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Jongste weergawes: 25 Januarie 2014
Of die geslagsregister hierbo opgebreek in drie gedeeltes in teksformaat soos volg - die INDEKS en VANNE bevat 'n 4-syfer kode waarmee die inskrywing in die HOOF-gedeelte maklik opgespoor word:
Above a copy of the first ever South African CONRADIE genealogy published. It was compiled during the years 1881-1887 by Cristoffel Coetzee de Villiers whom researched all the families from the early Cape until about 1810 - using church registers and other colonial archives. Hy died in 1887 - his work was published in 1895 as the: "Geslacht-register der oude Kaapsche familien"
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Latest versions: 25 January 2014
History of the
This article briefly describes efforts to research the history of the Conradie genealogy in South Africa since 1685, and even before that date for our German ancestors.
written by Pieter Conradie c2d4e8f14g1h2i1 - 4 September 1999.
This article does not claim to be all inclusive of all genealogical research which has been done up to the present on the Conradie family, however, it attempts to list a few major milestones in the recording of the Conradie family history.
- No doubt the publication of the "Geslacht-register der oude Kaapsche familiën" by C.C. de Villiers in 1894, was the first important milestone, which compiled, along with other families, the initial Conradie genealogical history in Southern Africa. It contains the genealogies of all the old Afrikaans families of the Cape from 1652 to approximately 1810, and provides a complete picture of the entire white population for the first 150 years after Jan van Riebeeck settled at the Cape.
- The next milestone started in an insignificant way. In 1931 it was planned to have a centenary celebration on the farm Koelfontein near Ceres, as the farm came into the hands of the Conradies in 1832. For this event a booklet titled: "STAMLYS van die NAGESLAGTE van DANIEL JACOBUS CONRADIE" was published. It contained the names of all the Conradies descending from the first owner (c2d4e8. Daniel Jacobus) of this farm. The booklet also traced the family back to the first Conradie settler (Friederich) at the Cape, and noted that he came from Marburg in Germany. No doubt this information was taken from the de Villiers publication - the compiler in fact credited this publication as a source of information.
- This compilation of the Koelfontein Conradies was done by Uncle Hennie ("Oom Hennie") Conradie - as he was known lovingly by all in his later years - his full Christian names were Hendrik Ludolph Neethling (HLN) (c2d4e8f13g5), born 14.11.1889. It appears that he did the family register work on the suggestion of his nephew dr. David Gideon (c2d4e8f4g10) who, at the time, was administrator of South West Africa. It was the latter's idea to have the Koelfontein 100 year re-union event, and he also provided HLN with a copy of the de Villiers information about the early Conradies. (David Gideon was tied up in SWA, and asked HLN to organise the Koelfontein happening). At the time HLN was a school master at Luckhoff in the Free State. After the Koelfontein centenary, he started to work on the idea of publishing a genealogical register for the whole Conradie family - an awesome project which would have daunted most people!
- In order to obtain names for the enlarged register, HLN, with his son Dolf, in December 1940, made an extensive tour to research church registers in search of Conradies. From Luckhoff they went via Colesberg, Noupoort, Graaf-Reinet, Jansenville, Uitenhage, George, Riversdal, Heidelberg, Swellendam, Ashton, Montagu, Robertson, Tulbagh and Ceres. However, most work was done via correspondence.
- By 1955 enough information was compiled in order to publish a hard cover edition of the register. This was named "DIE CONRADIE GESLAGREGISTER soos opgestel deur H.N. Conradie." Curiously, Uncle Hennie's initials were only given as "H.N" and not "H.L.N" as would have been proper. Interestingly, the compiler estimated that he had about 4000 names in the book, and I take it that he meant these to be Conradies by birth, as he also added that he thought that he was missing about 1000 extra names. The book actually contains only about 3100 names, as there are 91 pages containing on average about 34 names each.
- Still this was a major achievement! At the time of publication in 1955, very few families, as big in numbers, as the Conradies, had access to a genealogical register. Today, in 1999, we may criticize the register for it's short comings, however, at the time of its compilation, it was a true pioneering work.
- In 1969 HLN re-typed the complete register, and did so again in 1974/5 when, at the age of 85, he made a last effort to rejuvenate the register. He actually sent out 600 letters to Conradies requesting information, and had a good response - he added about 1000 names to the 1955 edition. In 1978 the result of his work was published by the Conradie Werda-committee in a soft cover format as the so-called "blue book". In this publication Uncle Hennie had pushed the total number of Conradies listed to about 4100. (Apparently, for many years, HLN used only the initials "HN" in most of his correspondence, but after the publication of the 1978 register, in a letter to the Werda-committee, he pointed out that the entry for himself was incorrect - his middle name was listed (page 62) as "Rudolph" instead of "Ludolph" - a real agony for a man who spent his much of his life's free time pondering the Conradie's blood lines.! Said he: "Wat kan nou daar aan gedoen word?" - What use crying over split milk! - happily, in memory of Uncle Hennie's pioneering work, it can now be reported that the 1978 typo error for his name has been corrected in the 1999 Internet edition of the GESLAGREGISTER! )
- In 1976 another milestone in the Conradie genealogy occurred, when Ben Conradie of the Werda committee met up with a visiting German genealogist - dr. Bleibaum, and discussed the matter of the German ancestors of the first South African Conradie. Dr Bleibaum was from the "German Genealogy Institute" (of his own invention) in Germany, and he was head of the section dealing with German emigrants who went to South Africa. Back in Germany, dr Bleibaum acted on the hint that the first South African Conradie came from the town of Marburg, and in 1977 he presented the South African Conradies with the genealogical history of the Conradie family ancestors in Germany for the period 1600-1700. Apparently this information was not studied in great detail in South Africa until 1999. (Currently this study is available only in Afrikaans).
- In December 1979 Uncle Hennie died, having just reached the 90 year notch. He had worked on and off on the Conradie GESLAGREGISTER for 45 years, and had bequested his work to the Conradie Werda-committee. He had an active interest in Conradie family affairs right to the end, having participated in correspondence with the Werda-committee even days before he died in the Nuwejaars old age home in Parys (Free State)
- Up to late into the 1970's, it was thought that the first Conradie arrived at the Cape in 1688 from Marburg. It was then learnt, apparently from dr. Hoge, that Fried(e)rich Conradie arrived 3 years earlier in 1685. Therefor the 300 year festival was held in 1985 near Stellenbosch.
- After HLN Conradie had passed away, work on the register ceased. However, collection of information for the register did not end. In 1985, when the 300 year celebration of the Conradie family was held, and again in 1997 when a regional event was held at Buffelspoort, much information was actively collected.
- Uncle Hennie did the work on the register with a typewriter. Naturally it was no easy task to work new additions and modifications into the register. Only after his death, the personal computer became a reality, and as time passed, with the development of other aids, like text scanners, it became feasible to convert the typed hard copy of genealogical register to electronic text on a computer. This, in fact, was done early in 1999 by Pieter Conradie, and the register was made available for general viewing by any Internet user, in the hope that this would inspire members of the Conradie family to provide further information for the register.
- All information (some submitted 21 years ago!) collected for the register since 1978 was now included into the 1999 edition of the register. Using the computer, it was also possible to identify some errors in the register, for example, duplicate entries were eliminated.
- For the present, it was decided to largely maintain the text format of register as Uncle Hennie had originally designed it. The main requirements are (a) that the computer text version should be readable with the simplest of word processors, and (b) that any part (or the whole) of the register, should be easily printable and readable by any person who is only looking at the hard copy, and without having access to a computer. (c) An alphabetical christian name index should be available for hard copy users to facilitate easy lookups of family members - with this in mind it was decided to provide the full family code in front of each person - all other systems are difficult to read - and also does not allow for random printouts as may be required by individuals.
- The Internet exercise has been very encouraging, and many additions and corrections to the register have already been effected via this medium.
- In total, for all methods (mail, e-mail, personal, etc.) of submitting data, by September 1999, at least 500 new names have been added to the 1978 edition of the register. Numerous corrections, and missing information amendments have also been made.
- As time goes by, the register might also become available in the GEDCOM format (an international standard for transferring genealogical information between computers), but currently this is only a pipe dream.