In SA Genealogies, the Greeff and Lategan entries reveal a remarkable number of complex marriages between the two families.
The table explained:
1. Hendrik Greeff married Beatrix Lategan and their children were thus half Greeff, half Lategan.
2. Three of their sons, 3 Greeff brothers, married three Lategan sisters. Johannes Hermanus Greeff married Anna Margaretha Lategan, Andries Albertus Greeff married Beatrix Aletta Lategan and Willem Hendrik Greeff married Elizabeth Helena Lategan. These marriages are all represented vertically in the table.
3. The three Lategan sisters were first cousins to their husbands. Their father, Andries Lategan, was the brother of Beatrix Lategan, the mother of the three grooms.
4. The eldest brother of the three grooms, Hendrik Greeff (b2c1d4e1), married 'into the family' by marrying a Greeff girl, Susanna Maria Greeff. The grandfathers of the bride and groom were brothers. (The four Greeff brothers appear in one row).
5. Hendrik and Susanna had a son, also Hendrik (b2c1d4e1f1), whose daughter married a Lategan. The bride's great grandmother and the groom's grandfather were sister and brother when Maria Catharina Greeff (a1b2c1d4e1f1g1) married Louis Lategan (b7c5d4). (The marriage is represented vertically)
6. Louis Lategan had a sister, Catharina Elizabeth Beatrix Lategan (b7c5d5) who married a Greeff groom. (Siblings adjacent, in one row) The bride and the groom had the same grandfather, Andries Lategan (b7). Catharina Elizabeth Beatrix Lategan married Andries Gabriel Greeff (Marriage vertically represented).
7. Andries Gabriel Greeff was the son of one of the three brothers who married three sisters. He was also a cousin once removed to Maria Catharina Greeff, his sister in law. (These cousins adjacent, in one row). He is the third generation Greeff in a row to marry a Lategan wife.
8. Louis Lategan and his sister, Catharina Elizabeth Beatrix Lategan, were the children of Jan Jacobus Lategan, who was a brother of the three brides. (Five Lategan siblings, in one row)
9. The three sisters had another brother, Hendrik Willem Lategan, whose son married a Greeff bride. (This line descends vertically)
10. The two brothers of the three sisters thus each had three Greeff brothers in law and a Greeff daughter in law.
11. A Greeff father, son and grandson each took a Lategan bride. These three marriages are represented vertically: Hendrik Greeff married Beatrix Lategan. Their son, Andries Albertus Greeff married his cousin, Beatrix Aletta Lategan. Their son, Andries Gabriel Greeff married his cousin, Catharina Elizabeth Beatrix Lategan. Each of the three brides had the name Beatrix.
The matter is further complicated. Andries Albertus Greeff may have married a cousin of two Lategan sisters instead of their sister. SAG lists two different girls, both Beatrix Aletta Lategan (b7c2 and b1c4), who are both recorded as marrying Andries Albertus Greeff at Swartland on 1 March 1801. The marriage certificate of Andries and Beatrix does not reveal which of the two cousins actually married Andries. The marriage certificate does not state the age of the bride, so the matter cannot be settled because of the five year age difference between the cousins. The witnesses who signed the register might have cleared the matter up, provided they were, for example, the parents of the bride. No witnesses signed the marriage register, which leaves the matter unresolved. This is all the marriage register shows:
In order to resolve the question regarding which of the two girls, Beatrix Aletta Lategan, actually married Andries Albertus Greeff the death notices of the girls' parents must be consulted. Daughters are often named in death notices, and very often by their married names. In this case one needs to check the death notices of these four people:
Jan Hendrik Lategan (b1), baptised 12 Sept 1745, x Maria Margaretha Louw on 11 April 1771.
Andries Lategan (b7) baptised 28 Feb 1756, x Maria Susanna Coetzer on 18 Feb 1781.
The inventories of the estates of Jan Hendrik Lategan and
his wife, Maria Margaretha Louw were available at http://databases.tanap.net/mooc/.
Reference no.: MOOC8/52.48a (http://databases.tanap.net/mooc)
The information from these two documents was compared to the Lategan data in SAG:
The estate documents of both parents make it fairly obvious that their daughter, Beatrix Aletta Lategan (b1c4), could not have married Andries Albertus Greeff because she had died before the date of the marriage, 1 March 1801.
It is thus clear that three sisters married three brothers, as set out in the table.
The descendants from these marriages seem not to have suffered. They include Seppie Greeff, 14 times mayor of Oudtshoorn and "Lid van die Provinsiale Raad", several attorneys and advocates (including at least one SC), also Kitty Greeff (now van der Linde) who wrote two books, and at least two medical doctors, Dr Oppel Greeff (later Prof Oppel Greeff), who is the creator of the Douw Greeff prize (awarded by the "Suid-Afrikaanse Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns"), and his son.
1. This is possibly the most complex set of intermarriages in South African history. If anyone has a better example, please email it to Greeff@Greeff.info.
2. The genealogical numbers used in the table indicate the person's position in his own family tree, as per SA Genealogies. Lategan is sometimes spelled Lategaan.
This article was published in Familia, the Quarterly Journal of the Genealogical Society of South Africa, Vol 44, 2007, Number 4. (1 December 2007).