Joseph Benjamin Nell

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Joseph Benjamin Nell

Death: Died in Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa
Place of Burial: Johannesburg, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Jacobus Hendrik Louw Nell, SV1b8c1d3e3f1g1h2 and Martha Jacoba Nell
Husband of Dorothea Regina (Dot) Nell
Father of <private> Nell; Dorothea Regina Aschmann; <private> Nell and <private> Nell
Brother of Boet Nell; Pieter (Piet) Nell; Maria Petronella Wallace; Anna Nell; Malie Nell and 5 others
Half brother of Jacobus Willem Adriaan Nell; Jacobus Hendrik (Ouboet) Nell; Maria Magdalena Nell; Anaat Nell and Hans Nell

Managed by: Lee Alison Francis Cahill
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Joseph Benjamin Nell

Research Notes

Source: Lee Cahill, 29 May 2013 (Last updated 4 May 2016)

  • I don't know much about my great-uncle Joseph but, according to my aunt, Hilda Wallace Keyte, he served in both Egypt and Italy during WW II, as did his brother Ben.
  • I only met him and his wife, Dot, once or twice, the last time when I was living with Gran (Maria Petronella Nell Wallace) while I was at university and they came to Johannesburg for a visit. A sweet story from that time is that, although the spare bedroom had twin beds, they both slept in one bed. They did this because they'd apparently never slept apart since the day of their marriage. Dot apparently also baked fresh bread for Joseph every day because he didn't like store-bought bread.
  • Joseph died on the same day as Gran did, 16 August 1990, and is buried in Fairlands Cemetery in Johannesburg, where both of his parents are also buried.
  • Joseph and Dot had four children (in birth order): Robert (Bobbie), Dorothea Regina (known as Toetie), Joseph (known as Boetie) and Anton. Toetie died quite young, and Bobby and his wife Helene raised her children.
  • Bobby and Helene later emigrated to Australia, but I've been unable to trace them.
  • On 14 July 2013, I was contacted via Geni by the grandson of Joseph's brother Ben (Benjamin Jacobus Louw Nell), who now lives in Australia. According to him, Ben and his brothers Abraham, Joseph and Daniel (Daan) moved to what was then Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1948. I was able to confirm this with my aunt Hilda. I'm unsure of when he returned to Johannesburg.
  • Anton Nell, Joseph's youngest son, has since been in touch with me and we share information about the family from time to time.

From Anton Nell, 3 May 2016: "He (Joseph Benjamin Nell) always told me about the hardships that they led as children on the diamond diggings, sometimes going to bed with no food in their bellies - and how Ouma Nell used to cook the “bies” from the goats milk and share it amongst the children. Yet if you met JHLN’s children (my uncles and aunts) you would have seen they were all huge, healthy men and women that produced good-looking families.

Another indication of the hardships that they had was that my father got his first pair of shoes at the age of 18 years old.

During the Great Depression years he walked from Barkly West to Johannesburg to come and find his sister that he was so close to (Aunty Nellie, Lee’s grandmother) and to find a job. Apparently it took him two weeks to find her, so we can just imagine the hardships that went with all of that . I am afraid to say that, as modern citizens, we do not know what real hardship is today."

I find it so poignant that these two siblings, who were so close, died on the same day.

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Joseph Benjamin Nell's Timeline

February 20, 16
Reivilo, Cape Colony (South Africa)
October 17, 1915
August 16, 1990
Age 74
Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africa