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Government Gazettes

Acknowledgement and Permission by Lisette Forsyth The first South African newspaper, The Cape Town Gazette and African Advertiser, appeared on 16 August 1800, during the first British occupation. This paper, which was published in English and Dutch, later became the Cape Government Gazette, which has continued in modified form to the present day. The first unofficial newspaper, the South African Commercial Advertiser, was founded in 1824 by Thomas Pringle and John Fairbairn, settlers of Scottish descent. George Greig, the printer, was also a British settler. The establishment of this newspaper led to a dispute concerning censorship with Governor Lord Charles Somerset that had far-reaching effects for the South African press. The paper was suppressed by Somerset, but eventually, in 1829, an ordinance removed from the Government the power of interfering with the Press and made newspapers subject only to the law of libel. The success of the British in their struggle for the freedom of the press resulted in the [...]

Your Family Bible

Some families are lucky enough to have a Family Bible in which ancestors have recorded the dates of births, baptisms, marriages or deaths of family members. This information should always be checked against other records. In particular, you should check the date of publication of the Bible so that you know what information was written from memory and what information was likely to have been written in the Bible contemporaneously (since that is more reliable). A Family Bible could have been handed down to your cousins, rather than to your immediate family, so it is worthwhile to broaden your inquiries to include all relatives. Many Family Bibles have unfortunately been lost or destroyed. Some can be found in second-hand bookshops, but your chances of finding long-lost family are very small. Using a Family Bible as a tool in your research can certainly have its advantages as well as pitfalls. Initially you should take note of the Bible's first owner – generally the [...]

National Archives Source Codes

National Archives Sources Codes below is a compiled list of links to pages which contain References to Source Codes from the National Archives of South Africa for documents listed on the National Archives of South Africa's website under the section called NAAIRS (National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System). To contact the Archives personally you can do so here but be advised that they are understaffed and will not always answer your emails. I am here however on a professional basis to help you retrieve and photograph any of these documents. Contact me. Bloemfontein Archives Source Codes Cape Town Archives Source Codes Cape Town Record Centre Source Codes Durban Archives Source Codes Pietermaritzburg Archives Source Codes Port Elizabeth Archives Source Codes Pretoria Archives Source Codes        

Source Codes for the Port Elizabeth Archives

Reference to Archives Source Codes for the Port Elizabeth Archives GSEE Department of Justice, Supreme Court Port Elizabeth (1974 - 1975) GSEE Department of Justice (Illiquid Cases) (1982 -) PWDP Department of Public Works (1948 - 1983) 3/PEZ Municipalty, Port Elizabeth. Department of the City Engineer (1950 - 1976) 3/PEZ Municipality, Port Elizabeth. Department of the Town Clerk (1944 - 1970) 3/PEZ Municipality, Port Elizabeth. Electrical Department (1948 - 1979) 3/UIT Municipality, Uitenhage (1950 - 1967) 4/PEZ Divisional Council Port Elizabeth (1858 - 1964) Should you need copies of any of the documents which full references can be found on the National Archives of South Africa's web site, you can contact me for a quotation for digital copies.

Durban Archives Source Codes

Durban Archives Source Codes are listed below from the National Archives of South Africa for documents listed on the National Archives of South Africa's website under the section called NAAIRS (National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System). To contact the Archives personally you can do so here but be advised that they are understaffed and will not always answer your emails. I am here however on a professional basis to help you retrieve and photograph any of these documents. Contact me. ABD Port Natal Administration Board (1949 - 1987) RSC Registrar of the Supreme Court, Durban and Coast Local Division, Criminal Cases (1858 - 1982) RSC Registrar of the Supreme Court, Durban and Coast Local Division, Illiquid Cases (1858 - 1982) (On NAAIRS until 1975)

Source Codes for the Cape Town Record Centre

Reference to Archives Source Codes for the Cape Town Record Centre which need to be ordered from the Cape Town Archives ACD Native Administration Board, Diamond Fields, Kimberley (1973 - 1979) ACN Northern Cape Administration Board, Vryburg (1971 - 1979) AEK Administration: House of Assembly: Department of Education and Culture: Heuwelkruin Girls' School (1937 - 1985) AFC Department of Agricultural Economics and Marketing, Fruit Inspection Service, Cape Town (1945 - 1965) AKR Coloured Advisory Council (1943 - 1955) AWC Development Board Western Cape: Langa Area (1926 - 1978) AWC Development Board Western Cape: Former South-Western Cape Administration Board (1956 - 1979) BOK Native Education Regional Director, King William's Town (1961 - 1970) CDK Department of Constitutional Development and Planning: Regional Office, Kimberley (1949 - 1984) CET Department of Coloured, Rehoboth and Nama Affairs: Commission of Inquiry into matters affecting the Coloured population group (1973 - 1976) CRN Department of Coloured, Rehoboth and Nama Affairs: Committee regarding Labour in the Western Cape (1959 [...]

Source Codes for the Bloemfontein Archives

Reference to Archives Source Codes for the Bloemfontein Archives AB Administrator of Relief, Bethulie (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) ABE Administrator of Relief, Bethlehem (1902 - 1907) (Files) ABE Administrator of Relief, Bethlehem (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) ABK Chief, Free State Archives Repository, Bloemfontein (1910 - 1988) ABL Administrator of Relief, Bloemfontein (1902 - 1904) (Files) ABL Administrator of Relief, Bloemfontein (1902 - 1904) (Other Archives) ABO Administrator of Relief, Boshof (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) AED Administrator of Relief, Edenburg (1902 - 1904) (Other Archives) AFA Administrator of Relief, Fauresmith (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) AFI Administrator of Relief, Ficksburg (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) AFR Administrator of Relief, Frankfort (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) AHE Administrator of Relief, Heilbron (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) AHO Administrator of Relief, Hoopstad (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) AK Administrator of Relief, Kroonstad (1902 - 1907) (Other Archives) AKT Administrator of Relief, Bloemfontein (1841 - 1970) (Files) AKT Registrar of Deeds, Bloemfontein (1841 [...]

Source Codes for the Pietermaritzburg Archives

Reference to Archives Source Codes for the Pietermaritzburg Archives AG Auditor General's Office (1899 - 1910) AGO Attorney General's Office (1845 - 1928) CNC Chief Native Commissioner (1893 - 1952) CSO Colonial Secretary's Office (1842 - 1919) DDA Department of Development Aid (1899 - 1988) DPH Department of Public Health (1901 - 1911) EI European Immigration (1878 - 1911) II Indian Immigration Department (1858 - 1924) IRD Immigration Restriction Department (1897 - 1912) MJPW Minister of Justice and Public Works (1861 - 1910) MSC Master of the Supreme Court. Insolvent Estates (1840 - 1897) MSCE Master of the Supreme Court. Estates (1840 - 1971) (On NAAIRS until 1971) NDR Natal Defence Records (1891 - 1912) NHC Native High Court (1855 - 1954) NHD Natal Harbour Department (1872 - 1933) NT Natal Treasury (1846 - 1912) PM Prime Minister's Office (1894 - 1910) PMG Postmaster General (1855 - 1901) PVS Principal Veterinary Surgeon (1897 - 1912) PWD Public Works Department (1874 - 1913) [...]

Source Codes for the Transvaal Archives

Source Codes for Cape Town Archives AGT Auditor General, Transvaal (1900 - 1910) CI Chief Immigration Officer (1907 - 1912) CJC Central Judicial Commission (1902 - 1906) CS Colonial Secretary (1900 - 1910) CT Colonial Treasurer (1900 - 1910) C2 Commission for the Custody of British Prisoners of War (1899 - 1900) C3 Provisioning Commission, South African Republic (1899 - 1900) C20 Transvaal Civil Service Inquiry Commission (1904 - 1905) C30 Transvaal Public Service Inquiry Commission (1906 -) DCU Director of Customs (1900 - 1916) EC Clerk of the Executive Council (1901 - 1907) FLD Foreign Labour Department (1904 - 1910) GNLB Government Native Labour Bureau (1904 - 1950) GOV Governor of the Transvaal Colony (1901 - 1910) GTG Health Division, Germiston (1918 - 1960) GTS City Engineer, Germiston (1925 - 1945) HC High Commissioner of South Africa (1890 - 1925) HCC Chief Committee of the Commissionership of the ZAR (1899 - 1900) HKN Chief Native Affairs Commissioner, Northern Areas (1904 - [...]

Source Codes for the Cape Town Archives

Source Codes for Cape Town Archives ACE Director, Elsenburg Agricultural College (1933 - 1959) ACLT Department of Agriculture Credit and Land Tenure (1910 -) AFC Principal, Fort Cox Agricultural College (1929 - 1936) AG Attorney General (1899 - 1923) AG Attorney General, Series Walvis Bay Arbitration (1893 - 1912) AG Attorney General, Anglo-Boer War and High Treason (1899 - 1919) AGR Secretary for Agriculture (1876 - 1913) APC Plant Inspector, Cape Town (1911 - 1954) ARE Regional Assizer, East London (1933 - 1946) BCS Chairman, Publications Control Board (1951 - 1973) BEK Regional Director of Bantu Education, King William's Town (1921 - 1957) BO British Occupation. Memorials Received (1795 - 1803) BWR Secretaries, Anglo-Boer War Relief Committees (1899 - 1903) CAD Chief, Cape Archives Depot (1898 - 1961) CC Secretary, Cape Town Chamber of Commerce (1910 - 1970) CCK Chief Commissioner, Eastern Cape (1922 - 1963) CDC Regional Representative, Cape Town - Department of Community Development (1823 - 1989) CDP Regional Representative, [...]

The Cape Census of 1865

There has always been much speculation among genealogist and historians alike as to whether South Africa has ever had a Population Census Register like the British and the consensus has been a big NO. The real fact is that YES there have been several, but the Cape Town Archives no longer have the original records, sadly only the statistics exist. A Census of population was taken in March, 1865. No census of the Colony, in the proper acceptation of the word, has been taken previous to that. Up to the year 1865, statistical returns for the annual Blue Book were received at the Colonial Office from the several civil commissioners, arranged under the heads of population, births, marriages, and deaths, distribution of lands, and agricultural produce, and stock and animal productions. A want of confidence in the accuracy of the information thus supplied, owing to the mode and instrumentality of its collection, together with the expenses attending it (which averaged £1,184 per [...]

Telephone Directories

Thousands of people and business were listed annually in Telephone Directories and sadly these books are diminishing with the invention of the mobile phone. However, Telephone directories are becoming a very valuable source of information to any genealogist or family historian in trying to locate the different areas where your ancestors lived. It is likely that initially owning a telephone illustrates what social level they were at. The names of houses are a fascinating way of tracing your ancestors as long as they are the people that actually named the house. Many people name their houses after the towns or places they originated from or places that are strongly associated with the family. These place names could be vital clues when looking for that missing link. House names also contain names of people, eg Alison & Donald become “Aldon” - they could be named after children, spouses or something special in their lives. These names should not be overlooked. Professions and associations can [...]

Cornish Immigrants to South Africa

Cornish Immigrants The Cornish Immigrants to South Africa has legacy that has numerous facets. It embraces a mining and commercial heritage, derived from such eminent early Cornishmen as Francis Oats, Samson Rickard Stuttaford and Charles Chudleigh; a spirit of concern for the under-privileged given by Bishop Colenso and Emily Hobhouse, and the international links provided by the English language which cement family and friendly associations in all English-speaking countries. The legacy is also to be found in the place names, streets and buildings of South Africa and in the speech of South Africans today. What they eat also has Cornish links, as have what they do, working, playing sport, relaxing or simply their mode of living. The weekend excursion, the picnics, the benefit associations and superstitions that still persist, for none of these existed before the mineral revolution and the influx of new blood into South Africa in the second half of the last century. The great contribution was the [...]

Western Cape Farm Maps

These Municipal Maps have been scanned in and divided into 4 pages where possible as they are huge maps. They cover areas such as Cape Peninsular and as far as Stellenbosch, Malmesbury and Hopefield. In many instances farms and original farm owners and dates are given. You will need to open up each map for each section unfortunately. These Western Cape Farm Maps are all in PDF format. Please acknowledge this website you would like to use a map for your personal use. They are not to be used on any website. If there are any errors or images that do not display correctly, please contact me. Malmsbury_01_01 Malmsbury_01_2 Malmsbury 01_03 Malmsbury_01_04 Malmsbury_02_1 Malmsbury_02_2 Malmsbury_02_3 Malmsbury_02_4 Malmsbury_03_01 Malmsbury_03_02 Malmsbury_03_03 Malmsbury_03_04 Wynberg_01_1 Wynberg_01_2 Wynberg_01_3 02_Cape_Division_2 02_Cape_Divison_1 02_Cape_Divison_03.pdf 11_Cape_Division_01 11_Cape_Division_02 11_Cape_Division_03 11_Cape_Division_04 12_Cape_Division_01 12_Cape_Division_02 12_Cape_Division_04 13_Cape_Division_01 13_Cape_Division_02 CapeDivision_1_01 CapeDivision_1_02 CapeDivision_1_03 CapeDivision_1_04 CapeDivision_4_01 CapeDivision_4_02 CapeDivision_4_03 CapeDivision_4_04 CapeDivision_5_01 CapeDivision_5_02 CapeDivision_5_03 CapeDivision_5_04 CapeDivision_6_01 CapeDivision_6_02 CapeDivision_6_03 CapeDivision_6_04 CapeDivision_7_01 CapeDivision_7_02 CapeDivision_7_03 CapeDivision_7_04 CapeDivision_8_01 CapeDivision_8_02 CapeDivision_8_03 CapeDivision_8_04 CapeDivision_9_01 CapeDivision_9_02 CapeDivision_9_03 [...]

The Battle and Seige of Congella

In May 1842 British forces under Capt. T. C. Smith occupied Port Natal for the purpose of making an end to the republic of Natalia. The protests of the Volksraad and Commandant-General Andries Pretorius he rejected. His camp was situated under the Berea on the Point side of the Umgeni River, where he had dug himself in well. He had about 240 men, with Capt. Lonsdale and 4 lieutenants, under his command.

The Battle of Blaauwberg

In August 1805, while the French army with which Napoleon intended to invade England was still in waiting at Boulogne, a formidable British fleet sailed southwards on a secret mission, The Battle of Blaauwberg was going to happen. It was proposed to take the Cape - the key to India - from the Batavian Republic (which was an ally of France) by means of a surprise attack. Naval and cargo vessels, 61 in all, under the command of Commodore Sir Home Popham had 6,654 soldiers and officers under Major-General Sir David Baird on board. Baird, who had spent ten months at the Cape during the first British occupation, knew the fortifications well. Reports of a mighty fleet sailing south reached Lt.-Gen. J. W. Janssen’s, the Governor at the Cape, and he made all possible preparations, but it was the harvesting season and he could not mobilise the burghers without sufficient information of an intended attack.

Clues in your family house name

The names of houses are a fascinating way of tracing your ancestors as they may have been the people that actually named the house. Many people name their houses after the towns or places they originated from or places that are strongly associated with the family. These place names could be vital clues when looking for that missing link. House names also contain names of people, eg Alison & Donald become “Aldon” - they could be named after children, spouses or something special in their lives.

Epidemics in South Africa

The term epidemic is used to indicate an unusual prevalence of a disease. The disease which most harried early navigators, occurring in epidemic form on long voyages, was scurvy. It was known that the condition was caused by absence of fresh food in the sailor's diet. Only in the present century, however, was it discovered that the factor absent from such stored or preserved foods was a vitamin. Vitamin C, the anti-scorbutic factor, is the most vulnerable of all the vitamins, readily destroyed by heating, drying and other methods of food preservation.

How to write a biography

A biography is the story of a person's life. Some biographies are just a few sentences long, others are a book. Short biographies give the basic facts of a person's life. Longer biographies include the facts with more details. Most biographies are about famous, or infamous, people. Some are about historical people, and others are about people still living. Everyone can have a biography.

Origins of Public Holidays in South Africa

  Before the Union of South Africa was established in 1910 each of the four Colonies had its own legislation on public holidays. That of the Cape Colony was promulgated in 1856, but was amended from time to time and after 1902 the calendar of holidays was as follows: New Year's Day, King's Birthday, Queen Victoria Day (24 May), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, Ascension Day, first Monday in October (`Wiener's Day', instituted in 1889 and often so called after its parliamentary sponsor, Ludwig Wiener) and Christmas Day. `Second New Year' (2 January) was celebrated, especially by the Coloured population, but was not an official holiday. Natal, the other British colony, adopted the following holidays in 1901 : New Year's Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, Victoria Day (24 May), Michaelmas (29 September), King's Birthday (9 November, Edward V11) and Christmas Day. Previously 1 November, All Saints' Day, was also a holiday in Natal. The Orange Free State shortly before [...]

Blue Books of South Africa 1821 – 1909

The Blue Books in the Cape Town Archives are one of the hidden gems that you can use in tracing your family history. They do not only contain statistical data but also names of people in many instances. These Blue Books contain data regarding the following areas: Civil Establishment; Taxes; duties and other heads of revenue; Fees(personal); Revenue, Expenditure and Balances; Comparative statement of revenue (1873, 1874), expenditure (1873,1874), estimated and actual revenue, estimated and actual expenditure; estimated and actual expenditure under schedules, ordinances, and Acts of Parliament; an Abstract statement under appropriation ordinance etc; General Account - Current; Local revenues (Church, Municipal, and Divisional Council); Public Debt; Military; Public Works and Buildings; Legislation; Political franchise; Council and Assembly; Security for Discharge of Duties; Pensions; Recapitulation; Foreign Consuls; Population; Miscellaneous Numerical Return; Ecclesiastical Return; Education; Money, Exchange, Weights and Measures; Shipping/Exports and Imports: Agriculture; Wages etc; Prices of Provisions and Clothing; Stock and Produce; Manufactories, Mines and Fisheries; Grants of Land; Jails and Prisoners; Charitable Institutions and Hospitals; the appendix contains Reports of Civil Commissioners.

Deceased Estates South Africa

When searching for information on your ancestors, one of the most useful documents is the Estate Papers of the deceased which in brief gives the final summary and status of their life at the time of death.Depending on when the person died will depend how many of the following files below are included. The more recent estate papers will reveal more. Older Estate papers did not include Wills and death notices and were filed as separate documents and - pre 1900.In these documents you should find:

Smallpox at the Cape

Smallpox, introduced from the Orient, first made its appearance as an epidemic on Friday 13th 1713 when a crew member aboard a ship was infected with the disease. His clothes were taken out to be washed in the river near the castle which in turn contaminated the local drinking water. Another outbreak occurred later in 1755 and hit the Cape Settlement very hard. It ravaged all the Hottenot tribes, this together with the pressure of the fast expanding settlement, largely destroyed the tribal life of the Hottentots of the 18th Century. Many tribes were wiped out. Their numbers were reduced so much that their tribal organisation disintegrated and they were gradually taken into service as labourers, especially herdsmen by the local farmers.

Birth Records in South Africa

The Department of Home Affairs, in Pretoria, holds the most comprehensive compilation of personal resources for all South Africans. Access to the registers of births is closed for a period of a 100 years, to protect individuals, as stipulated by the office of origin. The general public may only view these records prior to 1908, and these are housed in the various archival repositories.