry (originally Henry) was sent to Natal by Sir George Napier to assist with the annexation. Sir Abraham Josias Cloete studied at a British Military College.
The Truter ancestor was chief gardener at the Cape. His grandson was later Sir John (Johannes) Andries Truter. He was the secretary of Justice and a prominent Freemason. He invited some of the English elite, who were Freemasons, to join the lodge to which he belonged. He was knighted and some of his nieces marry prominent Britons like one of them to the British writer John Barrow.
It was an interesting, detailed presentation.

Infant mortality in the concentration camps during the Anglo-Boer War

DELANEY Carol PHOTO 2021 02 13Dr Arnold van Dyk , 12 June 2021
The rhetorical question, "When is a war not a war?" was answered with "When it is carried on by methods of barbarism in South Africa." [Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman (Liberal Party) in the English parliament, June 1901, after Emily Hobhouse announced her findings]
Until recently little research has been done on infant mortality during the Anglo-Boer War in concentration camps from a purely medical point of view.
The deaths were illustrated with graphs and it is clear from it that measles and the complications (such as pneumonia) brought on by measles were the cause of about 65-75% of deaths.
Reference was also made to the British political view in the light of letters written by Lord Milner.
Causes of the measles epidemic were discussed as well as the poor management of camps such as that infected people were moved to camps where there were no infections, like from Kroonstad to Heilbron. There was only one doctor for about 2000 people who were in the camps.
The wonderful work by Emily Hobhouse and later the Ladies' Committee that came into being after Emily Hobhouse's revelations about the camps, led to an improvement in conditions in the camps.
After the talk, questions could be asked.

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.