Some families we are researching

If you think you may be related to any of these families, please make contact with us either by e-mail or by leaving a comment in an appropriate place so that we can share family history information. There is also more information on our main family history web page.

The earliest ancestor we know of was Simon Hayes, born about 1785 in North Curry, Somerset, England. He married Rachel Allen of Winscombe, and they had four sons, William, Sander, John and James who moved to Bristol and became builders and carpenters. Steve’s grandfather, Percy Wynn Hayes, came to South Africa at the end of the 19th century, and was a stockbroker in Johannesburg, and later secretary of the Dumbe coal mine at Paulpietersburg, Natal.
The Green family came from Canada. The earliest ancestor we know of was James Green, a butcher of Quebec. His daughter Eliza had a son, William John Green, by a London merchant, William Goodall, and so the son was also known as William Goodall Green. Eliza Green later had an affair with Edward, Duke of Kent, which gave rise to a family legend that the Greens were of royal descent. She later married Thomas Esdaile, and settled in England. Though she had no children by him, he was apparently a very good stepfather, for his name cropped up several times in later generations.William Goodall Green joined the commissariat department of the British Army, and served in Montreal, Halifax, and later in the Cape Colony, where several members of his family went. One son, Henry, was British Resident of the Orange Free State in the 1850s. Val’s great great grandfather, Frederick Thomas Green(erroneously referred to in several books as Frederick Joseph Green), was an elephant hunter and trader in what is now Namibia and Botswana from the 1840s until his death in 1876. His first wife was from a well-known Herero family, and one of the descendants of that line, Mburumba Kerina, is credited with having invented the name Namibia (Kerina is the Herero form of Green). Other members of the Green family settled in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the USA. Eventually a few made their way back to Canada.
The Growdon (or Growden) family came from Cornwall. The earliest ancestor we know of is William Growden of Egloshayle who married Elizabeth Sandercock in Cardinham, Cornwall. They lived in Bodmin and had several children. Some moved to Australia and New Zealand, and from New Zealand one branch went to the USA. Steve’s great grandfather, William Matthew Growdon, married Elizabeth Greenaway and came to the Cape Colony about 1876 as a platelayer on the Cape Government Railways. Eventually he was promoted to permanent way inspector, and settled in Queenstown. Several of his sons also worked on the railways. There is more information on the Growdon/Growden family on this page
The Pearson family came from Whitehaven, Cumberland, England. Val’s grandparents, William Walker Pearson and Martha (Mattie) Ellwood, were born in Whitehaven and came to Natal in the early 20th century. They were married in St John the Baptist Church, Pinetown, in 1913.
The Cottam family came from Lancashire, England. Richard Cottam married Margaret Bagot in Lancaster in 1835, and their son John Bagot Cottam married Adelaide Herbert in Manchester Cathedral in 1858. The family came to Natal on the Sebastian in 1863. J.B. Cottam came as accountant to the Natal Cotton plantation company, but later took up market gardening. We also have quite a lot of information on the Bagot family of North Lancashire.
Decker & Falkenberg families
Val’s grandmother was Emma Decker who married Allan Dudley Green, and she was the daughter of Edwin Robert Morton Decker and Jessie Falkenberg. The Decker and Falkenberg families came from Germany to the Eastern Cape in the 1850s.The Falkenberg family came from the Ueckermark district of Brandenburg, and among their ancestors were several Huguenot families who were refugees from France in the 17th century. Among these families were Payard, Bettac, Bevierre, Berthe, Fasquelle, Varenbourg, Veillard, Devantier, and several others. There were also spelling variations: Fasquelles, Varembourg and so on.
Other families
There are several other families for which we have information that are not listed here, though they are listed in our Tiny Tafels. Among them are Hannan, Beningfield, Crighton, Stooke, Brathwaite, Flamme, Sandercock and Vause. Don’t forget to look on our Family Wikispace for more information about these and other related families. The Wikispace is editable, so you can add to the information, or discuss it in discussion pages, post queries and so on.

Making contact

If you think you may be related to any of these families, please make contact with us either by e-mail or by leaving a comment in an appropriate place so that we can share family history information.

If you can’t find a suitable place to make a comment (for example, if it’s not really related to any post in the blog) you can try our BlogFrog community. This is where you can ask questions or make comments about our family history. To go there, just click on the button below:

In the community you should be able to initiate discussions. Discussions can be wider-ranging than they are in blog comments. So even if you don’t have a question or comment in mind at the moment, have a look at it — it may spark off some thoughts you’d like to share. It could be some family news — someone has got married, or divorced, or had a baby, graduated, published a book, discovered a new gas, or whatever. It could be something you’ve just discovered about family members in the past or present — a forgotten ancestor or cousin.

13 Responses

  1. hi
    i have started to do my family tree my family have come from oldham lancashire in 1841 they went to northeast of uk
    robert pearson a minner married to a rebecca?
    from lancashire

  2. Hello My grandfather came to Canada from New Zealand. He was born in Wellington, New Zealand.His parents were Charles&Clara Green. My family know little about him. Was killer in ww1 ,my grandmother said little because of second marrage. Do you know of these people John R green

  3. If anyone has information on the DENT family in Pietermaritzberg for the period 1910 – 1940 please contact me thanks

  4. Hi
    Does anyone out there have any information on the branch of the Growdon family before they moved to Sheffield from Blisland, Cornwall or maybe St Neots, not sure which. Joseph Growdon born 1775 married Elizabeth Cocker at Warleggan in the 1800’s. Had a son John Growdon who is in the 1911 census in Sheffield. I am a descendent of him

  5. Do you know Brenda Growden, her son is Matthew Growden and he would be about 36 years old? We were good friends/house mates once and lost touch through a misunderstanding. I would love to contact her again.

  6. Hello Folks,
    Im going to add something to your family. My late mother’s grandmother Janet nee Hayward married John Judge then remarried _ Growden from Merredin, Western Australia. Grandma Janet died on the 4th July 1942 and buried in Merredin.
    Janet nee Hayward Judge [dont know yet whether she was a widow or divourcee] when she remarried Growden.
    Janet and John Judge had 5 children. Albert [bert], Tom Judge [Betty beazley father [Kim jnr: Grandfather], Robert [Bob] {my grandfather], Dorothy who married a Johnson/Johnston divorced remarried Henry Emmett {from New York, USA] and Elsie who married Archie Price.
    Now Bob Judge married Juanita Tindale, they had triplets [whom the 2 girls survived by 2-3 hours and the son was still born]. Then came Wendy [my mother] and Dorothy.
    Would be very interested in anything the Growden families have of Great Grandma Janet.
    It will be much appreciate.

  7. hey anyone have info about the Dixon family .Daniel Esma Dixon was my gradgrantfathers father or call by +264816109724

  8. Hello
    I have a John Gray in my line b 1792 in England, married Jane Feichnay from Scotland. Lived in Montreal and Rawdon Quebec.
    Married in St. Gabriels Parish Montreal.
    Margret Gray b 1795 England who married William John Goodall Green St Gabriels Parish could be his sister, as the John Gray who married Mary Pullman married in 1806, so Margaret Gray, his daughter had a different mother, probably in England. I have been unable to find my John Grays mother.
    Does any one know where John Gray who married Mary Pullman was born in England? Also does anyone know the name of his other wife in England? One of Margaret Grays children was called Elenora.
    I have found a John Gray m to a Ellen Kennedy with a daughter Margaret, so maybe this could be one of John Gray Sr. wives?
    Thank you. My email is masavell@verizon.net

  9. I I am shane Cathcart-Cunnison. John’s son. I was born in Durban in 1972. I am currently in the last stage of stage 4 colon cancer. This is my journey https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100058520749691&mibextid=ZbWKwL

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