28 December 2010

De Buys' in the Boer War Concentration Camps

The Boer Wars (known in Afrikaans as Vryheidsoorloeë) were two wars fought between the United Kingdom and the two independent Boer republics, the Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic).

The First Anglo-Boer War (1880–1881), also known as the "Transvaal War," was a relatively brief conflict in which Boer (Descendants of Dutch settlers. Translates as 'Farmer') successfully rebelled against British rule in the Transvaal, and re-established their independence, lost in 1877, when the Boers fought the British in order to regain the independence they had given up to obtain British help against the Zulus.

The Second War (1899–1902), by contrast, was a lengthy war—involving large numbers of troops from many British possessions—which ended with the conversion of the Boer republics into British colonies (with a promise of limited self-government). These colonies later formed part of the Union of South Africa. The British fought directly against the Transvaal and the Orange Free State. The bloodshed that was seen during the war was alarming. Two main factors contributed to this. First, many of the British soldiers were physically unprepared for the environment and poorly trained for the tactical conditions they faced. As a result, British losses were high due to both disease and combat. Second, the policies of "scorched earth" and civilian internment (adopted by the British in response to the Boer guerrilla campaign) ravaged the civilian populations in the Transvaal and the Orange Free State.

During the Second Boer War, the UK pursued the policy of rounding up and isolating the Boer civilian population into concentration camps.

The concentration camps of the South African War were formed by the British army to house the residents of the two Boer republics of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State. They were established towards the end of 1900, after Britain had invaded the Boer republics. The British Concentration Camp Database was designed to investigate mortality and morbidity in the camps during the war. Although it will include everyone listed in the registers during the war, it usually excludes returning prisoners-of-war and men who came back from commando at the end of the war, as well as the considerable movement of people which took place after 31 May 1902, when families were repatriated to their homes.

This database has several De Buys family members listed in it.

Johannes Gerhardus Hendrica Jeremias De Buys’ family::

  • Johannes was born in 1859 and was a blacksmith by trade
  • Elizabeth De Buys (Johannes’s wife), born 1864
  • Catherina De Buys, born 1886
  • Johannes De Buys born 1889
  • Carl De Buys, born 1891
  • Johanna De Buys, born 1892
  • Fredrica De Buys, born 1895
  • Maria De Buys, born 1897 and died in the camp at the age of 4 (09 April 1901)
  • The family all stayed in tent number 3943 in the Kimberly RC. They arrived in the camp on 29 January 1901 and left on 24 July 1902
Pieter De Buys’ family:
  • Pieter was born in 1854 and was a handyman by trade
  • Johanna Petronella De Buys (Pieter’s wife), born 1874
  • Susan De Buys, born 1886
  • Thomas De Buys, born 1886
  • The family stayed in tent number 3951 in the Kimberley RC. They arrived in the camp on 29 January 1901 and left on 24 July 1902
Conrad Wilhelm De Buys was born in 1858 and arrived in the camp on 24 April 1901. He was listed as surrendering on 20 April 1901 at Botha’s Berg. His occupation was given as a bricklayer and was held in the Middelburg RC.

Elsie Susanna De Buys was born in 1898 and died of stomatitis at the age of 3 years and 6 months while in the Potchefstroom RC camp. The farm she came from was given as “Lindleyspoort /Lindlyspoort /Linleyspoort, Rustenburg”.

I have not linked the first two families into the De Buys’ tree, but at this time the last two entries are of more interest to me. I believe that the Conrad Wilhelm listed here may be my great-great-grandfather as the dates seem to match, but, that said, there have been many Coenraad Willem De Buys’ in our tree! My great-great-grandfather Coenraad had three children, Petrus (born 30 August 1882), Coenraad Willem (born 24 July 1884) and Susara Gesina (born 12 July 1886)

Petrus De Buys also served in the Boer war and was listed on the Medal Roll of Boer Members of Artillery and Related Units 1899-1902.

What I find even more interesting is that Elsie Susanna, who seems to have no relatives with her in the camp, has “Lindleyspoort” as her farm of origin. My great-grandfather Coenraad Willem (born 24 July 1884) wrote a letter to the government of the Cape in 1907 requesting money from his mother (Johanna Dorothea nee Muller)’s estate. This letter was addressed from Lindleyspoort. Could Elsie have been Coenraad’s younger sister?

Sources: http://www.wikipedia.com

21 December 2010

De Buys/Beyleveld families

Around 1880, somewhere on a farm near Middelsburg (on the Karoo in the Eastern Cape, South Africa), Gert (Petrus Johannes) BEYLEVELD, his wife, Catharina (Johanna Helena ESBACH) and their 6 children came across a group of De Buys' families.

It would seem that the De Buys' were all living together or in close proximity to one another. Anyway, relationships blossomed between several of the De Buys offspring. Between 1882 and 1886 several De Buys/Beyleveld couples married. These were:
  • Hendrik Johannes Joachim BEYLEVELD (Born 1861/10/05) married Maria Elizabeth DE BUYS (Born 1865/01/08) around 1882
  • Alwyn Johannes DE BUYS (Born 1860/09/10) married Aletta Barendina BEYLEVELD (Born in 1863) on 16/11/1885
  • Coenraad Wilhelm DE BUYS (Born 1856/05/17, died 1918/11/13) married Johanna Aletta BEYLEVELD (Born 1866/11, died 1955/04/20) in 1886
All the marriages were listed as taking place in the Cape Of Good Hope, no further details of location were added.

Two of the other Beyleveld children chose different partners: Maria married Willem Nienaber on 11/06/1860 in Colesberg and Abraham married Johanna Smit on 29/05/1871 in Middelburg.  I have not found any marriage records for the last Beyleveld child - Gert Beyleveld.

These unions brought into the world many De Buys and Beyleveld children who's families are documented in the De Buys family tree today.

Do you know more about these families? Are these your ancestors?

06 December 2010

Coenraad saves Van Der Kemp...

Coenraad De Buys
(As drawn by Hazel Crampton)
Coenraad De Buys, born in 1761, was a rebel and an outlaw in the old Cape Colony. By all accounts Coenraad was an exceptionally tall man and an impressive figure. He was one of a number of white and coloured people (such as Hermanus ‘Ngxukumeshe’ Matroos and Hans Branders) who were on the Xhosa side in the frontier wars against the Boers and then the British.

On 20 Sept 1799, Dr Johannes Van Der Kemp, a missionary from the London Missionary Society, met Coenraad De Buys in Kaffirland, where Coenraad acted as interpreter for van Der Kemp with Gaika.

Over that year and the next Coenraad and Dr Van Der Kemp's friendship grew.

At the end of 1800 Coenraad and Van Der Kemp decided to fight their way through the “Eastern Bosjesmen” - probably those near the Stormbergen -in order to find a new country. In the first days January of 1801, they were to cross the Kabusie river, the first stage of their trek. Van der Kemp was washed away by the strong river and nearly drowned in crossing, but Coenraad took a few strides towards Van Der Kemp and plucked him out of the river basically without getting himself wet.

Coenraad must have been a really huge, strong man. Coenraad did, however, end up very frail and weak towards the end, and even suffered a stroke which left him paralyzed on one side of his body.

I would love to sit down at a camp fire with Ou Coen and drink some of his old Cape Brandy (which was thick and muddy) and talk to him about his times and see what he thinks of today's South Africa and what has become of his people.

28 June 2010

What happened to Jean's Slaves?

One of my ancestors, Jean De Buis, farmed on Bergfontein on the Cape side of the Gouritz River and, in 1779 had nine slaves. When he died (1779) the slaves were sold. I don't know who they were sold to or what became of them.

Can anyone give me some stories or information about them?

These nine slaves were :
• Aly van Sambara
• Fortyn van Ceylon
• Marius van de Kust
• Antony van Madagaskar
• October van Mosambique
• Maarz van Bougies
• Adomis van de Caab
• Truy van Bougies
• Lea van de Caab

Unfortunately no dates of birth/ages are know, or who they were sold to or anything like that.

It would be fantastic to know more about their lives if possible.

24 June 2010

Copyright holder info for "The First Transvaler" wanted

While researching my family tree I obtained a copy of a thesis by Agatha Elizabeth Schoeman entitled "Coenraad De Buys - The First Transvaler" The book was published in 1938. I scanned the document and, using OCR software, converted it to a searchable PDF document. (I did this so that I could search the document for people's names and place names).

I would like to offer this "digital reproduction" of the book to Ancestry24.com who would like to put it in their free downloadable portion of their website. The problem is, however, I'm not sure who holds the copyright on the book (Agatha passed away around 1989) and I would like to get permission to distribute the document.

09 June 2010

What happened on 14 October 1773?

While researching my family tree I found that husband and wife, Johannes Frederik VAN RENSBURG and Maria Elizabeth (born DU BUIS) both died on 14 October 1773. I'm not sure where they died but would like to find out where and what happened?

Unfortunately I don't know where they died, but it would have been listed as "Cape Of Good Hope" obviously, given the time frame.

Could it have been a farm attack or tragedy? It may have been a sickness of some sort, although I doubt that they would have died on the same day - maybe their deaths were only discovered on that day?

Is anyone able to help with some information?

23 May 2010

De Buys/Balie children

On 22 May 1842 Coenraad Willem DE BUYS (DU BUIS) married Anna Elisabeth BALIE in Beaufort West, in the Cape of Good Hope. Coenraad was born on 03 Feb 1815 and Anna was born around 1824. Coenraad and Anna were cousins.

We know that the couple had a child, Elizabeth Catharina DE BUYS, who was born on 29 Aug 1842. Elizabeth married Christiaan Lodewyk MULDER on 17 Feb 1873 in Hopetown, in the Cape of Good Hope.

We think that Coenraad and Anna may have had another child who was named Coenraad Wilhelm who may have been born around 1855.

Could you shed any light on this Coenraad and/or Coenraad and Anna's children?

De Buys/Gous children

Around 1857 a Coenraad Willem DE BUYS (DU BUIS) married Susanna Josina GOUS(GOUWS). Coenraad was born around 1837 and Susanna was born on 6 Aug 1837.

They had a child named Petrus DE BUYS 5 Jul 1858. We think that they may have had more children.

Do you know anything about these families? Could you shed some light on them?

South African De Buys'

During several years of investigating and tracing my De Buys family roots I found that we are descended from Jean DE BUS who arrived in the Cape Of Good Hope in April 1688 onboard De Oosterland.

These investigations also led me to uncover several De Buys families. I have been able to link several of them into my family tree and others I have been able to expand on, but not include in the tree.

I would like to get in touch with other De Buys families who are interested in their genealogy and in sharing the information that they have on their families.