The Slave Lodge in Cape Town

A circular raised dais near Church Square in Bureau Street Cape Town, almost next to the slave lodge, marks the spot where imported and local slaves were auctioned under a fir tree. Perhaps as [...]

Ruda Landman

Ruda Landman's birthplace in the dry and dusty town of Keimoes, in the Northern Cape, is a far cry from where her family's humble beginnings started in the lush and fertile valleys of Europe. [...]

Laurence Hynes Halloran

Have you ever considered that your Ancestors marriages and baptisms in Cape Town during the 2nd British Occupation were not valid?, all by one minister who faked his identity. One of the strangest characters at [...]

Strange Joshua Norton

Among the 307 new settlers for the Cape of Good Hope, who came ashore in Algoa Bay from the British transport Belle Alliance early in 1820, was a small Jewish boy from London, and [...]

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Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Sir Ranulph Fiennes has more connections with South Africa than most people are aware of. He was born posthumously after his father was killed in the 2nd World War and his mother moved to South [...]

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Hugh Grant’s Cape Ancestry

Hugh Grant Suave and dapper film star Hugh Grant family ancestral roots did not begin in the lavish suburbs of Notting Hill, London but right here in our very own vibrant mother City [...]

RH Morris Master Builder

By 1896 Richard H. Morris had become known as a builder of distinguished quality and workmanship and the fame of R.H. Morris had spread. Herbert Baker had met Richard on several occasions and took immediately to this man who built with such fine quality and precision. It was then that R.H. Morris secured the prestige contract for the restoration of "Groote Schuur", after the building had been extensively destroyed by fire.

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Military Records in South Africa

Are you looking for Military Records in South Africa? Contact me I can provide a service for the following records: Pre Anglo-Boer War (1853 – 1898) Various attestation forms, muster and medal rolls are [...]

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.

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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 [...]

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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 [...]

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 [...]

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 Almond, [...]