When I ordered a bunch of Boer War compensation claim files from the National Archives in Pretoria, South Africa, I never thought they would turn out to be the golden ticket!
Up until today, the only evidence I had to connect my family’s ancestors to the original van Pletzen immigrant to South Africa, Carel Johannes van Pletzen, was the Van Pletsen Saga itself. Today, however, that has changed. Thanks to the help of the Genealogical Society of South Africa, I received digital photos of several compensation claims filed by various van Pletzens after the Boer War. One of them was my great-great grandfather-in-law, Everhardus George Frederik (EGF) van Pletzen.
These files have a lot of fascinating information. Foremost, they contain detailed accounts of each individual’s experience in the Boer War. In EGF’s case, he didn’t fight with the commandoes because he was “an invalid.” It tells of his movement from the farm Gryskop in Zastron to the refugee camp at Aliwal North in May 1901. And it contains the witness testimony about his property loss claims of Susara Johanna Engelbrecht, who identifies…
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