Sunday, June 23, 2019


All over Africa and its Island countries in every port city there are populations of African-Creole people who are a multi-ethnic mix with the major part of their ancestral heritage and culture being African. But as a result of the slave trade and maritime traffic on the Atlantic and Indian Ocean coastlines they also have in their genealogical and genetic ancestral-cultural heritage a mix of African, Indian, Arab, Southeast Asian, and Chinese and European roots. Under British colonial administration from 1911 people with this ancestry who have over 150 tributaries to their ancestral heritage were forcibly assimilated into one ‘race-silo’ labelled COLOURED and de-Africanised by colonial decree.
It should be borne in mind, however, that while all people described in this article as "Camissa" were labelled "Coloured", not all people labelled "Coloured" fit the Camissa description of the article, and that could lead to some confusion.

Confusion is also caused by the use of terms like "the Coloured community", as if labelling automatically creates community. It is also important to be aware of the distinction between genetic and cultural heritage. For example, "Camissa" does not appear to include people like the descendants of John Dunn, who are of Anglo-Zulu heritage, and though classified as "Coloured" during the apartheid era, would have had a different cultural heritage from the Camissa of the Cape.

 Also, a child born in Johannesburg 2001 of a Nigerian father and a Ukrainian mother might be classified as "Coloured" even in the post-apartheid era, but could not be said to belong to a Coloured "community", either culturally or genetically, and from a genealogical point of view, searching for "Camissa" ancestry for such a person could quickly lead to a dead end.

One of my wife's ancestors was a slave known as Francina van de Kaap, so she would probably fit the  Camissa description, but we haven't a clue about Francina's ancestry. "Van de Kaap" just means that she was born there, but her ancestors could have come from almost anywhere. Perhaps DNA testing could give a clue, but that is very expensive. Francina has many descendants alive today, most of whom are classified as "white", and wouldn't think of themselves as Camissa.

So from a genealogical point of view the Camissa description is a two-edged sword; it could help to clarify some things, but could also lead to more confusion.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Pinterest for Authors: A Beginner's Guide | Jane Friedman

Pinterest for Authors: A Beginner's Guide | Jane Friedman:
Un-Social Network. Unlike other platforms that are all about connecting, Pinterest is not super social. This means you can be more businesslike about your time there. On Twitter or Facebook, if you aren’t engaging, you might turn people off. On Pinterest, no one cares if you comment or interact. It utilizes an algorithm like Facebook, so if you decide to pin twenty things in ten minutes, it won’t clutter up your followers’ home feed. You can get in, do some pinning, and get out. For those of us overwhelmed by conversations and connections, Pinterest is a refreshing platform. You can spend hours (or minutes) looking at pretty things and not have to talk to another human. It is an introvert’s dream: a social platform where you don’t have to be social to be successful. This also means that it’s really easy to get started with Pinterest as compared to other platforms. The downside: If you want to form collaborative relationships, this is not the best place to do it. Good thing we have 200 other platforms for that!

What does it mean to be genetically Jewish? | The Guardian

What does it mean to be genetically Jewish? | Life and style | The Guardian:
DNA tests have been used in Israel to verify a person’s Jewishness. This brings a bigger question: what does it mean to be genetically Jewish? And can you prove religious identity scientifically?

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

New Irish historical birth, marriage and death registers available online for public to access

New historical birth, marriage and death registers available online for public to access:
These records hold the births for 1917 and 1918, marriages from 1864 to 1869, 1942 and 1943 and deaths for 1967 and 1968. The release is part of an initiative by both departments to provide online access to historical records and registers compiled by the Civil Registration Service. The records – which were prepared by the Civil Registration Service and uploaded by the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht – can be accessed on the website