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 [...]

  • 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 ? [...]

Rose’s Round-Up December 1993 No 10

ZDRAVSTVOEITE ANDRE KONSTANTINOVITCH It’s not a typo - “Zdravstvoeite “– actually means “Good day, Hello” in Russian. This is how the Karoo greeted and welcomed Professor Andre Konstantinovitch Ignatinko, head of Afrikaans at Moscow University. For the past three years he has been a lecturer at the University of the Orange Free State in Bloemfontein, and now, before he returns to Russia, he wanted to show his wife, Larisa, and his little six-year old daughter, Katje, more of South Africa. On the way to Cape Town they stopped off in the Karoo. They were accompanied by Miss Estelle, Marais, [...]

Rose’s Round-Up October 1993 No 9

GREETINGS FROM HIS GRACE A highlight among the messages of congratulations received in Richmond, on the occasion of the town’s 150th anniversary, was a telegram from the 10th Duke of Richmond. It read: “I am pleased to send you my warmest congratulations on the 150th anniversary of Richmond. One day I would like to visit you, I hope all citizens of Richmond enjoy the celebrations.” Messages were also received from the mayor of Richmond upon Thames, Councillor Gina MacKinnery, and from Eileen Leo-Hayden, honorary secretary of Richmond Overseas Links, a non-political, non-sectarian organization formed to establish and maintain cultural, [...]

Rose’s Round-Up September 1993 No 8

THE SNOWMAN OF THE KAROO Dries Engelbrecht, manager of the Karoo National Park, recently had to travel to Augrabies, which like the Karoo is a hot, dry, semi-desert area. He left Beaufort West just as the recent rain and snow began. By the time he reached the top of the Nuweveld Mountains the snow was already a few centimeters deep. He thought of the hot dry area he was travelling to and the fact that children there seldom see rain, leave alone snow. Dries immediately stopped his bakkie, unpacked his provisions from his big cool bag and filled it [...]

Rose’s Round-Up August 1993 No 7

 WHO WAS MERVEWILLE’S ENGLISHMAN Just south of Merweville there is a signpost pointing to “The Englishman’s Grave”. And, about 500 m from the road, under some thorn trees in the veld is a neatly kept grave with a simple white marble cross. But, just who was this Englishman? His name was Walter Oliphant Arnot, and he came to South Africa with a British regiment during the Anglo-Boer War. He had been led to believe that the British were fighting “savages” in Africa, however, he developed a great respect for the Boer people and regretted his part in the war. [...]

Rose’s Round-Up July 1993 No 6

WHERE IS “SKOTTELGOED DRAAI” The last curve on the road out of Prince Albert, leading towards the Swartberg Mountains, is known as “perde draai” (horse corner). The locals, however, refer to it as “skottelgoed draai” (pots and pans corner). The reason that this corner got this unusual name is proof of the local population’s sense of humour. Way back in time two cars crashed into each other here. It was due to the fact that the drivers had the oddest nicknames – Pot and Pan – that local humourists could not resist giving the corner its odd name. KAROO [...]

Rose’s Round-Up June 1993 No 5

DANGEROUS DELICACY In some parts of the Central Karoo mouths water when a “pofadder” is mentioned. It is a sausage made from liver, kidneys, and selected offal, minced with fat and flavoured with special spices. Instead of a sausage skin, it is stuffed into an intestine for braaiing or pan-frying. The Country Hotel at Leeu Gamka recently wished to advertise its butchery to tourists and included “pofadder” as one of its specialties. The advert was written in Afrikaans and translated into English by the magazine’s staff who, of course, had never heard of this treat, so there with Karoo [...]

Rose’s Round-Up May 1993 No 4

ELDERLY MOUNTAIN CLIMBERS A Cape Town Club for elderly, single senior citizens, visited the mountain farm, Wilgeboschkloof, in the Merweville district last month. Farm owners Hennie and Elsabe Victor thought that they would have a very restful weekend with this group, but that was not the case. “Of the 11 who visited, the youngest must have been 65 and there were two in their 80s – one was 80 and the other 84. Shortly after arrival all the visitors energetically set off on the mountain trail. We have a series of walks and they enjoyed most of these. In [...]

Rose’s Round-Up April 1993 No 3

WRONG NUMBER – NOT AGAIN Platteland party line telephone systems totally confuse city visitors. They are used to answering the telephone each time it rings. A recent “helpful” guest at Melton Wold Guest Farm, between Victoria West and Loxton, ran to answer the telephone every time she heard it ring. Of course, many calls were not for the guest farm and she was puzzled at why they should get so many wrong numbers in so small a place. Once the mysteries of the platteland manual exchange system had been explained to her, she was quite red-faced. “I simply thought [...]

Rose’s Round-Up March 1993 No 2

MUSEUM 'WORTH A SONG' It seems Elton John may have sneaked into Beaufort West unnoticed on his way to Sun City. There is an inscription in the visitor's book outside the Chris Barnard Exhibition - it simply reads: Elton John, a London Address and says "this exhibit's worth a song." Now, like a lilting melody the mystery will remain - was it or wasn't it him? PLANNING FOR TOURISM The first "platteland" workshop on planning for tourism was held in Beaufort West on March 2. It was presented by Satour and attended by 30 delegates from various towns in [...]

Rose’s Round-Up January 1993 No 1

BUSY QUARTER The first three months of operation have been busy, but nevertheless, successful. The Central Karoo has been brought to the attention of newspaper and magazine editors and several tourism stories have been widely publicised. All press releases sent out have received good coverage in the local “platteland” press, as well as in national newspapers, such as Die Burger. A close working relationship has also been established with Radio Kontrei and with other radio travel programmes, such as the Saturday morning Travellers Check and Padlangs. The latest success is an item in Getaway magazine. It has resulted in [...]