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Ancestors South Africa

Researching your Ancestors

Overberg and Irish Family Histories

This part of the Ancestors South Africa website covers two projects which are the Overberg Families which is dedicated to Happy Engela who kindly provided me with this valuable information collected over decades of personal research. Additions, corrections and web links will be welcomed and can be sent to me via the contact link.

The 2nd part is the Irish Immigrants to South Africa, of which many historical books and thesis have been written on, but not one entire collection of Irish people who came to South Africa has been compiled. I hope you will find your missing links to your Irish Ancestry. Although the database is still in its infancy, my collection of Irish families is immense. If you need any research done, I can gladly give you a quotation.

Please note that this information is not for any Wiki type or Geni public databases but remain my intellectual copyright. It has taken much of my time and effort to collaborate and put all this data together. Permission for any publication whether it be internet, paper publication, email, or verbal, permission is needed from me.

This is not a social media webpage and I reserve the right to reject, refuse or publish any material sent to me that is not relevant to any person or place.

Yours in Genealogy, Heather MacAlister

Francis William Reitz

Agriculturist and politician from Swellendam

Pickhandle Mary

Labour leader, politician, suffragette, master printer, and writer

Annie Frances Botha

Leading personality and wife of General Louis Botha

John MacBride

Irish patriot and volunteer in the Boer forces

Searching the Databases

Kindly note that the Overberg database is not indexed entirely by surname otherwise every surname that begins with Van der or De will end up in the tens of thousands so when searching for Van Breda search in the surname section for BREDA.

We hope you like our new section to the Ancestors South Africa Web Site? We love the way the template showcases our family trees. Please collaborate as we make this content completely free to all users. Kindly email us with any family trees or photos of Irish family we don’t have, as this is the part of the website we hope that will grow the most.

We hope you find our research useful for your family history. All of our sources have been documented to the best of our ability.

Global Irish Diaspora Congress 2020

Following the remarkable success of the first Global Irish Diaspora Congress (GID), held at University College Dublin in August 2017, we are delighted to confirm that the second GID congress will be held at the University of KwaZulu-Natal  in Durban, South Africa. The dates of the congress will be Wednesday 1 to Friday 3 July 2020 with an optional field tour on Saturday 4 July.

The congress will be held on the Howard College (Durban) campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal, one of Africa’s top research and most progressive universities with five campuses and a student population of 44,000. The university was formed in 2003 with the amalgamation of the former University of Durban-Westville and the University of Natal.

This second Global Irish Diaspora congress will be open to anyone interested in the Irish diaspora in its many facets. Papers will cater for the academic, the professional and the amateur, the expert and the curious. We also expect that at least one international exhibition will be hosted by the Embassy of Ireland in Pretoria at the event.

This unique occasion is something very special – the largest Irish event to be held on African soil. While Congress papers will cover the global diaspora in their content, we hope that the Irish link with Africa and Africa’s with Ireland will be showcased as never before. A wide and diverse interest has already been part of the Global Irish Diaspora Congress and we, the international committee are working to make this a memorable and significant milestone in the relationship between Ireland and Africa.

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Fake Irish Minister

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 the Cape of Good Hope during the first decade of the nineteenth century, was the Rev. Dr. Laurence Hynes Halloran (29 December 1765 – 8 March 1831). Little is known of his early life. Born in Ireland at Ratoath, he appears as a schoolmaster in Exeter at about the time when his first two volumes of poems were published, in 1790 and 1791. Next we find him in the Royal Navy as a chaplain, and present at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 while serving in H.M.S. “Britannia”.

Two years later, on 7 December 1807, he arrived at the Cape of Good Hope to take up his position as chaplain to the garrison, and, a little later, he became chaplain to the navy as well. His extraordinary career at the Cape has been described at some length by Theal in his History of South Africa since 1795, vol. 1, p. 237-240, and also by Laidler in his Tavern of the Ocean, Cape Town, Maskew Miller, p. 128-130, but nothing seems to have been known about his final years in New South Wales to which he was sentenced to be transported for seven years in 1818.

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Joseph Barry

Merchant, businessman and Cape member of parliament, was the youngest of the sixteen children of Richard Barry, an innkeeper, and his wife, Elizabeth Stretton.


William Porter

Attorney-general of the Cape of Good Hope, was the second son of the Rev. William Porter and his first wife, Mary Scott, daughter of Charles Scott, of Strauchroy, near Omagh, county Tyrone. His father had been ordained as a Presbyterian minister


Rebecca Bartholomew

Her father's family arrived in Durban from Ireland in 1880 (February 29th), and settled at Camperdown for a short time, afterwards farming at Mooi River ("Theddlethorpe") for many years.

Enjoy the Humor!


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We make every effort to document our research. If you have something you would like to add, please contact us.