We left Port Alfred on Monday, May 2, 2016, and headed to
Port Elizabeth. The plan was to do some
family history research, ride elephants, and participate in a Schotia Safari.
We arrived at President and Sister Pershing’s apartment
and stayed for 2 nights.
On Tuesday, May 3, 2016, our plan was to travel to
Uitenhage, about a 45-minute drive from Port Elizabeth to go to the Department
of Human Affairs. The information that
was online about this office showed a form to fill out for copies of birth
certificates. We thought this was a good
start for a record of Martha Ann Gillson Hall, my Great Grandmother.
birth/christening record from 1849.
(There is some confusion on Family Search and histories I have in my
possession between birth year of 1849 or 1850, so I wanted to see if I could
find something to document the exact dates.)
We stood in line for about 2 hours and found out we had
filled out the form correctly and needed to go pay the cashier for the service
of obtaining a record to be processed.
The cashier told us we were probably wasting our time. She has been waiting what I believe she said
9 years for a 1983 family birth certificate, and still has not received it.
We knew that we had another option. The Uitenhage Methodist Church was our next
stop. The sign in front of the church
said the office was closed at 12:30 pm; we arrived around 1:30 pm. Randy called the phone number listed on the
sign and spoke with a woman who worked there that was just leaving the
office. She told us that the old records
had been moved to the Cory Library at Rhodes University in Grahamstown. She
said she would go back into the office and send us an email with the
We traveled to Grahamstown and arrived at the Cory
Library. The librarian assisted us after we filled in a form documenting the
information we were there to research.
She went into the back file room and returned with the baptism book
covering the general time period we were after.
We flipped through the pages and found Martha Ann
Gillson’s christening record. We were
both excited. The copies of the entry
and book reference are attached below.
We were headed back to
Queenstown from Sada last night at dusk. We could see something up ahead in the
field. Just as we got there, a Kudu jumped the fence of some farmland at a full
gallop and came to a complete stop at the edge of the road. If he had continued
across the road at that exact time, we would have hit him. Another tender mercy
and blessing was afforded to us! See a picture of a Kudu below. He was at least
as big as a horse or elk.