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 The History of the Family Greeff of the Huckenbach
Geschichte der Familie Greeff aus der Huckenbach

Huckenbach Farm. (Source:
Huckenbach Farm today, in a photo by "gedawu" on Panoramio (
I sincerely regret that I have not been able to contact the photographer about this photo, and I hope that he will contact me please.

Prof Victor Bredt wrote a Greeff Family History that was published in Germany in 1941, during the war: Geschichte der Familie Greeff aus der Huckenbach. For nearly three quarters of a century this book was availaible to very few people, in German only. Now, for the first time, it is available in English. The translation will eventually appear in book form, in a joint venture between Francois Greeff in London, and Viljoen Greeff in Heidelberg, South Africa.

It is likely that most of you will have seen, on TV at least, the famous boat races between Oxford and Cambridge Universities. The sort of thing where you have a bunch of big burly fellows sweating and straining their guts out at the oars, and one little fellow in the stern of the boat, the cox, lolling back with the tiller in one hand. That is pretty much like the relationship between Francois and Viljoen, with Viljoen straining at the oar, and Francois lolling about at the tiller. In no way must the extremely hard work that Viljoen Greeff has done be underestimated. The entire Greeff clan owes him a great debt of gratitude.

The book will appear in three sections:
Part One: A copy of the original German text. HuckenbackBuch.pdf (10 Mb)
Part Two: A translation from German into English. HuckenbachEnglish.pdf (1 Mb)
Part Three: An update from 1941 to 2008.

Here is some of the raw data that must be processed to create Part three of the book:
Tables of American Data.pdf (365 Kb)
AmericanDocuments.pdf (6 Mb)
wwwFootnotedotcom.pdf (244 Kb)
The last file is a list of sources for the second file.

No part of this book has been completed yet. The photos and illustrations from the original must still be added to the new English text. All and any suggestions for improving any part of the work will be VERY welcome, and greatly appreciated. We count on the entire Greeff family to work together to make this venture a success.

Part three is currently being researched and will be written over the next year or two. The information in the original German book is being updated from 1941 to 2008, and we ask for everyone who has relevant information to help please. If you have any information about the family, or any member of it, and particularly pictures or documents linking to the family Greeff of the Huckenbach, please email it to me,  Francois Greeff, at: Please add any genealogical information you have as an attachment to your letter. Gedcom files are welcome too.

Information from the Greeff DNA project will also be used in Part Three of the book, to illustrate the relationship of the Huckenbach tribe to other branches of the Greeff family, particularly the American and South African branches.

The work that Victor Bredt and JP Werth did in the early twentieth century is remarkable for its astounding depth and scope. When reading this book, PLEASE NOTE THE BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION, which is full and rich and detailed. Let the biographies that Victor Bredt collected be an example to each of us, so that all of us might contribute just three or four biographies ourselves, for one of the main aims of the Greeff web site is to collect a short biography of every single Greeff who ever lived.

Viljoen and Francois extend their warmest thanks to Chris Greeff and Tiffany Smith Hunter of California, Elise Lindeque (born Greeff) in London, Joan Schneider (born Greeff) in Texas, Talon Greeff in Utah, Klaus Greeff and his brother Andreas in Switzerland, Alex Tsioulakis, Ute Greeff, Oliver Greeff, and Michael Stockhausen, all of Germany. Each of them have contributed, in some way, to the creation of this book.


I sent the text of the translated book to Lee Greeff in pretoria, and she has used it to add the data from it into a family tree, where all of us can see people in a chart of ancestors or a chart of descendants. An Ahnentafel. I copy an email about her work:

From: francois Greeff []
Sent: 27 August 2008 18:29
Subject: Greeff German Family Tree. Lee Greeff.

Hi Lee,
I have just finished processing the Tree you sent me, and I am wonderfully impressed by the excellent work you have done. When I sent the tree to you in the first place there were 450 people on it. When you sent it back there were 901 people. But that is not all. The work you did also included redoing my work and updating it, and adding vital details like dates, places and notes. The new tree is an absolute pleasure to work with, and it is remarkably rich in information. I have added it to the Greeff Family web site, and now the whole family can look at your work:

Also try searching in the tree: “Greeff in Germany” at:

Thank you very much for all your hard and dilligent work.

Francois Greeff
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Please see: Greeff Saturday Squad if you want to help to build our family tree.