Question of the Week: Do you have South African roots?

+8 votes

Do you have South African roots?

As far as I know, I do not. West African (that was a surprise) but not South African.

How about you?

If you do, you might be interested in our South African Roots Project.

asked in The Tree House by Eowyn Langholf G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
reshown by Chris Whitten

No, response to your post. That's because it  has not appeared in the G2G feed on anybodies  Nav Home  Page that follows the tag South_African_roots. Another later post supersedes it. I don.t know how long it was hidden, but reshowing will not draw attention to it when there is a later post with the same tag. With this comment it will. does.

Thank you Louis and thanks Eowyn for this G2G, we have a whole lot of wonderful South African members at WikiTree and everyone is very welcome to join us !

And...for everyone who perhaps is looking for some help in Afrikaans, we not only have our South African Roots Project but thanks to the help of some wonderful members we now also have our Suid Afrikaanse Portaal om Wikitree toeganklik te maak vir Suid Afrikaners deur inligting van Wikitree in Afrikaans beskikbaar te stel ! 

Yes I do, although some Grandparents only immigrated in 1921 to Natal and others immigrated to SA in 1820's To The Cape Province, and then some from Germany and France in the 1700's I was born there but immigrated back to UK. There are plenty families I have.

rgds Yolande (nee Hibbert)
Yes, I'm proudly South African. Both my parental lines are in South Africa since the late 1600's. The le Roux family arrived here in 1666.
I know that 3x Gt Grandmother was Elizabeth Cox ( Hairbottle), 1814 Tarifa Spain, daughter of a William Hairbottle, ( British public officer). She was niece of a Benjamin Powell, who was a public figure in Capetown at the town. She married Francis Cox in South Africa and my research has lead me to believe that she may have been tied to the Griffiths colony from Wales, I’m unable to find any substantial evidence so far however.
Yes! I have ancestors from the 1820 British Settlers, the German Settlers in Kaffraria and small parties from St Helena Island, France and England.

13 Answers

+2 votes
While I do not, I am kin to some who are... The Oppenheimers (think diamonds)...
answered by Richard Shelley G2G6 Pilot (102k points)

No South African Roots here either Richard, but I also have some South African family members (my grandfather's sister emigrated to South Africa) and we actually got to know each other thanks to WikiTree and of course working together with a lot of wonderful South African members around here and they all feel like family. wink

+1 vote

Apart from about 213 Immigrants they are all from Southern Africa

Out of 2046 possible ancestors in 10 generations, 1636 (79.96%) have WikiTree profiles.
592/1636 (36.19%) are duplicates due to pedigree collapse.

answered by Louis Heyman G2G6 Mach 3 (38.8k points)
+2 votes
Yes I do have SA roots. Povey roots go back a long way but my Natal McCallum roots are more recent. I heard many a story about the Boer war and ww1 from the railway point of view  but none about wwII.

answered by Almary Povey G2G Crew (450 points)
+2 votes
Personally no, but a part of my tree (by marriage) does have South African roots. These go back to the family that founded the Natal Witness in Pietermaritzburg when James Buchanan b.1784 in Edinburgh, Scotland, came out to South Africa with his wife and children. His son David Dale Buchanan founded the Natal Witness on 1st Feb 1846, the first edition appearing on 27th February. David later introduced the first postal service between Pietermaritzburg and Durban.
answered by Sal Davies G2G Crew (700 points)
+2 votes
I do have South African roots.  My moms family were Du Toits (1800's) on her grandfather's side who I believe were from some of the first settlers (although I have not been able to trace anything as I can't touch base with her her family members) and her grandmother's side was De Wet (1800's).  She says that her understanding is that her grandmother was a first cousin of General De Wet from the Anglo Boer War, however I have not been able to confirm this. I will be happy to receive any information on these two surnames in South Africa.

On my father's side our family have British Roots for his grandfather who came to South Africa in 1900.  Surname Hooper. His mother's family who I believe came to South Africa in the early 1900s from Italy / Spain.  Surname Tellis.

Would be happy to receive information on these names too.
answered by Michelle Howells G2G Rookie (260 points)

For this profile you probably need this record

+1 vote

I don't, though my only cousins were born there.

 My  husband has a S African birth cert (together with a Kenyan and British services overseas, all legal! ).His mother was the descendant of one of the 1820 settlers ,.His  father, the son of a British missionary  to  Basutoland who ended up in SA . As a result he has many cousins in SA. ( though thinking about it his roots are better described as British)

answered by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (186k points)
+1 vote
My Great-Grandfather Ernst Nollau was born in Capetown where his parents were living while on a church mission in 1847.  Not really roots per se but I guess there's a birth record there somewhere. I know the date so I guess it's never been a priority.
answered by
+1 vote
I have a South African connection, my great grandfather Thomas Richard Newton who was born in Queensland Australia, married Bridget Alphonsa Murphy she was an immigrant from Ireland and they married in Gympie Queensland, they had six children and I believe one of the daughters married a South African man, at some time Thomas went to South Africa probably for work, he passed away in 1915 in Johannesburg and as far as I know he remained married to Bridie the entire time of their separation.   If anyone on here is related I would love to hear from you.
answered by Maree Sweet G2G Rookie (230 points)
+1 vote
I don't have any direct South African ancestors, but many members of my paternal grandfather's mother's family went there from Lithuania, so I have quite a a few distant cousins there,
answered by
+1 vote

No - although my great-great-grandfather spent several years in Africa (not sure whether or not it was in South Africa) building railways in the late 1800s.  Another great-great-grandfather was a policeman (I think mounted) in South Africa prior to the Boer War (and fought in the Boer War - for the Brits).

answered by J-M Mustchin G2G6 (6.2k points)
+1 vote
I don't have direct South African roots but several ancestral people migrated there from England and New Zealand. Their names were Farrar (migrated from Yorkshire ca 1895), Anderson and Finlayson (from NZ). I can find very little about the Farrars other than probate details for one of the daughters, Louisa.
answered by
+1 vote
In am a 6th generation South African and have been actively recording my ancestors for over 40 years.  I have a huge list of potential members of my family tree, where I have found evidence but where I cannot find the connection.  These are mainly de Smidt's where I have got details from Family Search etc, but lack the link to known ancestors.  It is my mission to find these links.
answered by

I think the record you need for De_Smidt-55 is this one 

+1 vote
My maternal grandmother has an interesting background given that her father was from Germany and mother from Uganda. Don’t know if Uganda is in the southern area of Africa or not (my geography skills are terrible!) but I definitely have roots in Africa.
answered ago by

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