Shared Ancestors and Shared Experiences

Panorama of Cape Town painted in 1778

Megan and I met when I went to the University of Cape Town in the early 1970’s. We came from quite different backgrounds. I am from a solid British background with a Welsh mother and an English South African father whose ancestors were English migrants of the late 1800’s to Natal and the Orange Free State. Megan’s father was Afrikaans with an ancestry that traced back to Dutch and German settlers and the French Huguenots of the late 1600’s. Her mother was English South African with an ancestry linked to the 1820 British settlers to the Eastern Cape.

I was a bit too English for some of her relatives. She was a bit too Afrikaans for some of mine. Interesting backgrounds, but very different. Well, as it turns out, not quite so different as first examination might suggest. We have discovered some fascinating connections from shared ancestors to ancestors with shared experiences. The following sections present their stories.

1. Great-grandparents

2. Ancestors with shared experiences

3. Shared ancestors – overview

4. Roussouw, Van Eeden and Potgieter

5. Van Staden and Botha

6. Van der Merwe and Cloete

7. Snyman, De Savoye and Catharina van Paliacatta

8. Reflections


The narrative is extensively referenced for those who want more detail (and there is quite a lot more). References are presented in the format (Name Date, Page). Endnotes are presented as 1  and are used to present extra information and explanations. Clicking on a reference or endnote will open a separate window that will show the reference with links to the underlying document where possible. Clicking the  button will close the window and take you back to the article.

Most photographs and pictures will expand to full size if you click on them and place names that are links will show you where they are on the map. Please respect the Copyright status of the information provided.

Full Panorama from 1778. Click to open, zoom to preferred size, and then scroll to view.
Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

©Alun Stevens 2019

Leave a Reply