Report and photographs by Penny Evans
Our branch met on 18 September 2010 and we had our best attendance yet!
Thirty one people came along to hear Joe Botha speak about web pages for family genealogy.
Many years ago he had decided to research who the ancestors of his children were. His interest in the Botha family history grew and this led him to create the website “Botha in Southern Africa”.
Using a power point presentation he explained how to go about creating a website.
He told us:
• What it should look like;
• What needs to be placed onto it;
• How to structure it;
• How to write it;
• How to get it onto the internet, as well as
• The advantages and disadvantages.
He stressed that the first page should open quickly, should not be too busy and easily understandable.
He was a lively, amusing and very entertaining which made this technical topic interesting for the audience.
The two members who had their turn to speak for 5 minutes about their research were Graham Southey and Ruth Jobson.
Graham Southey’s interest in family history had started at an early age. As a young child he would ask his parents to explain who the various family members were. In the early 1950’s he started to write to family members asking for information.
Steadily over the years he was able to put together an incomplete family tree. All of his work was hand written into drawing books. He was able to collect many photographs of the Southey family. He is very fortunate to have photographs of his 1820 forefather and mother and of every male descendant down to himself.
Ruth Jobson’s parents lived on a mission station in the Northern Transvaal and so she was sent to live with her grandmother in Pietermaritzburg in order to attend school. Here she came into contact with many family members and heard various stories about the family. Later photographs and letters were given to her.
Her father, Dr Aitken, was interested in family history and had some research done by the Scots Research Society. Ruth’s grandfather, Rev Thomas Aitken, was sent to St Helena Island during the Boer war and there he met his future wife, Edith Mary Short. He later made his way to Cape Town where became a Baptist minister. Ruth’s other grandfather, James William Noble, came to SA to look after his brother, George, who had been sent to SA for his health.
George Noble became a minister in the Methodist Church. There are many ministers and missionaries in her family. Ruth says her biggest challenge at the moment is to research the Jobson family.