Ernst Lodewikus du Plessis

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Ernst Lodewikus du Plessis

Birthplace: Cape Province, South Africa
Death: Died in Melsetter, Southern Rhodesia
Immediate Family:

Son of Philippus Johannes Jacobus du Plessis and Catharina Cornelia du Plessis
Husband of Magdalena Petronella Catharina du Plessis
Father of Elizabeth Susanna Kruger; Philippus Johannes Jacobus duPlessis; Magdalena Petronella Catherina Harrington; Catherina Cornelia Slater and Aletta Maria Ferreira
Brother of Hendrik Franswa Conradie du Plessis; Johannes Petrus Jacobus du Plessis and Elizabeth Hendrina van der Merwe

Managed by: Geoffrey Otterson
Last Updated:

About Ernst Lodewikus du Plessis

Ernst du Plessis was born in the Tulbagh district in 1863, later moved to the Bethlehem-Fouriesburg district and was a near neighbour of Tom Moodie for 7 years. He worked as a transport rider and had travelled as far as Tuli with his transport wagons so already had a knowledge of the area when plans were drawn up for the Moodie Trek. "Our motive," declared Ernst du Plessis, "was to get enough land once and for all - land on which one could make a decent living without debt." Ernst joined up with the Moodie party at Lindley on 8 May 1892. The Moodie trek ended when they reached Waterfalls farm on 4th January 1893. Ernst du Plessis, the dependable second-in-command of the trek, chose Clearwater for his farm.

After pegging his farm Clearwater he returned to the Free State to fetch his own Trek, along with "cattle, horses and other implements" which he had left behind. Others joined him and he returned to Gazaland with a small group, including his brother.

Once everybody was settled he returned again to the Free State to collect his bride, having been the first to build a house of burnt brick as he did not want to bring his bride to a pole and dagga hut. This time he travelled by foot to Chimora and Beira to travel by boat to Durban. He spent the rainy months in Natal and the Free State, telling many people about his wonderful new home. When the weather settled he married Magdalena Maritz (descendant of the Great Trek leader), collected his other wagon, and made a third journey to Gazaland, accompanied by another five families and two young men.

He lived on his farm Clearwater until his death in 1953.

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Ernst Lodewikus du Plessis's Timeline

Cape Province, South Africa
Age 32
Utrecht, Natal, South Africa
September 14, 1896
Age 33
Melsetter, Rhodesia
Age 35
May 1, 1899
Age 36
December 2, 1901
Age 38
Melsetter, Southern Rhodesia
October 17, 1905
Age 42
June 10, 1943
Age 80
Melsetter, Southern Rhodesia