Cornelis Pama

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Cornelis Pama

Also Known As: "Dr Cor Pama"
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Nederland
Death: October 23, 1994 (77)
Newlands, Cape Town, Western Cape, Zuid-Afrika
Immediate Family:

Son of Jan Pama and Susanna A. Pama
Husband of Heather Myfanwy Pama and Frederika Johanna Elisabeth Maria Pama
Brother of Susanna Spoelstra; Jan Pama and Johanna Pama

Occupation: Genealoog / Heraldiekdeskundige, Managing Director of Modern Books Ltd
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Cornelis Pama


Cornelis (Cor) PAMA was born in Rotterdam on 05 Nov 1916, The son of Jan PAMA and Susanna KOOL. He passed away at home in Newlands on 23 Oct 1994. His funeral service was held at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church in Newlands, followed by his cremation. He was survived by his wife, Heather, their son, Niel, and his daughters Dieuwke and Sanneke from his first marriage. His interest in genealogy and heraldry started in high school. At the age of 21, he became the co-founder and editor of the journal, Nederlands Archief voor Genealogie en Heraldiek. His working life revolved around books – research, writing and publishing. In the Netherlands, he worked for the book dealer E.J. Bril in Leiden. In 1949 he went to London, England, as sales manager for Robert Maxwell. He later became a manager at the medical publishers, Baillière, Tindall & Cox. In 1955, the London firm, W.G. Foyle, appointed him manager of their Cape Town bookshop, Foyles in Church Street. Christina FOYLE, who died in London in 1999, was a regular visitor to South Africa and she opened Foyles in Cape Town. She owned a house in Fernwood, which Dr. PAMA rented from her until he bought it years later. In 1968 he became a director of the well-known Dutch publishing house, A.A. Balkema. For a few years from 1973, he was also an editor at Tafelberg Publishers. His knowledge of heraldry led to his involvement with the formation of the South African Bureau of Heraldry, where he served on the council from 1962 to 1990. In 1961, he received a commission to design the new Republic's Parliamentary rod and the State President's sash and flag.

Dr. PAMA was a GSSA council member and editor of Familia for 28 years. He published many heraldry and genealogical books. He also wrote articles for the Afrikaans newspaper, Die Burger. In 1966 his magnum opus was published - an updated and expanded version of C.C. DE VILLIERS’ Geslagsregisters van die Ou Kaapse Families. This led to the South African genealogical numbering being known as the de Villiers/ Pama system. He was secretary of the Van Riebeeck Society and of the Friends of the SA Library. Dr. PAMA was director of the Heraldic Society of South Africa for many years, as well as editor of its journal, Arma.

He was highly regarded in the Dutch community in South Africa. In 1980 he was made chief editor of the Dutch newspaper in South Africa, the Nederlandse Post. Dr. PAMA served as chairman of the Nederlandse Vereniging in Cape Town for 10 years. In 1969 he received an award from the South African Academy for Sciences and Arts, for his contribution to South Africa's cultural and historical heritage. His last contribution to the country was as a member of the committee that designed the new national flag. The Pama Collection of heraldry and genealogy is held at the National Library in Cape Town. It was built up over 25 years as Dr. PAMA’s working library. It comprises about 800 items, which cover many European countries as well as South African works.

On 19 Jan 1942 he married Frederika Johanna Elisabeth Maria BROUWER in Voorburg, Netherlands. She was the daughter of the artist Berend Jan BROUWER and Catharina VAN DREUMEL. She died on 01 March 1975 and Dr. PAMA married Heather Myfanwy JONES (born 15 Feb 1938) in Cape Town. He had 2 children from his first marriage - Dieuwke Elisabeth (born 26 Feb 1943 in Voorburg) and Susanna Catharina (Sanneke, born 30 Jun 1946 in Voorburg). From his 2nd marriage, a son, Cornelis Harco (Niel) was born on 22 Mar 1977 in Cape Town. Dieuwke married John Peter JESSOP (son of Thomas JESSOP and Margaret Agnes HALL) in 1964 in Claremont. They live in Adelaide, Australia, where John is chief botanist at the Botanic Gardens Adelaide and State Herbarium, and Dieuwke is director of the South Australian Maritime Museum. They have 2 children - Hilda (born 1966 in Pretoria) and Peter John (born 1968 in Grahamstown). Sanneke married Anthony Richard Ross BULLOCK in 1967 in Claremont and was divorced in 1970.

Some of Dr. Pama’s published work:

  • British families in South Africa: their surnames and origins, 1992
  • Geslagsregisters van die Ou Kaapse families, 1981
  • Die groot Afrikaanse familienaamboek, 1983
  • Heraldry of South African families: Coats-of-Arms, Crests, Ancestry, 1972
  • Die wapens van die Ou Afrikaanse families: 'n vergelykende historiese studie van die Bell-Krynauw-Versameling, 1959
  • Bowler's Cape Town: Life at the Cape in early Victorian times, 1834-1868, 1977
  • Cape wine homesteads, 1980
  • Flags of Southern Africa, 1981
  • Heraldiek ABC, 1980
  • Prisma van heraldiek & genealogie, 1990
  • Regency Cape Town: Daily life in the early Eighteen-Thirties, Illustrated, 1975
  • The South African Library: Its history, collections and librarians, 1818-1968, 1968
  • Vintage Cape Town: Historic houses and families in and around the Old Cape, 1973
  • Die vlae van ons land, 1976
  • Wagon Road to Wynberg, 1979
  • Lions and Virgins: an overview of South African official heraldic symbols from 1487 to 1962, 1965

From: GENESIS Genealogy Without Frontiers/Genealogie Sonder Grense July 2004.


Outeur van Simbole van die Unie

Bron: Bylaag tot die Volksblad koerant oor die Republiekdag van Suid-Afrika 31 MEI 1961. []

Bygevoeg deur Y. DROST, 21 MAART 2021


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Cornelis Pama's Timeline

November 5, 1916
Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland, Nederland
October 23, 1994
Age 77
Newlands, Cape Town, Western Cape, Zuid-Afrika