District Six

Cape Town in its early days clustered snugly around the slopes of Lion's Head Mountain and Signal Hill, and only when overcrowding forced it did the White population begin to build homes on the [...]

Counterfeit Countess

Princess Catharina Maria Radziwill was born Ekaterina Adamevna, Countess Rzewuska, in St Petersburg, Russia on 30th March 1858. A journalist and only daughter of Count Adam Rzewuski, an exiled Polish noble-man living in Russia. [...]

Cape Slave Naming Patterns

When Robert Semple visited Cape Town in 1804 he correctly noted the significance of the naming pattern for Cape Slave owners: It ay here be observed that the whole heathen mythology is ransacked find [...]

Clanwilliam Civil Deaths

The records of Civil Deaths for Clanwilliam are presently being transcribed from 1895 onwards. These records provide full names of deceased, age, gender, race, residence, place of death, date of death, intended place of burial as well as cause of death. Should you wish to see the actual image you need to go to the year you want to look at and put in the page number corresponding to the image number as see in the record link below. Please note that every record is transcribed exactly as is. If any surnames, farm names or causes of death are wrong please feel free to contact me with corrections.

  • buxton-baby

Were you a Buxton Baby?

Babies and children had a tough time in the early nineteen hundreds. The boom that followed the South African War was sadly brief and within months the country was plunged into a depression. Life was [...]

Was your Ancestor a Murderer?

From the beginning of time, there have been murderers and psychopaths - if we delved deeply enough into our family we may find that somewhere along the way one of our ancestors either killed [...]

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 [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2006 No 144

HIPPOS RETURN TO KAROO AFTER 230 YEARS It is claimed that the last hippopotamus in the Great Karoo was shot on the banks of the Zeekoei River, near Hanover, in 1775. Now, after 230 years, three hippos have been given a new home on New Holme Guest Farm, 8km north of Hanover. December 13 was an emotional day for farmer PC Ferreira when a truck pulled onto his farm after a 14-hour journey from Mpumalanga. The doors opened, black snouts appeared, and one sniff of Karoo air was enough. With eyes squinting in the sunlight, a hippopotamus bull, cow [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2005 No 143

NEW BOOK CAPTURES SPIRIT OF PRINCE ALBERT The spirit of Prince Albert is captured in a book launched by the village’s own Writers’ Guild. Some time ago the many writers who live in Prince Albert formed this Guild. In time the beauty of the village, its location and the magnificence of its surroundings inspired ten members, all experts in their own fields, to write this book that captures the flavour of the town. Prince Albert – Kweekvallei covers the rock art, early indigenous inhabitants, fresh mountain water in irrigation furrows, the town’s unique architecture and its exceptional and eccentric people. [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2005 No 142

RABBIT RESEARCHERS REPORT EXCITING FINDS A highly successful search for riverine rabbits has delivered exciting news. Some of these creatures seem to have settled down and started breeding in the wild. A team of 25 researchers recently scoured a huge area of the Central and Klein Karoo between Touws River and Montagu, as well as part of the Ceres Karoo to discover the status of this critically endangered species. They reported rabbits near Touws River and Ceres. During a two-day search on Slangkrantzrivier/Keurfontein farms near Touws River seven riverine rabbits were sighted. This is the furthest south that these animals [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2005 No 141

GREAT KAROO REVEALS ANOTHER SECRET The Karoo has shared yet another secret. “An extremely rare fossil, a magnificent specimen of a Conulariid, was recently found on Vyevlei, about five kilometres from town,” says Prince Albert palaeontologist Judy Maguire. “Oddly enough local Ds Eddie Scheffler also recently acquired two similar specimens, but is unsure of their provenance. The Conulariid is a totally extinct group of organisms. They left no living descendants. Way back when they were alive, the whole African continent lay much further south (the South Pole was close to present-day Bloemfontein). Strange life forms evolved in the cold climate [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2005 No 140

NEW ROCK ART BOOK REUNITES PEOPLE AND PLACES A new book on rock engravings has just been launched. Entitled "My Heart Stands in the Hill," this beautifully illustrated, full colour coffee table book, written by well-known archaeologists Janette Deacon and Craig Foster. All engravings in this book were all done by the /Xam San people who lived in the Kenhardt, Brandvlei and Van Wyksvlei districts of the Upper Karoo. “The book draws on the myths, legends and folklore of the /Xam people written down in the 1870s by Wilhelm Bleek and Lucy Lloyd,” says Janette. “To express the strength of [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2005 No 139

PART OF THE ANCIENT WORLD REDISCOVERED AT LEEU GAMKA The fossilised remains of a complete dinocephalian, with an unusually long tail, have been found in the Central Karoo. It was discovered on a Leeu Gamka farm by labourer, Hendrik Mans. Its discovery sent ripples of excitement travelling through the palaeontological world and scientists are scheduled to visit the site shortly to evaluate it. There was a time, way back when the earth was young and the Great Karoo a primeval swamp, that these giant creatures trampled unconcernedly about in this area. They splashed in the waters at the edge of [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2005 No 138

LAINGSBURG LINK WITH TOP MUSIC INSTITUTE The sonorous tones of a Karoo Dutch Reformed Church organ started a Laingsburg lass on a musical career that has now landed her a top job. Nicolette Solomon, an internationally-known string specialist, who was given her first music lessons by her father, Melvyn van der Spuy, once the Dutch Reformed Church organist and music teacher in Laingsburg, has been appointed executive director of the Suzuki Institute of Dallas (SID), Texas, USA. She spent her childhood in the Karoo, enjoying all the freedom that only a small South African hinterland town can offer. In time [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2005 No 137

RARE ‘DWARF’ DISCOVERED ON SWARTBERG PASS A rare dwarf has been discovered on the Swartberg Pass. A team of experts, including Elton le Roux, Gamkaberg Conservation Area’s nature conservator, and researcher, Devi Stuart-Fox, a post doctoral student from the University of the Witwatersrand, recently roamed the area at night in search of this dwarf chameleon. “The species is so new that it doesn’t yet have a name,” said Elton. “It is being described by Port Elizabeth Museum’s herpetologist, W. R. Branch. Bradypodion atromantana, which means ‘black mountain’ is being considered to honour the Swartberg, the only place where the [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2005 No 136

FESTIVAL AGAIN SET TO BE A WINNER Visitors to Prince Albert’s annual Olive, Food and Wine Festival will be warmly welcomed this month. Karoo cuisine will be the main focus of the festival from May 6 to 7. Visitors will be able to savour Karoo flavours at a variety of restaurants. Taste treats will include olives, dried fruits, award winning cheeses, wines, witblitz, Karoo lamb, ostrich, venison and a variety of traditional dishes. Some food stalls will host cooking demonstrations by local chefs. There will be bread baking, ‘potjiekos’ and ‘potbrood’ competitions, a beer tent, a fairground, puppet shows, and [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2005 No 135

FIRST ARCHIVES COUNCIL TO PLAY VITAL ROLE The first Free State Provincial Archives Council was launched in Bloemfontein on March 22, by the MEC of Sport, Arts, Culture, Science and Technology, Mr M J Mafereka. “Knowledge is power,” he said. “And well-researched information provides this power. We thus want all researchers, students, school children and the general public to become more aware of the Provincial Archives and its essential role in the preservation of all levels of history for all communities in the province. Our five newly-appointed councillors will assist us in achieving this.” In addition to overseeing the archives [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2005 No 134

TOP HONOUR FOR KAROO ECOLOGIST Prof Sue Milton, of Stellenbosch University’s Ecological Conservation Department, has been awarded the Molteno Gold Medal for her outstanding contribution to nature conservation. Sue, who lives in Prince Albert, was honoured specifically for her contribution to the rehabilitation of natural vegetation in the Karoo, a region for which she has a great passion. She also recently received an award from Thrip (Technology and Human Resources for Industry Programme) for contributions that she and her students have made to research on the restoration of surface mines in Namaqualand. The work that Sue and her ornithologist husband, [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2005 No 133

DELICIOUS WEEKEND ON THE CARDS Prince Albert has plans for a delicious, fun-filled weekend in May. “Our olives are world famous and health conscious people love our olive oil, so we have scheduled an Olive, Food and Wine Festival for May 6 and 7, 2005,” says tourism officer Charlotte Olivier. “Visitors will be able to tour to the olive farms, taste olives and enjoy olive cooking demonstrations. Restaurants and guest houses will serve olive-based cuisine. There will also be visits to fruit and fig farms, outings to Gamkaskloof, The Hell, The Swartberg Pass, the old gold mines and San rock [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2005 No 132

GOOD YEAR FORECAST FOR TOURISM Experts forecast a good year for tourism. SA Tourism chief executive Moeketsi Mosola, has called for excellence and sustainability at all levels in an interview in Tourism Update. “Role players should concentrate on transformation, service, quality assurance, training and information sharing,” he said. Tourism Update features items on growing market sectors. Among these are the sectors serving disabled tourists and wine tourism, which is growing rapidly internationally. For instance, it contributes R25bn annually to the Australian economy. In South Africa the contribution is R4,2bn according to an article in South African Wine. Experts feel [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2004 No 131

A DELICIOUS LOOK AT TRAVEL From time immemorial food has set the social scene. It’s been a comforter, a treat and a way of sharing traditions and cultures. Now, the idiosyncrasies of cooks and cooking in some of South Africa’s most remote places has been captured in Delicious Travel, a magnificently illustrated book written by South-African born Gwynne Conlyn, who is passionate about the country, its people, and cuisine. Much more than just another cookbook, Delicious Travel offers food fundis a new perspective on South Africa and a delightful peek into South African Society. In Delicious Travel Gywnne, a well-known [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2004 No 130

FLORAL HERITAGE HONOURED The Swartberg Nature Reserve is now part of S A’s ‘Big Six.’ It is part of the Cape Floristic Region, CFR, which was recently declared a World Heritage Site. This brings the total number of sites in the country to six, and the number of natural sites in the world to 154. South African sites include Robben Island, The Greater St Lucia Wetland Park, Sterkfontein: Cradle of Humankind, the ukhahlamba-Drakensberg Park, Mapungubwe and the CFR. “The CFR’s listing is the result of three years of hard work,” says Cape Nature publicity officer, Erika Swanepoel. “The CFR is [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2004 No 129

LONG WALK INTO THE RECORD BOOKS A few mishaps hit the Sak River Expedition as it got underway. Ten men, each carrying a backpack of between 20 and 25 kg, were due to set off from the source of the Sak River in the Nuweveld Mountains, outside Beaufort West, on October 26, and walk the entire 450km length of this river to its end at a giant pan in Bushmanland, by November 6. The group included a Norwegan, New Zealand biologists, interested in riverine rabbits, the director of the African Conservation Trust and “adventurers,” like Beaufort West’s Arnold Hutchinson, who [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2004 No 128

A VIEW OF THE KAROO FROM SIXTEEN FARMS Graaff Reinet-born Pinkey Watermeyer’s literary talents only came to the fore after he retired. At almost 80 years of age he not only sat down and penned a delightful tale of his life on 16 Karoo farms but following in his grandfather’s footsteps, he also took to painting. “Both new ventures turned out to be highly successful,” says his nephew John Finnemore. Sixteen Farms (or the Impossible Dream) is much more than a biography. It offers an entertaining look at Karoo life, first of all through the eyes of a young [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2004 No 127

TWO NEW ‘KAROO BOOKS’ FOR CHRISTMAS Struik Publishers will launch two special books on the Karoo in time for Christmas. The first, due out in October, is a magnificent 168-page, full colour coffee-table book, Karoo Moons - A Photographic Journey. It includes a series of inspirational photographs, by Yorkshsire-born photographer, Richard Dobson, who attended school in South Africa from 1975 to 1983. Richard’s passion for photography began in London in 1984. It shines through every page. His first taste of the Karoo came in 2002 when he “trundled across its plains and along the back roads” preparing a photo-essay for [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2004 No 126

WALK THIS WAY IN A GOOD CAUSE A mammoth 450 km walk, the first of its kind across the Karoo, is planned for October. The route follows the course of the Sak River, the Karoo’s longest watercourse, from its source in the Nuweveld Mountains, outside Beaufort West, to its end at ‘Blok se Kolk’ on Grootvloer, a giant pan at Onderstedorings in Bushmanland. It passes through an isolated part of the Karoo and places that few South Africans have seen. The aim is to raise funds for riverine rabbit research. This little creature, one of the world’s most highly endangered [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2004 No 125

QUENA TEMPLES SET THE MOOD Karoo enthusiasts joined archaeological historian Dr Cyril Hromnik to watch the last sunrise and sunset of winter from an ancient Quena stone temple in the Moordenaars Karoo. This took place on June 18 and 19. Dr Hromnik organises four of these fascinating field trips each year for those who wish to experience the equinoxes and solstices at astronomical temple-observatories. Normally between 200 and 250 people interested in history, cosmology, ecology, religion and culture join him on these trips. “These temples were built as places of worship by the ancient Quena or Otentottu (Hottentot) people, whose [...]