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Visit our SURNAMES A-Z page for a list of all the names in our data-base!

​For the last 15 years, we have been collecting historical material about Philippolis and the southern Free State.

This includes:

1. Over 6 000 urban property transactions in Philippolis, linked to erf numbers, with a map showing the erf numbers (some erf numbers changed during the 20th Century). These transactions generally date back as far as 1886, but some date back as early as 1862.  This includes the nearby village of Waterkloof, which is now virtually a ghost town.

 2. Almost 5 500 farm transactions in the Philippolis district, dating from 1862. This includes several farm divisions and amalgamations.


 3.  Extracts from The Friend newspaper, dating from 1864-1874.  We are still adding to this collection.

4.   NG Church records in Philippolis: Baptismal, membership and marriage registers.

5. Braby Business Directories for Philippolis, for several years after 1907.


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Genl Esaias Renier Grobler of Philippolis

Anglo-Boer War sources

Philippolis, being a Free State town, has two additional data sources:

  1. Compensation claims, which were submitted to the British Government in 1903, and which described families' experiences and losses during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1903

  2. Concentration camp data, typically referring to the Bethulie, Springfontein, Norvalspont and Orange River camps. This data includes information on places of origin, family relationships, ages, causes of death, and migration patterns during the war.

  3. Photographs of Philippolis gravestones in the Bethulie Concentration Camp cemetery.

We also have information about British soldiers and military units who were in action in or near Philippolis, or died here.

General Julian Byng compressed for Word.
Col. Julian Byng, active in clearing the Philippolis district during the guerilla phase of the Anglo-Boer War
The Philippolis Town Guard, photographed in front of No 1 Colin Fraser Street
Photo by Isaac Alexander Sutherland, photographer resident in Philippolis
Commandant Gideon Scheepers, who attacked Philippolis in October 1900
Black people in Philippolis after siege
Black defenders of Philippolis during the siege by Gideon Scheepers' commando, October 1900

Griqua and missionary history in Philippolis

This is well documented, notably by Karel Schoeman, in several books.

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Adam Kok II of Philippolis, and his house, in Voortrekker Street

Xhosa and Sotho history in Philippolis

References to Xhosa and Sotho residents are scarce in the literature, but we have two histories written by local residents themselves.

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Specialist sources

We have numerous specialised documents, such as municipal minutes, business records  and diaries. This includes Margaret Clark's diary of Philippolis, while she assisted Emily Hobhouse in setting up the Philippolis weaving school, in 1905.

The guard of honour at  the funeral of Emily Hobhouse in Bloemfontein

Books on Philippolis

There is a growing literature on Philippolis. Almost all of them are out of print. We can browse these books for you to find relevant information ... or you can search for them on or

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