Welcome! Please read this page to its conclusion before proceeding to browse or search this project.
"You have to go the rounds from individual to individual in order to gather the totality of the race."
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller
Über die ästhetische Erziehung des Menschen in einer Reihe von Briefen, 1794
The First Fifty Years Project is delighted to announce our new, in-development, DNA Learning and Sharing Centre. We will strive to present knowledge about DNA in a pared-down, but accurate manner that is well illustrated by maps and charts. We will share mt- and Y-DNA-typing about individual, documented early Cape settlers when this information is shared with us by direct matrilineal and patrilineal descendants. Very importantly, however, to respect and protect the privacy of those descendants, they will not be identified. This time we share information on mtDNA HVR1-typing on a direct descendant of Catharina de Beer, who was recently identified by Mansell Upham as the putative daughter of Iba van Timor, and whose likely origins had long defied all other researchers. We hope you will consider privately sharing your mtDNA and Y-DNA tests together with documented direct descent from a particular ancestor from the period. As more and more people do so, we should make progress in learning more about those ancestors whose origins continue to elude us.
And a reminder about ...
an exciting new occasional series by
Please visit Remarkable Writing for further information
Background and goal of this project
This project began as a private endeavour to figure out some of the questions I had about my early Cape of Good Hope (de Caep de Goede Hoop / Cabo de Boa Esperanςa) ancestry, to ensure the foundations of my research into the genealogies of those ancestors was sound.
In time However, I realized my efforts might also help other researchers avoid the same errors I made when I first discovered this ancestry.
Consequently, the first goal of the project is to enter data from all records that are available for the first fifty years or so of the VOC settlement at the Cape which commenced in 1652. "Fifty years or so" because there is in some cases a natural progression that results from available research material.
But more than adding the data, the goal is to add full transcriptions and as far as is possible, an image of that record as an exhibit.
Where appropriate, it will also include groundbreaking published articles in the Acrobat format and linked to the relevant individuals.
But more than the records, this project includes a timeline (more to come); maps both static and live (more to come), a range of indexes, including a place index, an index of exhibits and a gallery of exhibits.
The second, and very important goal, is to generate discussion around the available data, to correct errors, and hopefully to shine more light on some enduring mysteries. In this regard, please write to me to correct errors (motivate and document if possible), or offer suggestions, opinions, and so on.
The project has a Facebook page, co-managed by Mansell Upham and myself.
I have launched a rootsweb list for discussion of this project, and hope you will join. Please visit the list page for subscription information, at:
I also always welcome hearing from site users with corrections, updates, comments by email at: Delia Robertson
If you're visiting for the first time, please first read the Important Information page to familiarise yourself with the general methodology used in entering the data, names, places, relationships, etc.
FFY is delighted to bring you Remarkable Writing - a section devoted to articles of high merit, whether about individuals, families, records, language or practices of the early decades of the colonial settlement at Cabo de Boa Esperanςa.
I am indebted to the many individuals whose generosity continues to add value to the site - they are highlighted on our Hall of Fame page.
Don't forget to visit our Update Page for a list of recent changes.
Do visit our Knowledge Centre for articles that explain the laws, rules, practices and customs of the period.
And we have a useful Map Centre