Discover Wonderful Things About the Past During National Archives Week
It is possible to trace family histories back to the time of the earliest settlers and slaves at the Archives in Cape Town. A public workshop took place on Saturday, 11 May 2013, to introduce visitors to some of the archival and Slave Office records held in the Western Cape Archives and Records Service building in Roeland Street.
The workshop was jointly presented by the Cape Family Research Forum (CFRF) and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS). Topics included genealogical research for beginners, how to trace one’s slave roots, and how to use some of the other resources held in the Archives. Participants cemented what they had learned by embarking on some actual research about their families using a step-by-step exercise. The research was followed by a guided tour through the building, bringing everyone closer to some of our county’s most valuable archival records.
CFRD spokesperson Mr Mogamat Kamedien said the workshop connected people to the past. “Most of the participants came to learn about their family tree, among other things. But people don’t always know where to start. This gave them a practical opportunity to learn how to make use of the formal archival resources on offer,” he said.
Mr Danie Momsen (74) from Milnerton attended the workshop in order to be able to give his grandson something tangible about the history of his family. “My grandfather started to trace some of our family roots, but with little success. Today’s workshop gave me useful information, which I hope will help me find out more about my family,” said Momsen. He is looking forward to coming back to do more research together with his sister May in the Archives reading room.
The workshop helped to connect people and their communities through family histories. This is another example of how DCAS and its partners were able to promote cultural warmth around the National Archives Week theme “Archives – Looking into the Past”.