van Zijl Crest 

Johan Wilhelm van Zijl


   The van Zijl Family

Some members of the van Zijl family emigrated from Holland to the Cape Colony.

In the early 1800's H C van Zijl moved from Stellenbosch? to Colesberg where he settled on the farm Hangklip, where his great? grandson Maeder Osler farms today.

In July 1842 H C van Zijl bought the farm 'tZamenkomst from van der Walt, and his son Johan Wilhelm Sr. settled there. On 24th January 1888 he married Emma Katie Weakley. They had six children. The eldest Johan Wilhelm Jr. took over the farm after the death of his father on 4th October 1908. He married Doris late in life. They had no children. After his death in November 1974 the farm passed into the hands of Christopher Anthony van Zyl, youngest son of Benjamin van Zyl, youngest son of Johan Wilhelm van Zijl Sr.. Christopher farmed with his wife Ute (known as Dassie - born Nieswandt) for 18 months. He then moved to Fort Beaufort as a senior lecturer in Land Survey at the University of Fort Hare. Christopher subsequently emigrated to New Zealand where he worked as a Senior Lecturer in Land Survey. He has now retired as a professor of Land Survey at the "Hochschule vir Techniek und Wirtschaft" in Dresden. Ute died in January 1996. They had three children - a son Benjamin who was stillborn, Catherine Valerie Birgits son Roman, and they have three children. In June 2005 Christopher married Birgit Schmallfuss, who has three sons, Ivo, Sascha and Roman.

Herbert George, the second son of Benjamin then took over the farm. He farmed until his death in January 1982 with his wife Margaret Wenda Bensted-Smith. They had four children, Sandra, Gaynor, Diana and Rosemary.

Wendy married again to Dr. David Perkins and they are now lived for a while in Australia. They moved back to South Africa where David got a job at. He died. Wendy has moved to Cape Town.

Sandra was married to Sascha Commerford and they have two sons Tristan and Joe and live in Cape Town.

Gaynor is married to Ron Grace. They lived in Johannesburg, but have now moved to Cape Town.  They have three children. Gaynor qualified as a doctor and has now completed her internship and "Zuma" year.

Diana lives and teaches in Cape Town. She was married to Riaan Renke, but are now divorced.

Rosemary is qualifued as a vet at Onderstepoort. She has moved to the UK, and is now working for a veterinary practice in Oxford.

Johan Roben van Zijl, the eldest son of Benjamin van Zijl, then took over the farm, and still lives there with his wife Margaret (known as Margie - born Adam) and son David Roben. Their daughter Anne lives and works in Johannesburg with her husband Micheal Munro and their children Joshua and Ruth. Their son David Roben ran Tzamenkomst until its sale, and is now looking at other opportunities. He is Managing Director of Seacow Enterprises ( - a company we have recently started.

This site is still under construction, and any of the information given may be wrong. If you find any mistakes please e-mail me, or use the visitors book to send me the information.

Home Site.