Clan Munro CrestThe Munros of Pinetown

Their Families, Ancestors and connected families

 

I named the site "The Munros of Pinetown" because that's how it started. My interest in family history was prompted by a family reunion of the descendants of my Munro great grandparents - George Munro of Saltburn and Selina Jane Davie from Ormiston.

Munro Reunion
Then Surviving Grandchildren of George and Selina at the Munro Reunion 1984
From Left to right, Standing: William Langford Lester Munro, Emily Christina Morgan (nee Munro), Thomas Gibson (Gibby) Clendinning (son of Laura Selina Munro).

Seated: Wilfred Hugh Barrett (son of Isabella Munro), Dorothy Dacomb (daughter of Alexanderina Ellen Munro), Gordon Knowles Munro, John Hamish Munro, Maureen Lucy Burt (nee Munro), Laurel Dorothy Bartholomew (nee Munro).

At the reunion a hand drawn wall chart  of know descendants, drawn by one of the organisers of the reunion, was displayed, with those attending adding missing details or correcting errors. I still have my copy of that chart although it is showing signs of its age.

Munros of Pinetown Family Tree
The Munro Family Tree

My interest in finding out more about George and Selina was also spurred on by the fact that, in my early years, I lived in the Munro Homestead, Preston House, when my parents lived there with my great uncle Bill. The window to the left of the front door in the picture, below, being my bedroom, with my parents in the bedroom across the hall, with their window on the right of the door. Our living room was on the far right and Uncle Bill's on the far left. After we moved to our own house on Cowies Hill, I often returned to the farm, visiting Uncle Bill and spent many enjoyable hours there.

Preston House
The Munro Homestead - Preston House, Pinetown

The family tree provided great current day information, I was intrigued by the origins of our family, and in particular the birthplaces of George and Selina, Saltburn in the Highlands of Scotland and Ormiston, Haddingtonshire. My initial research involved many reference library visits, and time trawling through microfilms at the Family History Centre of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. This was a slow laborious and not very productive process. It wasn't until my mother gave me a tatty copy of a few pages from a document about the family Glaeser that I was able to make reasonable progress. The pages were titled "Serial Number of The Glaeser Family in South Africa" and unfortunately the copy I had was on thermal paper showing signs of fading. I quickly photocopied that to give me a more permanent version. To this day I have never come across any other reference to this document. With this to hand and the assistance of other published South African family history references I was able to track my South African ancestors back through the Glaeser, le Seuer, Swellengrebel, Bergh and other Cape families to my 8th and 9th great grandmother Angela of Bengal. Angela was transported to Cape Town, as a slave, in Jan van Riebeck's times, arriving aboard a ship in the return fleet from Batavia, the Prins Willem, on 24 February 1657. Her daughter Anna de Coningh, also a slave, arrived with her mother and went on to marry Olof Bergh. The couple at one stage owned the farm Groot Constantia.

Olof BerghAnna de Coningh
Olof Bergh and Anna de Coningh

Back to Scotland though. Unfortunately in the pre-internet days it was incredibly difficult to find anything in Scotland, from far away South Africa. It was not until the late 1990's that the internet started to be useful for research. How things have changed and since then there have been numerous discoveries and genealogical brick walls that have been broken through. I have now been able to trace both George's and Selina's families further back. I have managed to uncover, what became of all of George's siblings and many of their families, except for Donald who had arrived with George in Durban, in 1864 and then disappeared seemingly without trace . There is quite a bit more work to do on Selina's side, though.

I have also been fortunate to have inherited a number of original old family photos and  letters, some written in the mid to late 1800's, which have helped to uncover gems of information and bring the family to life.

Alexanderina's letter1877Isabella's letter 1874James and Selina Sanderson's Marriage Certificate
Letters from George's Siblings, Alexanderina and Isabella and Selina's Uncle and Aunt's marriage certificate

I have extended my research to my mother's Scottish roots into Aberdeenshire. My wife's family have not escaped and her family history in South Africa, and back to England and Scotland, have been added into the mix.

My research has happened in fits and starts and it is only recently, in the last five years or so, that I have had time to dig deeper and really make progress. Advances in information technology and its dissemination through numerous internet platforms have made all this possible. Today with genetic tools such as DNA matching much more is being discovered and often disputed facts have been proven. I have also had the good fortune to have found like minded individuals and relatives, from around the world, to collaborate with and pool resources. It is with this in mind that I decided to make what I have found available to others and share it on this website.

Enjoy!


© 2021 Don Munro