Saturday, 30 June 2007

The South African Wichts

According to records unearthed by Babeta Wicht during a visit to Nothern Germany during the 1970's, the South African Wichts stem from a family of clock makers in and around Munich, Bavaria. In his lucid and charming account of the methods employed from marking ‘Time’s thievish progress to eternity,’ a Mr. Garn described how the water clock gave place to the measurement of time using sand, which was less susceptible to pressure. It was not until the 14th century when Henry Wicht constructed the first clock consisting of four wheels, a weght and a lever that time was measured mechanically. His invention today found it’s counterpart in ‘Big Ben’ of St’ Pauls, with a variation of half a minute per week.

Members of that branch of the family migrated North via Switzerland during the 16th century and landed up in Spieka, a town close to Dorum in the district of Hanover on the North Sea Coast.

Church records in Dorum, Germany on 30 October, 1732 Johan Wicht was a blacksmith maried to Anna Maria Söhnlein. One of their sons was…

1 - Hans Hinrich Wicht (1732 – 1764), who married Helena Adikus (1729 - 1800) on 20 November, 1750. She was the daughter of Eyber Adikus of the ‘Old Pond’ in Spieka. Their children, all born in ‘Old Pond,’ were…

1 - Anna Maria (b. 22 November, 1751)
2 - Johan Eyber (b. 21 December, 1753)
3 - Alheit Catherina (b. 16 April, 1756 - d.1957)
4 - Hillena Catherina (b. 27 April, 1758 -
5 - Henrich (b. 21 April, 1762)
6 - Hans Hinrich (b. 6 July, 1765 – d. 8 March, 1850)
7 - Hinrich Christiaan (b. 9 January, 17667 – d. 23 January, 1767) He was the illegitimate son of Johann Andreas Zeiger

3 Hans Hinrich was the first Wicht to come to South Africa, arriving in Cape Town in 1796. He was born in Spieka, Hanover, shortly after his father’s death in 1764. On 3 March, 1805, he married Johanna Christina Heyse. She was the daughter of Johan Andreas Heyse, who had come to Cape Town from Kassel in 1768, and was one of the first watchmakers in the Cape. Her mother was Christina Maria König, the daughter of a cabinetmaker from Anhalt, Dresden. Hans Hinrich’s name first appears in local directories 1810, when he is shown as keeping a retail shop at no. 12 Bree Street. He continued at no. 12 (later 60) until 1832, after which he moved to no. 33, Bree Street until he died in 1850. His wife also died in Cape Town on 16 February, 1828. Their children were…

1 - Johan Andreas Heyse (1806 – 1861)
2 - Helena Christina (1807 – 1817)
3 - Johan Hendrik (the Honourable J. H. Wicht) (1808 – 1867)
4 - Christiaan Lodeyk (1811 – 1841)
5 - Johan Coenraad (1812 – 1813
6 - Johan Coenraad (1813 – 1878) m. Elizabeth Johanna de Kock (1818 - 1897)
7 - Henderik Lodewyk (1815 –
8 - Johanna Christina (1819 – 1820) m. George Clement Gie
9 - Helena Christina Maria (1819 –
10- Johanna Christina (1820 – 1876)
11- Maria Elizabeth (1821 – 1832)
12- Johan Frederik (1823 – 1907) m. Aletta Gertruida Hofmeyr ( - 1902)

4 Johan Hendrik (The Hon. Johan Hendrik Wicht) married Maria Magdalena Mostert. He was a Politician, Director of Bank Trusts and a landowner along with his brother, Andreas. He was baptised at the Lutheran Church, Standard Street, Cape Town on 1 January, 1809. In the same church he married Susanna Johanna Wentzel on 27 March, 1908. He died in his home in Mowbray on Sunday, 17 March, 1866. Their children were…

1 - Maria Magdalena (b. 22 March, 1832) Unmarried
2 - Johanna Christina (b. 22 September, 1834) m. Cpt. Busset
3 - Hendrica Johanna (b. 11 March, 1837) Unmarried
4 - Henriete Johanna (b. 30 March, 1838) Unmarried
5 - Jeanette Frederica (b. 12 August, 1839) Unmarried
6 - Johan Hendrik (b. 29 March, 1834 – d. 13 December, 1908) m. Susanna Johanna Wentzel
7 - Johannes Frederik (b. 9 September, 1884) Unmarried

5 Johan Henrik married Susanna Johanna Wentzel, daughter of Maria Wilhelmina Hofmeyr and Willem Frederik Wentzel, who’s Mother in turn was Susanna Johanna Wentzel, great-aunt of General J.M.B. Hertzog. J. H. bought the farm, Schoongezicht (later named Lanzerac) in 1887. Their children were…

1 - Johan Hendrik (b. 5 March, 1888 – d. 7 June, 1966)
2 - Maria Wilhelmina (Miemie) (b.25 January, 1890
3 - Willem Frederik (b. 5 January, 1891)
4 - Christiaan Lodewyk (b. 15 August, 1908)

6 Johan Hendrik was born on the farm, Schoongezicht (Lanzerac) He married Jonanna Cornelia Claasens in 1910. Their children were…

1 - Joan (b. 15 February, 1917 – d. 25 May, 1991))
2 - Louis (b. 15 March, 1919 - d. May, 2007)
3 - Johan Hendrik (b. 29 December, 1920 – d. 25 February, 1991)
4 - Annalise (b. 11 June, 1923)

7 Johan Hendrik married Babeta Hofmeyr (b. 9 June, 1924 – d. 22 October, 2003) on 28 September, 1946. They lived in Saldanha on their farm, Blouwaterbaai. Their children are…

1 - Johan Hendrik (b. 31 October, 1947)
2 – Pieter Harold (b. 15 february, 1949)
3 – Elaine Johanna (b. 15 January, 1952)
4 – Babeta Louise (b. 11 March, 1954)
5 – Eugene Rice (b. 16 November, 1954) Adopted in 1960.
6 – David Frederik (b. 28 November, 1955)
7 – Andre Hofmeyr (b. 7 March, 1958)
8 – Brian Barry (b. 9 June, 1959)
9 – Paul de Vyver (b. 23 November, 1964)

Please help us bring the list up-to-date

Johan

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