Maria Susanna van der Merwe

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Maria Susanna van der Merwe

Also Known As: "Maria Susanna de Fortier"
Death: (Date and location unknown)
Immediate Family:

Wife of Marthinus Johannes de Fortier, b6
Mother of Charles Lewis de Fortier; Marthinus Johannes de Fortier; Anna Helana de Fortier; Maria Susanna de Fortier; Cornelia Margaretha de Fortier and 1 other

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Maria Susanna van der Merwe

Pietersburg Refugee Camp 28 June 1901 – 27 December 1902

Personal Details

Name: Mrs Maria Magdalena de Fortier

Born in camp? No

Died in camp? No

Gender: female

Race: white

Marital status: married

Nationality: Transvaal

Unique ID: 35572

Camp History

Name: Pietersburg RC

Age arrival: 19

Date arrival: 06/06/1901

Date departure: 30/08/1902

Reason departure: 1 MR

Destination: Haenertsburg

Tent number: 449

Farm History

Name: de Fortier family

Town: Haenertsburg


Mrs Maria Magdalena de Fortier

is the wife of Mr Martinus Johannes de Fortier


Title: DBC 87 Pietersburg CR

Type: Camp register

Location: National Archives, Pretoria

Reference No.: DBC 87

Notes: p.44

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Maria Susanna van der Merwe's Timeline

Age 18
South Africa
June 1901
Age 19

The camps were formed by the British army to house the residents of the two Boer republics of the South African Republic and the Orange Free State. They were established towards the end of 1900, after Britain had invaded the Boer republics. This database was designed to investigate mortality and morbidity in the camps during the war. Although it will include everyone listed in the registers during the war, it usually excludes returning prisoners-of-war and men who came back from commando at the end of the war, as well as the considerable movement of people which took place after 31 May 1902, when families were repatriated to their homes.

Pietersburg was the northernmost camp in the Transvaal system, isolated and difficult to service. Although Pietersburg itself was relatively open, the nearby Zoutpansberg was mountainous and forested, bordering on Mozambique. The town was only occupied by the British on 8 April 1901 and, initially, the people of this region were housed in Irene camp. It was only after some thought that it was decided to establish a camp in such a remote area, in May 1901. This was still, in some respects, frontier territory, vulnerable to attacks from local African societies who remained unsubdued by the Boers. While there were some established farmers, much of the wealth of the area was derived from lumber and mining. Slave trading (the capture and sale of black children as apprentices to Boer farmers) still occurred occasionally. Many of the families were subsistence farmers at best and the presence of the Buys clan of Mara was an indication of the ‘in-between’ status of some of the people. These were the descendents of a Cape colonial renegade, Coenrad Buys, who had married into local black families. His descendents, however, did not identify with black society (in the camp context at least) and refused to be classed with black camp inmates. Instead, they maintained a separate identity in Pietersburg camp, living largely in their own wagons but rationed by the camp authorities. The head of the family was ‘a big burly negro, who rules his camp with great discretion’, the Ladies Committee noted in November 1901. Pietersburg was close to malaria country and the health of the region was notoriously poor so it was inevitable that the mortality in Pietersburg camp should be high.

Age 22
Age 24
Age 26
Age 28
Age 30
South Africa