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This is a work in progress. Research done by Mike Dredge linking Hendrik Petrus Smit P55087 - www.e-family.co.za/families/jan_smit/f11436.htm


        Hendrik Petrus Smit as a young man                                   Hendrik Petrus in later life 





            My Great Great Grandmother Catherine Dorothy Higgins who married                          
                        John Ollsson and then Hendrik Petrus Smit


Their daughter on her wedding day to my Great Grandfather (Catharina Maria Smit and William Edward Dredge).



I then have a picture of Hendrik Petrus Smit’s youngest daughter from his first marriage Aletta Sophia Smit. My Great Great Grandmother must have brought her up almost as her own daughter – not sure if there are any others, this is the only one marked, I do know there were ones of some of the children born of the first marriage to Ollsson as they are marked with Campbell, which was the eldest daughters married surname but unfortunately don’t know how they all fit in. The one who went up to Rhodesia married a Von Hirschberg and is linked to the SA ambassador to Japan and then the United Nations and South Africa’s representative to the International Atomic Energy Agency (not sure if it was a grandson or a nephew – still trying to work that one out due to the same names being used by different legs) – one of their sons was also something to do with the Belgium Embassy in Rhodesia. He matriculated from Graeme College in Grahamstown in 1915, not sure how he gets involved with Belgium given Von Hirschberg was German.




This is Hendrik Petrus Smit’s grave in Burgersdorp. Next to his tombstone is the tombstone of Sophia Wilhelmina Ollsson, my Great Great Grandmother’s first husband’s (John Ollsson – he was a master mason from Stockholm Sweden) first wife and next to that is her first husband’s tombstone as well as their baby daughter who died exactly one year old (Josephine Annie Ollsson B 18/11/1870 who died 18/11/1871).




        The following is all that is left of Catherine Dorothy Ollsson Smit’s grave in Kroonstad:




I think Hendrik’s dad had something to do with the Nederduits Gereformede Kerk as I have found minutes to their first meeting that mentions him.


Then when I was in Bloemfontein earlier last year I went to the War Museum and got a picture of Christoffel’s name on the war memorial:




My Gran is distantly related to Hendrik’s first wife as her Grandmother was a Botha – her line came off of Rudolph Phillipus’s line whilst Maria Sussanna came off of his brother Christoffel’s line whilst Louis Botha came from their brother Philip Rudolph’s line. Am busy trying to wade through this family tree to get my lineage right – it is quite a task as each generation and each line took on the same family names so ensuring you have the correct one in the right place is something. It would appear my line moved with the Voortrekkers to Winberg. Not sure how she got to know my Great Great Grandfather Batchelor who was in the military at Fort Beaufort.


If there is anything else you may want let me know as I have done extensive research into all the families in my family line so have a large repository of info that includes baptismal, marriage and death records to validate the info. I do have my Great Grandmother’s original baptismal record and probably her marriage certificate, fortunately my Great Aunt, who looked a lot like her grandfather Smit kept her mother’s papers and photos and gave them to my dad who then passed them on to me.



                             Above my Great Great grandmother Smit’s photo album.


This was one of her possessions I have in my home my sister has a magnificent rosewood jewel box that she owned. I have two silver spoons that belonged to her parents (Higgins), the one is very large and I have that in a cabinet at home. She was very well off as her first husband had lots of money –

my great grandmother always said she was born in Ireland and came out as a Kenaway girl.

The East London Museum said she was not on the list and based on her possessions she was not poor like the girls who came out to marry German settlers. I found she was born in Cape Town, still trying to find her baptism – her mother was Catherina Beyleveld so not sure if she would have been baptised in the Dutch Reformed Church or Anglican Church – her father was Irish. I am also yet to find her parents marriage –


I think Beyleveld’s father may have been a Cape silver smith as I have seen records where he had a daughter Catherina that would fit with my Beyleveld – that is an investigation I need to pick up on another day. I have never managed to get the Higgins family tree going back.


I somehow think her mother died after her daughter. I also haven’t found any siblings and there must have been.  

My great grandmother stuck to her Irish heritage, her jewellery was all shamrocks with emeralds. On her grave the shamrocks are also prominent. s was one of her possessions I have in my home my sister has a magnificent rosewood jewel box that she owned. I have two silver spoons that belonged to her parents (Higgins), the one is very large and I have that in a cabinet at home.


My Great Great Grandmothers records from her first marriage. You will see from the first record she had 4 sons, three died – I do not know whether these were from Ollsson or Smit – the boy who survived was Ollsson. Her daughter Carine was one of the first women to go to Rhodesia, she married Von Hirshberg and their daughter was the first girl to be born in Salisbury. She was given the honour on Pioneers day of raising the flag in Cecil Square.


Note: The links below will open documents related to Mike's research:  

1820 Settlers Note

Adriana Smit baptism 1                  Adriana Smit baptism 2           Adriana Tol Smit marriage

Aletta Sophia Smit death notice

Alewyn Smit baptism 1                  Alewyn Smit baptism 2


Updated: 22 April 2023