Saturday, 26 September 2009


Op 19 September 2009 het Simon du Plooy, voorsitter van die Noordwes-tak van die GGSA, die Wes-Gautengtak toegespreek oor Robert Jacob GORDON – die Davey Crockett van Suid-Afrika -- die amptelike ontdekker van die Gariep-/Grootrivier/Oranje. 

Hieronder is Gordon se eerste indrukke van die Oranjerivier nadat sy geselskap die rivier op 23 Desember 1777 bereik het, ongeveer 10 km suidwes van die huidige Bethulie waar die rivierloop ‘n skerp draai gemaak het. Die plek is vandag merendeels onder die waters van die Gariepdam en nie meer herkenbaar nie. Die oorspronklike beskrywing was uiteraard in Oud-Nederlands.

Above:  Colonel RJ Gordon intravelling costume. From drawing by himself or his draftsman Schumacher.

The countryside, falling steeply away, promised nothing.

Then in the flat stretch which was about five hours further on we saw some green shrubs half an hour away, past the edge of the mountain. These we found to be thorn trees and all of a sudden we came upon the steep bank of a great river. It flowed from the east, a good hour to the west,through a gateway in the mountains.

At its narrowest here it is about 225 paces wide as we saw it from the flight of a bullet. In addition it flowed as strongly as the meuse at Maastricht.

The southern bank was about 40 feet high and steep, though it was possible to get to the water, there was reed growing in the direction of the gateway in places and there were high thorn trees.

Picture 1.

Picture 2.

Picture 3.


Picture 1:  Painting made on 25 December 1777 of where the Orange and the Caldeon rivers flow together. Gordon named the river on the left the Queen Wilhelmina river (later the Caldedon) and the river on the right the King Willem river (later the Orange river). Where the two rivers meet he named them after the Dutch Royal House, Oranje. Source:   Patrick Cullinan: Robert Jacob Gordon, 1743 --1795: The man and his travels at the Cape. p. 43.  Original in the Ryksmuseum In the Netherlands.

Picture 2:  Gordonskoppie, named after Robert Gordon.  It is approximately 10 km from Aberdeen en route to Graaff-Reinet.

Picture 3: Gordon's Kop.

The northern bank was lower, with reed and many willow and some thorn-trees. This bank had stoney ridges and coarse shining sand but the soil in the river itself was clayey and vegetal.

There were reefs here and there stretching from one bank to the other over which the stream rustled loudly.

At its narrowest here it is about 225 paces wide as we saw it from the flight of a bullet. In addition it flowed as strongly as the meuse at maastricht.

The southern bank was about 40 feet high and steep, though it was possible to get to the water, there was reed growing in the direction of the gateway in places and there were high thorn trees.

The northern bank was lower, with reed and many willow and some thorn-trees. This bank had stoney ridges and coarse shining sand but the soil in the river itself was clayey and vegetal.

There were reefs here and there stretching from one bank to the other over which the stream rustled loudly.

Source:  Cullinan - Patrick: Robert Jacob Gordon (1743-1795) The man and his travels at the Cape. p. 44 and 45.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

The Best Way To Effectively Clean LCD Monitor Screens

For the genealogist his/her computer is a most important tool.  Caring for your screen is vital.

Cleaning laptop and LCD monitor screens is different from cleaning the usual CRT screens and requires some additional care and safeguards. A large part of this is because the traditional CRT screen is made up of glass, so it is a lot less prone to scratches from dust particles then your LCD screen. gives sound advice.

Wednesday, 16 September 2009


Datum: Saterdag, 19 SEPTEMBER 2009;

Tyd: 14:00 tot 16:00;

Plek: Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk (NG Kerk), Ontdekkerskruin, Phillipslaan, Ontdekkers, Roodepoort (Kaart onder);

Onderwerp: Robert Jacob GORDON – die Davey Crockett van Suid-Afrika -- die amptelike ontdekker van die Gariep-/Grootrivier/Oranje.

Aanbieder: Simon du Plooy, voorsitter Noordwes-tak van die GGSA

Kort CV: Gebore in Bethulie, Suid-Vrystaat, en grootgeword op die familieplaas Truitjesfontein in die distrik. (Die plaas is later onder die destydse Verwoerdamskema onteiën en vorm vandag deel van die Tussen die Riviere Wildtuin in die Bethulie-distrik).

Matrikuleer in Bethulie. Daarna eers gedeelte van weermagopleiding in Ladismith en Saldanha en ook Pretoria. Voltooi Bourekenkunde aan die UOVS (1971-1975). Vanaf 1977 woonagtig in Potchefstroom. Werk eers as bourekenaar by ‘n boukontrakteur, maar stig in 1988 sy eie boumaatskappy wat tussen die familienavorsing deur die res van vrye tyd opneem.

Sy belangstelling in die Genealogie is vroeg aangewakker deurdat die familieplaas gedurig deur ooms, tantes, neefs, niggies en andere besoek is en sy pa die du Plooy’s vroeg begin aanteken het. Dit het uitgeloop op ‘n familiepublikasie oor die du Du Plooy van die gebied wat vandag die kern is van Andre du Plooy en sy eie navorsing.

Voltooi ‘n register oor sy Duitse oupagrootjie, WIEGAND, se nageslag in 1987 en begin in 2000 die Du Plooy’s ernstig aanvul, maar soek eers sy eggenoot Chrisda BARNARD se Barnard/Stander/De Swart/ De Necker voorgeslagte in die George-omgewing.

Getroud met Chrisda Barnard en het twee kinders, Simon en Daniella. Albei werk in in Johannesburg.

Dit in kort is dan Simon du Plooy, s/v Simon en Maria Cornelia Wiegand, s/v Koos en Lenie Coetzee, s/v Koos en Alida van Heerden, s/v Simon en Catharina Coetzee, s/v Roelof en Susanna van den Berg, s/v Michiel en Aletta van Wyk, s/v Simon Plooier en Catharina Koopman -- immigrant uit Nederland.

Toegansfooi: R5,00 vir verversings.


(BRON: Mail and Guardian Online)

Friday, 11 September 2009




Die takkomitee besin nog oor volgende jaar se program sodat lede daarby sal baat vind.

Ons versoek opnuut terugvoering en vrae wat die naaste aan u hart lê asook versoeke vir spesifieke onderwerpe. Help ons om aan u verwagtinge te voldoen.

Stuur nou 'n epos aan my in dié verband deur HIER TE KLIK.

The committee has a request to all members: forward snippets of news and reports of those very special and personal moments of revelation during your research. Most of us will experience a special moment and sharing these can often encourage those seemingly hitting the proverbial “brick wall” to persevere.


Die komitee het nie in Augustus vergader nie, omdat die tak gasheer was vir ‘n vergadering van die Nasionale Uitvoerende Komitee. Dankie aan Margaret Humphries (links) en haar span (Penny, Mienie en Heidi) wat die verversings verskaf het.

Die volgende vergadering sal voor ons takvergadering op 19 September plaasvind om 12:00. Komiteelede, neem asseblief kennis hiervan.


We had a bumper turnout for the August meeting which was addressed by the President of our Society, Hendrik Louw. Sadly though, the numbers were bolstered by visitors rather than branch members. However, an interesting debate took place.

Hendrik is a highly enthusiastic leader and passionate about genealogy and the importance of preserving all records for future generations. Like your committee, Hendrik is also keen to find the elusive formula that will galvanise our members and make us all equally enthusiastic about ongoing research and preservation of family history.

His talk was directed at us in much the same way we (the committee) have invited you (the members) to come forward with ideas and wishlists so that we might be guided regionally and nationally.


Ons volgende takvergadering is op Saterdag, 19 September 2009, by die NG Kerk-gebou, Ontdekkerskruin, Phillipslaan, Discovery, Roodepoort. Dit begin 14h00. Ons gasspreker dié maand is Simon du Plooy, voorsitter van die Noordwes-tak. Hy gaan ons vertel van Robert Jacob Gordon (links).

Simon beskryf dié man as Suid Afrika se “Davy Crockett”.


During the NEC meeting last month, the Northwest Branch announced a new branch project in conjunction with LAPA Publishers. It has great potential in our circles and the wider public who are hovering on the brink of possibly recording their own life and times.

The book will be called “Wie is ons regtig?”. What is required/requested are short personal stories for publication into an omnibus format. The request from NorthWest (paraphrased), reads as follows:

"Ons sal dit waardeer indien u alle lede aanmoedig om hul bydraes vir die beoogde bundel aan ons te stuur. Die bydraes moet fokus op interessante/snaakse/dramatiese gebeure of karakters, heldedade en dies meer wat die oningewyde sal interesseer of vermaak".

Links:  Oom Kallie.

The story does not have to be professionally written as those selected will be worked/edited in conjunction with the publishers journalists to an acceptable annecdote/story.

Please consider supporting this venture as it really is intended to record stories countrywide and not only regionally.

Check the blog for further postings on this topic and a forwarding address.

Alternatively, pass these on to me (hand-written at a meeting) or digitally, and I will forward them as is to the correct source who will then take it further with the publishers. Please include a contact address (snaill mail or e-mail) to facilitate the host branch and or publishers to establish contact and dialogue with you on the matter.


Ons het ‘n groeiende takbiblioteek onder die toesig van Graham Southey (links). Maak asseblief gebruik van hierdie gratis gerief wat vir ons taklede. Dit bestaan uit allerei boeke, tydskrifte en joernale van verskeie genealogiese verenigings asook familiegeskiednis, genootskappe, en die SAG-bundels.


Genealogically newsworthy to interest groups, and researchers in general: Barend Venter (a researcher of the Venter family in South Africa), has just released to us the inaugural Family Newsletter of the Venter. Barend will gladly add you to the mailing list if you would take the time to drop him a line at:


Even the big boys have the odd story to tell! I managed to coerce a pale and wan Lucas Rinken (left) to give me a story to illustrate that even after all these years, he still gets pleasure amidst the dreary everyday tasks, from what he does for the branch, the society and genealogy on a broader scale, and it goes something like this:

e-SAGI can be a JOY to work on

Much of the focus in compiling e-SAGI is to receive files/gedcoms from other researchers, to prepare same for inclusion in our database and then to perform the tedious task of weeding out possible duplicates. And then there is always the endeavour to increase numbers contained, hence the all out effort to reach 500,000 names. BUT, at times this is enough to drive me crazy!

Happily, I am member of SAGen and along comes an email from a VERY respected genealogist, Mansell UPHAM: "Beste Lyslede. Enige inligting oor die komponis Stephanus le Roux Marais se Marais voorsate sal waardeur word.-- Mansell Upham"


1. Another focus area of e-SAGI is to include as many well known South Africans in the database as possible. And who in Afrikaans circles does not know of this composer and his well known songs.

2. I know I have a many by the surname MARAIS in the database, 1 842 to be exact.

3. Coming from Mansell, this is a challenge I cannot ignore.

So I checked the database and found someone by that name, but with no ancestors. BUT is he the right one?

So I do a Google search and find:

Stephanus Le Roux Marais (born 1896, Bloemfontein district, Orange Free State, South Africa, died 25 May 1979, Graaff-Reinet) was a South African composer.

He studied at the South African College of Music in Cape Town and at the Royal College of Music in London. In the subsequent 32 years he held various positions as church organist and teacher. He was a pioneer of the Afrikaans art song. In 1928 his "Vier Afrikaanse Sangstukke" (Four Afrikaans Song Pieces) was published. In the five years following, he was awarded 23 diplomas at the Cape Town Eisteddfod.

The dates matched, so I dug into SAG 5 and there he is:

h2 Stephanus le Roux * 1.2.1896 x 18.12.1945 Edith Johanna REX

I quickly captured the MARAIS line and soon connected into the MARAIS’ already in e-SAGI. But his mother's line was more difficult until I connected to his maternal grandmother's Van der MERWE line as I have Janet Melville's (left) wonderful book available.

And now, all this is available in e-SAGI and I could send off a reply to Mansell.

Better than working through 1 000 possible duplicates.

And that is how a plan comes together – by some astute research in the available literature and the electronic media, and using our fantastic database, to piece together the missing pieces.

Wednesday, 09 September 2009


'n Omvattende DU TOIT-stamregister, saamgestel deur Alex Fuchs, is aan die GGSA vir bemarking en verspreiding gegee. Dit sal in boekvorm en op CD beskikbaar wees.

Dié inligting is deur Hendrik Louw, president van die GGSA, bekendgemaak.

Statistiek van die register se inhoud is soos volg:
  • 29 508 gekoppelde DU TOIT's;
  • 18 954 aangetroudene DU TOIT’s
  • 5 315 ongekoppelde DU TOIT's
  • 53 477 totale aantal individue opgeneem in die indeks.
Dit sluit uit die ouers van aangetroudenes, asook die vroulike nasate wat ook soms in die register bygevoeg is.

Volgens Hendrik is dit is 'n massiewe stuk werk.

“Die genealogiese inligting daarin is van uitstekende gehalte. Dit is goed nagevors in samewerking met verskeie ander DU TOIT-navorsers/helpers asook Juna Malherbe van die Hugenote-museum. Danksy Juna Malherbe is die volgorde van die kinders reggestel.”


Die register bestaan uit ongeveer 2 458 bladsye of 1 566 bladsye met genealogiese inligting sonder foto's. Volledige indekse is bygewerk. Die register sal in twee boeke gebind word. Die prys van die boeke sal eersdaags bekend wees nadat kwotasies verkry is vir die druk en bind daarvan.

Diegene wat in die boek belangstel, kan die GGSA laat weet (om sodoende ‘n finale prys te beding) deur 'n e-pos te stuur aan of ‘n faks aan 086/600-1729.

Verdere reëlings vir bestellings sal dan afsonderlik aan u gestuur word.

Dit sal teen kosprys aan voorafbetalende persone verkoop word.

Bestellings vir die eerste oplaag sluit op 26 September 2009.  Dit behoort vier weke later in die pos te wees.

Die mark vir die boek sal hoofsaaklik familie wees wat 'n aandenking vir homself/haarself wil bekom of vir hul nageslag wil behou.


‘n CD is 'n baie goedkoper medium om dieselfde inligting binne die bereik van navorsers te plaas.

Dit sal teen R240-00 verkoop word plus posgeld vir verspreiding in Suid-Afrika – voorwaar ‘n winskoop vir die ernstige genealoog.

Saturday, 05 September 2009


On 22 August 2009 Hendrik Louw, president of the GSSA (right), addressed members of the West Rand Branch of the GSSA. Some NEC members from Potchefstroom, Pretoria and Vanderbijlpark also attended, reports Penny Evans, branch committee member.

Hendrik stressed that genealogy was not only about what had happened in the past, but that today would also become history. Our children probably know very little about the first thirty years of our lives. It was up to each one of us to write his own story for the benefit of his children and their descendents. Who else could write the story better than yourself?

He said that he planned to talk to members from all eleven branches so that he could get a clear idea of what members expected from the GSSA. He felt that each branch should look after its new members as well as the present members, who have a great deal of knowledge that would be lost to the branch, should they leave.

A discussion was held. Members were encouraged to answer the following questions. Why am I a member of GSSA and what do I expect from GSSA?

The plan of GSSA was to create products and to develop resources and to make this more accessible for those doing research.

Members were encouraged to give their ideas to Lucas Rinken and Dennis Pretorious, who would give the feedback to GSSA so that management could see what could be done to make the ideas a reality.

Hendrik Louw is a man with strong leadership qualities and a passion for genealogy.

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