Sir Leicester Beaufort

Sir Leicester Beaufort On a recent trip to Plumstead Cemetery to photograph all those lost and forgotten people in, I found myself spending a lot of time thinking about the people buried [...]

Who’s Who South Africa

If you would like any personalities looked up from the Who's Who of South Africa, I do have small fee for supplying you with a copy. In 1907 the first South African Who's Who [...]

  • heerenlogement

History of the Heerenlogement

For hundreds of years travellers, botanists, astronomers, ministers and Missionaries have travelled northwards from Cape Town and spent the night at the ‘Heerenlogement” also known as “The Gentleman’s Lodging”, a huge cave on the slopes [...]

  • Clanwilliam History

Clanwilliam History

This section of my website has been create to promote and bring an awareness to the historical value of  the town Clanwilliam, This is aimed at the forgotten people in the Cederberg with references [...]

Frequently asked questions

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions for anyone researching their family history in South Africa. Is there a National Index to search for births, marriages and deaths certificates in South Africa ? [...]

Cape Coloured Corps

C. Ruiters The name popularly applied to the Cape Coloured Corps men or 'Pandours' was originally raised by the Dutch East India Company to defend the Cape against British attack in 1795. [...]

  • manchester to albany

From Manchester to Albany

For anyone whose family was an 1820 Settler Peter Kirkman's years of research and investigation has proven to be one of the finest and most comprehensively cited genealogy books of any particular South African family [...]

Francois Renier Duminy 1747–1811

The intrigue and mystery surrounding the Duminy ancestors' connection with the well-to-do Lebre family of Tarascon in France reminds me of my own family's long line of Master Mariners.The history of the Duminy family is [...]

Broken Promises

So much has been written in the past about settlers and immigrants to South Africa but also many of them have been sadly neglected or overlooked until now. Keith Tankard's "Broken Promises", Exploring Sir George [...]

Claim to the Country

Reading Pippa's unbelievable publication "Claim to the Country", gave me wonderful insight into the Khoi people and their heritage and ancestry. Now part of UNESCO' s Memory of the World Register, this lavishly illustrated Claim [...]

Villages of the Liesbeeck

Helen Robinson has excelled again in her unbelievable knowledge and research on Cape History. Her latest book "The Villages of the Liesbeeck - From the Sea to the Source" - documents the history of the [...]

The Fox and the Flies

The nineteenth-century was the age of industry, witnessing extraordinary advances in manufacturing, trade and communications. Exploiting the new infrastructure of railways, steamships and telegraph systems, European pimps and 'white slave' traffickers were hugely successful in [...]

The Bishop’s Churches

Having such a passionate interest in Genealogy and church records, I was delighted and overwhelmed when my husband bought "The Bishop's Churches" for my birthday. I found that Desmond's vibrant and delicate brush strokes have [...]

Plague, Pox and Pandemics

This is a Jacana Pocket History of Epidemics in South Africa by Howard Phillips is an epidemic of lethal diseases which killed tens of thousands of people in South Africa. Anyone who lost a family [...]

Admiralty House Simon’s Town

I have been to Simon's Town many times in my life and my childhood association with the Royal Navy has been vividly recalled when I was recently introduced to the book by Boet Dommisse's of [...]

Salt River Accident

Salt River Station Many years ago whilst tracing my family history I met a  cousin who kindly photocopied this newspaper article of the Salt River accident which struck me as a terrible [...]

A Memoir in Letters

A Memoir in Letters by Penelope Forrest covers the Phelps family who originated in Gloucester England. She follows them through the generations, piecing together the puzzle of these wonderful ancestors who have provided her with [...]

The Black Countess

The Black Countess is an incredible story that chronicles the life of Martha a woman of colour from Wynberg and her husband the Harry, the 7th Earl of Stamford. Martha the daughter of freed slave [...]

Rose’s Round-Up November 2003 No 118

OFF TO AN EARLY START One of the youngest towns in the Great Karoo celebrates its centenary next year. Merweville, established in 1904 on Vanderbijlskraal, home of the then local Justice of the Peace, is already planning celebrations. “We aim to ensure visitors leave with happy memories as well as souvenirs,” said Alida Victor, one of the organisers. Farmers in this sector of the Karoo, known as the Koup, approached the Beaufort West Church Council and Dominee Pieter van der Merwe in July 1887, for permission to establish their own parish. The faithful faced a 200-mile round trip in slow [...]

Rose’s Round-Up October 2003 No 117

NEW HORIZONS FOR ROUND-UP Rose’s Round-up has moved to Bloemfontein, but its coverage of the Karoo will continue. Readers welcomed this news and letters of encouragement poured in containing pleas to “keep writing the stories we all so love.” It was gratifying to discover that so many enjoy the glimpses of history, pre-history, conservation and ecology that they find in Rose’s Round-up. In its new format Round-up will no longer concentrate solely on promoting the tourism-based happenings of the Central Karoo as the District Municipality has not retained its exclusive right to the newsletter. Round-up’s base will be broadened to [...]

Rose’s Round-Up September 2003 No 116

BEAUFORT WEST SEEKS FUNDS FOR KAROO GARDEN Beaufort West Tourist Bureau wants to establish a Karoo Botanic garden right in the heart of the region. Newly-appointed BWTB marketing chairman, Koos van Dyk, says: “We constantly tell tourists that the Karoo has the richest desert flora in the world, that Beaufort West alone has more plant species than the whole of Great Britain, yet we cannot show them much of this indigenous flora. The nearest place to see it is at the Karoo Garden at Worcester.” This garden originated at Matjiesfontein, where “Daddy Jim,” son of charismatic James D Logan, Laird [...]

Rose’s Round-Up August 2003 No 115

HOLLYWOOD COMES TO PRINCE ALBERT Excitement reigns in Prince Albert as villagers look forward to seeing top stars, such as Patrick Swayze, in town. A film crew is due to move in from August 3 to 18 to shoot scenes for a remake of King Solomon’s Mines. The film, being made by Argus for Hallmark, will bring more than 160 actors to town. The all-South African crew looks forward to working with producer Russ Markowitz, director Steven Boyam and Patrick Swayze, who is playing the lead. The name of the leading lady is still under wraps. The crew will [...]

Rose’s Round-Up July 2003 No 114

KAROO DEBUT ON ‘THE WEB’ The Central Karoo launched two websites on June 8. Their creation, made possible by the Central Karoo District Municipality, has already gained a wider visibility for Beaufort West and the region. Both sites, hosted by Imaginet, have been submitted to Ananzi, Aardvark and S A Web, locally and to Alta Vista, Google and Lycos international search engines. Web addresses for these two new sites are www.centralkaroo.co.za and www.beaufortwestsa.co.za. They are uncomplicated, easy to use and quick loading. The pages offer visitors a wealth of historic detail on Beaufort West, as well as on other towns, [...]

Rose’s Round-Up June 2003 No 113

RIVERINE RABBIT CLOSER TO EXTINCTION The Central Karoo's unique riverine rabbit has become the most highly endangered species in Southern Africa. Its conservation status is now listed as critical in the Red Data Book. This means the species is extremely close to extinction. “We believe there are now only about 500 to 600 animals left in the wild,” says Dr Vicky Ahlmann, an expert on the species. Vicky studied Veterinary Medicine in Germany and came to the Karoo in December 1998. She settled in Loxton where she studies the riverine rabbit on a voluntary basis for the Zoological Society [...]

Rose’s Round-Up May 2003 No 112

HINTERLAND TOURISM GROWS Tourism in the hinterland has grown between 12 and 18 percent over the past year. "International tourists in particular are beginning to discover and appreciate the peace, charm and tranquility of inland venues such as are found in the Karoo," said Johan Gelderblom, Western Cape Minister of Agriculture, Gambling and Tourism, on a recent courtesy visit to Laingsburg, Leeu Gamka and Prince Albert. "Not only is the hinterland perceived as a safe place, it is also seen to be a silent and restful. People from the big cities of Europe cannot appreciate the true meaning of [...]

Rose’s Round-Up April 2003 No 111

GALA OPENING PLANNED FOR THE HELL Gamkaskloof or The Hell, a secluded valley in the heart of the Swartberg Mountains near Prince Albert, has been restored. Almost all of the tiny cottages, once home to those who could only reach the outside world along footpaths over the mountain, now proudly dot the valley as they did in their heyday. So, a gala opening is now planned to launch facilities and restorations, carried out after the completion of a comprehensive research project, to the tourism market. Cape Nature Conservation have invited two Western Cape Provincial Government ministers, directors from cultural history [...]

Rose’s Round-Up March 2003 No 110

JOURNALIST DISCOVERS KAROO’S SEXIER SIDE Former Cape Times editor John Scott recently discovered the Karoo has a sexy side. John, who retired from formal journalism and editing the paper 18 months ago, now writes a daily column for the Cape Times and Independent Newspapers. During lectures given by natural historian and paleontologist Dr John Almond, at a Summer School run by the Cape Iziko Museums, John Scott discovered that those grey-looking Karoo bossies are far from boring. "I learned the Karoo has a hairy nipple bush, as well as a mouse nipple bush,” says John. “Yet, just how early Karoo [...]

Rose’s Round-Up February 2003 No 109

E.BUSINESS COMES TO TOWN Western Cape Tourism's new e.Business system will be introduced to the Karoo this month. This system, designed to capture data, improve efficiency and streamline communications throughout the province, will also be linked to the standardised tourism bureau membership scheme to be phased in from April, this year. WCTB e.Business project manager Bronwyn D'Oliveira will explain the systems, their operation and implementation, to regional tourism organisation (RTO) and local tourism bureau (LTB) executives at a workshop in the Martin Odendaal Hall at the District Municipality on February 21, from 10h00 to 13h00. "Efficient electronic communications is the [...]

Rose’s Round-Up January 2003 No 108

KAROO ‘REJOICES’ ON STAGE IN U S A Theatre lovers of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, will be given a rare glimpse of the Karoo this month when the Dramaturg City Theatre stages Athol Fugard's post apartheid play “Sorrows and Rejoicings.” To help set the scene, the theatre's literary manager, Carlyn Ann Aquiline, appealed to the Central Karoo Regional Tourism Office for pictures to help advertise the play and show locals what the Karoo setting of the play looked like. These and brochures were sent for display on opening night. The play will be produced by Timothy Douglas. "The actors, big names [...]

Rose’s Round-Up December 2002 No 107

RESEARCHER STUDIES TENT TORTOISES A Canadian researcher has come to the Karoo to study the common but poorly known tent tortoise. Dr Thomas Leuteritz, a post-doctoral associate of Professor Retha Hofmeyr, of the University of the Western Cape, has set up base at Prince Albert to study the behaviour and breeding biology of Psammobates tentorius, better known as the tent tortoise or "knoppiesdop." The project will run for three months east of Prince Albert at the Tierberg Karoo Research Centre, which is managed by Dr Richard Dean, of the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of the University of Cape Town. To establish [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2002 No 106

RARE ROCK ENGRAVING FOUND A rare piece of rock art has been discovered near Prince Albert. Local geologist John Begg, owner of Scholtzkloof, found an uncommon bi-colour, red-brown drawing with white surround on his farm. "I saw this unusual San rock-painting beneath a shallow overhang on a cliff. Only a few similar swallow-like figures have been found among the many thousands of rock paintings known in Southern Africa," says John. "In the past, these were misinterpreted as mermaids or fish-people. More recent research suggests that such images portray an out-of-body experience often induced when San medicine-men or shamans were calling [...]

Rose’s Round-Up October 2002 No 105

BY ACCLAIM, A PRINCE OF CHEESES A full-flavoured, well-matured hard cheese made at Prince Albert in the Karoo has walked off with top honours at the South African Farm-Style Cheese Championships run by the National Dairy Institute at Irene. Known as Parma Prince and produced by Gay’s Guernsey Dairy, it won first prize in the Italian-style cheese sector and was also given a special award as an exceptional cheese. The road to success started four years ago when dairy owner Gay van Hasselt visited Italy to promote mohair products of her farm. While there, she visited top parmesan producers to [...]

Rose’s Round-Up September 2002 No 104

A WONDERFUL WORLD OF FOSSILS, SAYS EXPERT “Laingsburg is most fortunate that the world's largest and most complex eurypterid trackway was found right on its doorstep,” said Dr Simon Braddy , University of Bristol, UK, and an expert on the palaeobiology of ancient, extinct water scorpions. "This discovery will bring scientists, researchers, students and lay people to the Karoo, one of the best places in the world to study fossils of the Permian Period. Finds such as this must be included in the region's tourism plans and visitors must be taught to behave responsibly at such sites," said Dr Braddy. [...]

Rose’s Round-Up August 2002 No 103

IT'S HIGH NOON FOR THE RIVERINE RABBIT The odds are stacked against the riverine rabbit surviving another 10 years. It recently became South Africa’s most endangered mammal when its conservation status was raised to critical. "Its survival appears even more desperate than we previously believed," says Cape Nature Conservation researcher Chrizette Kleinhans. "These furry-footed little leaf-eaters, among the world's rarest animals, will disappear from the face of the earth within a decade unless drastic steps are immediately taken." The riverine rabbit is indigenous to the Central Karoo and found only in Beaufort West, Loxton, Carnarvon, Calvinia, Sutherland, Victoria West and [...]

Rose’s Round-Up July 2002 No 102

IN -FLIGHT MAGAZINE HELPS SAVE FOSSIL TREASURE A story in Rose’s Round-up has been instrumental in raising funds to help preserve a fossil treasure of the Great Karoo, the recent find of an invertebrate trackway that could be the most spectacular example of its kind yet found in the world. The news item, covering Laingsburg’s fossil trackway, was noticed and also published by SAA's in-flight magazine, Sawabona, which is how it came to the attention of Professor Peter Spargo and his wife. After reading the story on a flight between Cape Town and Johannesburg they generously offered R1 000 from [...]

Rose’s Round-Up June 2002 No 101

A WINTER LOOK AT THE ANCIENT KAROO Highlight of the Winter School at the S A Museum in Cape Town this year will be a series of lectures entitled Life and Death in the Karoo. Lectures in the T H Barry Hall from July 1 to 4 offer a new look at the Karoo's fossil history. Field sedimentologist and head of palaeontology at the museum, Dr Roger Smith, opens by discussing a relatively new sub-discipline, Taphonomy: A New Look at Old Stone Bones. "This takes a look at what happened to the skeletons of ancient creatures between their death and [...]

Rose’s Round-Up May 2002 No 100

FIRST FIVE-STAR VENUE IN KAROO When Ca' Serenissima opened its doors in Prince Albert a while ago, the Karoo welcomed a mega star. Now the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa has awarded the venue five stars. “The council makes this award only to venues of exceptional quality which offer luxurious accommodation that matches the best international standards with high quality furnishing, flawless service and meticulous guest care," says assessor Mark Goveia Ca' Serenissima, which means serene place, is the brain child of Bernd Borschel and Daniella Graziane. Bernd spent 17 years with the Sheraton Hotel Group before opting for [...]

Rose’s Round-Up April 2002 No 99

LAINGSBURG LAMB HAS THE EDGE When it comes to Karoo meat, master chef Chris van Wyk says there's nothing quite like Laingsburg lamb. Chris is so delighted with the Laingsburg product that he is taking a supply to Luxembourg later this year when he captains a team of 12 South African chefs taking part in the International Chefs Olympiad. "It has a uniquely delicious flavour. To my mind it is a cut above all other Karoo meat." Chris, who has had 12 years' experience as a hotel chef, now owns Amaqueta Foods in George. Here he prepares ready-made delicacies for [...]