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Clues in your family house name


The names of houses are a fascinating way of tracing your ancestors as they may have been the people that actually named the house. Many people name their houses after the towns or places they originated from or places that are strongly associated with the family. These place names could be vital clues when looking for that missing link. House names also contain names of people, eg Alison & Donald become “Aldon” - they could be named after children, spouses or something special in their lives.

Clues in your family house name2018-10-16T12:50:15+00:00

Epidemics in South Africa


The term epidemic is used to indicate an unusual prevalence of a disease. The disease which most harried early navigators, occurring in epidemic form on long voyages, was scurvy. It was known that the condition was caused by absence of fresh food in the sailor's diet. Only in the present century, however, was it discovered that the factor absent from such stored or preserved foods was a vitamin. Vitamin C, the anti-scorbutic factor, is the most vulnerable of all the vitamins, readily destroyed by heating, drying and other methods of food preservation.

Epidemics in South Africa2018-10-16T12:30:10+00:00

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.

How to write a biography2018-10-16T12:30:09+00:00

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 and border police force were sent to Kenhardt in 1868 to serve as a bulwark against the Koranas, and for a long time it was the most remote White settlement in the North-Western Cape. As a town it was founded on the Hartbees River in 1886, while the Ned. Geref. Kerk established a parish there in 1889. Nothing is known about the origin of the [...]

Kenhardt Cemetery2017-04-12T12:38:06+00:00

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,

Pagel’s Circus2018-10-16T12:29:25+00:00

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 founder of Kleinmond was P. K. Albertyn, minister of Caledon, who built the first seaside cottage there. It was proclaimed a township in 1929 and named Kleinmondstrand, being situated at the `small mouth' of the Bot River, which for most of the year forms a lagoon. Kleinmond became a municipality in 1959 and the next year the name was shortened to Kleinmond. Besides a hotel [...]

Kleinmond Cemetery2017-04-12T12:33:07+00:00

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 which the Baster way of life in its various modified forms can be observed. These reserves originated as mission 'areas' of the London Missionary Society during the first half of the 19th century and received formal recognition by the Government of the Cape Colony in the shape of 'tickets of occupation' shortly afterwards. (Leliefontein was taken over by the Methodists at an early stage, and [...]

Basters of Little Namaqualand2018-10-16T12:29:24+00:00

Origins of Public Holidays in South Africa


  Before the Union of South Africa was established in 1910 each of the four Colonies had its own legislation on public holidays. That of the Cape Colony was promulgated in 1856, but was amended from time to time and after 1902 the calendar of holidays was as follows: New Year's Day, King's Birthday, Queen Victoria Day (24 May), Good Friday, Easter Monday, Whit Monday, Ascension Day, first Monday in October (`Wiener's Day', instituted in 1889 and often so called after its parliamentary sponsor, Ludwig Wiener) and Christmas Day. `Second New Year' (2 January) was celebrated, especially by the Coloured [...]

Origins of Public Holidays in South Africa2018-10-16T12:29:24+00:00

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.

Moving home with your Family Tree2018-10-16T12:29:23+00:00

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,

Was your ancestor a petty criminal?2018-10-16T12:29:23+00:00

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 Clanwilliam (or somewhat farther north) some time in the 1885, and to have been of Mozambique native and Bushman extraction. It is presumed that he died of TB in Somerset Hospital not far from the Breakwater prison where he spent some time. Most of what is known about him, based on accounts of farmers in the districts of Clanwilliam and Ceres, is to be found [...]

Dirk Ligter Clanwillam2018-10-16T12:29:22+00:00

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.

Christiaan Frederick Louis Liepoldt2018-10-16T12:29:21+00:00

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.

Henry Benjamin Shawe2018-10-16T12:29:20+00:00

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.

Gareth Cliff has a Cliff Hanger of a Tree2018-10-16T12:50:14+00:00