AN OUTLINE OF THE FIRST THREE GENERATIONS OF GAYBBAS & AN OFFER OF INFORMATION ABOUT SUBSEQUENT GENERATIONS AS WELL AS THE ANCESTORS OF JAMES GAYBBA'S WIFE
AN OUTLINE OF WHAT I KNOW OF THE FIRST THREE GENERATIONS OF GAYBBAS (THIS IS A SECOND VERSION, DRAFTED IN THE LIGHT OF RECENT RESEARCH).
1. THE FIRST GENERATION.
So far the only Gaybba patriarch we know of and the one to whom we have so far been able to trace the lineage of all but one of the Gaybbas who have contacted us is a man called James Gaybba. He was born in Scotland in 1830. He was a mason or bricklayer, came to the old Cape Colony where he died on the 25th June 1882. 25 years earlier, on the 27th September 1857, he married Helena Susanna Amandina Lerm in Calvinia, who married a Jan Hendrik Lategan (widower) after James died.
I did some further research on him two weeks ago. He got married within about 6 years of his arrival in the Western Cape Colony. I saw his marriage certificate. He had a well-schooled handwriting and so was not uneducated. He also signed himself "Gaybba" - i.e., with the spelling that we all use today. So any corruption of a different name had already taken place during that time. Neither of the two witnesses at his marriage were Gaybbas so either the story of the three brothers is wrong or the two brothers were already far from Calvinia, where the wedding took place. I also came across his original death certificate (there were two). He died a tragic death in Oudtshoorn on June 23rd 1882. His home base was at Saldanha Bay but he traded in cattle and sheep and donkeys and drove his animals to Oudtshoorn to sell them there. He lost several animals due to drought and disease but he seems to have made some money from the sale of the rest. However, according to a newspaper report (Oudtshoorn Courant), he spent the night carousing and upon waking in the morning must have found himself penniless after all his work. So he took his rifle, laid himself down under his wagon, put the business end of the rifle into his mouth and pulled the trigger with his toe. Very sad ending to our ancestor's life. His other death notice, that was signed almost a year later by his wife Helena, noted that he left nothing to his heirs.
2. THE SECOND & THIRD GENERATIONS
James and Helena Gaybba had eight children.
The first was Mattheus Johannes, born on 23rd June 1858 and baptized in Calvinia a month later. On the 2nd July 1887 he married a Maatje Johanna Susanna Thiart. They had eight children: Helena Susanna Amandina (baptized in Piketberg), Jasper Christoffel Gerhardus (baptized in Piketberg) and Maatje Johanna Susanna (baptized in Piketberg, Jacobus Andries, baptized in Wittedrift 1894,Jacoba Frederieka, baptised 1895 Wittedrift, Hester Magdalena Johanna, born 1897,Sara(Susanna?) Johanna Jacoba, Baptised Jan 1890 Wittedrift,Mattheus (Kepman) Johannes, born 1902
The second of James? children was Johan Hendrik, born on 22nd August 1859 and baptized in Calvinia on the 18th September of that year. He married a Maria Johanna Catharina Brand. Johan and Maria had four children: James Andrew (born on 24th Sept 1887 & baptized in Piketberg), Dirk Johannes Jacobus (born 26/09/1890 & baptized in Piketberg), Helena Susanna Amandina (born 28/08/1892 & baptized in Tulbagh and Johannes Hendrik (born about 1899).
The third of James? children was Hester Elizabeth Magdalena Maria, born on 19th December 1860 and baptized in Calvinia on the 22nd September 1861. At the age of 26 she married Gerrit Hilgard Johannes van Schalkwyk at Piketberg. We have not as yet researched the line of descendents from her.
The fourth of James? children was James Andrew, born in Oudtshoorn in 1862. He married Anna Johanna Margaretha Visser in Piketberg on the 14th January 1890. They had 5 children that we know of. James Andrew born on 16th October 1890 and baptized in Piketberg on the 25th January 1891. Anna Jacouba Magretha (born 16/02/93), who married a Peterson [Paterson?]. Helena Susanna Arandina (born 12/07/95). Mattheus Jan Charel (born 1/08/98), who married a Diena Susanna Amon. Hendrik Johannes Emyl (born 1/08/98, i.e., Mattheus? twin brother).
James? fifth child was Elizabeth Catharina, born on 26th October 1867. She was baptized in Calvinia and married a Stephanus Johannes Lategan.
The sixth child was Helena Susanna, born in 1868. We have not as yet done any research into her descendents.
The seventh was Maria Jacoba, born on the 15th August 1870 and baptized in Calvinia. We have not as yet done any research into her descendents.
The eighth and final child was William, born on the 13th November 1873 and baptized in Calvinia on the 1st February 1874. He was killed by a train while crossing the railway line somewhere near Parow Vallei on 4th December 1925. From earlier research I came across information to the effect that he had married an Anna Johanna Margaretha Visser and from that marriage James Andrew Gaybba was born. Because he married Mary Ann Dunkely Downing soon after that, Anna Visser must have died during or soon after James' birth. However, two weeks ago I found the registry entry of William's marriage to Mary Ann Dunkley Downing. It was on the 6th April 1897 - a year earlier than I thought was the case. The date creates problems for the information we had about his first marrage to Anna Visser and the birth of James Andrew Gaybba in January 1898. This will have to be cleared up by further research. But it is not that important since James was brought up as part of the children of William and Mary Ann Dunkley Downing. They were my great grandparents. They had eight children (including James, who married a May Catherine Boucher, would make nine): Alida Johann Geerendina, who married a Harold Fogarty, Marion (who did not marry), John Hendrik (who married a Sophia La Grange, known as Babsie), Joseph (who did not marry), Matthys (known as Thys) who married someone whose first name was Dollie. Everhardus (known as Ippi), who married Elizabeth Kotze. William Johann who married Hester Elizabeth Van Heerden. Dirk Jacobus Johananes who married Hester Aletta Magdalena Smith.
If anyone recognises any of these names as being one of their ancestors I would be grateful if they would contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or if anyone has any questions they would like to put to me about the Gaybba genealogy, I would be happy to answer them if I can.
I hope to open another journal later listing what I know of the fourth and fifth generations of Gaybbas.
8th November 2010
Subsequent research has uncovered a great deal of information and so instead of putting it all in here I am offering to email,if I can, any Gaybba who is interested in his or her ancestry a "booklet" setting out what I know of James Gaybba's descendents. Of his personal ancestry we still know nothing. But we (a group of researchers)have managed to trace the ancestors of James' wife - our matriarch. The trail leads right back to the 1493 in Germany, the birthday of a Gerhard Potgieter.
To get the booklet just email me at email@example.com and, if I can, I will email it to you. All I ask in return is for you to send me information about the Gaybbas,especially your part of the family. The sort of information I need is the names of your parents and grandparents and great grandparents as well as your children with their birthdays, days of marriage, etc. If you cannot do that, it does not matter: just send me whatever you do know or can easily find out about the Gaybbas and which is not alread included in the booklet.
If anybody out there knows who James Gaybba's parents were and where the name Gaybba came from (since it does not exist in Scotland)or has family oral traditions about that, please let me know.