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    African History of the Witz Family

    • My name is Michael Witz.  I was born in Harare and attended various schools, including Selborne Routledge, Highlands and St George's College

    see family photo below

    • My grandfather was JACOB AARON WITZ

      • He was born in Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania, May 20 1881

      • He studied at the SLOBODKA yeshiva

      • I have no documents to prove what date he arrived in Cape Town, but my aunt (his daughter Reggie) thinks it was 1906.  My mother, however, says he left Lithuania at 14 and spent a year working in London before moving on to South Africa, where his eldest sister was already living in Simonstown (she left Lithuania in 1885 for Manchester, UK, before moving on to South Africa).  Jacob was the youngest child.  The earliest document I have at the moment is a character reference written for him in 1911 by a notary called du Toit, who said he had known Jacob for six years.

      • He left Cape Town and tried his luck at the diamond mines in Kimberley

      • In 1912 he moved to Oudsthoorn, though the diamonds he had earned were stolen on the way

      • He set up a store in Oudsthoorn

      • He was considered intellectual, and was sometimes asked things by rabbis (anecdotal evidence)

      • He died in Oudtshoorn in 1956

      • His children were my father, Alec; Reggie; and Anne

      • He married SARAH TAUBE RESNICK in 1923

    • SARAH TAUBE RESNICK  was born in Vilkomer (Ukmerge), Lithuania, in 1899; she arrived in South Africa in 1920 as WW1 had stopped them from moving before the war

    • She died in 1983, in Israel

    My parents

    • ALEC WITZ, my father, was born in Oudtshoorn in 1924

    • He graduated in chemistry at Rhodes in 1948

    • He moved to Southern Rhodesia in 1949, and worked in cement at Colleen Bawn

    • He liked golf and taking photos

    • Like his father, Jacob, he had a brain

    • He married my mother, Patricia, in 1960, and they lived at Colleen Bawn till 1963, when they moved to Salisbury

    • He died from lung cancer in 1971, in Salisbury.  Dr Basil Baldachin, a family friend (see the Baldachins), signed his death certificate

    I miss my father Alec a lot.

    • My mother is PATRICIA, now in the UK.

    • She was a teacher of various things at various schools, including Girls High School, Selborne Routledge and others.

    The diaspora story is still being updated...I hope this information may be of interest. My thanks to anyone who remembers us kindly. Email. 

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