This growing blog is a very general history of Johannesburg.
I’m not a professional researcher or historian and while I try to give a good overall coverage to each suburb or topic, I focus on what interests me. While I’m happy to assist anyone with additional information, I’m often not able to help as the requests fall out of what I’m able to access (this includes access to birth records which, for some reason, I’m always asked about). Please contact me by mail and I’ll see what I can do. I keep all the correspondence and if I ever come across additional info, I will pass it on. Please also understand that this is an interest I pursue in my spare time.
For a professional genealogical research service do visit Heather MacAlister’s www.ancestors.co.za. She worked on the South African edition of ‘Who do you think you are’.
For Johannesburg Jewish genealogical information please visit Eli Rabinowitz’s site Jewishgen.org
The posts on this blog up to March 2013 were originally hosted on Posterous. They’ve all been cleaned up and the photos updated.
I am also happy to add or update information relevant to the posts. I’ve had some good feedback from relatives of people I’ve written about on certain posts and have corrected other inaccuracies. Any old relevant pictures are welcome. I also regularly update information and add new pictures to old posts, so do check back.
How it all started:
While doing renovations to our home in Melville, we discovered via the original plans that the house was to turn 100 in 2012. This led to me try to track down a picture of what the house originally looked like which in turn exposed me to the fascinating history of the city. I discovered that many old houses and buildings were gone forever but at the same time, saw that many were still around. I wanted to find as many as I could and show ‘then & now’ comparisons as well as highlight those long gone.
While doing all of this, a feint thread of a new story started to emerge. Documenting what I was finding while working some of that historical fact into the story seemed like good idea. As I write with a comic in mind, the old and new pictures would serve as reference for whoever draws it one day.
This was overtaken by an offer from Penguin to write ‘Johannesburg Then and Now’ in late 2016. The book was completed in July 2018 with ‘now’ photography by Yeshiel Panchia and is now available. CLICK HERE for list of retailers and formats.
I’ve yet to find any pictures of my house – although I have come close (if one counts squinting at a zoomed in aerial photo). The search continues…
About Marc Latilla:
Husband to a beautiful wife, father to two (mostly) adorable boys and some cats, DJ, author and jaded music industry person.
My general site can be found here.