Marthinus Johannes de Fortier, b6

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About Marthinus Johannes de Fortier, b6

Carel Louis de Fortier * France 19.9.1827, a rebel exiled from France in 1865 and banished to a prison camp in Australia, jumped ship on the Pondoland coast of South Africa, school teacher at Bethlehem OFS, Bethal and Piet Retief † “Straalsund”, dist. Piet Retief 17.2.1893 x Anna Helena Martha VAN DYK (she xx De Jager)

b6 Martinus Johannes * 4.2.1875 † 18.5.1945 # White River x Maria Susanna VAN DER MERWE * c. 1879 d.o. Izak Matthys Hermanus van der Merwe and Johanna Margaretha van Dyk, 6 children

Pietersburg Refugee Camp 28 June 1901 – 27 December 1902

Personal Details

Name: Mr Martinus Johannes de Fortier

Born in camp? No

Died in camp? No

Gender: male

Race: white

Marital status: married

Nationality: Transvaal

Occupation: bywoner

Registration as head of family: Yes

Unique ID: 35571

Camp History

Name: Pietersburg RC

Age arrival: 27

Date arrival: 06/06/1901

Date departure: 23/01/1902

Reason departure: absconded

Stock into camp: 2 cows, 2 calves

Tent number: 449

Farm History

Name: de Fortier family

Town: Haenertsburg


Type: surrendered

Notes: 4/5/1901, Haenertsburg 23/1/1902: absconded


Mr Martinus Johannes de Fortier

is the husband of Mrs Maria Magdalena de Fortier

is the father of Master baby de Fortier


Title: DBC 87 Pietersburg CR

Type: Camp register

Location: National Archives, Pretoria

Reference No.: DBC 87

Notes: p.44

view all 11

Marthinus Johannes de Fortier, b6's Timeline

February 4, 1875
South Africa
Age 24
South Africa
June 1901
Age 26

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 28
Age 30
Age 32
Age 34
Age 36
May 18, 1944
Age 69
Pietersburg, South Africa
Age 68