Ek skryf (gewoonlik) soos dit is…

Doing genealogy is not just a cold gathering of facts…

This morning I received this pleasant e-mail from a Mr. Ackerman from Sedgefield. It means so much to me.

Dear Johann

First of all, sorry that my correspondence is in English, but my written Afrikaans is not that good and do not have an Afrikaans spelcheck.

I would like to thank you most sincerely for all the trouble you went to, to trace the date of death for my maternal grandfather. I really appreciate.

What a lovely surprise it was to receive the information via Emmerentia.

The moment I saw that the cause of death was stomach cancer, I knew it was the right Johannes Albertus Geldenhuys. (So many with the same name.)

He worked as the gardener at Ratelrivier and my grandmother worked as a cook and domestic for the Fletchers.

When Mr. William (Bill) Fletcher passed away in 1915, Mrs. Fletcher asked my grandmother to dress and lay him out in the coffin.

When the Frys took over, she continued to work in the same capacity until 1939 when Mr. Alfred Stephen Fry died and most of the white families were forced to leave.

Grandfather is buried at Ratelrivier farm cemetery where the writing on the wooden board is now illegible.

I contacted Emmerentia and she was kind enough to have the grave opened and forwarded the photograph.

Funds permitting, I hope to place a small plaque on the grave to identify him because once I am gone, he will be totally forgotten.

Once again, thank you so much, I really appreciate what you have done for me.

Kind regards and stay well.

Adrian Ackerman


Graf van Johannes Albertus Geldenhuys (1857-1926) te Ratelrivier. Foto: Emmerentia de Kock.


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2 thoughts on “Doing genealogy is not just a cold gathering of facts…

  1. Christine Allen on said:

    Such a lovely letter to Johann.

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