Poisoned young lover

Maria Lee was a cruel and callous woman that thought about nothing except herself and slowly but surely poisoned her young lover with ant poison. She was married four times, first when she was [...]

  • Reverend John Doke

Rev John Joseph Doke

Rev. John Joseph Doke was a Baptist pioneer and writer. He was born in Chudleigh (Devonshire) on 5 November 1861 and died in Umtali (Rhodesia) on 15 August 1913. He was raised in a [...]

  • Indian gandhi

Indian South Africans

Between the years 1860 and 1911, 152 184 persons were introduced as indentured labour into South Africa, the last batch having arrived on the S.S. Umlazi on 21 July 1911. This database of Indian [...]

  • family-tree-records

Family Tree Records

We at Ancestors South Africa have a growing free collection of Family Tree Records from over 50 000 families in South Africa.  Start searching here These family trees have either been donated or been [...]

  • Cape Mercantile Advertiiser 1867

1867 Cape Town Directory

1867 was one of the most important years of South Africa as this is the year-old Erasmus Jacobs found the Eureka Diamond on his father’s farm south of the Orange River, this was the beginning [...]

  • william-hawkins

William Hawkins

William Hawkins was born at Raphoe, Donegal, Ireland in 1758  and died at sea on 31st July 1836. He was the third and last agent of the English East India Company at the Cape [...]

Thomas Bowler

Thomas Bowler Thomas Bowler was born in Tring, Hertfordshire, England on the 9th December 1912 and died  in London, England on 24th October 1869 He was an artist, and the son of [...]

  • school register sample

Academic Records

Academic records are great source for digging deep into the personal and behavioral traits and intelligence of your ancestors. These records are not easily found unless you approach a particular school and ask to [...]

  • steenkamp-willem
  • NG Kerk Nieuwoudtville

The Lion of the North-West

Dr Willem Petrus Steenkamp - called the "The Lion of the North-West" by his numerous admirers, and far less flattering nicknames by his considerable body of political enemies - passed to his reward in [...]

  • oude wijnberg museum

The Oude Wijnberg Museum

The Oude Wijnberg Museum at Wynberg Boys' High School Accommodated on the ground floor of Silverhurst Manor House across the playing fields from the main school building, the Oude Wijnberg Museum is a fascinating [...]

  • wynberg boys school

History of Wynberg Boys High School

Wynberg Boys' High & Junior Schools trace their shared history to the official opening on Thursday 1 July 1841 of 'The Wynberg Established School' under the Headmastership of Mr John McNaughton. This school in [...]

  • Pietermaritzburg Street Directory

Street Directories of South Africa

Street Directories are incredible sources for finding your lost family and relatives. These forgotten publications provide an insight as to the exact address people lived  at but also their occupations, names of houses and [...]

  • Grave of Lady Sale

The Grave of Lady Sale

Thanks to help from Ancestors.co.za and further details and a photo in a 1986 Chowkidar journal of the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia, Dominic Medley has found the grave of Lady Florentia [...]

Buy Books

So you want to buy books related to genealogy in South Africa ? this is my list of recommendations for you. Many of these books I have my own copy of and are [...]

  • death notice

Death Notices

  A Death Notice is the official documentation handed to the Master of the High Court whose office has jurisdiction over the estate. It is used for informing the Master whether the deceased had [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2021 No 337 – Bonus Issue

SEASONS GREETINGS / BEST WISHES FOR 2022 MAY IT BE YOUR BEST YEAR YET GOOD READ ARRIVES IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS New on the bookshelves, and just in time for Christmas, is The Accidental Entrepreneur - John Garlick: His Life and Legacy - Merchant, Politician, Philanthropist and Family Man 1852 – 1931. Written by Sherry Garlick Stanton, herself a very interesting woman, this is the story of her search for information about her great-grandfather, John Garlick, the founder of the well-known South African department store. He was also the benefactor of Nelspoort TB Sanatorium just north of Beaufort West in [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2021 No 336

EDUCATION WAS THE KEY The story of Thomas Muir, the man who reformed the early education system in the Cape Colony and was knighted for his efforts, is told in a recently published biography by his great grandson, Peter Elliott. This delightfully written, well-researched, comprehensive book, entitled Thomas Muir: ‘Lad O’ Pairts’, is the result of a chance visit, in 2018, to Oudtshoorn’s C P Nel Museum, once the Boys’ High School. It was opened by Thomas in 1907. Born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, on August 25, 1844, he was the son of George, a humble agricultural labourer, and his second [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2021 No 335

A DREAM TO EMPOWER WOMEN Margaret Ellen Flanagan’s dream was the empowerment of women. She thus, in 1982, bequeathed funds to Rhodes University for the creation of the Patrick and Margaret Flanagan Trust for scholarships to be awarded to women for fulltime international masters or doctoral studies. In her will she stipulated that these scholarships should have sufficient funding to cover travel, tuition, accommodation and sustenance, as well as a book and clothing allowance. She wrote: “My underlying intention in making provision for the award of the scholarships is my belief that any country is, to an important extent, dependent [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2021 No 334

NEW NATIONAL PARK South African National Parks (SANParks) and World Wide Fund (WWF) are working together to create a new national park in Eastern Cape. It will be located in the mountains near the Lesotho border and close to Naude’s Nek pass, which at 2500m is one of South Africa’s highest lying roads This new NE Cape Grasslands National Park will cover a 30 000ha protected area. “The aim is to contribute towards the conservation of grasslands and water security,” explained SANParks acting CEO Dr Luthando Dziba. “The NE Cape Grasslands National Park will take a somewhat different form to traditional [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2021 No 333

SPOTLIGHT ON THE DRC Philippe Menache and Helmut Wolff, both great admirers of church architecture, have just launched a new book entitled Die NG Kerk. This 136-page full-colour book features comprehensive text covering 139 Dutch Reformed Churches across the country. It also gives brief background details on the little towns in which these churches are situated, as well as historical details of the architects. In addition, special interior and exterior features are also highlighted. Sadly, say the authors, the country’s declining economy, poverty and depopulation of the platteland, have left their mark and some of these beautiful buildings have been [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2021 No 332

NEW BOOK COVERS 963 DAYS AND MORE A new set of books, which will be of interest to Boer War enthusiasts, has just been published. Entitled The Anglo-Boer War 963 Days it is written by Pieter G Cloete and consists of two A4 soft-cover books – a 410-page main volume and a 50-page addendum of maps, facts and statistics. The main volume gives a concise, day-by-day, blow-by-blow, account of the eleven months preceding the ultimatum and the 963 days of the war from the start of hostilities to the signing of the Peace Treaty. The main book chronologically covers political [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2021 No 331

CAMEOS OF THE KAROO The Karoo Development Foundation has started placing a series of Cameos on its website. These are compiled by Rose Willlis, a recognised chronicler of the Karoo since she started writing Rose’s Round-up in January, 1993. They are edited by KDF trustee Professor Doreen Atkinson. who has almost three decades of experience in issues related to government, agriculture, water, tourism and heritage in the Karoo. Currently on line are Adendorp, Kendrew, Murrayburg, Noupoort, Three Sisters, and Wolwefontein. But why cameos? Well, a cameo is a gem, a carving, part of a larger object, mostly of stone [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2021 No 330

AN ODE TO THE KAROO Hidden Karoo, in 300 pages of true beauty, takes readers on an extensive journey across the vast plains allowing them to discover the true magic of the Karoo in all its forms. Patricia Kramer’s passion for historic architecture shines through the entire book. A palaeolithic archaeologist, she has spent much time recording South Africa’s historic buildings, particularly those in danger of collapse or demolition, In a series of photo-essays, she tells of conservation and neglect and poses the question of what the future holds. Alain Proust’s excellent photographs, capture the beauty of the modern-day land [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2021 No 329

NEW READ FOR KAROO LOVERS Hidden Karoo, launched in March, is a treat for Karoo lovers. Written by Patricia Kramer, with photographs by Alain Proust, it captures the Karoo’s vast landscape, flat-topped mountains, conical hills, scrubby bushes and hidden valleys. “Here pioneers carved roads out of rock to set down roots in an unforgiving environment.” says Patricia. “Here dreams were born and legends made. In this ancient place rocks and fossilized footprints tell the story.” Hidden Karoo, a series of photo-essays, tells of conservation and neglect “One town boasts splendidly restored buildings, while along a dusty road lies another - [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2021 No 328

ATLAS FOR BOER WAR BUFFS Well-known author, Chris “Bulldog” Ash, launched a comprehensive military atlas covering every aspect of the Anglo-Boer War on February 2 this year. The Boer War Atlas has 230 full-colour maps, which cover the conflict on a strategic, operational and tactical level and guide the reader through each stage of the war. There are also detailed diagrams and ORBATs (orders of battle). By showing how every operation and battle fits into the bigger picture this publication enables readers to better understand the war and the British victory The book covers the famous battles, lesser-known ones and [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2021 No 327

FLOOD VICTIMS REMEMBERED On the 40th anniversary of Laingsburg’s severe and devastating flood (January 25, 1981) the town honoured those who died. A touchingly simple grave-like memorial was laid out in the shade of a tree at the Flood Museum. On it 104 small karoo stones, one for each resident who was lost, have been placed on it. Their names are simply written. Some stones also have a short message of remembrance. This museum was initiated by local resident and librarian, Francis van Wyk, who for many years has collected items relating to the flood and the town’s cultural [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2021 No 326

INTRIGUING ART ON DISPLAY The Bushman Heritage Museum in New Bethesda, the only one of its kind in South Africa, is exhibiting a range of intriguing lino prints. These, like other artwork at the centre. these explore the ancient wisdom. rich culture and mythology of the /Xam, states the museum website. They have been done by resident artists Gerald Mei, Naasley Swiers and Sandra Sweers and they depict porcupines, zebras, baboons, a lion and eland as well as Kraggen’s precious, eland, the rain bull, the trickster, and a female hunter. They are for sale and proceeds will go towards the [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2021 No 325

NEW BOOKS FOR HISTORY BUFFS Dr Dean Author, a popular lecturer – particularly at Matjiesfontein – historian and author of Empire, War and Cricket in South Africa, is working on two new books. The first is a collection of 365 illustrated stories from his extremely popular series, This Week In History and the second, Frontier Land, is a fully illustrated account of his recent travels through the Eastern Cape. This Week in History takes a fascinating look at stories that have shaped the world, over the centuries and in various countries, but which over time have been forgotten. It covers [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2020 No 324

NEW BLOCKHOUSE BOOK AVAILABLE A new book entitled Anglo-Boer War Blockhouses - A Military Engineer's Perspective has just become available. This 310-page, self-published book, written by Simon Green, and printed by Porcupine Press, offers a fresh look at how the construction of over 9 000 small fortifications sought to change the course of the war. It is full of interesting information for the casual enthusiast and the history buff. The book examines all aspects of blockhouses. It tells the reader about blockhouses before the war, how they came to be used in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War, their concept, design [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2020 No 323

NEW BOOK TELLS OF MORE THAN WAR A new book which investigates the link between Croatia and South Africa towards the end of the 1800s has just been published. It is the result of four years of in-depth research by Zvonimir Navala, who was born in Croatia in 1946, completed his schooling and university studies there and came to South Africa with his family in the 1990s to complete his research. The book, Croats in the Anglo-Boer War, South Africa 1899 – 1902, covers much more than the war. It discusses the interconnections between the two countries and it the [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2020 No 322

END OF THE ROAD - A NEW BEGINNING? For the first time in 13 years, Richmond’s immensely popular, annual BookBedonnerd Book Festival will perhaps not take place at the end of October. It has had to be cancelled, not being because of COVID, but because the Northern Cape Provincial Government has refused to fund the project. Organisers, Darryl David and Peter Baker, say that they fear that this might be the end of the road for the only Booktown in South Africa. They have, however, not totally given up hope. “Perhaps with a bit of financial support we will [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2020 No 321

JUST PERFECT FOR CHRISTMAS There is no place quite like the Karoo. It’s hailed as the world’s friendliest arid zone, filled with characters, creative folk, stories, history and ghosts. Now, just as people begin to think of Christmas presents, hinterland photo-journalists Chris Marais and Julie du Toit, are launching a new book, Karoo Roads. In it they share their experiences of travelling the highways and byways of this vast area, taking readers to fascinating places, spaces and breath-taking scenery. Their “roads” pass Marcella de Boom’s uncommissioned statues at Loxton, the lonely, isolated graves near the site of the old [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2020 No 320

NEW BOOK CAPTURES THE DRAMA Anglo-Boer War enthusiasts may be interested in a new book covering accounts of lawyers caught up in the tumult of the Jameson Raid. Lawyers in Turmoil - The Johannesburg Conspiracy of 1895, written by Judge Owen Rogers, has been hailed as “dense, engrossing and a vivid historical account,” by Justice Edwin Cameron. Rogers has drawn on a wealth of published and archival material to present a lively, occasionally provocative, account of what took place in the dock, at the bar, on the bench and behind the scenes. He poses some interesting questions, such as: [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2020 No 319

A SALUTE TO THE SETTLERS The Eastern Cape branch of the SA Genealogical Society has just launched a new book to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the 1820 settlers. Entitled 1820 Settlers and Other Early British Settlers to the Cape Colony, this well-illustrated 500-page book, edited by branch vice-chairman, John Wilmot, pays tribute to the role that these settlers played in building South Africa. “In their stark ignorance these intrepid people made pitiful blunders and mostly learned the hard way through tenacious toil and tears. They stood their ground, with indomitable spirit and by grim determination, steadfast [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2020 No 318

THEY ARE NOW ALL THERE At last a full set of Rose’s Round up is now available on the Ancestors website. The gaps are gone and the 30 missing issues have been uploaded thanks to Manny Pereira, of A-One Computer Solutions in Bloubergstrand, Cape Town. The early copies that were poorly printed on an old dot-matrix machine and consequently copied very badly. I started trying to retype them, but then Manny offered to convert them into Word. He steadily worked his way through a higgledy-piggledy array of scans, returned the pages for proofing and slowly the gap was closed. The [...]