South Africa Societies
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Genealogical Societies exist in many countries of the world, and South Africa is no exception.
Genealogical Society of South Africa (GSSA)
The main genealogical society in South Africa is the Genealogical Society of South Africa, or GSSA; their online website can be found by clicking here. Members of the GSSA do not undertake research on behalf of researchers but they will guide, assist and teach you how to go about researching your own family. In addition, the GSSA publishes "Familia," their own quarterly journal which contains valuable information of interest to anyone researching their South African roots.
There are a number of other associations and societies in South Africa dealing primarily with specific settler groups or areas:
The Huguenot Society
The aim of the Huguenot Society of South Africa is to preserve the Huguenot heritage in South Africa. It collects information about the Huguenots, arranges meetings and carries out genealogical research on the Huguenot and related families.
1820 Settlers (Albany Museum)
The records available at the 1820 Settlers Museum include:
- Family files of mostly settler families, though other surnames are also included. (No Afrikaans names)
- The Allen E Makin collection of Genealogical information. A private collector, Makin spent most of his life compiling information on mostly settler families. Index available.
- The Dr C Skead collection of farm histories. (A large collection of information on mainly Albany, Alexandria and Bathurst farms.) Index available.
- Original copies of the Grahamstown Journal from 1845 to 1920. Public not allowed to view, but the Cory library, Rhodes University holds a complete set of the Graham's Town Journal from 1831 to 1920, all in hardcopy with the exception of 1853-1857 which is available on microfilm.
- After 1920 the Grahamstown Journal was incorporated in the variously titled Grocott's Penny/Daily Mail. The latter newspaper is still published in Grahamstown twice a week, Tuesdays and Fridays as Grocott's Mail. - The Cory Library also holds the archival hardcopy set of the Grocott's Mail from its inception in 1872 to date as well as sets of other Grahamstown and district newspapers.
- Other original document collections at the Museum include estate papers of some families, letters etc.
- Many original photographs, mainly of settler painted portraits and settler descendants. No photographing service, but local photographers can be contacted if prints are required.
- The Cory Library hold the archives (including church registers) of, inter alia, the Methodist Church of Southern Africa, the Diocese of Grahamstown (Church of the Province of Southern Africa) and the Eastern Cape Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa. The library's website can be accessed here.
- The Cory Library also hold registers for some Congregational, Roman Catholic and Baptist Churches as well as marriage registers for the Grahamstown Hebrew Congregation.
- Small collection of cemeteries in the Eastern Cape.
- The society genealogist is available to carry out research for members of the public for a fee. The genealogist can also consult the registers and other documents in the Cory Library on behalf of the client.
Genealogical Institute of South Africa (GISA)
The documents available at GISA are:
- Published family histories and genealogies.
- Family files with biographical and genealogical information about many families.
- Indexes to the estate files in the four provincial archives and copies of some death notices from the four provinces.
- All the volumes of Familia: Quarterly Journal of the Genealogical Society of South Africa.
- Photographs of various individuals and families.
- Completed family group sheets and ancestral charts.
- A register of researchers and of families about which research is being done.
- Funeral notices and epitaphs on gravestones.
- NG Kerk registers of the four provinces up to about 1900 on microfilm.
- Some Zimbabwe death notices on microfilm
- Lutheran Church registers of Cape Town and district on microfilm.
- The voters' roll of the Republic of South Africa on Microfiche
- A variety of local and foreign genealogical publications.