Durban Cemeteries and Graveyards

posted in: Hint 54

 

I am sure that many who read FAD are interested in family who lived in Durban and have passed on.  Some years ago I befriended someone who was very into genealogy and with my wife being of Mack stock, original Isipingo pioneers, I became interested in the Mack family history. It became rather interesting because Dick King resided in Isipingo so it tied in with my interest in Durban.

I was later informed by my genealogy friend of an ongoing national project to photograph gravestones for a permanent record. Perhaps the general dereliction and disregard for cemeteries today was a driver for this massive project.

For information then, if you are interested where your family is buried, here is a simple guide how to access the information.

  1. Go the society’s website
  2. The site comes up and you click on the heading South African Gravestones
  3. The eGSSA library site comes up and you click on the KZN map.
  4. Select KZN Durban Urban area  which includes West St and and Stellawood Cemeteries amongst others.   Clicking on the cemetery usually brings up the names in alphabetical order. Remember most cemeteries are not  yet 100% photographed. This project is ongoing and being done by volunteers. If you have decent photographs of gravestones and you want to submit them there is a “Contact us” route on the eGSSA website.

The first white child to be buried in Durban, Julia Gardiner, daughter of Allen Francis Gardiner is buried in the little cemetery off Ridge Road and has been recorded.  In discussion with a local minister I was informed that a cemetery within church grounds is called a graveyard,  otherwise it is a cemetery.

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54 Responses

  1. Peter
    | Reply

    I suppose that Mack Road in the Isipingo Rail area is named after that family ?
    I know it well as there are many factories there that I used to visit in the
    days that I was a shipping rep for Safmarine, 1984 – 1994.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Quite right Peter. The Mack property ran from the top of the hill all the way down to the old Isipingo railway line and beyond to the sea. I have studied the Mack history to some extent, the old family never kept any records but from reading history books, Isipingo was presented to Dick King by the Durban community in recognition of his ride to Grahamstown in 1842 to lift the siege of Durban by the Boers. Robert Gazley Mack (44) came to Port Natal in 1850 as a Byrne Settler in the ship Henrietta, along with one son James (17) . He was allocated land in the Byrne Valley, did not like it, so returned to Durban. He met up with Dick King, bought land off him and then in 1852 was caught up with then novel idea of growing sugar cane. He was one of the pioneers of this industry. Robert Mack’s wife, Lucy and other small children came out to Natal in 1854. His grandson Harry Mack was the last to farm the property, supervising it till the age of 95! He died aged 100 in 1968. The whole area was declared Indian under the Group Areas Act of the 1960s and had to be sold. The Mack graves are at the old Isipingo Cemetery. An interesting fact I found out later is that very late in Dick King’s life, the people of Durban had thoughts that perhaps they had not compensated Dick King enough for his epic ride. A farm in the Ixopo area was bought for him but he died and it was presented to him posthumously. The farm was called King’s Grant. The farm was later bought by the Catholic Mariannhill congregation and became a Mission. The Mission eventually closed and today still exists as an exclusive B&B / retreat. I have been there and it is an interesting place to visit. That is just a short synopsis of one facet of Durban’s interesting history.

    • Peter
      |

      Hi Gerald,
      gee there’s a lot of history there and much appreciated.
      Yes I remember when Isipingo Rail, Beach, was declared Indian –
      there was a massive scramble to buy properties.Later on
      Isipingo Hills township was opened . I used to frequent the Isipingo
      Island Hotel in the 70’s growing up in Durban as there were weekend dances there and my band sometimes played the gig.
      I had quite a few clients in that area, including Prospecton, so the Island Hotel was the ideal place to take clients for a bite -the curries were excellent as I remember.

    • Paul Brink
      |

      Hi Gerald
      I am preparing and Environmental Impact Assessment in the area and stumbled across the Dick King cemetary. Firstly, may I quote your reference to the Dick King and Mack land ownership history (or can you direct me to books /reference material) The history is periferal to my study but interesting nonetheless. Secondly, I was interested to see the graveyard had been separated into distinct pockets for various religons – Christians, then Jews, Muslims, then a pocket for paupers with (or black folk?) no tombstone again a section for Christians and a lone Hindu gavestone at the far end. ~ paul

    • Kirsten Mack
      |

      My grampybear is Cyril Gazely Mack, I’m sure you already know but Gazley has been past down to each generation and it is my fathers second name too.

    • Kirsten Mack
      |

      Hi I am part of the family that had the road named after them just thought I’d add info. Majority of the Mack family still lives in natal and we have now gotten a proper family tree and history site up and running.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Kirsten
      Can you indicate what the name of the Mack Family Tree site is? I am sure there are quite a few people who would be interested to see what has been collated. What is your father’s name as I have come across Cyril before?

    • Kirsten Mack
      |

      Hi we do have a family tree, I will send the link through soon, my fathers name is Wayne Gazley Mack and yes Cyril is my grandfather

    • Kirsten Mack
      |

      Here is the site

  2. John Taylor
    | Reply

    I followed the instructions, and lo and behold, there was a photograph of my uncle Samuel Taylor’s grave in Stellawood Cemetery. He was shot and killed in 1949 at age 32; a veteran of the SA Armoured Car Division in North Africa in WWII, he attempted to apprehend an armed robber at Congella Station where he was employed, and died for his trouble.

  3. Elizabeth Gazley Bowen
    | Reply

    As a descendant of the Isipingo Macks I was facinated by your comments. I now live in Australia and I am just starting to try and work out the family tree. My maternal grandfather (Cecil Ainsley Mack) had told me the story of Robert Gazley Mack and the Dick King connection. Cecil left SA and returned to the UK where he was involved in ww1 and where my mother was born. He only returned to SA sometime after ww2 but to Johannesburg. I believe he had no further contact with his family but I don’t know why. I am told his father was Richard Mack and his mother Catherine. I am thrilled to find there are some Mack tombstones that have been photographed and available on line.

    • derek austin
      |

      Elizabeth interested to see you are related to the Mack family. From 1985-1996 I worked with a Bobby Mack at Umlazi Technical College and he lived in some flats in Toti. I wonder if he was a relation to the Mack family in Isipingo?I too now live in Australia.

    • warren mack
      |

      hi elizabeth , I believe I am a descendant of the mack family . i grew up in Durban , my gradfather is billy mack (graham) . often grew up hearing stories of a farm in isipingo .

  4. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Warren
    Yes you are an Isipingo Mack descendant. Your great grand father Arthur and my wife’s mother Vera were brother and sister. My wife’s name is Barrie (nee Black) and if you mention it to your grandfather or his brother Michael I am sure they will remember her. I have communicated with Elizabeth and she is descended from another Mack branch which is rather distant. It relates back to the children of Robert Gazley Mack and his wife Lucy Laxen. They had 6 children. Elizabeth’s branch is from the first child whilst your branch is the 4th child, James Gazley Mack. Robert Gazley Mack by the way was the original Byrne immigrant along with his son, James (your branch). They did not take up their option in Byrne but returned to Port Natal where Robert Gazley Mack bought some land off Dick King and that was the start of “the farm in Isipingo”. He was a Natal sugar pioneer and is buried at Isipingo. There is now a Mack Road in Isipingo to remember him; the road marks the boundary of the original farm.

    • warren mack
      |

      wow gerald thanks for that , its fascinating ! could i be a bother and ask if you could email me as much as you know ? trying to piece this all together . im living in New Zealand now so dont get a chance to chat to grandparents about it all .

      warrenid2580@gmail.com

    • Teresa Mack
      |

      Hi Gerald, and anyone else out there that can help me
      My husband is a decendant of Arthur Laxon Mack, son of Arthur Gazley Mack, son of James Gazley Mack, son of Robert Gazley Mack, son of John and Hannah Mack (nee Gazley). This is as far as I have managed to get. I note by your post on the 16 June that your wife’s relative Vera, was a sister of Arthur. I cannot seem to find a Vera on our tree.
      Please could you assist me with the above and more particularly I am searching for photos of the Macks in this line. I would really appreciate it if you could email me and information you have.
      Thank you, Teresa, QLD Australia
      gatmack@gmail.com

    • Michelle Lyn Watson
      |

      Hi Teresa and anyone who can help me. I am the great granddaughter of the late Harry Mack who died 3 weeks after his 100 birthday. I have a photo of his picture with his family on his 100th birthday. My name is Michelle Lyn Watson ( nee Lawson). My granddad was his son Chrisopher Gazley Mack who was brother to Vera Black (née Mack) who was married to Archibold Black. My grandad who was known to everyone as Gazley Mack was married for over 50 odd years to my granny Lillian Glazebrook from Kimberley. They had 2 daughters named Jean Williams (née Mack) and my mom Lynnette Eileen Lawson (née Mack) know to everyone as just Lyn. Both Jean and my mom Lyn, daughters of Christopher Gazley and Lillian Mack (née Glazebrook) have both subsequently passed away. I would love to find out more information about my heritage as I have been told many stories of the the Mack family owning the sugar cane farm in Isapingo as well as the cemetery where some of the family where buried. Please contact me with any further information. Kind regards Michelle.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Michelle,
      Gerald here, Barrie’s (nee Black) husband. Cannot remember the last time we were altogether at the Blacks in Willowvale Road. Your late Mom and Dad, yourself and brother Andrew would always visit them when in Durban from Johannesburg. I will contact you via email as I have accumulated quite a bit of Mack family history that you ask for.

    • Teresa Mack
      |

      Hi Michelle
      I received your message re the Mack family history. Do you have an email address I can reply to.
      Teresa

    • Teresa Mack
      |

      Hi Teresa
      I am so sincerely sorry about the way to long reply to your request. So much has been going on, I had to leave this on the back burner for a while. I would love to hear more from you and just to let you know, just today I chatted to Gerald and I will be seeing him and his wife Barrie (Vera Black’s – née Vera Mack) in Umhalanga in July. I cannot wait to find out more about the family. I will most certainly send my email and hopefully we can compare notes. Gerald is going to give me all the info he has, as my Grandfather Christopher Gazley Mack and his sister Vera Black were extremely close and were the last living children of Harry Mack who died at the ripe old age of 100. Looking forward to hearing from you. Kind regards Michelle

    • Teresa Mack
      |

      Hi Teresa I hope you received my email. If not please contact me on m.watson@mweb.co.za. Kind regards Michelle

    • Teresa Mack
      |

      HI Michelle

      I have emailed you direct some info on the Mack family tree.
      Kind regards
      Teresa

    • kirsten
      |

      hi I’m Kirsten Mack and I am part of this Mack family and very proud

  5. dorothy
    | Reply

    Hello,i am trying to trace my biological mother who was born 9/5/1940. Her names are Gladys Margaret Pretorius and she used to live at Lot 58 Duffs Road Durban in 1940. Please if anyone knows how to help me trace her, all suggestions are welcome. Thank you and God Bless Regards Dorothy.

  6. Susan Simmonds
    | Reply

    Hi, I’m hoping that someone can help me find a grave. A relative of my husband died in Durban SA in 1896 of consumption, she was working as a barmaid at the time. She was born Nina Maud TULLOCH, her first married name was YATES and her last married name was FRIEDMAN. Her last husband Harry FRIEDMAN divorced her and married a Madeline Agnes WIRTH (of the circus fame), Harry died in 1929 in Hermanus, Western Cape Provence, and Madeline died in 1965 in Krugerdrop, SA. I hoping that someone can help me find Nina. Cheers, Sue Simmonds, Hunter Valley, NSW, Australia.

    • sue Ellen Lootzy
      |

      I just had a look through our records and found nothing,but I will keep looking for you I work at west street cemetery,hopefully I might be able to assist. It took me a year to locate a grave once,so you must know I don’t give up until I find what I am looking for.

    • Pearl
      |

      Hi Susan,

      I am a PhD student at the University of Newcastle NSW, performing as a Research Assistant for Dr Gillian Arrighi. I am currently tracing the life of Nina Tulloch from her years as a child star in Australia to her death in SA. Did you manage to find any more records for her at all?

      If there is any information you are able to give me I would be extremely grateful!

      Kind regards,

      Pearl Nunn
      PhD Candidate in History
      School of Humanities and Social Sciences
      Faculty of Education and Arts
      University of Newcastle, NSW

  7. Derek Austin
    | Reply

    If you type EGGSA into Google and enter you will see their website gives you the option of searching graves by name or by cemetery, I found a Harry Friedman died 12 th November 1929 age 46. Regards Derek.

  8. Susan Simmonds
    | Reply

    Hi Derek, thank you for that. I suspect that Nina was destitute when she died, would that make a difference to how she was buried? Regards, Susan.

  9. Susan Simmonds
    | Reply

    Hi again, I’ve had a look at EGGSA without success, what I’m assuming is that there is no headstone if the State buried her. The only relative? she would have had in SA was her ex-husband, Harry. Any further help would be greatly appreciated. Her only living relatives were her mother and a 14 year old daughter both living in Sydney, NSW. It would not have been possible, more not practicable, to transport her body back to Australia in those days, and there is no Death Certificate in Oz records. The only reference to her death is in the New Zealand newspapers. I could possibly search the SA newspapers if someone could tell me which was the Durban one. Regards, Susan.

  10. Derek Austin
    | Reply

    Susan can I suggest you register on Rootschat, it is free to join and use. It has a forum for South Africa. Put your request up there you will get a better response. I am on the forum, just look for pampoen, that’s me. Regards Derek.

  11. Susan Simmonds
    | Reply

    Thank you, will do. Regards Susan.

  12. Rose Baker
    | Reply

    re Nina Maud Tulloch: Susan, the South African Archives are online under the acronym NAAIRS. Your Nina’s divorce is recorded there, as follows:
    National Archives of South Africa (NASA)
    Database: All Archives Repositories and National Registers of non-public records
    NAAIRS – Result Details
    ——————————————————————————–
    Document 62 of 79
    DEPOT TAB
    SOURCE ZTPD
    TYPE LEER
    VOLUME_NO 5/357
    SYSTEM 01
    REFERENCE 2741/1894
    PART 1
    DESCRIPTION ILLIQUID CASE. DIVORCE. HERMAN FRIEDMAN VERSUS NINA MAUD (BORN TULLOCH).
    STARTING 18940000
    ENDING 18940000
    ———————————————————————————————-
    This is the only record for Nina. Her death was not recorded under Friedman. Nina may have second-married and her death would therefore be recorded with her new married name – or she died overseas – but her death was not recorded for some reason.
    Go onto the website (http://www.national.archsrch.gov.za) and give it a try – you may be luckier than me. There were a lot of people named Tulloch.
    Regards,
    Rose

  13. John
    | Reply

    Hi,
    I am trying to locate George Howard Davies who died 1939-1942 in Durban. I am told that he is buried in a cemetery on the way to Umbilo ( from what direction I do not know). Would anyone be able to give me a likely cemetery given that scant information?
    Regards,
    John

    • Allan Jackson
      |

      Hi John
      The most likely ones to my mind are the West Street Cemetary and Stellawood. Stellawood is the most likely because I know that there are lot of people from those years buried there including servicemen stationed at or passing through Durban. See the hints above for tracing grave sites.
      Cheers
      Allan

  14. Derek Austin
    | Reply

    Here is the link to Stellawood cemetery grave names for Davies http://www.eggsa.org/library/main.php?g2_itemId=1566673&g2_page=4 no George Howard.

    Regards Derek

    • Bianca Lawrence
      |

      Thank you so much for posting that link Derek. Found the grave of my grandfather Marcel de Wispelaere (who died when I was 6 months old in 1961).

  15. John
    | Reply

    Hi Derek & Allan,
    Many thanks for your advice, I will follow up on your suggestions and see what turns up.
    Regards, John

  16. Angie DeVill
    | Reply

    Hi
    I’m looking for Steven Jameson, he lived on the bluff and had a son and daughter. He died 2012. I can’t find any records on him. Except that he died of a heart attack and he lived at the Bluff, number 4 donelrdey road. Many thanks

    • Justin Reilander
      |

      Hello angie that’s my biological father. My name is Justin can we meet for coffee where are you situated thank you my email is justinreilander@Gmail.com

  17. lorraine
    | Reply

    Pl help I AM LOOKING FOR MY GRANDFATHER WHO IS ALFONSO LOUIS LE-BON HE WAS MARRIED TO ANNIE CRAIG THEY HAD THREE CHILDREN HE WORKED AS A GRAVE DIGGER BACK THE WHICH I AM NOT SURE IF IT WAS STELLWOOD OR DUDLEY ST BACK THEN PL HELP

    • Derek Austin
      |

      I found this on the National Archives NAAIRS
      DEPOT NAB
      SOURCE MSCE
      TYPE LEER
      VOLUME_NO 0
      SYSTEM 01
      REFERENCE 2321/1954
      PART 1
      DESCRIPTION LE BON, LIONEL. BORN IN DURBAN, NATAL. UNMARRIED. DECEASED ESTATE.
      STARTING 19540000
      ENDING 19550000
      REMARKS BOUND IN SEPARATE VOLUME.

      DEPOT NAB
      SOURCE MSCE
      TYPE LEER
      SYSTEM 01
      REFERENCE 3802/1961
      PART 1
      DESCRIPTION LE BON, ADRIANA ELIZABETH. BORN IN MAYFIELD, NATAL. PRSP LE BON,
      LOUIS. (DIED 1940) – ESTATE NOT REPORTED. DECEASED ESTATE.
      STARTING 19610000
      ENDING 19630000

      You can go to PMB to view the files you may find some info in the death notices.

    • Derek Austin
      |

      Go to this link to view the grave of Adriana http://www.eggsa.org/library/main.php?g2_itemId=2905267

  18. lee engelbrecht
    | Reply

    Hi I am form Gauteng down in Durban for the weekend. On a mission to find my father’s grave. They lived on the Bluff and passed on either in 1976 or 1977. I do not know which month. He was born on the 9th June. 1920 . His name was Willem Gerhardus Engelbrecht. Please can someone assist. I am going back to Gauteng on Tuesday. Many thanks

  19. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Lee
    As far as I know there is no cemetery that is still operational on the Bluff. If your father died 1976/77 more than likely he would have been buried or cremated he would have been interred at Stellawood which was operational then. Do a SEARCH on this site to direct you to Durban Cemeteries where you can see headstones on line.

  20. lee engelbrecht
    | Reply

    Hi Gerald,
    Thank you for a reply. I have been to the grave about five years after my father was buride, and I did see the thomb stone as I was taken there by my step mother. She was also buried there. It had a double tomb stone with their names on. But I was too young to take note which cemetry it was. I am going back to Jbg on tuesda, and going back . Without any knowledg.

  21. Cathryn Lindsley
    | Reply

    Good article. I certainly love this site. Stick with it!

  22. Antony Lewis
    | Reply

    Hello ! I have recently come across this interesting site and am wondering if any of the original Isipingo residents or visitors would have remembered my maternal Grandparents who apparently maintained a holiday home in Isipingo? My mother had many reminiscences about her holidays there. My grandfather’s name was Kelsey Elgie.

  23. Stevie Merryman
    | Reply

    Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you really understand what you’re talking approximately! Bookmarked. Kindly also seek advice from my site =). We could have a hyperlink alternate agreement between us

  24. Bettye Chan
    | Reply

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this onto a friend who had been doing a little research on this. And he in fact bought me breakfast because I discovered it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your web page.

    • Gerald Buttigieg
      |

      Hi Bettye
      Thanks for the compliment. I will accept the virtual chocolate.

  25. Gerald Buttigieg
    | Reply

    Hi Stevie
    I do not know your site so perhaps you could indicate a link. Anything to do with the FAD site proper you would have to contact Allan Jackson via the CONTACT US on the page header.

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