Morkel Ancestors

Stamvader Philip Morkel
I wrote this article for, a genealogy website of family founders at the Cape of Good Hope.   It is a good introduction to Philip Morkel who arrived at the Cape from Germany in 1708.   All Morkels in South Africa are descended from Philip.

 MORKEL Book video. Daniel and Sarel (Kleinjan) at Die Bos

270 years at Die Bos, 22 Dec 1983
Nasate van “Hennie Bos” (H.J.L. Morkel 1854 – 1926) vier 270 jaar van die familie op Die Bos (voorheen Onverwacht).  Hier is 6 videos van die saamtrek: (1) Die Bos – plaas, huis en fotos van voorvaders, (2 en 3) Die gaste daag op, (4) Seremoniemeester Charles Morkel verwelkom gaste, (5) Hanna Morkel, agste geslag eienaar, (6) Nic De Villiers, oudste kleinkind van Hennie Bos.
Six videos of a family gathering at Die Bos in 1983.

Searching for Philip Morkel In 17th Century Germany
Philip Morkel at the Cape is fairly well documented but we  know almost nothing about his earlier life in Germany.   This is an account of our search.

Deep Ancestry
y-DNA tests show Morkels are haplogroup I1, of the “native sons of Europe”.  We were hunting bison, reindeer and mammoth in the paleolithic  and mesolithic periods and endured global freezing.

Philip Morkel & Maria Bibou Inventory 1713
Na die oorlye van Maria Bibou in 1713 was hierdie boedelinventaris opgetrek.   ‘n Interessante kykie in die huishouding van daardie tyd.    Die huis en vyf slawe was die hoofbates.
The inventory of Philip’s estate after the death of his first wife Maria Bibou in 1713.

The Estate of Willem Morkel 1718 – 1788
The inventory of Willem’s estate shows a man of means.  He left seven farms to his four sons.   Some of the furniture items mentioned are still at Die Bos.
Die volledige inventaris van Willem se boedel is hier – in die oorspronklike Hollands.  Soos met Philip and Maria Bibou se inventaris, gee dit verder insae in die lewe van ons voorouers.

Die Bos Altena Morkel Ancestors Thumbnails
Short cameos of each of the first seven generations of  Die Bos – Altena ancestors with signatures and photos where available.

Dan and Kitty Morkel Pt I Mainly Dan
This is about my  parents.  The first part is mainly about Dan, a remarkable man and leader in the community.  His epitaph “Hy het geleef om te dien” – he lived to serve, reflects on his active life as father and citizen.

Dan and Kitty Morkel Pt II Mainly Kitty 2
My mother Kitty was widowed at an early age and carried on with the farm, raising her four sons and active leadership in the community.  A remarkable lady.

V oorburg Morkels Pt 1
Third generation Willem Morkel farmed at Voorburg next to Onverwacht.   This is the first part of this branch of the family.  It also tells of Pieter Loret Morkel, butcher  of  Zonnebloem, Cape Town.  There is also a story of how one  of his daughters was sadly murdered by her husband.

The Voorburg Morkels  Pt 2
This second part tells of the family in Transvaal.    Hendrik Johannes Morkel who help establish the first township on the goldfields of Johannesburg, and his brother Willem Morkel, the first butcher there.    Willem’s sons included Rugby Springboks Sommie and Dougie Morkel, and our story uncovers three brothers missing from the family Genealogy.  The two parts were formerly listed as “The Missing Brothers of Sommie and Dougie”.

Rhodesia Pt 1 – Arthur Loreht Morkel
The first of three articles about Ron Morkel’s family. In his book Rhodesia. Beginning to End, he described how his grandfather Arthur took six months, fighting swollen rivers and bouts of malaria, to reach Salisbury in 1891.  He overcame many hardships to establish a prime farm, Ceres near Shamva and also two successful small gold mines.  A fascinating insight into the early years of Rhodesia and the story of a remarkable pioneer.

Rhodesia Pt 2 – Clifford Earle Morkel
More from Ron Morkel’s book.  Cliff attended St Andrew’s college in Grahamstown and was barely back in Rhodesia when his father Arthur posted him for 5 years at an isolated and desolate gold mine near the Mocambique border.  He served in Abyssinia and Kenya during World War II and on his return established Mazuri cattle ranch, near Que Que. He nurtured the wild life on the ranch, including a magnificent herd of sable antelope.   

Rhodesia Pt 3 – Ronald Norman Morkel
In the third part from his book we meet the author, Ron Morkel.  After attending St Andrew’s he managed Mazuri Ranch and after his father Cliff passed away, became its owner. He spent 14 years as a part time soldier fighting Mugabe’s terrorists. In addition to running the cattle ranch he also supplied the chrome mine bordering his ranch with timber, meat and groceries. Later he and neighbours hosted carefully selected trophy hunters on the farm, as part of a carefully managed wild life project.  By 1978 it was obvious that there was no future in Rhodesia and he left the magnificent ranch behind, taking only $2,000 they were allowed.   The family first went to Ireland, his wife’s home country, and later to the US.     

Morgenster Morkels.Pt1
Fourth generation Willem Morkel 1803 – 1876, son of Daniel Johannes Morkel and Maria Dorothea Louw is described in the family Genealogy as “Capitalist, Resident at Morgenster“.  The first medical doctor, Willem Morkel had the largest wagon in the old Cape Colony, for trekking into the interior.  Family living in Fouriesburg, O.F.S. at Mount Morkel, and p.j.g. Morkel of Oatlands are also in Part 1.   We follow some of the other descendants in Patrts 2,3,4, and 5 in this series.

Morgenster Morkels.Pt2
Mrs Alexander van der Byl, née Morkel was renowned for her elegant style and hospitality at Morgenster.  They were the “royal” Morkels.   Some good anecdotes to tell.

Morgenster Morkels.  Pt3.
 William  (Dooley Morkel), gifted sportsman in rugby and cricket, was the main stay the Bellville Cricket Club.  His son Denys played international cricket and eventually settled in the UK, while another son, Ray played first class cricket.  Son Frank moved to Rhodesia.  One of his sons, vet Pete Morkel, is active with the rescue and preservation of wildlife against poaching.  See photos of Pete tranquilising and tending Rhino in Zambia, Giant Sable  in Angola, and elephant in Congo and Chad.  The articles can be found under “Morkel Family Stories” on this website.

 Morgenster Morkels. Pt4
Paul Andries (P.A.) organised the Blantyre “Fighting Chamber of Commerce”, a paramilitary group actively supporting the British forces north of the Limpopo. Later he was the Mayor of Middelburg in Transvaal and won competitions for the quality of his horses.  His brother Dan Morkel was involved with establishing the telegraph line through the wilds of Africa in Rhodesia and rescued Ernest Brockman from a man-eater lion.  Read about this amazing story of derring-do.

Morgenster Morkels Pt5
This part of the branch farmed at Rome, between Morgenster and Onverwacht. Sgt. Ralph Morkel and his brother John were active in the British forces in Bechuanaland and Rhodesia.  There was also a cousin Lt Col Ralph Morkel who also served in WWI.

Beaufort West Morkels. Pt1 Origins Linking
Although most of this branch of the family have lived in the Cape Peninsula and elsewhere since the 1950s, they were originally from Beaufort West.  Of mixed race, they include Rev. I.D. Morkel (see Pt 3,)  and Gerald Morkel, former Mayor of Cape Town and former Premier of Western Cape.  In our pioneering study we are able establish the link with the broader Morkel Genealogy.

Beaufort West Morkels. Pt2 Family Line
The family line for the Beaufort West Morkels

Beaufort West Morkels. Pt3 Rev ID Morkel Church Founder and Activist
Reverend I.D. Morkel broke with the Dutch Reformed Mission Church in 1950 when they declined to support his opposition to apartheid laws.   His Calvin Protestant Church attracted members of mixed race.   I.D. Morkel spoke out against moral decline, alcohol abuse within his flock as well as restrictive government regulations with equal vigour.

 Beaufort West Morkels. Pt4  Profiles of Samuel and Dolphina’s Children
Photos and profiles of this family.

 Beaufort West Morkels. Pt5 Margaret Lodewyk neé Morkel
Margaret Lodewyk was a daughter of Samuel and Dolphina Morkel and inspired her daughter Margaret Thebus to undertake the research into the Beaufort West Morkels. A tribute to a remarkable and caring lady.

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