The  Ravenscroft  Family in  Southern  Africa From 1824

George - Born 1828 on Saint Helena Island.


Thomas - Born 1829 & Baptised in 1830 on St Helena Island.


William - Born 1832 & Baptised in 1832 on St Helena Island.


John - Born 1835 - Buried in Grahamstown Cape Colony 18th December 1836.


James - Born in 1838 in Grahamstown Cape Colony.



Charles - Born 1842 in Wynberg Cape Colony.


The Reverend Samuel Hough Ravenscroft Branch.


The Reverend Samuel Hough Ravenscroft is not a descendant or close relation of George Ravenscroft who arrived in Southern Africa between 1832 and 1838. As stated else where it does not matter as we are all family and we carry the same Ravenscroft DNA in our genes and that make us family.

In the "Lyst van Stem Gerechtigde van OFS Burgers" dated 1895 and also in "Die Geskiedenis van Harrismith" written by FA Steytler it is recorded that the Reverend SH Ravenscroft was a minister of the Wesleyan Church of Harrismith.

At the Methodist Church on Kloof Nek Road Cape Town the notice board inside records that the Rev SH Ravenscroft was the minister there in 1902.

His parents were Samuel Ellen Hough Ravenscroft. He was born in Runcorn Chester in 1855 . He married an Elizabeth, born James, in Wynberg Cape Town and they had six children. The only information I have stems from his Death Notice.



George Ravenscroft - The First Ravenscroft to settle in Southern Africa

George Ravenscroft was born in Reading, England in 1804. He married Marian Weller (called Anne) on the 17th. November 1823 in Saint Laurence Market Place, Reading. I have not been able to establish the date of birth and death of Marian Ravenscroft. They produced nine Children: Harriet and MaryAnne 1825 (twins), George 1828, Thomas 1829, William 1832, John 1835, Marie 1836, James 1838 and Charles 1841. The first six children were born on Saint Helena and the rest in South Africa. The one twin daughter, Harriet died on the Island on the 17th May 1827, aged 23 months.

Two books ~The Family of Ravenscroft~and ~ Some Ravenscroft’s ~ state that when George Ravenscroft came to South Africa in 1824 he had a daughter and four sons. This is not correct as the 5th child John was born on the Island in 1835. The date 1824 was probably the date that George left England and it ties up with his marriage in 1823 just before he left for military duty on Saint Helena. My research shows that George Ravenscroft served in the 72nd Regiment of the British Army. I assume that when his time expired he moved with his wife and family to South Africa. In the early 1970's I was told by a great great aunt that George had arrived with his family on a ship called the ' Duke of Buccleugh', but I have been unable to confirm this or the date of arrival in any document. We do know that they were in Grahamstown 1836 to bury their son John on the 18th Of December.

The known facts are that George and Anne (Marian) Ravenscroft had nine Children, 6 boys and 3 daughters The book ' The Family of Ravenscroft' states that their eldest Mary Anne, married a John Smith of Reading dates unknown. I have established she and her twin sister Hariet who died aged 23 months were born on Saint Helena.She married John SMoth of Lambert Surry between Oct and Dec 1848 and in 1891 was living at 47 MarketPlace, Reading, Berkshire and her Aunt Emma resided with her.(Sister of her father George, Born 1807 Died 1893). I have as yet been unable to trace any information on the eldest son George and the second daughter, Maria. In 2011 – I came across a Burial notice for John Ravenscroft (Born 1835 St. Helena Died Durban 1836. Up to this time John's existence had never appeared in any genealogy of the family and to all intents and purposes he was a person forgotten to us but not I am sure, to his parents. I have a copy of his burial notice and military records, newly acquired in 2013, confirming his date of birth. Then in March 2013 I was given the information about George, born in 1828 on Saint Helena and Maria born in 1836 in Grahamstown.

Nothing more is know about this George and it's from George and Marian’s remaining four sons that most of the Ravenscroft’s in South Africa are descended. George Ravenscroft finally moved to and settled in Swellendam in the Western part of the Cape Colony with his family. Thomas and James stayed in Swellendam and information that I have indicates that William and Charles later moved over the mountains to Montague. The Grandchildren of this George Ravenscroft spread out all over the then fast growing settlements in Southern Africa and became integrated into the fabric of their communities. So much so that when Second War of Independence (Boer War) of 1898 / 1902, took place there were Ravenscroft’s fighting for both sides. Some fought on the side of The Orange Free State and Transvaal Republics with wives & children in British Concentration Camps, while some fought for the English Colonists, by serving in colonial regiments.




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Herewith the documentation of

birth dates & places

of George's six sons.

Main Street Swellendam in the 1930s