George Francis Rowan born Ireland c1800 died Cape Town 1856, #

+6 votes
in Genealogy Help by
What do you mean by Blenderhassett was his son's third name?

5 Answers

+2 votes

Hi Roy

This is what I have on George Francis Rowan:

Since there is a limit on the size of the message it will be in three parts.

 a1 George Francis *Ireland circa 1800 †+Maynardville, Wynberg 22.05.1856 56y, from Co. Kerry, Worked as a Searcher, Landing & Coastwaiter, HM Customs, at the port of London earning £200 per annum before being appointed as Landing Surveyor on 10th May 1836, Cape Town, Marshall, Member of the Cape Town Mechanic’s Institute 12.08.1853

x St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town 07.02.1838 HORNE, Emma Louisa * Madeira c1814 †+Wynberg Hill, Cape Town 11.11.1883 69y ΩSt John’s Cemetery, Wynberg, Cape Town, {d/o HORNE, James & HAYWARD, Elizabeth}

b1 George Francis Blennerhassett ≈17.05.1839 †+Buitenkant Street, Cape Town 23.11.1871 32y, Clerk in Custom House (Un-married, Co Executor Est R Granger)

(x) FOX, Eliza Amelia

[c1] Elizabeth Maria Francina (*)Cape Town 22.07.1872 ≈DRC, Cape Town 10.10.1872 (w: Maria Johanna Heyer nee Fox, ? Bartholomous Beets)

by William Rowan G2G Crew (740 points)
edited by William Rowan
+2 votes

Part 2:

b2 Emma Catherine †c1873

x St Georges Cathedral, Cape Town 24.111.1864 GRANGER, Robert Augustus *Brighton, Sussex, England c1825 †Southampton, England 19.08.1870 45y, Merchant {s/o GRANGER, Robert}

[c1] Robert Blennerhasset Remington

[c2] Frederick Charles

by William Rowan G2G Crew (740 points)
Robert Blannerhassett Remington Granger 1868-1931 and his brother Fred moved to Bulawayo, Robert was a farmer and died in 1931, he never married. Frederick Charles Granger 1867-1952 married, Australian Gertrude Bradford 1878-1959 they didn't produce any children.
Hi Anonymous

Thank you for the information regarding Robert and Fred Granger. Interesting.  Do you have any source references as I do not see any indexed records on FamilySearch for them.

The story gets a lot more intriguing as I found a baptism for Frederick (Fredrik) Charles Granger b04.04.1880 (onecht - illegitimate) and the mother given as Elizabeth Maria Francina Granger. .The mother's names may appear to be co-incidental to those of the daughter (also illegitimate) of George Francis Blennerhassett Rowan and Elizabeth Amelia Fox. Otherwise we are looking at (deliberate) miss-information, incorrectly recorded baptism or a very co-incidental situation. She could also be the daughter of Willem Carel Granger & Jemina Onslofina Suzanna Williams!
Family search, Zimbabwe, Bulawayo, you will see Robert B R Granger and his brother Charles Frederick Granger, these are the two sons of Robert Granger of Granger Bay fame, merchant, Robert Granger jnr, was a farmer near Bulawayo and was an agent and cattle trader. There is a book where he was mentioned where he was sourcing cattle from the King of the matatbele (spelling)  These two men Robert and Charles Granger are mentioned in the will of their grandmother Emma Louisa Rowan nee Horne. Both their parents had died when Emma died in 1883, Robert and Charles (Fred) were the cousins of George Francis Niclaas Rowan and Eliza Francina Rowan illegitimate children of the murdered George and Eliza Fox, who we believe to be Thomas Relling and Frances Annie Relling (name changed) once adopted by Charles relling, hope this makes sense,  regards, Roy
+2 votes

Part 3:

Grahamstown Journal 

Cape Town – Frightful Affair - Wednesday 22 November 1871
The fête on Monday was a decided failure, and anything but creditable to the management of the Agricultural Society, under whose auspices it was given.
At daybreak on Tuesday morning Mr. G.F.B. ROWAN of the Customs was found dead under circumstances that leave little doubt but that he was murdered. The Government not doing anything in the matter, the Mercantile community have guaranteed a reward of £100 which has been issued. Two men have been apprehended on suspicion. ROWAN’s watch was found on a German, who states he stole it from the body, believing ROWAN was insensible, but denies being a party to the murder. The funeral takes place this afternoon. Flags half-mast high.

Cape Town – The Murder of Mr. Rowan Friday 24 November 1871
A reward of £250 has been offered to any person giving such information as will lead to the detection and conviction of the murderer of Mr. ROWAN - £150 by the Commercial Exchange and £100 by the Town Council. As yet the perpetrator of this dreadful crime has not been found. The funeral took place on Wednesday afternoon, and was one of the largest ever seen in Capetown.

by William Rowan G2G Crew (740 points)
+2 votes

Hi Roy

I have found some descendants of Thomas William Charles Relling:

Did you get my email?

b1 George Francis Blennerhassett ≈17.05.1839 +†Buitenkant Street, Cape Town 23.11.1871 32y, Clerk in Custom House (Un-married, Co Executor Est R Granger)

(x) FOX, Elizabeth Amelia *c1851 †+6 Hudson’s Cottage, Highfields Rd, Cape Town 03.02.1899 48y (Coloured) Malignant Tumour of Stomach and Intestines (x Charles Relling(s) *Norway c1845 †+26.03.1913 68y)

[c1] Thomas William Charles *c1870 adopted by Charles Relling and took the surname Relling. Dynamite Worker, Pound Master, Platelayer

x BALES, Helen Annie {d/o BALES, Henry William Charles & GROENEWALD, Helen Ctaherine}

[d1] George Henry Thomas *Somerset West 05.06.1907 ≈All Saints, Anglican Church, Somerset West 14.07.1907

[d2] Albert William *Somerset West 14.03.1909 ≈All Saints, Anglican Church, Somerset West 30.04.1909

[d3] Helen Catherine Elizabeth *19.05.1910 ≈All Saints, Anglican Church, Somerset West 08.07.1910 †+26.10.1964

x St Saviour’s, Angilcan Church, Claremont 14.12.1935MILLER, Clifford Arthur Stanhope *c1910 †+30.01.1976 Cabinet Maker (s/o MILLER, Arthur Edward & NN, Maria Elizabeth}

[e1] Daughter

[d4] Henry William Charles *Cape Town 27.11.1911 ≈All Saints, Anglican Church, Somerset West 05.01.1912 †+Cape Town 06.06.1981 ΩMain Cemetery, Plumstead, Cape Town Butcher

x Marriage register shows his status as a widower when he married Ethel Cecilia Daintree.

xx St Saviour’s, Angilcan Church, Claremont 04.10.1933 DAINTREE, Ethel Cecilia *c1913

[d5] Edith Mary Ann *24.02.1914 ≈All Saints, Anglican Church, Somerset West 19.06.1914 †+???

x Wynberg 27.01.1934 VAN ZYL, John Erasmus *c1905

[d6] Richard James *03.1916 †Kildare Road, Newlands, Cape Town 27.10.1918 2y 7½m Dy ΩMowbray

[d7] Fennelia Ann *14.05.1918 †+???

x St Aiden’s, Angilcan Church, Lansdowne, Wynberg 06.01.1940 HART, Albert William *c1919 Mechanic †???

[d8] James Harold *Cape Town 06.10.1920 ≈St Saviour’s, Anglican Church, Claremont 12.12.1920 †+11.08.1979

x St Matthew’s Anglican Church, Claremont, Wynberg 09.09.1939 ÷ c1943 CUPIDO, Selina Rita *??? †+??? (Coloured) (Rx Alfred Thomas Ventura)

[d9] Angeline Susan *21.05.1923 †+???

x St Saviour’s, Angilcan Church, Claremont 24.02.1945 HART, Reginald Albert *c1916 Shipping Clerk †+???

xx 23.09.1964 TIMM, Victor John

[d10] Lilian Maud *09.11.1925

x St Saviour’s, Angilcan Church, Claremont 04.06.1949 AUGUSTUS, Sydney Desmond *c1920 Undertaker

[d11] Mavis Bridget *Cape Town 16.12.1931 †+????

x 24.04.1959 VANZYL, Emmanual Gabriel *??? +†???

[c2] Elizabeth Maria Francina (*)Cape Town 22.07.1872 ≈DRC, Cape Town 10.10.1872 (w: Maria Johanna Heyer nee Fox, ? Bartholomous Beets)

Children from the marriage of Eliza Amelia Fox to Charles Relling

[c3] Charles Henry George *Cape Town 17.04.1880 ≈St Mark, Anglican Church, Cape Town 04.07.1880

[c4] Freda Catherine *20.11.1894 ≈St John, Anglican Church, Cape Town 16 01.1895

[d5] Richard

by William Rowan G2G Crew (740 points)
HI BiIl, yes I did get your message, and thanks for all the following information you just sent. Again yes, this is the Relling line we have, my wife is the daughter of Mavis Relling  born 1931, Here's the thing.

George Francis Blannersett Rowan who was murdered had two children by Eliza Amelia Fox, (her death certificate names her as Elizabeth) they never married. their son George Francis Nichlaas Rowan was born 1st Feb, 1871 and their daughter Eliza Maria Francina Rowan was born July 22nd 1872, Eliza Fox was pregnant when GRB Rowan was killed.

Eliza Amelia Fox married Charles Relling in 1878, They went on to have  a few children all of which were baptised, Their eldest two children Thomas William Charles and Frances Annie Relling do not have birth or baptismal notices as far as we have determined. There is still confusion within the Relling family as to their ages we believe they were older than their death records show.


George Francis Nichlaas Rowan and his sister Eliza Maria Francina Rowan seem to have disappeared, we have no marriage or death certicates for them, Now the family story which was passed down by Thomas William Relling wife Helen to her children goes like this;


Her husband Thomas and his sister were adopted by Charles Relling, their father was killed, which you confirmed for us and that Thomas' real family name was Rowan, although we were not sure of the spelling, Thomas himself was killed in 1932 (hit by a train in Hartfield) his age then was given as 59 years, story has it that he was older. His sister Frances married a James Edward Taylor. her age too was questioned.

Maybe Charles and Eliza Fox had these two out of wedlock just as GFB Rowan had two out of wedlock with Eliza, Maybe George Francis Nichlaas and Eliza (Elizabeth) Maria Francina Rowan were packed off somewhere? They certainly were left out of their granmothers will, this shows that perhaps the family disowned them, perhaps because their mother was coloured? obviously there are questioned.


What we believe and have tried to prove is the George Francis Nichlaas Rowan and his Sister Eliza (Elizabeth)had there name changed and become Thomas Relling and Frances Relling  on adoption.


As with family stories that get passed down the line there is always elements of truth and I know that distortions to that story do happen, but we have the Rowan name totally accepted by all the living family members, the murder (this is in the story, not just a death but a murder) of a father which lead to an adoption, The connection between GFB Rowan and Charles Relling and Eliza Fox, incidentally Charles Relling for many years was the postman for Robbin Island so he lived by the docks and rowed ta boat out every day to RI. Why are these details in the story if there wasn't any truth in them, what is there to gain? Thomas William Relling was a very quite man and never talked of his past but his wife Helen only spoke of these things after he died in 1932?


If we can find anything related to the whereabouts of GRB Rowan's two children than we can put this bed until then we will keep looking, in finishing for now, George Francis Blannerhassett Rowan sister married Robert Augustus Granger 1825-1870, this part of the family tree is full of high society
+2 votes
Hi Roy

Thank you for the additional information.  That confirms that they went to Bulawayo.  I spent about 6 months there around 2001/2 on a project not knowing the history we now know today.

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