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Early Rhodesian Settlers - after the Treks

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  • Anna Maria Petronella Bester (1879 - 1940)
    The biograghy of Anna Maria Petronella Bester (nee de Wet), is one of sixty biographies of the typical woman who established their homes in the Rhodesia of 1897-1923, in one of the books, Down Memory L...
  • Bernhardus Hermanus (Bernaas) Bester (1872 - 1939)
    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. Bernardus H...
  • Thomas Wheeler, b2c4 (1874 - 1949)
    WHEELER Thomas (5 October 1818 (England) – 2 August 1889 (Middelburg, Transvaal.) married Sarah Baylis (7 March 1823 – 7 February 1899 (Middelburg, Transvaal). They had 9 children. b1 Wil...
  • James Wheeler, b2c1 (1866 - 1947)
    James Wheeler and Elizabeth Johanna (Betty) Erasmus had - Anne Margaret Wheeler who married Gert (Dick) Kok's brother Hendrik Matthews (Rex) Kok - Mary Elizabeth (Polly) Wheeler who married Gert (D...
  • Jacobus Johannes Erasmus (1899 - 1965)
    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. ERASMUS Jac...

Early Rhodesian Settlers - after the Treks

The aim of this project is to add Geni profiles of early Southern Rhodesian/Rhodesian Settlers post 1895 (not considered to be Pioneers) who went to Rhodesia after the main Pioneering Treks of 1892 to 1895, and who are not listed on those projects. It excludes the territories to the North - Northern Rhodesa/Zambia and Nyasaland/Malawi

Please add the names of the settler and accompanying family members to the list below, (not the descendants), linking the names to their profiles where you can elaborate on their story. Add them to the project as well. Initially be can have a cut-off date of 1915 but this can be up for discussion!

To take part in any project


- you do need to first be a collaborator - so join the project. See the discussion Project Help: How to add Text to a Project - Starter Kit to get you going!

How to Participate

  • Please add only the profiles of those who migrated to the area to this project (not their descendants)! This is easily done from the profile page using the Add to project link.
  • If you have any queries related to these settlers please start a discussion linked to this project. (See the menu top right).
  • Please add related projects to the menu on the right.
  • If you have links to related web pages that would be of interest to others please add them in the relevant section at the bottom of the page. In order to do this use the drop down menu at the top left of the screen and Join the Project. If this option is not available to you then contact a collaborator and ask to be added to the project. As a collaborator you will be able to edit this page.
  • Add any documents of interest using the menu at the top right of the page, and then add a link to the document in the text under the heading below. If you do not know how to do this please contact one of the other collaborators to assist you.

How to add a link is explained in the attached document - Adding links to Geni profiles in projects.

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  • Bernhardus Hermanus Bester and his wife Anna Maria Petronella de Wet, (1872-1940) 1908. (Mrs. Bester). The biograghy of Anna Maria Petronella Bester (nee de Wet), is one of sixty biographies the book, Down Memory Lane with Some Early Rhodesian Women, written by Madeline Heald. The Bester family trekked to Rhodesia by mule-wagons, arriving in Enkeldoorn on 1 October 1908.
  • Jacob Benjamen (Oupa) (1858-1933) and Margaretha Isabella(Ouma) Kirstein arrived approximately 1912 from Kinross, Transvaal, where he farmed on Winkelhaak. In 1910 Oupa, disheartened by droughts and other problems decided to look for pastures new and a reconnaissance trip to Rhodesia took him to the Enkeldoorn area. He was satisfied and about 26 miles South of the town Enkeldoorn, pegged a virgin farm that he called Welvaart.

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  • Hendrik Schalk Coetzee 1865-1950) married Maria Petronella Conradie (1868-1954), arrived 1909 from Potchefstroom Transvaal trek and settled on Riversdale farm where he produced wheat. Hendrik was a big man, exceptionally strong and very bad tempered while Maria was the opposite and very even tempered. Both died on the farm. Hendrik established the Riversdale school. They had 18 children, one died an infant, the last four were born in Rhodesia.
  • Mathian (Matie) Coetzee and Elsie Petronella van der Merwe arrived 1910, travelling with Elsie's family group who came from Natal.They travelled by train to Umvuma and by ox wagons to the farm and settled on Crystal. Matie was known for his great strength and sense of humour with a love for practical jokes, he was also easily moved to tears when sad or happy.

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  • Francis John Eager (1883-1977) married Margaretha Christina Erasmus (1893-1932) They arrived at Enkeldoorn, Rhodesia in 1914.
  • Jacobus Johannes Erasmus (1899-1965) (Brother-in-law of Francis Eagar) came to the Enkeldoorn area in January 1914 as a 15 year old schoolboy, in the care of his sister and brother-in-law, Francis and Elizabeth Eagar, when Francis accepted a post with the Rhodesian Education Department as school teacher.

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  • Anna Maria Petronella de Wet, (1872-1940) 1908. (Mrs. Bester). The biograghy of Anna Maria Petronella Bester (nee de Wet), is one of sixty biographies the book, Down Memory Lane with Some Early Rhodesian Women, written by Madeline Heald. The Bester family trekked to Rhodesia by mule-wagons, arriving in Enkeldoorn on 1 October 1908.
  • The two brothers b2c1 James Wheeler (1866) and b2c4 Thomas Wheeler (1874) from Loskop area, Middelburg District, Transvaal, went to Southern Rhodesia. On reconnaisance and purchased from the Potgieter family, Wildebeestlaagte and Hartebeeslaagte. They went back to fetch belongings and families. Accompanied by their relative Smit, trekking with donkey-drawn wagons they arrived in 1899.