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 [...]

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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 [...]

Birth records South Africa

Indexes to the inventories of birth, marriage and death certificates held in the Cape Town Archives can be found on this page. These records form part of Civil registration in South Africa that began [...]

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 [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2020 No 317

PLANS FOR A NEW KAROO FESTIVAL   Looking positively to the future Richmonders are planning a  new festival linked to oral traditions, storytelling and the wool industry.  It will be named “Spinning a Yarn”.  Organisers, Peter Baker and Darryl David, (the men who created the Bookbedonnerd Book Festival in 2007 and put Richmond on the map by making it South Africa’s only Book Town) have approached some organisations such as the Mohair Spinners Industry and the local government for sponsorship. They are also planning to get talented crafts people in the area to pass on their skills to others [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2020 No 316

TOP SA CONSERVATIONISTS TO SPEAK IN LONDON Rhino conservation comes under the spotlight at the Royal Geographical Society Spring Talk in Kensington, London, on April 2. Three top South African experts, with roots in the Eastern Cape, will address the delegates and detail some of the horrors of rhino poaching. Their theme will be Creating a Rhino Stronghold. The key speaker is Dr William Fowlds, the wildlife veterinary surgeon educated in Grahamstown and Onderstepoort, who set up the ARCC (African Rhino Conservation Collaboration). Its main aim is to co-ordinate effective action against poaching. Will’s passion for conservation stems from his [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2020 No 315

NEW BOOK FOR BOER WAR BUFFS Boer War researcher Allen Duff has just launched a book which is bound to intrigue followers of the history of the South African War. Entitled Boer War Narratives of the Cape Colony it tells of unusual happenings and adventures experienced by Boer Commandos and British Colonial Forces during skirmishes and engagements in the Cape Colony. “Some of these reveal quite bizarre confrontations with the ‘fickle finger of fate’”, says Allen. Among the tales are stories of the train attack at Ganna Station, north of Beaufort West, the experiences of the Australian contingents during the [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2020 No 314

A CRAFTY IDEA Tel No 081 391 8689 The “festival man” of the Karoo, the dynamic Darryl David, who with Dr Peter Baker put Richmond on the map by turning it into a Booktown, is at it again. He has moved from literary and food festivals to an idea of creating a craft village in the little Klein Karoo town of De Rust. In making this announcement he quipped that travel journalist Chris Marais once said: “If you see an Indian family walking around your village with four dogs, be sure they are planning a festival!” And this was [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2020 No 313

IF FESTIVALS ARE YOUR THING The Karoo has some interesting festivals in the pipeline for 2020 and, if festivals are your thing, perhaps you could factor some into your travel plans. If you love food, hospitable people and the Karoo, Cradock is the place to be from April 24 to 27 next year. The 8th annual Karoo Food Festival is already being planned and as ever the programme promises to be interesting and truly tasty. For more - email karoofoodfestival@gmail.com. The Klein Karoo National Arts Festival takes place in Oudtshoorn from March 23 to 29, Afrikaburg in the Tankwa Karoo [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2019 No 312

IDEAL GIFT FOR ABW ENTHUSIASTS Steve Lunderstedt’s new book The Road to Magersfontein will make an ideal Christmas gift for any Anglo Boer War enthusiasts. This book, which fully explains the battles off Belmont, Graspan, Modder river and Magersgontein is to be launched in the Bridget Oppenheimer Room, Kimberley Club on November 27.Steve a well-known tour guide in the Kimberley area, and an authority on the Boer war and these battles will be on hand to sell and sign copies form 11h00 to 14h00 and again from 16h00 until 18h30 on that day. The book is an enjoyable and easy-read. [...]

Britain’s last castles still guard the rails

By Rose Willis A scenic route leads military history enthusiasts through the Western Cape past graves and memorials and along the north-south railway line with its military fortifications of 100 years ago - the Anglo-Boer War blockhouses. These range from ruins to National Monuments. At the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War there were 6 860 km of railway line in South Africa. During hostilities 600 km were added. In the early days of the conflict the British used armoured trains for armed reconnaissance. But the Boers soon discouraged this approach. Then came the blockhouse system. By the end of [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2019 No 311

MEMORIAL – 30 YEARS IN THE MAKING On October 12, 2019, at the end of a highly successful conference commemorating the 120th anniversary of the Anglo-Boer War, a memorial was unveiled to honour those who fell on March 10, 1900, at the Battle of Driefontein (Abrahamskraal) near Petrusberg, as well as those who died in the field hospital. The battle followed the Battle of Poplar Grove. Boer forces, under the command of General Christiaan de Wet, were holding a 7-mile(11 km) line covering the approach to Bloemfontein when Lord Roberts ordered Lieutenant-General Thomas Kelly Kenny to attack their position from the front, while Lieutenant-General Charles [...]