oa South African Journal of Cultural History - Die herkoms van Johanna van der Merwe, oorlewende van die massamoord aan die Bloukransrivier 1838

Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3053



Johanna or Hannie van der Merwe survived the Zulu attack on the, Voortrekkers at the Boesmans and Bloukrans Rivers on February 17, 1838. Many speculated about her parentage, but up to now no acceptable explanation existed. All these speculative possibilities are discussed and showed to be unacceptable after all the relevant facts and clues have been given. Recently, one of the authors, who has been researching the Van der Merwe family for many years, discovered the record of her baptism in the registers of the Anglican Church of St. Michael and St. George in Grahamstown, namely Johanna Cornelia, born 1825.03.07, and baptized on 1825.08.07, daughter of Johannes Frederik van der Merwe and Helena Catharina van der Merwe. The names and date of birth correspond with those of the death notice in Johanna's estate file - the latter shows a difference of one day with the age given in the death notice. Furthermore, it shows that one of her sons is named after her father, and two other sons bear the names of her grandfathers. This solves the parentage problem of Johanna van der Merwe beyond any reasonable doubt.

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