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 [...]

  • Unknown ancestors 01

Beginners Guide to Family History

When the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu coined the phrase "Rainbow Nation", he was referring to the huge cultural diversity that exists in South Africa today. It is a heritage that has its [...]

  • adoption-research-south-africa

Adoption Records South Africa

If you are over 21 you can get your adoption papers without your adoptive parents' permission. Biological parents can only have access to the adoption records if the adoptive parents and the child give [...]

  • cemetery-records-south-africa

Cemetery Records South Africa

Are you looking for Cemetery records in South Africa? Are you looking for plot cards for Maitland Cemtery or personalised visits and graves photographed? I offer this skilled service of finding graves and obtaining plot cards which provides the names of all the people buried in any grave, when they were buried, owner of the plot and which section the grave is in the cemetery. Please contact me for prices.

Rose’s Round-up May 2004 No 124

ANNIVERSARY OF A LIGHTENING, RECORD BREAKING RUN The South African Land Speed Record was broken, not once, but twice at Beaufort West exactly 52 years ago. Vic Procter broke his own record (138,20 mph – 224,07 kph) on the tar road near the airport on May 23, 1952. He set a new record of 144,0 mph (233,48 kph) on a Vincent Black Lightening motorbike The following day, May 24, he smashed this record again setting a new time of 149,99 mph (243,19 kph) on the same bike. This was the fifth time that Procter had broken the South African [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2004 No 123

BREATH OF THE KAROO FOR CANNES Olive Schreiner’s Story of An African Farm, filmed in Laingsburg last year, will make its debut at the International Film Festival in Cannes from May 12 to 22. The film, produced by Bonnie Rodini, and starring Richard E Grant and Armin Mueller Stahl, will premier in South Africa in August and September. Bonnie Rodini read this story while at school and became quite passionate about it being filmed. She knew that one day she would film it. However, the road from idea to reality was a rocky one. Bonnie spent over a decade [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2004 No 122

MINISTER HONOURS ROSE AND ROUND-UP Rose Willis was one of 12 women recently honoured by Western Cape Minister of Tourism and Gambling, Joyce Witbooi, at a special ceremony in Cape Town. The award was for “the creation of Rose’s Round-up to showcase the Karoo as an off-the-beaten-track attraction in the mix of Western Cape venues.” The minister paid tribute to these women, who had not received public recognition for their commitment to tourism, at a ceremony held at Marco’s African Place in the Bo-Kaap. “The event is not about winners,” she said. “It is about unsung stars. When making [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2004 No 121

NEW BOOK A KAROO TASTE ADVENTURE Simply paging through the latest book on Karoo venison is a mouth-watering experience. The love its three authors have for the Karoo and its traditional style of cooking is evident on every page. However, Camdeboo Karoo Venison, written by Lynne Minnaar, Annetjie Reynolds and Albé Neethling, in co-operation with Camdeboo Meat Producers and the Drosdy Hotel in Graaff Reinet, is much more than just a recipe book. It is a treat from beginning to end. This 200-page, soft-bound, full colour, book is magnificently illustrated. It shares tried and trusted old family favourites, developed [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2004 No 120

SA FROGS LEAP INTO AN ATLAS The first comprehensive survey of South African frogs will soon be available. A frog atlas, covering all frog species in South African, Swaziland and Lesotho is expected to be on sale within three months. This extensive conservation assessment represents eight years of research by skilled professionals and laymen working together under the auspices of the Avian Unit at the University of Cape Town. Funding came from The Smithsonian Institute in the United States. For this vast study the country was divided into blocks of 25 to 30 kilometres. Researchers and helpers spent many [...]

Rose’s Round-Up December 2003 No 119

KAROO BECOMES A SCHOOLROOM FOR TEACHERS It’s back to school for biology and natural science teachers next year. And, to help Garden Route, Klein Karoo and Karoo teachers get to grips with the new curriculum a capacity building workshop is being planned to take place in Beaufort West in February 2004. The proposed kick-off date is February 14, St Valentine’s Day. Co-ordinators Annemarie Gebhardt of WCED and Marianne Tredoux from the University of Cape Town, have arranged a series of lectures by experts in their fields. Marianne, a bio-chemist, will deliver some. Others will be given by Dr John [...]

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 [...]