Freemasons in the Family?

Have you ever wondered why your Ancestors became Freemasons? Was it because of the idea of belonging to a secret society, or perhaps a night off from the nagging wife once a week? Men join and practice Freemasonry to make themselves better human beings, and the rituals, symbolism, and teachings of Freemasonry focus on morality and ethics.

Cab Proprietors

The coach evidently reached South Africa at an early stage, because Simon van der Stel travelled in one when he led an expedition to Namaqualand in 1685 in search of copper. The Dutch coach of his time was a heavy four-wheeled vehicle with a leather-covered and brass-studded body. The undercarriage was like that of the wagon, with four upright posts from which the body was suspended on leather straps. A coachman's seat was fitted above the front wheels and a team of up to six horses drew the vehicle, the leaders being controlled by a postilion who rode one of them.

Cemetery Project for School Children

A wonderful classroom project for teachers to explain to children the importance of cemeteries and not to be afraid of visiting them. Also why cemeteries have different sections as well as understanding the circumstances on reasons for deaths in a certain year - these are just a few things that are covered in this lesson.

The Emigrants Guide to South Africa

The Emigrants Guide to South Africa is a comprehensive guide published in 1880 specifically for British residents who would like to live in South Africa. It provides a list of the fleet of ships names. Details on what was available on board, how much luggage each person is allowed, no alcohol allowed by passengers to be taken on board - their is ample available, cost of fare, menu descriptions and basically a fascinating insight to what your ancestors life would have been on their long voyage to South Africa

  • Rondebosch-Westerford

Rondebosch Down the Years 1657 – 1957

Rondebosch, untamed as it was in 1657, those early settlers fell in love with its streams and glades and mountain-slopes, and with the wonderful shelter it afforded from the turbulent winds that harassed them in Cape Town. The progress of three centuries has so far not dimmed its beauty, though it needs to be guarded jealously in these "flat-ridden" days.

Databases

Transcribed and free genealogy records for South Africa. If you have any transcribed records in excel or csv format that you would like to make available on my website please contact me.

General Register of Native Pupils and Apprentices Lovedale Missionary Institution A – F

Extracted roll of learners from the Lovedale Register prepared by Dr. James Stewart - In the following pages we have accordingly endeavoured -according to the best of our information - to give the individual records of over 2000 natives of South Africa, and also of some hundreds of Europeans who have at different times come for instruction to this place - though the record Europeans is little more than a mere roll at present.

  • Govindasamy-Krishnan

Govindasamy Krishnan

Govindasamy Krishnan was born in Escourt, Natal in 1901 and educated at Pretoria and S.M.H. High School, Shiyali, Tanjore. He left school in response to Mahatma Ghandi's call of non-Co-operation movement and did propaganda work and engaged in business. He was also a teacher at the Tamil school in Pretoria. Amongst many other things he was also the Scout Master of the Pretoria Indian Boys Scouts and awarded the Tamil Vedic Young Men's Association gold medal for invaluable service.

Photographers of the 19th Century in South Africa

Over 200 19th Century South African Photographers have been listed here. Should you have any additional information please contact me or you would like to use this content - please don't copy this material but rather put a link to my website.

Home Remedies of the Cape

A study of the inventories of the people at the Cape, from 1673 to 1826, tells us of their lifestyles and efforts to maintain good health. When we look into their home medicine chests and pharmacy shops, we realise how they relied on prescriptions from the West, spices from the East and indigenous plants, to remedy their illnesses.

Simonstown History

The town was named after Simon van der Stel. Simon's Bay was made the official winter anchorage for the Dutch East India Company's ships in 1743. Baron G. W. van Imhoff, Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies, who touched at the Cape in the same year, chose a site for a magazine, hospital and barracks at Simonstown. A small garrison was stationed there, and when a stone pier was constructed in 1768, a bakery, a slaughter-house, a carpenter's shop and a smithy were erected, as well as a residence for the Governor (who always spent a few days there when the fleet arrived).

  • st marys cathedral

History of St. Mary’s Cathedral

St. Mary's Cathedral, a Roman Catholic Church had its first site purchased as early as 1822 and a small church was built in Harrington Street, Cape Town. In 1837 this building was almost completely destroyed [...]

History of Cycling in South Africa

Bicycle races were held in South Africa some years before Dunlop invented the pneumatic tyre (patented 1888). The first cycling club in Southern Africa the Port Elizabeth Bicycle Club was founded in Oct. 1881, while the [...]

Indentured Sailors of Simonstown

Indentured Sailors of Simontown play an immense role in the history of this Naval village. The relationship of the West African Krooman with the Royal Navy lasted about a hundred years from the early part [...]

Hidden Family Heirlooms

Heirlooms in your family's possession are items or artefacts that are sometimes never spoken about or even viewed, but either hidden from prying eyes or discreetly placed in the home so as not to be seen as too conspicuous to non-family members. These items can sometimes be found listed in wills or they are simply passed down through the generations with admiration and a huge amount of trust ensuring that they do not end up on an auction or in the hands of the wrong person.

Rose’s Round-up September 2009 No 188

NEW LIGHT ON AIR CRASH OF YESTERYEAR The news of an air crash on their doorstep saddened many Beaufort Westers in 1942. Details had faded till Rose’s Round-up, July 2009, brought them sharply into focus. The crash cost the life of Second Lieutenant Desmond Thornhill Gilfillan only a few days before his 21st birthday. After reading the story south African National Defence force researcher, Colonel Graham du Toit, sent Round-up a short write up covering Desmond’s military servicer record and the circumstantial report of his death. “Desmond, the son of C H Gilfillan of Teviot Station, near Middelburg in [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2009 No 187

TOP HONOUR FOR AN ICON A man, widely respected for his knowledge of the arid zone, history, and the Anglo Boer war, is to be honoured by the University of the Free State. Johan Loock, who also helped distinguished author James Mitchener with research for his acclaimed novel, The Covenant, will be awarded an honorary doctorate for his exceptional efforts in the fields of geology and earth sciences at a special function at the university on September 16. Always ready to share his knowledge with anyone keen to learn, Johan is a well-known figure of the veld in his [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2009 No 186

BRITSTOWN PRIMARY GOES GREEN Britstown’s really no different from any other small Karoo town. It has only a few thousand inhabitants, the socio-economic environment is challenging, business opportunities are limited, and unemployment is high. But the primary school has put it on the map. In 2008 Van Rensburg Primary decided to raise environmental awareness in the village and registered for the WESSA/WWF National Eco-Schools Programme. Now, it is the only school the Northern Cape Karoo area with an Eco-Schools Green Flag. This was awarded in recognition of exceptional efforts in environmental education. The school, founded in 1884, today has [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2009 No 185

LIFE TIME OF SERVICE HONOURED Prince Albert’s Dr Richard Dean was recently honoured for a life time of service to ornithology. The prestigious Gill Memorial Medal, awarded only when a deserving candidate is identified, was presented to him by Rick Nuttall, president of BirdLife South Africa at the association’s annual general meeting in Phalaborwa. Rick praised Richard’s dedication, pioneering research and willingness to assist students, youngsters entering the field, researchers, conservation biologists and birders in general Richard entered the field of ornithology from the printing industry in the 1970s when he was commissioned to undertake a field study project in [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2009 No 184

EXCELLENT CONFERENCE HOLDS GREAT PROMISE The first Karoo Development Conference, recently held in Graaff-Reinet, was a great success. Over 300 delegates, most key role players, attended. They represented a wide variety of small, medium and well-established businesses, various sectors of the tourism industry, many government departments and local authorities, as well as private entrepreneurs and their focus was the Karoo in all its aspects across the three provinces – Eastern, Western and Northern Cape. All talks were kept crisp, short and to the point. The well-chaired sessions all ran to time and question sessions were keenly monitored. There was much [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2009 No 183

FESTIVAL TIME AGAIN! This year’s Prince Albert Town and Olive Festival is scheduled to take place on May 1 and 2. Organisers say the festival will have something for everyone – theatre, music, and other live entertainment, interesting and unusual things to buy, and fantastic food stalls. They are hoping to bring the South African National Circus School to town for two full shows. There will also be “brilliant street entertainment”, including mime artists, fire eaters and stilt walkers. The Muscle Cars will be a “must see” for motoring enthusiasts. The Jazz Art Dance Company has been booked and their [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2009 No 182

FASCINATING PEEK AT PEOPLE OF THE PAST Max du Preez’s new book, Of Tricksters, Tyrants And Turncoats, is an excellent read. Typical of his work it is well-researched and well-written. The book takes readers back over 500 years and brings to life many lesser known people of the past. This is how history should be presented, particularly in schools, where all too often it is considered a deadly dull and dry. This book is a sequel to Of Warriors, Lovers and Prophets, however, its characters are perhaps more robust, colourful. The book contains amusing tales of Khoi ‘gentlemen’ who tried [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2009 No 181

EXCELLENT SPEAKERS FOR FIRST DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE Excitement is mounting in Graaff Reinet as plans mature for the First Karoo Development Conference scheduled to take place on March 26 and 27. This conference, the first of its kind, promises to be an event that everyone with an interest in the Karoo should attend. It will be opened by Daantjie Japhta, Mayor of Camdeboo Local Municipality, during a short session chaired by Prof Tienie Crous, Dean of the Faculty of Economic Sciences, at the University of the Free State (UFS). Sue van der Merwe, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Zohra Dawood, [...]

Rose’s Round-up January 2009 No 180

LOOKING BACK ON 15 YEARS January 2009, sees Rose’s Round-up moving into its sixteenth year of publication. It started in January 1993, when few people had any real faith in the tourism potential of the Karoo, nevertheless it survived, and this is the 180th issue. Initially it was designed as a cost-effective little newsletter to keep six town clerks abreast of what was happening in the newly-created Central Karoo Tourism Office and because, Rose Willis’s life partner, Wally Kriek, felt it might become a “knight in shining armour for the Karoo,” he sketched a knight using a pen for a [...]

Rose’s Round-up December 2008 No 179

A RARE TREASURE RE-APPEARS – AFRICANA COMES HOME A special treat is now available for history and poetry lovers. It is Songs of the Veld an anthology of protest poetry written during the Anglo-Boer War by six well known South African intellectuals (some of whom were English-speaking). These poems by C Louis Leipold, Betty Molteno, Alice Greene, Anna Purcell, Albert Cartwright and Friedrich Carl Kolbe, denounce the imperialistic methods of barbarism and scorched-earth policies of the British military forces. They were smuggled out and published anonymously in England in 1902 to protect the writers from prosecution as Martial Law still prevailed [...]

Rose’s Round-up November 2008 No 178

KAROO FARMER SCOOPS TOP INTERNATIONAL PRIZE The prestigious Ermenegildo Zegna Mohair trophy, for the best bale of summer kids’ mohair in the world, was recently presented to a Willowmore farmer. And, this is the second time that veteran Angora goat farmer, Billy Colborne, has won this coveted award. According to Farmer’s Weekly of October 17, 2008, Billy the also received the top award in 2005. The announcement was made at an awards ceremony in Port Elizabeth. The prize, which always includes a length of suiting material containing some of the winner’s own mohair, will be presented in Zegna, in the [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 2008 No 177

CONSERVE EVERYTHING FROM AARDVARKS TO ZEBRAS The Nama Karoo Foundation (NKF) has launched a booklet that stresses the need for conservation. Karoo Landowners Conservation Guidelines covers a wide range of issues related to the preservation of the country’s natural heritage and is available free as a PDF download, or as a hard copy costing R20. In addition to advising farmers on how to ensure that veld creatures, such as tortoises, can access water on their farms, the guide includes valuable information on how to handle the conservation of a wide range of fauna and flora. The NKF says “many of [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 2008 No 176

INTERESTED IN WEATHER FOLKLORE? If you have any weather-related folklore or other stories to share Dr Peter Alcock, who lives in Pietermaritzburg, would like to hear from you. He is in the final stages of compiling a book on myths, legends and stories relating to climate and weather patterns in South Africa. He has a mass of material rooted in San, Khoi-Khoi and African culture, plus interesting facts relating to place names, plants, the rainbow, rain, hail, snow, etc. He has also collected stories on specific and peculiar behaviours of birds, insects and animals, as well as tales on [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 2008 No 175

GET A TASTE OF THE KAROO IN OCTOBER A new cookbook will be on the shelves in October. It is the result of a move to the Karoo in 1990 which made it possible for Rose Willis to indulge her two great loves – historic research and cooking. “Friends scoffed when, after a particularly busy time in Johannesburg’s world of public relations, we announced we were going to drive down the road, find a house we liked and move to there,” she said, “But, we did just that and so I found myself in the Karoo. Never having been out [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 2008 No 174

ALL YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW AND MUCH, MUCH MORE Struik has just launched a magnificent new book on the Great Karoo. Written by tour guide Leon Nell, a Zambian by birth, and entitled The Great Karoo, it covers the geology, palaeontology, fauna, flora and cultural heritage of this vast arid zone, which the author has divided into 11 sub-regions or mini-karoos. The 256-page book, lavishly illustrated in full colour, but with black-and-white photographs to enhance the history sections, contains everything that anyone would ever want to know about the Karoo and much, much more. It discusses land evolution, the [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2008 No 173

A CLOSER LOOK AT INDIGENOUS PLANTS The Indigenous Plant Use Forum (IPUF) will hold its 2008 conference at the Volkskool, in Graaff Reinet, from July 7 to10. The main theme of this conference, the 11th of its kind, will be “Value Adding.” In addition to enhancing knowledge of indigenous plants, their conservation and cultivation, the seminar will cover the use of indigenous plants in ethno-veterinary medicine, Sutherlandia as a multi-purpose tonic, and aloes for health and beauty. Several other medicinal plants and their uses will be discussed on a field trip to a nearby farm led by three local experts. [...]

Rose’s Round-up May 2008 No 172

WELL-DRESSED PORCUPINES Two porcupines in the Nieuwoudtsville area are now wearing collars. These are the first of 16 state-of-the-art GPS collars sponsored by Boekenhoutskloof, makers of Porcupine Ridge Wine, for a project being run by researcher Christy Bragg. Hotgroup, South African manufacturers of collars with global position system (GPS) technology, worked long and hard with Christy to develop a collar that would not cause discomfort. Several prototypes were tested before they agreed on a product light enough not to chafe or irritate the animals in any way. Christy felt so strongly about this that she had the final product riveted [...]

Rose’s Round-up April 2008 No 171

NEW GUIDE TO TREASURES OF THE ARID ZONE The latest “Getaway Guide,” launched by Sunbird Publishers, has been compiled by well known Karoo photo-journalists Brent Naude-Moseley and Steve Moseley, long time residents of Loxton. The Getaway Guide to Karoo, Kalahari and Namaqualand, sub-titled Out and About in the Northern Cape, takes readers into one of the most remote, rugged and rustic areas of the sub-continent, covering all major game parks, nature reserves, major tourist attractions, stop-overs, B&Bs, campsites, farm stays and 4 x 4 trails. Packed with information, it superbly captures the stark beauty and hidden treasures of this vast [...]

Rose’s Round-up March 2008 No 170

PLANS TO REPAIR DAMAGE, CREATE JOBS AND HELP THE BUNNIES An indigenous nursery has been established at Loxton by The Endangered Wildlife Trust's Riverine Rabbit Working Group (EWT-RRWG). The objective is to propagate plants to rehabilitate the riparian vegetation of the Great and Upper Karoo where floods, overgrazing and failed agricultural projects have caused damage that cannot be naturally reversed. This has resulted in a loss of biodiversity and habitat for the critically endangered riverine rabbit (Bunolagus monticularis) that relies on such vegetation for survival. A ground-breaking project, the first of its kind in the Karoo to offer members of [...]

Rose’s Round-up February 2008 No 169

NOW THERE’S AN ART GALLERY ON A KAROO STATION Jean Veasey, a keen artist specialising in portraits and wild life studies, is opening an art gallery on the platform at Matjiesfontein Railway Station. The Station Gallery, next door to the Marie Rawdon Museum, will include a workshop area for outreach art projects. The first of these, held in December last year, was led by Anita Glenister, who will show some of her own work at the inaugural exhibition. Clay animals, made by local school children and other youngsters in the area who attended her classes, will also be on [...]