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Taking care of your family archives

This article is intended to provide simple and practical guidance to anyone who is looking after their family heritage. The articles will cover, for example, what family archives are, what to keep, taking care of the physical condition of the archives, how to package and store the archives, organising the archives, compiling an inventory or list, managing the digital archives, digitising family archives, managing your family archives project and advice on next steps to take.

Many people hold on to at least some records throughout their lives, but few keep the records in such a condition that would ensure their survival into the future. The interest in genealogy and family history research has grown rapidly recently and with that, a need to preserve records of the past.

In order to preserve your family heritage it is necessary to know what family archives are and which are essential records to tell your family’s story.

1 What are family archives?

Family papers are those things that we have saved because they mean something to us, they are our treasures and they tell us something about ourselves, our families and our friends: how we've lived our lives and what we value most.

These collections may include books (such as Bibles or history books), diaries or journals, loose documents (such as birth, death or marriage certificates), financial records, legal documents, deeds, letters, cards, postcards, house plans, school reports, exam or awards certificates, family cookbooks or recipe cards (especially handwritten books or cards), newspaper cuttings, photographs, tickets from events and shows, and maps and medals.


2 What to keep

At this stage you consider your reasons for preserving your family heritage. If your goal is to preserve the archives for future generations, you have to ensure that the records you keep can be managed effectively and you have enough space to store your archives. This will mean gathering together all your family records which are buried or tucked away in closets, drawers, attics, and garages. It does not matter if you have one small box or 10 big boxes, just combine all the records together in one place.

At this point, you are now ready to assess what you own. This isn’t a detailed assessment, but rather a chance (and for some this may be the first time) to see all of your family papers in one place.

Selecting specific records for preservation takes careful consideration as unfortunately, you can’t preserve everything. Consider saving those family papers that contain information that is unique, significant and in the most concise form. While this varies among families, examples of such papers include letters, diaries, photographs, and legal documents such as deeds.

At the same time, determine whether there are any surplus records that can be removed or even destroyed. While sorting your archives, ask yourself: Is this item worth the time and the cost of archival storage supplies to be part of my archives?

A suggestion is to roughly sort the paper records into categories. It is easier to evaluate, list and store records that are the same type or format, i.e. letters, diaries, address books, photographs, etc. Once the records have been categorised, you will have an idea of which of the categories contain vital information and which do not warrant permanent preservation.

The purpose of the selection process is to secure an appropriate documentary reflection of the time and environment in which the records were created. You will have to select the records which provide the best, the richest, most focused evidence of their time. Some people find this an easier process than others.


The paper records that most people possess and that in my opinion should be preserved are:

Bibles, family history books, diaries or journals, birth, death and marriage certificates, identification documents, passports, wills, divorce papers, driver’s licences, letters, cards, postcards, house plans and deeds, school reports and newsletters, exam or awards certificates, newspaper cuttings, address books, birthday books or calendars, church newsletters, children’s health cards, documents relating to work and retirement, photographs, concert programmes, event and show tickets, membership newsletters (professional and related to hobbies) and maps.

The following additional paper records are not essential records, but I would advise that you do not destroy them immediately:

Salary slips, membership newsletters (shops, banks, etc.), motor vehicle registrations and licences, receipts, medical aid statements and claims, bank statements, bank books, cheques, deposit and withdrawal slips, municipal accounts, cell phone accounts, long and short term insurance policies (already paid out or expired), details of expired loans, etc.

The problem with these additional records is that they accumulate very quickly and you have to consider whether to give your full attention and resources to these rather than more valuable records. If you want to keep examples of these records a suggestion is to keep one monthly statement each year or one or two receipts every month to show how prices changed through the years, or one salary slip a year to show how salaries changed. Remember that your primary goal is to preserve your family history archives.

There are certain financial records that you will legally have to keep for a few years, but if there are just a small amount I would perhaps consider keeping them longer, i.e. investments, shares, income tax documents, etc

It can be hard to let go of anything that might carry a family story, no matter how old or broken that keepsake might be. You have to think through this carefully before making a decision, because if you destroy them, you cannot get them back and most of them will be irreplaceable.

3 Taking care of the physical condition of the archives

You already know what family archives are and what you want to preserve forever. You also know how to start sorting your paper records into categories. The next step should be to finish sorting in order to compile an inventory, however, it is also essential to properly care for the records before packing them in storage containers.

Taking proper care of these precious archives will enable future generations to use and enjoy the records of their heritage. Preserving them can be achieved in a variety of ways. There are basic preventative measures which anyone can employ to help extend the life of their collection. The only way to do this is by systematically work through the records to perform basic preservation tasks.


It is important to carefully remove all damaging fasteners such as staples, paper clips and pins and replace them, only if absolutely needed, with non-rusting ones. Rust residue can be brushed off with a soft brush, but be careful that you don’t damage the paper even further.

Archives should be cleaned prior to packaging. This will significantly extend their useful life. Hold the volume firmly closed and wipe with a cloth. A magnetic wiping cloth is preferable, since it does not contain chemicals or other substances that could be left behind. If loose dust or dirt is present, use a very soft, wide brush (e.g. a haké type brush which is available at art supply shops) to gently brush it away. A soft brush is always handy when you work with records. If archives are covered with a heavy layer of dust, vacuuming may be advisable, but only use vacuum cleaners that have been approved for cleaning archives which come with a soft brush attachment. Other vacuum cleaners may damage your books and could suck pieces of your paper in.

Letters that are folded in envelopes should be removed from the envelopes and unfolded. The creases made by folding and unfolding paper records can cause damage and eventually those creases get weak and can cause records to tear into pieces. Do not press or force the pages flat. Gently fold back any creased corners.

If your records are infested with insects, isolate these items so that the insects don’t spread. Insects can be difficult to eradicate. Consider the value of the item and if it can be replaced by, for example, a mass market book. Alternatively you could make a copy of the specific page(s). Consult a conservator about valuable or sentimental items that are infested with pests.

One of the biggest threats and challenges is mouldy records. Mould can be a health hazard to people, so limit handling mouldy items. Remove the source of water or high humidity to stop mould growing. Replace the item or make a copy of the item. Consult a conservator to treat valuable or sentimental items. An experienced conservator will treat the mouldy items by placing them in Ziploc bags in a freezer to kill the mould. When the mould is dry the mould can be brushed off every page. Work outside on a sunny windless day (since it is hazardous to your health and you don’t want mould spreading throughout your home) wearing protective gear (N100 dust masks, some nitrile gloves, and an inexpensive soft-bristled paintbrush or two). The cleaned materials should be safe to handle if you brush off every page. Once cleaned store these items in an environment where the humidity does not get above 60%. It is possible to get rid of the mould, but do not treat them without the advice or assistance of a conservator.


If your photographs are stored in the old "magic" photo albums with sticky pages (of the 1970s and 1980s) it is better to remove them from these albums. Not only does the adhesive in these albums become very sticky over time making it difficult to remove the photos, the adhesive can also turn brown and stain the back of the photo and the acetate covers of the earlier albums can shrink and expose the photos to dust. If the photos are difficult to get out of the album, you can remove them carefully with un-waxed dental floss.

The problem with fading ink is that it is difficult to bring it back. You can create a high-quality digital image and then manipulate the photo to enhance the writing. The original document can be safely stored so the ink doesn't continue to fade. Unfortunately, there is no way to restore the ink on the original document.

There is no safe and easy way to remove tape from your documents unless you work with a conservator. The tape's adhesive will often be stronger than the underlying paper so trying to remove it will most likely damage it beyond repair. The best thing to do is to get a good quality scan so you don't lose the information and then simply protect the item as well as you can. As the tape ages, the adhesive will dry up and the tape itself will fall off but the adhesive will remain.

Older documents and photographs sometimes turn yellow and unfortunately there is little that can be done to reverse the yellowing. The best approach is to have the photograph scanned and digitally retouched. You can then have the photo printed out to whatever size you would like and safely store the original.

Stains on records are very difficult to reduce or remove without doing irreparable damage even for professional conservators. The best approach would be to have the photograph scanned and digitally retouched. You can then print the photo and safely store the original.

Labels, barcodes, and "protective" tape coverings on documents are difficult to remove and since it is a very tricky process, one should leave it to a conservator. Removing tape simply leaves a sticky residue which will attract dust and cause additional damage. There is no product to remove the residue safely without causing even more damage.

Torn papers can be repaired by a professional conservator. Until that is possible, carefully store the pieces together in a plastic sleeve where you can still read the information.

The best solution for most of your basic preservation needs is to clean the items with a soft brush and to either make photocopies of the items or scan them so the original record can be safely stored in archival-quality sleeves.

These are just a few basic preventative preservation duties to extend the useful life of your archives, but there are many more. The two basic rules are to read more about preventative care and to consult a professional conservator to perform detailed treatments when necessary.

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Differences between archival, library and museum material

Archival institutions, libraries and museums are frequently considered as related institutions. Although libraries, museums, and archives all look like similar repositories housing cultural resources, there are some fundamental differences in mission, what is collected, how works are organised, how items are described, and in how the institution relates to its users. Here is a comparison that will highlight the main differences between the three institutions.

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Grahamstown Journal transcriptions download

To coincide with the bicentennial of the arrival of the 1820 settlers in the Eastern Cape, Sue Mackay has made the master file of her Grahamstown Journal transcriptions for 1832-1890 available on the 1820 Settlers section of the website as a downloadable PDF file.

This is on the 1820 section of the website rather than the newspaper section, as all the transcriptions are already on the newspaper site in quarterly files with an improved search engine. The transcriptions make numerous mention of 1820 settlers and their descendants and it is hoped that the master file will be useful to those wishing to trace settler lines without having to open nearly 300 individual files and to those whose broadband is unreliable during these troubled times.

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Shop active again for downloadable items

Our online shop is available for purchasing downloadable items and membership.

In fact our stock has been re-organised so that most (but not all) items can now be purchased as downloadables, including the Cemetery DVD, but it will, unfortunately, not be possible to post any CDs, DVDs or books during the current Corona-virus lock-down.

The Archives are closed and our photographers in lock-down so document photograph orders are also suspended. 

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The Fort Beaufort Advocate and General Advertiser 1859-1874

The Fort Beaufort Advocate and General Advertiser, first published on 23 July 1859, was a weekly publication produced on Saturdays.

Fort Beaufort Advocate Front Page 

Nadine Van der Merwe realised the potential interest of this publication for genealogists, especially in the run up to the bicentennial of the 1820 settlers, and began to take pictures in her local library with a view to transcribing them. She then realised what a large project this was, and also that many issues were missing, so she approached eGGSA for help. The eGGSA management committee agreed to buy digital scans of the newspaper covering the period 1859-1874 from the SA National Library, and these are now being transcribed by Nadine Van der Merwe and Lorraine Beechey. Sue Mackay started adding them to the eGGSA website on 1 March, and these can now be seen in the eGGSA Newspaper Extracts section.

Because the entire paper has been scanned, the transcribers were not under the same time constraints that I was when photographing extracts from the Grahamstown Journal and other 19th century newspapers in London with a digital camera, when I could really only focus on BMDs. These new transcriptions contain all sorts of interesting snippets, advertisements, shipping news and sometimes the downright bizarre! Many of the 1820 settlers moved into the Fort Beaufort area, so in this bicentennial year we should be especially grateful to Nadine and to eGGSA for making this project possible.

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British Settler Locations

The Thames at Deptford, 1775 Engraving by J.Royce after J. Oliphant.
The Thames at Deptford, 1775 Engraving by J.Royce after J. Oliphant.
BAILIE’s Party embarked at Deptford.
Picture courtesy of the Wellcome Collection (CC BY 4.0)

As part of my contribution to the bicentennial of the 1820 Settlers, I have collected as many photographs as I can of British and Irish locations relevant to the 1820 settlers. These can be found on the eGGSA website, arranged by county, on the 1820 Settlers section of the eGGSA website. Where the photographer’s name is followed by a CC reference, this is a Creative Commons Licence enabling me to copy photographs which appear on http://www.geograph.org.uk/ or selected other internet sites.

In the early months of 2020 I shall be posting Albums on the eGGSA Facebook pages arranged in Party groupings. I am trying to add an album each day. For those with access to Facebook, the Albums already posted can be found all together on the eGGSA Facebook page. For those who are not on Facebook, the pictures are all on this site, arranged according to county. Follow the link at the top of this notice, or put the name of the settler you are researching into the Search Box in the 1820 Section.

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800 000 Grafsteenfoto's op die eGGSA webblad!!

Baie geluk aan Riana le Roux en haar uitsonderlike span vrywilligers met hierdie besonderse prestasie. Dit is baie ure se werk, geduld en harde arbeid wat in die projek in gaan.

Groot dankie aan almal wat fotos bydra, fotos op die web laai, fotos merk, begraafplase indukseer en die webblad instandhou vir hierdie uiterse waardevolle projek. Ons waardeer alles wat julle vir ons doen.

Die projek groei so vinnig, ons sien uit na die volgende mylpaal.

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Archival terms and definitions

Archival terminology is a flexible group of common words that have acquired specialised meanings for archivists and provides a useful and necessary means of specialised communication within the archival profession. Since researchers communicate with archivists it will be to their benefit to familiarise themselves with the basic terms to facilitate their research experience. Listed below is a few of the most frequently used archival terms and their definitions:

2. Archives on the shelves in a stack room

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Dutch East India Company Name Books (Naamboek van de wel edele heeren der hoge Indiasche regering….)

These books literally cover anyone involved in the service of the VOC at all of their posts including the Cape. Those listed include officials, the military, burghers, surgeons, church leaders and court officials. In some places there is more detail on officials than others. The books also include the names of people that died and those who had returned or were being sent out to posts. Of particular interest is that ranks (and the date they were achieved) were listed so that one can follow a person’s career even if some books are missing. Searching the books also allows one to follow the career of a person if they were stationed at various places.

The spelling of the books varied and included Naamboek, Naamboekje and Naam-boekje.

The earliest I have found online is from 1729 and the latest 1801. Each contained a very detailed front page of their contents!

The title page in the 1729 book contained the following information:

Van de Weled. Heeren der
Gequalificeerde Persoon, ens. Op
De Respective Gouverneurs, Directeurs, Commandeurs en Opperhoofden of de Buyten-Comtoiren van Nederlands India; gelykze in wezen zyn gewest to primo Maart 1729
Als mede alle Gouverneurs Generaal, t’sedert den Jaare 1610
A later one in 1766 was even more explicit about its contents:

Van de Wel-Edele Heeren der
Zoo tot, als buiten,
Mitsgaders van de Politique Bedienden, die van de Justitie, de Kerk, Burgery, Zeevaart, Militie, Arthillery, Chirugie, &c., zoo als dezelve onder medio September 1766. Alhier in weezen zyn bevonden;
Der Gouverneurs, Directeurs en Commandeurs, mitsgaders verdure Opperhoofden en mindere Bedienden, op de respective Comptoiren van Indie
Een Lyst van de Personen, die repatrieeren zullen, een van die naar de Buiten-comptoiren vertrokke zyn; en een van de overledenen.
A 1798 book explicitly includes the Cape of Good Hope :

Over geheel Nederlandsch Indie en Kabo de Goede Hoop
Van de Wel-Edele Heeren der
Zoo tot, als buiten,
Mitsgaders van de Politique Bedienden, die van de Justitie, de Kerk, Burgery, Zeevaart, Militie, Arthillery, Chirugie, &c., zoo als dezelve, onder ultimo December 1798, alhier in weezen zyn bevonden;
Der Gouverneurs, Directeurs en Commandeurs, mitsgaders verdure Opperhoofden en mindere Bediendens, op de respective Comptoiren van Indie.
Een Lyst van de Persoonen, die naar de Buiten-comptoiren vertrokke zyn, en een van de overledenen.
All the name books listed below are online and are downloadable as a pdf. The pdfs are in black and white and sometimes it is easier to read some type on the jpeg versions on the sites.

The following sites have links to the books but not all are to be found on the same sites. Many except for Google Books contain links to the National Library of the Netherlands and most have search engines. They are also a good resource for finding other books, documents, maps and pictures of the VOC, the Cape and South Africa

If you are searching the sites make sure you use the various names for the Naamboek as some are only found by using the variants.







The books:

1729 March

1732 March

1736 April

1737 April

1748 October

1750 February

1751 January

1751 September

1753 January

1754 January

1755 September

1758/59 (no date on frontispiece but printed in 1759)


1761 March


1764 April

1765 January


1766 September

1767 May

1771 December

1778 January

1778 January

1778 December


1780 December

1782 December

1783 December


1785 December


1786 December

1787 February

1787 December
version one
version two

1788 December
version one
version two

1789 March

1789 December
version one
version two

1790 December
version one
version two

1791 January
version one
version two

1791 December
version one
version two

1792 December
version one
version two

1793 December

1794 December

1795 December

1796 December

1797 December

1798 December

1799 December

1800 December

1801 December


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Drakenstein dope 1694 tot 1799

VC 647 2Inligting verkry vanaf die Drakenstein doop register tussen 1694 en 1744 is nou beskikbaar in the eGGSA BDM databasis.

Die transkribering is soos volg gedoen: Lizette Svoboda die tydperk 1702 tot 1732, Corney Keller 1733 tot 1744, Richard Ball 1694 tot 1713. en Cornel Viljoen van 1756 to 1799 en het die ook skakels van die LDS aanlyn kopieë wat van die oorspronklike registers, G1 8/1, G3 3/1, G3 3/2, G3 3/3 and G3 3/4, wat by die NGK Argief, Stellenbosch gehou en onderhou word, verskaf.

Om die foto’s te sien moet navorsers by FamilySearch.org. registreer.

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Photographs, Negatives and Colour Slides in the Western Cape Archives and Records Service (WCARS)

Photographs are important sources of information for researchers in all study fields, including genealogical research. We are all aware of the necessity of preserving documents, since archives have an important cultural value for the protection of our identity and collective memory. Photographic materials are therefore key sources for historical research, especially for the study of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The amount of information and detail that can be seen in photographs is what makes them a uniquely rich historical resource.  They can show exactly how a person, place, item, building, clothing, etc. looked at a specific time.  Therefore, photographs should not be considered as purely supplementary material but instead as illustrative “windows to our past”.

( click on pic to enlarge, plus more pics )

At present the Western Cape Archives and Records Service (WCARS) has about 90 000 photographs in the various collections in stock. The photographic section also houses the negatives of most of these photographs. The descriptions of most of the photographs, negatives and colour slides are already available on the internet databases. The photographs that accompany this article were chosen from the collections due to the buildings shown being subsequently demolished, replaced, restored, neglected, deserted or changed as a result of development. Therefore, although the buildings are not there anymore, the images are proof of their history.

The following is a list of some of the various photographic collections and the where they can currently be accessed:

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The oldest official written document in South Africa

KAB C1 page 2The oldest official written document is volume 1 of the archival group ‘Council of Policy’ (C). The first page in this volume is a prayer that is known as ‘Jan van Riebeeck’s prayer’. The second page is the first official document that contains the resolutions of the Council meeting held on board the VOC ship Drommedaris, Saturday, 30 December 1651. The first signature at the bottom is that of Jan van Riebeeck.
On Sunday, 24 December 1651, six days before the fleet of three ships of the VOC Chamber of Amsterdam that was to establish the VOC replenishment station at the Cape of Good Hope (today Cape Town, South Africa), left Texel in the Netherlands.

The three ships were: Drommedaris (Captain Davit Coninck), Goede Hoope (Captain Symen Turver) and Reijger (Captain Jan Hoochsaet).
Present at this meeting of Saturday 30 December 1651 were the three above captains, the Fleet Commander Jan van Riebeeck and also Pieter van Helm, the Provisional Secretary. The fleet arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on 6 April 1652 and established the VOC replenishment and halfway station to Batavia (today Djakarta, Indonesia).

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Bygevoegde Bybel foto’s gedurende September

BybelsGedurende die afgelope paar maande het ons  ‘n wonderlike aantal Bybel  foto’s van skenkers ontvang – hier is solank  diè wat reeds in September by ons Bybel versameling gevoeg is.

Ons innigste dank aan al ons bydraers: Billy Baard, Willie Breet, Ockert Malan, Riana le Roux, Leslie Duckworth, Alice Boshoff, Joost Hogewoning, Sam Basch en Hennie Nel.

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Graaff-Reinet NGK doop registers 1792-1805

graaff reinet doopCornel Viljoen was so vriendelik om sy transkripsies van die Graaff-Reinet NGK doop register 1792-1805 vir die eGGSA BDM databasis, beskikbaar te stel. 

Sy transripsies is van die Latter Day Saints foto’s, vanaf die oorpsronklike register, wat by die Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerkargief, Noordwal-Wes, Stellenbosch is en is op ons databasies beskikbaar, met die toestemming van die NGK argief.

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Drakenstein / Paarl NGK dope 1746 tot 1755

VC 645Die dope is deur Corney Keller gestransribeer vanaf die fotos van die Kaapse Agriewe VC 645. Hierdie is ‘n stel foto kopieë van die oorspronklike register wat in die 1980’s, vir die Wetenskaplike Navorsinging Raad (WNNR) gemaak is. Kopieë was aan die Suid Afrikaanse Argiewe gegee en ‘n kopie het gegaan aan die Kaapse Argief en een aan die Pretoria Argief ( waar dit deel uitmaak van die FC reeks). Die oorspronklike register word tans in die Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerkargief, Noordwal-Wes, Stelenbosch as G3 3/2 bewaar. Die dope is by ons eGGSA BDM databasies bygevoeg.

Ons innigste dank aan Corney Keller vir die transribering en die NG Kerkargief vir die bewaring en instadhouding van die rekords.

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Grafstene het nou hul eie webwerf!

Die versameling grafstene het so gegroei dat dit meer gerieflik geword het om hulle up hul eie webwerf te huisves. Die grafte kan gevind word by http://www.graves-at-eggsa.org/

Skakels wat u gestoor het sal nog reg by die graf of begraafplaas uitkom, maar as u gestoorde skakels na die nuwe vorm wil verander, sal u dit maklik vind om hulle in lyn te bring. Die vorige adres sou gelees het 

http://www.eggsa.org/library/main.php?g2_itemId=2898227    teenoor die nuwe adres wat lees

Al wat u moet doen is om die       eggsa.org/library     met        graves-at-eggsa.org       te vervang.

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What ever happened to Drooge Vlei?

Along the dry and dusty road between Cape Town and Malmesbury lies a stretch of the Swartland known – certainly in the 1800s – as Groote Drooge Vlei (or, alternatively, Droge Vallei). It’s an area I stumbled across searching for the origins of my great-great-grandparents, and one whose history remains elusive.

( click on pic to enlarge, plus more pics )

What we know, it seems, is that it fell within the field-cornetcy of Paardeberg in the District of Malmesbury, part of the quitrent farm having been granted to a C Esterhuysen in 1715 and another to W Proctor on 15 January 1822. Significantly for my own personal research, the section known as Doordrift was granted to Misters WH and JT Eaton on 4 February 1862, as it is this section that came to be known simply as Drooge Vlei.

It is mentioned by the Bishop of Cape Town in the April 1875 edition of The Mission Field, and his description offers some fascinating insight into a place that appears to be a thriving community of its own:

“At Drooge Vlei, a small private station, which I visited on my road, I confirmed five persons. The place, containing about 140 inhabitants, is the property of Mr Eaton, who has built on his farm a school-chapel, where he holds the church service every Sunday, once in English and once in Dutch – Mr Clulee [the Reverend Charles Clulee (1837–1892), born Birmingham] visiting it from Malmesbury and holding service as often as he can … It is a wonderfully complete little town, with it’s smith’s, shoemaker’s, haberdasher’s, grocer’s, butcher’s and baker’s shops, its carpenter’s shed, its wheelwright, machine maker, and brickfields – Mr Eaton being proprietor of the whole and the employer of all the labour at the place.”

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2018 Algemene Jaarvergadering gesluit

Ons virtuele vergadering is nou gesluit. Baie dankie aan almal vir u deelname en ondersteuning.

Alle lede was uitgenooi om aan die vergadering deel te neem. Soos verduidelik in die e-pos gedateer xx Januarie 2018, het ons aanvaar dat die lede van wie ons nié gehoor het nie, tevrede is met beide die nominasies en die 2017 Jaarverslag.

Teenwoordigheid by die Vergadering
Lede wat eGGSA gekies het as hul primêre tak was geregtig om aan die AJV deel te neem. Ons e-pos stelsel het rekord gehou van die aantal e-poste wat uitgestuur, onafgelewer, aangestuur en onoopgemaak was. As virtuele tak gebruik ons hierdie getalle om die kworum te bepaal.

Die 2018-Bestuur bly dus onveranderd aangesien geen verdere nominasies ontvang was vir die bestuursposte nie. Bestaande nominasies was ook nie betwis nie.

Alta Griffiths - Voorsitter
Daan Hamman - Onder-Voorsitter
Carol Beneke - Tesourier
Lynn Couperthwaite - Lidmaatskapdienste, -kommunikasie en Bemarking
Richard Ball - Webmeester
Judi Meyer - Redakteur genesis

Addisionele lede
Annelie Els - Stamouers
Corney Keller - Nederlandse Transkripsies
Daan Botes - Poskaarte
Riana le Roux - Begraafplaasprojek

Baie geluk aan die bestuurspan, en dankie dat julle weer bereid is om nog ‘n jaar op die bestuur te dien. eGGSA Annual Report 2017, tesame met die finansiële state, sal aan Nasionaal gestuur word.

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Histories Koerante

Daar is huidiglik twee negentiende eeuse koerante wat by die Koerant Uitreksels toegevoeg is. Die "Grahamtown Journal" van die 1880's, met uitreksels getransribeer deur Sue Mackay, vanaf foto's wat sy by die Britse Biblioteek in London, geneem het. Ook uittreksels uit die Kaap van Goeie Hoop Goewerments Gazette van die 1820's, wat deur Alta Griffitha in die Stellenbosch Universiteits Biblioteek geskandeer is en huidiglik deur Brenda Gassner getranskribeer word.

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NAAIRS uitslae ontleding

Keith Meintjies het 'n ontledings tabel vir die NAAIRS aanlyn verwysings indeks voorsien, wat dit netjies in 'n spreivel, uiteensit.

Hierdie sal baie handig wees vir mense wat 'n groot aantal verwysigs kry. Die inligting is verkrygbaar op ons Keith Meintjies ontledings blad.

Baie dankie aan Keith vir die beskikbaar stelling hiervan asook aan sy seun Ian, wat die ontwikkel het.

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2017 eGGSA Algemene Jaarvergadering resultate

Ons virtuele vergadering het middernag 2 February 2017 gesluit. Baie dankie aan almal vir u deelname en ondersteuning.

Lede was uitgenooi om aan die vergadering deel te neem. Soos verduidelik in die e-pos gedateer 27 Januarie 2017, het ons aanvaar dat die lede van wie ons nié gehoor het nie, tevrede is met beide die nominasies en die 2016 Jaarverslag.


Lede wat eGGSA gekies het as hul primêre tak was geregtig om aan die AJV deel te neem. Ons e-pos stelsel het rekord gehou van die aantal e-poste wat uitgestuur, onafgelewer, aangestuur en onoopgemaak was. As virtuele tak gebruik ons hierdie getalle om die kworum te bepaal.

Die opsomming was as volg:

Aantal lede wat kennis van die vergadering ontvang het:
Engelse lede 147 – 62.2 % open epos
Afrikaanse lede 101 – 58.6 % open epos
Onafgelewerde kennisgewings: Nul

Geen verdere nominasies was ontvang vir die bestuursposte nie. Bestaande nominasies was ook nie betwis nie en die 2017 komitee bly dus onveranderd.

Die bestuur
· Alta Griffiths - Voorsitter
· Daan Hamman – Onder-Voorsitter
· Carol Beneke - Tesourier
· Lynn Couperthwaite - Lidmaatskapdienste, kommunikasie en bemarking
· Richard Ball - Webmeester
· Judi Meyer - Redakteur genesis

Additional members
· Annelie Els - Stamouers
· Corney Keller – Nederlandse Transkripsies
· Daan Botes - Poskaarte
· Riana le Roux – Begraafplaasprojek

Baie geluk aan die bestuurspan, en dankie dat julle weer bereid is om nog ‘n jaar op die bestuur te dien.

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Proving descendancy

Proving your lineage can be useful for a number of reasons: citizenship, estates, family and general history. For a while British ancestry visas were available for descendants either of whose grandparents were born in Britain. Then the Irish ancestry became easier than the British ancestry. With the tightening of immigration to Britain, the chance of getting or even renewing British passport has become stricter. For some dual citizenship, South African and British may be a privilege of the past but we hope not.

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Fort Beaufort Register 1840-1850

Fort Beaufort Cover

Die register van die Anglikaanse pastoor in Fort Beaufort, (daar was geen kerkgebou in daardie tyd nie), wat die Dope, Huwelike en begrafnisse insluit, is getranskribeer deur Lorraine Beechy, vanaf die foto's van Tessa King. Die foto's is van die oorspronklike register, wat in die Cory Biblioteek is, geneem. Die proeflees is deur Brenda Gassner gedoen.

Dit is in die eGGSA se DBM databasis, gevoeg.

Baie dankie aan almal wat betrokke was. Ons is opreg dankbaar.

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Vier Bybels is by die eGGSA se kolleksie bygevoeg

Botma bibleFoto’s van die 4 Bybels is bygeveoeg by die eGGSA kolleksie: BOTMA Abraham Carel, Cornelis Zoon en Anna Sophia Magareta MALAN, David Dochter getroud 3 Jul 1854; KRUGER Gert Lodewyk 1882-1957 en sy vrou Hester Hendrina AUCAMP 1884-1961; REDELINGHUIJS George Frederik en Helena Johanna LEROUX, getroud 11 November 1895; VAN HEERDEN Isaac Petrus Jacs.Sts.Zoon en Geertruida Maria AURET, getroud 1 Maart 1836; VAN WIJK Petrus Lodewikis Julie 30 1876.

Ons betuig dank aan Allan Carson, Dirk van Heerden, Riana le Roux en Adriaan Redelinghuys.

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Drakenstein/Paarl NGK huwelike 1815-1839

Paarl 1824 400Transkripsies van diè huwelike is by die eGGSA BDM databasis gevoeg. Hierdie is veral interessant, aangesien hulle, vir die meeste van die inskrywings, die ouderdomme van die partye, asook die name van die vaders (as patroniem), insluit. Die is nie algemeen vir die NGK (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk) huwelike, van daardie tydperk nie en daarom van groot waarde, vir die genealoog en navorser.

Ons dank aan Jonathan Heath, Corney Keller en Richard Ball vir die transribsies.

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Aantekeninge van die Kaap Kolonie

records of the cape colony

In die laat 1890s en vroeë 1900s het George McCall Theal 35 volumes van die Registers en aantekeninge van die Kaap Kolonie gepubliseer, wat alle korrespondensie van 1793 tot 1827 behels, van wat toe die Publieke Rekord Kantoor (nou die Nasionale Argiewe), in London opgeteken.

Sue MacKay het elkeen van die aanlyn kopieë van die volumes deur gegaan en die skakels daarheen, aan die eGGSA web werf voorsien.

Sue skryf: Hierdie volumes kan gratis afgelaai, (of aanlyn deursoek) deur middel van die Internet Argief, deursoek word. Volumes 12 en 13, dek die 1820 Setlaars en verskaf baie van die korrespondensie, wat ek vir die werf transkribeer het, alhoewel Theal se werk baie meer selektief is en nie-party leiers of die wat nie emigreer het, insluit nie.

Dit sluit egter sekere antwoorde wat by die Koloniale Kantore van briewe wat elders op die werf gevind kan word. Daar is 'n indeks in elke vyfde Volume en Volume 35 beskik oor ?n volledige indeks. Volume 36 is 'n Register van die inhoud van Volumes 1-35.

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Kaapstad NG Kerk Kaapstad huwelik transkripsies

Corney Keller het ses ekstra jare (1756 tot 1762), by sy reeds manjifieke reeks transkripsies, aangaande die Kaapstad Nederduits Gereformeerde (NGK) rekords.

Sy transripsies aangaande die huwelike (1696-1756), is ook verwerk, sodat dit soekbaar is op die eGGSA BDM databasis en kan reeds daar gevind word.

'n Groot dankie aan Corney, vir sy volhardende en wonderlike werk, wat hierdie belangrike rekords aanbetref.

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Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette

Cape Gazette

Alta Griffiths het 'n aantal jare van hierdie publikasie geskandeer. ‘n Begin is aan die transkribering van die uitreksels, deur Brenda Gassner en Richard Ball, gemaak. Die eerste uittreksels, van die jaar 1826, is tot die Koerant Uitreksels seksie van die eGGSA webwerf, bygevoeg.

Bykomend het Liz Esmade haar transkriberings van Colin Graham Botha se vroeër, periodieke transkripsies van Dope van Engelse mense, 1810-1821, asook Engelse huwelike van 1806-1821, by te dra. Hierdie is by die BDMs databasis seksie van die webwerf gevoeg.

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Grahamstown Journal 1871 en later word nou op eGGSA

newspaper extractsSue Mackay writes: I have finally been able to photograph the next couple of years, from 1871 onwards, of the Grahamstown Journal at the British Library in London. The first batch can be seen among the eGGSA Newspaper Extracts.

This batch is considerably longer than usual, not only because there are a few lengthy obituaries but because I got seduced by a series of articles on Life at the Diggings, describing the burgeoning businesses at the diamond fields.

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Transkripsies vanjaar

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Helena Garner se Kriel kolleksie is by die eGGSA Dokument Biblioteek gevoeg

Helena het goedgunstiglik haar werk wat bestaan uit Boedeldokumente ( Sterfkennisse, Testamente em Likwidasie en Distribusierekeninge) aan eGGSA geskenk vir ons aanlyn Dokumenteafdeling.

Helena het baie tyd daaraan spandeer om die inhoud te vereenvoudig. Die byskrifte is deur Anina du Plessis gedoen en voltooi deur Lorraine Beechey.

Die dokumente kan in vier afsonderlike albums gevind word:
Wes Kaap Argief
Pretoria Argief
Bloemfontein Argief
Pietermaritzburg Argief.

Ons opregte dank aan Helena, Anina en Lorraine

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Uniondale NGK doopregisters 1866-1920 tot die eGGSA BDM databasis bygevoeg.

Die doopregisters van Uniondale Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (NGK) 1866-1920, is deur Carol Beneke getranskribeer vanaf Mechelle Beneke se foto's van die oorspronklike register, in die Uniondale kerk afgeneem by ooreenkoms met die dominee.

Hierdie rekords is tot die eGGSA BDM databasis bygevoeg en is nou vir gebruikers beskikbaar. Enige navrae of regstellings kan aan Richard Ball.

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Voortrekker Dope tot die eGGSA BDM databasis bygevoeg

Cornel Viljoen het goedgunstiglik 'n bydrae van sy transkriberings van die Voortrekker Dope, FK 2290 in die Pretoria Argiewe, 'n foto koepie van 'n vroeër transkribering deur onbekendes van registers van Natal, Vrystaat en die ou Transvaal, vanaf 1837 tot 1850, tot ons beskikking gestel.

Hierdie addisionele 4,600 dope is verkrygbaar en soekbaar by die eGSSA BDM databasis. Vanne ingesluit kan hier ... gesien word.

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Gipsy Bride passasierslys bygevoeg

IMG 0615Richard Wolfaardt se span vertalers het Kaapse Argief IB7 en IB8 passasierslyste getranskribeer. Hierdie word in by IF9 aangepas, wat in enekele gevalle ekstra inligting bevat. Bygevoeg vandag tot die eGGSA Passenger lyste databasis is dié van die Gipsy Bride, deur Ray Pitt getranskribeer. 'n Lys van die vanne in hierdie lys vervat kan hier gesien word ....

Londonderry Standard - Thursday 01 April 1858 - Emigration to the Cape. On Saturday, the magnificent 'Black Ball' ship Gipsy Bride, sailed for the Cape of Good Hope, with 500 emigrants, selected by the Hon. William Field, who has been deputed by the Cape Government to represent them in England. They were chosen almost entirely from the pastoral districts of Scotland, and a finer set of people have rarely left our shores. The Aurifera has been chartered for the conveyance of emigrants to Algoa Bay, and she will leave the Mersey on the 22d of April. Liverpool Albion.
Courtesy: British Newspaper Archive

Montrose, Arbroath and Brechin review; and Forfar and Kincardineshire advertiser. - Friday 09 July 1858 - Cape of Good Hope.
Dr Livingstone's expedition sailed from Table Bay on the 27th Apr8l, for the Zambesi. An elegant silver box, containing 800 guineas, had been presented to Dr Livingstone, as a testimonial, by the colonists. A proposal was made by the Governeor to establish five intermediate posts between the colony and the Zambesi, to ensure a line of monthly communication.
A fierce struggle continues on the frontier between the Bisutos and the Orange Free State. Sir G.Grey consented to act as mediator. Two Basuto towns and four French mission stations were destroyed. The colony was peaceful and prosperous.
The first batch of emigrants has arrived in the Gipsy Bride and gave great satisfaction.
Courtesy: British Newspaper Archive

Reynolds's Newspaper - Sunday 11 September 1859 - Emigration to the Cape of Good Hope.

The Cape Town Immigration Board at their last meeting, a few days before the departure of the mail, resolved to forward the following communication to the Emigration Commissioner in England.

Immigration Office, Cape Town, July 30, 1859.
The Honorable W.Field Esq., Emigration Commissioner, London.
Sir, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of three letter from you of the 6th ultimo, acquainting me, for the information of the Immigration Board, of the departure of the Burlington with emigrants on the 30th May, and of your having chartered the Lord Raglan to convey emigrants to Table Bay, which were to embark on the 16th instant. The board instructs me to inform you that the immigrants per Bride have all taken employment, and with the exception of a few, have quitted the depot - those remaining being the parents of children suffering from measles. Several remained also for some days owing to the unfavourable state of the weather, and the difficulty existing at the present time in procuring conveyance for their removal to the interior. The wages obtained by most of them are quite equal to former rates, as will be seen by a list accompanying this. The board desires me to call your attention to the circumstance of one of the immigrants per Bride, named Simon Lucas, having died of consumption the day after his arrival, and would recommend a more strict inquiry into the health of emigrants generally, and that none be sent out but such as are and have been for some time in perfect health, and in the habit of working for wages. Lucas, according to the statement of the surgeon-superintendant, Dr Pearce, came on board in a very delicate and precarious state of health, showing evident symptoms of consumption; and it has come to the knowledge of the board that several sent out on former occasions, particularly of the Scotch per Gipsy Bride, were invalids in search of health, some of whom have died, and a few recovered. Lucas leaves a wife and six children, with the prospect of a seventh, all of whom continue at the depot at the expense of the Government. With regard to farm labourers, the board considers it most undesirable that such immigrants should be encumbered with large families, and particularly with any number of young children, such operation as a hindrance to their obtaining ready employment, the wages they receive are sometimes as inadequate to meet their expenses that they naturally feel dissatisfied, and become disheartened. The board deem sit necessary to remark upon the practice adopted in some cases by the immigrants themselves of describing a man incorrectly in regard to his trade or calling, in proof of which I herewith enclose a list of names of men who declared the were refused to be received under the head of their proper calling, but were allowed to enter themselves under some other head, in order to render themselves eligible. This false statement has given rise to considerable unpleasantness and disappointment in one or two cases; it misleads the public, and causes the immigrant who refuses employment to suffer. 


W.Hampson, Secretary. The following is the scale of wages at which engagements were made in Cape Town by the immigrants per Bride: - Farm labourers £2 to £2.10s with board and lodging, and 3s to 4s per day without ditto; railway labourers, 4s6d to 5s per day; stonemasons 6s6d per day; wheelwrights 6s; sawyers, piece-work, equal to 6s to 7s per day; [s]bines makers, 5s to 7s per day; tailors, piece-work, 4s to 5s per day; painters and glaziers, £3.10s per month and found, or piece-work; brickmakers, piece-work; dressmakers, £1.10s per month and found; female cooks, £1 to £2 per month and found.

Courtesy: British Newspaper Archive

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7 Bybles by die eGGSA versameling bygevoeg

Sewe Bybels uit die versameling van die Erfenistigting, Pretoria, is deur Annelie Els afgeneem en tot die eGGSA Bybel/Familieregister versameling geskenk: DUPREE A., gebore 1836; ERASMUS Lodewikus Johannes, gebore 1845 & Magrietas Martins VAN DEN BERG, gebore 1844, getroud 1866; HATTINGH Johannes Dewald, D.zoon. geboren 1794 en Anna Elisabeth RETIEF geboren 1798, getroud 1812; MALAN Stephanus Petrus, gebore 1849 & Martha C.A. LOURENS, gebore 1886, getroud 1904; MOCKE F.G. & S.E. NEL getroud 1831; NAUDE Stefanus Jacobus, gebore 1872; and DU PREEZ Nicolaas Johannes Jakobus, gebore 1865.

Hartlik dank aan Annelie Els asook aan Basil Royston wie die opskrifte geskep het. Verbeterings of navrae kan aan Richard Ball gerig word.

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Nog vier Bybels

Vier Bybels is by die eGGSA Bybel/Familieregister deel van die webwerf bygevoeg: COETSEE Abraham Petrus Carolus gebore 1876 & Wilemina Lodeweika LOMBARD gebore 1881 getroud 1898, geskenk deur Susan (Coetsee) de Bruyn; GEYSER, Johannes Jacobus Stephanus gebore 1801 & Magdalena Susina CALITZ gebore 1910 getroud 1827, deur Tracey Itta bygedra; RAFFERTY, Elsie Susarah Aletta Maria born 1853 deur Andrea Furness (nee de Jager) geskenk; and TRUTER Johannes Andries gebore 1778 & Hilletje Aletta SMIT gebore 1778 getroud 1788 contributed deur Matty van Rensburg aangebied.

Hartlik dank aan die bydraers asook aan Basil Royston wie die opskrifte geskep het. Verbeterings of navrae kan aan Richard Ball gerig word. 

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Begrafnisregister van Christchurch, Grahamstad, tot die eGGSA BDM databasis bygevoeg.

Christchurch burias

Die begrafnis register van Christchurch ( Anglikaanse ), Grahamstad, 1877-1917 , is deur Lorraine Beechey getranskribeer vanaf William Jervois se foto's van die oorspronklike register in die Cory Biblioteek, Rhodes Universiteit, Grahamstad, MS 17 633, by ooreenkoms met die Cory Biblioteek en die Aartsbisdom van Grahamstad. Brenda Gassner het dit geproeflees.

Hierdie rekords is tot die eGGSA BDM databasis bygevoeg en is nou vir gebruikers beskikbaar. Enige navrae of regstellings kan aan Richard Ball gerig word by Richard Ball

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Passasierslyste opgedateer

IMG 0615

Passasierslyste vir drie skepe is tot die eGGSA databasis van Passasierslyste bygevoeg: Die Burlington, Die Matilda Atheling en die Sedgemoor. Hierdie is van die Kaapse Argief klasse IBC 7 en IBC 9 verwerk deur Richard Wolfaardt en sy span vrywilligers, James Anderson en Ray Pitt. 'n lys van die vanne bygevoeg kan hier gevind word.

Evening Mail - Wednesday 01 June 1859. Government Emigration - The Government emigrant vessel Burlington, 676 tons, Captain Victor Howes, sailed from Southampton on Monday, the 30th ult., for Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope, with 267 emigrants under charge of Surgeon-Superintendant Samuel Leonard Crarie, M.D. The emigrants who embarked in this vessel were selected by the Hon. William Field, the officer appointed by the Colonial Government to conduct the emigrantion to the Cape of Good Hope.  (Dankie aan die Britse aanlyn koerant argief)

Hereford Times - Saturday 20 August 1859. Emigration to the Cape of Good Hope. On the 12th inst. there were embarked at Liverpool, under the superintendance of the Hon. Mr. Field, in the ship Matilda Atheling, for Table Bay, 288 emigrants. They were principally agricultural labourers and female domestic servants, with some country masons, blacksmiths, and joiners. They comprise also 53 statute adults, under engagement with Messrs. Pickering, contractors for the Cape Town Railway. The emigration to this colony during the present year has now reached a total of 2,588 souls, exclusive of assisted passages.  (Dankie aan die Britse aanlyn koerant argief)ine)

London Evening Standard - Tuesday 21 May 1861. Free Emigration to the Cape of Good Hope. The Sedgemoor, of 920 tons, Captain M.W.Kett, being the 28th free emigrant ship dispatched at the colonial expense, sailed from Southampton for Table Bay on Saturday last, with a selection made from the artisans and agricultural classes by the acting emigration agent for the colony, Mr A.C. Saunders. They number 283 souls, equal to 223 statute adults, and are under the general charge of Mr. Surgeon Superintendent S.P.Chennell. Mr Saunders appointed from among them John M'Kay to be schoolmaster, Jane M'Connell to be matron, and Alice Wright to be sub-matron. The free emigration to the Cape, under the local act of 1857, has now reached a total of 8260 souls. (Dankie aan die Britse aanlyn koerant argief) 

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