Yesterday I tackled Kromdraai. For those that are unaware of where it is, it’s about 10 kilos past Krugersdorp heading towards Sterkfontein Caves and Maropeng. There were 4 cemeteries on my list, 3 of which probably were part of the same farm, and which were now situated on different farms. It is a sad state of affairs though because the location of many of these farm cemeteries is not known, and they eventually get lost completely.
As usual, GPS and I headed out to the area and GPS took me on the wrong road. However, that wrong road may provide a clue to my missing Trooper Black from the Jameson Raid, as I found yet another mine in that area, as well as the gurgling Blaauwbank stream. Its worth returning there though, I am sure I may just find something.
First on my list was Kromdraai 1 which is really only 3 headstones, one of which is toppled. They are visible from the road, but access is impossible as the property where they are is locked. Surnames associated with these graves are Redelinghuys and Bean.
Kromdraai 2 was about 5 kilos away and sat on the edge of a ploughed field. I thought it ironic that this small cem with 5 headstones in it was now really an intrusion on the current work on the farm. In its day it was probably a different thing altogether, the cemetery would have been apart from the main house but not quite “in the lands”
There were a further 2 graves with toppled headstones in an adjacent field. Were they part of the original family? did a subdivision create this anomaly? the only clue I got was that one headstone base had “Henning” on it. Maybe we will find the answer one day. Unless we can get these stones righted the identities of these people may be lost forever. I have heard that cows may be to blame, apparently they like to rub themselves on the gravestones.
Just 2 farms down was a Grobler family plot, with 8 headstones in it. This was one of the better maintained farm cemeteries that I have seen in my travels, often they are just a few markers in a patch of grass.
Last on my list was a place called Danieelrus which is really a game farm not too far from where I was. Unfortunately I could not find anybody to assist me in my quest, and after 2 kilos of sand roads I really wanted to find these graves. There is no real satisfaction in going to a spot and not being able to find anything. Lady luck was with me though, as I was reversing I spotted the cemetery and was able to record it. Most of the markers were those lovely grey slate ones with their very small intricate writing. 30 names are supposedly associated with this cem, and the dominant surname was Oosthuizen.
Then it was time to head home. It had been a productive day, and I had found most of what I was after as well as found one two graves we didn’t know about before. It is just a pity that none of the history of this area was recorded so that I could see how these graves tie into the dominant families in this area. The Olwazini graves are not that far off either, although the surnames there were mostly Louw. Neighbours? probably.
On my way home I shot two vanity shots just for fun… This is the area adjacent to where I was.
That was my first bit of gravehunting since I finished with the refrigeration course. And it was very satisfying.
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