Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell. Edward Abbey

07 November 2011

Colourful South African ancestry, the search continues

So my paternal ancestors arrived in South Africa on a ship aged 19 and 20 years of age. Yes they were colonisers and I apologise for that, but hell I do exist and it is interesting to know where I come from.

Great, great, great, great, great, great grandfather Stephen (19 years of age at the time) was a labourer and great granny (x8) Mary was 20 years old and according to the ship's list she is not given a profession, she is simply "the spouse" ... go figure?

They had no children. Thank goodness, because babies and young children often died during the 3-month voyage from England to South Africa. The Trollips travelled from Wiltshire to Portsmouth harbour on the coast of England from where they sailed on a ship called The Weymouth to Algoa Bay in the Eastern Cape.

My ancestors were part of the Hyman party. I have come across the group's motivation for why they should be picked to go to South Africa. (Times were tough in England where unemployment had hit an all-time high. There were 90 000 applicants and only 4 000 were accepted, so it's interesting to try and figure why my ancestors' application was accepted.)

Here is the Hyman party's motivation:

No. 30 on the Colonial Department list, led by Charles Hyman, a labourer of Short Street, Westbury, Wiltshire. This was a joint-stock party made up of labouring men and their families from an area that was hard hit by unemployment and excited by the prospects of emigration. Hyman described to the Colonial Department the basis on which his party was formed: 'The eleven men are persons of an irreproachable character, each having some small property and being unwilling to be in actual servitude have unanimously chosen me their Representative - if we are allowed to proceed to the Cape tho', I will not boast of any superior Degree of Wisdom to some of the others (who are my Elders) yet going in this Brotherly way I make no doubt by our joint exertions we shall be able to surmount those difficulties which will naturally be in the way'.

Hyman assured the authorities that he had no selfish motive in assuming the direction of the party, other than 'to become settled on a piece of land I can call my own and Every Person going under my direction will enjoy everything equal with myself.' The parish authorities vouched for his good character, but there is no evidence that they contributed directly to his party's expenses.

Deposits were paid for 11 men who sailed from Portsmouth in HM Store Ship Weymouth on 7 January 1820, arriving in Table Bay on 26 April. Benjamin Trollip obtained employment in Cape Town, where he remained. A son of Daniel Farley was born and died at sea. The Weymouth reached Algoa Bay on 15 May, and the party was located on the right bank of the Lynedoch River, naming its location Standerwick. The three Wiltshire joint-stock parties under Hyman, Ford and James were exceptional among the settlers in remaining virtually intact under their original leaders for the first three years of the settlement; Hyman ascribed this to their 'having encouraged and cultivated a spirit of unamity (sic) amongst each other'.

ADAMS, Edward 21. Mason.
DEBNAM, Isaac 38. Weaver. w Mary 39. c Eliza 17, John 16, Ann 13, Isaac 11.
FARLEY, Daniel 28. Labourer and naval pensioner. w Elizabeth 29. c William 5, Sarah 3, Joseph 2,
James (born and died at sea).
HYMAN, Charles 21. Labourer. w Elizabeth 26.
HYMAN, John William 16 (brother of Charles Hyman).
KING, John 23. Labourer and naval pensioner. w Eleanor 24. c John 2, Sarah 1.
NEAT, William 22. Labourer. w Susan 23. c Jane.
TROLLIP, Hester 18 (daughter of Joseph Trollip).
TROLLIP, John 22. Labourer. w Elizabeth 20.
TROLLIP, Joseph 38. Labourer. w Susan 39. c Benjamin 16, Rhoda 13, Jacob 11, Joseph 9, Mary Ann 7.
TROLLIP, Stephen 19. Labourer. w Mary 20.
TROLLIP, William 24. Labourer. w Patience 22. c Alfred 1.
WEAKLY, Joseph 27. Gardener. w Emma 26. c Mary 5, Joseph 3, John 1.


I'm interested to know my extended ancestry including the De Wet side (my paternal grandmother) and the Venter side (my maternal grandfather) as well as the German settlers in my maternal ancestry (my maternal grandmother) the Kriedemanns came to South Africa in the 19th century from Wollin in East Pomerania in what was then part of Poland, settling along the Eastern border of the Kei River.

German settlements abounded encompassing in addition the current towns of Stutterheim, Cathcart, Berlin, Hamburg, Macleantown and many other smaller settlements that were swallowed up with the establishment of the "Homeland" of Ciskei by the apartheid South African Government which prompted the eviction of the ancestors of the Kaffrarian German Settlers from their historical farms in these districts.

We sure do live in an interesting country!