Sunday, 17 January 2010


By Penny Evans, Committee Member

The West Gauteng branch of the GGSA met on 16 January 2010 at the Dutch Reformed Church Ontdekkerskruin, Philips Avenue, Discovery.

The meeting took the form of a question and answer session. Richard Ford, Dennis Pretorious and Lucas Rinken formed the panel who answered the questions.

Dennis Pretorius

Richard Ford

Lucas Rinken

Members of the branch eagerly participated and the afternoon was very informative, lively and amusing. Some of the questions were tricky and not all that easily answered. However the panel were able to do some research, where questions were submitted in advance.

Most of the questions were of general interest for example:
  • How does culture influence spelling of personal surnames and place names? 
  • Is there something like a regional culture that will influence a surname in a different setting? 
  • How do I find out exactly where my grandfather’s farm was? I know the name of the farm and the district it was situated in. 
  • How do I get access to historical newspapers? 
  • From which dates were births registered in the various provinces of SA? 
  • How will the Protection of Privacy Act affect genealogists?
Various questions were asked about how to download information onto a genealogical program. A request was made by a member for a “hands on,”step by step, beginners session on how to download your family history data onto a genealogical program.

Lucas Rinken is very familiar with legacy and will make arrangements for this at a date yet to be decided.

Our thanks to our three wise men who formed the panel.

This was really a worthwhile afternoon.
  • We look forward to the next meeting on 20 February 2010.

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