• 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 [...]

Suburban Town Guard

The Suburban Town Guard is a database of men who enlisted in Cape Town during the Boer War of 1899 - 1901. The Cape Town Guard, formed to defend the town, which had been [...]

South African Newspapers

South African Newspapers are extremely rich in information for any family historian or genealogist. I can offer searches in the following South African Newspapers which not only cover general articles but also the classified [...]

Archival Terms and Definitions

Copies of photographs in the reading room of the Western Cape Archives and Records Service. Archival terminology is a flexible group of common words that have acquired specialised meanings for archivists and [...]

  • Citizenship-Naturalization-South-Africa

South African Citizenship Act 1949

In 1949 a South African Citizenship Act came into being to create a fair and honest representation for immigrants. State citizenship, or nationality, indicates the allegiance which a citizen owes to the State and [...]

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 [...]

Mandlenkosi Township Tourist Route

  The Xhosa dimension to tourism in the Central Karoo The Xhosa have been woven into the fabric of the Great Karoo since the late 1700s. Research has revealed that small groups settled at various times in the Nuweveld region from 1795. "We are collecting as much historic and background information as possible for the Kwa-Mandlenkosi Township Tourist Route to give visitors an insight into a little known part of the Karoo's history," says Siphiwe Piti, chairman of the Central Karoo District Municipality's Tourism Committee and a founder member of the Route Forum. "Little seems to have been written [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2019 No 310

IT’S BOOK TOWN TIME AGAIN Richmond will welcome booklovers to its annual Boekbedonnerd Book Festival from October 23 to 26. This year’s programme features big names, good reads and a special film on Hutchinson, called Shunted made by Eric Miller and Laurine Platzky. Highlights of the book festival include the multi-award winning novelist Charl Pierre Naude’s Die Ongelooflike Onskuld van Dirki Verwey, China Mouton’s top-selling Tronkhond and James Brant Styan’s Chris Barnard, Heartbreaker, Steinhof, Eskom and The Bosasa Billions. Nigel Amschwand’s 1847 Dispossession and Migration, Ashwin Desai’s Steve Biko, Pat Kramer’s Corbelled Houses of the Karoo, Jens Fris’s Philippolis, and [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2019 No 309

INVITATION TO VIEW PART OF KAROO HISTORY Few travellers would grant Hutchinson a second look. It appears to be just another abandoned, forlorn, rundown, dilapidated little railway station, but it hides an important peek into Karoo history. Started in 1883, 12 km from Victoria West, the station developed into a thriving little village with a school, hotel, small businesses and a variety of shops. Its name changed from Victoria Road to Hutchinson in 1901 to honour of Sir Walter Hely-Hutchinson, an Anglo-Irish diplomat and the last British governor of the Colony. (The post disappeared with the formation of Union in [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2019 No 308

VC MAN TO MOVE AGAIN Joseph Petrus Hendrik Crowe, a hero of the Indian Mutiny and the first South African-born recipient of the Victoria Cross, is to be reinterred in the Heroes Acre Section of Jubilee Park Cemetery in Uitenhage, at 14h00 on August 24, 2019. His remains were initially repatriated from Europe in 1977 and reburied in ground, which was granted special status as a burial ground by the Cape Provincial Administration. This unique decision made this the only burial ground in the country to contain only one person. The MOTHS have now sold the property and Joseph’s remains [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2019 No 307

RARE RABBIT – EXCITING FIND The Endangered Wildlife Trust (EWT) Drylands Conservation team were most excited to find a new colony of riverine rabbits in Baviaanskloof. These little nocturnal creatures, which are endemic to the Central Karoo and normally found only in the Beaufort West and Victoria West districts, are critically endangered. EWT Nama Karoo co-ordinator, Bonnie Schumann, said: “The first indication that this species had moved into this area came when well-known ornithologist and conservation scientist, Alan Lee, found a dead riverine rabbit on a gravel road in Baviaanskloof in December, 2018. Fortunately he recognised the rabbit, which [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2019 No 306

TINY VILLAGE WORTH A VISIT Tel No 082 777 1519 Fascinating facts are to be found in the hinterland. The tiny Klein Karoo village, De Rust, for instance, once had a large home for children orphaned by the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic. Sadly, the building fell into disrepair and had to be demolished. This little village still has many other historic gems to discover. A newly launched historic walking route now showcases its historic buildings and Victorian houses, many of which have been restored and most have interesting tales to tell. The route begins at Voelgesang, the original farmstead, which once [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2019 No 305

CALLING ALL SELF-PUBLISHED AUTHORS Richmond’s Boekbedonnerd Book Festival is calling on all self-published authors to enter the annual Self-Publishers’ Awards Competition. This event, the only one of its kind in South Africa, honours authors in more than 25 categories. Entries close on June 30, 2019. More from Darryl David at davidd@ukzn.ac.za. Winners will be announced at the Boekbedonnerd Book Festival in Richmond on October 26th and 27th. This extremely popular event, filled with good books, good food, and good vibes, is the oldest book festival in the country. The programme always features a line-up of top speakers who discuss the [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2019 No 304

ATTENTION ALL FOODIES Tel No 0832578601. The ever-popular Karoo Food Festival takes place in Cradock from April 26 to 28. This year’s programme includes delicious taste treats from boerekos with a twist to some exotic fare, say the organisers. Highlights will include a braai, excellent craft beer, two-day food market, tastings, demonstrations and master classes will cover preserving, pickling, salami and carbanossi making, ferments, such as kambucha, kimchi and kefir, soft cheeses, such as feta and halloumi, and homemade farmstyle breads. Spicey food with health benefits will be discussed. Special menus will be on offer at six partner restaurants. This [...]