Tuesday, 24 March 2009


UTAH STATE PRISON — In a cramped room here in the Wasatch medium-security unit, inmates sit hunched over computers, trying to decipher the aged writings of people long dead.

Some scroll through reels of microfilm, searching for a name that can help unlock the secrets of the past.

They are among hundreds of inmates doing genealogical work in family-history centers run by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints inside the prison.

"The genealogical program here is a haven to get away from the environment within the prison itself," inmate Dan Maroney said. "It's a place for fellowship."

Read the full story on DESERT NEWS.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009


The Branch participated in Hobby-X, an exhibition of hobbies, held at the Northgate Dome, Johannesburg from 5 to 8 March 2009.

Above: Lucas Rinken in the "studyroom" exhibit at Hobby-X.

The stand drew much attention. As many as 130 people signed the visitors’ book. Seven new members were enrolled and seven copies of e-SAGI (electronic South African Genealogical Index) were sold. Chairman Lucas Rinken had his computer set up so that the visitors could search e-SAGI for information about family history. Lukas was even able to add 100 new people to the database.

Many of the visitors came from areas outside of Johannesburg and we were able to refer some people to the branch in Pretoria.

Lucas manned the stall each day but was ably assisted by other members of the branch, namely Gerard Marloth, Barbara Bouwer, Ruth and Alister Jobson, John and Iris Stephens, Louise Dick, Margaret Humphreys, Kriek Fourie and Penny Evans.

Bob Saunders designed the stall and was the main person setting it up.

Hobby-X is a wonderful opportunity to expose the public to geneology and to encourage people to join a group in order to get assistence and encouragement in this very rewarding hobby. It remains to be seen if those who joined will attend the monthly meetings and whether others who took information leaflets will follow up and make contact.

Saturday, 14 March 2009


Martina Louw skryf op SAGENEALOGIE:

Vir dié van julle wat 'n bietjie digkuns geniet, het ek 'n nuwe leêr op die '”files”-area van ons gespreksgroep opgelaai. Dis getiteld "Genealogie Gedigte". Daar is hele paar gedigte waarvan een in Afrikaans. Hopelik het van julle ouens 'n klompie meer, veral Afrikaanse genealogie gedigte, om by te las.

Een van die gedigte is:

If You Could Meet Your Ancestors …

By James Roche

If you could see your ancestors
all standing in a row
Would you be proud of them or not
or don't you really know?

Some strange discoveries are made
in climbing family trees
And some of them, you know,
do not particularly please.

If you could see your ancestors
all standing in a row
There might be some of them perhaps
you would not care to know.

But here's another question which
requires a different view;
If you could meet your ancestors
would they be proud of you?

Monday, 09 March 2009


Suppose three individuals had just met and could not understand each other. The first individual could only understand English, the second French, and the third German. In order for our three friends to understand each other, they have three options.

  • The first option is for two of the individuals to learn the language of the third.
  • The second option is for each individual to learn the languages of both of the other two individuals.
  • The third option is for all three to learn and communicate using a new secondary language developed specifically to allow translation of any word or phrase to and from any of the three languages. In this situation, the three could meet an additional friend who only speaks Italian. The Italian would only need to learn the new language to communicate with the other three as well.
An example of this took place in
the gold mines of South Africa.

Over the past twenty to thirty years, a language called Fanagalo was developed at the mines to allow all of the workers from many language backgrounds to communicate. The workers represented English, Afrikaans, various other European languages, and many Black tribal languages (Zulu, Xhosa, etc.). As a new worker came to the mines to work, he or she only had to learn Fanagalo to speak with the many people. It was much better than learning several different languages.

GEDCOM is like the third communication option.

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