Report and pictures by Penny Evans
The meeting held on 15 October 2011 took the form of a workshop. Members were divided into groups with a facilitator to guide the discussion. Each person was asked to discuss the areas where they were having problems with their research. It was hoped that the facilitator and group members could give advice.
|Richard Ford (left) and Louw du Plessis.|
For some people the problem was limited access to the internet. New members needed advice regarding which websites to look at, as well as how to navigate around genealogical websites. Members needed to know where to find passenger lists, what to do if you could find no records at all, where to find the Dutch Reformed Church records in Zimbabwe, as well as records in Holland.
A useful tip for those who were struggling to trace farm gravesites, is to go to the undertaker in the village or town and ask for information.
|Louise Dick (left) and Elsabé Calitz.|
Some members were able to exchange information with others, especially where they were researching the same family name. The workshop gave members a chance to chat and get to know each other a little better.
|From left: Lindsey Goslin, Margaret Humphreys and Elizabeth Lawrence.|
How Petro Meyer solved her problems
Ten minute talk Petro Meyer told her story, and what an interesting story it was! After Petro’s son and family emigrated to Australia she decided to make a heritage scrapbook for her grandchildren. It soon became evident that she did not have enough information about her forebears.
Fortunately her father had researched the Oberholster family. The progenitor Hans Oberholster had left Wald in Switzerland and arrived in the Cape in about 1696. One of his descendants, owner of the farm Wonderfontein, donated some ground to the Nederduits Zuid-Afrikaanse Spoorwegmaatskappy. The station, Oberholzer still exists today.
Petro and Andrew struggled to research the Meyer family. It was after a visit to Hobby-X to buy scrapbook paper that Petro came across the GSSA stall. With the help received at the monthly meetings they were able to make progress. They organized a family gathering of the Meyers in 2010 and this enabled her to fit together many pieces of the “puzzle”.
Petro is writing a book for her grandchildren telling the intriguing family stories and recording the results of her research. She hopes that when they visit their homeland one day, that they will have compassion for the many generations of forebears who lived and died here.