Monday 28 January 2008

WHO WILL CARRY THE BATON?

An important question has arisen from correspondence that was addressed to me, privately. A member of the family owns several papers and important Greeff memorabilia, but has no-one in his immediate family to whom to bequeath these things. The writer was worried that these things would simply be thrown away in the event of his death.

Quite frankly, I sit in exactly the same position myself. My grandfather Greeff married Pat Boyd, whose mother was Joey McGregor, and her father was William Kearns McGregor. My gran, Pat Boyd, had no-one to whom she could leave the medal that William Kearns McGregor was awarded in 1860, so she gave it to me. I know of no-one who wants his medal - my own children have no significant interest in genealogy.

A significant factor in the preservation of our cultural heritage is that we no longer have families with 14 children, who each have 14 kids who are our cousins. My father and grandfather had dozens of cousins, but all my cousins together are about a dozen. My children have even fewer cousins than I.

Matters are further complicated by the fact that my grandfather and his cousins all lived in the same town and went to the same schools and churches. They knew one another. I live in London, my brother is in Los Angeles and my mom's sister lives in Zurich. My father's half brother died in Maryland, USA, and left behind a whole tribe of American cousins whom I have spoken to on the phone, and in a few emails. All their cousins are in Africa. The people to whom I might have left William Kearns McGregor's medal are strangers to me now.

Essentially, the care and preservation of Historical Assets, in all families, is hampered by:
  • A shortage of descendants, and many people today have no children.
  • Lack of contact between family members 3. Vast geographical distances between family members.
  • The only people who are interested in inheriting my Family Assets are already old people themselves, and they do not know to whom to pass their assets.
  • Family Assets end up in families with different surnames (The McGregor medal went to the Boyd family, then to the Greeff family. Who next?)
The heritage we pass on to posterity has two main elements:
  • Knowledge of facts and
  • Possession of things.
In the Greeff family the preservation of the knowledge of facts has been helped greatly because many members of the family share the knowledge each of us had individually. We have pooled our knowledge into one big database in a family web site, and all the members of the family can copy the information. With some luck, when I - the webmaster - die, some member of the family will take my place and keep the web site alive, but this is by no means certain. We have no formal arrangement that deals with my death and it worries me.

Now is the time to formalise the line of descent. Now is the time to find the people who will keep our family web site alive when I am dead. I am the only person in all the world who holds the passwords to control our web site. I am the only person on the planet who has a backup copy of our vast database. I, alone, have the details of our web hosting and who to pay to keep our web site on the internet. It costs me seven Dollars a month, which is nothing, but who will pay it when I am dead? To whom will you pay it?

Those are the questions that trouble me about the preservation of knowledge.

Who else, in our family, will carry the baton for a short while?

Francois Greeff via Rootsweb

Sunday 27 January 2008

Don’t cry for me Orania


There is an interesting article on the Afrikaners that emmigrated to Argentina after the Anglo- Boer in today's (27 January 2008) The Sunday Times. You can find the article online by clicking here. (http://tinyurl.com/27uald). If this does not work, search the article entitled "Dont cry for me Orania" at www.sundaytimes.co.za for those of you who have the print edition, the article is in the Lifestyle section.-- Karel Marais via Rootsweb.
Picture: CONSERTINA COMMANDO: Enriqueta van der Merwe and her grandson, Miguel, play a traditional Boer song on their accordions.

Friday 25 January 2008

WHAT AN UPDATE!

Well, this is pretty impressive if you ask me. FamilySearch (LDS Church) is doing a major upgrade of their site, writes Bobby on Rootsweb.

Click here to see what they are planning for "future tools". Please note that site is not operarational yet, however, the site states, "your feedback will help us refine new ideas and bring them to market sooner. Have fun playing with these innovations and send your feedback directly to our development teams".

Thursday 24 January 2008

VOORTREKKERGRAFTE MOET PLEK MAAK VIR WISSELAAR

Muldersdrift – Negentien grafstene en ’n 1938- gedenksteen ter viering van die Groot Trek is gister hier verwyder (foto regs) om plek te maak vir ’n nuwe wisselaar by die Pinehaven-kruising (R28/N14) wat voor die Wêreldbeker-sokkertoernooi in 2010 aan die Wes-Rand voltooi moet word. Sommige grafte is ouer as 100 jaar.

Van dié “eerste skoolhoof in die gebied” tot “die eerste Voortrekkers wat in Transvaal aangekom het”, se oorskot sal volgende week uit die eeu oue grafte opgegrawe word en dieselfde dag in die Sterkfontein-begraafplaas in Krugersdorp herbegrawe word.

Mev. Hazel du Plessis (72) van Discovery, Roodepoort, vertel mnr. Johannes Francois du Toit was die eerste skoolhoof in dié gebied. Hy is op die 3 April 1935 op die ouderdom van 68 jaar oorlede.

Haar oupa, mnr. Johannes Christoffel Snyman, ’n grootwildjagter en “eerste Voortrekker” het ’n bekende boer in die gemeenskap geword.

“Die werkers het van hom gehou. Hy was soms Ou Buffel genoem omdat hy nie baie vriendelik was nie,” sê sy.

Die oorspronklike plaashuis van die Snymans vorm vandag deel van Bergvallei, ’n konferensiefasiliteit waar troues ook gereeld gehou word. Een van haar ouma se susters het met ’n Mulder getrou en hulle het naby die Krokodilrivier (“The drift”) gaan bly. Vandaar die gebied se naam – Muldersdrift.

Mnr. Anton Fourie, ’n argeoloog van Professional Grave Solutions (PGS) in Pretoria, sê die grafte van die “oorspronklike Voortrekkers” sal Maandag per hand opgegrawe word.

Elke graf se oorskot word in die teenwoordigheid van familie (indien hulle wil toekyk), in kiste geplaas en na nuwe grafte by Sterkfontein-begraafplaas geneem.

Daar is in Mei met ’n openbare deelnameproses begin en advertensies is in plaaslike koerante geplaas om familielede van die afgestorwenes op te spoor. Verskeie permitte moes bekom word om die oorskotte op te grawe en te herbegrawe.

Die oudste graf is 110 jaar oud en is dié van Checilah Johanna J. Snijman, wat op 19 Desember 1897 in die ouderdom van 31 jaar dood is.

Martins Funerals in Randburg sal vandag die grafstene verwyder. Die grafstene word dan vir ’n maand by Galaxy Memorials in Tarlton gestoor, omdat grafstene nie dadelik op nuwe grafte gesit kan word nie. Al die koste word deur private ontwikkelaars gedra.

’n Winkelsentrum van sowat 25 000m2 gaan ook naby die nuwe wisselaar gebou word.

Dié ontwikkelings vorm onder andere deel van die oorhoofse ontwikkelingsplan van die Johannesburgse Padagentskap (JRA) om die Pinehaven-kruising veiliger te maak vir motoriste en die vloei van verkeer na die Wieg van die Mensdom meer toeganklik te maak.

Uit: Beeld, 24 Januarie 2008

  • Dennis Pretorius, NUK-lid van GGSA, skryf soos volg op SAGEN:
Ons hier in Krugersdorp het lank en hard gestry dat daar werk gemaak moet word van hierdie padveranderings - die kruising het groot lewensverlies veroorsaak en dit het dringend noodsaaklik geword. Die gemeenskap het selfs 'n beswaaroptog gehad oor hierdie kruising en die deelnemers was hoofsaaklik blanke inwoners amper 'n Boere-Toi-Toi.

Ongelukkig gaan hierdie klein begraafplaas in die proses verskuif moet word maar dit het gepaard gegaan met baie konsultasie en het voldoen aan die wetlikke voorskrifte.

Die oorskot sal herbegrawe word in die Sterkfontein begraafplaas waar dit die nodige erkenning sal kry.

Ek dink dat dit 'n wen-wen situation was.

Saturday 19 January 2008

INTERESSANTHEDE UIT DIE e-SAGI (10)

Kanonne en Sterk Manne

Deur Lucas Rinken

Merkwaardige stories is in die e-SAGI (ons databasis met 357 000 rekords) vervat. Nie die minste nie is dié wat nog in die ou GenForum-dae in Julie 2001 deur Daniel Jacobs en Herman Labuschagne bespreek is. Dit het hoofsaaklik gegaan rondom b1c6d4 Gerrit VOSLOO gebore te Kaapstad op 9.10.1768. Hy het bekend gestaan as Gert Houtkannon!

Sy notas lees soos volg:

Suid-Afrika se eerste kanon is nie deur Krygkor gemaak soos oud-President PW Botha bekend gemaak het nie, laat weet ds. Willem du Toit van Graaff-Reinet. Die burgers van die ou Republiek van Graaff-Reinet het die land se eerste kanon gemaak. Ook nie sommer van alledaagse staal nie, maar uit stinkhout. Ongelukkig is die kanon nie in die dorp se museum te vinde nie, want dit het spoorloos verdwyn.

Ds. Du Toit vertel dat die jong republiek besef het hy moet 'n kanon hê om hom te verdedig. Yster was nie te vinde nie, want die republiek had geen hawe om dit in te voer nie. Die naasbeste was toe die hardste inheemse materiaal, stinkhout. 'n Reguit stomp is met beitels en bore uitgehol, met verkorte wabande versterk en op 'n wa-as en wiele gemonteer. Agter is 'n gaatjie geboor vir die lont. Die eerste skoot sou gevuur word op 'n groot spekboom teen 'n groot swart rots. Die kanon is opgestel, met 'n goeie lading buskruit gestop, toe 'n klompie stoplappe en daarna stukke yster en spykers. Die man wat gekies is om die lont aan die brand te steek, was Koos Venter. Dié het blykbaar nie veel vertroue in die houtloop gehad nie, want hy het in 'n loopgraaf gaan lê en met 'n lang bamboesossweep die lont aan die brand gesteek.

Daar was 'n slag soos die dorp nog nooit gehoor het nie. Die bobbejane het op Spandaukop so op loop gesit dat hulle dae later eers weer opgemerk is. Die spekboom was nog daar, maar die kanon was skoonveld. Seker dié dat ons nou weer vir die eerste keer ons eie kanonne maak .

Hierdie storie wat in Van Alle Kante, in Die Burger van 1 Januarie 1973 verskyn het, verwys weliswaar nie na die bekendste Vosloo van alle tye nie, maar volgens oorlewering was hy die man wat die kanon gebou het. Vandaar dat hy vandag nog by sommige mense bekend staan as Gert Houtkanon of onder sommige lede van die familie as die Houtkanonmaker. Daar word ook op 'n gedenknaald wat deur sy nasate by sy graf opgerig is, verwys na die feit dat hy as sodanig bekend gestaan het. Sy doopnaam was Gerrit (1768) en hy was 'n agterkleinkind van die stamvader.

Gerrit, wat ook bekend gestaan het as Sterk Gert, is op 21 April 1860 op die ouderdom van 92 jaar 2 maande en 28 dae op die familieplaas, Oukraal, in die distrik Somerset-Oos oorlede. Volgens een van sy nasate, Jan Ernst (1938), wat vandag nog sy perdepramkierie het, moes hy, as 'n mens na die lengte van die kierie kyk, langer as 6' 6'' (kort duskant die 2m) gewees het.

Geen wonder dat van sy nasate onder name soos Big Hans'' (Johannes Lodewyk -- 1878) en Sterk Jan Vosloo'' (Jan Hendrik -- 1859) bekend gestaan het nie. John William (1953), oor sy oupa, Big Hans:

Daar word vertel dat hy op 'n dag besig was om 'n perd te beslaan en die perd wou nie stilstaan nie. Hy vererg hom toe en slaan die perd met een vuishou plat. ‘n Voormalige Springbok-rugbykaptein en voorry, Hannes Marais, tel ook onder sy nasate (sien bl. 401).

Oud-President FW Reitz se storie in Die Huisgenoot van Julie 1918.

Net so bekend soos wat die storie van Gert Houtkanon onder die Vosloos en nie-Vosloos is, net soveel weergawes is daar. Alhoewel die kern van die verskillende stories in die meeste gevalle min of meer dieselfde is, verskil die detail. Dit is maar hoe dit met mondelinge oorlewering gaan. Met die skryf van bogenoemde storie wat in Die Burger verskyn het, het die dominee se verbeelding waarskynlik ook 'n bietjie met hom op loop gegaan. Heelwat van die detail is seker maar bygewerk ter wille van die effek. Die bekendste variasie van die storie, en waarskynlik die bron van die meeste van die latere variasies, is die een wat deur Oud-President FW Reitz vertel is en wat in Die Huisgenoot van Julie 1918 gepubliseer is. 'n Herpublikasie van dié artikel het weer in die Die Huisgenoot van 28 November 1941 verskyn.

'n Artikel deur Pres. Reitz oor dieselfde onderwerp het reeds in 1874 in die Cape Monthly Magazine verskyn saam met ander sogenaamde “Boer Stories''. Dit is duidelik dat Die Huisgenoot-artikel nie bloot 'n vertaling van die artikel in die Cape Monthly Magazine is nie.

Dit laat my aan 'n ander kanon-storie dink. Dit gaan oor die dag toe Kanoneiland, naby Keimoes langs die Oranjerivier, glo sy naam gekry het. Daar word vertel dat die Korannas op die eiland in voortdurende gevegte met ander Korannas betrokke was. Op 'n dag het een van hul mense tydens 'n besoek aan die Kasteel in Kaapstad onder die indruk gekom van die verwoestingswaarde van kanonne. Hy het buskruit op die swartmark gekoop en terug op die eiland vir sy mense voorgestel dat hulle 'n kokerboomstam uithol. Die is toe ook met buskruit, stukke yster, boute, skroewe ens. volgestop. Die kanon is op die vyand gerig en die lont is aangesteek. Daar was 'n geweldige ontploffing. Die verwoesting was verskriklik. Die bombardier het stadig opgestaan, na al die gewondes en gesneuweldes rondom hom gekyk en gesê:

“Sjoe, as dit hier só lyk, dan wonder ek hoe lyk dit daar anderkant!''

Sunday 13 January 2008

MONTHLY MEETING: 19 JANUARY 2008

DATE: Saturday, 19 January 2008;

VENUE: NG Kerk (Dutch Reformed Church), Philips Avenue, Discovery, Roodepoort (Map below);

TIME: 14:00;

SPEAKERS: Bob Saunders, Architectural Technician and a Member of the Committee of the West Gauteng Genealogical Society, supported by Alan Buff of the Johannesburg Parks Department.

SUBJECT: Cemeteries in South Africa: The History, Current Situation and National Policy;

ADMISSION: R5,00 for refreshments.

ALL WELCOME.

Saturday 12 January 2008

EERDER "FAMILIESKILD" of "-KENTEKEN"

Die volgende reaksie is ontvang van ene Jan Verslank op ons berig "FAMILIEWAPENS BESTAAN NIE, UIT EN GEDAAN. DIS ONWETTIG":

Die term "familiewapen" lyk vir my in elk geval verdag. Dit is vermoedelik afgelei of geleen van die Engelse "Coat of Arms" wat moontlik dui op die wapens van voorkeur wat die bepaalde ridder gedra het. In die konteks waarin die term in die Suid-Afrikaanse Volksmond gebruik word, lyk dit vir my of "familiekenteken" of "familieskild" meer toepaslik kan wees.

Tuesday 08 January 2008

UNCLE GEORGE AND APPLIED ELECTRONICS

A suggested way to deal with the awkward ancestors most of us seem to turn up ...

The Smiths were proud of their family tradition. Their ancestors had come to America on the Mayflower. They had included Senators and Wall Street wizards.

They decided to compile a family history, a legacy for their children and grandchildren. They hired a fine author. Only one problem arose - how to handle that great-uncle George, who was executed in the electric chair.

The author said he could handle the story tactfully.

The book appeared. It said "Great-uncle George occupied a chair of applied electronics at an important government institution, was attached to his position by the strongest of ties, and his death came as a great shock."
-- Acknowledgment to: Alisan Greeff in an e-mail to the Greeff Listing

Thursday 03 January 2008

TELKOM-AANLYN-TELEFOONGIDS

Ek moes vanoggend (31/12/2007) na 'n Scott-dame wat nou in Port Alfred woon, soek.

Wat ek toe van die Telkom-aanlyn-telefoongids leer, is dat jy kan soek vir al die Scott-mense met telkom-telefone en die webwerf sal vir jou statistiek gee van hoeveel Scott-telefone in elke provinsie is -- en dan ook die totaal vir al die provinsies saam.

Die syfers is nie akuraat nie, omdat sommige mense verkies om hulle nommers nie te lys nie, maar dit is waarskynlik 'n klein persentasie.

Wat wel benutbaar is, is dat 'n mens die relatiewe grootte van elke Van-groep in Suid-Afrikakan bepaal.

So kan ek nou spog dat daar 5886 Pretorius-huisgesinne in Suid-Afrika is wat Telkom-telefone het en hulle nommers in die telefoongidse plaas. Vergelykkenderwys is daar maar 1491 Scott-huisgesinne en 968 Mc/Mac Donalds.

Gebruik die volgende skakel as jy ook nuuskierig is: http://phonebook.yellowpages.co.za/

Van: Dennis Pretorius, Lyseienaar, SA Genealogie-poslys

(Berig ietwat geredigeer.)

Tuesday 01 January 2008

IF ONLY OUR ANCESTORS HAD SUCH PRIVILEGES

Over the last week millions of SMS’s with good wishes flew over the country. Daily thousands of genealogical e-mails are sent over the world, thousands of kilometres apart. If only our ancestors had such privileges.

What did they experience? How did they go about communicating over such distances?

Below is a summary of the history of the Post Office of South Africa, today known as Telkom. It was taken from the Telkom Website under the heading History of Telecoms in SA.

Keeping in mind that ADSL broadband was launched in August 2002 – just more than five years ago – it is no wonder that we constantly read that genealogy is now the most or one of the most popular hobbies in the world. Without this tool it probably would not have been the case.

And don't forget: cellphones made their appearance in South Africa less than 14 years ago.

If these things happened in the last number of years, image what we will experience another five or ten years down the line.

Exciting!

1791: First Post Office established at The Castle, Cape Town.
1845: First postage stamp used.
1860: First telegraph installed in April as a single wire earth return telegraph line (circuit run) on wooden poles between Cape Town and Simonstown by The Cape Of Good Hope Telegraph Company.
1876: Telegraph between Cape Town and Kimberly was installed.
1902: The first public "call offices" (pay telephones) were introduced in South Africa.
1910: The Department of Posts and Telegraphs was created.
1922: The multiplex telegraph system ("teletype") opened between Cape Town and Johannesburg. This allowed 4 telegraphs to work in each direction simultaneously on a single line.
1924: The first overseas radiotelegraph message was received from London on 3 December.
1947: 26,000 new services provided -- rural priority. Rental was 7 pounds per year from Post Office.
1950: Between 1947 and 1950: 385,064 new services.
1952: 479,823 services; Cable theft becomes a problem. Direct radiotelephone service between South Africa and Australia in September.
1953-54: First radio link between South Africa and United Kingdom and America.
1957: 82 Auto exchanges exist. Russia launches Sputnik I.
1960-61: Automated trunk dialling. 91 auto exchanges. 879,945 services. Bad debt: R86,023.
1962: National subscribers trunk dialling was introduced. Telex service to America.
1960-65: Trunk Lines between Durban-Johannesburg-Bloemfontein-Pretoria-Vereeniging.
1963: Rental changed from yearly to monthly.
1965: 71 countries connected with Telex. First data transmission commissioned.
1967: First fully electronic telephone in the world, transistor phone.
1968: Microwave services installed between Pretoria and Johannesburg.
1969: First computer installed in Post Office to do billing. Full auto links between Zimbabwe-South West and South Africa in addition to 95 countries - Telex.
1970: Installation of the millionth telephone in South Africa on 29 April. South Africa ranked fifth country in terms of teledensity.
1975: South Africa's first satellite communication was provided by Intelsat. The 2 millionth telephone, a golden Protea telephone, was presented to a Witwatersrand client on 28 May.
1976: South Africa' first television service, TV1, was established on 5 January and offered 37 hours of broadcast per week.
1981: First push button phone (telephone dial was replaced by push-button switching) was introduced with the introduction of the Lorea telephone.
1988: South Africa's first card telephone was installed on 3 March in Pretoria. With a prepaid call card direct dialing was possible worldwide from these public telephones.
1990: On 10 April the 5 millionth telephone was issued in Pretoria.
1994: Main telephone services – 3, 659, 863 and payphones 49, 644. At midnight on the 31 March the South African cellular telephone network went live. Limited operations started on 1 April 1994 and full commercial operation on 1 June 1994. The two companies, Vodacom and MTN each have 50% of the market. The local launch of cellular telephony was among the fastest, anywhere in the world. In no other country has a cellular telephone system begun operation with 10, 000 subscribers on the first day. Vodacom has set up 280 base stations by March 1994.
1995: One of the year’s most exciting developments was Telkom’s debut as an Internet access network platform. Branded as SAIX (SA Internet eXchange), the network entered a pre-commercial phase in October 1995. Longest fibre optic cable in the world link Cape Town and Johannesburg on 24 March. This 1,538 km long cable can carry 622 Mb/s.
1997: Main telephone services – 4, 258, 639 with 94, 937 payphones.
1999: The electronic commerce offering, Beltel, has been replaced by a vastly improved service, CyberTrade. This Web-enabled network offered customers easier, faster and more secure electronic financial transactions. Vodacom: Customer base climbed to 2 million – increase of 50%. Turnover rose by 56% to R6.8 billion and operating profit stood at R1.5 billion.
2001: Internet: Telkom had 55,105 dial-up customers. This was unlimited dial-up Internet access with one e-mail account.
2002: Telkom Internet powered by ADSL was launched in August 2002, providing broadband access to residential and small business. Internet subscribers base grew 31% to 48, 811. The impact of network fraud has been reduced to R174 million, however cable theft increased to R249 million.
2003: Internet customers 98, 690.
2004: ADSL customer base expanded 661% to 20,313 from 2,669. There were 142, 208 internet customers in SA (a 44,1% growth). Telephones: There were 4 821 000 fixed access lines.
2005: There were 225, 280 Internet customers (of which 10,2% were broadband customers) in SA, the largest Internet market in Africa (estimated uses were 5,2 million). ADSL customers increased 188,2% to 58, 532. By 2005, 23% of companies made use of ADSL connections compared with 2% in 2003. In February 2005 Telkom reached a 50,000 customer base on ADSL, 60, 000 by April and 100, 000 by December this year. In July 2005 Telkom.
2006: Internet: 41,2% growth in managed data network sites to 16,887. 146,2% growth in ADSL subscribers to 143,509. 25,7% growth in Internet customers to 284,908. 10,3% growth in operating revenue to R47,6 billion. Telephones: there were 4, 708, 000 fixed access lines.

How many websites are there in the world?

The most accurate answer is "a lot". The number changes literally every hour and since there is no central server, no one can check how many sites there are without looking at every web server. In August 2005, there were 19.2 BILLION webpages, equating to 70,392,567 different websites where each site has on average 273 webpages. -- Yahoo Answers.




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