Ek het altyd gevoel 'n mense moet nie want dan "beskadig" jy hulle. Hoe meer ek te doen kry met foto's van onbekende mense, hoe meer dink ek dit is 'n groter skade as daar nie op fotos geskryf word nie.
'n Besondere geluk met onbekende mense was so paar jaar gelede toe ek by oom Hennie 'n foto raakgeloop het van twee burgers net na die Anglo-Boere oorlog. Dit was blykbaar die gebruik om jou te laat afneem in die klere wat jy gedra het toe vrede gesluit is in 1902. Agterop die foto was geskryf: "T.A. Kruger". Voor op die foto staan geskryf: "Burghersdorp. From the Feldt. Jun 10, 1902 " Daar was egter twee mense op die foto en ongelukkig het hulle ongeidentifiseer gebly.
'n Paar jaar later ontvang ek 'n foto van Amanda af en sy noem dat dit 'n foto van haar oupagrootjie Hendrik Bernardus Kruger. Ek was natuurlik lekker verbaas toe ek die foto sien en het dadelik besef dat ek al die foto van tevore gesien het. Die foto was nie meer in 'n goeie toestand nie maar daar is agter op die foto geskryf : "Afgeneem in die jaar 1902, na die vrede van die Boere oorlog. Een broek vour zijl, een hoed vour vel, een baatje gelap met vel, H.B. Kruger, en vour den ----- ".
Kon die twee identiese fotos met hulle notas help met die identifikasie van die twee burgers?
Amanda se foto. H.B Kruger.
Oom Hennie se foto.T.A Kruger
Hendrik Bernardus Kruger was my oupagrootjie, Gert Lodewyk Kruger, se broer en beide was bittereinders wat geveg het totdat vrede verklaar is. Hendrik Bernardus met sy beskrywing en handtekening agterop die foto was dus nou maklik om te identifiseer as die persoon regs met die gelapte baadjie. Wie was die T.A. Kruger wat dan links op die foto verskyn en wie se naam agterop oom Hennie se foto geskryf is?
Soms pas die stukkies van 'n legkaart sommer net skielik inmekaar en dit is presies wat gebeur het met my soektog na T.A Kruger. My oupagrootjie en sy broer het 'n neef gehad Tjaart Andries Kruger gebore in 1864. Ek het ontdek dat hy is gevangenne geneem is deur die Engelse op 9 Mei 1902 te Steenkampsberg, slegs weke voor die einde van die oorlog. Daar was nie tyd om hom weg te voer na Indie of Ceylon nie en hy is moontlik gevangene gehou in Simonstad of Groenpunt. Hy is dus vrygelaat toe vrede verklaar is en is huistoe met die bondeltjie besittings wat op die foto verskyn.
Die persone op die foto is dus Tjaart Andries Kruger *1864 en Hendrik Bernardus Kruger * 1871.
Ek is nie mooi seker wat die gepaste Afrikaans sou wees om die opskrif te beskryf nie maar soms loop 'n mens individue raak wat meer gee as wat hulle neem. Die persone wat ekstra moeite doen sonder dat jy dit verwag. Hoe belangrik kan 'n datum nou wees? Wel as dit een van jou eie voorouers is en jy probeer al lank genoeg inligting bymekaar maar om nader te kan kom aan 'n antwoord, dan beteken dit nogal baie. As so 'n spesiale persoon jou dan help voel dit dan asof "baie dankie" net nie genoeg is nie. Elke keer as ek na die datum kyk hoop ek 'n stukkie sonskyn skyn op die persoon en die persoon het 'n lekker dag.'n Groot dankie in paaiemente!
Freddie Ekkel skryf dat hy tans in Kloosterhaar, Holland, besig met navorsing oor die geskiedenis van twee voormalige werkkampe Balderhaar en Kloosterhaar wat bestaan het tydens die Tweede Wereldoorlog.
Na aanleiding van sy ondersoek het 'n inwoner van Kloosterhaar vir hom 'n Bybel gewys wat uit die werkkamp Balderhaar afkomstig was. Voor in die Bybel staan geskryf: J.G.A. Kruger, Kotzes'post, Reddersburg. 1 December 1925
'n Bybel, wat 'n uitgawe was van die Britse en Buitelandse Bybelgenootskap van London in 1923, behoort dus in 1925 aan 'n Suid-Afrikaanse familie van Reddersburg in die Oranje Vrystaat en verskyn dan weer in die tydperk van 1939-1945 in Holland waar dit aan 'n werkkamp inwoner behoort. Freddie sou graag meer wou weet oor die geskiedenis van die Bybel en hoe dit tydens die oorlogsjare in die werkkamp Balderhaar beland het.
Die volgende staan in die Bybel: Naam van echtgenoot: Joseph Gert Adriaan Kruger, geb. 5 Junie 1874. Naam van echtgenote: Elsie Magdalena Isabella Jakoba Kruger, geb. 21 Maart 1884. Gehuwd 20 Oktober 1902. Geboorten:
Freddie noem dat na sy wete geen van die persone in Nederland oorlede is nie en het gewonder of van die familie, of hulle nasate, nog lewe en dalk kan help met inligting oor die geskiedenis van die Bybel.
Met inligting uit die Bybel en die Kruger register, is die volgende oor die familie bekend:
Joseph Gert Adriaan Kruger se vrou Elsie Magdalena Isabella Jakoba gebore Venter is in 1940 oorlede te Reddersburg en Joseph het haar sterfkennis geteken te Reddersburg. Joseph is moontlik weer op 26 Augustus 1943 getroud met 'n Frederika Maria van der Walt. Joseph en Elsie het vier dogters gehad soos ook in die Bybel genoem is. Al die dogters is in die Gereformeerde kerk Reddersburg gedoop.
Dit wil dus voorkom asof die gesin in die Reddersburg omgewing gewoon het en moontlik woon van hulle nasate nog daar. Die laaste datum in die Bybel is die huwelik van Maria Aletta Kruger met Abraham Carel Bothma Roberts op 14 April 1930. Die afsterwe van Elsie Magdalena Isabella Venter in 1940 is nie in die bybel aangeteken nie en ook nie die huwelik van hulle derde kind op 27 November 1940 nie.
Technology is suppose to make communications easier, some times it does and other times it seems to get in the way. I recently received an enquiry from Jacqueline Sleeper Russell about the ancestors of Mercedes Estelle Woodford and links to President Paul Kruger and General Piet Joubert. I promptly replied but AOL decided to block my mail. Since the posting below Jacqueline has had a friend contacted me and we have been able to exchanges e-mails via a friend.
Ethelbert George Woodford left quite a few "footprints" in South Africa for researchers to follow. There is a document in the Transvaal archives (TAB, SS, 2586, R15200/90) with the description EG WOODFORD. MYNCOMMISSARIS, JOHANNESBURG RE STAND VOOR DE ENGELSCHEKERK. (EG Woodford. Mine commissioner, Johannesburg. Regarding block of land for the English church, dated 1890. There are also two other documents references that I found most fascinating. (TAB, SS, R9756/93) On 11 August 1893 Ethelbert applied for his letter of naturalisation and also applied to become a mine inspector. (EG WOODFORD PRETORIA - VRAAGT BRIEF VAN NATURALISATIE) and (EG WOODFORD PRETORIA - MAAKT APPLICATIE VOOR MYN INSPECTEUR.) From Jacqueline's message & postings I concluded that the family later returned to the USA as US citizens but it is quite possible that Ethelbert was at some point a citizen of Oom Paul Kruger's South African Republic.
During his stay in South Africa Ethelbert George Woodford married Susannah H. Vogel who Jacqueline mentioned was the daughter of an unknown Vogel and Hester Jacoba de Wet.
I have a copy of the book titled "Family de Wet - 300 Years" published by H.C de Wet in 2001. On page 190 it states the following:
g2 Hester Jacoba DE WET born 1 August 1842. Was known as Hessie. Married on 17 July 1859 at Aliwal North, to Johann Christiaan VOGEL, born 26 March 1838 and died 1892. Her second marriage was on 14 August 1893 at Barkly East to Johannes Jacobus Petrus GREYVENSTEIN who was born on 5 May 1836, baptised on 17 May 1836 and died on 30 August 1912.
The parents of g2 Hester Jacoba DE WET were:
f1 Pieter Wouter DE WET, born on 30 August 1819 in the district of Caledon, baptised on 26 September 1819, died in the house of Frans VAN AARDT located in the district of Wepener, Orange Free State, on 18 September 1889. Married Susanna Helena JOUBERT (daugther of Gideon David JOUBERT and Maria Elizabeth BRUWER) who was born on 4 January 1824 and baptised on 1 May 1824 at Worcester, Cape Colony and died on 13 April 1897.
A possible General Joubert link via Susanna Helena Joubert?
The parents of f1 Pieter Wouter DE WET were:
e4 Pieter Jacobus DE WET. Born 15 September 1790, baptised on 17 March 1791 at Cape Town and died on 19 May 1843 at Aliwal North, Orange Free State. Married on 5 April 1818 at Tulbagh Hester Jacoba THERON (daugther of Gideon Pieter Wouter THERON and Maria Johanna MULLER) who was born on 15 August 1800 and baptised on 14 September and died on 18 December 1872 at Aliwal North.
"I, Daniel Johannes Kruger do solemnly declare that the above answers made by me to the above questions are true, and I am willing and hereby voluntarily agree to serve in the Military Forces of the Commonwealth of Australia within or beyond the limits of the Commonwealth."
Signed D.J. Kruger
Dated 16.7.1916 at Dubbo, New South Wales, Australia
The questions mentioned above refers to a form which is titled "Australian Imperial Force - Attestation Paper of Persons Enlisting for Service Abroad". Daniel stated that he was 32 years and 6 months old and a carpenter. He had served an apprenticeship of five years at Walters & A. Gray of Cape Town. He gave his place of birth as follows on a this pre-printed section of the form: In the Parish of Colesberg in or near the Town of Cape Colony in the Country of S. Africa.
The first interesting fact in this story is that Daniel signed this form at the Dubbo Depot Battalion in the town of Dubbo in New South Wales, Australia. A fair distance away from South Africa.
Daniel's military records also give us some insight into his features. He was 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighted 119 pounds, his chest measurements were 30 and 33 inches, his complexion was tan, his eyes were brown and his hair was black. He had two distinct marks, a scar on his right thigh and a scar on his left elbow.
The records also tell us that he was not married and that his religious denomination was Dutch Reformed Church. His place of residence was Commission Street in the town of Cooma, New South Wales.
Daniel Johannes Kruger was born on 5 January 1884 and was the seventh child of Gert Hendrik Jacobus Kruger and Susanna Jacoba Viljoen. His baptism on 2 March 1884 was recorded in the baptism register of the Dutch Reformed Church of Venterstad, Cape Colony in South Africa.
It is not yet known when or why he left South Africa and how he ended up in New South Wales, Australia. On 19 July 1916 he became a member of the 13th Battalion, 21st Reinforcement as Private Daniel Johannes Kruger No 6549. He would soon be fighting in the trenches of the Western Front in France.
Australia's commitment to the World War 1 was significant. A total of 331,781 troops served during the war of which 137,013 were wounded and 60,454 were killed. Little did Daniel know that he too would be one of the wounded and that his military records would soon be stamped MISSING. In Sydney Daniel embarked on the troop ship Ceramic, which departed for Plymouth on the 7th October 1916. After a six week journey they arrived on 21 November 1916. Finally on the 8th February 1917 aboard the SS Princess Victoria, they proceeded to the front in France.
Two months later, on 11 April 1917, Daniel's records shows an entry: 13th Bn - Reported missing France. This entry is later followed on 14 April 1917 C/O Battn Missing in action - France. Then there is an entry which could possibly refer to a telegram or a cable: Delete missing read prisoner of war. Captured (wounded) Interned Soltan.
There is also a note in his records with a reference to his country of birth, Role shows Father Gert Kruger, Post Office Bult Station, Piet Retief, Transvaal, Sth Africa.This suggests that his next of kin had been contacted. It must have been a worrying time for his parents, not only was their son living abroad but he was now a wounded prisoner of war. There is bit of irony in this story. Daniel was captured fighting the Germans and was now being held not that far from where his German progenitor had lived prior to departing to the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa in 1713 in his own quest for a better life.
The next entry in his military record is dated 24 December 1918 and states Returned to England. On 31 December 1918 he was back on the strength of 13th Battalion. There is a note that stated Sick to Hospital 19.2.1919 and finally a stamp RETURN TO AUSTRALIA 31.03.1919. He arrived back in Australia on 13 April/May1919. Upon his return he was assessed and was found to be suffering from Epididymitis (left side) and a weakness in the joint of his index finger of his left hand. Not a good situation for a carpenter, who used his hands to earn a living, to be in. The records show that his discharge was deferred for further medical treatment. After undergoing this treatment his condition was reassessed on the 19th June 1919 and he was finally discharge on the 27th July 1919. During his time as soldier, Daniel was awarded the Victory Medal (no 55912) and the British War Medal (no 57576).
Two questions remain. Where was Daniel a prisoner of war? What happened to Daniel after the war, did he remain in Australia and marry?
The question about Daniel’s life after the war still remains a mystery but German war records helped to answer the first question.
Daniel was captured at Reincount in France and suffered a shrapnel wound to his left hand. After being treated at the Munster (Lager) Hospital he was interned at Gefangenenlager, Soltan, Germany.
The German record above shows his home town as being 'Coome', New South Wales. Until the 1950's Cooma was a sleepy town of about 2,000 people which catered for the large pastoral district of the Monaro planes. This all changed when the Snowy Mountains Hydroelectric Scheme began in 1951. In one of the parks in Cooma there is a statue of A.B. (Banjo) Patterson's well known 'Man from Snowy River'.
A further search has revealed that Daniel was not the only Australian captured. On 11 April 1917 the Fourth Division, which included the 13th Battalion, assaulted the Hindenburg Line in the First Battle of Bullecourt. The attack was not successful as they attacked strong German positions without the promised tank support and 1170 Australian prisoners were taken by the Germans.
The search for more information about Daniel's life in Australia continues.
Hierdie verhaal begin met 'n buitengewone grafsteeninskripsie in Germiston se begraafplaas. Wat die grafsteen buitengewoon maak is dat dit slegs die egpaar as Krugers identifiseer maar nie hulle name noem nie. Dit net natuurlik die vraag laat onstaan, wie was hulle en wat was hulle name?
Die grafsteeninskripsie gee die eerste leidraad, 'n egpaar waar die man oorlede is in 1950 en sy eggenoot in 1984. Hoeveel Krugers is in die Transvaal oorlede in 1950 wat 'n eggenote nagelaat het? Daar is 40 Tranvaalse Kruger boedels geskep in 1950. Hiervan was 8 vir vrouens wat dus 32 mans laat. Van hierdie is daar 'n aantal wat geen eggenote gehad nie of wie se eggenote hulle nie oorleef het nie. Die aantal moontlikhede kom op 25 te staan.
Nou vir die Krugers oorlede in 1984. Weereens het ek 'n lys van Krugerboedelnommers vir 1984. Op die lys verskyn 134 name, waarvan 52 vrouens is. As ek dus op hierdie lys 'n vrou en haar man kan identifiseer wat ook op die 1950 lys voorkom, gaan dit dus van groot waarde wees.
Ek is nog besig om lyste te vergelyk toe my oog op een van die inskrywing val en my hart 'n klopslag mis. Boedel nommer 10205/84 KRUGER Cornelia Dorothea (P/S) Christoffel Alwyn (1950). P/S is die afkorting vir predeceased spouse. Die sterfdatum van 'n eggenoot word gewoonlik nie aangedui in hierdie lyste nie maar hier is dit wel, moontlik omdat Christoffel Alwyn so lank voor Cornelia Dorothea oorlede is.
Op die 1950 boedellys staan die volgende: Boedelnommer 2063/50 Kruger, Christoffel Alwyn. Surviving spouse 1) Cornelia Dorothea Kruger (born Swanepoel) predeceased spouse 2) Martha Jacoba Kruger.
Dit is die engiste egpaar wie op beide die 1950 en 1984 lyste voorkom en nou weet ons ook dat Cornelia Dorothea se nooiensvan Swanepoel was en dat Christoffel Alwyn voorheen getroud was met 'n Martha Jacoba.
Bevestiging dat ek reg is, sal dus wees as Christoffel Alwyn in 1885 gebore is en Cornelia Dorothea Swanepoel in 1899.
Intussen spoor ek inligting oor hulle huwelik op. Hulle is op die 23st Desember 1919 te Kestell in die Oranje Vrystaat getroud. Hy was 33 jaar oud en sy was 20 jaar oud. Verder was hy 'n wewenaar en 'n messelaar van beroep.
Uit die Swanepoel-geslagsregister kan ek vir Cornelia Dorothea Swanepoel identifiseer. Sy is gebore op 24 November 1899 en op 9 Februarie 1900 gedoop in Bethlehem. Haar ouers was Jan Abraham Christoffel Swanepoel en Susanna Margaretha Kriel. Haar pa is egter op 8 April 1902 oorlede is sy het hom dus nooit geken nie.
Volgens my Kruger inligting is Christoffel Alwyn Kruger gebore op 9 September 1885. Hy was die seun van Gert Johannes Herklaas/Hercules Kruger en Catharina Maria Steyn.
Die grafsteen is dus ongetwyfel die van Christoffel Alwyn Kruger en Cornelia Dorothea Swanepoel.
Om af te sluit wou ek gou meer uitvind van Christoffel Alwyn se eerste vrou. Ons weet sy is voor 1919 oorlede toe hy weer getrou het. Haar boedel is destyds in die Vrystaat ingedien in 1918, boedelnommer K1980 Kruger, Martha Jacoba. Nooiensvan Heyns. Eggenoot Christoffel Alwijn Kruger.
How convenient flying has become. Where our ancestors spent months on a boat travelling between countries, most countries are now reachable within a 10 to 15 hour flight. One captain reminded me of our attitude to flying when he announced, after landing in Johannesburg, that the safest part of our journey was now finished and advised us to drive home with care.
One flight that unfortunately ended in disaster was South African Airways (SAA) flight SA295, the Helderberg, which departed Tapei, Taiwan on 27 November 1987 destined for Johannesburg with a stopover in Mauritius. At 23:48 the captain contacted the Mauritius air traffic controller, declaring an emergency due to a smoke problem and told the controller that they were doing an emergency decent to flight level 140. At 00:08 the air traffic controller tried in vain to make further contact with Springbok 295. Tragically the aircraft crashed into the sea approximate 240 km from Mauritius resulting in the death of 140 passengers and 19 crew members.
The book 'Helderberg Death Flight 295' (ISBN 1 86812 322 7) written by Ronnie Watt gives a detailed account of the tragedy, the resulting search and the subsequent investigation into the cause of the crash. It was later established that a fire started in the front pallet on the right-hand side in the main deck upper cargo hold. The Helderberg was one of two Boeing 747-200B Combis in the SAA fleet and carried both passengers and cargo. The exact source of the fire has never been determined and to this day there remains a lot of speculation about this, ranging from computer lithium batteries, illegal fireworks and even missile parts that started the fire.
What caught my attention in Ronnie's book was the mention of the name of Dr. Theuns Kruger, Director Technical of SAA and the hard work and many hours that he and others spent on the crash investigation. Sadly he was not the only Kruger involved in this tragedy. One of the cabin crew members listed is a Martha Kruger. I was a bit supprised by this and wondered where she fitted into the Kruger family tree.
The Afrikaans Sunday newspaper, Rapport, dated 29 November 1987 had front page article on the loss of the aircraft and an article on a number of the couples that lost their lives. Under a photo of an attractive young lady the following caption appears: Dead: Magda Kruger and her fiancé Dave Attwell. His smaller photo also appears. The article refers to her as Magda and not Martha and I wondered why the fiancé of an airhostess would be on the same flight? The passenger list does not contain any Attwell's but the flight deck crew list does! The co-pilot / first officer is listed as being David Hamilton Attwell(36). She was engaged to the co-pilot!
I have since tracked down a copy of a document released by SAA which included photographs of all the crew members and the photograph of crew member M.M Kruger, cabin attendant, bears a close resemblance to the photo of Magda Kruger that appears in the Rapport article. So does the photo of D. H. Attwell. The photos released by the SAA are of a much younger group of people and I suspect these are the offical ID photos taken when they were originally employed by SAA. I have also now found out that Magda's full names were Martha Magdalena Kruger.
One of the interesting books on my bookshelf is a book by Tom Andrews and Jan Ploeger with the title Street and Place Names of Old Pretoria / Straat- en Plekname van Ou Pretoria. On the inside cover of the book is a map of Pretoria dated 1889.
One of the streets is Paul Kruger Street. The street use to be called Markt (Market) Street but the name was changed to Paul Kruger Street in 1938 during the Voortrekker celebrations. The street name made me wonder how many towns and cities have street names with the word Kruger in them. If you know of any, please let me know and I will post here on the website. If you have a photograph please include it as well.
I could not resist grabing a road atlas to see how many places there are with the name Kruger in them. There is the Kruger National Park, Krugersdorp, which is to the west of Johannesburg. As well as Krugerspost, which is to the north of Lydenburg. There is Krugerhof, at Waterval-Onder where President Kruger governed from in 1900. There is also a station on the railway line between Trompsburg and Bloemfontein in the Free State called Krugers.
I recently read Rob Milne's book Anecdotes of the Anglo-Boer War. In a section titled Devotion, Rob writes: "Every September, since 1901, a package arrived at the Post Office in Chrissiemeer (Lake Chrissie) in the Eastern Tranvaal, addressed to "The Postmaster", with no accompanying note, or even return address. The package contains a sprig of heather: one year bound with a blue ribbon, the next with a pink ribbon. Instructions were passed from Postmaster to succeeding Postmaster that the heather was to be placed on the grave of Lieutenant Arthur William Swanston of the Inniskilling Dragoons who died in action near Lake Banagher on 18th October 1900, while trying to save the life of Private J. Garlick. My informant, Tannie Rensie Kruger, the Postmistress from 1947 to 1957, for ten years placed the sprig of heather on Arthur's grave. In 1957, just before she left Chrissiemeer, she received a note with the package, which she translated from English with much difficulty. The sender revealed that she had been Arthur's fiancee and that she never married, but was now very sick and thought that this would be the last time she would send heather for her beloved's grave. However the package continued to arrive for the next two years and Tannie Rensie's successor did her duty."
Rob Milne's book is published by Covos Day Books, ISBN 0-620-25439-4
I often get asked in e-mails to give advice on doing research. One of the aspects that has always amazed me is how much information is out there. That in itself is probably the biggest challenge, knowing where you can find what. There are many haystacks out there and it you have to know about them before you can start finding the needles! Some of the best sources of information are: estate files, baptism and marriage registers, family registers, cemeteries, existing publications, researchers and your family members.
"If only I spoke to my parent/grandparents while they were alive!" I often heard people saying that. Now that they are interested in their family roots, it is too late and the people who knew the answers have all passed on. So next time you visit you parents or grandparents, take a pen and paper with you, ask a few questions and write down the answers. Dates and full names and locations are important but probably the most important piece of information, is maiden surnames. Many of the older documents will identify a wife or a daughter as Johanna Cornelia Kruger born Delport or Elizabeth Johanna Venter, born Kruger. So in ten years time when you start wondering about your ancestors, you will glad that you made notes. Just remember where you put them or better still, make a few copies!