Die Bezuidenhout familienaam kom oorspronklik van Den Haag, Nederland. Die oudste deel van Den Haag was 'n bewoude gebied, bekend in die 11de eeu as "De Vene beszuyde den houte". Die het later net Bezuidenhout geword. Die familienaam beteken dus, een wat afstam van iemand wat woonagtig was suid van die woud, of langs die woud(in Den Haag).In Den Haag is daar steeds 'n groot straat genaamd Bezuidenhoutseweg in die oudste woonbuurt, Bezuidenhout. Dit is reg langs die oorspronklike woud "Het Haagse Bos". Die Bezuidenhout familie is een van die oudste Afrikaanse families in Suid-Afrika. Ene Wijnand Leendertszoon is in Nederland gebore tussen 1639 en 1640. Hy land op 30 Januarie 1666 met die VOC skip "De Gulden Tijger" na die Kaap, de Goede Hoop. Hy word egter aangeteken as Wijnand leendertszoon Van Besuijenhouten in die bemanningslys en latere VOC dokumente. Die "van" is vroeg reeds laat vaar en Bezuidenhout het die familienaam geword. Hy was 'n soldaat aan diens van die VOC tot 1668, toe hy vryburger geword het en as hooftuinier aan die Kaap vir die Oos-Indiesche Kompanjie diens gedoen het. Hy trou aan die Kaap met nog 'n Nederlandse immigrant, Jannetjie Gerrits van Amsterdam, en word dus die stamvader van die Bezuidenhout familie in Suid-Afrika.
Die Bezuidenhout familie het sedert hul aankoms in Suid-Afrika baie bygedra tot die geskiedenis van hedendaagse Suid-Afrika. Sy seun Wijnand was een van die eerste leiers van die trekboere na die Oos-grens. Hier, nadat die boere 'n sukkel bestaan gevoer het tussen die VOC,Xhosas,Koi-Kois en die Britse regering wat die lewe ondraagbaar gemaak het, is een Cornelis Frederick(Freek) Bezuidenhout van Slagtersnek faam doodgeskiet nadat hy geweier het om voor die landros('n 100km verder en hy het rumatiek gehad) te verskyn. Sy broer hans en 'n De Clercq het a.g. hiervan 'n rebellioptog gehad teen die Britse regering, maar toe Hans ook doodgeskiet is by Slagtersnek, het die res hulsef oorgegee. Die persone is egter gevonnis tot die dood deur die Britse regering. Die hangbalk het gebreek die eerste keer, maar die persone is nie gespaar nie en is 'n tweede keer suksesvol gehang. Die gebeurtenis word herdemk naby Cookhouse area in die Slagtersnekgedenkteken en Freek se graf. Die gebeurtenis is ook ingedien as een van die redes van die ontevredenheid van menige boere aan die Oosgrens met die Britse regering en gevolglik die Groot Trek weg van Britse verdrukking. Die Bezuidenhout familie was deel daarvan en hulle het hulself onderskeidelik gevestig as boere in die Vrystaat, Natal deur die Vrystaat, Natal en die hele breedte en wydte van die Ou Transvaal. Van hulle is saam met Louis Trichardt na Delagoabaai(Maputo) waar hulle weer af is na Natal. Ander is later oor die grens na Rhodesia, waar hulle hulleself as baasboere gevestig het. Ander is self verder noord. Die omgewing wat vandag bekend staan as Johannesburg, was in 1886 deel van 'n plaas Dorenfontijn en Turffontijn, wat behoort het aan ene Frederick Jacobus Bezuidenhout en sy seuns, Gerhardus Petrus en Cornelis Willem Bezuidenhout. Hul oorspronklike plaashuis is steeds staande. Bezuidenhout Park is uitgele op hulle plaas vir onspanningsdoeleindes in die begin van die 20ste eeu. Hulle het die eerste bome en vrugteboorde op hul plaas geplant, lank voordat Johannesburg self tot stand gekom het in ongeveer 1860/65's. Bezuidenhoutsvallei en Judith's Paarl is na Frederik Jakobus en sy vrou Judith Cornelia Ethresia onderskeidelik vernoem.
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http://www.heritageportal.co.za/article/last-bez-leave-valley - Last 'Bez' to leave the Valley?
Fri, 22/03/2013 - 18:01 A few weeks ago I joined the team from the Kensington Heritage Trust on a trip to visit Mrs Yvonne Collett, a direct descendent of the original Bezuidenhouts that owned the farm Doornfontein on which a large part of Johannesburg now stands. In 1982, in partnership with the Johannesburg Historic Foundation (now part of the Egoli Heritage Foundation), she organised a family reunion where Bezuidenhouts from all over the country gathered at the historic homestead and cemetery. The following article with the clever headline 'More Bezzes will Buzz in the Valley' appeared in The Star shortly before the event.
Johannesburg's historic eastern suburb Bezuidenhout Valley will, to coin a new phase, be buzzing and bezzing next week. There will be more Bezzes in Bez valley than ever before - some 200 of them - all in a family union of the Bezuidenhout clan [while it was a large gathering I don't think it hit this number]
The gathering from 10:30am on Saturday will be of the descendants of Barend Bezuidenhout, son of Frederik of the same surname, who owned the 7 000 morgen farm on which a large part of Johannesburg now stands.
"Of the 200 invited I only know about 30" said the clan's organiser, Mrs Yvonne Collett, great-granddaughter of Barend, a father of 12 children who died in 1925. "Most of Barend's descendants are now English speaking and some even live in England," she added.
All the Bezuidenhouts from Bez Valley (or originally so) will gather, naturally, in Bezuidenhout Park. The first part of the clan meeting will be formal with wreath-layings on the graves of the patriarchs and a prayer by Dr H J Steyn of the old Jeppestown Ned Geref parish. Then the little restaurant in the park will serve tea, but at the lunchtime braai, beer and wine will come out and at night some of Barend's great great grands will go jolly with an 'opskop' to a local band, headed by Bez Martin (original name: Martin Bezuidenhout).
Mrs Collett is working day and night to help Bezzes, who come from all over the country, but says another clan meeting 'will have to be organised by anybody but me, thank you"
During our visit Yvonne could not think of any other descendents still living near the famous valley (she is up the hill in Kensington). Judging by the state of the cemetery, which made headlines for all the wrong reasons recently, I would say it has been a while since any family member visited.
Yvonne and her husband have just sold their house and as soon as the transfer is finalised they will be leaving Johannesburg to enjoy a peaceful retirement at the coast. Could Yvonne's departure signal the end of the Bezzes in the Valley? If you know of anyone else still in the area I would love to hear from you.
http://johannesburg1912.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/bezuidenhout-cemetary/ - Before the discovery of gold, the area was made up of various boer farms after which many of todays suburbs are named: Laanglaagte, Braamfontein, Doornfontein, Diepkloof and Turffontein to name just a few. As a side note, some suburbs are named after wives of the farmers like Emmarentia and Judiths Paarl.
The main reef was discovered on the farm Laanglaagte and many of the surrounding farms were eventually sold off in pieces for mining or were eventually laid to become the suburbs we know today.
Gerrit Bezhuidenhout owned a 3500 hectare farm that covered the area from Bez Valley in the east to Melville in the west. The farm was transferred into the name of FJ Bezhuidenhout Senior in 1858. FJ Junior owned Turffontein and his farmhouse was apparently in the centre of where town is now (perhaps the mythical farm in Ellof street?)
In 1862 FJ senior sold/gave portions of the farm to GP Bezhuidenhout, CW Bezhudenhout & FJ van Dijk. In 1871 GP sold his land to FJ van Dijk who in 1884 sold half to JJ Lindeque. In 1886 CW sold a third of his land to Lourens Geldenhuis (who also owned Elandsfontein otherwise known as Bedfordview) Lourens passed on land to Frans, Dirk?? and Louw Geldenhuis which covered roughly Greenside & Linden area. Frans’ original home is now the clubhouse at Mark’s Park and Louw’s farmhouse is in Greenhill road Greenside. The family cemetary is in Hill road (and will be the subject of another post)
Bezhuidenhout Park in Bez Valley is the site of the Bezhuidenhout farmhouse (built in 1863) and family cemetary. The family donated the land for the park and stipulated that the house and cemetary be maintained. The farmhouse houses the Rotary headquarters and the cemetary is still there but sadly not in a great state.
Bezhuidenhout farmhouse built in 1863 Bezhuidenhout farmhouse built in 1863 Jonkershuis - bungalow next to the farmhouse Jonkershuis – bungalow next to the farmhouse In Jan 2011 I took a bunch of pictures of all the headstones and plaques I could find. There may be more buried under the long grass but these were visible. Like many cemeteries, one day there will be no one left alive who remembers or even know or care about their long dead relatives and the cemeteries will no longer be visited or properly maintained. Brixton and Braamfontein cemeteries are in danger of this in about 50 – 100 years from now unless declared a heritage site. These old cemeteries are plagued by vandals and scrap metal scavengers who even go so far as picking the metal lettering out of the headstones.
These are the names I could make out in the Bezhuidenhout cemetary:
JA Muller 1857 – 1909 Barend Christian Bezhuidenhout – 1859 – 1925 Adriana Maria Petronella Bezhuidenhout (nee Muller) 1862 – 1939 Frederik Jacobus Bedhuidenhout 1825 – 1900 Senior (His children were FJ Bez Jr, BC Bez, JA Muller (both above) PS Grobler, CFJ Meyer, WWJJ Bez & WAS Gouws Judith Cornelia Etresia Bezhuidenhout (nee Viljoen) 1831 – 1904 (Same children as FJ above) FJ & JCE’s headstone is the massive red granite one that originally had the angel on top. Inscriptions are on each upright with verses on the other sides. Name unclear – Daughter of FJ & JCE 1856 – 1844 JA (Basie) Muller 1915 – 1940 Piet Retief 1910 – 1912 or (17) Son of PH and SA Bezhuidenhout Gabriel Johannes Mathys Wolmarans 1882 – 1934 Willem Stephanus De Beer 1921 – 1930 Marie 1887 – 190? Daughter of BC and AMP Bezhuidenhout Girl ?? 1910 – 1916 Daughter of WG & CM O’Reilly Aleida Roorda (nee Pasman) 1879 – 1916
There are two plaques set in the ground that I can’t make out. Both are damaged but appear to both be Bezhuidenhouts.
I found an old picture of the cemetary in Eric Rosenthal’s 1974 book The Rand Rush (pic courtesy of South African Press Services) that shows where the broken angel came from. It’s the one at the top of this post.
Bezuidenhout cemetary gates 2011 Bezuidenhout cemetary gates 2011 Name? One of the Bezhuidenhout sons Name? J. A. Muller Name? Barend Christiaan Bezhuidenhout Name? Aleida Roorda (nee Pasman) Name? Adriana Maria Petronella Bezhuidenhout (nee Muller) Name? Daughet of FJ and JCE Bezhuidenhout Piet Retief Piet Retief Angel without wings Angel without wings The angel once stood on top of the arch The angel once stood on top of the arch General view of the graveyard 2011 General view of the graveyard 2011