Morkel Familiegeskiedenis en Genealogie
Welkom by ons. As ‘n ou Kaapse familie is die Morkels versprei oor beide taalgroepe. Ons webblad is hoofsaaklik in Engels met bydraes in Afrikaans. Kyk gerus rond en ons ontvang graag menings en bydraes in beide tale.
Morkel Family History and Genealogy
Welcome to our webpage – please browse, comment and contribute. If you spot typos or errors, please let me know. It is work in progress – more to come.
In 2015 we published a 300 page book about the family. Printed copies are no longer available but you are welcome to read (or print it) it online. It is a reduced pdf. The photos and images are not as sharp as in the printed version but are still very readable.
Morkel book Aug 2017 Reduced 5.5MB PDF
We also maintain a Facebook page about family history. It is a closed group. Please, contact us on Facebook to join.
Morkel Family History Group on Facebook
Progenitor (stamvader) Philip Morkel arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in 1708 as konstapel (artillerist) on board the VOC ship Oosterstijn. In 1713 he and his 2nd wife, Catharina Pasman settled on the farm Onverwacht in the Hottentots Holland. The name of the farm changed over the years to The Bush, and then in Afrikaans, Die Bos, used since the late 19th century. After more than 300 years tenth generation Sarel (Kleinjan) Morkel is the present owner. It has been in the Morkel family, handed down father to son for more than 300 years, the longest in South Africa.
Navigating the site.
Locating News, Genealogy, Gallery and Contact Us are fairly straightforward, and only require clicking on the horizontal bar near the top of the page.
However, Morkel History with its many articles, can be quite complex to navigate. To help, click on the Morkel family map, a schematic map of the family to see where our stories fit. Philip Morkel had only one son, Willem, and he had four sons, of which three had male descendants carrying the Morkel surname forward. After almost a hundred years and three generations, there were still only three Morkel families at the Cape. We have a special section for the first three generations. Thereafter the family grew and our website is organised around the three families, descendants of Willem of the farm Voorburg, Daniel Johannes of the farm Onverwacht, and Hercules of the farm Welgelegen. Sport is a separate category, as the family was known during the early 1900’s for its prowess in Rugby and currently in Cricket.
Click on Table of Contents for an overview of the site.
We have accessed many sources and they are referenced and acknowledged. An early source was The Morkels: Family History and Family Tree, published privately in 1961 by Philip William Morkel, and now out of print. Phil encouraged us to take his work further and we have referenced it in our articles. I bought the postcard below of the Strand and Hottentots Holland in 1961. The photo would have been taken during the 1950s and it nicely shows the locations of the Morkel farms in the Helderbergkom. Most of the farms have since been consumed by urban sprawl.
After running the website for more than ten years, and with welcome contributions of family, there was sufficient material to produce a book, MORKEL. A Remarkable South African Family, which was launched at Die Bos in June 2015. In preparing the book we were able to review and fine tune our web articles and add quite a few new ones. New contributors, as co-authors, also joined in. The book and website are complementary. Some find the book more comfortable to read than a website, and it can be browsed and handed down in the family. The website also has advantages, apart from the obvious availability and error correction, we are also able to add new material on an ongoing basis. We are now in the process of updating the expanding the website.
Thanks to the many who have contributed. It has truly become a family project.
Thanks to André Retief Morkel of Openwire who created and is hosting our website. We are using our full given names to tell the Andrés apart.
André Theron Morkel. May 2017
Below is a 1950s postcard of The Strand and Somerset West with Morkel farms (click to enlarge)