Ferdinand was a German immigrant to South Africa. The surname means “Conservative and fragile”. In Ratingen, Düsseldorf, Germany he was born on 15 March 1819 to Johann Wilhelm and Anna Getrud VOESBEIN. He had a brother Johann, but Ferdinand was the only one that came to South Africa. He arrived in South Africa in 1846. Although his was a qualified carpenter he had a calling to be a missionary. As part of the Rhenish Missionary Society (RMS) his first place of settlement in South Africa was Ebenezer. This was a settlement established in 1831 by the RMS under Pastor von WURMB near VanRhynsdorp, Knersvlakte, South Africa. He arrived in South Africa with his German wife Adelheid. Adelheid’s maiden name was von HAGEN. She was born in Remscheid, Germany on 5 October 1819. They were married in Germany on 21 June 1842.
Ferdinand and Adelheid had the following children:
b1 Carl (Also known as Karl) * 1846 +1930. He was like his father a missionary in Stellenbosch, South Africa. He married; 1 Feb 1880; Steinkopf Rhenish Church, Namaqualand Johanna Aletta LIEBENBERG *17 March 1861, d.o. Willem Johannes Liebenberg and Wilhelmina Johanna Hendrina FICK.
b2 Maria *1851 +9 May 1898
Adelheid died 6 December 1873 in Wuppertal, Germany. It is uncertain why she went back to Germany.
Ferdinand remarried in 1875. (At age 56) His second wife was Frederike Johanna Helene SCHRröDER. Frederike was born on 20 October 1842 in Wupperthal, Ceder Mountains, Cape, South Africa to the SCHRröDER progenitor Johann Georg and Frederike Wilhelmine RüDIGER. Frederike was the widow of the KUPHERBüRGER progenitor Wilhelm who died in 1869
Ferdinand (although in his mid-fifties) and Frederike had the following children:
b3 Johanna Georgina *25 July 1876 +16 December 1954
b4 Gerhard Hermann Friedrich *19 January 1878 +22 November 1922. He never married
b5 Lucia Sophia * 4 December 1879 +8 August 1963
All of b3-b5 died in Stellenbosch, but it’s uncertain where they were born.
Ferdinand served the RMS like follows:
- 1846-1856 - Ebenhezer
- 1857-1873 - not known where he served, he might even have gone back to Germany for a while
- 1874-1888 - (Retirement) - Stellenbosch
A street in Stellenbosch is named after him as recognition for his missionary work.
Ferdinand died on 26 September 1893 in Stellenbosch and his second wife Frederike more than 19 years later on 12 January 1913 also in Stellenbosch.