Havemann Genealogy: The South African Connection
Researched by John van Zelst

This is a summary of John van Zelst's original research documenting the Havemann line from Germany to South Africa, posted with his permission. John's homepage is at http://uk.geocities.com/johnvanzelst/john_loispage.

Feel free to send email to John if you think you might be related, or if you simply want more information.

The earliest known Havemann ancestor of the South African connection was Fredrich Justus Havemann, born June 14, 1731. It's said that he was the Mayor of the town of Nubuckow in Germany.

One of his children was Christian Fredrich Havemann (born July 11, 1770) who had seven children. The fifth child, born August 16, 1810 was christened Johann Heinrich Carl Havemann. He was born in Grabou, of the Grand Duchy of Mechlenburg, in Schwerin, Germany.

From "Die Kerkbode," by Reverend C.F. Kies, published June 11, 1930:

"Heinrich, here is a new suit of clothes for you and a little money. Go and travel and see the world." Thus Christian Fredrich Havemann addressed his son Heinrich who had just attained his 21st birthday. Heinrich had now to enter the world.

(A typed copy of the whole story can be ordered from John van Zelst for $30 to cover expenses. Please email him for details.)

After travelling around Europe for 7 years, he boarded the "Julius Und Eduard" on September 5, 1836. Johann Heinrich Carl arrived in Pietermaritzburg, Natal, South Africa, in January 1839. He married Hester Maria Magdelena Mare, and they had 13 children... (click here for a footnote)

  Date of birth Name Havemann Married to
1. 09-11-1841 Maria Caroline Paul Mare'
2. 01-7-1843 Wynand Wilhelmus Adriana van Rooyen
3. 19-3-1845 Christian Fredrich Danie Hannie van Rooyen
4. 19-10-1846 Johann Heinrich Carl Elizabeth Kestell
5. 30-11-1848 Fredrich Rudolf Aletta Nel
6. 19-9-1850 Cornelia Aletta Carl W. Havemann 1
7. 01-8-1852 Daniel August Sarah Nel 2
8. 06-06-1854 Johanna Anna Magdalena Anthony P.Keyter
9. 12-2-1856 Carl Adolph Annie Botha
10. 22-2-1858 August George (see below) Aletta van Rooyen
11. 12-7-1860 Paul Joel Maria Koen
12. 07-5-1864 Hester Cecelia Louis Nel 3
13. 27-9-1871 George Martha Liversage

1 A nephew from Germany. 2 Daughter of Louis Nel by his first wife. 3 Louis Nels second wife.

August George Havemann marries Aletta van Rooyen. Their children are:

  1. Lucas
  2. August George
  3. Koot
  4. Fredrich Rudolph,
    who marries Irene Kate Cartwright
  5. Hermans
  6. Corneels
  7. Dolly

The children of Fredrich Rudolph and Irene Kate Cartwright are:

  1. Inez Ida Nellie
  2. August George Arthur
  3. Lorna Kathleen Coral,
    who marries Mathys van Rooyen born 31-12-1917, died 25-6-1999.
    Lorna then marries George Charles Louis Nel

Lorna and Mathys had one child:

  1. Lois Irene van Rooyen,
    who marries Donald Steven Preen born 2-7-1942.
    Later, she marries Johannes Cornelis van Zelst.

Lorna's children with George are:

  1. Daniel Adriaan Nel
  2. Deidre Nel
  3. Lorna Nel

The Sarie Marais Saga and its connection to the Havemann Clan

The Story behind the Song

How was Sara Mare's name linked to the famous song Sarie Marais?

Jac Uys said that the American folk song Ellie Rhee was included in a book The Cavendish Song Album. When Ella de Wet, wife of General Louis Botha's military attaché N.J.de Wet came to the battle front to see her husband she often played on the piano while the nearby burghers sang songs from the album. One of the songs was Sweet Ellie Rhee:

Sweet Ellie Rhee, so dear to me
Is lost forever more
Our home was down in Tennessee
Before this cruel war
Then carry me back to Tennessee
Back where I long to be
Amid the fields of yellow corn
To my darling Ellie Rhee.

The song was soon translated into Afrikaans and Sarie Mare' (which only recently became Marais) was substituted for Ellie Rhee. The burghers wanted to honour their field padre Dominee Paul Nel who often told stories around the campfires about his childhood and his beautiful mother Sarie Mare':

My Sarie Marais is so ver van mij af
Ek hoop haar weer te sien
Sy het in die wijk van Mooirivier gewoon
Nog voor die oorlog het begin
O bring my terug na die ou transvaal
Daar waar my Sarie woon
Daar onder in die mieleis by die groen doring boom
Daar woon my Sarie Marais

The song Sarie Marais has been translated into many languages including Frech, Italian and Russian.

"Beside the green thorn tree" (by die groen doring boom)

The Natal Witness Monday March 8 1993 page 7
Investigations editor Tony Oosthuize

Nineteen years ago Pietermaritzbug man Jac Uys, member of the natal Historical Society and the Voortrekker Monument Council, discovered the grave of Sarie Marais, the woman of the popular Afrikaans folksong.

(The full typed story is available with the "Die Kerkbode" mentioned above.

The theory behind the connection:

Daniel August Havemann married Sarah Nel the daughter of Louis Nel by his first wife. After the death of his first wife he marries Hester Cecilia Havemann. This now makes Hester Cecilia the Stepmother of Sarah Nel as well as sisters in law.

Louis Nel is now the father of Sarah as well as her brother in law.

Sarie Mare‘ photographed in Pietermaritzburg in her wedding dress a few days after her marriage to Louis Jacobus Nel.

According to Uys Sara Mare‘ was born in Uitenhage, Cape Province, South Africa on may 10, 1840 and married Louis Nel at the age of 17. She met him in Umvoti Poort while visiting her uncle. The couple undertook a year long trip to Uitenhage to Sara’s parents before settling at Welgegund farm. She died at the age of 37 after giving birth to her 11th child and was buried near the old homestead.

Those who wish to visit the grave of Sarie Marais are very "welcome," says Welgegund’s new owner Gert von Beneke. From Greytown (Natal) take the Kranskop / Stanger road for about 14km. Turn left at district road D479 and drive 2 kilometers. Turn left at the driveway opposite the farm of C.W.Robertson also called Welgegund.

This report was written by

John van Zelst
Tjeukemeerstraat 13
1317 BK Almere
The Netherlands

Email: johnvanzelst(at)yahoo.com

Further Information

Joe Botha's genealogy website includes Johann Heinrich Carl Havemann and Hester Maria Magdelena Mare. Click here.