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South Africa - History and Families of Witsand (White Sands) and Port Beaufort

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  • Andrew Barnard (1767 - 1807)
    , #20568, d. 27 October 1807Last Edited=19 Jan 2004 Andrew Barnard married Lady Anne Lindsay, daughter of James Lindsay, 5th Earl of Balcarres and Anne Dalrymple, on 31 October 1793.1 He died on 27 Oct...
  • Lady Anne Barnard (1750 - 1825)
    , #20567, b. 8 December 1750, d. 6 May 1825Last Edited=19 Feb 2011 Consanguinity Index=0.0% Lady Anne Lindsay was born on 8 December 1750.1 She was the daughter of James Lindsay, 5th Earl of Balcarres ...
  • General Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole, GCB (1772 - 1842)
    Galbraith Lowry Cole, GCB (1 May 1772 Dublin - 4 October 1842 Highfield Park, Hampshire), styled The Honourable from birth, was an Irish British Army general and politician.Army ServiceCole was commiss...
  • Albert Kennedy, SV/PROG (1818 - 1872)
    From 'A concise history of Port Beaufort & White Sands (also known as Witsand) including Family Trees White Sands & Port Beaufort' written by John McGregorLast Name: Kennedy First Name: Albert Date of ...
  • Willem Adriaan Adrian van der Byl (1818 - 1886)
    From 'A concise history of Port Beaufort & White Sands (also known as Witsand) including Family Trees White Sands & Port Beaufort' written by John McGregor * Updated from FamilySearch Family Tree via s...


My name is Brendan Swemmer.

I have copied this booklet, written and researched by John McGregor, in 2 parts below. I've put the family trees first and if you scroll down and click on a person's name in blue you will be taken to their profile page that has all the information about that person. From there you will be able to click on another link that will enable you to see their tree.

Below that I've put the timeline.

The history can be read by clicking on Photos and Documents on the right and that will take you to a page where 2 PDFs will be displayed side by side.

Thanks to the Curator June Barnes for her advice and setting the initial format and to the Curators F N Duck and Isabel Howton and Bjorn Petter Brox and Dan H Cornett and last but certainly not least Simon Leech for assisting with the technical difficulties.

The South African Moodie FaceBook page, and the Moodie Coast of Arms, can be found at -

The Geni project about the Moodie trek to Rhodesia can be found at -

Other interesting info can be found in the Facebook group 1820 Settlers - Eastern Cape -

Family Trees

Captain Benjamin Moodie

  • Born 1 January 1789 in Melsetter, Scotland
  • Died 1856 at Westfield, Whitesands

Francois Renier Duminy

Jacob van Reenen

  • Birth date: 19 October 1760
  • Death date: 8 June 1834
  • Death place: Wynberg
  • Marriage date: 4 February 1781
  • Children:
  1. Maria Catharina m Willem Ferdinand Versfeld
  2. Jacob m Sophia Margaretha Jacoba van Schoor
  3. Elizabeth Wilhelmina m Hendrik Cornelis van Nieferk
  4. Johanna Paulina m Johannes Paulus Eksteen
  5. Catharina Cornelia m Jacob Pieter Cloete
  6. Christiaan Daniel Dirk m First wife Maria Elizabeth Hurter m Second wife Magdalena Maria Becker
  7. Johannes Gysbertus Franke m Johann Maria Christina Kotze
  8. Sebastina Catharina

Dirk Gijsbert van Reenen

  • Owner of Papenboom (the Breweries in Newlands, Cape Town)
  • Birth date: 23 July 1754
  • Death date: 28 October 1828
  • Occupation: Burgher, Brewer and owner of Papenboom
  • Father: Jacob van Reenen (1727-1793)
  • Mother: Maria Franke (b1721)
  • First wife: Aletta Catharina Hurter
  • Birth date: 13 February 1757
  • Death date: 10 April 1804
  • Marriage date: 28 July 1776
  • Marriage place: Cape
  • Father: Johann Willem Hurter (1722-1783)
  • Mother: Barbara Hauk
  • Birth date: 1762
  • Marriage date: 16 September 1804
  • Children:
  1. Barbara Jacoba m Jan Frederik Reitz
  2. Jacob Jan Willem m Maria Adriana Smalberger
  3. Maria Martha Bartolda m Jan Carel Horak
  4. Johanna
  5. Catharina Gesina m Michiel van Breda
  6. Daniel m Cornelia Arnoldina Denys

Hamilton Ross

Joseph Barry

  • Children:
  1. Maria Adriana Aletta m John Hamilton Hodgson
  2. Elizabeth Mary Anne
  3. Charles van Reenen
  4. Sir Jacob Dirk m Charlotte Merriman
  5. Thomas Daniel m Elizabeth Charlotte Akerman
  6. Joseph Francis m Emma Henrietta Garcia
  7. Michael m Aletta Catharina Barry
  8. John Henry m Johanna Magdalena Muller
  9. Aletta Catharina m Francis William Reitz Herold
  10. Richard
  11. Johanna Catharina
  12. Mary Ann Elizabeth
  13. Dirk Gysbert m First wife Agnes Revett m Second wife Alyce Bourke

Thomas Barry

  • One of the owners of the firm Barry and Nephews
  • Birth date: 8 August 1801
  • Birth place: Hitchin, Herts, England
  • Death date: 14 October 1876
  • Death place: Swellendam
  • Occupation: Swellendam merchant
  • Father: John Barry (1778-1811)
  • Mother: Elizabeth Mary Kershaw (d1811)
  • Wife: Aletta Catharina van Reenen
  • Children:
  1. John Joseph m Hester Johanna Wilmina Joubert
  2. Jacob John William m Martha Catharina van Breda
  3. Mary Ann m Frank John Perreyn van der Riet
  4. Joseph James m Susanna Martha Bland
  5. Thomas Francis
  6. Maria Adriana
  7. Elizabeth Adriana
  8. Johanna Marthina m Tobias Johannes Herold
  9. Aletta Catharina m Michael Barry
  10. Maria Adriana Barry m Daniel John May
  11. Daniel Nicholas
  12. Thomas Barry
  13. Richard van Reenen m First wife Elizabeth Wilhelmina van der Byl m Second wife Christina Maria Louw
  14. Elizabeth Martha m James Gerhardus Reid
  15. Julia Hubertha m James Ford

Michiel van Breda

  • Children: First wife - four sons and a daughter. Second wife - one son
  1. Pieter
  2. Dirk Gysbertus van Reenen m Susanna Hendrina Wilhelmina Meyer
  3. Pieter Johannes Albertus
  4. Martha Baisina Dorothea
  5. Michiel Jacob m Elsie Catharina Smalberger
  6. Hendrik Willem
  • (marriages of others not known)

W.H. Hopley

  • The Swellendam surveyor who laid out the ninety plots in Port Beaufort
  • Birth date: 1796
  • Birth place: Portsea, England
  • Death date: 21 June 1864
  • Death place: Swellendam
  • Occupation: Surveyor
  • Father: William Musgrove Hopley (1770-1835)
  • Wife: Aletta Alida Hurlingh
  • Children:
  1. Maria Anna Sophia m William Adrian van der Byl
  2. Frederick Hurling m Wilhelmina Johanna von Abo
  3. Richard Rodney Bligh m Anne Francis Daniell
  4. Sara Maria m Albert Kennedy
  5. William Musgrove m Maria Christina von Abo

William Dunn

  • The pilot of Port Beaufort
  • Birth date: 1774
  • Death date: 17 September 1839
  • Death place: Sebastian Bay
  • Occupation: Pilot
  • Wife: Sarah Frances Pearson
  • Marriage date: 17 September 1839
  • Children:
  1. John Gambold (b1808-d9-11-1868) m Aletta Johanna Maria Rossouw
  2. Anna Thomsin (b2-7-1824-d22-1-1881
  3. Paul (b1826-d 11-8-1876) m Anna Magdalena Maria Badenhorst

Tobias Johannes Herold

  • Birth date: 16 August 1840
  • Birth place: Swellendam
  • Death date: 18 March 1914
  • Marriage date: 8 March 1859
  • Marriage place: Swellendam
  • Father: Thomas Barry (1801-1876)
  • Mother: Aletta Catherina van Reenen (1810-1888)
  • Children:
  1. Thomas Barry
  2. Johanna Henrietta
  3. Charlotta Louisa Maria

Francis William Reitz

  • Birth date: 15 October 1854
  • Birth place: Stavanger, Norway
  • Death date: 5 October 1887
  • Marriage date: 24 June 1874
  • Birth date: 25 December 1864
  • Birth place: Delft, Holland
  • Death date: 2 January 1935
  • Death place: Cape Town
  • Children:
  1. Francis William
  2. Hjalmar m Elzina Mulder
  3. Alfhild
  4. Joubert m Anastasia Jooste
  5. Denys m Leila Agnes Buissine Wright
  6. Arend Leonardt
  7. George Grey
  8. Johannes Hendrikus Brand m Sybella Morkel Had seven children by his second wife.
  9. Elizabeth m Hendrik van Zyl
  10. Henry Loch m Kundra Alcida Kalis
  11. Rolf m Anneke Te Groen
  12. Francis William m Mia Wagener
  13. Frederik Benedictus m Marian Laensveld
  14. Gysbert Dirk m Alfreda Schmaeke
  15. Goevert Jan (Kreuk)

Alfred John Barry

  • Children:
  1. Michael Remo Harry m Maria Emma Kirchness
  2. Cecil Josephine Rose m Dr. Frederick Petersen
  3. Joan Marthina



  • The Portuguese recognised the Breede River mouth as the finest natural anchorage on the whole southern seaboard of Africa.


  • It was about this time when King Sebastian's navigator, Manuel de Mesquita Perestrelo, was enthusiastic over this bay. He called the bay after Dom Sebastiao, the most serene King of Portugal, St. Sebastian's Bay, and on the west bank Cape Infanta. 1790:
  • San Sebastian Bay was surveyed by the French sea captain, Captain Duminy. 1798:
  • May - the Breede River mouth was visited by Lady Anne Barnard nee Lindsay and her husband Andrew Barnard, who was Colonial Secretary under the British Administration, with Jocob van Reenen of Slang River. Her letters detailing this event and titled 'South Africa a century ago; letters written from the Cape of Good Hope (1791-1801)' may be found here. 1800:
  • Landrost Anthonie Faure reported to Governor Sir George Yonge that the Breede River was suitable for navigation "up to six hours inland, with excellent safe loading - places for small vessels along either bank'". 1802:
  • Baron von Buchenröder visited San Sebastian Bay, crossed the river in a small boat and pronounced it "only three to four feet deep at low tide, and thus only suitable for sloops and long flat vessels, such as one sees on the Main, Nekker and Weser in Germany." He also found an English ship anchored in the Breede River. Refer to the About Me section of his profile for clarification of the exact year. 1803:
  • Dirk Gysbert van Reenen gave the same advice about the Breede River (as Baron von Buchenröder in 1802) to General Janssens. More can be read about him here. 1813:
  • Malagas got its name from the farm belonging to Adriaan Odendaal, "Malagas Craal gelegen aan de Breede Rivier". 1817:
  • It was found that the bar was navigable by vessels displacing not more than six feet of water. Lord Charles Somerset named the east bank of Breede River after the title of his father, the Duke of Beaufort.
  • Captain Benjamin Moodie and his partner, Hamilton Ross, were to bring out 10 000 Scots to South Africa. After the first 50, Ross pulled out. Moodie brought in 200 men, many of them artisans. The Scots were to pay Moodie the &20 (pounds) back before or after the trip. If they couldn't, then they must work for Moodie for 18 months.
  • December - Joseph Barry arrives at the Cape on the 'Duke of Malborough', returning soon to London. He was commissioned by the London Wine House, Barry & Wilkinson, to act as their agent for the export of wines from the Cape. Soon after arriving in Cape Town he was granted permission to remain. More about him can be read here. 1819:
  • Joseph Barry bought the cutter, Duke of Gloucester, and arrived at Port Beaufort with food for the starving populace. This signified the fact that the Overberg had achieved its own gateway to the markets of the world. 500-600 wagons were assembled on the heights above the river mouth awaiting the cutter. He was persuaded to open a small trading store at Port Beaufort. Due to bad health he returned to the Cape Colony. 1820:
  • Captain Benjamin Moodie established the Port Beaufort Trading Company. Credit must go to him for first enticing the vessels to cross the bar regularly for mercantile purposes. He built a warehouse at Port Beaufort. Some of the Cape's merchant vessels brought in manufactured goods. The vessels were loaded with wheat, wine, brandy and fruit. It was this year that the coastal trade established Port Beaufort. Moodie noted the advantages given to the 1820 Settlers so he claimed them for himself for his earlier efforts. He was given the farm "Westfield" just east of the Breede River mouth. 1823:
  • Joseph Barry opened a store in Port Beaufort. His nephew, Thomas, entered the coastal trade. 1824:
  • Joseph Barry moved to Swellendam, "a small and considerable place" with only one shop. 1827:
  • Joseph Barry was insolvent. 1828:
  • 1 January - William Dunn arrived in San Sebastian's Bay as an official to keep a watching brief for the authorities at Port Beaufort. His salary was &150 (pounds) per year. 1830:
  • The Barrys owned a substantial warehouse in Port Beaufort. 1831:
  • 31 January - The portion, Port Beaufort no.484 Swellendam 1419 morgan, given in freehold title by Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole for the management of a "mercantile warehouse" to the trustees Messrs Ewan Christian, Joseph Barry and Francis Collison.
  • 10 October - The farm, "Westfield" no.478 Swellendam 5257 morgan, Government ground, was granted to Captain Benjamin Moodie by Sir Galbraith Lowry Cole as a reward for his efforts in bringing 200 Scots into the country.
  • Soon after 1830 Thomas Barry settled permanently in Port Beaufort. 1834:
  • Barry and Nephews formed. Joseph Barry's premises burnt to the ground. 1836:
  • Joseph Barry built a Thatch (known as a wolwe-end) on the commonage at the end facing the sea. 1837:
  • Michiel van Breda, of Oranjezigt, took the chair at the first meeting of the trustees in the Commercial Exchange. There were 600 paid-up shareholders. Many city people invested in this venture. They received an erf for every &2 (pounds) share they bought. 1838:
  • Ninety shares are issued. The Swellendam surveyor W.M. Hopley laid out the ninety plots. These were drawn for by the ballot, except for Joseph Barry and Captain Moodie, who were entitled to the "extensive erven" upon which their warehouses were built.
  • William Dunn crossed the Breede River and settled on the Potteberg farm Rietfontein with the adjacent farm Brakkefontein which had been transferred to his name in 1837. 1840:
  • By this year Barry and Nephews were the undisputed "princes of the port'. 1841:
  • Port Beaufort declared a port.
  • By this year Benjamin Moodie's venture had for all practical purposes disappeared. 1842:
  • February - George Leith continued William Dunn's job after a Temporary held this position for about 3 years. 1843:
  • Benjamin Moodie lived on the farm Grootvadersbosch until this year. 1853:
  • The first Postmaster at Malagas was Dennyson. 1855:
  • Imports to the tune of & 45 000 (pounds) passed through customs who were collecting dues averaging &1000 (pounds) per year. 1856:
  • Benjamin Moodie died at "Westfield" and was buried on his farm. 1857:
  • Joseph Barry moved to Cape Town, and lived in Hope Mill at the top end of Government Avenue. 1858:
  • By this time Joseph Barry's business was as far as Robertson, Montagu, Sweetmilk Valley (Rivier Sonder End), Bredasdorp, Heidelberg, Riversdale, Mossel Bay, Zwartberg (Ladismith) and Barrydale. Joseph Barry sent John Barry to the London office to purchase a steam driven vessel. Other Barry vessels were The Barrys, Kadie, Vallisneria and Ceres. The Barrys and Kadie were wrecked at the mouth of the Breede River.
  • 26 February - T.J. Herold was the second Postmaster at Malagas.
  • By now the House of Barry reigned supreme in the Overberg. 1859:
  • Barry Church completed by Thomas Barry. The register contains names of the Reitzes, the Moodies, the Dunns and the Barrys.
  • 26 September - 156 ton screw steamer "Kadie" arrived at Port Beaufort after sailing for 81 days from Scotland. This vessel was built expressly for Barry and Nephews. On board was her Commander, Captain Fowler and his family and the Rev. John Samuel, headmaster of the Swellendam Grammar School, the 15 year old Francis William Reitz who was on holiday at Rhenoster Fontein from the South African College. The trip up the Breede River to Malagas took 2 hours and 20 minutes. "Kadie" was piloted by one of Williams Dunn's numerous descendants. 1860:
  • Thomas Barry joined the firm. The village of Port Beaufort now consisted of about 20 buildings. Among these were the hotel and a canteen, the warehouse, customs house, Queen's warehouse, stores, a shop and some houses. 1862:
  • Water was scarce in Port Beaufort, and in this year the Malagas pontmaker filled up a waterboat. It served Port Beaufort well, and finally beached itself on the east bank opposite the woolshed where the remains can still be seen (next to the Breede River Lodge).
  • Kadie reached Knysna to load wood for Cape Town. The farthest Kadie sailed was to Mauritius with a cargo of ostriches which were destined for Australia. 1864:
  • Highlight of the Kadie's short life was Great Western Province Agricultural Exhibition at Swellendam. Kadie made special trips to Cape Town, with livestock and implements. Eastern Province exhibitors were fetched at Algoa Bay.
  • The Port Beaufort customs officer was transferred.
  • Port Beaufort was abolished as a port. 1865:
  • Kadie stranded at the mouth of the Breede River on the rocks of Cape Infanta.
  • Joseph Barry died at Hope Mill in Cape Town on Sunday 26th March, aged 70 years.
  • The Great Fire of Swellendam.
  • The firm Barry and Nephews went bankrupt. 1870:
  • By this time Malagas was completely static. 1880:
  • Barrydale is established and received it's name, Barrydale. 1886:
  • All official trace of Port Beaufort finally vanished from the Blue Books of the Cape Colony. 1929:
  • The freehold portion Port Beaufort was eventually resurrected and granted to Alfred John Barry. 1943:
  • Port Beaufort proclaimed a township.


  • Dictionary of South African Biography Vol. I, II, III, IV, V.
  • John and Terry George, England.