Morkel Wives

Girls Next Door
The Morkel men did not go far for wives and tended to marry the “girls next door”.

Stamvader Philip Morkel married Maria Biebouw within a weeks of arriving at the Cape.  They had one daughter, Elisbabeth.  Maria died in 1713.

The Formidable Pasman Ladies
Stamouer Philip Morkel’s second wife was Catharina Pasman.   We tell her story, as well as for her mother, Sophia Pasman, “tough as old boots” and sister Sibella.

Our French Connection – The Huguenots
Several Morkel wives (Retief, Theron, Malan) were descended from Huguenots who fled France during the 1680s to escape religious persecution.

The Malans
The Malan family lived on the lovely farm Morgenster.   They were neighbours and interlinked by marriage.

The Louws  is one of the oldest Afrikaans families in South Africa.  Stamouer Jan Pieterzoon Louw arrived at the Cape  in 1659 and was a rare vryburger who made a success of farming.    His grandson married Elizabeth Morkel, daughter of our stamouer Philip Morkel and his first wfie Maria Biebouw.    Thereafter there were several marriages between the two clans.

The first Myburgh owner of the iconic Myburgh farm Meerlust married the daughter of stamouer Philip Morkel and Sophia Pasman.   There were several connections between the two families.  My grandmother was Helena Catharina Myburgh from Parel Vallei.

Marthinus Wilhelmus Theunissen of Vergelegen, “The Hero of Blaauwberg” teamed up with three Morkel brothers to establish the town and church of Somerset West.  His daugther Catharina Jacoba married Hendrik Johannes Morkel and was my great great grandmother.

The Theron Family
My mother Kitty’s family.  Huguenot Jacques Therond fled from France in 1688.   Read a moving 1719  letter from his father who stayed behind in France.

Retief pt 1
The first five generations at Welvanpas of the family of my wife, Barbara Retief.

Retief Pt 2
Barbara’s family in Transvaal.  6th generation on, with family photos..

Searching for Francois Retif in France
Charl Retief Morkel and his wife Valerie who is from the Loire/Cher region in France where Huguenot François Retif came from in the 1680s, found interesting traces of him in the Blois (capital of the Loire/Cher region) archives.

 Retief DNA Deep Ancestry
The DNA analysis for Hans Retief, Barbara’s brother, shows that the South African Retief males are haplogroup R1b, the most common in European populations, with 52% in France.  They expanded throughout Europe after the last glacial maximum, 10 to 12 thousand years ago.  The maternal mtDNA is haplogroup H, again the most common in Europe.   This group started about 20,000 years ago in the Dordogne region of southwest France (famous for the Lascaux cave paintings).    The Morkel deep ancestry is also shown on our website under “Morkel Ancestors”, with my (ATM) paternal y-DNA haplogroup I1 and maternal mtDNA haplogroup also H.

Krakeelhoek Pt1 Francois Retif the Huguenot
Chapter 1 of Helene Retief Lombard’s Chronicles of De Krakeelhoek.  It is a rich and wonderful account of stamouer Francois Retif, the Huguenot settling in at the Cape.  This and the other two chapters of the book are posted on our website with the permission of the author.   A CD of the book in two volumes can be obtained from the Genealogiese Vereniging van Suid-Afrika.

 Krakeelhoek Pt2. Francois Retief, son of the Huguenot
Chapter 2 of The Chronicles of De Krakeelhoek.  2nd Generation Francis Retief and his family.

Krakeelhoek Pt3. 3rd Generation Jacobus Retief at Welvanpas
The 3rd chapter of The Chronicles of De Krakeelhoek.   It tells of Jacobus and his family as well as a wonderful description and photos of the farm Welvanpas, the homestead and furniture.



  1. My daughter Kristen married a John Morkel now residing in Seattle. Ironically my mother was a Morkel as well. Lois Morkel.. They were a family of six..Babs ,Anton ,Thelma, Valerie Philip and Lois.

  2. Geoff Gladwin 13 May 2016 at 12:22 pm

    I am searching for my Morkel family….
    Rachel Jacoba Morkel married John Theodore Moll. He at the time was doing his Articles at Kroonstad under Mr. F.G. Hill, an attorney there. He had studied Law in Cape Town, & did his articles there… The family was started at Kroonstad, and my grandmother Gwendoline Edna Moll was born here in 1905. The family moved to Parijs in the Free State, were John stared his practice in 1906 as an attorney & later mayor. 1910 – 1914.
    Rachel died at a young age as I found her grave in the cemetery 20/07/1920.
    John also died young in 1927 his records at the Bloemfontein Archives refers to his wife name only.
    No record anywhere for Rachel Jacoba Moll, b Morkel.
    I searched recently in the Kaapse geslag registers “Morkel” – nothing.
    Naairs has no records of her.
    Gwendoline Moll married Hendricus Josephus van Driessel, a merchant in Bloemfontein.
    They had 2 children : Myra Veronica van Driessel (my mom) 30/06/1932 & Hugh Desmond van Driessel 14/10/1934. Gwen passed away 25/10/1934 in Tempe hospital Bloemfontein. Her death notice confirms the above information .
    I do know that a Mr. H. Morkel resided in Kroonstad at the time, being on the town council at Kroonstad.
    I found a grave for Myra Morkel 1908 aged 4 daughter of H & M Morkel. so possibly H is Hercules Morkel, and she in his family….?
    I found Mrs. H.J. Morkel owning a boarding house in Kroonstad around 1915.
    I found L.P.D. Morkel, a market agent in Kroonstad around 1915.
    Please assist me with the above, so I can complete my tree.

  3. Dear Geoff,

    I looked through my database but unfortunately could not locate Rachel Jacoba Morkel. There were several Morkels in Kroonstad before and after 1900 as your research shows. This is a branch of the family I have very limited information about and I found your research most interesting. Sorry I cannot help more.
    André Morkel

  4. Dear Leon Greeff,
    Many thanks for the info. Would you be able to give some more info about your mum’s family. e.g. her parents etc. Feel free to contact me on
    André Morkel

  5. I am interested in the sixth generation Hendrik Johannes MORKEL (1842-1902) who was married to Wilhelmina MOLL
    How many children did they have? Names and spouses?. In the article The Voorburg Morkels Part 2 reference is made of his 7 children all born in Kroonstad between 1864 and 1874, while later on in the same article reference is made to eleven children. His Death Notice in 1902 lists only nine children. (VAB MHG M2043 and TAB MHG 1589)

    Another uncertainty is his Date of Birth. The Voorburg article gives it 1842 and SAG Part M lists the date as 15 April 1842. According his date of death (12 Nov 1902) and age at death (61 years and 7 months) he must have been born around April 1841 and NOT 1842. Was it 1841 or 1842?

    Eddie Otte

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