International Society for British Genealogy and Family History is pleased to be hosting a 4 day virtual conference for those researching their ancestors in Commonwealth Countries.
The conference is being held MARCH 16-19, 2020 and each day is dedicated to researching in a different Commonwealth Country.
Tuesday, March 17th is Researching South African Ancestors. In the last few years there has been an enormous increase in the amount of South African records being digitized and made available online. This has sparked a renewed interest in finding records of those who have ancestors with connections to South Africa. I was born in South Africa, a land that has been in my family’s blood since 1849, when my maternal third great grandfather left Scotland for the shores of the Cape Province. Other lines arrived in South Africa from Germany in 1878, Ireland in 1887, and the Isle of Man in 1888. Although my English great grandfather, a miner from County Durham, never settled permanently in South Africa, he spent many years working in the diamond mines at Kimberley, in the Cape, and ended up fighting in the Boer War. I am excited to be able to share my knowledge of South African records and to help those that are seeking their ancestors there.
Genealogist Sue McNelly will give four presentations:
South African Research: Getting Started
This webinar will explore a brief history of South Africa and how historical events shaped the records that are now available. South Africa has experienced much change in the last few decades and we will look at historical maps and current maps to understand the changes in geographical boundaries and how that affects where records are kept. We will discuss genealogical sources that are available, focusing on major record types such as church records, estate files, cemetery records, settler records, and military records.
South African Research: My Ancestor went to South Africa
With a focus on ancestors who settled in South Africa, this webinar will discuss the various assisted emigration schemes which many took advantage of. We will take an in-depth look at the 1820 British settlers, British Settlers to Natal between 1824 and 1857, and German and Norwegian settlers. We will discuss the availability of passenger lists and where to find them. Other immigration records such as deeds of naturalization and immigrant registry files will be examined.
South African Research: Wars and the Records They Created
One of the most common questions that genealogists have is how to find military records, particularly for their ancestors who fought in the Anglo-Boer Wars. This webinar will discuss a brief history of the Boer War, who fought in it, and what records were created that might be searched. We will examine how newspapers may help in locating our ancestors that served in the military. The webinar will also explore South Africa’s role in World War I and II, and what records may be of use to the genealogist.
South African Research: Online Sources
This webinar will look at the available online sources for South African genealogical research. We will discuss the use of NAAIRS (National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System) and how it works in conjunction with FamilySearch to locate original images of records. We will examine the major South African record collections at various online repositories, including libraries and archives. We will study other sources for information on South African ancestors, including blogs and Facebook pages and will end with a look at resources for adding historical and social context to our research.