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South African Stamouers/Progenitors - First Front Page

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SV/PROG South African Stamouers/Progenitors

They came by ship mostly from Europe but also from all ports on the VOC's trade routes and made the wild, abundant and beautiful southern point of Africa the Cape of Good Hope their home. Their descendants populated the Cape and 'trekked' northwards by ox wagon spreading across the region. Today they are the white tribe of South Africa and continuing their adventures, they have spread in small numbers to all over the world. This project is a tribute to them and all their descendants.


Project Objectives

  • Provide a list of South African Progenitors in Geni and make them readily identifiable in tree view.
  • Establish a standard for how we structure their profiles and work towards sharing our collective information to get our Geni tree in this area as accurate as possible.
  • Assist to inform and guide our Geni community so as to achieve a uniform approach across our tree.
  • Have some fun doing it...

Project Collaborators are requested to:

  • Link/register progenitors to the project - (How? From their profile page select "More Actions" => "Add to project". To add a collaborator to the project you would do the same.)
  • Work together to set progenitor profiles as defined by the recommended profile structure below (up for and open to discussion and 'collaborative' agreement)
  • Participate in pruning and managing our collective tree to obtain some uniformity.
  • Assist to maintain and take responsibility to keep progenitors clear of matches, merge issues and tree conflicts.

Profile Structure

Our proposal is to closely follow the generally accepted South African genealogical approach with consideration of Geni functionality and the nature of looking and dealing with names and data in a computerised environment.

Profile Examples: Willem Schalk (Schalkzoon) van der Merwe and Elsje Cloete

(If you see a Progenitor Profile you feel worth a mention. Lets add them here)


Use SUFFIX for De Villiers Pama system as follows:

  • Place “SV/PROG” (not a1) in the SUFFIX field to allow a list progenitors to be displayed using GENI Search.
  • Differentiate more than one progenitor of the same surname by numbers 1,2,3.. SV/PROG 1,SV/PROG 2,SV/PROG 3...
  • Identify twins or children with same names by placing " i, ii, iii " in the SUFFIX field.
  • Identify generational namesakes by placing I, II, III in SUFFIX field.
  • To avoid errors and conflicts and to synchronise with South African genealogy use the De Villiers Pama for at least the generations up to year 1820. Place the b1, b2, b1c1, b1c2 as may be relevant in the SUFFIX and also display field. Lets NOT use brackets or any other additions and keep them as simple as possible:
    • [b1.c1] vs b1c1.
  • In DISPLAY NAME only use a space between name and number

Tip: You are able to turn off the display so you don't see the Suffix.


  • * Click here to see the list SV/PROG
    • Tip 1: Search for a specific progenitor by using SV/PROG + "LAST NAME"
    • Click to test SV/PROG van der Merwe
      • How do we deal with surname variants in order to isolate the Progenitor of that surname?
    • Tip 2 Click on "last name" to sort the list alphabetically by surname.

  • *Note: Currently we will only track the Male Progenitors or "Stamvaders" as the focus for this project. Not a sexist gesture, just based on the fact that a surname or last name is historically mostly linked to the male line in South African genealogy and SV/PROG identifies female progenitors visually too by their proximity in the tree. Also to track the number of surnames registered it seems to make sense at least for now to register only the SV's except where the mother does not have a SV so she gets SM. ?Example?


  • Birth order is important. Set the Geni BIRTH ORDER field on the profiles correctly. ie Born 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc..


  • Full names placed in 1st NAME field. So if 5 First Names, all 5 names should go in First Name field.
  • Name used on profile as close as possible to how the name was spelt on official/actual documents.

2nd NAME

  • Patronymic Names ("Peterzoon") or Main Variants of the 1st name in brackets.


  • Last name as recorded on official documents.
  • Last name Variants in brackets in NICKNAME or in ABOUT ME.
  • Last name NOT in capitals
    • Correct = van der Merwe
    • Incorrect = "VAN DER MERWE"
    • TIP Use Geni settings if you like your last names or maiden names in CAPS.


  • Males should be left BLANK. ?Note required?
    • Correct = van der Merwe
    • Incorrect = "VAN DER MERWE"
  • Use geni settings if you like your 'maiden' names in CAPS.


As noted earlier in South African genealogy practice we do not use a woman's 'married name' in the 'LAST NAME' and 'MAIDEN NAME' fields and both are (mostly) set as per her birth name ie. fathers LAST NAME. Of course there are always exceptions such as when a birth name is not known for a woman for instance.

Married names can go in Nickname field which may be renamed to AKA - 'Also known as' field).


So Elsjie van der Merwe born Cloete is correct as only "Elsjie Cloete"

Important to note that historically people were not as conscious of correct spelling of names and there are examples of the same name being spelt numerous ways even in the same document. ?Example?


There are many arguments to be made for and against using Married name and Geni is currently considering changes and additions to the name fields, but ultimately the 'weight of generally accepted genealogy standards seems to be a pragmatic and approach for us building a South-African tree.

There is a reason why this is a genealogical standard and despite the fact that a computerised environment may allow for different rules, tree maintenance and merging is just so much easier without it. There is one less surname to type when adding a profile and one less surname to change if it's wrong. Also much easier to identify and manage merges.

The biggest benefit of building our tree this way is that this may invite more of the experienced genealogists to participate in Geni which will be to all of our benefit.

Here is the place to change your settings to only view the Maiden name


  • Leave blank - this will default the display as per your default display settings:


  • 'First name' + 'Last name' + '-' + 'De Villiers Pama number'

(Most Common presentation of name in South African genealogical publications)

Eg. Arij van Wijck displayed in Display name as "Arie van Wyk b1 "

The proposal is to set : First Name: Arij Last name: van Wijck Display name: Arie van Wyk b1

Geertuy Meyhuyzen


  • Nicknames are important and appear in search views - Use the Nickname field for ""married"" name or First and Last name variants.

ABOUT ME List the following:

  • Important information to consider with new merges.
  • Possible and known conflicts.
  • First name variants
  • Last name variants
  • Genealogical information and immediate tree. Parents and children
  • Dates - 'About me' considered the "Master" on dates. So please note the profile dates in this section.
  • What we know about them - concise history.
  • Complete list of sources.
    • If anyone could advise a sample profile that we can refer to here?


  • "Western Cape" did not exist in the 1600's Please be careful to reflect historical accuracy when completing Locations. Stamouers have a very good location timeline
  • How do we go about creating South African locations appropriately for default in Geni?


  • The dates as set in the "About me" section of the profile are the ruling dates. Collaborators are invited to set the profile to these dates should there be a different date to the one in the About me.
  • It is generally easy enough to determine which source is superior in a dispute. If your source is different to the source in the "About me" section add yours with source reference. This way we keep improving the data and have a better chance of getting it more accurate as we go.

Approach on profile merges

  • Do not just assume a profile is the same as another just because the names are the same.
  • Open both profiles and check About me sections of both profiles. Check their relative placing in their original trees. Confirm multiple elements: Parents, children, dates before completing the merge. Refer to source information. When in doubt: DO NOT MERGE
  • When adding a profile of your own to be merged into an existing profile, at least make sure you add the birth dates accurately on the new profile.
  • After completing a merge, check data conflicts and resolve. Check tree conflicts created by the merge and resolve.

* Please do not load gedcoms into Geni. They just cause havoc.;-)i


Participation in this project invite from participants to embrace the principles of collaboration. If you are merging into a tree, invite the existing managers active in that part of the tree for collaboration and accept collaboration requests from those merging into areas of the tree where you are manager. This makes things easier and helps us all to resolve tree conflicts quicker. The answer to fixing your tree is not to collaborate with less people, but indeed with more. "Vele hande maak ligte werk!!" (Many hands make light work).

We are all building ONE tree and clearly are all interconnected - so using 'collaboration' as a mechanism to get access to management on profiles rather than becoming a 'manager' on every profile in your tree or forest is simply a far easier way to approach building your tree.

Indeed there seems no compelling reason (any longer) to be a manager on any particular profile other than if it is of special interest to you or if you have special knowledge or close family relations to that profile..

Note: Collaborators on this project get full collaboration rights on all linked profiles. Followers not!

Interesting Sources and Suggested Reading

Progenitor List by Surname