Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr

Born:Sep 29 1835 In:  Kaapstad
Died:Sep 24 1923 (at age 87)In:  Riversdal
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Immediate family

Christina Jacoba Hofmeyr (born van Zyl)
His wife
William (Willie) Henry Hofmeyr
His son
Jacoba Isabella Hermina Koen (born Hofmeyr)
His daughter
Johannes (Jan) Tromp Hofmeyr
His son
Maria Adriana Oosthuizen (born Hofmeyr)
His daughter
Hon. Gysbert Reitz Hofmeyr, CMG
His son
Christina Jacoba van der Merwe (born Hofmeyr)
His daughter
Stephanus Johannes Hofmeyr
His son
Petrus (Pieter) Jacobus Hercules Hofmeyr
His son
Nicolaas Jacobus Hofmeyr
His son
Elizabeth Jeanetta van der Merwe (born Hofmeyr)
His daughter
Stephanus Johannes Hofmeijr
His father
Maria Adriana Hofmeijr (born Tromp)
His mother
Maria Wilhelmina Hofmeyr
His sister
Hester Sophia Hofmeyr
His sister
Maria Wilhelmina Wentzel (born Hofmeyr)
His sister
Johannes Tromp Hofmeyr
His brother
Dogter Hofmeyr
His sister
Seun Hofmeyr
His brother
Hester Sophia Siebritz (born Hofmeijr)
His sister
Hendrina Sophia Human (born Hofmeyr)
His sister
Margaretha Louisa Johanna Brink (born Hofmeyr)
His sister
Dogter Hofmeyr
His sister
Elizabeth Jeanette Hugo (born Hofmeyr)
His sister
Stephanus Nicolaas Servaas Hofmeyr
His brother
Seun Hofmeyr
His brother
  

Work

Boer en Veldkornet van die Riversdal-distrik

Biography

 

Jan fulfilled a dream popular amongst boys his age during the era of Twain and Kipling, he ran away to sea. As he told it he happened to be on the old pier just admiring the tall sailing ships when a

sailor called out to him. 'Hey sonny, would like to come on board and have a closer look?' He claimed that the next thing he remembered was waking up at sea to find that he was now a cabin Boy. That w

as unlikely, as he was known to be an energetic, enterprising lad, and a little pig headed beside. Only sixteen at the time, his time before the mast took him to the United States, the Far East, to Eu

rope, around the Horn twice and left him shipwrecked on an a South Sea island for a while.

 

It was four years before he saw his home and family again. As he approached the house his father chanced to gallop up on his horse. Stephanus threw the rains at him and said, 'here kid, please hold on

to these for a moment.' Then he turned and strode up the steps. Confused, and with his throat constricted by tears, Jan walked the horse around to the stables which knew were at the back of the house

. There his mother happened to be busy with washing. She however, as a mother would, recognized him immediately and took him inside for a plate of food

 

Initially his parents sent him to farm in the Transvaal. At a stage, in addition to his own farm, he held options on several other farms in the region, all bought at two pounds apiece. This land would

later develop into one of the richest goldfields in the world but no one knew of it back them. Instead he chose to sell up and come to farm in Riversdale where he met and married his wife, Christina

de Waal van Zyl, in 1859.

 

As he spoke English quite well he was an interpreter at several court cases during the Boer Was and, being field cornet, eventually a registrar at the special Tribunals Court between 1900 and 1902. De

spite the opportunities he'd missed he ultimately owned three farms in the district where, amongst other things, he became well known as a horse breeder. Two sons, Willie and Johannes, operated on one

of them, Melkhoudfontein, a farm that stretches to the sea and today includes a section of Stilbaai. Two others, Stephanus and Pieter, were eminent municipal officers, and Gys went on to become the A

dministrator of South West Africa. However in his later life Jan suffered a considerable setback. Despite, or possibly because of the exciting life he'd lead, he eventually got religious, and lost eve

rything.
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