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Historical Newspapers

There are currently two nineteenth century newspapers  being added to the Newspaper Extracts - The Grahamstown Journal of the 1880s, with extracts transcribed by Sue Mackay from photographs that she has taken at the British Library in London - and the Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette from the 1820s with extracts scanned by Alta Griffitish in the Stellenbosch University Library, which are currently being transcribe by Brenda Gassner.

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NAAIRS results parser

Keith Meintjes has provided a parser for NAAIRS online index references, which neatly formats them into a spreadsheet program (eg: Excel, etc).

This will prove very useful for anyone needing to save a large number of such references.  The details can be found on our The Meintjes NAAIRS Parser page.

Thanks to Keith for making this available and to his son, Ian, for creating it. 

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1820 Settlers' Correspondence - update

Sue Mackay writes: I have just added extra pages on these settlers

James RICHARDSON, leader of Richardson's Party

William Senior DENTON, member of Richardson's Party

Charles DENTON, member of Richardson's Party

There has been a wealth of confusion surrounding these three, and their connection with the name SENIOR/SENYOR/SAYNOR, and I have spent ages sifting through original parish register entries for Sheffield.

As a result I have made a couple of leaps of faith (backed up by the evidence as I see it) which would seem to contradict a lot of "facts" circulating about these families. I'd be grateful if anyone descended from this line can tell me whether I have been literally barking up the wrong tree. I have tried to set out the facts from original sources found whilst at the same time allowing for an element of doubt.

Do you think I am right in thinking that Charles DENTON was not William Senior DENTON's older brother but his stepfather?

You can contact Sue here: Editor, 1820 Settler Correspondence

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2017 eGGSA Annual General Meeting results

Our virtual AGM closed at midnight 2 February 2017. Thank you to all those members who responded to our notice regarding the eGSSA’s Annual General Meeting and the support we received for the nominations.

Members were invited to participate in the meeting; and as mentioned in the email dated 27 January 2017, we accepted that members from whom we did not hear were satisfied with the management nominations and 2016 Annual report.


Members who selected eGSSA as their primary branch were entitled to participate in the AGM.  Our email package keeps track of the number of emails delivered, returned, forwarded and unread and as the virtual branch we use these figures to determine our quorum.

Here follows the summary:

Number of members who received notification of the meeting: 
English Members 147 – 62.2 % opened mail
Afrikaans 101 – 58.6 % opened mail
Undelivered notifications:  Nil

No additional nominations were received for the management positions; the nominations were also uncontested and the 2017 committee will therefore remain unchanged:

The Management
· Alta Griffiths - Chairperson
· Daan Hamman - Vice-Chairman
· Carol Beneke - Treasurer
· Lynn Couperthwaite - Membership Services, communication and marketing
· Richard Ball - Web Services
· Judi Meyer - Editor genesis

Additional members
· Annelie Els - Stamouers
· Corney Keller - Dutch Transcriptions
· Daan Botes - Post Cards
· Riana le Roux - Cemetery Project

To the team, congratulations! Thank you for making yourself available for another year on the committee.

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Fort Beaufort Register 1840-1850

Fort Beaufort CoverThis register, of the Anglican pastor at Fort Beaufort (there was no church building at the time), which includes Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, has been transcribed by Lorraine Beechey from Tessa King's photographs of the original register in the Cory Library. Proof read by Brenda Gassner.

They have been added to the eGGSA BDM database.

To all concerned, our grateful thanks.

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Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette 1828

Cape GazetteAlta Griffiths has scanned several years of this publication and Brenda Gassner and Lorraine Beechey are working their way through these. The first quarter of 1827 has now been added to the Newspaper Extracts section of the eGGSA web site

Additionally, Liz Eshmade has contributed her transcripts of Colin Graham Botha's extracts from from earlier issues of this periodical, Baptisms of English person, 1810-1821,  and marriages of English persons, 1806-1821, and these have been added to the BDMs database section of the web site. 

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Four Bibles added to the eGGSA collection

Botma biblePhotographs of four Bibles have been added to the eGGSA Collection: BOTMA Abraham Carel, Cornelis Zoon en Anna Sophia Magareta MALAN, David Dochter getroud 3 Jul 1854; KRUGER Gert Lodewyk 1882-1957 en sy vrou Hester Hendrina AUCAMP 1884-1961; REDELINGHUIJS George Frederik en Helena Johanna LEROUX, getroud 11 November 1895; VAN HEERDEN Isaac Petrus Jacs.Sts.Zoon en Geertruida Maria AURET, getroud 1 Maart 1836; VAN WIJK Petrus Lodewikis Julie 30 1876.

Our thanks to Allan Carson, Dirk van Heerden, Riana le Roux and Adriaan Redelinghuys.

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Drakenstein / Paarl NGK marriages 1815-1839

Paarl 1824 400Transcriptions of these marriages have been added to the eGGSA BDM database. These are particularly interesting in that they include, for most entries, the ages of the parties and the names of their fathers (as patronyms). This is unusual for NGK (Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk/Dutch Reformed Church) marriages at this period and can be extremely useful for genealogists.

Our thanks to Jonathan Heath, Corney Keller and Richard Ball for the transcriptions.

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Records of the Cape Colony

records of the cape colonyIn the late 1890s and early 1900s George McCall Theal published 35 volumes of "Records of the Cape Colony", covering Colonial Office correspondence from 1793 to 1827 held at what was then the Public Record Office (now the National Archives) in London.

Sue Mackay has checked each of the online copies of these volumes and provided links to them on the eGGSA web site.

Sue writes: these volumes can be freely downloaded (or browsed through on line) via the Internet Archive. Volumes 12 and 13 cover the 1820 settlers, and reproduce a lot of the correspondence I have transcribed on this site, although Theal's work is much more selective and does not include non party leaders or those who did not emigrate. It does, however, include some answers written by the Colonial Office to letters found elsewhere on this site. There is an index in every fifth volume and Volume 35 contains a complete index. Volume 36 is a Register of Contents of Volumes 1-35

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Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette

Cape GazetteAlta Griffiths has scanned several years of this publication and a start has been made on transcribing extracts by Brenda Gassner and Richard Ball. The first extracts, from the year 1826, have been added to the Newspaper Extracts section of the eGGSA web site

Additionally, Liz Eshmade has contributed her transcripts of Colin Graham Botha's extracts from from earlier issues of this periodical, Baptisms of English person, 1810-1821,  and marriages of English persons, 1806-1821, and these have been added to the BDMs database section of the web site. 

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Grahamstown Journal 1871 onwards being transcribed

newspaper extractsSue Mackay writes: I have finally been able to photograph the next couple of years, from 1871 onwards, of the Grahamstown Journal at the British Library in London. The first batch can be seen among the eGGSA Newspaper Extracts.

This batch is considerably longer than usual, not only because there are a few lengthy obituaries but because I got seduced by a series of articles on Life at the Diggings, describing the burgeoning businesses at the diamond fields.

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Transcription updates

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Voortrekker baptisms added to eGGSA BDMs

Cornel Viljoen has kindly contributed his transcription of the so-called Voortrekker Baptisms, a photocopy in the Pretoria Archives, FK 2290, of an earlier transcription by hands unknown, of baptisms from 1837 to 1850 found in a number of early church registers from Natal, the Free State and the old Transvaal.

These 4,600 baptisms have been added to the eGGSA BDM database and can be searched there. Surnames included can be seen here ...

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Helena Garner's Kriel collection added to eGGSA's Document Library

Helena has generously contributed her collection of Estate documents (Death Notices, Wills and Liquidation and Distribution accounts) to the online Document Library. She spent much time renaming these to reflect the contents in order to simplify their captioning for the web site, and the captioning was done by Anina du Plessis and completed by Lorraine Beechey.

The documents can be found in our collection in four separate albums:
Western Cape Archives
Pretoria Archives
Bloemfontein Archives
Pietermaritzburg Archives.

Our grateful thanks to Helena, Anina and Lorraine.

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Uniondale NGK baptisms 1866-1920 added to the eGGSA BDM database.

The baptism register of the Uniondale Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (NGK) 1866 to 1920, has been transcribed by Carol Beneke from photographs of the original register taken by Mechelle Beneke at the Church, by agreement with the minister.

These records have been added to the eGGSA BDM database and are now available to searchers. Any queries or corrections can be addressed to Richard Ball.

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Gipsy Bride Passenger list added

Richard Wolfaardt's team of transcribers has transcribed Cape Archives IB7 and IB8 passenger lists. These are being compared with IB9 which, in some cases, contains extra information. Added today to the eGGSA Passenger lists database is that of the Gipsy Bride, transcribed by Ray Pitt. A list of the surnames contained in this list can be seen here ....

Londonderry Standard - Thursday 01 April 1858 - Emigration to the Cape. On Saturday, the magnificent 'Black Ball' ship Gipsy Bride, sailed for the Cape of Good Hope, with 500 emigrants, selected by the Hon. William Field, who has been deputed by the Cape Government to represent them in England. They were chosen almost entirely from the pastoral districts of Scotland, and a finer set of people have rarely left our shores. The Aurifera has been chartered for the conveyance of emigrants to Algoa Bay, and she will leave the Mersey on the 22d of April. Liverpool Albion.
Courtesy: British Newspaper Archive

Montrose, Arbroath and Brechin review; and Forfar and Kincardineshire advertiser. - Friday 09 July 1858 - Cape of Good Hope.
Dr Livingstone's expedition sailed from Table Bay on the 27th Apr8l, for the Zambesi. An elegant silver box, containing 800 guineas, had been presented to Dr Livingstone, as a testimonial, by the colonists. A proposal was made by the Governeor to establish five intermediate posts between the colony and the Zambesi, to ensure a line of monthly communication.
A fierce struggle continues on the frontier between the Bisutos and the Orange Free State. Sir G.Grey consented to act as mediator. Two Basuto towns and four French mission stations were destroyed. The colony was peaceful and prosperous.
The first batch of emigrants has arrived in the Gipsy Bride and gave great satisfaction.
Courtesy: British Newspaper Archive

Reynolds's Newspaper - Sunday 11 September 1859 - Emigration to the Cape of Good Hope.

The Cape Town Immigration Board at their last meeting, a few days before the departure of the mail, resolved to forward the following communication to the Emigration Commissioner in England.

Immigration Office, Cape Town, July 30, 1859.
The Honorable W.Field Esq., Emigration Commissioner, London.
Sir, I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of three letter from you of the 6th ultimo, acquainting me, for the information of the Immigration Board, of the departure of the Burlington with emigrants on the 30th May, and of your having chartered the Lord Raglan to convey emigrants to Table Bay, which were to embark on the 16th instant. The board instructs me to inform you that the immigrants per Bride have all taken employment, and with the exception of a few, have quitted the depot - those remaining being the parents of children suffering from measles. Several remained also for some days owing to the unfavourable state of the weather, and the difficulty existing at the present time in procuring conveyance for their removal to the interior. The wages obtained by most of them are quite equal to former rates, as will be seen by a list accompanying this. The board desires me to call your attention to the circumstance of one of the immigrants per Bride, named Simon Lucas, having died of consumption the day after his arrival, and would recommend a more strict inquiry into the health of emigrants generally, and that none be sent out but such as are and have been for some time in perfect health, and in the habit of working for wages. Lucas, according to the statement of the surgeon-superintendant, Dr Pearce, came on board in a very delicate and precarious state of health, showing evident symptoms of consumption; and it has come to the knowledge of the board that several sent out on former occasions, particularly of the Scotch per Gipsy Bride, were invalids in search of health, some of whom have died, and a few recovered. Lucas leaves a wife and six children, with the prospect of a seventh, all of whom continue at the depot at the expense of the Government. With regard to farm labourers, the board considers it most undesirable that such immigrants should be encumbered with large families, and particularly with any number of young children, such operation as a hindrance to their obtaining ready employment, the wages they receive are sometimes as inadequate to meet their expenses that they naturally feel dissatisfied, and become disheartened. The board deem sit necessary to remark upon the practice adopted in some cases by the immigrants themselves of describing a man incorrectly in regard to his trade or calling, in proof of which I herewith enclose a list of names of men who declared the were refused to be received under the head of their proper calling, but were allowed to enter themselves under some other head, in order to render themselves eligible. This false statement has given rise to considerable unpleasantness and disappointment in one or two cases; it misleads the public, and causes the immigrant who refuses employment to suffer.
W.Hampson, Secretary. The following is the scale of wages at which engagements were made in Cape Town by the immigrants per Bride: - Farm labourers £2 to £2.10s with board and lodging, and 3s to 4s per day without ditto; railway labourers, 4s6d to 5s per day; stonemasons 6s6d per day; wheelwrights 6s; sawyers, piece-work, equal to 6s to 7s per day; [s]bines makers, 5s to 7s per day; tailors, piece-work, 4s to 5s per day; painters and glaziers, £3.10s per month and found, or piece-work; brickmakers, piece-work; dressmakers, £1.10s per month and found; female cooks, £1 to £2 per month and found.

Courtesy: British Newspaper Archive

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Proving descendancy

Proving your lineage can be useful for a number of reasons: citizenship, estates, family and general history. For a while British ancestry visas were available for descendants either of whose grandparents were born in Britain. Then the Irish ancestry became easier than the British ancestry. With the tightening of immigration to Britain, the chance of getting or even renewing British passport has become stricter. For some dual citizenship, South African and British may be a privilege of the past but we hope not.

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7 Bibles added to the eGGSA collection

Seven Bibles from the collection of the Heritage Foundation (Erfenisstigting), Pretoria have been photographed by Annelie Els and contributed to the eGGSA Bible/Family Register collection: DUPREE A., gebore 1836; ERASMUS Lodewikus Johannes, gebore 1845 & Magrietas Martins VAN DEN BERG, gebore 1844, getroud 1866; HATTINGH Johannes Dewald, D.zoon. geboren 1794 en Anna Elisabeth RETIEF geboren 1798, getroud 1812; MALAN Stephanus Petrus, gebore 1849 & Martha C.A. LOURENS, gebore 1886, getroud 1904; MOCKE F.G. & S.E. NEL getroud 1831; NAUDE Stefanus Jacobus, gebore 1872; and DU PREEZ Nicolaas Johannes Jakobus, gebore 1865.

Many thanks to Annelie Els for the photographs and to Basil Royston for captioning them.

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Four more Bibles

Four Bibles have been added to the eGGSA Bible/Family Register web site: COETSEE Abraham Petrus Carolus gebore 1876 & Wilemina Lodeweika LOMBARD gebore 1881 getroud 1898, contributed by Susan (Coetsee) de Bruyn; GEYSER, Johannes Jacobus Stephanus gebore 1801 & Magdalena Susina CALITZ gebore 1910 getroud 1827, contributed by Tracey Itta; RAFFERTY, Elsie Susarah Aletta Maria born 1853 contributed by Andrea Furness (nee de Jager); and TRUTER Johannes Andries gebore 1778 & Hilletje Aletta SMIT gebore 1778 getroud 1788 contributed by Matty van Rensburg.

Our thanks to the generous contributors and to Basil Royston for captioning these. Any queries or corrections can be addressed to Richard Ball.

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1877 to 1917 burial register of Christchurch, Grahamstown, added to the eGGSA BDM database

Christchurch buriasThe burial register of Christchurch (Anglican), Grahamstown, 1877-1917, has been transcribed by Lorraine Beechey using William Jervois' photographs of the original register in the Cory Library, Rhodes University, Grahamstown, MS 17 633, by agreement with the Cory Library and the Archdiocese of Grahamstown. Brenda Gassner did the proof reading.

These records have been added to the eGGSA BDM database and are now available to searchers. Any queries or corrections can be addressed to Richard Ball at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Burlington, Matilda Atheling and Sedgemoorassenger lists added

IMG 0615These have been transcribed from Cape Archives classes IBC 7 and IBC 9 by Richard Wolfaardt and his intrepid team of volunteers, to whom our grateful thanks. A list of surnames on these three ships can be seen here ...  . Queries or corrections to Richard Ball

Evening Mail - Wednesday 01 June 1859. Government Emigration - The Government emigrant vessel Burlington, 676 tons, Captain Victor Howes, sailed from Southampton on Monday, the 30th ult., for Table Bay, Cape of Good Hope, with 267 emigrants under charge of Surgeon-Superintendant Samuel Leonard Crarie, M.D. The emigrants who embarked in this vessel were selected by the Hon. William Field, the officer appointed by the Colonial Government to conduct the emigrantion to the Cape of Good Hope.  (Courtesy British Newspaper Archive online)

Hereford Times - Saturday 20 August 1859. Emigration to the Cape of Good Hope. On the 12th inst. there were embarked at Liverpool, under the superintendance of the Hon. Mr. Field, in the ship Matilda Atheling, for Table Bay, 288 emigrants. They were principally agricultural labourers and female domestic servants, with some country masons, blacksmiths, and joiners. They comprise also 53 statute adults, under engagement with Messrs. Pickering, contractors for the Cape Town Railway. The emigration to this colony during the present year has now reached a total of 2,588 souls, exclusive of assisted passages.  (Courtesy British Newspaper Archive online)

London Evening Standard - Tuesday 21 May 1861. Free Emigration to the Cape of Good Hope. The Sedgemoor, of 920 tons, Captain M.W.Kett, being the 28th free emigrant ship dispatched at the colonial expense, sailed from Southampton for Table Bay on Saturday last, with a selection made from the artisans and agricultural classes by the acting emigration agent for the colony, Mr A.C. Saunders. They number 283 souls, equal to 223 statute adults, and are under the general charge of Mr. Surgeon Superintendent S.P.Chennell. Mr Saunders appointed from among them John M'Kay to be schoolmaster, Jane M'Connell to be matron, and Alice Wright to be sub-matron. The free emigration to the Cape, under the local act of 1857, has now reached a total of 8260 souls. (Courtesy British Newspaper Archive online) 

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