The Gross-Steinberg Family Tree presents:

South African

by James Gross

From: "Ruben Suiza" 
Date: Tue, 26 Aug 1997 07:27:49 +0200
Subject: Genealogy

hi James.  Thanks for your quick response.  The town I am looking
for is Plunge.  I am sorry but I mispelled it.  I do have connections
in Cape Town as my husband is a rabbi and sits on the Beth Din here.
We are obviously very involved in Jewish community affairs as well as
serving on the Chevra Kadisha.  Some good email addresses are:
which is our local Union of Orthodox Synag of SA
which is our monthly Jewish Chronicle.
is the SA Jewish Board of Deputies in Johannesburg.

Any particular cemetry issues you are looking for can be forwarded
to me and I can check it up for you.  Let me know what else you are
interested in or perhaps people you are looking for.  My family goes
back many years in Cape Town and we have plenty contacts here in all
fields of Judaism. I am awaiting an email address of a lady in
Johannesburg who apparently has info on the cemetries there and has
been in contact with my brother re the Juter name, so once I receive
that I can pass her add on to you.
Keep in touch.
Date:    Sun, 28 Dec 1997 07:46:10 -0500
Subject: Immigration database for South Africa

In regard to Howard Fuchs inquiry regarding a turn of the century
internet accessible database of Jewish immigrants to South Africa,
the following information is provided:

o  At present, there is NO comprehensive listing of all Jewish
immigrants to South Africa.

o  There is a new database of those Jews who came through the Poor
Jews Shelter in London.  This covers the years 1895-1915
approximately.  It was prepared under the auspices of Prof. Aubrey
Newman at the University of Leicester, England, and the Kaplan Centre
in Cape Town, South Africa.  However, the listing does not contain
the names of all Jews who went to South Africa during this period as
they did not all go through the Shelter.

o  There are uncatalogued and unindexed passenger manifests in the
PRO (Public Record Office) at Kew, England, to be found under the
Board of Trade records entitled BT27.  This contains all outgoing
passengers from England from 1895 through 1960.  There is no way, at
present, to pull out the Jewish and/or South Africa bound passengers.
 The records are totally uncomputerized.  In the near future, there
may be some attempts to index these materials.

o  There is a collection of passenger list registers of Jewish
arrivals to South Africa for the years 1924-1929 which is to be found
in the Morris Alexander Papers at the Kaplan Centre in Cape Town,
South Africa.  These records are being computerized, again, under the
auspices of the Kaplan Centre, Cape Town, South Africa, but won't be
available until sometime mid-year 1998.

o  There is a small collection of materials relating to Jewish
passengers who were rejected admission to South Africa and returned
to their home countries during the 1900's.  These are to found in the
Morris Alexander Papers at the Kaplan Centre, in Cape Town, South
Africa.  This is not an organized batch of records at all and is not

o  There are possibly other sources for passenger arrivals and these
are being researched.

Ann Rabinowitz

From: Paul Cheifitz 
Date: Sun, 02 Nov 1997 22:03:29 +0200
Subject: Jewish Family History Society of Cape Town

Dear James,
We have started a Family History Society to help people locate
their families and roots here in Cape Town.  This is not a
specifically litvak group although most of our members have
Litvak origins.

If I can give you more data please let me know.
Paul Cheifitz

Date:    Tue, 6 Jan 1998 18:59:45 EST
From:    SBWeiner 
Subject: South Africa research

Those of you who are researching South African might want to
check out the South Africa Rootsweb list (you can reach info
 on how to subscribe from the overall RootsWeb home page at While it's true that not many of the
surnames discussed there appear to be Jewish, I've received
some helpful info and feedback from posting my surnames to the
discussion group. The New Year opened with a call for all
subscribers to post to the list the surnames they're searching,
so there's a lot of activity now.

Also, Conrod Mercer, who runs the list, plans to collect the
surnames and place them permanently on his South African
genealogy web page (see his announcement copied below).

For those of you with Johannesburg roots, I'm copying a list of
the people who attended my ggmother Lena CHIMES' funeral which
I believe was in June 1930 or 1931. Her obit says "Mrs. Chimes
was among the first Jewish women in Kimberley and on the Rand
and it was at her home that Cecil Rhodes enjoyed his first
kosher meal." The service was conducted by Rev. H. Lipschitz.
Attendees: Mr & Mrs. B Fine, Mr & Mrs J Chosack, Mr. Sydney
Hayden (representing Kinemas,Ltd.), Mr & Mrs J Klibansky, Mr &
Mrs Scott, Mr. Beinashowitz, Mr. T. S. Fleisher, Mr. Leo Shear,
Messrs L. and M. Chosak, Mr. Marks, Messrs R. and S.Davin, Mrs.
Entin, Capt. van Zyl, Mr & Mrs Bernstein, Mr & Mrs. Pirowe, Major
Holborn, Mr & Mrs. Steinman, Mr and Mrs Simmer, Mr. Rufus Schiff,
Mr & Mrs Green, Gus Lefevre, George & Albert Gordon, Mr & Mrs.
Ginsberg, Stanley McIntosch.

If anyone recognizes any of these names, I'd be curious to learn
about it. By the way, my greataunt Rae married a CHOSACK (I don't
know his first name) and I vaguely recall my mother referring to
SCHIFF relatives in South Africa. I know NOTHING else about any
of the names on this list.

Here's the info on the South African surname web page planned by
the leader of
the rootsweb list:

 From: "Conrod Mercer" 

Hi All,
    I would like to thank-you all for resubmitting your surnames
to the list - the question now is what to do with all this
information, remembering that it will be difficult to check the
archives for these names because of the general nature of the
subject heading.
   Because of this I would be prepared to transfer all the
information for these research interests to my South African genealogy
web site, which may be visited by many people who are not subscribed
to the list and who may be connected. I won't do this however unless I
receive your specific permission to add your message, in its current
format, to such a surname interest page.
   If you want me to add the surnames contained in your message on a
specific surname interest page, please contact me directly at my
personal email address  and I will do so. It is not necessary to send
such messages to the list address, because this will clog up the list
with messages aimed at myself and for my interest only, at this stage
and may not be of interest to other list members.
   I envisage such a page including the surname/s of the people you
are researching, an area of South Africa (ie Cape Province, Natal,
etc., or a town/city) in which you are interested, if applicable, and
a time frame for the family -i.e.  1652 to present or 1820 -1900 etc.
    I would also envisage such a page not only including our South
African surname interests but also those from other countries in the
Southern African region, including Rhodesia/Zimbabwe etc.
   Your assistance greatly appreciated.
Conrod Mercer
28 Hosking Street, Brenthurst, Brakpan, 1541, RSA
Home Page:
South-Africa-L and South-Africa-D listowner

This is the end of the message I copied from the South African list.

Susan Weiner
Boston, Mass.
Date:    Sun, 11 Jan 1998 18:52:25 EST
From:    SBWeiner 
Subject: South Africa surname web page

That South African surname interest web page I mentioned in an
earlier posting is now up.  Here's its address:
Susan Weiner
Date:    Mon, 12 Jan 1998 21:44:01 PST
From:    Errol M Kristal 
Subject: Re: Death certificates in South Africa

Heather Luntz asked about South African Death certificates and
dates of birth.  No, normally the Death Certificate only records
date, place and cause of death. What you want is the Death NOTICE,
a document that forms part of the probate records, along with the
will, if any, and an inventory (list) of assets of the deceased.
The Death Notice contains provision not only for date and place of
birth, but even details of the deceased's parents. If meticulously
completed, the death notice is a treasure.  Regretfully, my
experience is that it is seldom so done -usually only a minimum of
detail is included by the person completing it, who need not
necessarily be a relative, and could for instance be the
superintendent of the hospital where death occurred! It's always
worth a shot, however.

Write - in the case of a death in Johannesburg before 1967, to
The Director of Government Archives of S Africa,
Private Bag X 236,
Pretoria, S Africa 0001.
There is a small fee - they'll let you know it.

Errol Kristal

Date:    Thu, 22 Jan 1998 15:55:05 EST
From:    SBWeiner 
Subject: Johnannesburg, S. Africa cemeteries

I'm copying below some information on Johannesburg cemeteries that I
received from a helpful South African who found my ggparents' death
dates from the Brixton Cemetery records held by "Shere Adisha"(sic?).
I hope this helps someone else.

Susan Weiner, Boston, Mass.

>If you have a phone number for "Shera Adisha," could you forward it to me?
>I'd like to post it to the online Jewish genealogy group I belong to.

Hello Susan
As Johannesburg was a city that just happened there wasn't very much
planning in the early days.
People were first buries at the Braamfontein Cemetery from 1888 to 1910.
Then the Brixton Cemetery from 1910 to 1942. Around 1939 to 1942 Brixton
was running out of space so some burials took place in the very large
aisles of Braamfontein Cemetery.
Records for both are at Braamfontein (011) 487-3480, (011) 837-6818.
 Shera Adisha (011) 839-3425.

In 1942 the Westpark Cemetery was opened. Records available at Westpark
(011) 782-5249.

People living in Malvern (east of JHb) were often buried at Germiston
Cemetery. (011) 871-7911.

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