Josias Philip Hoffman, b1

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About Josias Philip Hoffman, b1

The Whites of Enkeldoorn 1880-1980 is a history of the families of European descent who settled in the area of Enkeldoorn (renamed Chivi) Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). Author - Sarel van der Walt.

HOFFMAN 1894 Josias Hoffman On 13 June 1893 the main family group, Josias Hoffman with wife, five sons, one daughter-in-law and a grand-daughter, brother Louw Hoffman with wife and child, two Botha families and Joel Rocher with wife and five children, led by Josias Martin Hoffman left from the farm Weltevrede near Potchefstroom, leaving behind three families who were to follow later. With ox-wagons travelling in convoy, they trekked as far as Potgietersrust where they met Commandant Raaf who was escorting volunteers from Johannesburg to fight the Matabele. Commandant Raaf stopped the trek as the Matabele war made it unwise to cross Matabele territory. The Rocher and two Botha families returned to Potchefstroom with the intention to restart their journey later in the company of the other three families. In the end none of them trekked to Rhodesia.

The Hoffmans went to Pietersburg where they grew crops on leased farms. Near disaster struck the Hoffmans at Pietersburg with the outbreak of a cattle disease that killed 32 of their beasts. They restarted their trek in May 1894.

From Pietersburg the trek went smoothly and crossed the Transvaal border at Middledrif on the Crocodile (Limpopo) river. The river was partly in flood and very wide with a sandy bottom. It was necessary to unload the wagons so as to place poles across the rails to raise the loading platform above deep water level, then after reloading they used four teams (62 oxen) to haul the wagons one at a time. The crossing was without mishap and the trek proceeded to Fort Tuli.

Fort Tuli was a small village with about twenty houses of temporary construction. There was a pile of flour that had got wet and the Hoffmans bought some at one shilling a bag to feed their horses and mules. The trek was delayed for several months, about seven miles from Fort Tuli along the Fort Victoria road. Predators were a serious problem and hyenas in particular were very aggressive, moving between the buildings after small stock and killing calves and donkeys.

Josias Hoffman (Jnr.) and Louw Hoffman travelled to Bulawayo with a cart and six oxen to buy loot cattle being sold by the Administration, being cattle taken from the Matabele as spoils of war. They bought sixty head, paying from ten shillings, and up to twenty shillings a head.

Lung-sickness, a cattle disease, caused a further delay and the trekkers used the time to undertake various contract works. Josias (Jnr), and brother Danie were building stables for Doel Zeederberg along his new Tuli to Bulawayo route and about 12 miles further Gert Nel was also building stables. Gert's wife and daughter took a lift with Bouwer to visit Gert. The wagon was loaded with grain destined as feed for the coach mules. At a river crossing the wagon's draw-bar broke and the wagon rolled backwards. Mrs Nel decided to jump off but stumbled and landed under the wheels. The injuries she suffered were so severe that she died within half an hour.

Piet Bezuidenhout with wife and children and two brothers, arrived on their way with family wagon and two wagons loaded with transport goods. Their oxen were in poor condition and Josias (Jnr) agreed to assist by taking the family wagon as far as Poedie-Pedie, making it possible for Bezuidenhout to use the extra oxen on the heavy transport wagons. Bezuidenhout paid him one pound. Returning to Tuli, he conveyed an empty wagon for a Ferreira who paid him ten shillings. The return trip took two days.

With the cattle disease under control the trek was resumed and Fort Victoria was reached without mishap. At Fort Victoria they found several families, delayed while going round the country looking for farms. The Hoffmans rested for two days and then completed their trek to the farms they had pegged along the Umnyati river. They arrived on Kudushoek, renamed Pennyfather on 1st. November 1894. That night two of their cattle were killed by lions.

The trek originally started on 13 June 1893 and was delayed at Pietersburg from October 1893. It was restarted from Pietersburg in May 1894 and reached Geluksverwacht on I November 1894. Altogether sixteen and a half months.

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Josias Philip Hoffman, b1's Timeline

1867
November 24, 1867
Potchefstroom, South Africa
1912
February 10, 1912
Age 44
1913
May 1, 1913
Age 45
1914
July 31, 1914
Age 46
1916
July 15, 1916
Age 48
1918
October 12, 1918
Age 50
1920
May 25, 1920
Age 52
1923
July 23, 1923
Age 55
1927
June 22, 1927
Age 59
1929
May 5, 1929
Age 61