Developing the website.

André and Barbara Morkel. September 2011

I saw a short news item of a book about the Morkel family, published by Phil Morkel, the Chairman and founder of the chain of furniture stores of that name.  That was in 1961.  I contacted him and spent a fascinating time with him learning about the family.   He provided a copy of his book (Two volumes – Family History and Genealogy), privately published, using the mimeograph system of the time, for the princely sum of R10 – well below his cost.   For several years afterwards, Barbara and I visited him when we vacationed in The Strand.    Oom Phil was a gracious man who encouraged us to continue with family research.    However pressure of work, and for Barbara of raising a family, made this a dream.  We were also intimidated by the scope and thoroughness of his study of the family.    He had co-opted staff from the Cape Archives to assist him with the book and commissioned a professional genealogist to develop the family tree.

Over the years I collected books and materials about the family wherever I could find them.   Many years later, retired and living in Australia, I started writing short stories about the family, mainly for my own satisfaction and, in case family members should become interested some day.   Much of the material came from oom Phil’s book – which I acknowledged – and over time I was able to add material from other sources as well.  Our son, André, encouraged us and also provided the website.   Initially it was mainly about our own direct line but over time it broadened to other branches of the family, as various Morkels contacted me.   For those stories we had fun working together to uncover “missing” parts of the family.  I hope you find the stories as interesting as it was for me to write them.  Please use the “contact us” (sadly necessary in these days of internet security) about your interest and stories about the family, and also any errors you have spotted.  I shall then respond by email.


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