My database contains the names of over 15,500 people of all races and persuasions who were either resident in or linked to Ladysmith. The original name for the area that appears in early records is Klip River County and it included Bergville, Dundee, Elandslaagte, Colenso and other small communities. The database does contain names which cropped up during research that came from outside the Klip River area and rather than throw out valuable information, I have left them in.
There is little information available for non-white residents but where I have come across them they have been added. Perhaps someone will throw some light on this problem and help expand this sparse section.
Voters/Jurors and census records, for what was the Klip River County, go back to 1860 but the main Church records start around 1858.
The majority of information for this site was obtained from the Natal Archive Repository in Pietermaritzburg, the Anglican Repository and the Nederlandse Gereformede Kerk, both also in Pietermaritzburg, the Wesleyan/Methodist records in Grahamstown and from various kind people to whom I am extremely grateful.
In spite of numerous attempts, I’m told that Catholic and Presbyterian records are not available. I find this difficult to comprehend and perhaps someone out there will know otherwise!
The following names have been found in various references and some of the surnames still survive among today’s citizens along with others. The first Voters Roll for Klip River in 1859 contains familiar names, William Adams, Paul Michael Bester, Abraham Marthinus Cronje, John Richard Dannhauser, Hermanus Potgieter; others that came later were Wright, Anderson, Coventry. It is a great pity that so few ‘locals’ have responded to my requests for help in sorting the names correctly into the various families.
First births in Ladysmith: Martha Ann ALLAN 30/6/1855: Elizabeth Margrita Dorothea van Tonder 4/11/1855 daughter of Jacob Van Tonder first settler at farm Riet Kuil which he bought in 29/6/1848.
The first death recorded was John McKenzie on 26th January 1858.
Population of Ladysmith: 1867: Whites 1131(619M + 512) and Coloureds 12771(non whites): 1868: Whites 1429(741M + 688 F) and Coloureds at 19072(non Whites)
Census 1891: Ladysmith population 2069 in 408 dwellings: Klip River population 2123 in 283 dwellings: Dundee population 1631 in 291 dwellings. Ref. PMB Archives NCP 8/3/333.
Should anyone be interested in ‘finding’ a lost relative that lived in Ladysmith during the 1900’s I can search my database at no charge and in addition I am prepared to undertake further research at the Natal Archives and other repositories at no cost for my time however I would expect my travelling costs to be paid.
Anyone wishing to add to that database or have a family tree that they would like added to my database; it would help if the information is on a Word Document and photographs are in Jpeg format.