May I join this project? I don't personally have South African roots that I am aware of, but my husband and his mother do (my MIL's maternal line), so I guess that means my son does, too. I spend more time, effort, and money researching my husband's family lines in South Africa than researching my own!
One surname I am researching in South Africa is Mallet/Mallett. So far, no good evidence for where my mother-in-law's maternal great-grandfather John Mallet or his family came from or when he/they arrived in SA.
I also want to flesh out her Radtke/Birkholz ancestors at their origin, Zadelow, Pomerania, Prussia, as well as the Birkholz collaterals in SA and their descendants (Carl Birkholz and Dorothe Radtke and children arrived in East London from Prussia in 1858); as well as John Earles Shepherd and Kate Jamieson in SA who married into the Mallet/Birkholz family.
The most intriguing mystery is my MIL's "paper" tree includes a Marsberg maternal grandfather (19th century immigrant family to SA from Germany/Prussia), however, autosomal DNA testing at 23andme as well as AncestryDNA confirmed a hunch that not all was as it appeared - there is not enough auDNA evidence or DNA matched contemporary cousins to support the three great-grandparents from Germany/Prussia in the paper tree.
Instead, the DNA matches and ancestry evidence strongly supports the family rumors of a NPE in that generation. Family history includes a broken engagement, then marrying the sister's brother-in-law, and records that clearly show conception occurred well prior to marriage with birth not long after the marriage date. Not enough to bat an eye today, but who knows back then, even during a diamond rush.
Additionally, many, many of my MIL and husband's contemporary DNA cousins are documented descendants of the some of the early European families that colonized/settled in SA. So we are now trying to discover the identity of this 19th century mystery man, most likely born between 1850- 1870, who may have lived in or spent time in or around Kimberley during the Big Hole era, in particular in late 1885-early 1886. With a diamond rush on, this won't be difficult, right? ;-) My pick is ready to sift through the rubble of time.