The search for my husband’s great-great-grandfather has proven to be one of the most intractable brick walls I’ve encountered in nearly eight years of full-time research into our two families. As detailed in an earlier post, Hendrik Nicolaas MINNAAR’s earliest ancestor, Philippe MESNARD/MINNAAR, arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in 1688 and is considered the stamouer (progenitor) of all persons in South Africa born with that surname. However, I have been unable to find Hendrik’s father and thereby advance another step toward linking up with Philippe.
Recently, the Genealogical Society of South Africa published a photo of Hendrik’s gravestone on its site as part of its ongoing eGGSA Gravestone Project.
Not surprisingly, the stone only contains information that was already known from Hendrik’s Death Notice. However, I had hoped to find stones in the same cemetery for other persons who might possibly have been related to Hendrik. No one was of the right age to have been his father. Only Philippus Adriaan MINNAAR, born in 1862, could have been a younger sibling. The Death Notice for Philippus shows that he was born in Vredefort in what is now the Free State Province, which makes it unlikely that he and Hendrik, who was born in another province, were brothers.
My next task will be to search for the MINNAAR name among the large group of Afrikaners who moved from the Cape Province in the 1830s and 1840s as part of the “Great Trek” and who settled in the interior of the country.