In Durban – visiting relatives and research in archives

We arrived in Durban last Thursday, and spent yesterday morning in the archives seeing what we can find. We managed to find something about the Bataille family (related on the Hickman/Beningfield side through the Wilson-Yelverton family). Also found some references to Edwin Terrance Cathcart Cunnison and John Anderson Cathcart Cunnison. Val’s great-aunt Lil Decker married first Eugene Waldemar Rasmussen (we’ve recently made contact with people from that side of the family) then John Anderson Cunnison and then Frederick John Cathcart (both of whom seem to have vanished without a trace). Then we found this John Anderson Cathcart Cunnison, who sounds as though he ought to have been related, but he claimed to have been born in Canada, and we weren’t aware of any of that branch of the family who lived there.

We visited Arthur and Dorothy Benjamin (nee Terblanche) in Northdene, whose son Todd and wife Pamela are emigrating to Australia tomorrow. Arthur is keen on family history, and is trying to trace his ancestors in St Helena.

32 Responses

  1. Hi Steve

    I am doing a bit of research into SA Yelvertons. My uncle was Thomas Wilson Yelverton. Wilson was in fact his 2nd christian name and the actual family name is Yelverton. Two of his brothers, Fred and Algernon Ronald (Ronnie) are still alive. Fred turns 90 on the 18th Sept 2008. Ronnie is now 88.
    Please feel free to contact me as I have some useful info and have established a documented link back to Ireland (Thomas Yelverton 1782-1852) as well as info regarding Thomas Arthur (1820-1885).


    Ray Stride

    • Hello Ray,
      I am also the Grand daughter of Dr Thomas Yelverton. I have been unable to find a direct link to the English or Irish branch of the Yelvertons that convinces me that there is one, having said that I am really excited if you could give me any information that does provide a definite link as the Yelvertons both English and Irish history is fascinating.
      My mother was the second wife of one of Thomas Yelvertons sons and my grandmother of course was Theodora. My mother is English and I am born and raised in England. Would love to hear from you regards the links and anything you feel useful.
      Look forward to hearing from you

      • Hi Im also the granddaughter of Theodora and Thomas Yelverton.

        Please email me regarding info on family.

      • Hi Venetia, it’s Cheryl, your sister in South Africa from Dad’s first wife, Ruth. Would love to make contact. Should you wish to contact me I’m now Cheryl Jones and on Facebook.

    • Hi ray, am related to thomas Wilson yelverton and thoedora schreiber hickman. Granddaughter, father Arthur – please contact me re info on family

    • Hi Ray,

      Please contact me regarding info on Yelverton family.
      I have contacted you before via this site but unfortunately had no reply.
      My father was Thomas Arthur Devereux Wilson Yelverton, grandfather Thomas Arthur and grandmother Theodora Schreiber Hickman.
      I am interested in getting as much info as possible.

    • Hello There Ray,

      I am a grand daugher of Thoas Yelverton and Theodora. Would you be happy to give details of the (Thomas Yelverton 1782-1852 and your information regards Thomas Arthur (1820-1885). I have done stacks of research but have never been able to track the link confidently from South Africa to the Irish Line of the family (and of course that tracks to the English Line).

      Would really love to hear from you,

      Best Regards,


    • Hi Ray, please contact me regarding info on Thomas Wilson Yelverton. I have left numerous requests but no reply.

  2. Hi Ray,

    Thanks for the comment — will be in touch by e-mail, and also wondering if you have any connection with an Ethel Constance Stride, who is in Val’s family tree somewhere, I think on the Falkenberg side.

  3. PS – Correction. I see Ethel Constance Stride was on the Green side of the family – married Ronald Tapscott Green in 1941.

  4. I am the daughter of David Alan Cunnison, son of David Reid Cunnison , whose parents emigrated to the US from Blairgowrie, Scotland. I know there is a Carol Cunnison living in Canada. We’d be intersted to learn more about the Cunnison family geneology you’ve discovered.

    best regards,


  5. Dear Ray,

    I am the grandaughter of Dr thomas arthur wilson
    I have much info for you but request that you do not let my email address or contact details be known to anybody! My grandmother was Theodora Wilson Yelverton and the Bataille you have was my late aunty
    erica. I would absolutely love hearing from you but again, please do not contact me via the internet and only via mine and my husband’s personal email address. It is nothing sinister, I shall explain once I hear from you. Many thanks, kind regards and I look forward to hearing from you as do my daughters, son and husband.

    • Hi vanessa,

      Its Rowena, Arthurs daughter, perhaps you can share some info with me regarding family before granny and grandpa if you have any. Trying to work out family tree and coming up against a brick wall.

  6. My father was Edwin Terrace Cathcart-Cunnison and his mother was originaly a Rasmusen. My brother is John Aanderson Cunnison ( now living in Canada) MY father had three sisters Shiela Mavis and Mona.
    grandmother married a number vof times to both Cunnison and to Fred Cathcart. would like to assist if I CAN

    • Hi Myles
      my name is Kevin Raath living in Australia .just reading and researching your Dads medals as he is my uncle by means of Aunty Sheelah is my Grandmother and my Mom is your cousin June who is my Mother just hoping you could help me find out more of uncle cunnies medals he gained in WW2 email me and I will Call you from Aus if that is ok
      thanks in advance


  7. Myles,

    Thanks very much for getting in touch — it’s good to discover new cousins one hadn’t met or even heard of! I’ll be sending you more infor by e-mail.

  8. I am the great grandson of Edwin Terrace Cathcart-Cunnison age 12 living in Johannesburg s.a

  9. My gran is lesley vaughan cathcart-cunnison her dad was edwin terrace cathcart-cunnison her name is now lesley vaughan allison my mom is her oldest child her name is stephne vaughan stewart i also have a small brother called matthew stewart. my great aunt is called terry nevard smith she is the eldest child of edwin terrace cathcart-cunnison and lives in johannesburg with my gran. my great uncles are called myles who lives in durban sa and john anderson who lives in the usa.

  10. Wow there are a few. I am Shane Myles Cathcart-Cunnison son to John A Cathcart-cunnison. nephew to Myles

  11. Hi there,

    My name is Hayley Bull and I am the grand daughter of Bentinck Edward Wilson-Yelverton, who is the son of Thomas Wilson-Yelverton and Theodora Schrieber Hickman. So I guess that would make Thomas and Theodora my Great grand parents!

    I’m on a journey to find my routes but I have only managed to find things up to Thomas and Theodora.

    I am really interested in anything you may have to offer. I want to know about my family and where I come from.

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Hi Hayley,

      We can help you then, as we have quite a lot of information on earlier generations. Will try to contact you by e-mail.

      • Hi Steve,

        My name is Rowena, Thomas Arthur Wilson Yelverton and Theodora Schreiber Hickman were my grandparents. My father was Thomas Arthur Devereux and my uncle is Bentinck Edward Hoste (you were recently contacted by Hayley) Please contact me regarding info. Im trying to trace as far back as possible on the Wilson Yelverton side of the family.



      • Hi Steve, My mother was the second wife of B Edward Wilson-Yelverton and I am their daughter. Thomas and Theodora were of course my grandparents. My mother is English and I am born and raised in England. I see you get lots of requests for information so sorry to add to the list! If you are able to get in touch regards our family history I would be very grateful.

        Fingers crossed.

        Many Thanks,


        • Hi Venetia, I’ve replied by e-mail – hope you got it. I’m curious about how you were born and raised in England, as I thought that branch of the family was in Australia.

          • Hi Steve, So sorry about long delay but I had not received an email and have only now seen your message to me. Do you have an email i could contact you on? Look forward to hearing from you. Venetia

          • Hi Steve,
            I am really keen to find a documented link to Ireland and the background of the Yelvertons there. I know we have communicated in the past few years, but unfortunately I never received the email I know you sent. I have included my current email and fingers crossed we can get in touch. Of course I will be delighted to fill you in on my English side. Look forward to hearing from you.

            My very best regards to you.


  12. Hi there!

    I apologise for such a late reply. Yes, my birth name is Hayley Bull. I would so love to see the family tree.



  13. Hi to all of you,

    My name is Marion June Ervin. I am the granchild of Thomas A Wilson Yelverton and Granma Theodora Schreiber Hickman. I am the sister of Vanessa Rudman (born Viljoen). My mother is Ethel Wilson Yelverton. I would love to here from all of you soon. This is awesome. Please will you mail me on Thanks to all of you.

  14. G’day Steve.

    Somone Bull (nee Wilson-Yelverton, one of many daughters of Bentinck Edward Hoste – one of many sons of Thomas Arthur Wilson-Yelverton (husband to Theodora Schreiber Hickman)… and mother of Hayley Bull (now married and name changed). Such a long time since checking in. I think our last correspondence was in 2009!

    Hope all is well. Living in Queensland, Australia and wondering if you can shoot me an email to catch up. Is your family tree on MyHeritage up to date regarding the W-Y clan? or is there some more info?

    This genealogy thing is definitely not for the feint-hearted 🙂

    All my best

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