• Dons mom and dad

Adoption Research and DNA

I am Don MacAlister, Heather’s husband of forty-plus years, we were chatting the other day and she asked if I would write a recommendation for her for the work she does. Initially, I thought I [...]

  • Pea + Mint Salad

Pea & Mint Salad

Pea & Mint Salad Ingredients 1 cup frozen peas (defrosted and blanched) ½ cup fresh edamame beans ½ cup fresh snap peas 6 finely sliced fresh radishes ½ cup fresh whole corn kernels 1 [...]

  • British Residents at the Cape 1795 -1819

British Residents at the Cape

British Residents at the Cape 1795 - 1819 was written and researched by Peter Philip. He was born at St. James in Cape Town and educated at the Diocesan College in Rondebosch and at [...]

  • William Heygate Edmund Colborne Butlin

Billy Butlin’s Holiday Camps

Billy Butlin was born William Heygate Edmund Colborne Butlin in Cape Town, South Africa.  Contrary to the worldwide biographies of his date of birth being 29 September 1899 in South Africa, my passion for [...]

Buy a DNA kit

Buying a DNA kit has never been easier with the online purchase of one click to find out your roots and ethnicity as well as see how many people you are related to and [...]

  • Colonial Office Archives

The Colonial Office Archives

The Colonial Office Archives in the Cape Town Archives is one of the largest collections of Cape History. They are extensive and contain 8702 volumes and a diverse collection of documents that offer the [...]

DNA Tests in South Africa

Having your DNA test in South Africa done is a fast and effective way of confirming who your biological parents, siblings, or grandparents are.  This also includes any blood relative who has also had [...]

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 [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2023 No 355

GRAVES REVEAL THEIR SECRETS Unmarked graves in a hinterland cemetery, set Doreen Atkinson off on an intriguing quest. A professor of political science, trustee and vital cog in the wheels of the Karoo Development Foundation (KDF), she was touched by a visit to Kuilsville cemetery near Danielskuil. During her 30 years of working in the Karoo she had seen many unmarked graves, but this time she paused and pondered wondering know who was buried there, what they died of, when and was there anyone left to tell their story? So, in 2019 assisted by a team of people interested in [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2023 No 354

DISCOVER THE KAROO Live The Journey, a company that claims to be fuelled by curiosity, inquisitiveness, wondering and wandering is offering three seven-day exploration tours through the Karoo. These guided, self-drive trips are scheduled to take place on April 20 to 26, October 5 to 11 and October 12 to 18. They will start at Ceres and move through Sutherland, Merweville and into the Beaufort West district to meet actress, singer, author and traditional herbalist, Antoinette Pienaar, on the farm at Theefontein. After a two-day visit, during which Antoinette will share her knowledge of the medicinal value of Karoo plants, [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2023 No 353

ANOTHER HORSE SPEAKS Dr Juliette Whelpton’s latest book in the Heroes with Hooves Series tells the story of Maharajah, an Arab stallion which belonged to Captain Jack Seeley. Jack first saw Maharajah on the Egyptian plains and was captivated by him. He came to South Africa with Jack to serve during the Ango-Boer War, and this is their story told by Maharajah himself. During his lifetime he met Queen Victoria, Lord Kitchener and many other important British officers. He also met some top Boer leaders, like General Christiaan de Wet and the teenage hero Japie Greyling. Maharajah had many friends [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2023 No 352

FIRST DEEP SPACE GROUND STATION IN AFRICA Matjiesfontein has been chosen as the site for the first deep space ground station in Africa. This announcement was made towards the end of 2022 by NASA and the Department of Science and Innovation. “Dry air and clear skies make this area ideal for a ground station,” said Raoul Hodges, managing director of space operations at SANSA. “The aim is to establish a sustainable station on the moon, land the first woman and first person of colour there by 2025 and prepare for missions to Mars and beyond.” Construction is scheduled to start [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2022 Special No 351

A DIFFERENT WAR Looking for in an interesting read? Then, The Infamous Malaboch War and More Gripping Stories From The Old Transvaal and Beyond should be just the thing. This book follows David Hilton-Barber’s earlier books on footprints in the old Transvaal on the way to Tzaneen, and Footprints in the Lowveld. Despite the fact that the Malaboch War has been extensively covered in military journals, David’s research revealed several aspects that offer a fresh look at the campaign. The war broke out when Chief Malaboch of the Bahananwa people refused to have his territory demarcated in 1888, have his [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2022 No 350

END OF AN ICONIC RIDE The journey is over, but the memories remain. Some say reminiscences of their ride along 600km of the Forgotten Highway will never fade. This includes the armchair travellers who so much enjoyed seeing Piet Coetzer’s six beautiful Flemish horses, Minister, Kimon, Kristal, Tom, Klara end Karnet, almost every day. They were the “stars of the show.” There were, however, many more who contributed to this historic ride which left Sutherland on October 22 and arrived in Griquatown on November 6.. Among them were Skoene, Sadriek, Papie and Heinrich, who cared for the Flemish beauties [...]

The Forgotten Highway Express March 2023 No 3

A SALUTE TO SA’S ITINERANT PEDDLERS - THE SMOUSES Some walked, some rode, but they all played a vital role in developing SA’s economy. Many of the Jews who came to South Africa in the 1800s became smouse (peddlers or hawkers). Itinerant commerce was the only way for these men, mostly from Lithuania (which was the epicentre of Jewish peddling), Latvia, Poland and Eastern European, to get on their feet and become independent. They had fled to escape economic hardships, religious persecution, anti-Jewish pogroms and rapidly spreading anti-Semitism. Lithuania, was under Russian rule, people were persecuted, their language was [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2022 No 349

EAGER YOUNG MAN’S UNFORGETTABLE TRIP When William Burchell arrived at the Cape in 1811 he was an eager, but inexperienced naturalist with a romantic passion for science. Soon after setting foot on shore he commissioned a custom-built wagon, and set off in it accompanied by Khoekhoe servants, to explore the flora and fauna of the vast southern African interior. He travelled through the Cape across the Roggeveld escarpment, traversing the Great Karoo and onwards to an area east of Kuruman where he ultimately reached the extremities of the northern Cape. By August, 1812, he arrived at Litakun (now Dithakong), [...]

The Forgotten Highway Express February 2023 No 2

EARLY CURRENCY OF THE HINTERLAND Money is good for nothing unless you know the value of it - P T Barnum The tale of South Africa’s first coinage and the Griqua tokens is a rich saga interwoven with myth and mystery. The DEI had money, but it did was useless in the hinterland, where there were no banks and initially no stores. This was the world of barter until in the early 1800s, trading stores began popping up and doing good business. Barter over long distances was always a problem. However, launching currency in remote inland areas was not easy. [...]

The Forgotten Highway Express January 2023 No 1

THE LOVES AND LIVES OF TWO WOMEN NAMED MARY I love thee to the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning The road to Kuruman, conceals many a love story. Among the greatest is the tale of two women both named Mary who fell in love with Scottish Congregationalist pioneer missionaries, arguably among the greatest Men of God this continent has ever seen. Both suffered hardships, but neither complained. When the great Robert Moffat trailed across the dryland towards Kuruman, he was a lonely man. He had left his heart in Scotland with the lovely [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2022 No 348

BACK ON THE SAME PAGE Booktown, Richmond’s BookBedonnerd book festival, is back on track. It was rescued when the Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of the Western Cape, announced that MadibaLand would move to Booktown Richmond and happily become part of that festival forever. And, there is even more great news. John Banville, the Irish Booker Prize winner, has agreed to open the festival. “Who would have thought it possible that such a great writer would open a festival in a small Karoo town? ” asks Darryl David, one of the organisers. The dates have [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2022 No 347

SOME BEAUTIFULLY TOLD TALES Two books of /Xam stories will be launched in Sutherland in October 21 just before Piet Coetzer sets off on the 600km Great Forgotten Highway Expedition to Griquatown. The first book, entitled The Man Who Cursed The Wind And Other Stories From The Karoo (Die Man Wat Die Wind Vervloek Het En Ander Karoo Stories) is a selection of 61 /Xam tales collected in Afrikaans from present day Karoo storytellers, translated into English, and edited by José Manuel de Prada Samper. These tales capture the harsh, but beautiful, landscape of the Karoo and its lively [...]

Rose’s Round-up August Bonus 2022 No 346

%#%#%#%#%#%#%#%#% There is so much happening in the Karoo that I can’t hold on to the news until I create a September issue in the middle of the month, so here’s a special issue of Round-up. NEED A QUIET PLACE TO WRITE? Most authors seek a quiet, peaceful place in which to write. Cradock has the answer. Litnet, together with Die Tuishuise and Victoria Manor, has just announced the launch of a Resident Authorship Project which offers authors the opportunity to write in a comfortable, undisturbed, tranquil surroundings. To officially kick off the project Litnet and Die Tuishuise invited [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2022 No 345

BOOKTOWN FESTIVAL CANCELLED It is a sad time in the Karoo. Richmond’s annual BoekBedonnerd Booktown, the longest continuously running live literary festival in South Africa, has been cancelled. This announcement was made by organisers Darryl David and Peter Baker in Issue No 55 of the New Richmond Reader. After 15 years the Northern Cape Government has stopped its sponsorship. “Sadly this year we were planning to honour Athol Fugard, one of the Karoo’s most famous sons – a man who is hailed as the world’s greatest living playwright,” said Peter. “We had the support of the Fugard fraternity, the [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2022 No 344

SNEAK PEEK Karoo lovers are in for a special treat. Chris Marais and Julienne du Toit are about to launch a new book which takes yet another look at the dryland. Karoo Roads III is scheduled for blast-off in August/September this year. This, as usual, excellently illustrated book takes readers on a long, winding road trip into what the authors call “the Never-Never Land” as well as to some lesser-known areas. Readers are introduced to a fascinating array of past and present characters who all make-up the Karoo and add to its luster. Those who would like to ramble [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2022 No 343

CELEBRATING A RESIDENT WITH VISION On June 7, 2022, at 18h00, Prince Albert will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Fransie Pienaar Museum. This Museum, the cultural hub of the village, doubles as the tourist information centre and houses one of the country’s largest fossil collections. It grew out of the collections of one local resident, Fransie Pienaar, who was born in Prince Albert in 1897. After leaving school she studied music at Sullivan College in Cape Town. She then returned to her home town, married and began to collect any pretty and interesting thing that caught her eye. [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2022 No 342

SHUNTED TAKES ANOTHER BOW Eric Miller’s short film, Shunted, is far from shunted - it has once again been propelled into the limelight. This film captures the history and memories of the community at Hutchinson, a small Karoo railway station named in honour of colonial administrator, Sir Walter Hely-Hutchinson. This short documentary, made towards the end of 2020, premiered at the Apollo Theatre in Victoria West and from the outset was a winner. Since then it has received many awards and been featured at several film festivals. Eric submitted the film to the Singapore World Film Carnival. “It was [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2022 No 341 with supplements

Supplement 1: DESIGNED TO KEEP THE PEACE Supplement 2: GREAT HEROES, BUT TRUE LOSERS TRACKING THE TRAIN ATTACKERS Anglo-Boer War researcher Johan van Niekerk has taken a closer look at the train wreckers and captured the fascinating story of the train attackers in a soon to be published book entitled An Unfinished Line To Heaven - Boer War Trainwreckers - 1899-1902. “This is not just a book about the Boer saboteurs and trainwreckers,” says Johan. “It studies the legitimacy of attacking the railways and lines of communication in a time of war.” In this book Johan covers the actions [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2022 No 340

THE DEVIL’S ROUTE INTO THE KAROO The story of Duiwelskop, the first north to south pass over the Outeniqua mountains, has been captured in a full-colour book, just released by Dick Metcalf. He lives in Prince Albert and studies pioneer routes into the interior. Dick is currently engaged in an on-going programme of recording the old wagon passes of the Cape and the tracks that linked them. Duiwelskop was an extremely rugged route and it terrified early travellers. It runs from Louvain farm in the Klein Karoo to Woodville Store on the Seven Passes Road in the Garden Route. [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2022 No 339

PROUD INTER-CULTURAL HERITAGEHistorian Dr Dean Allen has just launched two interesting books. This Day in History, written with Danica Stanová, is an illustrated, day-by-day account of some of the most interesting and important events in world history. It’s ideal for history buffs, as well as those needing to check dates and facts, Then, there’s the beautifully illustrated, full-colour Frontier Land - Exploring South Africa’s Eastern Cape. This volume takes readers into settler country, an area steeped in the traditions of Xhosa, Dutch, German, Scottish and British people. It is the shared heritage of so many cultures that makes the region [...]