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Familie/Family Bezuidenhout

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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. - 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. - 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.

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 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? Daughter of FJ and JCE Bezhuidenhout Piet Retief Angel without wings The angel once stood on top of the arch -



Tussen die stede Alkmaar en Haarlem in die provinsie Noord-Holland in die Nederlande was daar altyd pragtige stroke boswêreld. Die familie Bezuidenhout ontleen sy naam aan hierdie plek. Dit was oorspronklik "Bi-zuid-den-hout" en verwys daarna dat die familie aan die suidelike kant van die woud woonagtig was. Wijnand Bezuidenhout was, volgens gewoonte in die 17e eeu, bekend as "Leenderts-zoon" (die seun van Leendert). Hy is omstreeks 1639 in Nederland gebore tydens die 30 jarige onafhanklikheids oorlog met Spanje.

Na die Nederlandse onafhanklikheid in 1648 onder die huis van Oranje-Nassau het die Nederlande 'n bloei-tydperk beleef en 'n aansienlike buitelandse ryk opgebou.

Wijnand was tuinier van beroep en as jong man van ongeveer 27 besluit hy om na die Kaap van Goeie Hoop te emigreer. Hy het omstreeks 1666 in Kaapstad aangekom waar hy as baastuinier van die Kaap aangestel is.

Toe Jan van Riebeeck die Kaap in 1662 verlaat het, om die pos van Goewerneur van Malakka te aanvaar, was die voedselstasie goed op pad om self onderhoudend te word. Op hierdie staduim was die getal setlaars aan die Kaap 463, waarvan 113 slawe was. Wijnand was heel waarskynlik aangestel as baastuinier van diè groente- en vrugte tuine wat vars voedsel moes voorsien vir verbygaande Europese skepe na Indië en die ooste.

Twee jaar later, op 23 September 1668, is hy in Kaapstad getroud met Jannetje Gerrits van Amsterdam. Vier kinders is uit die huwelik gebore nl.: 1. Helena: ~ 23.06.1669; +1713; x Kaapstad 10.09.1684 Johannes Wessels; xx 19.04.1684 Petrus Tavenrath. 2. Geertuyd: ~ 10.05.1671; x 29.07.1687 Johannes van Engelen. 3. Izak: ~ 19.03.1673; + jonk (dood tydens die 2e Khoi oorlog). 4. Wijnand: ~ 01.07.1674; + voor 23.10.1724; x Kaapstad 19.12.1717 Gerbrecht Boshouwer (Gerbrecht was die dogter van Pieter Boshouwer en Arriaantjie van Cathryn van die Kaap).

Wijnand is in 1674 oorlede net na die geboorte van sy vierde seun. Hy was ongeveer 35 jaar oud, Sy weduwee Jannetje is op 17 Februarie 1675 weer getroud in Kaapstad met Cornelis Botma.


Wijnand Bezuidenhout II is gedoop in Kaapstad op 1 Julie 1674. Weens die feit dat sy pa dood is net na sy geboorte, word hy groot met Cornelis Botma as sy stiefpa.

Toe hy 5 jaar oud word in 1679, word Simon van der Stel aangestel as Goewerneur aan die Kaap. Van der Stel het onmiddelik voortgegaan met die Kompanjie se beleid om die kolonie uit te brei. Hy het die streek langs die Eerste rivier oop verklaar vir landbou en teen 1687, toe 60 kleinhoewes van 50ha elk geskep is, was die area bekend as Stellenbosch ten volle bewoon. Gedurende die volgende jaar, in 1688, is die grond by Franschhoek beskikbaar gestel vir die Franse hugenote.

Diè voortdurende uitbreiding van die kolonie het twee gevolge gehad naamlik: die ontwikkeling van die trekboer-klas in die 1690's en groeiende vyandigheid van die Khoikhoi weens die verlies van hul grond. Teen die tyd dat Willem Adriaan van der Stel oorgeneem het as Goewerneur in 1699, was die meerderheid Vryburgers ongelukkig met die min werk- en landbougeleenthede en dalende pryse aan die Kaap. Hulle was oortuig daarvan dat hulle heil buite die burokratiese beheer van die Kaap gelê het.

Wijnand Bezuidenhout was in 1702, op ongeveer 28 jarige leeftyd, die leier van 'n landtog na die Oosgrens. Die doel van die ekspidisie was waarskynlik om handel te dryf, te jag en te verken. Op pad terug is 'n Khoikhoi stam blykbaar oorval en beroof.

Wijnand is getroud met Gerbrecht Boshouwer op 19 Desember 1717. Sy eerste 5 kinders, wat gebore was voor sy huwelik, en die laaste 2 daarna was: 1. Wynand: * 1708; x Paarl 10.10.1728 Maria Catharina Botha (dogter van Willem Botha en Catharina Pyl). 2. Pieter Gerrit: ~ 10.11.1709; x 01.01.1730 Maria Botha (sy was die weduwee van Coenraad Scheepers en is op 03.12.1741 'n derde keer getroud met Johan Jacob Breitenbach). 3. Aletta: ~ Stellenbosch 27.02.1713; x Roelof van Wyk. 4. Cornelis: ~ Stellenbosch 27.02.1713; + September 1783 5. Jannetje: * 01.11.1717; x 10.03.1737 Johannes Pretoruis 6. Gerrit: ~ 14.04.1720; x 15.10.1741 Sophia Maria Scheepers. 7. Johannes: ~ 11.10.1722

Die hele familie het die pokke-epidemie van 1713 oorleef waar baie van die koloniste en omtrent 90% van die Wes-Kaapse Khoikhoi uitgewis is.

Wijnand Bezuidenhout is dood voor 1724, nie lank na die geboorte van sy jongste seun, Johannes nie. Sy vrou Gerbrecht is op 23 Oktober 1724 weer getroud met Jan van Locherenberg.


Gerrit Bezuidenhout, die sesde kind van Wijnand II, is gedoop op 14 April 1720.

Gerrit is op 15 Oktober 1741, op 21 jarige ouderdom, met Sophia Maria Scheepers getroud. Nege kinders is uit die huwelik gebore nl: 1. Maria Gerbrecht: ~ 07.10.1742; x 10.04.1763 in die Swartland met H. Viviers 2. Aletta: * 27.05.1744 3. Wynand Jacobus: * 12.02.1747; x Maria Terblans van die Kaap 4. Coenraad Frederik: ~ 26.01.1749; x 01.01.1775 Anna Magdalena Oosthuizen 5. Sophia Aletta: ~ 05.12.1751; x 18.04.1772 Johannes Booysen 6. Gerrit Pieter: ~ 29.04.1754; + jonk 7. Johannes Jurgen: ~ Tulbach 08.01.1758; + Slagtersnek 29.11.1815; x Kaapstad 28.04.1805 Anna Elizabeth Martha Faber 8. Cornelis Frederik (Freek): ~ Tulbach 27.08.1760; + Slagtersnek 10.10.1815; x Grietjie Viviers van die Kaap; xx Maria Eckard 9. Gerrit Pieter: * 1762; + Elandsfontein, Beaufort-Wes 24.02.1837 (75); x Kaapstad 22.05.1791 Lea Barnard

Gerrit Bezuidenhout het gedurende 1747 tot 1764 op Plettenbergbaai gewoon, al is van sy kinders gedurende die tyd in Tulbach gedoop. Sy sterfdatum is onbekend, maar hy moes minstens tot 1764 gelewe het toe hy ongeveer 44 jaar oud was.

Die belangrikste gebeure aan die Kaap gedurende Gerrit se leeftyd was:

· Die bewind van o.a Goewerneurs Swellengrebel en Rijk Tulbach (1751 - 1771). · 1730 Die eerste trekboere bereik die woude rondom George. · 1734 Groot Brak rivier word as die kolonie se Oosgrens geproklameer. · 1739 Die laaste gewapende weerstand deur die Khoikhoi in die Suid-wes Kaap. · 1750 Die Nederlandse invloed wêreldwyd begin te kwyn.


4.1 Coenraad Frederik

Coenraad Frederik Bezuidenhout is gedoop op 26 Januarie 1749. Hy was die vierde kind van Gerrit Bezuidenhout. Op 1 Januarie 1775 is hy getroud met Anna Magdalena Oosthuizen en 6 kinders is uit hierdie huwelik gebore: 1. Magdalena: ~ 05.01.1777; x 08.01.1792 Gabriël Stolts; xx Dirk van der Schyff. 2. Sophia Aletta: ~ 21.12.1777; x 12.05.1793 Jacobus Frederik van Staden.; xx 1814 Daniël Rudolph Jansen. 3. Johanna Maria: ~ 07.11.1779; x G.J. Joubert; xx 03.12.1797 Johannes Theodorus Pietersen; xxx 02.01.1837 Carl Reynier Vermeulen. 4. Petronella Wilhelmina: ~ 23.09.1781; x 22.07.1798 Willem Snyman. 5. Coenraad Frederik: ~ 18.04.1784; + jonk. 6. Coenraad Frederik: * 09.11.1787; ~ Paarl 18.06.1788; x Graaff-Reinet 04.07.1809 Frederica Elisabeth Reineke.

Gedurende 1780 het Brittanje oorlog verklaar teen sy vorige bondgenoot, Nederland. Nederland het toe 'n ooreenkoms met Frankryk aangegaan en 'n Franse garnisoen is tot 1784 na die Kaap gestuur. Die Franse revolusie van 1789 het egter nuwe kragte in Europa ontketen en die V.O.C. se beheer oor die Kaap het nou vinnig sy einde genader.

In Januarie 1795 het Prins Willem van Oranje na Engeland gevlug en is die Bataafse Republiek in Nederland uitgeroep. Brittanje het die Kaap, met die steun van die verbanne Prins van Oranje, in September 1795 verower. Diè eerste Britse besetting het 'n nuwe tydvak in die geskiedenis ingelui. Teen die einde van die 18e eeu het baie blankes in die kolonie hulle self as Afrikaners begin beskou.

Die einde van die 18e eeu is gekenmerk deur toenemende onrus aan die oosgrens tussen koloniste en Xhosas wat ook dan gelei het tot die derde grensoorlog. Die grensboere in die Graaff-Reinet distrik het gevrees vir hul veiligheid en was ongelukkig met die manier waarop die regering die grens probleem hanteer het. Die koloniste van Graaff-Reinet was verantwoordelik vir 'n paar kleiner rebellies vanaf 1795 tot 1799 waar hulle 'n nuwe Republiek uitgeroep het.

Gedurende Maart 1799 het 'n regeringsmag onder Generaal Thomas Vandeleur die opstand finaal onderdruk. Die rebelle het oorgegee en 18 van hul leiers is na Kaapstad gestuur om verhoor te word. Adriaan van Jaarsveld en Marthinus Prinsloo is ter dood veroordeel, maar is later begenadig. Van die ander rebelle onder Coenraad De Buys het gevlug en skuilplek gevind by die Xhosa hoofman, Ngqika. Coenraad Frederik was waarskynlik lid van diè groep rebelle wat tydelik gevlug het. De Buys sou later die voorvader van die Buyse van die Noord-Transvaal word.

Met die draai van die eeu is Coenraad Frederik, nou ongeveer 50 jaar oud, weer getroud met Sara Cloete en drie kinders is uit die huwelik gebore: 1. Gerrit Pieter: x Johanna Schoeman. 2. Christina Johanna: x 26.03.1825 Robert Fenn. 3. Johanna Susanna: * 16.12.1803.

Die Kaap is vroeg in 1803 weer aan die Bataafse bewind oorgedra. Die oorlog tussen Brittanje en Frankryk het Brittanje egter weer die strategiese nut van die Kaap laat insien en in 1806 het Brittanje die Kaap weer binnegeval en herower.

Coenraad Frederik is dood voor die Slagtersnek rebellie van 1815 waarin sy broers betrokke was. Hy het toe iewers in die Oos-Kaap gewoon.

4.3 Die Slagtersnek rebellie

Gedurende 1815 het Frederik Cornelis Bezuidenhout (Freek) geboer in die Baviaansrivier-vallei in die Oostelike Provinsie, op 'n plek wat tans bekend staan as Glen Lynden. Freek, wat toe 43 jaar oud was, se seun Gerrit het 'n entjie daarvandaan geboer.

Freek het deur die taktlose optrede van die owerhede geweier om voor die hof te verskyn op aanklag van wreedheid teenoor sy Khoikhoi bediende. 'n Blanke offisier en 12 Pandoers (Khoikhoi soldate) is gestuur om Freek te arresteer. Hy het egter saam met sy seun en 'n vriend in 'n grot naby sy huis geskuil en op die soldate geskiet. In die skietery op 10 Oktober 1815 is Freek doodgeskiet.

Sy broer Johannes Jurgen Bezuidenhout het wraak gesweer by sy graf en 'n opstand van ongeveer 60 burgers georganiseer om die regering omvêr te werp. Na 'n reeks skermutselinge is die rebellie is op 29 November 1815 by Slagtersnek onderdruk waar die rebelle gevra is om oor te gee. Johannes het egter geweier en is deur die Pandoers doodgeskiet.

Nege en dertig van die rebelle is gevonnis en 6 is ter dood veroordeel. Die teregstelling sou op 9 Maart 1816 plaasvind en 'n groot aantal mense is aangesê om die teregstelling by te woon. Vyf van die veroordeeldes is uiteindelik opgehang, maar vier van die galgtoue het gebreek. Volgens gewoonte in diè tyd is ter dood veroordeeldes vrygespreek wanneer galgtoue gebreek het, maar die 4 is egter weer opgehang.

Coenraad Frederik II (die broerskind van Freek en Johannes) het 'n geringe aandeel gehad in die rebellie. Sy vonnis was dat hy die distrik moes verlaat en hy vestig hom vervolgens in die distrik Beaufort-Wes. Hy was toe 28 jaar oud gewees.


Coenraad Frederik Bezuidenhout II is gebore op 9 November 1787. Hy is op 4 Julie 1809, op 21 jarige ouderdom, getroud, in Graaff-Reinet, met Frederica Elisabeth Reyneke. Sy was die dogter van Adam Johannes Reyneke en Maria Magdalena Pieterse van Stellenbosch. Die volgende 10 kinders is uit die huwelik gebore: 1. Coenraad Frederik: * 26.04.1810; ~ Graaff-Reinet 08.10.1810; + 03.04.1886; x Somerset-Oos 04.07.1831 Sara Elizabeth Johanna Pretoruis; xx 02.12.1832 Hester Catharina Engelbrecht; xxx Susanna Cornelia Odendaal. 2. Maria Magdalena Elizabeth: * 03.05.1812; ~ Graaff-Reinet 16.07.1812 3. Anna Wilhelmina: * 09.12.1815; ~ Graaff-Reinet 14.12.1816; x David Johannes de Lange. 4. Adam Johannes: * 15.06.1817; ~ Graaff-Reinet 19.12.1817; + 23.05.1869 (51); x Cradock 05.05.1839 Sophia Elizabeth Reyneke; xx Sara Elizabeth Janse van Rensburg.. 5. Gerhardus Johannes: * 01.05.1820; ~ Beaufort-Wes 29.01.1821; x Glen Lynden 27.12.1839 Elizabeth Aletta Susanna Fourie. 6. Frederika Elizabeth Susara: * 24.01.1822; ~ Uitenhage 10.05.1822. 7. Frederik Johannes Theodorus: * 04.12.1825; ~ Somerset-Oos 12.02.1826; x Colesberg 05.10.1846 Johanna Susanna Erasmus. 8. Josias Johannes: * 12.06.1827; ~ Somerset-Oos 14.10.1827. 9. Petrus Albertus: * 16.07.1830; ~ 04.08.1830. 10. Frederika Elizabeth: *16.07.1830; ~ 04.08.1830. (Tweeling)

Na die slagternek rebellie vestig hy homself in die distrik Beaufort-Wes in 1816. Hy was 42 jaar oud toe die tweeling in 1830 gebore is en dit is nie bekend wanneer hy dood is nie.

Op 9 April 1820 het 21 Britse skepe, met sowat 1000 mans en 3000 vroue en kinders, in Algoabaai aangekom. Die Britse regering se doel met diè emigrasie skema was tweeledig nl., die verligting van werkloosheid in Brittanje en die goedkoop verdedeging van die kolonie se oosgrens.

Tussen 1834 en 1840 het sowat 15,000 (10%) Afrikaanse grensboere die Kaapse Oosgrensgebied verlaat en na die binneland getrek. Hulle het na hulleself verwys as "emigrante" en na hul trek as "emigratie". Die benamings "Voortrekkers" en "Groot trek" het eers na 1870 inslag gevind. Die formele spreektaal taal wat hulle op hierdie staduim gebruik het was steeds Nederlands gewees, maar dit was op die punt om te verander.

Ons weet dat heelwat van Coenraad Frederik II se familie deelgeneem het aan die groot trek, veral in Piet Retief se trek na Natal. Dit is nie bekend of Coenraad Frederik aan die trek deelgeneem het nie. Indien hy wel getrek het was dit moontlik as een van die latere trekgeselskappe na die Vrystaat. Die waarskynlikheid lyk egter groter dat hy nie aan die trek deelgeneem het nie.


Adam Johannes Bezuidenhout is gebore op 15 Junie 1817 en gedoop op Graaff-Reinet op 19 Desember dieselfde jaar. Hy is getroud, op 5 Mei 1839 (21), in Cradock met sy niggie Sophia Elizabeth Reyneke. Sy was Adam se ma se broer (Petrus Albertus Reyneke) se dogter. Sewe kinders is uit sy eerste huwelik gebore nl.: 1. Frederika Elizabetha: * 03.09.1841; ~ Colesberg 08.04.1844; x Bloemfontein 21.06.1858 Paul Michiel Bester. 2. Petrus Albertus: * 28.09.1843; ~ Colesberg 08.04.1844. 3. Coenraad Frederik:: * 11.07.1846; ~ Colesberg 28.02.1847; x Bloemfontein 31.07.1865 Anna Maria Jacoba Griesel. 4. Johannes Jurgens: * 28.07.1852; + Tagbosspruit 10.07.1880 (27); x 07.03.1870 Magdalena Christina Adriana Francina Carolina Marays. 5. Gerhardus Johannes: * 07.01.1854. 6. Sophia Elizabetha: * 09.10.1859. 7. Maria Magdalena Elizabetha: * 13.01.1867.

Adam is gebore toe sy pa in die Beaufort-Wes distrik gebly het en het later waarskynlik in die Colesberg distrik groot geword (Colesberg was toe deel van die Kaap kolonie). Adam het later self op die plaas Uysklip in die Bloemfontein distrik geboer. Teen 1852 het daar 12,859 blankes in die Vrystaat gewoon.

Na onderhandelinge, deur hoofsaaklik Andries Pretoruis, is die Sandrivier konvensie op 17 Januarie 1852 onderteken. Ingevolge hiervan het Brittanje die onafhanklikheid van die Trekkerrepubliek noord van die Vaalrivier erken. Op 23 Februarie 1854 is die Bloemfontein konvensie onderteken en die gebied tussen die Oranje- en die Vaal rivier is ook as Boererepubliek erken. Na 20 jaar is die Groot Trek geskiedenis dus afgesluit. Voortaan sou daar Britse kolonies en Boererepublieke wees.

Adam is in 1867 weer getroud met Sara Elizabeth Janse van Rensburg. Een kind is uit die huwelik gebore nl.: 1. Adam Johannes: * 1868; + 26.01.1895; x Elsie Johanna Schlebusch.

Adam is dood op 23 Mei 1869, net na die geboorte van sy laaste seun. Hy was toe 51 jaar oud.


Johannes Jurgens Bezuidenhout (Jurie) is gebore op 28 Julie 1852 in die Vrystaat. Hy is getroud op 7 Maart 1870, toe hy 17 jaar oud was, met Magdalena Christina Adriana Francina Carolina Marays. Sy was 1 dag na hom gebore en was toe ook 17 jaar oud. Vier kinders is uit die huwelik gebore nl.: 1. Adam Johannes: * 08.09.1872; + 19.03.1942 (69); x 30.05.181893 Margaretha Johanna Maria Maree; xx 09.11.1909 Hester Margaretha Botes. 2. Johannes Jacobus Marais: 3. Anna Maria Margaretha: * 19.12.1876; x Harding. 4. Johannes Jurgens: * 1879; + 17.06.1892 (13).

Jurie het op die plaas Wolvenzuip, in die Smithfield distrik geboer. J.P Hoffman, die eerste Staatspresident van die OVS was oorspronklik 'n skoolmeester in die Smithfield distrik.

Die eerste 10 jaar van onafhanklikheid is gekenmerk deur verskeie pogings om saam te smelt met die Zuid-Afrikaanche Republiek en talle grensoorloë met die Basotho aan die oosgrens. Kommandodiens vir alle burgers tussen 16 en 60 was verpligtend.

Die ontdekking van diamante in 1867 by Hopetown het die Britse regering weer met nuwe oë na die gebied laat kyk. Lord Carnarvon, die Britse minister van kolonies, wou die Britse kolonies en Boererepublieke in federale verband onder die Britse vlag saamsnoer. Hy het Sir Shepstone van Natal in 1877 na Pretoria gestuur om die moontlikheid van die anneksasie van die ZAR te ondersoek. Die ZAR het op dié staduim £192,399 staatskuld gehad.

Shepstone het Burgers in kennis gestel van die moontlike anneksasie a.g.v. die swak finansiële posisie en die regering se onvermoë om Swart groepe in die land te beheer. Op 12 April 1877 is die anneksasie-proklamasie op Kerkplein gelees. Die ZAR het nie meer bestaan nie; dit was nou die Britse kolonie van Transvaal.

Na meer as 'n jaar se onderhandelinge tussen veral Paul Kruger en Piet Joubert met die Kaapse regering, waar die Vrystaatse Republiek en die Kaapse Afrikaners die anneksasie teruggetrek wou gehad het, het dit duidelik geword dat dit nie sou gebeur nie.

Die lont wat waarskynlik die kruitvat van die eerste vryheidsoorlog aangesteek het, het gekom van 'n familielid, Veldkornet Piet Bezuidenhout. Hy het in November 1880 geweier om belasting te betaal aan die Shepstone-regering en daar is beslag gelê op sy wa in Potchefstroom. Piet Cronjè en 100 man het die wa geweldadig van die balju afgeneem en aan Piet terugbesorg. Die voorval het gelei tot die belegging van 'n Volksvergadering op 8 Desember 1880 waar voorbereidings vir die oorlog getref is. Op 12 Desember 1880 is 'n proklamasie uitgereik vir die herstel van die ZAR onder leiding van Paul Kruger, Piet Joubert en M.W. Pretoruis.

Johannes Jurgens Bezuidenhout is noodlottig gewond, as veldkornet, in die slag van Tagbosspruit en is dood op 10 Julie 1880. Sy vrou is daarna weer getroud met Hendrik Johannes David Combrinck en is oorlede op 5 Augustus 1929.


Adam Johannes Bezuidenhout is gebore in die Vrystaat op 8 September 1872. Met die uitbreek van die eerste vryheidsoorlog en sy pa se dood in 1880 was hy 8 jaar oud. Na sy ma weer getroud is het hy grootgeword by sy stiefpa Hendrik Johannes David Combrinck.

Na die Britte 'n verpletterende nederlaag by die slag van Majuba gelei het, is 'n wapenstilstand op 23 Maart 1881 onderteken. Op 3 Augustus 1881 is die Konvensie van Pretoria onderteken en 5 dae later het Kruger, Joubert en Pretoruis die regering vanTransvaal oorgeneem.

Die eerste vryheidsoorlog, wat 'n paar maande geduur het, het dus nie die Vrystaat direk geraak nie.

Dit is interessant om daarop te let dat gedurende die tydperk voor die eerste vryheidsoorlog 'n Afrikaanse nasionale gevoel in die Kaap begin ontwikkel het. Die Genootskap van Regte Afrikaanders wat in Augustus 1875 in die Paarl gestig is het die bevordering van Afrikaans as eerste taal bepleit.

'n Familielid Johannes Jurgens Bezuidenhout was gedurende die tydperk die President van die Klein Vrystaatse Republiek. 15,000 morg grond is in 1877 in die huidige distrik Piet Retief aan 'n groep trekkers gegee deur Umbandine, die Swazi Koning. Die Republiek is in 1886 daar gestig, maar is in 1891 deur die Transvaalse regering geannekseer.

Die ontdekking van die ryk Randse goudvelde in 1886 het 'n groot rol gespeel in veranderende omstandighede in die ZAR. Ryk sakemanne soos Barney Barnato en Cecil John Rhodes, wat reeds op die diamantvelde 'n fortuin gemaak het, het nou die goudvelde betree. Rhodes wat in 1890 premier van die Kaap kolonie geword het, was besiel met die imperiale visie vir Suid-Afrika.

Adam Johannes Bezuidenhout is op 30 Mei 1893, toe hy 20 jaar oud was, getroud met Margaretha Johanna Maria Maree. Vier kinders is uit diè eerste huwelik gebore nl.: 1. Maria Margaretha Catharina: * 1895; x Pieter Benjamin Maree. 2. Johannes Jurgens: * 17.09.1896; + 05.12.1973; x Elizabeth Maria Christina Maree. 3. Michiel David Maree: * 16.03.1900; + 01.03.1952; x Cornelia Susanna Scholtz. 4. Adam Johannes: * 1903; + 1917 (14).

Die Britse minister van kolonies, Joseph Chamberlain, het d.m.v. Sir Alfred Milner in die Kaap in 'n reeks klug-onderhandelinge ultimatums aan die ZAR gestel i.v.m. stemreg vir uitlanders. Na dit duidelik geword het dat Brittanje slegs belang stel in 'n magsoorname het die ZAR 'n ultimatum aan Brittanje gestel om sy troepe aan die grense te onttrek. Indien nie sou dit as 'n oorlogsverklaring gesien word. Op 11 Oktober 1899 het die sperdatum verstryk en het oorlog tussen die twee Boererepublieke en Groot-Brittanje 'n werklikheid geword. Adam Bezuidenhout was toe 27 jaar oud.

Toe die oorlog uitbreek was ongeveer 32,500 man gemobiliseer; die Vrystaters onder Generaal Marthinus Prinsloo en die Transvalers onder Generaal Piet Joubert. 'n Ander familielid, Johan George Bezuidenhout het sy plaas Hammanskraal verlaat om Piet Joubert se adjudant te word.

Gedurende Februarie 1900, na 5 maande van gevegte, was die 28 jarige Adam Bezuidenhout deel van Cronje se magte wat vasgekeer was deur Roberts se berede troepe by Paardeberg. Hy het egter saam met 'n handvol ander lede ontsnap en hom by Christiaan de Wet in Transvaal aangesluit. Cronje en sy 4,000 mense het op 27 Februarie oorgegee in een van die gevoeligste slae vir die Boere tydens die oorlog. Op 15 Maart het Lord Roberts amnestie afgekondig vir alle burgers - behalwe leiers - wat 'n eed van neutraliteit aflê en vreedsaam na hul huise terugkeer.

Hierna het De Wet en De La Rey besluit dat weggedoen moet word met die ossewaens wat tot Cronje se ondergang gelei het en guerilla oorlogvoering het begin.

Na onverwagse verliese het die Britte besluit om die Boere se plase af te brand en konsentrasiekampe te begin om die Boere op hul knieë te dwing. Altesaam 27,927 Boere (onder wie 26,251 vroue en kinders) is dood in diè kampe.

Met hul plase afgebrand en vroue en kinders in konsentrasiekampe het al meer Boere die onderhandeling van 'n skietstilstand begin voorstaan. Op 31 Mei 1902 is 'n vredesooreenkoms by Vereeniging gesluit tussen die Boere-leiers en die Britte. Adam Bezuidenhout het in die winter van 1902 oorgegee op Kommando in Brandfort en op 14 Junie 1902 die eed van neutraliteit afgelê. Hy het daarna vergoeding van die Britse regering geëis ter waarde van £300. Ingevolge die vredesooreenkoms sou Brittanje £300 miljoen betaal om oorlogskade te help herstel.

Die oorlog was die langste (byna 3 jaar), duurste (meer as £200 miljoen), bloedigste (22,000 Britte, 8,000 Boere en 26,000 vroue en kinders is dood) en vernederendste wat Brittanje tot op daardie datum ervaar het.

Die vredesooreenkoms het verder bepaal dat die verowerde gebiede onder Britse soewereiniteit geplaas is, maar die Boere het die belofte van selfbestuur ontvang.

Adam Bezuidenhout se broer, Johannes Jacobus Marais Bezuidenhout, was klaarblyklik 'n hensopper gedurende die oorlog en hy het daarna nooit weer met sy broer gepraat nie. In 1903 is Adam Bezuidenhout se vrou oorlede met die geboorte van haar jongste seun.

Die toekenning van selfbestuur aan die twee verowerde state in 1907 het die Blanke inwoners die instellings gegee om hulle politieke doelwitte in 'n parlementêre raamwerk na te strewe. Voor selfbestuur is die Het Volk party in Januarie 1905 in Transvaal gestig en die Orangia unie in Mei 1905 in die Oranjerivier kolonie.

Frederik Jacobus Bezuidenhout was een van die stigters van die Het Volk party van Generaal Louis Botha. Hy was ook 'n Volksraadslid van die Transvaalse regering van 1907 tot 1910. Hy was later een van die oorspronklike ondersteuners van Generaal Hertzog toe die Nasionale Party in 1914 gestig is.

Op 9 November 1909 is Adam Bezuidenhout, op 37 jarige oudedom, weer getroud met Hester Margaretha Botes. Agt kinders is uit diè huwelik gebore nl.: 1. Jan Jacobus (Jan): * 09.11.1909; + 21.06.1984 Schweizer-Reneke; x 20.05.1944, Kuruman, Magdalena Maria Janse van Rensburg (Lenie). 2. Hester Margaretha (Hester): * 09.05.1911; x Pieter Frederik van Zyl. 3. Adam Johannes (Baas): * 08.09.1917; + 04.06.1963; x Martha Troskie. 4. Magdalena Adriana Francina Carolina (Nan): * 05.05.1919; x Pieter Andries Kotzee. 5. Alida Jacoba (Alida): * 06.12.1922; x Frans Engelbert Mentz. 6. Frederik Coenraad (Frik): * 10.02.1926; + 21.12.1968; x Sielie Bronkhorst. 7. Anna Maria Margaretha (Anna): * 07.03.1927; x Danie Odendaal du Plessis. 8. Anna Sophia (Sophie): * 24.06.1929; + 1993; x Johannes Jacobus Pretoruis.

Na goedkeuring deur die Britse parlement is al die selfregerende gebiede en kolonies saamgesnoer in 'n unie in 1910 met Louis Botha as eerste minister.

Gedurende Julie 1913 het 19,000 blanke mynwerkers by alle goudmyne aan die Witwatersrand gestaak. Generaal Jan Smuts, wat toe lid was van die Unie-kabinet, het die Unie-verdedigingsmag gebruik om die staking geweldadig te ondedruk. Op 5 Julie is 21 mense deur die soldate doodgeskiet.

Op 4 Augustus 1914 het die Britse ultimatum aan Duitsland verstryk en het die Unie van Suid Afrika, soos die res van die Britse ryk, outomaties in oorlog verkeer. Suid Afrika was die enigste deel van die Ryk-gemenebes wat regstreeks aan 'n Duitse besitting gegrens het. Die Britse regering het gevra dat Suid Afrika Duits-Suid-Wes Afrika moes binneval.

Gedurende hierdie tyd het 'n aantal Boere, wat steeds na hul verlore onafhanklikheid gehunker het, die oorlog as 'n geleentheid gesien om die Boererepublieke te herstel. Ondersteuning vir die rebellie het hoofsaaklik uit die Noord-oos Vrystaat en die Wes-Transvaal gekom. Op 9 Oktober 1914 het Manie Maritz, 'n Luitenant -Kolonel in die Unie-verdedigingsmag, gerebelleer en by die Duitsers in Duits-Wes aangesluit met meer as 1,000 burgermaglede.

Die regering het op 11 Oktober krygswet afgekondig en manskappe begin opkommandeer om die rebellie te onderdruk. Meer as 11,400 man (insluitend Adam Bezuidenhout) het gerebelleer en 32,000 troepe is ingeroep om die rebellie te onderdruk. Na hewige skermutselinge is Generaal De Wet en sy rebelle op 1 Desember naby Vryburg gedwing om oor te gee.

Die laaste stuiptrekkings van die rebellie in die Transvaal was hewig. In November en begin Desember 1914 het hardnekkige groepies onder J.J. Pienaar en Jopie Fourie die Regeringstroepe swaar verliese besorg naby Hammanskraal. Op 15 Desember is die grootste deel van die mag gevange geneem. Jopie Fourie is voor 'n krygsraad gedaag omdat hy aan die rebellie deelgeneem het sonder om uit die Aktiewe Burgermag te bedank. Hy is skuldig bevind en op 20 Desember voor 'n vuurpeleton tereggestel.

Op 26 November het J.C. Kemp met 600 man by hom by Maritz in Noord-wes Kaapland aangeluit, na 'n epiese mars vanaf Schweizer-Reneke. Op 16 Desember het hulle 'n manifes uitgevaardig waarin hulle 'n Republiek uitroep. Hulle het 5 dae later by Nous 'n oorwinning behaal, maar is op 24 Januarie 1915 gedwing om oor te gee.

Na die rebellie het spesiale howe die rebelle tot boetes en kort termyne gevangenisstraf gevonnis. Adam Bezuidenhout is gevonnis tot gevangenisstraf in die tronk in Kimbeley. Hy is voor Desember 1916 egter weer vrygelaat en het teruggekeer na sy plaas in die Vrystaat.

Na die depressie van 1933 vestig hy homself op die plaas Groenpan in die Schweizer-Reneke distrik en het sy laaste jare by sy seun Michiel David Maree Bezuidenhout (Gielie) op die plaas Richmond deurgebring. Adam Johannes Bezuidenhout is oorlede op 19 Maart 1942 in die ouderdom van 69 jaar en is begrawe op die plaas Skietfontein, naby Migdol. -

Wednesday, 18 March, 2015 - 15:06

Over the weekend a blue plaque was unveiled on the historic Bezuidenhout Homestead in Bez Valley. The homestead was built in the early 1860s making it one of the oldest structures in Johannesburg (unfortunately the property and the adjacent 'Jonkershuis' are in a very poor state and need urgent attention). In the article below Mike Alfred traces the history of the Bezuidenhout Family in South Africa. Thank you to the team from Kensington Heritage for sending it through. Enjoy...

This document attempts to draw together much disparate data about the Bezuidenhout family of Johannesburg pioneers whose farm Doornfontein, provided the land for a great many of Johannesburg’s eastern suburbs. It is not comprehensive. We have found little information about FJ Bezuidenhout’s three daughters, because family history mainly favours the three sons. The outstanding account might be attempted by another researcher.

Original Bezuidenhout farms covered great swathes of land later occupied by Johannesburg’s early suburbs and gold mines. The Bezuidenhout farms were named Doornfontein and Turffontein. Doornfontein, named for the thorn tree-surrounded source of the Jukskei River, stretched from Ellis Park in the west to the eastern suburb of Bedford View, where Eastgate Shopping Centre now stands. Doornfontein comprised a north south spread from Yeoville, Bellevue and Observatory, to City and Suburban and City Deep. Inside those confines were created the suburbs of Doornfontein, Bertrams, Lorentzeville, Judith’s Paarl, Bez Valley, Dewetshof, Bruma, Cyrildene, Linksfield, Troyeville, Fairview, Jeppestown, Belgravia, Kensington and Malvern. It is surmised somewhere, that if the Bezuidenhout’s had kept their land and merely drawn rent therefor, they would be by far, the richest family in the country.

The Bezuidenhout farms also eventually encompassed the mines: Wolhuter, Meyer and Charlton, New Goch, Henry Nourse, and ‘all those from Jumpers on the east to Crown Reef on the west.’

The well known Troyeville Hotel stands on that portion of Albertina Sisulu St, that was until recently, called Bezuidenthout St, between portions of that continuous road which once linked Market St to Kitchener Ave. The Bezuidenhouts are also memorialised by Bezuidenhout Ave, which runs west from Observatory Curve to Ellis Park and also the suburb of Bezuidenhout Valley and sadly neglected Bezuidenhout Park, containing the original Bezuidenhout homestead, a national monument [Provincial Heritage Site]. Another Bezuidenhout St, separates Bellevue from Bellevue East.

What do we know about these Bezuidenhouts, members of a large, widely spread and prominent South African family, so fortunate as to run huge stock farms as gold was discovered on the Witwatersrand in 1886?

Wynand Leendert Bezuidenhout, original family progenitor in South Africa, enjoyed prestigious employment. He worked as the Dutch East India Company’s head gardener, supervising the Company’s Gardens. He came from an old Holland family with their own coat of arms which featured a Beehive on a wooden stand, surrounded by bees. Google tells us that the family name refers to their location south of, or near a forest close to The Hague. The beehive and bees is not explained but perhaps they were apiarists or honey merchants? Perhaps Bez is an onomatopoeic representation of bees buzzing?

From Cape Town and the surrounding districts Bezuidenhouts spread far and wide. The remote branch in the Eastern Cape became somewhat infamous, having been involved in a significant historical incident. During the early nineteenth century after the British had taken the Cape from the Dutch, the Bezuidenhout name became prominent in violent frontier politics. Two Bezuidenhout brothers, by all accounts tough Eastern Cape characters farming in the Fort Beaufort area, were among the main actors in the Slachter’s [Slagter’s] Nek saga. The protracted incident is memorialized by a stone obelisk just off the N10 highway near the town of Cookhouse.

Booi, a labourer, lodged a complaint with Adriaan Stockenstroom, Graaff Reinet Magistrate, against his employer, farmer Cornelis Frederick Bezuidenhout. Bezuidenhout was summoned to appear in court to explain why he had allegedly beaten Booi and withheld his wages. Bezuidenhout did not answer the summons. British troops with Khoikhoi auxiliaries were sent to bring him before the magistrate. A skirmish ensued, Bezuidenhout fled to a cave on his farm where he was cornered and shot dead.

Bezuidenhout’s funeral was highly emotional. Brother Hans swore vengeance against just about everybody; the magistrate, the British, the Khoikhoi auxiliaries. He sensed a groundswell of disaffection against the new authorities. Rebellion was in the air! Eventually there was an uprising. Hans was cornered and killed. Other participants were arrested and five were executed, several hanged twice when their nooses broke at the first attempt. The whole incident fomented great antagonism towards the new British rulers and it almost certainly influenced the motivation fuelling the Great Trek, in which many among the widely dispersed Cape Bezuidenhouts, participated.

Frederic Jakobus Bezuidenhout, original Johannesburg settler, was born in June 1825. He trekked from Beaufort West, met B C Viljoen and his wife, from Graaff Reinet, in Potchefstroom, where Bezuidenhout married the Viljoen’s daughter and only child, Judith. They later travelled as a family to the Witwatersrand, then in the Heidelberg district, where Viljoen bought the 5000 morgen, Doornfontein farm from a trekker named Snyman. A possible myth, an unsubstantiated tale appearing in several Bezuidenhout records, suggests that Viljoen paid Snyman with a wagon, a span of oxen and a set of harnesses or trek chain. There is no official record of the sale, but such an exchange could represent a fair sum of money, payment for a major asset, not to mention the mobility offered to someone who wanted to move on. Viljoen died in 1859 followed by his wife in 1861, she, in a hand written document, having bequeathed the farm to son-in-law, FJ. Both Viljoens are buried in the now shockingly vandalised and neglected cemetery near the original family houses in Bezuidenhout Park.

Doornfontein provided a vast pastureland for cattle and sheep. From the beginning, FJ was known as a wealthy man. He was a pillar of the church and, as was his son later, very generous. He was described as a simple man who enjoyed the peace of his farm but was disturbed both by The Gold Rush and the presence of British Troops on his farm from 1900. Some accounts declare that the British used parts of the farm as a remount depot and that their artillery practice, targeted the high ground of Observatory koppie. It is hinted that the aggravation induced by the British incursion, hastened FJ’s death in 1900.

In the early days, lions, and other indigenous animals shared the terrain, but were obviously driven off by the local farmers’ fire power. When summer rains gave way to winter dryness, Bezuidenhout took his herds and flocks to the bushveld. We read nothing about the black people who undoubtedly assisted the Viljoens and Bezuidenhouts with farm and household tasks. Archaeologists tell us that very few blacks then occupied the area, unlike several centuries earlier when Tswana groups with their cattle, trading and iron smelting skills, built stone kraals on the surrounding koppies. While the original Doornfontein farmhouses still stand, there is no trace of the ‘staff quarters,’ no doubt rudimentary dwellings, conveniently out of sight. Slavery was abolished by the British in 1833, an act which became yet another goad, causing the Boers’ trek to wild, hinterlandish freedom. So we don’t know what was the master-servant relationship between Doornfontein’s owners and their black help? We might guess however, that service was rewarded by a combination of meagre wages, provisions, supplies and the opportunity to cultivate a small plot and run their own small flocks?

F J Bezuidenhout Snr, and his wife Judith had three sons and three daughters. Little seems known of the girls, but all the children inherited portions of Doornfontein and Turffontein. The married daughters were: Maria Muller, Jacomina Meyer, and Johanna Gouws. The oldest son, FJ Jnr, was born in July 1851 and he it was who ran the farm Turffontein. FJ Jnr, fought at Majuba and was taken prisoner in the Second Freedom [AngloBoer] War. He married Wilhelmina, Christina, Johanna Meyer, It is highly probable that she was related to Field Cornet JP Meyer who later became the Bezuidenhout’s agent for the Southern, mining portion of Doornfontein, where several famous mines were established around Natal Camp on the Natal Spruit. FJ Jnr, a wealthy man, gave generously to charity. From 1907 to 1910 he was a member of the Transvaal Parliament. He died in February 1921.

Barend Christiaan Bezuidenhout was born in February 1859. He married Adriana Petronella Marie Muller whose family came originally from Oudtshoorn where she was born in 1862. He died in July 1925 and she, in November 1939. Both of them are buried in the family graveyard on Bezuidenhout Park. Barend we are told, was the businessman responsible for selling many portions of the Bezuidenhout’s Doornfontein farm, those which became well known, early, eastern Johannesburg suburbs.

The Bezuidenhout children enjoyed no formal schooling. But FJ Snr, hired a Dutch tutor to provide for their education and which was shared by the neighbour’s youngsters. Barend helped his father farm cattle and sheep on Doornfontein. When he married, F J Snr, bought the couple the farm Kafferspruit, in the Heidelberg district where all of their twelve children were born. Barend did not fight in the Anglo-Boer War but resided in his townhouse in Heidelberg. The Kafferspruit farmhouse was nevertheless torched. It appears that after the death of his father in 1900, Barend and family returned to live at Doornfontein with his mother.

There she set her sons the task of finding the old man’s secreted fortune. Working at night, behind drawn curtains and watching out for the British who occupied an adjacent farm, they discovered fifteen hundred gold pounds under the floorboards. Some years later, Barend’s family moved into a magnificent, gabled farmhouse in Kensington, built in 1903. Known as Cosmos House, this today is the grand centre piece in the Flower Foundation retirement home Kensington Gardens. Barend Snr, imported Friesland cattle in order that son Barend, might run a dairy on their 100 morgen family portion of Doornfontein, which was known as ‘the weivelde,’ today called Cyrildene.

Youngest Bezuidenhout brother, Willem Wouter, remained in the original farm house. In 1949, he sold that portion of Doornfontein to Johannesburg Council, today known as Bezuidenhout Park with the proviso that the family cemetery be maintained in good condition and likewise the original two Bezuidenhout farmhouses and that they should become monuments. The park, which once contained a pleasant childrens’ playground, miniature railway circuit, a café and a swimming bath, now suffers great neglect and the extensive, pleasant grassed space, not too safe during the week, is given over to soccer matches on weekends.

Original Bezuidenhout land embraces so many features of the city Johannesburg: the Jukskei River rises in Ellis Park from the great subterranean sump fed by the Berea and Yeoville high ground.  In early Johannesburg days, when Doornfontein Township housed the rich and famous, the eye was frequented by pleasure seekers and promenading, parasol-carrying women. A brick works was situated there. The free flowing eye, surrounded by thorn trees, gave rise to the name Doornfontein, probably given by the original owner, Snyman before 1850, and about whom we know so little. Today, pumps operating under the sports complex continuously move water down the valley, at first underground, then in a concrete and stone-walled open viaduct until just after Bezuidenhout Park, when the water becomes a natural, reed bound, u-bend channel before flowing into the ill-fated Bruma Lake which has now, once again been turned into a free flowing, stretch of water, surrounded by a park. The Jukskei flows north around Linksfield Ridge at Gillooly’s Farm, then alongside Alexandra and later picks up the major Witwatersrand spruits Sandfontein and Braamfontein on its way to the Crocodile River and ultimately the Limpopo and the Indian Ocean. Let it not be said that Johannesburg lacks a major water feature. Indeed, the Jukskei drains the northern flow off the continental divide of Kensington koppie, topped by Highland Road, yet another major aspect on former Bezuidenhout land.

Anna Smith in Johannesburg Street Names, tells us that in September 1908 Johannesburg Council resolved to rename the site formerly known as Doornfontein Reservoir. Council chose the name Ellis Park to honour Councillor JD Ellis, Chairman of the Parks and Estates Committee. She goes on: Mr Percy Baneshik [a well known radio personality] on June 16 1965, stated that he had heard an overseas broadcast in which it was said that the ground owes its name to William Webb Ellis who, in 1823 picked up the [soccer] ball and ran with it at Rugby School, thus starting the game we know as Rugby football. This is an excellent example of so-called folk-etymology [development of false folklore and myths] as Ellis Park, Johannesburg, is famous for its rugby.

The naming of the suburb adjacent to Doornfontein, Judith’s Paarl, has given rise to some inconsequential confusion. It was sold by FJ Bezuidenhout Snr, in September 1896, but not without protest from his womenfolk who considered it a prime piece of land which the family should retain. It was not clear whether wife Judith or daughter Judith called the area the Pearl or Paarl of the farm, Doornfontein. So it is named after one or other Judith. Perhaps after the sale, when they were sharing a bottle of Champagne, and this seems such a natural thing to do, FJ insisted that it was named after both his dear Judiths.

The area today known as Marshallstown, was a part of Turffontein Farm leased to Harry Brown Marshall, an entrepreneurial transport owner and brother-in-law to Johan Rissik, by FJ Bezuidenhout Jnr, in September 1886. In December that year the Volksraad resolved that Marshall could have a portion of the farm Turffontein to divide into saleable stands. There was a rumour circulating at the time that the deal was not entirely ‘kosher.’ It was early resolved to name this new township Bez.uidenhout, but it became known by Marshall’s name. Encompassing Marshall Square, the old Johannesburg Police headquarters, the Rand Club and the stock exchange, Marshallstown, adjacent to Ferreirastown, soon extended the hub of the thriving new town.

Bezuidenhout Farmhouse Blue Plaque

The wording on the Blue plaque to be erected on the Bezuidenhout Farmhouse on March 14, 2015 reads:

Built by Voortrekker Barend Viljoen and his wife Judith in 1852 as a simple rectangle, the house became the property of their son-in-law Frederic Jacobus Bezuidenhout in 1863. The bay window was added in the 1890s, and a north wing in 1910. His son lived here until he sold the farmstead to the city for a park in 1949. During the Anglo-Boer war, the British used the farmstead with its grazing as a remount camp at which horses were acclimatised.

How to Participate

If you have an ancestor who was a Bezuidenhout

  1. Get yourself added as a collaborator
  2. Navigate to your ancestor's profile
  3. Under the "More Actions" link choose "Add to Project"
  4. Select the Bezuidenhout project

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


  • Include in the "About Me" section of each person a brief biographical sketch of their lives. Also include their Settler party and ship name and arrival date if known
  • Include a photograph/painting of your ancestor if one exists.
  • Your ancestor's profiles should be marked as "public" and not "private".
  • All included profiles should include full identifying information including birth and death dates as well as birth and death locations. It would also be very helpful if the immediate family of your pioneer ancestor, (their parents, siblings and children) profiles were public profiles also.
  • Do not make public any profiles of living people.

NOTE: All Bezuidenhouts included on this project will have their profiles editable by other collaborators of this project. The object of reproducing the list here is to see if these people can be located on Geni and perhaps develop trees from them. 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!