We are searching for information about our Grandfather, Sebastian Benedict Weldon. We are not sure if he emigrated to South Africa as a young man or was born there after his parents emigrated. His mother was called Margaret. My mother says that he worked on the railways.
Sebastian was the youngest of 10 children and married Marie Francina Marais, his brother Leo married her sister, Elizabeth Marais, and another brother, Gregory, married their widowed mother, also Marie Francina Marais. Gregory died without having children. My mother was the second child of 8 and was born in 1918 when my grandmother was about 23 - 26. Sebastian was probably born around the mid-1890's.
The marriage didn't last long because Sebastian had a strong liking for the drink. My mother was discouraged, (by her grandmother, Marie Francina the First), from seeing him again and he shot himself when she was very young. No-one knew if it was deliberate or an accident. She doesn't even have a photograph of him. She now regrets very much that she was too frightened to see him again. MF the First seems to have been all-powerful but I suppose I should excuse her that as she spent a couple of years in a Boer Concentration Camp with somewhere between 3 and 5 young children.
My Grandmother, MF the Second, remarried and had 8 children altogether. My mother was like a mother to the younger boys. She had a hard life until she met a handsome Royal Marine during WW2 when, after a few dates and lots of letter-writing, he asked her to come to England to marry him and sent her the fare (£100 in 1946 - he knew how to save money and knew when to spend it). There were more hard times ahead but I was born in South Africa and then we returned to England again in 1950.
Since our father died in 2001 my brother has been researching that side of the family and we already know a bit about about the French/Dutch/Afrikaaner heritage. My gardening ability comes from my father and his family (Dorset/Somerset peasant stock), but the innate ability for Sets and Reels, Bourrees and Schottiches comes from the other side.
Mum was 85 yesterday and we had a big party She had lots of cards and presents but I would love to be able to tell her more about her father.