Ancestors of Author's
Children - 1 546 Individuals
Where it all started.
I have always had the lingering thoughts of where did my family originate from.
From the earliest age I have heard from my grandparents that we were family of the great Boer generals. On my fathers side it was President Paul Kruger and from my mothers side it was President Steyn. This really sounded far fetched and the thoughts stayed with me untill one day in my fiftees I spoke to a genealogist, Mr Len de Klerk, and he explained to me that this was NOT brain surgery and with a lot of perseverance one could actually research all this information.
With this new found information the hunt then started to research this task. As I progressed I found that it was not all that easy to trace all of these forebears as they really knew how to hide!!
The following shows the basic setup of the family at the first 3 levels:
|3 Grand Children||Joe Botha||Botha|
Starting the research I went for the Botha-leg, but quickly found almost no information after the grandfather leg. I reluctantly then switched the concentration of my research elsewhere. I found that UPE were also doing research and approached them. What a piece of luck. I was just in time to give Blake information through to Mrs Verona Blake for inclusion in her book "Blake Families in South-Africa 1820 - 1895" and thus found the Blake family line to the first Blake entering SA and going back to admiral Robert Blake.
My wife contacted the other leg of her family and this was another stroke of genius - we acquired a handwritten copy of the family info till the start of the Great Trek including the battle of Blood River. This almost sorted the Blake side of the Family. The rest was just some long hours connecting the family via the Archives in Pretoria.
The issue was my Botha side. I found out about the then HSRC Department on Family History and met Mrs Isabel Groesbeek and after discussions found that Dr R.T.J. Lombard had researched the Robbertse family as Dr Daan Robbertse was the first President of the Council. That solved the maternal grandfather side.
In further discussions with my wife and on an almost impossible notion we went to Carolina in search of the other Robbertse leg, viz. the Steyns. I remembered my Grandmother saying that her family came from that part of the world. On a cold winter morning we went to Carolina and I went to a Chemist, of all places, to enquire whether there were Steyns in the Town. What luck, an elderly lady remembered that one of their customers always spoke of his family and gave me his number. He was willing to speak to us and was I surprised that he had his Steyn family researched by Gustav Preller, the historian. The research covered from the first Steyn that arrived in the country up to the Steyn gentleman that I spoke to. It then transpired that my grandmother was very closely related to the "Presidential" side of the Steyn family.
It now left the pure Botha side, and if I may say so, what a mission!! If it was not that I had 75% of the info, I would have given up at stage. But persevered I did.
The problem was that i could not find the link beween my great great Grandfather and the Botha's as stated in the Botha list as per the Suid-Afrikaanse Geslagregisters by J.A. Heese & R.T.J. Lombard. The problem was that basically that the recording and ordaining all marriages, etc. were "banned" by the English when they took over power at the Cape in 1800. There were no records kept between 1800 and 1804. After much research at the Archives in Pretoria and at Cape Town I finally discovered the "Opgaafrolle" in the Pretoria Archives. (Opgaafrolle = Tax and census rolls completed in the Cape Province before 1900). The local Field Cornet had to prepar a count of all perons in his Jurisdiction every three years. I thus could now find my family before and after 1800 as per these "Opgaafrolle". As fate would have it the wife of the Botha died in 1801 and he remarried in 1803 with no official record except for the Opgaafrolle.
At last the final coupling was made.
With a fair amount of further research all the other links could be established so that I had a comprehensive record of all the people, husbands and wives, from my children to the first arrivals in the country. As I had established the first arrivals in the country I attached their country of their origin and then calculated my origin in terms of the relevant foreign country.
For interest sake I give the "bloodline" percantages for myself, my wife and the combined percentages for the children:
|Holland & Belgium||45.10||40.88||42.99|
|France & Swiss||24.34||21.72||23.03|
|NN - Illegitimate||0.51||0.11||0.31|
The "Other Countries" are made up as follows:
|Africa as a whole||2.66||2.44||2.55|
Thus came to an end my search for the origins of my family.
This was then also the cause for the start of the never ending project called BOTHA IN SOUTHERN AFRICA.
|D&P||Genealogies of Old South African Families by de Villiers & Pama|
|GAN||"Genealogieë van die Afrikaner Families in Natal" by B. Cilliers|
|H&L||South African Genealogies by Heese & Lombard|
|†||Date of Death|
|c.||circa or approximately|
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|Date Last Updated:||27 August 2021|
|Date First Published:||26 June 1999|
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