Report on an archival investigation on the farm Wemmershuis 379 JT, Belfast


Archaetnos cc was requested by to exhume historical graves on the farm Wemmershuis 379 JT in the Belfast district, Mpumalanga as these are impacted upon by an upgrade of the R33 road. The human remains will be reinterred on the same farm, to another part of this semi-formal graveyard. It was also decided to erect a monument commemorating the people from these graves.

As most of the graves are unknown it was decided to conduct an archival investigation regarding the farm in order to obtain information on who these people may have been. Indications were that the graves belonged to white farmers as the only legible headstone is that of Johanna Marija Magdalena de Beer. This reports deals with the findings after a survey has been conducted in the Deeds Office in Pretoria, as well as the National Archives Repository in Pretoria.

A grave containing the human remains of possible British soldiers were also uncovered during the field work phase. Therefore information on the Anglo-Boer War in this area is included. As the remains of a coach house of the old coach route are found a few metres northeast of the graveyard, information in this regard is also included. In this way a more comprehensive history of the site could be established.

The farm Wemmershuis was established in 1887, but it seems to have been part of another farm, Berg-en-dal, which was established in 1862. Accordingly it has a long history of more than 100 years. The report gives an overview of the said history.

Report by

Dr. A.C. van Vollenhoven (L.Akad. S.A.) BA, BA (Hons), DTO, NDM, MA (UP), MA (US), DPhil (UP)