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Surnames H to J

HALSE Thomas Henry

Thomas Henry Halse

      b. 22 Aug 1794, d. 05 Jan 1849

      m. (1) 14 May 1816 Susan Smith b. 28 Aug 1799, d. 11 Aug 1839. 15 children

      m. (2) 25 Apr 1846 Christiana Caldecott. No issue.

Thomas Henry was born in Penzance, Cornwall, England, to Thomas Halse (b. 1729) and Mary Batten (née Thomas) b. 1745. His two siblings both died in infancy. His marriage to Susan Smith was at St Pancras Old Church, London, England on 14 Jun 1816. It is recorded that he died at Waterfall, District of Cradock, Cape Province. It appears that this is, in fact, Waterval, farm 146, west of Smithfield, Free State which at the time was owned by his son, Henry James Halse. Susan Halse died in the vicinity of Grahamstown and is buried in the Anderson Street Cemetery there. Her gravestone records that it is also in loving memory of her seven children who died in their infancy.

Thomas Henry was a British Settler of 1820, one of the so-called ‘1820 Settlers’. The British Government 1820 scheme was to populate the Eastern Frontier of the old Cape Colony as a buffer against the migration of Bantu westwards into the Colony. He was a wholesale warehouseman living in Finsbury, London at the time of recruitment. He and his wife, Susan, infant Henry and baby William (who died at sea) travelled as part of Dr. Nathaniel Morgan's London party on the ‘S.S.Ocean’. They left Portsmouth on 1 January 1820 and arrived at Algoa Bay on 15 April 1820. Morgan's party was located to a spot called Beauty Vale at the Blaauwkrantz River, near Grahamstown.

Thomas Henry was Messenger of the Court of the Resident Magistrate, Grahamstown for 19 years, resigning due to ill-health in March 1840. He later became a law agent for John White, butcher, in Cradock. He appears not to have been successful at that; and his health continued to deteriorate in the last few years of his life.

Children of Thomas Henry Halse’s  marriage to Susan Smith

b1.  Thomas Henry b. Feb 1817, d. Feb 1817

        Died in infancy.

b2.   Henry James b. London, 01 Dec 1817, d. Mayfields farm, District of Aliwal North  06 Jun 1880

        m. 25 Apr 1839 Grahamstown Cathedral, Ann Lydia Poultney b. London, England 19 Jun 1819 d. Aliwal North 15 Oct 1895. 12 children, 6 boys and 6 girls. One of the girls and one of the boys died in infancy. Sadly, his eldest son, James Henry H. drowned in the Kraai River in 1870, aged 28.

Born in England the infant Henry James H. accompanied his parents to the Cape Colony as a member of an 1820 Settler party. Later, with his brother Charles Henry H., he settled on the farm Waterfall (originally, and now, Waterval) (acquired c. 1842) in the Caledon River district. The farm was the initial site of Smithfield in c. 1849 but, due to an inadequate water supply, the town site was moved to another farm.

         He was appointed Member of the Council, Orange River Sovereignty, 18 Aug 1850, being the first Englishman to serve. In February 1855 President Hoffman resigned following being accused of high treason. As a result, on 15 Feb 1855 a joint commission of three was elected to act in running the Sovereignty for some 12 months pending the election of a new President (Jacobus Boshoff). Henry James was one of those 3 members. He remained a member of the Volksraad until he resigned at the end of 1856. He thus played an important part in the political affairs of the Sovereignty for several years. In 1857 he sold up and moved to the Cape Colony, settling in Aliwal North where he bought a merchandise business. He became Chairman of the Aliwal North Municipality and held that position for several years. He was appointed Acting Superintendent of Witte Burgen Native Reserve c. 1869 and when, in 1873, the area was declared a magistracy as the District of Herschel he was appointed Resident Magistrate.

b3.   William b. London 1819, d. at sea 1820

         Died in infancy.

b4.   Frederic b. Nr. Grahamstown 26 Mar 1821, d. Carnarvon, Halseton 16 Jan  1885

m. 1844 Jane Sarah Poultney b. Aliwal North, 14 Jul 1822, d. Halseton, 01 Jul 1887. 3 children, 2 boys and a girl.

With his 2 sons (Henry Edward and Walter)  he settled near Penhoek Pass [Stormberg] about 1860. In c.1865 they moved to Groot Vlei (later renamed Carnarvon), Halseton, Eastern Cape, where the Halse family farmed until 2009. Frederic’s two sons, in 1899/90 were the contractors who built the Matopos Dam in Rhodesia for C J  Rhodes. A son of Henry Edward H. was Stanley Seward H. (b. 1891) who was a pioneer South African aviator and who took part in the 1936 Schlesinger Air Race from England to South Africa.

b5.   Charles Henry Smith b. Nr. Grahamstown 07 Sep 1822, d. Nr. Smithfield 07 Nov 1853

       m. 1851 Eliza Poultney b. 25 Sep 1827 in the Eastern Cape, d. Burghersdorp 10 Jun 1852. 1 child who died in infancy.

      This marriage completed the marriages of three Halse brothers (Henry James, Frederic and Charles Henry Smith) to three Poultney sisters (respectively, Ann Lydia, Jane Sarah and Eliza). To be noted is that in each case it was also first cousins marrying.

With his brother Henry James H. he settled on the farm Waterfall in the Caledon River district. Justice of the Peace for the Orange River Sovereignty 1850-52.

b6.   Cordelia b. Jan 1824, d. Sep 1825

         Died in infancy.

b7.   James Alexander b. 18 Jan 1825, d. Oct 1825

         Died in infancy.

b8.   Cordelia Susan b. Albany District 08 May 1826, d. 1907

            m. 1845 Henry Hodgson. No known issue.

b9.   Frances b. 28 May 1827, d. June 1827

        Died in infancy.

b10. Thomas Benjamin b. Albany District 23 Feb 1829, d. Lady Grey 12 Sep 1894

         m. Marian (Mary Ann) Stone (née Coleman) c. 1850. 1 child, a girl.


b11. Edward William b. 1829, d. Feb 1831

        Died in infancy.

b12. Edward Nathaniel b. 1831, d. 02 Jan 1832

        Died in infancy.

b13. Eliza Ann b. Albany District 21 May 1833, d. Waterfall, Nr. Caledon River 22 Dec 1847

        Died as a child.

b14. Edmund George b. Albany District 23 Jul 1835, d. 1898

         m. 01 Jul 1863 Susannah Jacoba Annandale b. Queenstown, 01 Dec 1842, d. Wodehouse 03 Dec 1878. 7 children, 4 boys and 3 girls

b15. James William b. Grahamstown 03 Jun 1837, d. Lady Grey 31 Oct 1901





1. H. J. Halse – His journal. This covers his life until 1871. The original manuscript is lodged with The Cory Library, Rhodes University, Grahamstown.

2. The Cory Library contains diaries relating to farming affairs on the farm Carnarvon.

C. Halse

March 2021

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