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#1: Searching for Vergottini in South Africa Author: RobertLocation: London, UK PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 5:32 pm
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Hi, I am hoping someone here can help - I am researching the family Vergottini in South Africa, however am having trouble finding the person I am looking for. Information is sketchy, but I am copying in below what I have and will fill in the extra detail I have below that. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would be grateful...

JAN J VERGOTTINI
DOB 13 MAY 1897
DEATH 21 NOV 1970
ID 468445347

MARTHA MARIA
DOB 27 DECEMBER 1900
DEATH 10 AUGUST 1978

OUMA DUP (I presume the daughter of the above two)
MARTHA MARIA ALETTA JAKOBA
DOB 30 MARCH ???

Now, I was told that Jan Vergottini came over to fight in the Anglo Boer War, however the dates/age doesn't fit this, as he would have been a kid when the second war was over (around 1911-1915).

So, according to another history source I read, the population of a village in Italy relocated to the old Transvaal Republic to work at a dynamite factory, and ended up mostly fighting against the British in the war. As Jan is by no means an Italian name, I am wondering whether he was actually born in South Africa, or if he was from Italy, changed his name to assimilate when he came over.

I have searched Ancestry.com, LDS genealogy site and quite a few other resources but can't find anything on this guy. He died in north Pretoria - but I can't find an obituary or records at the local cemeteries.

If anyone can point me in the right (online) direction, I would be grateful.

#2: Re: Searching for Vergottini in South Africa Author: RobertLocation: London, UK PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 8:00 am
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Okay, so been chatting to the person I am doing this research for. Going on the fact that her father was born in 1950, and was the middle child of five, I am guestimating that his parents married around 1940-ish. Therefore the daughter was most likely born around 1930-ish, placing her mother's birth squarely around 1900 (as indicated above). I am presuming then that her husband could have been born in Italy in 1897, however am taking that as a broad guideline, allowing for the fact that he could have been older, estimating a date of birth somewhere between 1887 and 1900.

Is it feasible for a lad of 15/16 to have been allowed to fight as a hired soldier at that time?

#3: Re: Searching for Vergottini in South Africa Author: nucciaLocation: Toronto, Ontario, Canada PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:09 pm
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Robert wrote:


Is it feasible for a lad of 15/16 to have been allowed to fight as a hired soldier at that time?

It would if he lied about his age..or if he was 16 but closer to 17 ...

Of course, I have no proof of this but I have heard it said before. Now by hired, do you mean paid? If that's the case, then I would really think it possible since times were hard and money tight. It would have been a good way to earn an income.

#4: Re: Searching for Vergottini in South Africa Author: nucciaLocation: Toronto, Ontario, Canada PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:16 pm
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Robert, I am going to do a bit of poking around and see if I can come up with any ideas on Jan's birth...

#5: Re: Searching for Vergottini in South Africa Author: RobertLocation: London, UK PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:54 pm
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Hi Nuccia and thanks.

The family story is that he came to South Africa to fight in the Boer War, however there is no detail as to which side he fought on, and there were Italians on both sides...

The older relations who remember him are adamant that he was Italian, not the child of Italian immigrants, as he could not speak English or Afrikaans properly. I am stumped really as all the names I have been given do come up on the genealogy sites, but generally 30 to 50 years earlier than is possible...

#6: Re: Searching for Vergottini in South Africa Author: RobertLocation: London, UK PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2009 5:50 am
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A useful update - apparently both JJ Vergottini and his wife actually died and were buried in the tiny town of Carolina in the Orange Free State (now known as the Free State).



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