Crighton family: 10 years ago

Ten years ago we met some Crighton relatives for the first time. Nita Harris (born Crighton), who lives in the USA, had lost touch with her brother Roger, but ten years ago the reestablished contact, and she came to South Africa with her son Roger Harris to see Roger, who was very ill. We arranged to meet between Johannesburg and Pretoria, at BJ’s Restaurant, built over the freeway.

Val Hayes, Walter Crighton, Nita Harris, Roger Harris, at BJ's Restaurant, Midrand, 11 December 2002

Val Hayes, Walter Crighton, Nita Harris, Roger Harris, at BJ’s Restaurant, Midrand, 11 December 2002

Walter Crighton is Roger Crighton’s son (and Nita’s nephew). The common ancestors are William John Crighton (1842-1886) and Anna Maria MacLeod (1849-1917). William John Crighton was a saddler in Cape Town, and died when fighting a fire on Table Mountain, when his horse apparently stood on a burning ember and threw him.

William John Crighton was one of 10 children of Henry Crighton and Petronella Francina Dorothea Flamme, and three of those children married members of the MacLeod family of Cape Town. Petronella Francina Dorothea Flamme was the granddaughter of a slave, Francina van de Kaap.

When we first became interested in family history we asked Val’s grandmother about the Greene side of the family (her in-laws) and she said they were a Crighton family who were leather merchants in Cape Town. So in 1975 we looked them up in the Cape Archives, and in the files were found some correspondence from a Miss Nita Crighton (as she then was), who was interested in the same family, and had written from the USA asking for copies of the same records. We wrote to her at the address on those old letters, asking that they be forwarded if she had moved, and discovered that she had married William Harris and was living in California. So we corresponded for several years about the family history, and visited Nita’s mother and her aunt who were living in an old age home in Bertrams, Johannesburg, in 1986, but it was only 10 years ago that we met face to face.

There ia more information about the Crighton family on our family wiki here and in another post on this blog here.

Nita is Val’s second cousin once removed.

Mary Kerwick

One of the ancestors we knew little about was Val’s great-great-great
grandmother Mary Kerwick. She married William James MacLeod, a master
mariner, in Cape Town in 1827, and they had eight children. 

On her death notice (she died on 23 June 1863) it said she was born in “Three
Rivers, Canada” and that she was 52 years and 9 months old. So we put her
date of birth as September 1810, and wondered what had brought her from
Canada to the Cape Colony. 

Since the advent of the World Wide Web more and more genealogical records
have been put on line, and yesterday we discovered her in the International
Genealogical Index (IGI), which informed us that she was the daughter of
James Kerwick and Elisabeth Clouith; born 13 Sep 1810, baptised 25 Sep 1810.
Eglise catholique. Immaculée Conception (Trois-Rivières, Québec). 

That would make her age at death exact, so we’re pretty sure she’s the right
one. 

Now, of course, we’re looking for more information about her parents and
where they came from, and also whether she had any brothers or sisters, and
what happened to them.

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