How to write a biography

A biography is the story of a person's life. Some biographies are just a few sentences long, others are a book. Short biographies give the basic facts of a person's life. Longer biographies include the facts with more details. Most biographies are about famous, or infamous, people. Some are about historical people, and others are about people still living. Everyone can have a biography.

Kenhardt Cemetery

Kenhardt is situated 710 km south of Upington and 74 km west of Putsonderwater, the nearest station on the De Aar - Upington railway. A bus service operates between Putsonderwater and Kenhardt. A special magistrate [...]

  • maitland cemetery

Maitland Cemetery Records

Are you looking for Cemetery records in South Africa? Are you looking for plot cards for Maitland Cemetery or personalised visits and graves photographed?

Pagel’s Circus

Friedrich Wilhlem August Pagel was born in Plathe, Pomerania, Germany on 5 February 1878 Friedrich, the 'strong man' and circus proprietor, was the 2nd of eight children born to Antonia Fraudnich and August Pagel, a huge strong man. Friedrich inherited his father's great size and strength which he enhanced by working at a smithy in his home town. He qualified as a blacksmith when he was seventeen, but became a ship's stoker and travelled widely and adventurously, finally deserting his ship at Sydney, Australia,

  • kleinmond-cemetery

Kleinmond Cemetery

Kleinmond Cemetery is situated in the town of Kleinmond which is a coastal town and holiday resort with a small fishing harbour in Sandown Bay, between Gordon's Bay and Hermanus, in the Caledon district. The [...]

Basters of Little Namaqualand

The Basters of Little Namaqualand lived in the five Coloured reserves - Concordia, Komaggas, Leliefontein (Lily Fountain), Steinkopf and the Richtersveld - in the magisterial district of Namaqualand, Cape Province, provide nowadays a field in [...]

Moving home with your Family Tree

The decision to move will inevitable come at some stage of our life where we need to downscale and get rid of stuff. Whether it’s your own decision or be it a parent going into frail care or even you, when you are forced to make decisions on those precious family items and heirlooms we all hang on to its going to be a difficult one.

Was your ancestor a petty criminal?

Some years ago whilst searching through the Government Gazettes I came across an interesting list of Criminal Offences from 1855 and a List of Prisoners Committed to the Cape Town Goal. By PE de Robaix Esq. Justice of the peace. These were true extracts by N. Stewart Gaoler. Browse below and see if one of your ancestors appear,

Dirk Ligter Clanwillam

Dirk Ligter a renowned stock theif  of a singularly engaging temperament and with characteristics all his own, who became a legendary figure in Afrikaans literature. He is believed to have been born in the vicinity of [...]

  • Christiaan Frederick Louis Liepoldt

Christiaan Frederick Louis Liepoldt

Louis Leipoldt was born in Worcester,on the 28 December 1880 and died in Cape Town on 12 April 1947. Physician, poet and author, Louis was the fourth child of Christiaan Friedrich Leipoldt (Died: 11 November 1911), a Rhenish missionary and N.G. Kerk minister, and his wife Anna Meta Christiana Esselen (Died: 24 December 1903), the daughter of the Rev. Louis F. Esselen, a Rhenish missionary of Worcester, in whose home in Adderley Street Leipoldt was born and where he lived with his parents until he was four years old. His maternal grandfather gave Leipoldt his first lessons in reading and writing, guided his general education and exerted great influence on him during his formative years. His paternal grandfather, J. G. Lepoldt, was a Rhenish missionary at Ebenhaezer on the Olifants River and at Wuppertal. Leipoldt's father was also a missionary, first in Sumatra and from 1879 at Worcester. In 1883, however, he became an N.G. Kerk minister and settled in 1884 at Clanwilliam in the N.G. parsonage in Park Street.

  • Henry Benjamin Shawe

Henry Benjamin Shawe

Mr. Henry Benjamin Shawe was born in Clanwilliam in 1864, receiving his education at the Clanwilliam Public School. He was the assistant Under Colonial Secretary for the Cape, and Lieut.-Colonel of the P.W.O.R., Cape Peninsula Rifles. He was the son of the gallant Captain Shaw, who was a firm old Colonist, and one of the 1820 Settles killed in action while fighting in the Gaika-Galeka war of 1877 – 1878, and was also a Member of the House of Assembly for Clanwilliam for many years.

Gareth Cliff has a Cliff Hanger of a Tree

Gareth Cliff, grandson of Rev William Kidwell Cliff a founder of the Pietermaritzburg Cathedral, has with great interest and enthusiasm has discovered a sophisticated blend of prolific South African families which is a fine example of the rich and diverse cultural and social backgrounds that make up many families in our country. Gustav Preller considered being the father of Afrikaans language and literature, Naval Admiral Sir. H. Heathcote, Commandant General Hendrik Schoeman President of the Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek (1860-1862), Voortrekker Leader Piet Retief as well as Alfred Benjamin Kidwell the son of one of the original 1820 settlers are just some of the biological blood lines of Gareth.

  • Baron Von Buchenroder

Baron Von Buchenroder a man of violence

Baron Friedrich von Buchenroder was a German nobleman, and great great grandfather of Louis Leipoldt, whose family belonged to the nobility of Hesse-Darmstadt, and has been extinct for about forty years. He had served in the Dutch army, and came to the Cape in 1803 as ex-major, with the intention to establish new settlements for the development of the colony, a scheme which was supported by a group of Dutch businessmen under the leadership of Gysbert Carel van Hoogendorp.

Rose’s Round-up May 2014 No 245

BOER WAR ENTHUSIASTS TO MEET Richmond’s Third Anglo-Boer War Conference and Commemorative Weekend is scheduled to take place from May 29 to 31. Organisers have developed an interesting programme, featuring lectures by top speakers, outings to neighbouring towns, field trips to interesting places and walks through the village. These will cover a wide variety of aspects of the war. “This three-day event has been designed to provide a forum for enthusiasts to share information and knowledge, on this important sector of South African history, so a series of social events and free time for discussion has been included in the [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2014 No 244

PEEL BACK THROUGH THE AGES Tim Sale’s one hour ten-minute-long film, Layers of The Karoo, is must see for all who love the vast, limitless, open spaces of the Great Karoo. It starts about 280 million years ago, when huge, strange-looking creatures, ancestors of modern mammals, lumbered across the land. From there, the layers are peeled back through various extinctions, like the dinosaurs, to the earliest hominids and right up to homo sapiens. The story continues, taking a close look human development; through the lives of the Bushman, the Khoi and early European settlement. Some emotional subjects, such as [...]

Rose’s Round up March 2014 No 243

FOUR NEW RESERVES PLANNED TO BOOST EASTERN CAPE The Eastern Cape Karoo is to get four new nature reserves. The areas were recently approved for declaration by Mcebisi Jonas, MEC for Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism He also declared a new protected area. The reserves include Kromme River Hoogte Nature Reserve, a 442-ha area outside Uniondale; Baviaanskloof Hartland Nature Reserve near Willowmore, Royalston, a 17-hectare development being handled by Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality and Lambas, a nature reserve in the area of the Mhlontlo Local Municipality. This lies north-east side of the provincial border between Mthatha and Mt Frere [...]

Rose’s Round up February 2014 No 242

MANY FESTIVITIES ON THE CARDS Cradock is the place to be. This town celebrates its bicentennial this year and it intends to do so in style. First on the cards will be the Food Festival on March 21 and 22. Cradock came into being in 1814 as the last of as line of forts built along the lower Fish River by the then governor, Sir John Cradock. His aim was to try to contain the Xhosa people east of the river, eliminate unrest and establish harmony in the area. Although intended as a fort, Cradock never saw conflict and in [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2014 No 241

DISCOVER BARRYDALE Leslie Howard’s new book, Barrydale Unplugged, is a treasure trove of stories. The tale begins 500-million years ago, when the Karoo was an inland sea, and tells of tiny creatures that left fossilized remains for experts to study. It moves on to the earliest indigenous inhabitants and from there travels through time bringing the town and district to life as it tells of the first farmers, the road builders and dwellers around the warm water springs. Fauna and flora are central to the theme. Then comes the village, its residents and churches. Skirmishes and clashes of the [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2013 No 240

ROUND-UP - A MAGNIFICENT JOURNEY! The first issue of Rose’s Round-up appeared in early January 1993. Its aim? To inform six town clerks of what was happening in the fledgling Central Karoo tourist office. In those days not many believed in tourism in the Karoo. In fact, when the CEO of the then Central Karoo Regional Services Council appointed Rose Willis as tourism co-ordinator he warned there would be almost nothing to co-ordinate. Time proved him wrong, but to be fair, he had a point - way back then few saw the Karoo as a destination. Most rushed down the [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2013 No 239

NEW AIRPORT UNDER CONSTRUCTION Construction of a new small-scale airport at Somerset East is scheduled to start mid-month. This project, estimated to cost about R12-million, will greatly assist tourism in the area. “Additional funds will be accessed to pave the road between Somerset East and Addo,” said Rob Beach, business manager of Blue Crane Development, the company responsible for the project. He told Travel News Weekly that work would be on-going for six to eight months and that the airport, designed to handle chartered and commercial flights, would open in mid-2014. “About 65 percent of the work on the [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2013 No 238 – Special Book Lover’s Issue

BOOKS GALORE FOR THE 7TH YEAR Richmond celebrates the seventh anniversary of Booktown this year from October 24 to 27. As ever the programme for this immensely popular “Boekbedonnered” festival, as it has become known, is jam-packed with interesting talks, presentations and launches. The programme (on page 2) includes exhibitions and outings. Among these is an early afternoon “walkabout” conducted by local resident, Dave Clemens, an authority on Karoo architecture, as well as a short walk up Vegkop conducting by Anglo-Boer War experts, John Donaldson and Chris Sheldon. This stroll trails off from the Supper Club at 17h00 and [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2013 No 237

NEW BOOK FOR LOVERS OF KAROO CUISINE There’s a new book for Karoo and Karoo cuisine enthusiasts. Veld to Fork, written by Gordon Wright, a Graaff-Reinet chef and guesthouse owner, is more than just another collection of recipes. This 160-page, soft-covered book, published by Struik Lifestyle, showcases delicious dishes against awe-inspiring and beautiful Karoo landscapes. Gordon combines tradition and culinary flair with fresh local ingredients to present 82 mouth-watering dishes for every occasion. Obviously, Karoo lamb, beef, free-range chicken and venison take pride of place, but soups, side dishes and superb desserts are included along with preserves and baked goods. [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2013 No 236

NEW FOCUS ON CONCENTRATION CAMPS On the subject of Anglo-Boer War concentration camps many might argue that it’s all been said. Not so Elizabeth van Heyningen. For years she waded through long-forgotten, dusty archival material in South Africa and Britain to produce a fresh perspective, a social history of the camps. The result is a comprehensive, well-balanced and immensely interesting 400-page book covering everything from overcrowding, poor rations, malnutrition, disease, death and orphans, to music and inmate employment. Elizabeth also scrutenised camp mythology. “These were not simply places to which women, children and old men were sent. Neither were [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2013 No 235

ONE WEBSITE SAYS IT ALL The popular www.karoospace.co.za website is being relaunched in Beta format. “The site, which is dedicated to the promotion, celebration and protection of the Karoo, has been upgraded and greatly improved,” says photojournalist, Chris Marais. “It is now designed bring a huge collection of pictures and stories of the region, it’s people, their cultural and heritage, to the widest possible audience in the most user-friendly way.” The Great Karoo, once a swamp, now a semi-desert and the largest plateau of its kind outside of Asia, is a constant source of fascination to many. Generally, about 4 [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2013 No 234

CRADOCK WRITERS FESTIVAL DRAWS BIG NAMES Cradock’s 4th Annual Karoo Writers Festival, scheduled for August 9 to 11, promises to be the best yet, say organisers. The programme includes internationally known authors, top South Africa writers, and some exciting excursions. “The festival has grown steadily since its inception, but as far as interest and input are concerned, it has truly ‘taken off’ this year,” says Brian Wilmot, one of the organisers and curator of Cradock’s Olive Schreiner Museum. “An excellent mix of new and well-loved writers will talk, read, socialize at leisurely meals and participate in fireside chats. Among [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2013 No 233

FANCY AN ICE SWIM? The annual Speedo Ice Swim Africa is scheduled to take place in Fraserburg's Nuwe Dam on the weekend of July 12 to 14. Normally, the water temperature in this dam, which is close to Sutherland, one of the coldest places in the country, is 5ºC or less in July and average winter temperature in this area is about -11ºC. Buffelsfontein, a farm in the district, holds the country's official record for the lowest temperature of -18,6ºC and Sutherland itself experienced an extreme low of -16,4ºC on July 12, 2003. So, Nuwe Dam, l 400 metres [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2013 No 232

FIRST RUN IN JUNE Cross-country trail running is becoming popular across South Africa. To meet the needs of this market Fernkloof Wine farm, outside Prince Albert, has created a new 15km trail. This inspiring, challenging route, the brainchild of trail runner and winery owner, Diederik le Grange, passes through some picturesque and breathtaking scenery - kloofs, vineyards, water tunnels and streams. It includes steep climbs and demanding declines. The focus is on the enjoyment of running, so the trail meets the needs of beginners and experienced enthusiasts. The inaugural run, on Saturday, June l, will be sponsored by Fernkloof [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2013 No 231

RARE POTS FOUND IN PRINCE ALBERT Two clay pots, typical of those used by early Khoekhoe (Hottentot) people, were recently found in the Prince Albert area after a heavy rainstorm. They had been washed out of a natural drainage channel at Waterkop smallholdings, on the outskirts of the village, and were discovered by Gareth Williams and his friend Willem Mathee, a student at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University. One pot was intact and contained a dark glistening substance; the other had been broken into a number of large and small fire-blackened shards. The find greatly excited the archaeological world and [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2013 No 230

RICHMOND HOSTS TOP LITERARY FESTIVAL Richmond is hosting a Fugard Festival in May. The aim is to pay tribute to Athol Fugard, the greatest living dramatist in the English-speaking world who turns 80 this year. Fugard's home town New Bethesda, launched the festival last year, but was unable to continue due to lack of funding. The Fugard Festival will run back-to-back with Richmond's J M Coetzee Festival from May 23 to 26 and organiser Darryl Earl David says: “Richmond is immensely proud to be hosting this top South African literary event and so has planned a bumper weekend. The festival [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2013 No 229

TIGHTER FOCUS ON SLAVERY Marthinus van Bart, specialist heritage writer of Die Burger, has placed slavery in South Africa under the microscope. In his recently published book Kaap van Slawe, which took a decade to research, he has dug up some startling facts relating to the little-known transatlantic slave trade in general and the role of the British Empire in particular. Few realize that British slave ships plied the oceans for well over 300 years causing unimaginable misery while amassing vast fortunes. The book reveals some critical errors and inconsistencies currently available on slaves, slavery and slave route in [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2013 No 228

FESTIVAL TO TICKLE THE TASTE BUDS The first annual Karoo Food Festival is scheduled to take place in Cradock from March 21 to 23. “Our aim is to use Karoo and its food to turn the area into a culinary destination,” says organiser Lisa Antrobus. “We hope to inspire ‘foodies’, who travel in search of new tastes, to adventure into the Karoo, but we also hope those who simply love the region will come to Cradock at the end of March to enjoy a feast of Karoo fare. The festival will not only focus on traditional Karoo dishes, it will [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2012 No 227

JUST THE THING FOR CHRISTMAS Anyone interested in South Africa’s ecclesiastical architecture and church history will find A Platteland Pilgrimage fascinating. Designed as a companion publication to the successful 101 Country Churches, which Darryl Earl David and Philippe Menache produced in 2010, this 132-page A4, soft cover, full-colour book is packed with information on 102 churches across South Africa’s nine provinces. However, their new book, with foreword by Gabriel Fagan, offers much more than the first. Excellently compiled and beautifully illustrated, it includes a series of photographs of each church as well as interesting interior details, such as pulpits, organs, [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2012 No 226

OUTRAGE AT THE ARREST OF TOP MEDICAL MAN Outrage has been expressed across the world regarding the arrest in Dubai on August 18, of Beaufort West-born Professor Cyril Karabus, 77. Cyril, one of the world’s top paediatric oncologists, was returning from Toronto in Canada where he had gone to attend a family re-union and the wedding of one of his sons. “This was the first time in many years that all five siblings were together in one country with their parents,” said his son, Michael. Cyril’s wife, Jennifer, their daughter, Sarah (also a well-known paediatrician) and her two children, [...]