2.3b MEJ van Heerden (Spouse 2)

Maria Elizabeth Jacoba Van Heerden

When I started researching the life of Hercules, I did not know that he got married more then once. After the Anglo Boer war, Hercules moved to the Marico area, nothing is known about his experiences here.

His first wife Cecilia Thereblanche died on the 29 th of May 1909 due to influenza at Kafferskraal, Marico. She was only 31 years old.According to stories told by family members, he battled to process her death. He left his children with neighbours and took to the road.

I battled to find his second wife, one evening searching on the internet I found a reference in the Transvaal archives. I was not sure that this was the second wife of my grandfather. Tinkie de Lange (friend and part of the Richards bay geneology club) was so kind to transcribe this for me in the Pretoria Archives.

From this death certificate I established the following:

  • Maria Jacoba Elizabeth van Heerden was born born in Philipolis in 1873
  • Her Father was Johannes Petrus van Heerden staying at the time of her death at Kameelfontein diggings in the Pretoria District. He was a digger.
  • Her mothers names are Maria Jacoba Elizabeth (No surname available)
  • She was 45 years 6 months old at the year of her death.
  • She died on the farm Heuningkrantz in the district Wolmaranstad.
  • Her first husband was Sarel van Heerden:
  • Died in July 1915
  • They had 9 children together
  • Names of her children were:
    • Sarel Jacobus van Heerden – adult
    • Johannes Petrus van Heerden – adult
    • Maria Jacoba van Heerden married to JH Coetzer adult
    • David Jacobus van Heerden
    • Andrina Catharina van Heerden
    • Anna Sophia van Heerden
    • Gabriel Andries van Heerden
    • Anna Maria van Heerden
    • Lozia Christina van Heerden
    • Maria jacoba van Heerden

Maria Jacoba Elizabeth van Heerden got married for the second time to Hercules Jacobus McCarthy. They got married in Bloemhof. I must make an assumption here that she married my great grandfather in the period 1915 to 1916. This is six to seven years after the death of his first wife. They stayed on the farm Heuningkrantz (Doringkrantz according to my Uncle James) in the district of Wolmaranstad. Hercules had no children with Maria. They could not have been married for more then two years. She died on the 20 September 1918 on the farm Heuningkrantz.

Hercules Jacobus inherited her farm. His signature appear on her death Notice dated the 22 nd August 1920. On the 19 th October 1918 Hercules signed a inventory of the movable property belonging to Maria. The movable property came to a value of 300 pound. This document was prepared by his attorney a Mr M Boshoff.

On the 8 th November 1918 Hercules had his attorney wrote a letter to the Master of the Supreme Court. In it he state that he had previously written to the Master explaining his dilemma that he and his wife had no will drawn up and were married in community of property. This would force Hercules to sell the estate to pay out the childrens share (her and her first husband’s children). He did not want to sell the property. Hercules proposed that he will evaluate the estate through two outsiders.( C Riechard & JJ Hoffman) He will then pay the cildren of age out their share. The minors share will be paid out when they come of age. He will look after them till they come of age. If the Master forces him to sell the estate, he will not look after them as they were not really his bloodline. He would not be able to support them if he had to sell off half of the property. The children being then orphans could go and stay with their Van Heerden grandfather.

On the 19 th of may 1919 Hercules signed the estate papers of his late wife Maria. It included an inventory of her estate, claims against her estate and the distribution of the available funds. He signed the document in Makwassie and gave Jean Etienne de Villers his attorney full power to liquidate Maria`s estate. On the 7 november 1919 a sum of 38 pound was paid over for the children into the estate. This document also refers to a payment that was made previously. On 20 October a sum of 19 Pound 3 sjillings was paid over to the minors of Maria van Heerden.

On the 25 January 1924 Hercules signed a document stating that his minor children did not object to him getting married again. This was six years after Maria`s death. 

(Update 3/04/2012)

We decided to visit my mother in law in Fochville on the 31 March 2012. I drove through on the Monday 2 April 2012 to my Aunt Lettie Swaters in Makwassie. I asked her assistance to  locate the farm Heuningkrantz that Maria and her husband Hercules stayed on. We
drove to Wolmaranstad and got great assistance from the borough. I could not  believe it. Their map of the local farms still had Heuningkrantz on it. My aunt Lettie knew  the road. On the way 30 km out of Makwassie we stopped at a little store. I
asked the owner for directions. He assisted us and explained he was new in the  area. He directed us to a local farmer Servaas van Heerden . Servaas was a resident in the area for many many years. 
Lettie knew Servaas from  church.

I introduced myself to Servaas and explained that I did family research.  I was looking for the farm Heuningkrantz and looking for more information on Maria van Heerden.  Servaas then remembered that  he saw a grave 25 years ago on the farm. I was excited and asked if we can go  and look for the grave. Servaas told me not to be too excited. The grave could  be demolished or weathered.

He explained that the farm  Heuningkrantz belonged to his son. He drove me to the farm. We started searching. Servaas tried a second time and directed me to a cluster of trees and shrubs.  After clearing some shrubs away, we found the grave totally intact.

What a humbling experience. Here I was standing 95 year later at the grave of my great grandfather’s second  wife. The inscriptions on the headstone validated a lot of information. The inscription read:

Ter nagedagtenis aan my geliefd eggenote

Maria Jacoba Elizabeth McCarthy

Geb. van Heerden

Geb. 6 Maart 1873

Overl. 20 September 1918

Siekbet van 7 dagen

Servaas then showed me the remnants of the house. The house was built in a cluster of trees. Today you can only see  the foundation. Hercules and Maria planted trees and even a row of Pomegranates (No evidence left but Servaas still saw it years ago).

The road to Burgersfort went past their house. Servaas took me to the bridge that was built over the Vaal River.  The bridge is not used currently. It is a beautiful farm situated against the Vaal River.

A Monument was erected on the  farm in memory of general Beyers that died (apparently drowned) on this farm. There
are also graves of soldiers on the farm. (No names and not verified)

Historical Timeline:

  • 1870 – (3) Hercules Jacobus MCCARTHY was born on 28 Mar 1870.
  • He was christened on 12 Jun 1870 in Humansdorp.
  • 1873 – Maria Jacoba Elizabeth van Heerden born in Philipolis.
  • 1909 – Susanna CSE Tereblanche first wife of Hercules McCarthy died
  • from flue at Kafferskraal, Marico. She was 31 years old.
  • 1915 – Maria van Heerdens first husband Sarel van Heerden died.
  • 1918 – Hercules second wife Maria Jacoba Elizabeth McCarthy died on 20 September 1918 on the farm Heuningkrantz Wolmaranstad district at the age of 45. He signed her estate document to
  • approve it as the executor of the estate at Bloemhof. On the 8 th November Hercules signed a document with his attorney stating that he did not want to sell the property inherited from
  • his wife. He would pay out the children of age and wouldl pay the minors when they come of age.
  • 1919 – Hercules signed and gave the attorneys the authority to liquidate the estate of his wife Maria`s esttate. The document was signed in Makwassie.
  • 1920 – Hercules Jacobus inherited Maria JE Venters farm. His signature appears on her death Notice dated the 22 nd August 1920


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