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About Us

I was born Janet van Lingen married Thomas Benjamin Melville from Humansdorp who I met when I attended Grootfontein Agricultural College. My father used to tell me stories about the Boer War that his mother (my grandmother) told him as well as other stories about the family. My grandmother was Catharina Joachimina van der Merwe born 18.7.1861 baptised in Graaff-Reinet. She grew up on the farm Poortjie between Graaff-Reinet and Murraysburg. As far as I can gather today this farm is Poortjie Oos. They moved from there to Modderfontein Middelburg, Cape. Later when she married Matthys van Lingen they bought the farm Grootvlei. Her parents were Andries Petrus van der Merwe and Engela Susanna Visser – Andries Petrus parents were Willem Johannes van der Merwe and Catharina Joachimina Scholtz. I was living on the farm in Middelburg, before cell phones, emails and Internet and started collecting information about Willem Johannes van der Merwes trying to find this great great grandfather. My father just told me his birthday was when the prickly pears got ripe! This research started more than 30 years ago. My children grew up visiting grave yards writing down van der Merwes. I’ve published a book on the van der Merwes in 2004 and have recently republished it with over 100 000 names relating to the van der Merwes. Iam also working on the Bouwers, Ferreira and Bezuidenhout family’s. Please contact me with your family details..

Today with the facilities available at the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) I have access to all the baptismal registers etc that I need. I have also copied a large number of death notices at the various Masters offices and archives. I am including the daughters children and grandchildren in the book as very often they married van der Merwes.