Germans in the Eastern Cape

There’s a new website on Germans in the Eastern Cape. Or perhaps I should rather say that it is an old site that has been revamped and moved to a new address.

Two groups of German settlers came to the Eastern Cape (well, the part of it then called British Kaffraria) in 1858/59. The first to arrive were the military settlers of the British German Legion, who had been recruited to fight in the Crimean War, but the war ended before they could be deployed, so it was decided to send them to the Eastern Cape instead. The civilian settlers followed about a year or two later. The web site explains the background to the emigration of both groups, and gives quite detailed information on the military settlers.

Val’s grandmother, Emma le Sueur (formerly Greene, formerly Chelin, born Decker) descended from both groups. Her Decker ancestors were among the military settlers, being Carl August Decker, who married Mary Nevard Morton in Colchester just before leaving (the British Germaon Legion was trained at Colchester in Essex). The civilian settlers included the Falkenberg and Schultz families from the Ueckermark in Brandenberg. The Schultz family were of French Huguenot descent, and they are the ones we know most about in the earlier generations, but practically nothing since they arrived in South Africa.

We’ve also discovered other links, not direct ancestors, but people who married into other branches of the family. Another of the military settlers was Captain Carl Arthur von Lilienstein. He was a customs official in Holstein 1839-1848, then joined the British German Legion and led a party of 100 military settlers to Berlin in British Kaffraria in 1857. He was also a Count (Graf). His daughter Ida married Henry Green, brother of Val’s great great grandfather Frederick Thomas Green.

The Falkenberg and Schultz families came on the Wilhelmsburg, which sailed from Hamburg on 19 October 1858, and arrived in East London on 13 January 1859. According to the web site, 64 children and one adult died on the voyage. We know that one of the children who died was a member of the Schultz family, three-year-old Wilhelmine Caroline Schultz, because she was on the embarkation list at Hamburg, but not on the disembarkation list at East London. The web site does not give details of the children who travelled, just the parents, though perhaps one day it may be possible to include the complete passenger lists for both ends of the voyage.

A quite recent discovery we have made is that a Devantier family on board the Wilhelmsburg was related to the Schultz family. It is possible that several other families who emigrated may have been related as well. And ironically, though we have been able to trace the Schultz ancestry furthest back, to Calais and Flanders in the mid-17th century, once they reached South Africa they all vanished without trace, all, that is except for Justine (nicknamed Jessie), nine years old on the voyage out, who married Christian Falkenberg after his first wife died, though we haven’t been able to find a record of that marriage either. So if anyone sees anything possibly related to this Schultz family, please contact us!

Family Group Record for Martin Schultz


Husband Martin Schultz-[26]


           Born: 11 Aug 1822 - Wendemark, , , Germany
       Baptised:
           Died:
         Buried:

         Father: Martin Schultz-[25] (Abt 1781-          )
         Mother: Marie Payard-[23] (1785-          )

       Marriage: 9 Jun 1844 - Meichow, Ückermark, Brandenburg, Prussia [MRIN:13]

Events


1. Emigration, on Wilhelmsburg, 19 Oct 1858 – Hamburg, Germany


Wife Justine Holtzendorff-[37]


            AKA: Justine Holzendorf
           Born: 16 Dec 1825 - Meichow, Ückermark, Brandenburg, Prussia
       Baptised:
           Died:  - Cape Colony
         Buried:

         Father: Friedrich Holtzendorff-[36] (Abt 1788-1846)
         Mother: Dorothea Kaeding-[35] (1796-          )

Events


1. Emigration, Ship Wilhelmsburg, 19 Oct 1858 – Hamburg, Germany


Children


1 F Wilhelmine Luise Schultz-[38]


           Born: 3 Sep 1844 - Meichow, Ückermark, Brandenburg, Prussia
       Baptised:
           Died: 14 Nov 1850 - Meichow, Ückermark, Brandenburg, Prussia
         Buried:

2 M Wilhelm Friedrich Schultz-[39]


           Born: 3 Aug 1847 - Meichow, Ückermark, Brandenburg, Prussia
       Baptised:
           Died:
         Buried:

3 F Justine Wilhelmine Schultz-[40]


            AKA: Jessie Schultz
           Born: 22 Jun 1849 - Meichow, Ückermark, Brandenburg, Prussia
       Baptised:
           Died: 21 Apr 1927 - East London, Eastern Cape, South Africa
         Buried:
         Spouse: Michael John Christian Falkenberg-[44] (1827-1882)
           Marr:  [MRIN:20]
         Spouse: Charles John Koch-[336] (          -1940)
           Marr: Mar 1883 [MRIN:19]

4 F Marie Luise Schultz-[41]


           Born: 22 Jun 1852 - Meichow, Ückermark, Brandenburg, Prussia
       Baptised:
           Died:
         Buried:

5 F Wilhelmine Caroline Schultz-[42]


           Born: 9 May 1855 - Meichow, Ückermark, Brandenburg, Prussia
       Baptised:
           Died: Abt 1858 - At Sea
         Buried:

6 M Karl Wilhelm August Schulz-[43]


            AKA: August Schultz
           Born: 2 Jan 1858 - Meichow, Ückermark, Brandenburg, Prussia
       Baptised:
           Died:
         Buried:


General Notes (Husband)


Knecht und Tagelõhner in Meichiow, emigrated to the Cape Colony with his family in 1858.
Last Modified: 15 Dec 2008

There’s more on the Falkenberg family here and here, and more about the Decker family here.

Payard, Bettac and Devantier families

We’ve been looking at our Brandenburg Huguenot families again, as a number of researchers have  been interested in these, and some have recently updated their web pages.

One result of this has been to show up a discrepancy in a Payard-Bettac marriage, which needs further research to resolve.

Quite soon after we got interested in family history, back in the 1970s, we discovered that Val’s Decker and Falkenberg ancestors came from East Germany, which was then isolated from much of the world by the Cold War, and there was no possibility of South Africans visiting it. Then there was an announcement in the newsletter of the Genealogical Society of South Africa that a Mr Hans-Georg Bleibaum was interested in South Africans of German descent, and was willing to gibe help and advice to South Africans who wanted to follow up German ancestors.

We wrote to him, and explained our research problem, and asked for his advice. We heard nothing for several months, and then he replied with an ancestor chart going back for several generations. He had contacted a researcher in East Germany, one K-A Jung, who was a member of a local health committee, and sent him a parcel of groceries, in return for which he asked him to look up our family. Mr Bleibaum asked us to refund the cost of the groceries by paying R25.00 into his South African bank account, which we gladly did.

Mr Jung had looked up the ancestors of the Decker and Falkenberg families. He could find little on Christian Falkenberg, but his wife Jessie Schultz had a Huguenot grandmother, Marie Payard, born in 1785 in Briest, in the Ückermark region of Brandenburg. He looked in the registers of the French Reformed Church, and found ancestors going back another four generations. Her earliest Payard ancestor was a Samuel Payard, a tobacco planter from Calais. Her mother was an Elisabeth Bettac, and there were several generations on that side too.

In 1989 the Cold War ended, and Germany was reunited, and records became more accessible, and several other people have been researching their Huguenot ancestry in Brandenburg, and more recently have been putting the results of their research on the web, where it was possible to compare them, and find links between different families.

The links could be confusing, because the Huguenots seemed to like naming their children after biblical patriarchs, and in many families the first three boys were Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and the fourth was often a Jacques for variation. If one died, then a later child was often given the name of the dead one.

Anyway, in comparing the results of different peoples’ research, we came across a possible discrepancy in the information sent to us by Mr Jung — there were two Isaac Payards, one born in 1740 and the other in 1743, in different towns, and two Elisabeth Bettacs, one born in 1752 and the other in 1765. Mr Jung had given us the younger of each as the parents of Marie Payard, but he had not been able to find a marriage for them.  There  is a marriage of an Isaac Payard to an Elizabeth Bettac in Briest in 1765, but Mr Jung either did not see it or did not include it because the younger Elisabeth Bettac would then have been only 11 years old. The older one (the aunt of the younger one) would have been 23.

So Mr Jung was probably right, but it would be nice to be more certain. If anyone would like to know more about the problem, see our wiki article on the Payard-Bettac marriage.  If Mr Jung was wrong about which Elizabeth Bettac it was, then the Berthe and Devantier families would not be part of our ancestry (though they would be related by marriage).

Devantier family

Last year we had a couple of e-mails from Devantier cousins — Deborah Devantier in the USA, and Vanessa Devantier in Brazil, asking about family connections. We couldn’t find any links in our family records, so I passed them on to Torben Devantie in Denmark, who has now confirmed the links, and that both Deborah and Vanessa are cousins. We’ll have to enter them into our program to work out whether they are 4th, 5th or 6th coursins, and how many times removed!

Our link to the Devantier family comes on the Falkenberg side: Val’s great great grandmother was Jessie Falkenberg, nee Schultz, who came to the Cape Colony with the German settlers in 1858, at the age of 9. And Jessie Schultz’s great great grandmother was Judith Devantier.

Torben Devantie is the one who has collected most of the Devantier family tree, which is enormous. The family were Huguenots who migrated from France via the Rhineland to Brandenburg in Prussia after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Many other Huguenot families settled in the Ueckermark region of Brandenburg (north-east of Berlin), and they all intermarried and married French for several generations. Many were tobacco planters, and one group, including some Devantiers, moved to Denmarkat the request of the King of Denmark to grow tobacco, and for a long time the town of Fredericia was “Huguenot City”.

Anyway, Torben Devantier wrote to say that he had found the link to Deborah Devantier’s ancestor Carl Wilhelm Friedrich Devantier, which is on his web site. We checked our records, and we found none of the links there, not one, not two, not three generations back. And then found that Abraham Devantier (1692-1761) who married Sarah Feut and had 11 children, which we do have, had remarried to Judith Talman, and had another six kids, whom we didn’t have. No wonder the Devantier family is so enormous. So we’ve got several generations catching up to do. That Abraham Devantier, by the way, was our Judith Devantier’s eldest brother, which means he was Val’s 7th great grand uncle.

And then Vanessa Devantier’s ancestor was Friedrich Albert Devantier, and we found a tentative link in our tree, and now Torben Devantie has confirmed the link, which is also on his web site.

There is more about the Devantier family on our family wiki page.

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