*** Please note: This is an amateur site – take with a hefty pinch of salt. If you know something, please correct or add your bit in the comments! ***
The first known Swanepoel to arrive in the Cape of Good Hope was Pieter Jansz Swanepoel, progenitor of the Swanepoel family in South Africa, who came from Nieuwmunster in the present day municipality of Zuienkerke in the city of Brugge in West Flanders.
He came to South Africa in 1699 as a soldier of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). He became a free burgher in 1700. Between 1709 and 1747 he made a living as a farmer on the farm Nieuwmunster close to where the town of Wolseley is now.
On 1 May 1712 Pieter Jansz Swanepoel married Maria Sibella (Sibilla?) Sachs (Sachse?). Seven sons and one daughter were born out of this union. Maria was born in 1675, was from Germany out, and was the widow of Jan Christoffel Haak.
Hereafter six successive generations of Swanepoels lived mostly as stock-farmers, the last five generations mainly residing in the districts of Graaff-Reinet, Beaufort-West and Prince Albert. As a result of droughts, a world wide economic depression, the after-effects of the Second World War, progress – and life itself – this farming-only tradition changed and the Swanies went into varied careers and ‘went forth and multiplied’ bedonderd all over the world. Spread like the plague, almost:
Pick a Coat of Arms:
This blog . . is centred around one of his descendants, our Oupa Paul Fouche Swanepoel and his wife, our Ouma Johanna Elizabeth (nee Bodenstein) who lived in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, later KwaZulu Natal, from around 1920.
Send any info or pics to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll include them!
Ouma was born on 6 February 1883 and Oupa on 5 May 1883. So she was a cradlesnatcher – he was her toyboy, three months younger!
They were married on October 30, 1911 in Fauresmith. Granddaughter Sheila has a copy of their marriage certificate.
They lived here:
Oupa worked for the railways. He never owned a car, nor a motorbike, nor even a bicycle, as far as Dad recalls. He walked to work up the road at PMB station.
Our Oupa: Paul Fouché Swanepoel (5 May 1883 – 20 May 1972)
His siblings: Japie (Kirkwood, no kids); Sarel; Anna; Daantjie (South West Africa, later Namibia);
Father: Sarel Francois Swanepoel 12 August 1855 – 28 April 1909
Mother: Anna Cecilia Maria neé Fouché 23 Nov 1858 – 13 May 1915
Jacobus Daniel Swanepoel 1 Dec 1817 – 17 Sep 1891 – from Langevlei, Robertson; Married Martha Elizabeth Marais
His great grandparents:
Willem Christoffel Swanepoel 1787 – 1861 Montagu
Married Elsie Maria vdB (not sure if this B was Berg or Bosch or something else).
Our Ouma: Johanna Elizabeth Bodenstein (6 February 1883 – 21 October 1970)
Ouma’s siblings: Anna; married Andreasen, a Swede; lived in Colorado Farm Hotel on Harrison Flats between Durban and PMB; Hans
Sheila asked, but our Dad youngest child Pieter Gerhardus can’t come up with Ouma’s nickname – he says everyone called her Ma or Ouma. Sheila: “But she must have had a name as a child and amongst her friends!”
Ouma’s mother was Adriana Wilhelmina Bezuidenhout – no picture.
Granddaughter Sheila was keeping a diary back in the 70’s and made this entry:
“Ouma died in Pietermaritzburg on 21 October 1970. Dad (her fourth and last child Pieter) went to her funeral on 23 October. Mum stayed with us in Harrismith.
Oupa died in Christiana (I think) on 20 May 1972. Dad went to Klerksdorp (in our light blue Holden station wagon) to fetch his body.
He was buried in Pietermaritzburg on 24 May. Grandson Koos went to the funeral with Dad Pieter and oldest child Auntie Janie from Pretoria. I suppose you all stayed with Auntie Lizzie in Camperdown. Then on 25 May, Uncle Boet & Anna spent the night with us in Harrismith after the funeral. They then went up to Christiana to fetch Oupa’s clothes.”
Oupa died while off on a jaunt on his own by train. Probably getting free tickets thanks to his years of service! Good for him at 89yrs-old!
Thanks for the early history go to Christiaan Hendrik Swanepoel, who did his Masters thesis at Tukkies on “‘n Tak van die Swanepoel-familie in Suid-Afrika, 1699 tot 1999: ‘n Genealogiese en Kultuurhistoriese Studie.”
May I suggest a possible alternative Coat of Arms?