David McKenzie Grewar, SV/PROG

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David McKenzie Grewar, SV/PROG

Also Known As: "Gruar"
Birthplace: Linlithgow, West Lothian, Scotland
Death: Died in Cape Province, South Africa
Place of Burial: Uitenhage, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of John Grewar and Janet Grewar
Husband of Johanna Catharina Frederika Grewar, SM
Father of Maria Magdalena Rosina Grewar; John Charles Grewar; Janet Gertruida Grewar; Maria Elizabeth Grewar; Johanna Catharina Frederika Grewar and 7 others
Brother of Robert Grewar and John Grewar

Occupation: Wagon builder.
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About David McKenzie Grewar, SV/PROG

The Grewar family in South Africa are descendants of David McKenzie Grewar (or GRUAR). He was born in Linlithgow, Scotland in 1796, the son of John Grewar who appropriately was a brewer, and his wife Janet (née McKenzie). According to family tradition, David McKenzie Grewar was apprenticed as a shipwright in Kirkcudbright, Dumfriesshire. Early in 1817, at the age of 20, David and his brother John Grewar sailed for London from Leith, near Edinburgh to join Captain Benjamin Moodie's party of 200 Scots artisans to settle in the Cape of Good Hope.

The 'Garland' left London for the Cape on 6 May 1817, and arrived in Table Bay at the end of August. The 'Clyde' sailed at the end of May and arrived on 27 September. In November 1817, John Grewar signed a promissory note in Cape Town to repay Moodie 350 rixdaalders, within a year 'for value received', the costs of passage for himself and his brother. Moodie noted that he was employed as a cooper in Wale Street. His earnings were clearly better than those of William Jacobs, for example, a laborer working at Myrtle Grove, Cape Town, who promised to repay Moodie 302 rixdaalders within three years.

DAVID GREWAR was given permission to remain in the Cape Colony on 30 March 1818 (PR list No. 2147). This meant that two respected members of the community were prepared to stand surely for his future good behavior. As noted above, John Grewar apparently worked as a cooper in Wale Street, Cape Town, for a while. In 1820 he was reported in Wynberg as being among those of Moodie's men who were moving around without passes from the authorities. He apparently left Cape Town some time after this for Australia, and founded another branch of the family there.

Unfortunately we know little of David Grewar's subsequent life and movements, except that he finally settled in Uitenhage, where according to his death notice in the Cape Archives, he was a wheelwright. In 1831 he married the young JOHANNA MARAIS, daughter of Christoffel Marais and Maria Dannhauser. David and Johanna Grewar had 12 children - five of whom died in childwood. Their youngest, Thomas Jones Paterson Grewar was to be the father of Thomas Bertie Grewar.

It would be interesting to know why David McKenzie Grewar gave his youngest son the names of 'Jones Paterson.' The tradition among both the Scots and the Dutch families of naming children after their grandparents, parents, and great grandparents can clearly be seen in many of the genealogies. This sometimes goes so far as including the family name as a given name. It also appears that children were sometimes named after friends of the family, or of course after various persons admired by a parent for some reason, including characters in literature. But the names 'Jones' and 'Paterson' seem unusual, as they are both normally found as surnames. Thomas Bertie Grewar, always known as 'Bertie,' seems to have been named after Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria.

Information about the Scots immigrants brought to South Africa by Captain Moodie can be found in The Moodies of Melsetter, by Edmund H Burrows (Cape Town/Amsterdam:Balkema, 1954). The Grewar genealogy was originally compiled by Ds Sam Murray of Jeffreys Bay, and published in Familia, the journal of the Genealogical Society of South Africa. Information about the name Grewar comes from an article in The Scotsman, 'Changes in the Glen' by Alasdair Steven (date not known), and from Surnames of Scotland, by George F Black (New York, 1946).

GREWAR/GREWER/GREWYR/GROWAR - Shortened from MacGruar, who appear to have settled in Kindrocht (now known as Braemar) in the 15th century. John Grewyr was tenant in Fortour c.1520, and Thomas Growar, burgess freeman of Glasgow, 1628.

Brewster - From ‘brewer’ or ‘brewster’ - originally a woman’s occupation. Thomas le Breuester in the county of Lanark rendered homage in 1296. Johannes dictus Brouster held land in Aberdeen in 1382, Robert Brewester, a Scot, received letters of denisation in England in 1480, another Robert Broustar was burgess of Glasgow in 1487, William Broster held land in Arbroath in 1513, Thomas Brouster was curate to Sir John Swinton of that Ilk in 1515, and Duncanus Broustir appears in Murthlac in 1550. In the north, this name is a translation of MACGRUAR (brewer’s son).

Death: Port Elizabeth Mercury Saturday 2 July 1853

DIED in Uitenhage Town on Tuesday the 21st June, after a lingering illness, Mr. David GREWAR, aged 57 years, leaving a Widow and large Family of Children to mourn their irreparable loss. Uitenhage Town, 28th June 1853.

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David McKenzie Grewar, SV/PROG's Timeline

June 22, 1796
West Lothian, Scotland
June 25, 1796
West Lothian, Scotland
July 22, 1832
Age 36
Uitenhage, Cape Colony, South Africa
October 23, 1833
Age 37
Uitenhage, Cape Colony, South Africa
August 2, 1835
Age 39
May 11, 1837
Age 40
Uitenhage, Cape Colony, South Africa
December 10, 1838
Age 42
October 28, 1840
Age 44
Uitenhage, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa