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081015 How Weird Is This

Updated: Mar 20, 2023

Another report from my time on the farm here in Heidelberg. On my 1st day I went for a walk down the dusty, red farm road leading up to the dwellings. I noticed the ruins of what I thought was a house but didn't investigate further. The following day on my walk I decided to go and check it out. I realised as I got closer that it was a graveyard...it was customary in the old days for farmers to bury their loved ones on the farm rather than schlep the body to the local cemetery (mostly because of distance, we have big farms here in South Africa). As I approached the 4 graves, my heart jumped in my chest – the name on 2 of the tombstones was “van den Heever” – my maiden name. I gasped!! It’s not a very common name such as Botha or van der Merwe or Smith and I understand that all van den Heevers are related, and that not too far. I checked the names and dates of death – 1932. That was WOW for me. Knowing that I was on the very farm where distant relatives lived and died was almost an epiphanic moment (alomost only because I am not sure of the family connection!).

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