Roses-Round-up

Fascinating factual tales and stories on South Africa history by Rose Willis. Read all about her here and subscribe to her newsletter Rose’s Round-Up for a small fee.

Rose’s ROUND-UP – A privately-published monthly newsletter mainly covering snippets of Karoo history * Copyright: Rose Willis * Cellphone: 082-926-0474
email: rosewillis705@gmail.com. P O Box 28636, Danhof, 9310

 

Rose’s Round-up January 1996 No 32

ROCKS REVEAL THEIR SECRETS Ostriches, elephants, a snake and a boer soldier are among the latest Karoo rock art finds to make archaeologist Davi Morris, of Kimberley’s McGregor Museum, a happy man. He recently visited Nelspoort to insepct a series of rock drawings just discovered at Bleakhouse. While in the area, Mr Morris also discovered four rock gongs at Tierkloof. There was previously thought to be only one. The new Bleakhouse engravings were found by Johan Lund on a koppie which may have been used as alookout during the Anglo-Boer War. One engraving is thought to be of a Boer [...]

Rose’s Round-up November/December 1995 No 31

DONKEY CART RIDE TO WEDDED BLISS Just over a year ago the Prince Albert SPCA rescued a small, underfed, grey donkey. Local resident Howard Derby took pity on the little animal and offered her a home. Named Esmeralda she went into training to eventually accompany Howard and his wife, Lynne, who has a heart complaint, on walks into the mountains. She now carries the hiking and picnic gear. Before long, Esmeralda became a well-known sight in Prince Albert. So, when two Cape Townians recently bought a house in town and decided to get married there, they requested that the bridal [...]

Rose’s Round-up October 1995 No 30

FAMOUS FILM CREW VISITS KAROO A film crew of world famous Jacques Coustou Organisation recently visited the Beaufort West area to film the farming operations on Elandsfontein. There were six in the team, who worked under the guidance of producer and cameraman, John Jackson. Their focus was the fauna and flora of arid zones and life on a typcal Karoo farm. It was a hetic time for Andre, Martie and Gustav Lund. There were obvious communications difficulties – most of the crew were French speaking – but the Lunds ensured that they were shown everything from old Bushman wells to [...]

Rose’s Round-up September 1995 No 29

THE CALL OF THE KAROO A former BBC producer and Methodist lay preacher, who lived and worked in Beaufort West from 1989 and 1990, will visit the Karoo in November. He is Colin Cradock, who together with local camerman, Trevor de Kock, produced a wildlife film called The Great Karoo. “I discovered the magic of the Karoo while working on that project,” he said. “Its fascination grips you and never lets go Over the years I”ve felt it calling me to return.” Colin now plans to introduce the wonders of the Karoo to a wide range of people. He and [...]

Rose’s Round-up August 1995 No 28

OLD DROSDTY BECOMES A TOURIST MECCA Beaufort West’s stately Matoppo House, with its rich, romantic history, will now become an exclusive tourism venue. The stately old mansion, built in 1834, as a drosdty for Magistrate J J Meintjies and now a national monument, will remain almost unchanged and offer elegant private suites – one with its own swimming pool. The adjoining cottage, De Villiers House, will be transformed into five elegant en-suite rooms. Early next year building will start on several other graceful cottages, each with its own fireplace for Karoo winters. The complex will have its own dining room [...]

Rose’s Round-up July 1995 No 27

BLACK RHINO CALF MAKES HISTORY The black rhino is making a fighting comeback in the Great Karoo. After more than two centuries a black rhino has again been born in this area. This historic event has just taken place at almost the exact spot where the last black rhino in the Karoo was shot about 220 years ago. The calf, the first offspring of Ngara and Chipimbere, was born in the upper reaches of the Gamka River in the Karoo National Park, south of Beaufort West. So, it now carries the name of its birthplace – Gamka. The cow and [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 1995 No 26

CHURCHILL AND THE BOER A Sunday Times advertisement has resulted in Taffy Shearing of Beaufort West receiving a phone call from Sarah Hay, granddaughter of Sir Winston Churchill. Ms Hay is researching the history of her famous ancestor and was seeking information on his time in South Africa during the Anglo-Boer War. Some time ago Taffy did considerable research on the war. She came across a story of a cheeky young Churchill trying to bribe a staunch Boer soldier. The Boers had captured Churchill, and Hendrik Spaarwater was ordered to take him to Pretoria. As the train steamed along young [...]

Rose’s Round-Up April 1995 No 25

Rose’s Round-Up April 1995 No 25 POET’S SECRET LOVE The memory of beautiful Helena de Vries, said to have been the secret love of South African poet, C J Langenhoven, still lingers at the farm Gideonshoop, near Klaarstroom. She was born in Prince Albert in 1872 and lived at Mirtle Grove, a house now known as Mirtlehof. While studying at Bloemhof Seminary in the late 1890s, she was introduced to “Petite”, as Langenhoven was known because of his small stature. Some believed it was love at first sight. The couple soon became engaged, but this lasted for two years. Her [...]

Rose’s Round-Up March 1995 No 24

Rose’s Round-Up March 1995 No 24 NUWEVELD ON THE NORTH SEA A painting of the Nuweveld Mountains at Beaufort West has pride of place in a Scheveningen flat on the north coast of Holland. It shows the sunbaked southern slopes and thorn tree doted Karoo plains. Is owner, Dr B Wollgiehn, calls himself a keen “Karoophile”. The area’s transformation from swamp to arid zone, it’s fossils, geology, fauna, and flora fascinate him. “I agree with scientists who call the Karoo a wonder of the world. To me it is the epitome of timelessness and tranquility. Its air of ancient mystery [...]

Rose’s Round-Up February 1995 No 23

Rose’s Round-Up February 1995 No 23 REDISCOVERED ROUTES OF OLD The original route from Beaufort West to the plateau of the Nuweveld Mountains has been rediscovered. Originally built in the mid-1830s by farmers, such as Pieter Jacobs of Slangefontein, it linked isolated farms, like Bokkekraal, to the town. The route, which once was a footpath, and which in time was used by horses and wagons, is in the Karoo National Park. According to manager Dries Engelbrecht, it is ideally situated to become part of a new section of the park’s 4 x 4 route. This route at the park is [...]

Rose’s Round-Up December 1994 No 22

Rose’s Round-Up December 1994 No 22 LAINGSBURG CAST AS A STAR The picturesque area around Laingsburg formed the backdrop to TV advertisement for the new Audi station wagon. “We chose this location because it’s pure magic”, said Donna van Vierden, co-ordinator for producers Peter Gird Productions in Cape Town and advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather. “The splendid and breath-taking scenery from arid, almost moonscape rocks to soft rolling green hills and the lusher vegetation of the mountains showed the vehicles off to perfection”, she added. About 21 people were involved. This included the film crew directors, as well as [...]

Rose’s Round-Up November 1994 No 21

Rose’s Round-Up November 1994 No 21 NEW CONSERVATION AND TOURISM PLAN A new “blueprint” for tourism is on the cards for tourism in the Western Cape. At the op of the agenda is the development of hinterland tourism as well as the inclusion of disadvantages communities. A two-day conference was organised at Somerset West by the Western Cape minister of Tourism and Nature Conservation, Mr Lerumo Kalako, and during this, delegates from across the province attended think tank sessions during which a wide variety of input and suggestions for restructuring were gathered. These will be studied and compiled into a [...]

Rose’s Round-Up September 1994 No 20

Rose’s Round-Up September 1994 No 20 NEW EYE ON TOURISM A tourist information centre and home craft outlet has been opened at the Engen Garage in Laingsburg. Based in a small building adjacent to the caravan park and surrounded by a tiny garden, it provides a welcome travelling break. Almost before its doors opened tourists were already calling in for information and browsing for souvenirs. The man behind the project, Keith van der Schyff, aims to offer a first-class service to tourists by supplying local products and in depth information on the town, which was once almost totally destroyed [...]

Rose’s Round-Up August 1994 No 19

MATJIESFONTEIN MUSEUM MAGNIFICENT The fascinating Marie Rawdon Museum at Matjiesfontein, one of the best private museums in South Africa, has been moved to superb premises in the old railway station building. This museum invites unhurried browsing as it rambles through several rooms, then down to the old jail cells in the basement. Its exhibits include cut glass, china, crystal, silver an intriguing array of toilet pans, chamber pots, commodes and wash basins, photographic equipment, a vast old-fashioned kitchen filled with copper pots, pans, serving dishes and even mineral water bottle from James D Logan’s factory. The Logan Sausage Manufactory’s [...]

Rose’s Round-Up July 1994 No 18

LORD OF THE DUBLOONS Most people know that Beaufort West owes its name to Lord Charles Somerset, second son of the fifth Duke of Beaufort. He was Governor of the Cape from 1814 to 1824, and when a new northern frontier outpost was s established in 1818 he named it in honour of his father. What is not so widely known is that Lord Charles was one of the highest paid British officials of his day. He earned £10 000 a year at a time when the town secretary for Bathurst, for instance, got £60 annually. The next Governor, [...]

Rose’s Round-Up June 1994 No 17

CENTRAL KAROO ON SHOW The Central Karoo will join forces with the Klein Karoo and Garden Route on the Southern Cape stand at Satour’s regional workshop in Durban from June 20 to 23. This is the first time; that the three regions will combine promotional efforts and expertise to present a collective image to the tourism industry. The theme of the exhibit will be The Secret Garden of the Cape. The magic of the area will be highlighted for visitors by regional tourism co-ordinators Frieda Henning (Garden Route); Daneen de Klerk (Klein Karoo); and Rose Willis (Central Karoo). Over [...]

Rose’s Round-Up May 1994 No 16

ACCREDITATION DOTS THE “I” IN STYLE The Central Karoo Regional Services Council’s Tourism and Information Office has gained Satour Accreditation. This means that it is now registered and acknowledged as a Regional Tourism Information Centre (TIC) and forms part of the Satour network It will be listed in Satour’s TIC Guide soon to be distributed locally and internationally. The accredited office sign with the Satour logo dotting the tourism “I” will be displayed at the Regional Services Council Offices. “In addition to general tourism information, this office provides a unique information service covering the history, geology, architecture and ecology. [...]

Rose’s Round-Up April 1994 No 15

MELTON WOLD GETS THE STARS Melton Wold, the ever-popular Karoo Guest farm, has been granted a two-star grading by Satour. This well known venue between Loxton and Victoria West, has a warm, friendly and cosy atmosphere, neat rooms and an English Pub. It also has a rich romantic history. In the earliest times, many creatures of pre-history roamed these plains – fossils and footprints attest to this. In later times it was also a game rich area where Bushmen hunted, so Bushmen graves, artifacts and petroglyths can be seen on some of the popular walks. The farm was left [...]

Rose’s Round-Up March 1994 No 14

IT’LL BE A HELLUVA MONUMENT There are moves afoot to declare the whole of Gamkaskloof, The Hell, a National Monument. This news has excited all who are in any way associated with this unique little valley, particularly those who once lived there. The Hell has been inhabited since 1843, but, until 1969, it could only be reached on foot. Then a road was built and as a consequence people slowly left. Just getting into The Hell is exciting. It is reached along as magnificent winding road which passes what possibly is the only cork tree left in the Karoo. [...]

Rose’s Round-Up February 1994 No 12

THE GREAT KAROO’S A SMALL WORLD After reading the January Round-up, Murray de Villiers, owner of La De Da farm, placed a copy in his guest cottage. The first visitor to stay there was David Hudson Lamb, who, like Val Strickland in Canada, is related to Beaufort West’s first magistrate, James Goldbury Devenish, and the Lambs of Nelspoort. He is tracing the family history, which is closely linked to Prince Albert and their original De Beer family. The Central Karoo Regional Tourism Office was able to provide a great deal of valuable background information and David was most delighted. [...]

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 there and where they came from. Some people’s names bother me and I have this urge to find out more. One particular person was Sir Leicester Beaufort who died on 13 August 1926 – now who would have thought that someone who had a title would have been left and forgotten with the thousands of other neglected and derelict headstones that say “we will never [...]

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 was published by The South African Who's Who Publishing Company in Durban. This amazing publishing company belonged to Ken Donaldson who was also the editor as well as the proprietor. By 1909 the 3rd issue of Who's Who was proving to be an amazing publication yet also differed somewhat from other books of a similar nature whereby who's featured mainly aristocracy. As regards omissions for [...]

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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 of the Langeberg Mountains approximately 20 km north of Graafwater in the Western Cape. Names engraved on the walls of the cave Names engraved on the walls of the cave Its an easy walk of about 15 minutes up the mountain-side, but if you have not been their before its difficult to imagine there is a cave where you could stay warm and dry in [...]

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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 to deaths, burials, farm graves, farm names and historical properties as well as any scandalous events you may know of.  This is an ongoing project. Anyone willing to contribute can contact me. Clanwilliam is a Principal town of the magisterial district and division of the Cedarberg Municipality, situated at the foot of the Cedarberg Range where the Jan Dissels River flows into the broad Olifants [...]

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 ? No – you can, however, search for death notices, deceased estates from 1830 until aprox 1975 on the National Archives web site . If they are not there, contact me and for a small fee I will find them for you. What does Ex Parte Application mean? An ex parte application is an application by one side when the other is not, does not need to [...]

Birth, Marriage and Death Records

Birth, marriage and death records housed in the Cape Town Archives from 1895 - 1971 are now open to the public for the Western Cape, Northern Cape and some of the Eastern Cape. However, actual copies of in South Africa can only be obtained by physically going to any Department of Home Affairs branch and standing in a queue. They do not have forms on-line that you can download and you cannot apply on-line either. Only immediate family members can apply for a copy of birth certificate of someone else in your family and they no longer allow 3rd [...]

Cape Coloured Corps

C. Ruiters The name popularly applied to the Cape Coloured Corps men or 'Pandours' was originally raised by the Dutch East India Company to defend the Cape against British attack in 1795. They formed part of the force of Dutch troops, mercenaries and burgher militia under Col. R. J. Gordon, commander of the Castle garrison. The wounding of an English picket by one of their scouting parties on 3 August 1795 precipitated the English attack on Muizenberg and the fighting which ended in the capitulation on 16 September 1795. The 'Hottentots', as they were referred to in [...]

Rose’s Round-up June 2015 No 258

DON’T FORGET THIS FESTIVAL South Africa’s greatest living playwright, Athol Fugard, will be speaking at J M Coetzee\Athol Fugard festival in Richmond on Saturday, May 30. This is an occasion not to be missed. This year’s event, the third of its kind, boasts a programme is packed with talks, readings, poetry and plays. The festival opens at 09h00 on Thursday, May 28, with a documentary entitled Falls The Shadow, The Life and Times of Athol Fugard. From there the programme moves on through interesting items and the day ends with the first self-publishing awards’ dinner the Supper Club. Many [...]

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From Manchester to Albany

For anyone whose family was an 1820 Settler Peter Kirkman's years of research and investigation has proven to be one of the finest and most comprehensively cited genealogy books of any particular South African family I have yet to read. See the list of some of the surnames mentioned below This epic saga of the Kirkman family and their descendants spans over 200 years of hardships living in hostile African conditions, brave farmers who fought for their land, strong religious values and survival of a remarkable family that have their tales to tell. 1820 Settler John Kirkman who arrived with [...]

Francois Renier Duminy 1747–1811

The intrigue and mystery surrounding the Duminy ancestors' connection with the well-to-do Lebre family of Tarascon in France reminds me of my own family's long line of Master Mariners.The history of the Duminy family is a plethora of information - Andrew Duminy has meticulously researched the family history and descendants of Francois Renier Duminy and has rewarded all living relatives with a magnificent piece of history that every one of them will treasure forever. Francois Renier Duminy's prolific naval career, crowned with the Chevalier Grand Cross of the Order of St. Philippe as well as the Sovereign Prince Rose Croix, [...]

Broken Promises

So much has been written in the past about settlers and immigrants to South Africa but also many of them have been sadly neglected or overlooked until now. Keith Tankard's "Broken Promises", Exploring Sir George Grey's Settler Schemes for the Eastern Cape Frontier, could not have arrived at a more appropriate time than Heritage Week 2012. This remarkable E-book covers numerous aspects of the primary role players such as German Military Settlement, Saving the military settlement, Some Legionnaire stories, German agricultural families and some postscripts. Read about the drama on the high seas from when Baron von Stutterheim was bitten [...]

Claim to the Country

Reading Pippa's unbelievable publication "Claim to the Country", gave me wonderful insight into the Khoi people and their heritage and ancestry. Now part of UNESCO' s Memory of the World Register, this lavishly illustrated Claim to the Country: The Archive of Lucy Lloyd and Wilhelm Bleek has been created, compiled, and introduced by Pippa Skotnes, and presents - in book form and on an accompanying DVD - all the notebook pages and drawings that comprise this remarkable archive. Contextualizing essays by well-known scholars, such as Nigel Penn, John Parkington, Eustacia Riley and Anthony Traill, and a searchable index for all [...]

Villages of the Liesbeeck

Helen Robinson has excelled again in her unbelievable knowledge and research on Cape History. Her latest book "The Villages of the Liesbeeck - From the Sea to the Source" - documents the history of the inhabitants who lived along this once very fertile and countryside of the Liesbeeck River which was abundant with wild animals and exotic plant life. Helen's digs into the daily lives of these early settlers and explains who took land from the local herders and also highlights the slaves who later married into prominent Dutch families, who created the "brown people" of South Africa today. Whilst [...]

The Fox and the Flies

The nineteenth-century was the age of industry, witnessing extraordinary advances in manufacturing, trade and communications. Exploiting the new infrastructure of railways, steamships and telegraph systems, European pimps and 'white slave' traffickers were hugely successful in establishing an integrated global market for commercial sex. In the newly developed industrialized economy, criminal syndicates in capital cities such as Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Bloemfontein, Johannesburg, New York, London and Rio de Janeiro - were able to commission the seduction or rape of women by agents in under-developed parts of Europe and 'export' them as prostitutes to meet the insatiable demand for sexual services [...]

The Bishop’s Churches

Having such a passionate interest in Genealogy and church records, I was delighted and overwhelmed when my husband bought "The Bishop's Churches" for my birthday. I found that Desmond's vibrant and delicate brush strokes have brought a true sense to the meaning of tranquillity and belief to the living monuments of Bishop Grey and his wife Sophy. This beautifully illustrated collection of water colours and line-art drawings of Anglican Churches gives not only a history of each church portrayed, but also reflects the outstanding Victorian Gothic Architecture as well as distinctive Norman ornamentation. Desmond's representation of these houses of divinity [...]

Plague, Pox and Pandemics

This is a Jacana Pocket History of Epidemics in South Africa by Howard Phillips is an epidemic of lethal diseases which killed tens of thousands of people in South Africa. Anyone who lost a family member during the years covered in this book would more than likely have died from one the 5 epidemics mentioned in this book being Smallpox, Bubonic Plague, Spanish Flu, and Poliomyelitis or yes AIDS. Many genealogical researchers or family historians seem to forget that besides war or old age that their family members probably died from one these dreaded diseases. Spanish Flu in 1918 killed [...]

Admiralty House Simon’s Town

I have been to Simon's Town many times in my life and my childhood association with the Royal Navy has been vividly recalled when I was recently introduced to the book by Boet Dommisse's of Admiralty House Simon's Town. In the 1960's I lived next door to a house owned by the Royal Navy in Plumstead that was occupied by my godmother and godfather, who was the Admiral's chauffeur. Boet Dommisse has truly brought to life this wonderful, nostalgic period, not only in my own life, but also for those who spent many years - specially during war times - [...]

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Captain John MacAlister’s Tribute

There were no flowers on the grave. As I stood there, on that clean summer morning with the sunshine making bright patterns on the stones, and making them shine like diamonds, I remembered my Father. My mother's death had been more recent, and the ache was still there except perhaps sadness for myself, for what should have been. He was an intelligent man. He was clean-shaven and clean living. He smoked a pipe, and had the sort of trustworthy air about him that most pipe smokers seem to have. The sort of man about whom only good things can be [...]

Salt River Accident

Salt River Station Many years ago whilst tracing my family history I met a  cousin who kindly photocopied this newspaper article of the Salt River accident which struck me as a terrible tragedy for my family. Not only did Richard Evans lose his wife, but his wife had lost her first husband and her daughter. Today 11th June 1890 was a very sad day as the residents of Woodstock and Salt River heard of the tragic passing of a father and daughter killed at Salt River Station. Frederick Smith, his wife Alice, son Frederick and daughter Katie [...]

A Memoir in Letters

A Memoir in Letters by Penelope Forrest covers the Phelps family who originated in Gloucester England. She follows them through the generations, piecing together the puzzle of these wonderful ancestors who have provided her with more than just meat on the bones for her family tree. When Penelope started transcribing letters by her ancestors she unravelled a wealth of information about her family's past. Story telling at its best The narrative description in the book provides wonderful accounts of family’s life and culture in England, Madeira and South Africa, through family events, war, love and hope. Penelope captures the reality [...]