Graham Leslie McCallum

The tree of happiness flowers and fruits most abundantly for the creative man

The McCallum’s of South Africa

Cape of Good Hope McCallum’s and the New Zealand Wellington McCallum’s/ also featuring several

McCallum family lines who settled in Southern Africa

Their origins in Scotland and related Maternal Family Lines

Graham Leslie McCallum

Several years ago (mostly through curiosity) I began researching the line of McCallum’s from whom I descend. When I began, I did not realise just how absorbing the task was going to be, or even how difficult and time-consuming it would be. At some point one has to call for a temporary quit – for me primarily because I would have to visit Scotland to pursue information locked-up in Scottish archives, and archives that on-line would cost a fortune to access. I guess the Scots are living up to their reputation for tight-fistedness. I am presenting this document, and trust it will help anyone who like myself went looking for information, but found it such a difficult and confusing task. A big thank you to all those wonderful people from across the world who gave me so much help, and kindness, among them Malcolm Alexander McCallum and Lynne Armstrong nee’ Cook.

Although this document deals mainly with a line of McCallum’s who for sake of clarity I termed the Cape of Good Hope McCallum’s and its related New Zealand McCallum line, this document does contain some information on the other McCallum lines in South Africa.  About 15 paternal McCallum progenitors arrived in South Africa over the past 200 years, leaving descendants who hold this surname. The document is set out roughly in a chronological order. The work below has taken many years and is in no sense complete. I hold a database of all the McCallum families and should you need information – you are welcome to contact me.



The British Military Annexation of the Cape of Good Hope

POST 1795

In 1795 the British annexed the Cape of Good Hope after a short engagement with the local Dutch garrison. This annexation was a response to the Napoleonic Wars in Europe. Britain feared that a revolutionary France might take possession of the colony and thus jeopardize their valuable sea route to the East. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (91st) (a contingent mustered from Scotland) became the Cape Town Garrison for the next 7 years until the Cape was handed back to the Batavian Republic (Dutch) in 1803.

This military presence and the Scottish Highland regiments at the Cape account for the presence of the first McCallum’s in Southern Africa.


The Scots formed the bedrock of the Imperial Troops. The Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, the 91st, were conscripted from Argyllshire, Glasgow, Renfrew, Edinburgh and Paisley.

Many Scots joined the military for economic reasons. After the Highland Clearances and the depressed economic conditions during and after the Napoleonic Wars, large numbers of Scottish men were recruited to regiments and played a major part in the expansion of the British Empire. Their pay, often frugally spent, was sent back home to Scotland to support their wives and children. Records state that many soldiers and administration officials stationed at the Cape married Cape Dutch woman and had children at the Cape, or sent for their wives back in Scotland. When those garrisoned at the Cape left for India or were sent back to Great Britain, these women and their children returned with them. There will be many Scots alive today who descend from Cape Dutch women.

Many back in Scotland whose Grandfather’s, Father’s and Uncle’s had served in the military garrisons at the Cape, would have heard anecdotes and information related to this far distant shore. It is reasonable to believe that many Scots would have had some knowledge of the Cape of Good Hope and it being a possible migration destination. One can understand why a later generation like Samuel Wheatley McCallum (senior) and his two sons Alexander Wallace McCallum and Samuel Malcolm McCallum (junior) were acquainted enough with the Cape of Good Hope, to emigrate there and attempt to begin a new life. Their Father/Grandfather (Alexander McCallum) was a Sergeant in the military.

These Highland soldiers stationed at the Cape, were not the typical mercenary (on the contrary) they were sober and spiritually-minded. They immediately set up the ‘Calvinist Society’ in Cape Town and began erecting a Presbyterian church. This they accomplished in St Andrew’s, now known as the ‘Mother Church’. They even brought their own Minister to the Cape. This chapel operated with considerable vigour until the garrison left the Cape in the year 1803, when the British withdrew. When the British returned in 1806 the church was re-established.

St. Andrew's Church, Cape Town

The following is a list of Names of Individuals bearing the McCallum Name and who were stationed at the Cape. These, drawn from the Nominal Rolls of the 98th Argyll Highlanders the military regiment stationed at the Cape at the time of the Annexation. Members bearing the McCallum surname are the 4th most common name in this regiment after, Campbell 50/ McLean 26/ McDonald 25/ McCallum 22.


Serg. Archibald McCallum (senior)

Serg. Archibald McCallum (junior)

Priv. Alexander McCallum

Priv. Angus McCallum

Priv. Angus McCallum

Priv. Angus McCallum

Priv. Archibald McCallum

Priv. Archibald McCallum

Priv. Donald McCallum

Priv. Dugald McCallum

Priv. Duncan McCallum

Priv. Duncan McCallum

Priv. Duncan McCallum

Priv. George McCallum

Priv. John McCallum

Priv. Niell McCallum

Priv. Patrick McCallum


From this list – Private John McCallum and Private Alexander McCallum were to have children at the Cape. These children were the first children born in Southern Africa to hold the clan name McCallum. It was common for soldiers to bring their wives to their postings. We know that several soldiers married Cape Dutch women too.

On the 11 December 1796 John McCallum and his wife Christian had the militarchaplaincy baptise their son ‘John McCallum’ at Cape Town. John McCallum thus became the first McCallum born in Southern Africa.

On the 03 April 1796, Alexander McCallum and his wife Mary christened their daughter Mary McCallum in Cape Town. In 1798 they christened a second daughter Catherine McCallum, and a third daughter Nancy McCallum in 1802.

(Further research is needed to ascertain who these individuals were and what became of them). (Note. Cape Town Archives and National Library). 


Of historical interest – the Anglican Chaplain stationed at the Cape who christened these children was a wild eccentric called Lawrence Halloran. He had gained his position using a forged ordination certificate, supposedly issued by the Bishop of Meath. He was later sent back to Britain in disgrace when his fraud was discovered.

Cape Town and Table Mountain, Cape of Good Hope

Besides the military, many Scots arrived as officials for the British Administration at the Cape. Several Scots also arrived as private individuals and quickly set up as traders and shopkeepers. (see, ‘The Scots in South Africa’ by John M. Mackenzie, 1772 to 1914).

Besides soldiers, many administrators took Dutch wives. In fact, no less a person than Sir John Barrows, confidante of Governor McCartney and part of his administration, and Second Secretary to the Admiralty, whose writings are sadly corrupted with prejudicial anti-Dutch and anti-colonial remarks, married a Cape Dutch woman. After his service at the Cape, he went back to Britain with his colonial vrouw. One wonders what she made of his writings and stereotyping of her compatriots.

Sir John Barrows 

In 1803 the British handed the Cape back to the Dutch (Batavian Republic) and the military garrison left for Southern England where an invasion of England by the French was expected. Several British soldiers took discharge papers at this time and were granted pemission to stay on at the Cape under Dutch rule. (Who were these soldiers who stayed behind, see listing in ‘British Settlers at the Cape’).




In 1806 the Highland troops re-annexed the Cape. The 71st (City of Glasgow) / 72nd (later to be called the Seaforth Highlanders) / and 93rd Regiments, routed the Dutch/ French and Colonial forces at the Battle of Blaauwberg. During the battle, a charge by the Highlanders in their red and tartan get-up and with their bagpipes skirling, frightened the opposing centre made up of mercenaries, who fled for fear of their lives. In contrast, the Colonial Forces made up of burghers and free blacks (freed slaves) fought with some distinction.

Storming_the_Cape, Battle of Blaauwberg_1806

In 1806 there were 8000 members of the British Garrison guarding the Cape. Britain was not to relinquish the Cape again.


These Highlander Regiments were to return to South Africa many times.


1806 – Cape Town Garrison

1814 – Cape Town Garrison

1816 – Cape Town Garrison

1824 – Cape Colony

1834 – Xhosa War

1835 – Grahamstown

1838 – Cape Town

Seaforth Highlanders

Robert McCallum, a soldier stationed at the Cape takes discharge papers on the 27 June 1815. He settles at the Cape. He is recorded as being a Servant (Knegt) to Christopher Bird at Liesbeek Cottage. Mention is made of him on the 23rd June 1819 and again in 1820 in the Cape archives. (Further research on this individual would be fruitful. Perhaps Robert had descendants. There are certainly other Robert McCallum’s at the Cape in the latter half of the 1800’s that do not appear to be related to the established McCallum families. A Robert is recorded in the Cape Archives as having been charged with theft in 1858 in Somerset).


The ‘Hope McCallum’s’


The next mention of a McCallum at the Cape is Archibald McCallum (senior) the Master of the barque ‘Hope’, a 273 ton ship. He was born in Scotland in 1813. He becomes the progenitor of the first McCallum family in South Africa (henceforth referred to as the Hope McCallum’s).  His vessel, the Hope, traded between the South African ports of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth (Algoa Bay) and those of Australia and New Zealand. On the 23 February 1833, Archibald married a Cape Dutch woman (Martha Maria Jacoba De Villiers) in Cape Town. This  (see my posting on the Hope McCallum’s).



The ‘Carolina McCallum’s’


Also present at the Cape is another Archibald, namely Archibald McCallum who was born circa 1837 at Jura, Scotland and whose parents were Archibald and Annie McCallum. Archibald’s first marriage was to a Cape Dutch woman named Maria Susanna Van Rooyen at Winburg on the 23rd of September 1864.  (see posting on the ‘Carolina McCallum’s’)


The Eastern Cape McCallum’s


In 1820 only 757 British nationals had settled at the Cape of Good Hope. Among these settlers (post this date) were 2 brothers, namely Daniel McCallum and Alexander McCallum. Their parents were John and Jessie McCallum of Stirling, Scotland who had a family of 11 children. Alexander, who was born in 1811, joined the 75th Highland Regiment at the age of 19 as a Private. He married Eliza Knee at Bath, England, and was posted first to India and then to the Eastern Cape, Cape of Good Hope, where he arrived with his wife Eliza in 1840. In 1843 he buys a discharge and settles in Fort Beaufort. His story is typical of many young Scotsman whose fortunes were tied up with the Highland Regiments and whose service in the military, secured the boundaries and security of the British Empire. Their movement and the accompanying Scottish Merchants and Missionaries became the foundational bedrock for colonial outposts like Nova Scotia, New Zealand, Australia and the Cape of Good Hope. When these soldiers were demobilised or retired from service, they very often would settle in the colonies were they served and would as a consequence bring their families and relatives to their adopted countries. Alexander’s brother, Daniel McCallum had already arrived at the Cape prior to 1835 for he married Mary Ayling in Cape Town in 1835 and settled at Fort Beaufort. It is very possible that he also arrived as a soldier. Alexander (Alex) McCallum and Elizabeth Knee settled at Fort Beaufort and had 9 children (7 sons and 2 daughters). All the Eastern Cape McCallum’s descend from Alexander and Eliza McCallum.

His children set themselves up as Butchers, Masons and Hoteliers in the Eastern Cape.

The Eastern Cape McCallum’s is a line now well established across South Africa. (David Malcolm McCallum, a descendant of Alexander McCallum, is researching this line).



The Cape of Good Hope McCallum’s


The Maternal Lines –


The Wheatley’s


One of the earliest maternal line progenitors to the Cape of Good Hope McCallum’s that I have researched is one Samuel Wheatley. The Wheatley surname was to appear within the names of the McCallum family right down to the 21st Century. The Wheatley family were originally form the northern England, having settled in Ayshire in the 1700’s.

In circa 1740Samuel Wheatley was born at Kirkmichael, a small picturesque village set amid the rolling hills of South Aryshire, Scotland. Samuel was the son of Samuel Wheatley (born 1720 died 1817) and Mary (not known)Samuel Wheatley married Margaret nN in 1775. (I am waiting for more information regarding her surname).

Samuel Wheatley and Margaret had 5 children, namely…

1.  Samuel Wheatley 3rd born in 1768 and Baptised 19 January 1768 at Kirkmichael,

2.  Margaret Wheatley born 29 November 1769 at Kirkmichael and Baptised on the 5 December 1769,

3.   Hugh Wheatley born circa 1771 at Kirkmichael,

4.  Christopher Wheatley. Born c1773. Died after July 1829. Married Margaret Neil on the 24 August 1807.

5.  Mary Wheatley baptised 27 January 1775 at Kirkmichael and,

6.  Elizabeth Wheatley, the 5th child born to the Wheatley family. On the 27th of January 1775, she is baptised at Kirkmichael, Scotland. Through his daughter Elizabeth, Samuel Wheatley is to bestow his first name on succeeding generations and his surname as a first name to his descendants, the Cape of Good Hope McCallum family of South Africa, and the New ZealandNorth Island/ (Wellington) McCallum family of New Zealand.

Elizabeth Wheatley, birth cert, Cape of Good Hope McCallum's


The Smith’s


Another maternal line progenitor to the McCallum family is George Smith. In 1801 on the 8th of November George Smith of Scoonie, a parish in Fife, Scotland, marries Elspeth (Elizabeth) Smith. (Note. Same surname). George Smith is to bestow his first name and surname on his descendants (among them, the McCallum’s of South Africa and New Zealand) when his daughter marries into the McCallum family.


vIn 1805 on the 17th of December, Elizabeth Smith is born to George Smith and Elizabeth Smith of the Parish of Scoonie, Fife, Scotland. She is baptised on the 22 of December in Dunnichen, Angus. Elizabeth is to become a progenitor of the McCallum families of South Africa and New Zealand. (According to the 1841 Scottish Census Elizabeth is 30 in that year – this indicates a birth year of c1811. Note these records are not always accurate). Her siblings are her older sister Margaret Smith born on the 14 September 1802 at Scoonie, a younger sister Cecilia Smith born on the 24th November 1895 at Scoonie, and a brother named David Smith born in 1809 and baptised 4th January 1809 at Scoonie. It would appear from records that two further sons were born, namely William Smith who was baptised on the 10 November 1817 at Kettle (another document records at Cults) Fife, Scotland, and George Smith, baptised 17 December 1820 at Kettle. 

Elizabeth Smith, Birth Certificate


1806 and AFTER

In 1789, Alexander McCallum (son of James McCallum and Hannah nN) married Elizabeth Wheatley (daughter of Samuel and Margaret Wheatley).


1. Their first child born is James Denistone McCallum, born 2 June 1799 at Ardersier, Inverness, Scotland. Baptised – 2 June 1799 at Ardersier, Inverness, Scotland.

Ardersier is a small village situated on the southern shore of the Moray Firth, 10 miles east of the town of Inverness, in the Scottish Highlands, and close to Fort George. Fort George was built after the battle of Culloden and the Jacobite Rebellion.

James Denistone McCallum, Birth Certificate, Cape of Good Hope McCallum's

2. Their following child is born on the 28 December 1800 and is baptised as Duncan McCallum on the 4 January 1801 at Dumbarton, Dumbarton, Scotland.

Duncan McCallum, Birth Certificate

3. Margaret McCallum is born on the 21 December 1802 and baptised on the 26th of December 1802 at Dumbarton, Dunbarton, Scotland.

Margaret McCallum, Birth Certificate

4. In 1806 Samuel Wheatley McCallum is born in   Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland and Baptised 9 February 1806 to Alexander McCallum and   Elizabeth Wheatley/ Whitlaw/ Whitily/ Whitely, their 3rd son. He is to become the progenitor of    many hundreds of McCallum’s, as well as many maternal lines in South Africa and New Zealand.

Samuel Wheatley McCallum, Entry in Birth Certificate


5. Hannah McCallum 

Born in1808 and Baptised on the 3rd of July 1808 at Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland.

Hannah McCallum, entry, birth certificate

Note- these 5 names are to appear in succeeding generations, up and until the 5th generation).



Samuel Wheatley McCallum

Samuel Wheatley McCallum 2 

Samuel Wheatley McCallum

(The first Scottish Census records Samuel as being 30 years old in 1841.This would indicate that he was born c1811 – however, according to Kimberley Cemetery Records, he was born in 1802). In addition to these two dates – Scottish Birth and Baptism Records (that are taken from Church Baptism Records) state he was born in 1806. This date is the correct one.


 Samuel Wheatley McCallum is documented in the 1841 Scottish Census as a Currier by occupation. Samuel’s father Alexander McCallum was most likely a Currier before him. Trades were almost always passed down from father to son in an early form of protectionism. Samuel Wheatley McCallum’s sons – Alexander Wallace McCallum and Samuel Malcolm McCallum were also to follow in their father’s occupational footsteps. According to Maudie Palmer’s history, Samuel owned a Tannery/ Currier business in Argyllshire, Scotland.


The city of Glasgow and environs had a long tradition of leather working. The trades related to leather were Tanners, Curriers, Barkers, Souters, Saddlers, Cobblers and Cordwainers. The Glasgow Curriers belonged to a city guild called the Cordiners, who protected the trade’s interests, as well as protecting the purchasers of leather goods from the exploitation of unscrupulous guild members. For a Currier to operate within the confines of the city of Glasgow he would have first acquired admission to the Guild of Cordiners. He would thence be titled a ‘Burgess’ or a “Guild Brother’.

Samuel would have begun learning his trade at an early age, probably before even been apprenticed. An apprentice would have lasted a full 7 years, and an apprentice or young Currier would only have been considered to have learned his trade by the age of 23. The Currier trade – though strenuous and requiring physical strength – was a healthy occupation. Curriers were usually paid by piecework (per hide). (See later reference to piecework in this document). In the 1800’s an average wage in Scotland was stated to be 26 shillings a week, whereas a Currier could earn up to 2 to 3 pounds a week. Almost all Curriers belonged to a guild that protected workers and contributed support should a member be unemployed, fall ill or become injured or infirm. This was an age when becoming infirm from old age or being injured, and having no familial support would result in destitution and the Poor House.

Included in the benefits was an Emigration Scheme, by which members who were emigrating received funding.

The religious persuasion of the McCallum family (Cape of Good Hope McCallum’s) is Calvinism and their denomination (Presbyterian/ Church of Scotland). This remains true for several McCallum lines in SA to this day.

In 1828 on the 30 June, Samuel Wheatley McCallum and Elizabeth Smith are married in the town of Lanark. Samuel is 22 and Elizabeth is 23 years old.


1. In 1829, on the 07 April, Elizabeth McCallum nee’ Smith gives birth to her first born child – (Alexander (Wallace) McCallum) in Renfrew, Glasgow, Scotland. (Named after Samuel’s father according to Scottish naming traditions). Samuel is 23 years old and Elizabeth is 24 years old at the time.

Alexander Wallace McCallum as a young man


Alexander Wallace McCallum

2. In 1831 on the 9 February 1831, Elizabeth McCallum nee’ Smith gives birth to her second son, George McCallum in Glasgow. He is named after his maternal grandfather, George Smith. George McCallum must have died as a child as he is not recorded ten years later on the 1841 Scottish Census. His name George however, survives in later generations, down to the 20th Century, ie. George Thomas McCallum, the son of Alexander Wallace McCallum and the 21st Century, ie. George Edward McCallum, the son of Alexander Ernest McCallum.


3. In 1833 their third child (Samuel Malcolm McCallum) is born on the 22 of February in Glasgow, Scotland. Samuel is 27 and Elizabeth is 28 years old at the time. Samuel is named after his maternal Grandfather, Samuel Wheatley. (From Samuel Malcolm McCallum’s burial records in New Zealand, we know his second name was Malcolm).

Samuel Malcolm McCallum 2


Samuel Wheatley McCallum 

4. In 1835, on the 04 March in Glasgow, a daughter (Elizabeth McCallum) is born to Samuel Wheatley McCallum and Elizabeth McCallum nee’ Smith(Probably named after Elizabeth Smith’s mother). Elizabeth is 30 and Samuel 29 years old at the time and their firstborn (Alexander Wallace McCallum) is 6 years old.

Elizabeth McCallum


Elizabeth McCallum

5. In 1837, on the 05 of August, a second daughter (Mary Ann (Maryann) McCallum) is born in Glasgow. Samuel is 31 and Elizabeth McCallum nee’ Smith is 30 years old at the time and her eldest child is 8 years old.

Maryann Laing nee' McCallum 2


Maryann McCallum

6. On the 17 August 1839, in the city of Glasgow, a third daughter is born to Samuel and Elizabeth McCallum. She is named Margaret McCallumElizabeth is 34 years old. (Margaret is named after Elizabeth’s older sister, as well as Samuel’s sister).


7. In 1843, on the 30 April, a fourth daughter is born to Samuel and Elizabeth McCallum who are living in Glasgow; and name their daughter Agnes McCallum. 


In the 1841 Scottish Census (the first ever held) the McCallum family (Samuel Wheatley McCallum, his wife Elizabeth and 5 children) are recorded as living on High Street, East Side, Glasgow.

In the 1851 Scottish Census, Samuel and Elizabeth McCallum and their children are recorded as living at 6 Canning Street, Calton, Glasgow. He is listed as a Currier, employing 1 man and 3 apprentices.

At some stage before 1860, Elizabeth McCallum nee’ Smith’s mother, Elizabeth (Elspeth) Smith nee’ Smith dies in Glasgow and is buried in the Glasgow Great Necropolis.

On the 14th of September 1856 in Glasgow, Elizabeth McCallum gives birth to a child out of wedlock, and names her Ann Smith McCallum. The father is not known. Elizabeth is 21 years old at the time. Ann Smith McCallum’s descendant’s now reside in New Zealand and Australia.

Annie Smith McCallum and her aunt Mary Anne McCallum, NZ McCallum's

According to Maudie Palmer’s history – Alexander Wallace McCallum first studied for the Medical Profession, but when his father’s Tanning and Currier business failed he was obliged to pursue the tanning and currier trade.

Alexander Wallace McCallum and his brother Samuel Malcolm McCallum take up their father’s trade and become Curriers/ Tanners.


In 1858 Alexander Wallace McCallum and his younger brother Samuel Malcolm McCallum leave Lanark, Scotland, and board the ship ‘Edward Oliver’. They are listed as Curriers. The “Edward Oliver”, a 1166 ton ship, under the command of Master J. Baker was built in 1854 in Quaco, New Brunswick, Canada. These settlers embarked in Liverpool and departed Britain from Birkenhead, on the 10th of July 1858, with 481 souls on board. After 57 days at sea, they arrived in Table Bay on 5th September 1858 and disembarked on the 12th of September 1858. According to Aided Immigration records, Alexander was 28 and Samuel 25 years old in 1858. Samuel Malcolm McCallum (junior) progressed on to Algoa Bay (modern day Port Elizabeth) arriving there on the 23 July 1858. No doubt, the brothers viewed this area of the Eastern Cape as a feasible area to settle and establish a Tannery. From Alexander’s letter it is evident that this frontier area was in some turmoil, for the older brother cautions his brother to the dangers of the native Xhosa.


During the voyage, there were 14 deaths and seven births (6 males and 1 female). 25 very ill patients were landed in Table Bay, of whom 2 men, 1 woman and 5 children died in hospital. The ship’s surgeon, Dr. Fred Johnson was tasked with the health of the passengers, and a trained teacher, Thomas Gibbs, with their education. The passengers were not impressed with the service rendered by Dr. Johnson, accusing him of negligence and improper conduct and was said “not to have been completely sober during the whole voyage”. Some of the Scots on board accused him of “murder” and asked other passengers to sign a petition. Most passengers felt the wording was too strong and Master Baker prevailed upon the passengers to issue individual complaints to the immigration board rather than submitting a petition. Surgeon Johnson was also accused of having been too familiar with the young female passengers, that complainants stated he “made part of the ship look like a brothel”. Subsequent to the landing, Johnson made such a quick departure from Cape Town, that his departure was noted as being of “indecent haste”. An enquiry could not be held in time, however, complaints were sent to the Colonial Land and Emmigration Commissioners in London. These emigrants were of English, Scottish and Irish origin, of various trades and a fair proportion were domestic and farm servants. The immigration official was Mr. Field. The passengers of this voyage presented an ornate silver snuff box to Captain J. Baker of the ship ‘Edward Oliver’ as a mark of respect, when they arrived in Cape Town.  (An attempt should be made to obtain an image of the ‘Edward Oliver’). The majority of the artisans and tradesmen had immediate employ as there was a great demand for skilled men at the Cape, especially for the railway tracks being constructed from Cape Town to Wellington, as well as harbour construction projects in Table Bay. From a letter, it is evident that Alexander Wallace McCallum is first employed at a Tannery/Currier called ‘Blankie’. His younger brother Samuel Malcolm McCallum works as a Currier at Billingham’s in Algoa Bay or possibly in Uitenhage.

'Edward Oliver' ornate silver snuff box


The silver Snuff Box presented to the Captain of the ship ‘Edward Oliver’ by the passengers on reaching Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope.

Some time later Alexander McCallum sets up a Tannery in Sir Lowry Road in Cape Town. In the Cape Almanac  for the decades 1860/70 and 80 – it is recorded as the ‘McCallum Tannery’. (note- a file exists in the CT Archives on the McCallum Tannery, including a map).

Besides the domestic demand for leather, the Cape military garrison and military presence on the troubled Cape Frontier required leather as well.



“A shortage of labour in the Cape Province of South Africa had resulted in the promotion of large scale immigration which included the appropriation of £50,000 by the authorities to recruit immigrants from England and Scotland. For a £1 deposit their application would be considered for an assisted passage. The ships chartered to carry immigrants to the Cape between 1858 and 1862 were mainly wooden sailing ships or barques. Family members already at the Cape would encourage their relatives back home to immigrate to South Africa. Government subsidies were added incentive to do so. Passages were not free, but were inexpensive.

The British Government, who were concerned about the emigration of their workforce to America, which comprised a loss to the Empire, decided to re-direct these emigrants to the Cape Colony, Australia and New Zealand. In the case of the Cape, even though the country was plagued by infertile soils and droughts, hostile interior tribes such as the Xhosa and the rebellious Dutch colonists. As early as in may 1813, Colonel Graham urged authorities to people the Zuurveldt with Highland crofters who were been driven off their holdings back in Scotland. Richard Fisher, a merchant and friend of Sir John Cradock, published a book called ‘The Importance of the Cape of Good Hope as a Colony to Great Britain’. Scottish immigrants were considered to be the preferred settlers. Several Scottish settler parties had arrived in SA prior to the 1858, such as the Moodie Party in 1817, and these had proven to be good settlers.”

On the 3rd of November 1858, 4 months after his sons left for the Cape of Good Hope, Samuel Wheatley McCallum writes a touching and fatherly letter to his sons in Cape Town from Glasgow, Scotland. He is curious about conditions at the Cape of Good Hope and presses his sons for information. On his mind is the thought of joining his sons at the Cape too, with his wife and daughters. All punctuation and bracketed information is my own and added for clarity.

My Dear Sons


Glasgow 3rd Nov, 1858


We received your long looked for letter on the 29th Oct. And are hoping to hear of your walfare & that you arrived Safe in the Land of Promice. My wish is that it may turn out, with the Almighty(s) Blessing, a Land of Promice (and) that your Lot is Cast in. I arn (am) happy to hear of your being both in good health, which is the gratest Blessing we can enjoy & I hope that your endeavours may Prove successful. Although the Colney (colony) is not what it was represented to be, there is no dout (doubt) you will find all things strange. You must go on (to) parcvear (persevere) & in good time you will overcome all difictuleys (difficulties). By the time this comes to hand you will have a better Idea of the Place and how you can do. We ware (were) glad to hear of your getting work, for ‘small Pottas are better than none’, and I hope Sam (Samuel) may look about him & Both get up the Cuntrey (Country) for I think you would be better Inland, whatever you are doing.

Samuel proceeds to give his sons some local news, about acquaintances and those emigrating to England and America , as well as labour unrest in the Leather Trade in Glasgow. (note. MacIntosh’s and Craigs are Tanneries).

Bob Hamilton Arrived from America the week after you left, and ‘did not find out the good Parish’, but I think he could not find it any place. He is working for himself & he was 4 weeks with us, and walked off without Paying his bord (board)& never looked near us since, but it is like the Man. I left MacIntosh’s on the fair Fridy (Friday) and has not gone back again. I was 5 week on Strick (Strike) and got a Job from Mr. Block, but not half Work. I took to save me going out of town. There is great Changes since you left. Old Pate is in Dublin & his Son, young Pat, hashad a shock of Palsey & the men are all scattred (scattered) through the Country, Some in England. Traid (trade) is good thare (there). William Hill bolted for America as Mac kept him out & did not send for him. John McDougall went to America, Hutton tok (took) in Huches when the men turned out, and last week Dobbee & Mitchell turned. Oh thare (there) is a lot of bad dogs amongst tham (them). Thare (there) is not one of thame (them) you can put dependance on. The Craig’s are Bankrop (bankrupt) & James Bolted to Amarica and left Sandy to fight it out. He as gor (got) a setelment (settlement) @ 10/- Per (pound).

Samuel goes on to write on family issues…

Margaret (McCallum/ daughter) left Radogs & is in Brice’s at 8/- Per Week. Agnes (McCallum/ daughter) has got a rise of 6d Per Week & her Mistres (mistress) made her some Prasents (presents).

Be Shure (sure) & Cos (because) no opertunety (opportunity) of writing us, Either By Mail or private Ship, to let us know how you are getting on and if you think it would be advisable to Prepare to come out to you. The McLeans are all well. James has had six weeks Drinking since you left (3 weeks at a tirne (turn/ time?). Your Ant (Aunt) Mary got you (your) Portrat and has been very kind to Mother. We will send out our Portraits nixt (next) mail.

(note. Of interest is the fact that Alexander Wallace McCallum was adept as a draughtsman. We see that years later at the Cape he wins an award for his crayon drawing at an exhibition).

Samuel returns to the topic of the leather trade and work…

Trade is not good hear (here) and we niver (never) got the Room let. The strike is all settld (settled). Peace-work (piece-work) being generlay (generally) given over all the Cuntrey (Country). Some of the men that got Peace Work went and turned at the old wages in Ayr (Ayrshire) & Lanark (Lanarkshire). It would require a pamphlet to let you know (all) that has gone on since you left. (‘Piecework’ refers to the long-standing provision that a Currier was paid a fee for each hide he finished, and this in contrast to being paid a fixed salary. An energetic man could thus secure remuneration for his efforts. We now get an indication of the reason for the strike.

Samuel finishes his letter with the following…

Your Sisters sends thare love to you.

My Dear Sons May

The Almighty Ever shield

And Protect You in all

Your undertakings, is the

Hope of you(r) Affecnot (Affectionate)

Father & Mother.

S & E McCallum


Letter from Alexander Wallace McCallum, written in Cape Town, to his brother Samuel Malcolm McCallum in Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape. Transcribed by Graham Leslie McCallum.


Cape Town

January 16th 1858 (1859) (Alexander should have written the year as 1859 – for he and his brother only arrived at Table Bay from Scotland aboard the ‘Edward Oliver’ on the 12th of September 1858).


Dear Brother


I am glad to hear of your safe arrival and your wealfare (welfare) as I was very uneasy at not getting a letter for so long a time. I am enjoying good health. Thank God. Hoping your (sp) are the same. Be very careful and not go out alone for the caffirs (Xhosa) are a bad lot.

I have letters from home and a paper. The letters I send and in it you will see something to astonish you. Some of the Glasgow bullies came out in thars (there) true colour, and some. Not good news.


 Father out of work. I am always with Blankie going on at the old stile (style).

 We have had the Elections this last week. Louw is elected Member for Cape Town. The Election is all a farce. Heare (here) niggars voting and do not know what thay (they) are voting for. Thay (they) know that some gives 21, some 31 for a vote and that is all.

The second day of the polling their (there) was a fight. The Lyra war Steamers crew, half of them had got ashore and Louw had a Dutch flag on the parade. The sailors took and lowed (lowered) it below the Union Jack, then one tore it in pieces. The Dutch got angry at that and a fight took place. The Lord clearing the Parade in grand stile (style).


I have not got any word from Uitenhage.

There was a currier come out heare (hear) 4 weeks. I paid his passage 1 pound. Not a Society man. The last time I saw him he had no word of a job.

The german is always in Blankies. He is a bright divel (devil) for the the girls. He wants to now (know) if thar (there) is any chance of a wife whare (where) you are, as I was telling him of you. He says he would like to start a canteen as it is a good paing (paying) job in King William(s) Town. He gives a bad account of curring (currying) in America whare (where) he was 10 years and lernt (learnt) the trade their (there).

 The English Mail I hear has come in to day. Not for certan (certain).

Hoping you like the place and are content with your Master. Stop Sam for some time in this place and not be running away to another. I see the wages wasn’t so good at Billinghams, as Boys told you.

No more at present.

Your Loving


Alex Mac  Callum


Ps. Let me now (know) in your next what like the country looks up heare. AM



1859. In a follow up letter to his sons at the Cape – (These letters were fortunately preserved in New Zealand, having been found in the home of Anne Ferguson McCallum and that of her granddaughter after their deaths and preserved by Lynne Armstrong nee’ Cook, a descendant of Samuel Malcolm McCallum and his wife Anne Ferguson McCallum nee’ Alexander).


Samuel Wheatley McCallum writes (Samuel’s diction and spelling)…

“While I am writing this in comes John Woodside and his Riffel Dress John Roberts and the Willies have joyned  the Eistrein Division Alex McCallum and Malcolm have joyned tham thare is to be raised Lanark Shire alone from 20 to 30 thousand it is Ganerd over the whote Countrey the Taners Curriers Shoe Makers and Saddlers have formed a Leather Brigade and old MacIntosh is canvasing to be thare Cornale over the Blacks and the young Eglins are trying hard to get in as Insine and Lutinents thay ware in the first Eistrein but left it becase thay did not get the strips”…


(The following is my transcription and with modern spelling… )

“While I am writing this letter, John Woodside came in dressed in his Rifle uniform (Scottish Rifles). John Roberts and the Willies have joined the Eistrein Division (I have not been able to ascertain who the Eistrein Division were). Alex (Alexander) McCallum and Malcolm have joined them. (Probable family members/ brothers to Samuel). There are plans to raise in Lanarkshire alone, 20 to 30 thousand recruits. They are to be gathered from across the whole country. The Tanners, Curriers, Shoemakers and Saddlers have formed a Leather Brigade. Old Macintosh, is canvassing to be the Colonel over The Blacks. (Black Watch – the 42nd Royal Highland Regiment of Foot) The young Eglin’s are trying hard to be commissioned as Ensign and Lieutenants. They were in the 1st Eistrein Regiment (?) but left because they did not get their stripes.


He proceeds to say (my transcript) “I think the time is fast approaching when all Britons will be taught the use of the rifle. This is a move in the right direction, for it is in a time of peace to learn the art of war. If anything such as an invasion takes place, then they will get a hot reception. And if they (enemy – French) went into any part of the country, training would be so general, that they could gather them from every point of the compass. There are some in the Works that are forming 2 or 3 Companies of Rifles and Artillery. The men you see at night are all in uniform, going to drill or coming from it. It is very fashionable. It will take them some time to get through all the drudgery of Drill before they get into all the moves of it.” (The British were still concerned after the attempt made by Napoleon to invade Britain and its repulse at Trafalgar. In 1859 there was again a fear of a French invasion. Later in the letter, Samuel mentions the Volunteer Movement – this was a process begun in 1794 to give the general male population military training, (something akin to our Commando System). In Samuel’s time in the 1850’s it was mostly rifle training with a little drill thrown in. It was used as a method to limit the migration of Scots to other parts of the world by rich landlords, who were now afraid that their cheap labour pool was leaving for the new world. It was thought that the wage paid to Volunteers coupled to what they made in their day jobs would encourage Scots to stay. This failed as the payment for many Volunteer Corps were inadequate. It obviously did not keep Alexander Wallace McCallum or his brother Samuel Malcolm McCallum (the sons of Samuel Wheatley McCallum) in the country.


In 1859 Samuel Wheatley McCallum of High Street, Glasgow, Scotland, writes a letter to his sons, Alexander Wallace McCallum and Samuel Malcolm McCallum in Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, dated 3 July 1859. Text within brackets and punctuation is that of the transcriber (Graham Leslie McCallum). The original letters is in the possession of Lynn Armstrong of Wellington, New Zealand, a descendant of Samuel Malcolm McCallum.


Glasgow 3 July 1859

My Dear Sons

We are happy to hear of your being both well, as leaves us all. Mother is a great dale (deal) better. I hope this will find you both in the enjoyment of health. Trusting that the blessing of health may still be continued to you in the Land of the Stranger.

(It) Is the Prayer of Father and Mother to the Almighty, giver of all things & that it may still be continued to you in all your undertakings. Be verry (very) casus (cautious) of entering Bussness (business) with any one ’till you know tham (them) well, & make a sure-bargain, or it may spoil your Prospects at the out set (outset). As an instence (instance) of it, I wrote Powell & Sons, and they acknoladg (acknowledge) the Bale of Skins, but they say as expected on exemanation (examination), that thay (they) would not pay the Freight & Charges on tham (them), and thay (they) are to be sold to pay the same, for thay (they) now (know) nothing at all about the Partie (party) who consigned tham (them). The note thay (they) sent me I enclose to you and read it, and make the best of it you can, for I think it is a Peace (piece) of Rogrey (roguery) altogether & I entend (intend) to go to the underwriters & make enquiry how are the owners of the vessel & write to see if thay (they) had to do what Powell & Sons have said.

Thare (there) is one of the morroea (mirror) – finishers who says if I go to the Cape, he will go with me if I can get him out. He is (a) married man (with) wife & 1 child. His name is John Adams & a first class workeman. But I would note (not) think of him coming out if you ware (were) not in Bussines (business) for your self & then we could mange (manage) the matter in sutch (such) a way that it would be bunificul (beneficial) to all concerned. You may think I am going too fast – “Ais (is) good to hop to the last wither”. Ever I be in the Cape or not.

James Obrian has beat MacKintosh. You will see the Shirriffs (Sheriffs) dececion (decision) of the case in the 2 Harlds (Heralds (newspaper)) I send you. Send one to Sam (Samuel Malcom McCallum) that he may see it. Tel (tell) him to write and let us know if he got my letter with the seeds in it. & (And) William Lile wonders at Sam that he dos (does) not write him. You are to call on James Boyes Boot Maker & Grave(…?) and make enquirey (enquire) about Alex McLauchlin & let us know in your next (letter) for his mother & sister are very anxous (anxious) to hear of him, for the letter they got he said he was suffering from the bite of an insect & thay (they) have got only 2 letters since he left.

James Portous is now the Controlar (Controller) of the Post Office. (I) Hear that is a great advance (advance) to him & his brother is always going about as yet he is very weak.

Your cusan (cousin) Mary McLean is at Law with hir (her) husband for an albament (anulment?). Thay (they) are not likely to go together again. (Divorce).

You will see I made a mistake in turning the leaf of this letter – they are numbred (numbered) at the top to guide you.

We send you 4 Penny posts (stamps)  – in tham (them) is all the Local News.

We have a visit from William B(r?)ard & wife & son to day (today). It is a fine child.

Your old acquatances (acquaintances) I see send thare (there) respects to you both.


Your Sisters all send thare Love to you. No more at present (present) from your Affecnot (affectionate) Father.

Samuel MCullum


1859 and 1860

vIn 1859, Samuel Wheatley McCallum is 52 and Elizabeth McCallum nee’ Smith is 53 years old. They are residing in Glasgow, Scotland, with his wife Elizabeth McCallum nee’ Smith, and their 4 younger daughters and granddaughter. Alexander Wallace McCallum is 30 years old. Samuel Malcolm McCallum is 26 years old. Elizabeth McCallum is 24 years old. Maryann McCallum is 22 years old. Margaret McCallum is 19 years old. Agnes McCallum is 16 years old. Ann McCallum is approximately 4 or 5 years old.


In 1859 Samuel McCallum (senior) is unemployed as a result of the sequestration of his employer, James and Alexander (Sandy) Craig of ‘Craig’s Tannery” in the first half of the year. He writes in a letter dated 2nd December 1859 from Glasgow to his son Alexander Wallace McCallum the following… “I am out of work just now, for ‘Alex Craig’ is under sequasteration (sequestration) and the Ballie (Bailey) (who is) his brother (,) is going to carry on the bussines (business) himself and I think Sandy will be employed as another man. I called today, I did not see Mr. James (Craig), but he left word for me to look out for some hides and Kips (a hide of a young animal), or any goods that I thought he might try. And of corse (course) I will be set to work again. If not, I must try and pop in some whare (where), for I do not like to leave the Town or to wate (wait) too long idle. On tham (them)(concerning Craig’s Tannery) the Ballie (Bailey) ofred (offeredto settle with Alex(‘s) craditors (creditors) and give tham 15/- in the pound before Sequastration was taken out, and some of tham (creditors) less 13/8 in the pound. And if they don’t take that, he is going to rank as a creditor for 1395 pound(s) that he has lost by tham, and they will not get 1/- in (the) pound, and begin with a new stock altogether”.

Elizabeth McCallum (Senior) is in poor health suffering from a chest complaint, and is confined to bed with bronchitis. In a letter to his son Alexander Wallace McCallum in Cape Town from Glasgow dated 2nd December 1859, he writes… “My Dear son. Yours of 21st Oct came duly to hand and it gave great confort to hear of your well fare. Thank God for his Goodness to you. This leaves us all well, except Mother who has been beadfast for the last month with broncatous (bronchitis). I think Mothers trouble all is through the cough and it was Dr. James Dick that attended hir and is getting fast better and is able to (get) up part of every day. Thank God for kindness to us in restoring Mother to health. We have had very foggy weather and it affects Mother very mutch, for she is very ready to get cold. And the cough is the cause of all hir trouble. The Doctor sounded hir and said it all arouse from the cough. Hir head was so bad that all the heare (hair) had to be cut out (as) the pain was so excesices (excessive)”. From this segment of Samuel’s letter it is apparent that Elizabeth McCallum nee’ Smith’s health problems are more than just asthma and bronchitis. The condition of her head is indicative of another serious health issue.

From surviving records there appears to be relatives in Glasgow, namely – Alex McCallum (Alexander), Sandy, Malcolm and James (most likely James Denistone McCallum, Samuel Wheatley McCallum’s brother).

Alexander Wallace McCallum having set up the McCallum Tannery in Sir Lowry Road in Cape Town commences trading in pelts and hides, exporting these commodities back to Great Britain to his father. In a letter written by Samuel Wheatley McCallum to his son Alexander Wallace McCallum in Cape Town, we read the following… “we have got the skins at last, after a months writeing. The Powells at last indorsed the Bill of Landing to the ‘Pellings’, and not a scrape of a pen in thare (their) note about tham. So they had to write to a party in London to look after tham. Thay ware in the London Docks Stores and have got knocked about a great dale (deal) and got staned (stained). They arrived hear (here) on the 28th Nov. I went over to ‘Pellings’ to see tham and opened one of the Bayes (bales), and the pelt(s) looked well, only stanid (stained), like with iron. Lorard (says) , the value of tham, he say he has made a sale of tham at 8d each. I think the Powalls & Son(‘s) expected to get a cheap lot. I will send in nixt the real value of (the) Cape Pelts in order to let you know. If thay had been consigned to me, I think I would have made a better thing of tham (for) thay cost more (as a result of them going) to the London Docks Compiny, then (if they came) coming (straight to me) from the Cape. I will get the note of the whole expences from the ‘Pellings’ and send it to you.”


A relative, James (almost certainly James Denistone McCallum) and another ‘Uncle’ to Alexander Wallace McCallum and Samuel Malcolm McCallum are also involved in the trade of exporting Cape wool back to Great Britain. Samuel McCallum (senior) writes to his son Alexander Wallace McCallum in a letter dated 1859 the following…


James and Uncle……..(record unclear)…..are both going ahead with the business with regard to the Cape wool. It brings from D- to 21- according to quality that is. (At) the last selling prices and thay usely keep that for 3 months, the agent stated that London was the best Market for it (because) thare (there) was far more buyers attended the sales thare so that thare is more chance of it bringing a higher price then at the Small Sales hear (here).

In 1859 there is a debate going on in the McCallum family whether or not to join the two sons in Cape Town, South Africa. Samuel Wheatley McCallum is positive about emigrating. Elizabeth McCallum nee Smith’s fragile health must be an important consideration for not coming, as is the concern about moving to a strange land. Sea voyages were arduous and many died at sea on the voyage. Samuel Wheatley McCallum writes to Alexander Wallace McCallum the following in a letter dated 1859… “You mention in Yours (letter) that Sam (Samuel McCallum (junior)) is of your opinion now about us all coming out. We will wate (wait) a bit to see how you get on thare (there). Is not the least doubt, but it would be better for us to be altogether. If you can have the pot boiling for us when we come. I do not think the change of living would affect us mutch. We can take a rive at any thing in the shape of grubb. It would be better than being knocked about heare”.

On the 29 December 1859 at 3.15 am, Elizabeth McCallum nee’ Smith dies in the arms of Samuel Wheatley McCallum aged 54. She is buried on the 03 of January 1860, besides her mother in Glasgow. (Present evidence suggests Elizabeth is buried in the Great Necropolis in Glasgow. When all tomb inscriptions come on-line for the cemetery, it might allow us to locate her and her mother’s grave site).

 A bereaving Samuel Wheatley McCallum writes a sad and touching letter to his son Samuel Malcolm McCallum in South Africa, dated the 4th January 1860 from Glasgow… “My dear son Samuel. Yours of the 10th November came duly to hand on the 26th December and we ware (were) happy to see that you ware both well. Thank God for his marcies (mercies) to us all, and still hope that this may find you in good health. Our Dear Mother fell asleep in the Lord on the 29th December at a quarter past three morning. Hir (Her) letter (latter) end was peace, for she breathed hir last in my bosom. I being aware that a change was taking place. We have lead (laid) hir beside hir Mother on the 3rd Inst. (instant, ie January 1860) My dear son, may God in his goodness support us all under our present bereavement (bereavement). Your Sisters sends thare Love to you. From Your Affecnot (Affectionate) Father, Samuel McCallum”.


Samuel Wheatley McCallum nursed his wife in her final illness and stayed at her side not going to work, for he writes in a later letter dated March 1860 … “I was a long time idle & I could not go out of Town oing (owing) to Mother being so unwell, it was so ordered, for Mother would have me to sit beside hir during hir last Illness”.

In 1859, Alexander Wallace McCallum of Sir Lowry Road, McCallum Tannery, Cape Town, Cape Colony, sends a letter to his younger brother Samuel Malcolm McCallum, who is either in Australia or New Zealand. Italic text in brackets and the punctuation is that of the Transcriber (Graham Leslie McCallum).

The original letter in the possession of Lynn Armstrong, a descendant of Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Anne Ferguson Alexander.


Cape Town

Oct 13th 1859


Dear Brother

I have not got a scrape from you since the 16th of last month. Since then I sent you 4 posts and one letter. If you have sent a letter with the order in it, send mine direct to, so that I may make all enquires about and register it.

I wonder what up with you? May I hope in God, this finds you in good health as it leaves me at present.

 I can get a five note (in) this mail and wait for your order. To get it, I am going to have it from a young man, a german Scot, who is draught man to Peckring the Rail Contractor. I have got to know him thro (through) his coming to board at the d(D)utchmans. He is agent for iron work of every kind from a bridge to a hand glass (hand mirror). He wants me to send you up a book of patterns to you, to show the people about you.

 Let me know what you can get silver jackal karrosses for, or any king karrosses, tiger skins, or lion

(do?). (a kaross is a South African blanket made of animal furs, especially jackal pelts).

 I am very sorry to have to inform you that Millen has played a dirty trick of some kind and bolted, and had his master Linden(’s) men after him, and arrested him, and putting him in the tronk. (Cape Dutch for jail). They caught him up at Saldana (Saldhana) Bay and the papers said, speaking of the affair, a (clea….?) capture.  He changed his name on the road twice. It is some(thing) about a contract he wanted, some say to be a (Bos/ Bas?) the humbug (fraud) and got money on the contract, and made French Leave (absence without permission). My opinion is that he got thro (through) the money before he cut. He is out on Bail of 200 pounds by some of the Eemigrants (immigrants?). Ma(c)gregor told me he went to the tavern whare (where) he is Bording (Boarding), he saw Millen sitting in a gown, but he took no notice of Mac.

 I have got 23 Letters from you since you left, but must say, if you have beat me in number, that I am sure I beat you in the size of the letters.

 May God Bless you Dear Brother. Your loving Brother.

Alex MacCallum

Ps. I intend to send 4 posts along (unclear) the mail (faded and unclear 4 word text).


In March 1860, after the death of his wife, Samuel Wheatley McCallum is working again at Craig’s Tannery in Glasgow, Scotland. He is 54 years old.

vIn March 1860, Mary McCallum (junior) is working as a seamstress in Glasgow and Margaret McCallum is a Hat Trimmer at Brice’s Hat Shop at Bucks Head. Agnes McCallum is working as a Capmaker at Mrs. Hays.

Also in the home at Glasgow in March 1860, is a child called AnnAnn (Annie) Smith McCallum was born on the 14th September 1856 out of wedlock to Elizabeth McCallum (father unknown). Samuel Wheatley McCallum writes of his lively granddaughter… “Ann is a fine Stout Child and gust (just) trots about the kitchen like a bit of Indian rubber.”

In 1859/ 1860, Alexander Wallace McCallum meets Christina Frances Helena Henkes (Heintjes) (Heintjies)  (Called Grace by Alexander) in Fischhoek and marries her on the 23 April 1860 in Cape Town. Christina/ Grace is 11 years younger than her husband. She was born in 1840 in Cape Town and was baptised in the German Lutheran Church. Alexander is 31 years old and his wife Grace is 20 years old when they marry.

Alexander Wallace McCallum and Christine Heintjes, Marriage Certificate

Christina Frances Helena Henkes (surname spelled Heintjes and Henkes (Dutch spelling) and Heintjies (Afrikaans, Cape-Dutch spelling) was the daughter of Johan Hendrik Henkes (Heintjes) and Frederika Catharina Johanna Theron (also – Frederica Helena Theron.

Christina (Grace) McCallum nee' Heintjes Bapt


Baptism Certificate of Christina Frances Helena Heintjes.

Christina (Grace) Livingstone, McCallum nee' Heintjes 3

Christina (Grace) Frances Helena Heintjes (Henkes / Heintjies).


The Henkes family are of German origin. Johan Hendrik Henkes/ Heintjes was the son of Bernhard Henkes/ Heintjes and Madelaine Urbach of Ossenberg and Rheinberg, Rheinland, Prussia. Bernhard Henkes/ Heintjes was the son of Bernard Hentjez and Anne Getrude Ticken. Madelaine Urbach was the daughter of Geuleaume Urbach and Gertruda Tapman.

Frederika Catharina Johanna Theron was the daughter of Johannes Joachim Theron, a 4th generation descendant of the well known French Huguenot family and Petronella Leeb. Petronella died giving birth to Fredericka and was raised by her father. Johannes Joachim Theron was the son of Pieter Lodewyk Theron and Hendrina Janszen (Jansen).


The following Theron descent line gives clarity to the text. 


Jasques Theron x nN

Jasques Theron x Maria Jeanne Du Preez (Huguenots)

Jasques Theron x Elizabeth Du Toit

Pieter Lodwyk Theron x Hendrina Janszen

Johannes Joachim Theron x Petronella Leeb

Fredericka Catharina Johanna Theron x Johann Heinrich(Hendrik)  Henkes (Heintjes/ Heintjies)

Christina Frances Helena Heintjes x Alexander Wallace McCallum



On the 4th of March 1860, Samuel Wheatley McCallum writes a letter to his son in the Eastern Cape from Glasgow, Scotland. It reads…

“My Son Samuel.

 Yours of the 11th January came duly to hand and we are happy to heare of your wallfore. Thanks be to God for His Goodness to us all. Trusting this find you well. Your Sisters are all in thare ordner (ordinary?) health. I have been very bad with the cold for some time. I think I am getting better. You mention in yours (letter asking) about your Sisters. Mary is still darning away as yet, and Margret is a hat trimer (trimmer) in Brices hat shop at the Bucks Head, and Agnes is still with Mrs. Hays at the Cap Makeing, and I am in Craigs (tannery). I was a long time idle and I coud not go out of town oing (owing) to Mother being so unwell. It was so ordered, for Mother would have me sit beside hir (her) during hir last illness. You mention in your letter about a pipe. I will get one for you and send it out to you (as well) as all the particalurs about the organ accordon. I do not know the name of David Smillies wife. I will give it in our nixt. Ann is a fine stout child and gust (just) trots about the kitchen like a bit of Indian rubber. Mr. Hodge and most of your acquantencs sends thare respects, so to you your Sisters send thare Love to you. From Your Affecnot Father, Samuel McCallum”.


The letter below, was written by Alexander Wallace McCallum in Cape Town to his brother Samuel Malcolm McCallum, in New Zealand, 1860. The text in brackets and the punctuation is that of the Transcriber (Graham Leslie McCallum). The original letter is in the possession of Lynn Armstrong nee’ Cook of Wellington, New Zealand, a descendant of Samuel Malcolm McCallum.

Much of the letter is devoted to the process required to tan hides. We know that Alexander was a Tanner and Currier as he sets up the McCallum Tannery in Sir Lowry Road in Cape Town. This letter indicates that Samuel might not have been well acquainted with the tanning process, but more with the currying of hides which is a secondary process, for his brother leads him through the process. Of interest, the South African Archives hold a Patent taken out by Alexander McCallum for a tanning preparation made from the bark of a certain species of protea. On the last page of the letter, Alexander sketches a machine that would aid the tanning process for his brother.

This letter was written by Alexander only two months after his marriage to Christina Frances Helena Heintjes who he married on the 23 April 1860 in the Cape Town Scottish Church (Presbyterian). In this letter he spells her name Christinia Ferances Helena Heintjes. For some unknown reason he called her Grace. Alexander writes that Christina was an accomplished player of the accordion. In another letter written by Alexander to his father Samuel Wheatley McCallum in Scotland, he asks that he be sent out an accordion. This no doubt for his wife. Latter generations of McCallum’s also played the accordion.

In this letter Alexander speaks of James Millen, a young man in Cape Town of whom he writes of in a previous letter to Samuel. Samuel McCallum appears to have been acquainted with this young man (possibly an apprentice) who had committed some fraud and made-off, only to be arrested in Saldhana Bay and imprisoned.

In this letter Alexander mentions having been sleepy after attending a ball the previous night, and this is borne out in his writing, which deteriorates progressively towards the end of the letter, making the transcribing an arduous task. Complicating the task is that Alexander did not use punctuation and much of his spelling is not standard English. G. L. McCallum.


Cape Town

June 5th 1860


My Dear Brother


I hope this finds you in good health as it leaves me. But my wife has been unwell with a cold, but is getting better. I think I hear you saying – what the duce is up with him now. A whole month and no letters; but forgive me Sam, time after time, the night sliped (slipped) past and my wife says you have not written to your brother. You are a fine brother, this is what is called giving you beans.

My wife was very sick for three days with pain in her stomach and it set her dreiming (dreaming), and left me skeared (scared) me a bit, but when the pain left her, she was as fresh and easy as ever. Her name is Christinia Ferances Helena Heintjes. (Christina Frances Helena Heintjes/ Henkes).

 I will set about the permit Bissniss (Business) for home diretly (directly) and get if off by this mail if possable (possible).

The weather heare (here) is very fine at present, we had one little gale and one ship on shore for a beginning. You speak of frost – as (and this has) given me to think (of the frost) it is the frost that has been in that part of the Colony, some parts 40 minutes from Cape, hale (hail) balls, frost and snow.

About that box of yours – when I wrote you that James Millen had got it. I intended taking it to his lodging, but heare (here) it is yet, vexing me every time I think of it, and that is every day, but God willing – will not do so long.

You asked me about alum leather – I will give you the whole prosses (process). In the first place, the hide is salted, are put in clear water so long as to take all the salt out them. Spread out one on the top the other, and split them, scraped on the seam. Tannic one and then put into old or dead lime for two or three days. Then into a stronger dose, then into a hot fresh lime, then out of that and unhair them before fleshing. Into clean water. After fleshing, scraped clean on the grain, then into the brown (tannic acid) for 8 or as many days as you may think they require. Scrape on the grain, then into clean water, out of that, into the alum and salt, in that they are kept for 8 days. Handled every day once or twice, then leave them for to drip for a day, and if you have a wall or rails out in the sun, hang them out grain up and dry them good, then sock them and cover up and let them lay for a day of course (cause) to get all alike, they must not be two (too) wet or thay (they) get hard again, and break them  for the first time – then spread out to dry and if they are not wanted, let them lay in the heaps after thay (they)are almost dry or dry altogether. Break them a second time, flesh and grain, flesh and grain, the first time two (to) begin at the but (butt) and go down the ridge, them back again. Re glue break is the best, not heare (here) a break and thare (there) a break. It is good for nothing that stiles (style) of thing. As I told the three Tomicks the other day. If quite dry, they turn very soft, the alum makes hard and the salt soft. I am not sure at present how much for each, but I think in one of my letters I spacke (spoke) of it.

 This is a sort of a sketch of one (here Alexander inserts a small drawing of a machine). The leave (lever) into a fist that goes from the floor to the celling (ceiling), and the front wired a bit to keep the end of the leave (lever) from the ground and the boys tumbling over if & the hides. Slip a bolt thro (through) the place A.

The paper is almost at an end and my wife is very sleepy. We were at a ball last night till 4 ocl (o’clock) this morning, them up at seven to work. She is playing the accordion while I write and plays well.

God Bless you dear brother. Is the dearest wish of your loving brother.

Alex Mac Callum

Ps. My wife sends her love to you.

POST 1860

In 1861 after the death of his wife Elizabeth, Samuel Wheatley McCallum makes the decision to emigrate to the Cape of Good Hope. Samuel is 55 years old. In 1861 he and his daughters and granddaughter board the ship ‘Sedgemoor 2’ for a 2 and a half – to three month voyage, and arrive in Table Bay in July 1861, where they are met by Alexander Wallace McCallum in Cape Town. At the time Elizabeth (Eliza) McCallum is 24 years old and a Dressmaker by profession, Maryann (Mary Ann) McCallum is 21 years old and a Milliner (hat maker), Margaret McCallum is 19 years old and a Hat Trimmer and Capmaker, Agnes McCallum is 16 years old and a Capmaker, and lastly, Elizabeth McCallum’s daughter, Ann Smith McCallum is a child of 6 years. Samuel’s immigration was sponsored by his son, Alexander Wallace McCallum. Samuel (senior) joins his son at the ‘McCallum Tannery and Curriers’ in Sir Lowry Street.


In 1861, on the 29 July, Alexander Wallace McCallum and Christina (Grace) McCallum give birth to their firstborn – Samuel Heintjies McCallum(He is named after his paternal and maternal grandfathers). Alexander is 32 years old and Grace is 21 years old.

In circa 1861 Margaret McCallum, aged 19, marries Brown Lawrence in Cape Town. Brown arrived in SA in May 1860 from County Derry, Ireland, and is recorded on his arrival as being a Farm Labourer, aged 19, and having voyaged on the ship ‘Wellington’. Brown’s emigration was sponsored by Mr. McGibbon.

According to Maudie Palmer’s history – the McCallum sisters were employed making the kilts and uniforms of the Cape Town Highlanders.


Maternal line – Zweig


In 1861 on the 17 of July, the Zweig family arrives in Cape Town on the ship ‘Peter Godeffroy’. Ernst Thomas Friedrick Zweig (Ernest) aged 29 from Sindringen, Wurttenberg, Germany; his wife Johanna Sophia Klett (born in Mochmuhl, Germany and aged 32) and their three daughters born in Mochmuhl, Caroline (aged 7) Friederike (aged 5) and Louise Rosine (aged 2) take up residence in Cape Town. In Germany, Ernst was a Kuhwagter (Herdsman). They have another child – Ernest Zweig at the Cape. Ernst Zweig (senior) after the death of his first wife, marries a Augusta Hoffmann, as does his son Ernest to Augusta Hoffmann’s daughter from an earlier marriage. Ernst has a further two children, a son and daughter to Hoffman. Ernst sets up as a Grocer and General Dealer in Tennant Street, only a street away from the McCallum Tannery and home in Sir Lowry Street.

Ernst Gottlieb Zweig a

Ernst Thomas Friedrick Zweig (Ernest)

zweig family

The Zweig Family, Cape Town. Louise Rosine Zweig (bottom left) is in later years to marry John Douglas Smith McCallum, the 3rd son of Alexander Wallace McCallum (senior).


In 1862, on the 18th of November, Christina gives birth to her second son – Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) in Cape Town. (He is named after his father and Great Grandfather).

In circa 1863, Elizabeth McCallum married George Brown Steven (the 7th child of Williamson and Margaret Steven of Edinburgh) in Cape Town.

Elizabeth Steven, Watson nee' McCallum 3

Elizabeth Steven nee’ McCallum.


In 1864, Alexander Wallace McCallum (Senior) and his wife apparently return to Scotland to visit family because in 1864, Christina McCallum (Grace) gives birth to her third son (John Douglas Smith McCallum) in Loch Lomond, Scotland.

John Douglas Smith Mccallum 2 (2)

John Douglas Smith McCallum

In 1864 Elizabeth Steven nee’ McCallum and George Brown Steven give birth to their first child and name him George Williamson Steven.


In 1864 on the 8 April, Maryann McCallum marries John Gordon Laing in Cape Town, the son of Robert Laing and Mary Duncan of Scotland. John served in one of the military regiments stationed at the Cape before he took discharge papers.

John Laing

John Gordon Laing

John Gordon Laing is not to be confused with another Laing family at the Cape who descend from John Reid Laing who was the son of John Laing and Johanna Rosina Fraenkel, one of 10 children. John Laing senior was born in 1796 in Scotland, arriving at the Cape prior to 1830. On the 27 June 1831 he marries in Cape Town. John (senior) died in 1873 in Cape Town. Johanna was the daughter of Dr. Siegfried Fraenkel and Johanna Catharina Heintjes who married 16 October 1808 in Cape Town. Johanna’s parents were Pieter Henkes (Heintjes) and Johanna Catharina Elsabe Dafel. Pieter was born in 1741 at Goldap (Koldorp) Ostpreussen, Preussen (East Prussia, Prussia). He arrived at the Cape in 1767 as a soldier from Koldorp. Occupation- Tanner. In 1833 he is recorded among the prominent burghers in Cape Town. Married 11 July 1775 in Stellenbosch. Survived his wife and remarried to Anna Catharina Heckroodt. Farm- ‘Poespas Kraal’ behind the Steenbergen. (see. Orphan Chamber Inventory). Pieter died 16 August 1811.


POST 1865

Alexander and Christina (Grace) McCallum return to Cape Town, South Africa in 1865 or 1866.

In January 1865, Mary Ann Laing nee’ McCallum and John Gordon Laing give birth to Florence Lillian Laing and Agnes Leonora Laing in Cape Town. (It would appear as if they were twins, however, birth dates might have been conferred from baptism dates and these do not always indicate an accurate birth year, with parents often choosing to baptise several children on the same date. In this case the parents were married in April 1864, making the earlier birth of one of the daughters unlikely. Further research will possible shed light on this).



 The McCallum’s in New Zealand

In circa 1864 or perhaps a year or two before, Samuel Malcolm McCallum leaves the Eastern Cape for Australia, and arrives in the gold mining town of Castlemaine, Australia. He appears not to have stayed too long for he then leaves Australia for Auckland, New Zealand, where records note his residence in 1865 and onwards.


In 1864, Elizabeth Steven nee’ McCallum and her husband George Brown Steven leave South Africa for New Zealand. They board the ship ‘Maori’ in Cape Town and arrived in Auckland on the 23rd December 1864 with their first born (George Williamson Steven) and Annie Smith McCallum, Elizabeth’s child who was born in Scotland.

In 1865, Samuel Malcolm McCallum marries Anne Ferguson Alexander on the 11 January in Onehunga Parish, New Zealand. Anne Ferguson Alexander was born in 1847 at Inverary, Aberdeen, Scotland, the daughter of William Alexander and Mary Souden. 

Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Ann Ferguson Alexander, Marriage Certificate NZ

Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Ann Ferguson McCallun nee' Alexander


As the Eastern Cape Frontier was becoming less hostile, the need for such a large military force was steadily decreasing and many contingents were disbanded and regiments sent to other trouble spots in the Empire. The foreign currency in the form of pay sent these soldiers was a large component of revenue to the Cape economy.

 This situation was only improved with the discovery of diamonds, and later gold in South Africa. This moved SA from a purely agricultural society with peripheral industry, to a mining plus agricultural society. Decades later, this new found wealth was to spark the 2nd Anglo-Boer War, with all its disastrous effects.

However, before this economic upturn, British authorities had offered land (50 acres) to anyone prepared to enlist in the British Army and offer their services to fight the Maoris. Samuel Malcolm McCallum enlisted in the Auckland Militia/ Auckland Volunteers. Within three months of the beginning of the Waikato War, all the able-bodied settler population of Auckland, between the ages of 16 and 55 enlisted on active-service, bearing arms and doing regular duty as soldiers. Volunteers were promised land from areas confiscated from the Waikato Maoris, 400 acres for a field officer and 50 acres for a private. Pay was half a crown a day with rations with an increase of a shilling for service at the front. At the time of Samuel’s enlistment, he was living at Onetunga, Auckland.


Ann Ferguson Alexander’s father William Alexander, had left Australia with his family as ‘military settlers’ in the ship ‘Swiftsure’. Ships used for this transfer were the ‘Airdale’ / ‘Alice Cameron’ / ‘Bella Marina’ / ‘Claude Hamilton’ / ‘Kate’ / ‘Novelty’ / ‘Phoebe’ / ‘Swiftsure’ and the ‘Thomas Fletcher’.  The 4th Waikato Regiment took enrolment from January 1864 to February 1867, 75% of whom were enrolled in the first three months of 1864, in Sydney, Melbourne and surrounding districts. Later enrollments were conscripts from within NZ and were generally transfers from other regiments or replacements for men who had deserted or who had been discharged from duty.

Report in The Southern Cross, Thursday 18 February 1864

Arrival of Military Settlers
“The fine Blackwall liner ‘Swiftsure’, Captain Mayhew, arrived in the harbour last evening, about six o’clock, with quite a colony of military settlers on board. Eleven hundred and thirty persons look a large number to be brought over the water by one vessel, but this, including ship’s crew is the actual amount of living freight transported here by this fine vessel. The reader must not imagine, however, that these are all soldiers, for by far the largest proportion consists of the wives and children of the military settlers, and probably altogether there are not more than 200 adult male settlers on board. 838 was the number originally put on board, but this was largely increased, in so much as to make the total number, including men, women and children, about 1,100. This, we understand, is the largest number of passengers taken out of Melbourne in one ship.

The settlers by the ‘Swiftsure’ seemed, generally speaking, with the casual and hasty inspection we could make of them, to be well adapted for the new profession or occupation which they have accepted; and we sincerely trust that they will not find the discouraging reports circulated by the Melbourne papers as to the hardships they would have to endure anything like realised. They must remember the old adage, that “what is to be obtained for nothing is generally not worth having”; and in this case probably the more they have to endure for the first few months, the more valuable will be their reward become hereafter. It is not the present value of 50 acres and a town allotment that they should look to, but its probable value some three years hence, and the advantage of being enabled to settle in country which, if it does not actually flow with milk and honey, is as great in natural resources for the industrious settler as is any colony numbered amongst the British dependencies.

Captain Stuart and Lieutenant Walker are in command of the settlers who have now arrived, and the whole of them will disembark to-morrow.”

Another newspaper reports

“This magnificent ship, one thousand three hundred and twenty-six tons (1326), commanded by Captain Mayhew sailed from Melbourne on the 6th inst., at noon. After being baffled for two days in the straits by south-east and easterly winds at last got it from the south-west on the morning of the 8th. On the 19th she got winds from the north-east and east and has had easterly weather ever since. She made the Three Kings on the 15th and arrived here yesterday afternoon.

She brings Captain A Stewart and Lieutenant Walker in charge of the military settlers, one hundred and sixty-eight men (168), two hundred and eighty-six women (286), and four hundred and seventy-eight children 478) , equal to eight hundred and thirty- eight statute adults (838). The following are cabin passengers: Mrs Dunn and two children, Mrs Major Bradley, four children and one servant: Mrs Smith and four children, Mrs Lomax and two children, Mrs Fraser and four children, Mrs Donnelly and Mrs Parker.

A young child was lost on the passage down by falling overboard, and although every effort was made to save it, it was of no avail, owing to the ship running fast thro’ the water at the time. Her agents are A Wolley and Company.”


Samuel Malcolm McCallum is marked down as a ‘deserter’ at the end of this conflict. This title is not as offensive as one might think, for it often indicates that many men who were offered land, did not wait until demobilization, having already determined that the land parcels were not suitable for productive farming, and rather than wait for discharge papers and the entitlement papers to their farms – left their units to begin a productive life for themselves in the towns.

Samuel Malcolm McCallum was a Currier and from records it is clear he pursued this trade and not farming.

To date – I have not found out what ship he left SA for Australia on. Note – see Esme Bull’s book as she lists a McCallum/s that left the Cape for New Zealand/ Australia.


Anne Ferguson Alexander who was born in 1847 in Inverary, Aberdeen, Scotland, was the daughter of William Alexander and Mary Souden. The Alexander family emigrated in June 1857 when Anne was 9/10 years old, aboard the ‘Castilian’ and arrived in Melbourne, Australia. Her father was a Piper in the 42nd Highlanders in the 1860’s.  In 1864 she emigrated to New Zealand with her father aboard the ‘Swiftsure’ from Melbourne, Australia. On the voyage they were nearly wrecked on the ‘Three Kings’ with 1150 other passengers.  They settled at Onehunga. Her father had enlisted in the 4th Waikato Regiment during the New Zealand Wars. Samuel and Anne McCallum are the progenitors to a line of McCallum’s and related families in New Zealand.

Anne Ferguson McCallum nee' Alexander


Anne Ferguson McCallum nee’ Alexander

Samuel Malcolm McCallum settled in the Wellington area, North Island and lived for 58 years at Kaiwarra in the Lower Hutt Area. Samuel made his living as a Currier/ Tanner, and is recorded as having worked at the Hirst’s Tannery. Samuel and his wife were caught up in the Maori Wars and Samuel enlisted in the Auckland Militia. During this war, Anne Ferguson McCallum was among the last of the women evacuated by gunboat up the Waikato River to Hamilton. They had 10 children – 6 sons and 4 daughters. Namely – James McCallumSamuel Wheatley McCallumDuncan Campbell McCallumWilliam Alexander McCallumMalcolm Campbell McCallumDonald Samuel McCallumMary Elizabeth McCallumGrace McCallum (Pyne)/ Annie McCallum (Carver), Margaret Wallace McCallum (Cotton/ Smith).

Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Anne Ferguson McCallum nee’ Alexander give birth to their firstborn, Samuel Wheatley McCallum on the 12th of May 1866 in Auckland, New Zealand. (He is named after his Grandfather, Samuel Wheatley McCallum).

Samuel Wheatley McCallum 1866-1945 Cape of Good Hope and NZ McCallum's

Samuel Wheatley McCallum

Some time shortly after 1866, Mary Ann Laing nee’ McCallum and John Gordon Laing and their three children leave South Africa and settle in New Zealand where they have further children, namely, Mary Laing born 1867/ Florence Christina Laing born 1870, John Thomas Laing born 1872/ Frances Ruth Laing born 1875 and Samuel Laing born in 1879.

Florence Christina Laing and her sister Mary Laing

Florence Christina Laing and her sister Mary Laing.

In 1867, on the 9 November, Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Anne Ferguson McCallum give birth to their 2nd son William Alexander McCallum in Auckland, New Zealand. (He is named after Ann’s father, William Alexander).

William Alexander McCallum (Sandy) NZ

William Alexander McCallum

In 1870, on the 4 January, Samuel Malcolm McCallum (junior) and Anne Ferguson McCallum give birth to their 3rd son James McCallum in Kaiwharawhara, Wellington, New Zealand.

James McCallum, son of Samuel Malcolm McCallum, NZ McCallum's

On the 2 December 1870, George Brown Steven dies in Auckland, New Zealand, aged 31, leaving Elizabeth Steven nee’ McCallum his wife (aged 35) with 5 children to raise. (two letters survive written by George’s mother to Elizabeth, sympathising with her plight and asking for further information on her son’s death).

A letter from George Brown Steven's mother to Elizabeth Steven nee' McCallum, NZ McCallum's

In 1872, on the 1 February, Samuel Malcolm McCallum (junior) and Anne Ferguson McCallum give birth to a daughter, Mary Elizabeth McCallum in Auckland, New Zealand. (She is named after Mary Souden, Ann’s mother).

Mary Elizabeth McCallum, NZ McCallum's pp


(above and below) Mary Elizabeth McCallum.

Mary Elizabeth McCallum, NZ

On the 9th of November 1874 Annie Smith McCallum, the daughter of Elizabeth Steven nee’ McCallum, marries John Nicholson in Auckland, New Zealand, aged 18. (Annie and John had 9 children, the names and details held within the NZ McCallum Family document).

Nicholson Family 015

Annie Smith Nicholson nee’ McCallum with her husband John Nicholson and family.

In 1876, on the 31 March, Samuel Malcolm McCallum’s wife Anne Ferguson McCallum gives birth to a 4th son Malcolm Campbell McCallum in New Zealand.

Malcolm Campbell McCallum, NZ

In 1880, on the 26 January, Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Anne Ferguson McCallum give birth to a 2nd daughter Grace McCallum in New Zealand. She is named after her aunt Christina Grace Frances Helena McCallum nee’ Hientjes in Cape Town.

Grace McCallum, NZ 1

Grace McCallum

In 1883, Samuel Malcolm McCallum is listed as a Currier in the Wellington Directory and resident in Kaiwarawara, New Zealand

In 1884 on the 5 July, Duncan Campbell McCallum, the son of Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Ann Ferguson McCallum nee’ Alexander is born at Kaiwharawhara, Wellington, New Zealand.

Duncan Campbell McCallum NZ

Duncan Campbell McCallum


In 1892 – James McCallum, the son of Samuel and Anne McCallum drowns at Days Bay 17 October 1892 at the age of 23 yrs. His grave inscription reads –  ‘A precious one from us is gone, A voice we loved is stilled, A place is vacant in our home, Which never can be filled, For the one we loved so dearly has forever passed away’.

James McCallum and Samuel McCallum, Gravestone

From United Press Association, Telegrams  1892 (Net) – ” The body of a young man named James McCallum, who went yachting yesterday, has been found in Day’s Bay on the opposite side of the harbour. He was accompanied by another man, a Greek called Antonio. The deceased’s parents reside at Kaiwarawara and he was brother to McCallum who was injured in the Shelley Bay Explosion. The boat, which was purchased in Auckland a few months ago, and was half-decked, about 30 ft long, with eight feet beam, and is believed to have capsized and sunk.”

There is a grave in the Karori Cemetery – James McCallum. Died 17 October 1892. Drowned Days Bay, aged 23, brother of Duncan McCallum. (This will be Duncan Campbell McCallum).

On the 16th of September 1904, Elizabeth Watson, formerly Steven nee’ McCallum dies at Auckland, New Zealand, aged 69.

Elizabeth McCallum (Steven, Watson) Burial Record

In 1905 on the 12 November, Duncan Campbell McCallum, the son of Samuel Wheatley McCallum and Ann McCallum dies, aged 21, and is buried in the Karori Cemetery alongside his brother James who drowned in 1892. (What was the reason for his early death?)

Duncan McCallum, son of Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Ann Ferguson McCallum nee' Alexander, NZ McCallum's xc

On the 2 of December 1926, Maryann Laing nee’ McCallum died at Auckland, New Zealand, aged 89.

Maryann laing nee' McCallum

In 1932 the Evening Post in New Zealand reports on the death of Anne/ie Ferguson McCallum nee’ Alexander at her residence in Gear Street, Petone, NZ, on Saturday, one day after her 85 birthday. Anne had lived for 58 years at Kaiwarra and the remaining few years of her life in Petone. She was survived by 4 sons and 4 daughters, 2 of her sons having predeceased her/ and 22 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. In a separate record of early Hutt Valley pioneers, Annie McCallum is recorded as having been the only person willing to visit and assist the family Hodges when they contracted typhoid. Her obituary in the Evening Post alludes to her charitable nature by the following… “Her kindness of heart was known to many, and she had the reputation of never having turned anyone away from her door”.

Ann Ferguson McCallum in old age

Anne Ferguson McCallum nee’ Alexander in old age. 


In 1866, Alexander Wallace McCallum and his father Samuel Wheatley McCallum are listed in the Cape Town Directory as Curriers at 15 Sir Lowry Street, Cape Town.

In 1866, on the 26 February in Cape Town, Christina gives birth to her fourth son (Brown Lawrence McCallum). Alexander is 37 years old and his wife is 26 years old. The child is named after the husband of Margaret McCallum, namely Brown Lawrence. Brown Lawrence McCallum did not survive childhood. In a letter from his father Alexander Wallace McCallum to his sister Elizabeth Steven nee’ McCallum (dated – 12th September 1886) Alexander makes mention of the death of 3 of his 12 children. The child is named after his aunt Margaret’s husband Brown Lawrence.

Mary Ann Laing nee’ McCallum and John Gordon Laing give birth to their second born, namely John George Laing in Cape Town.


In Cape Town on the 24 of November 1867, Christina McCallum (Grace) gives birth to a fifth son (George Thomas McCallum). (Named after George Smith, Elizabeth Smith’s father)

George Thomas McCallum

George Thomas McCallum

In 1869, a daughter is born to Alexander Wallace McCallum and Christina (Grace) McCallum in Cape Town and she is named Fredericka Margaret Christina McCallum. (She is named after Christina Heintjes’ mother. Alexander is 40 years old and his wife Grace is 29 years old.

On the 02 of August 1871, Christina McCallum (Grace) gives birth to a sixth son (James Duncan McCallum) in Cape Town. Alexander is 42 years old and Grace is 31 years old. Their firstborn, Samuel Heintjies McCallum is 10 years old.

James Duncan McCallum

James Duncan McCallum

In 1871 Alexander Wallace McCallum patents a tanning fluid made from the juice of proteas. (see Cape Town English Press Index- Year 1871).


In 1872 Alexander Wallace McCallum wins a prize in Cape Town for the best crayon drawing in an art competition. We know that Alexander was an adept draughtsman and was awarded a medal for his creativity when he resided in Glasgow in former years.

In 1872 Alexander and Grace McCallum’s daughter, Fredericka Margaret McCallum, dies aged 3. She would have been born c1870/ 1869. (This information is unverified – see. McCallum Notes).


On the 16th of March 1873 Margaret Lawrence nee’ McCallum predeceases her husband at Upper Harrington Street, Cape Town. Margaret had no children. Her husband Brown Lawrence remarried Anne Sheldon. No children were born to this 2nd union.


On the 21st of October 1874, Christina gives birth to her seventh son (Charles Manual McCallum) in Cape Town. (He is named after Alexander’s business partner, Charles Manuel). Alexander is 45 years old and Grace is 34 years old.

In 1874, Alexander Wallace McCallum and his father Samuel McCallum (senior) are listed in the Cape Town Directory as Curriers residing at 106 Sir Lowry Road.


In 1875, on the 25th of December in Cape Town, an eighth son is born to Grace and Alexander and is called Peter Christian McCallum(It is probable that this child died in infancy or early childhood). Alexander is 46 years old and Grace is 35 years old.


In 1877, on the 11th of October, a ninth son is born to Christina (Grace) and Alexander Wallace McCallum in Cape Town and is named William (Henry) McCallum.


William Henry McCallum

In 1879, a second daughter is born to Grace and Alexander Wallace McCallum and she is named Mary McCallum. Alexander is 50 years old and Grace is 39 years old at the time.

1879 is an Annus Horibilis for the McCallum family in Cape Town. During the duration of the Anglo-Zulu War, Alexander Wallace McCallum is in bad health and has a contract with the Government to supply leather that on completion of the contract, leaves him exhausted. His health fails and he is bedridden for 3 months. Alexander is 50 years old at the time. The downturn in the Cape economy and the results of his neglect of his Tannery/ Leather Business due to ill health – affects the viability of his business. McCallum Tannery eventually closes by the year 1882. The partner in this business is Charles Manual – he is the man Alexander’s 7th son is named after, namely Charles Manual McCallum. Complicating issues is the poor condition of the Cape economy during the 1870’s. The Cape economy is still primarily agrarian. Further income is a result of the Military Garrisons in Cape Town and at the Eastern Cape. With the French threat over and the Eastern Cape experiencing less turmoil, and the Zulu Impi of King Cetswayo destroyed, it is no longer necessary to keep as many military at the Cape Colony and Natal Colony, and as they are withdrawn, the negative financial implications are apparent to all who are contracted to provide for the military.

The following is a transcript of a touching and informative letter written by Alexander Wallace McCallum to his sister, Elizabeth Steven nee’ McCallum. (My punctuation and bracketed insertions)

“Baultfountin (Bultfontein)

12th September 1886

My Dear Sister

I am in receipt of your dear welcome letter to the 2nd June. It has taken a long time to reach us as you see by the date of mine. I only received it last week.

I am very glad to hear from you dear Sister. You will see by the heading of my letter (that) I am on the Diamond fields.

I have been an invalid(e) for the last seven years with Asthma & Bronchitis, it very nearly carried me off but (for) James. I got a cold and Slow fever about the time of the Zulu wars. I had a contract for the Gover(n)ment and was working night & day to get it done. When it was finished I had to go to bed. I was laid up for three months and my bisnesis (businesses) went to the dogs as I had no one to look properly after it. As for father, he thought more of getting licquor than anything else.

Time was getting bad in (at the) Cape, and in two years, I lost all I had made, and that was a good Penny. I had C. Manuel (Charles Manual) the big fat fellow for my partner in the Bisness (business). He has had to give up. He has no more the Skin Store in 5th Lowry Road (Sir Lowry Street). Times is (are) awful bad in (at the) Cape.

Grace is in town with five of our boys & little Daughters, but I intend to have her and them up here soon.

I am getting my health back again, thank God we have had an awful time of it. I have nine of a family living & three die. Samuel (Samuel Heintjies McCallum) is married. Alex (Alexander Wallace McCallum jr) is married & John (John Douglas Smith McCallum) 0 (as in none).

Sam is washing for diamonds at the vale. Even Alex is managing a washing machine in the Baultfountin Mine, or rather about a mile from the Mine. I am living with him. John is in Newlands (Cape Town). All my three (eldest) Sons are over six foot. My boys used to go to church in kilts. Grace was not pleased except she had them all in kilts on Sunday, seven of them. Tho (thought) I sai (say) it, the people said thay make the Handsomest boys in Cape Town, and the biggest fighting divils (devils) in it.

Sam went trading to Domasoland (Damaraland – then German South West Africa) and had a war with the Kaffirs on his own account. He had to fight his way out with his Rifle, haunted (hunted) like a wild beast. He is dead Shot, so you may gess (guess) how the Kaffirs fared. Tho (though) the pot felt (pot shot) was whistling round him, he got of (off) Scot free, only killing two of his mules on the road.

Our dear old father is very weak and getting quite childish. Grace writes me (that) she cannot get him out of his bed to clean it. He was more than a month in bed, eats, won’t get up. He is able to get up, only he won’t.

Dear Sister, the Cape at the present moment in worse than when you left for New Zealand, but as Diamonds saved it before, now Gold, Bright Gold, is being found in any amount in the Transvale. Thus is only four days to the Gold fields from kimberl(e)y. The Men is leaving their Billits, tracking (trekking) of(f) to the Gold fields. In fact the Fields has got the Goldfever. People are going off by the forty & fifty every day. The report of the latest fields found is (called) White waterandt (White water ridge). Eighty miles broad and 200 long. The gold is in what is called a Bernket (blanket) that is a conglomerate of pebbles & sand. I send you a paper so you will be able to see for yourself what is what.

Should you see your sister Maryann, give her and her husband & family my love”.


In 1879 Samuel Wheatley McCallum (Senior) is living with his son Alexander and Grace his daughter-in-law in Cape Town. Samuel is 73 years old.

In 1879/1880, Alexander Wallace McCallum’s sister Agnes McCallum dies aged 35 in Cape Town. Her death results in an emotional and physical deterioration in Samuel McCallum’s (Senior) health. Samuel is 77 years old at the time. (Did Agnes ever marry? There is a file in the CT Archives that records an Agnes McCallum x nN Johnstone).


On the 19th of April 1881, a tenth son is born to Alexander and Christina (Grace) in Cape Town and he is named Edward William Tarry McCallum. Alexander is 52 years old and Grace is 41 years old. Their firstborn is 20 years old.

Edward William Tarry McCallum 2

Edward William Tarry McCallum

In 1882, Alexander Wallace McCallum and his father Samuel Wheatley McCallum (76) are still listed as Curriers at the McCallum Tannery at 106 Sir Lowry Road in the Cape Town Directory for 1882.

Samuel Heintjies McCallum, the son of Grace and Alexander, is working as a Clerk in Cape Town and resides with the family at 106 Sir Lowry Road.

In about 1882, Alexander Wallace McCallum (Junior) marries Annie Susan Louise Catharina Minnaar. It would appear as if Alexander had settled in the Griqualand West district for he marries his wife here. They settle on two farms, namely ‘Alexandersfontein’ and Klipfontein’ near Jacobsdal/Kimberley. The move might have been prompted by the discovery of diamonds at the Colesberg Kopje (Diamond Rush) later Kimberley Mine.

Kimberley c1873 f

Early photograph taken in 1873 of Kimberley.

In between the years 1882 and November 1883, Samuel Heintjes McCallum leaves Cape Town for the Diamond Fields (Kimberley).

On the 28 November 1883, a daughter is born to Samuel Heintjes McCallum and his wife Jane Francis and is baptised Violet Jane McCallum on the 21 February 1884 at St. Cyprians Anglican Church in Kimberley. Violet must have died as a child for later records make no mention of her. Living conditions in Kimberley were far from satisfactory and mortality rates were very high, especially for children.


Maternal line – Zweig


 In about 1884, John Douglas Smith McCallum marries Rosine Louise Zweig in Cape Town. She is the daughter of Ernest Zweig and Johanna Sophia Klett. The Zweig family had arrived in Cape Town on the 17 of July 1861, on the ship ‘Peter Godoffroy’. Ernst (Ernest) Thomas Friedrick Zweig (Ernest) aged 29 came from Sindringen, Wurttenberg, Germany; and his wife Johanne Sophia Klett, aged 32, was born in Mochmuhl, Germany. Their three daughters who arrived with them in South Africa were born in Mochmuhl. They are Caroline Zweig (aged 7) Friederike Zweig (aged 5) and Louise Zweig (aged 2) in 1861. The Zweig family take up residence in Cape Town. Ernest (Ernst) and Johanna Zweig have two more children in South Africa, one of them is Rosina Louise Zweig. There is some indication that the Zweig family were of Jewish origin, however, the records point out that Ernst Zweig is a member of the Lutheran Church. (He or his predecessors might have converted from Judaism). (To find out more about this family, it will be necessary to hire the services of a German speaking researcher in Germany).

Rosine Louise McCallum nee' Zweig

Rosina Louise Zweig

Zweig Family, Cape Town

Zweig Family, Cape Town.



In 1885 John Douglas Smith McCallum and his wife Rosine Louise Zweig are living in Newlands, Cape Town. It is from here, in the latter half of 1886, that they leave to join his brothers Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) and Samuel Heintjies McCallum and father Alexander Wallace McCallum on the Diamond Fields, New Rush, later to be called Kimberley.


Alexander Wallace McCallum (senior) is 57 years old and Grace (Christina) McCallum is 46 years old in 1886.

Samuel McCallum (Senior) is 75 years old in 1886.

Samuel Heintjies McCallum is 25 years old in 1886.

Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) is 24 years old in 1886.

John Douglas Smith McCallum is 22 years old, and living with his wife in Newlands, Cape Town.

On the 11 of November 1886 a firstborn child, a daughter, is born to John Douglas Smith McCallum and Rosina Louisa McCallum in Kimberley and is named Evelyn Rosina Mabel McCallum. John Douglas Smith McCallum and family must have left Cape Town sometime after September 1886 for the Diamond Fields, for their second child Alexander Ernest McCallum is baptised in Kimberley on the 10th of June 1889. According to oral tradition, Colonel Edward Charles Alfred McCallum the son of Charles Duggan Brooks McCallum, the son of John Douglas Smith McCallum – the family first moved to Bredasdorp and then to Kimberley.

Elizabeth Steven nee’ McCallum (Alexander Wallace’s sister) is 51 years old and living in New Zealand.

In 1886, Alexander Wallace McCallum (Senior) is on the Diamond Fields (New Rush) and is living near the Bultfontein Mine (Kimberley District) with his son Alexander Wallace McCallum (Junior). (It appears as if Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) has been living in the Northern Cape for some time, and before the discovery of diamonds). The farm ‘Alexanderfontein’ now within the bounds of the city of Kimberley belonged to him or was an inheritance through his wife, as did a farm called ‘Klipfontein’ near Jacobsdal in the Orange Free State. It is evident that Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) besides prospecting, originally farmed in the district.


Alexander Wallace McCallum (senior) writes a letter to his sister Elizabeth Stevens in New Zealand on the 12th of September 1886 from Bultfontein, Diamond Fields, as follows… “My Dear Sister, I am in receipt of your dear welcome letter of the 2nd June. It has taken a long time to reach us as you see by the date of mine. I only received it last week. I am very glad to hear from you dear sister. You will see by the heading of my letter I am on the Diamond Fields. I have been an invalid for the last seven years with asthma and bronchitis. It very nearly carried me off but for James (James Duncan McCallum, his son). I got a cold and slow fever about the time of the Zulu Wars. I had a contract for the Government and was working night and day to get it done. When it was finished I had to go to bed. I was laid up for three months and my business went to the dogs as I had no one to look properly after it. As for father, he thought more of getting licquor than anything else. Time was getting bad in the Cape and in two years, I had lost all I had made, and that was a good penny. I had C. Manuel (Charles Manual), the big fat fellow for my partner in the business. He has had to give up and no more has the Skin Store in Sir Lowry Road. Times are awfully bad at the Cape. Grace is in town (Cape Town) with five of our boys (George Thomas McCallum/ James Duncan McCallum/ Charles Manual McCallum/ William Henry McCallum/ Edward Wallace Larry McCallum) (His other sons, Samuel Heintjies McCallum/ Alexander Wallace McCallum are with him on the Diamond Fields. John Douglas Smith McCallum is living in Newlands, Cape Town) and little daughters, (Mary McCallum and Frederika Margaret McCallum) but, I intend to have her and them up here soon. I am getting my health back again, thank God. We have had an awful time of it. I have nine of a family, living and three die. (It would appear by deduction that Brown Lawrence McCallum, Peter Christian McCallum and Frederika Margaret McCallum had died in infancy or childhood. However, in this letter he mentions 3 have already died, but that Grace is with his ‘little daughters’. This means we are missing a female child. On his Death Notice dated 1891, it lists only one surviving daughter). Samuel is married (Samuel Heintjies McCallum). Alex is married (Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) and John (John Douglas Smith McCallum) is also married. Sam has two children, a boy and girl. Alex has two boys, John 0 (naught/ Evelyn Rosina McCallum was born in November 1886 in Kimberley). Sam is washing for diamonds at the vale. Even Alex is managing a washing machine in the Bultfontein Mine, or rather about a mile from the Mine. I am living with him. John is in Newlands(Cape Town). All my three sons are over six foot. My boys used to go to church in kilts. Grace was not pleased except she had them all in kilts, on Sundays, seven of them. Though I say it, the people said they make the handsomest boys in Cape Town, and the biggest fighting divils in it. Sam went trading to Domasoland and had a war with the kaffirs. On his own account, he had to fight his way out with his rifle, haunted (hunted) like a wild beast. He is a dead shot, so you may guess how the Kaffirs fared. Though the pot felt (?) was whistling round him, he got off Scot-free, only killing two of his mules on the road. Our dear old father is very weak and getting quite childish. (He was 75  years old in 1886). Grace writes me she cannot get him out of his bed to clean it. He was more than a month in bed, eats, won’t get up. He is able to get up, only he won’t. Dear sister, the Cape at the present moment is worse than when you left for New Zealand, but (just) as Diamonds saved it before, now Gold, Bright Gold is being found in any amount in the Transvaal. This is only four days to the Gold Field from Kimberley. The men is leaving their billits, tracking (trekking) off to the Gold Fields. In fact the Fields has got the Goldfever. People are going off by the forty and fifty every day. The report of the latest fields found is the White waterandt (Witwatersrandt) (White waters ridge). Eighty miles broad and 200 long. The gold is in what is called a Bernket, that is a conglomerate of pebbles and sand. I will send you a paper so you will be able to see for yourself what is what. Dear Sister, if I was only strong as I used to be, I would be off to the Gold Field myself. We had a most awful time of it. Mother, that is Grace, used to go round the Country (around Cape Town) with George (George Thomas McCallum) carrying drapery to sell hawking. And I, sitting in the house, hardly able to walk across the floor. I have known her and George to walk fourteen or twenty miles and only sell 2/6 the whole day. Father has not done a stroke of work since Agnes died, and that is over six years ago. He was well enough to work, but did not mind to work. I did not ask him at the time as I had enough and did not mind. I hope when he comes to the Fields he will get stronger. It is a fine dry climate, but awful dusty dust storms. Thunder and lightning most awful in Summer when the sun goes down. Away comes the lightning and you can see it playing all round at times, that awful chain stuff. It is terribly grand. Dear Sister, I will now bring my epistle to an end. Should you see your sister Maryann (Mary Ann McCallum) give her and her husband and family my love. May Our Almighty Father Bless you and your family. Your Loving Affectionate Brother, A McCallum. P. S. Alex and his wife wish to be remembered to you. My address – Mr. A. McCallum Snr, Baultfontein (Bultfontein) Branch PO, Beaconsfield, Diamonds Field, Cape of Good Hope. Grace sends her love and regards to you and family.”


Alexander Wallace McCallum (Junior) and his wife Annie Susan Louise Catharina McCallum nee’ Minnaar, live in the Bultfontein area. Alexander works a mile from the Bultfontein mine where he manages a diamond washing-machine. They have two children, namely – Alexander McCallum born in 1883 and Philip Peter McCallum born in 1886.

Samuel Heintjies McCallum married Jane Frances Jackson and they had two children, namely Douglas Wallace McCallum and Veronica Beatrice McCallum. (Our records to their birth dates appear to be incorrect). Samuel is working as a diamond prospector in the Kimberley district.

In early 1886 John Douglas Smith McCallum is living with his wife Rosine Louise McCallum nee’ Zweig in Newlands, Cape Town. Between the months of September and November, John and Rosina leave Cape Town and travel up to Kimberley. They are not long in Kimberley when Rosine gives birth to a daughter – Evelyn Rosine Mabel McCallum born in 1885 in Cape Town.

Evelyn Rosina Mabel McCallum

Evelyn Rosina Mabel Pheiffer nee’ McCallum

In 1886 (first half of the year) Christina (Grace) McCallum is still living in Cape Town with 5 of her sons and her 2 daughters, trying to hold the fort and struggling to make ends meet.

Three children have died – Brown Lawrence McCallum/ Peter Christian McCallum and Frederika Margaret McCallum(More research is needed in this regard).

Samuel McCallum (Senior) is living with his daughter-in-law Christina (Grace) Francis Helena McCallum. His physical and mental health is deteriorating and he is mostly bedridden. He has chest complaints.

For the past seven years, Alexander Wallace McCallum has been suffering from asthma and bronchitis and is invalided, it having almost killed him.

Alexander Wallace McCallum (senior) and Christine Heintjes (Grace) with child

Alexander Wallace McCallum and Christina (Grace) Frances Helena McCallum nee’ Heintjes

POST SEPTEMBER 1886, 1887 and 1888


Christina (Grace) Frances Helena McCallum has arrived on the Diamond Fields/ Kimberley to be with her husband. She is 47 years old at the time. Accompanying her, are the rest of her children and Samuel Wheatley McCallum (senior). Now all the McCallum’s are in Kimberley. They are associated with this city to this very day. In Maudie Palmer’s history – she writes that the McCallum Family travelled up to Kimberley partly by train and the rest of the way by Cape coach.

They are hardly in Kimberley when on the 19 of October 1886 Samuel Wheatley McCallum (senior) dies and is buried that same day in the Du Toitspan Cemetery, Grave 2025. Samuel who was born in 1806 according to Scottish records, died aged 80. Samuel’s grave certificate records him as having been born in 1802. This would make him 84 at the time. (I was unable to locate Samuel’s grave in January 2010 because of the deterioration of the cemetery. However, he could be buried close to his great grandchildren in the Presbyterian area. It is in this top left area of the cemetery were many gravestones appear to be covered with storm wash. see photograph of this gravestone. Perhaps the Kby Historian, Steve Lunderstedt, 4 Warren Street, De Beers 053 831 5072 can help locate grave. Presbyterian’s are buried in the top left corner and the far right corner. Many graves have been toppled or have weathered inscriptions. Also, many graves have disappeared completely. Mr. Lunderstedt told me that the open spaces in the cemetery hold graves too, many covered in drift sand).

Du Toitspan Cemetery, mccallum graves and 100th 006

Du Toitspan Graveyard


Grace Amelia McCallum, daughter of Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) dies 13 November 1888 and buried the same day in the Du Toitspan Cemetery, Grave 2830, aged 5 months.

vIn 1888 on the 25 of December, Wallace McCallum dies and is buried in the Du Toitspan cemetery, grave 2880, aged 13 months. This 13 month old child is the son of Alexander Wallace McCallum (senior) or (junior). 

McCallum Grave Du Toitspan Cemetery 1

McCallum graves in the Du Toitspan Graveyard



On the 14th of April 1889, Rosine Louise McCallum and John Douglas Smith McCallum give birth to their 2nd child – Alexander Ernest McCallum in Kimberley and baptise him in the Kimberley Presbyterian Church on the 18th of June 1889. He is named after his grandfather, Alexander Wallace McCallum, as well as his mother’s father -Ernst (Ernest) Zweig.

Alexander Ernest McCallum, Birth Certificate00063

Birth Certificate of Alexander Ernest McCallum

Alexander Ernest McCallum as a toddler 2

Alexander Ernest McCallum



The McCallum’s are living in Robinson Street, Beaconsfield, Kimberley.

In 1891, Alexander Wallace McCallum (Senior) died aged 63 years and 2 months. He had been in South Africa for 33 years. When he dies he is a resident of Robinson Street, Beaconsfield. He has 9 surviving children. Henry/ Mary and Edward are minors at the time of his death. He left no property and no will. His eldest son Samuel Heintjies McCallum signs his Death Notice on the 17th of February 1896. (Still to find out where he is buried). (possible cemeteries are – Pioneers Cemetery/ Du Toitspan Cemetery). Christina (Grace) McCallum was 51 years old in 1891.

Alexander Wallace McCallum (2)

Alexander Wallace McCallum


My Grandfather Alexander Ernest McCallum was 2 years old in 1891 when his grandfather died.

Sometime after the death of her first husband, Christina Frances Helena McCallum (Grace) married for the second time to John Livingstone. At first they are living in Johannesburg (up and until and during the Anglo-Boer War). Later they moved back to Cape Town and lived at # 1 Blake Street, Observatory. She is buried in Wellington in the Cape.

McCallum, Livingstone 2PG


John Livingstone and Christina Frances Helena Livingstone nee’ Heintjes formerly McCallum with her sons and family, Cape Town.



In 1892 James Duncan McCallum dies on the 06 of August, aged 4 months and is buried in the Du Toitspan Cemetery on the same date. (It is not definitively known who his parents are, but it is most likely Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) and Annie Susan Louise Catharina Minnaar).


In 1892 on the 02 of July, George McCallum is still born and buried in the Du Toitspan Cemetery on the same date. (His parents are unknown, but it is most likely Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) and Annie Susan Louise Catharina Minnaar).).


Marion Letitia McCallum who was born 28 February 1893 dies on the 10 December 1895 in Kimberley and is buried on the 11 December 1895 in Du Toitspan Cemetery, grave 4120. She is buried in the same grave as James McCallum and are probably siblings and share the same as yet unknown parents – (most likely Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) and Annie Susan Louise Catharina Minnaar). .


An unnamed child of George McCallum who is stillborn is buried on the 2 July 1892 in the Du Toitspan Cemetery.


On the 9 March 1894, John Clive McCallum Dies and is Buried that same day in the Du Toitspan Cemetery in grave 3887, aged 7 months. (This could be a child of John Douglas Smith McCallum, perhaps 3rd son born).

1899 – Jameson Raid commences. Raid partially responsible for precipitating the 2nd Anglo-Boer War. A McCallum participated in the raid, namely John Wallace McCallum, a Trooper in the Cape Mounted Rifles (3316) and resident of Namaqualand, aged 27 who was captured and imprisoned.


Commencement of the Anglo-Boer War.


Most of the McCallum’s as loyal subjects of the Crown, side with the British during this conflict which takes on the characteristics of a civil war, dividing communities and families.

Virtually all the male McCallum’s of military age enlist and participate in this conflict. (The Kby. Museum has many files on the McCallum’s. My last request for information from this institution occasioned the Curator to comment that the McCallum family is a ‘most patriotic family’. She was referring to the large number who had served in the military, in the Anglo-Boer War, and WW1 and 2).

The family of John Douglas Smith McCallum, as well as that of his brothers Samuel Heintjies McCallum, Charles Manual McCallum, and some members of Alexander Wallace McCallum’s family are in Kimberley during the Siege of the town by the Boer Republican Forces. They would have experienced the effects of artillery bombing for many months as well as starvation. All enlisted in the military and participated as Siege Defenders.



A shell-proof attached to a Kimberley residence, Siege of Kimberley, 1899 

*In 1900 Alexander Ernest McCallum, aged 12, the son of John Douglas Smith McCallum, accompanied by a cousin (unknown), bring a message from Lord Kitchener into Kimberley regarding the imminent relief of the siege. They are almost captured by Boer burghers and only escape by making their ponies lie down to avoid being detected by Boer patrols and scouts. They cut the wires of De Beers Mine and entered Kimberley to deliver message.

*John Douglas Smith McCallum. During the Siege of Kimberley, John enlists as a Private in the KTG and is one of the Defenders of Kimberley. After the conflict he is awarded the Kimberley Star. After the siege is lifted, John joins the ‘Damant’s Horse’ (41250) contingent and after the conflict is awarded Queen South Africa medal with clasps for Transvaal, OFS and Defence of Kimberley. He also served in Driscoll’s Scouts as a Trooper and later as an Intelligence Officer.

John Douglas Smith McCallum (3)

John Douglas Smith McCallum, Kimberley Star Medal and King’s South Africa Medal.


John Douglas Smith McCallum, military

Military papers of John Douglas Smith McCallum

*Charles Manual McCallum enrolls in the Kimberley Regiment, Private, Regt # 872 on the 15 March 1900 at the age of 26 and Discharged 1 July 1902. Defender of Kimberley. Transferred 1 January 1902 to 1st Scottish Horse. Trooper 36930 in 1st Scottish Horse. Awarded QSA and Clasp -Orange Free State. Residing at 20 Stead Street, Kimberley. Previous service in the Town Guard and paid a special war gratuity.  Discharged at own request on the 1 July 1902. Awarded SA Medal on the 30 December 1904.

Charles Manual McCallum and John McCallum

*Samuel Heintjies McCallum becomes a Sergeant during the conflict and later a Lieutenant. He is recorded as a Kimberley Siege Defender and as a member of the Kby Regiment Volunteers. He is awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal and Queens South Africa Medal for his services.

*Archibald McCallumPrivate in the Colonial Defence Force. Trooper 221, in the District Mounted Rifles. Later Sergeant. Served in the Cape Colony.

*Charles Henry McCallum. Corporal, 36930- Scottish Horse. Enlisted 29 September 1901 in Durban, discharged 24 April 1902. Anglo-Boer War. Served 1901 and 1902. Medals issued 9 June 1903-Transvaal/ SA 1901/ SA 1902. The 1st Scottish Horse was constituted in Jhb. mainly from Scottish colonials.

*D. McCallum. Private. 2037. 3rd Scottish Horse. Served in the Cape Colony and OFS. Anglo-Boer War.

*Daniel Angus McCallum. Private. Midlands Mounted Rifles. Anglo-Boer War. 1899-1902. 1st Scottish Horse. Reg # 37678. Also served in 2nd Scottish Horse. Served Tvl. And SA 1902. Discharged 3 September 1902.

*Donald Bain McCallum.  Private #99. Railway Pioneer Regiment, 1st Battalion. Trooper 1st Imperial Light Horse. Reg# 2984 and 39935.

*Duncan McCallum. Private. 1212. 2nd Batt. Railway Pioneers. Served- Tvl. Duncan served with 3 other McCallum’s in the Railway Pioneers, namely, Seymour McCallum, R. S. McCallum and  McCallum.

*F. McCallum. Private, No 32, (Tramway) Company, Cape Town and Suburban Town Guard.

*J. G. McCallum. Bearer. – Natal Volunteer Ambulance Corps. Enlisted 12 December 1899. Discharged- 12 March 1900. (possibly John Gordon McCallum). Enlisted 23 December 1899 and Discharged  12 March 1900.

*J. McCallum. Corporal. French’s Scouts, Intelligence.

*J. McCallum. Private. Marshall’s Horse. Reg # 91.

*J. McCullum. Driver, Imperial Military Railways. Anglo-Boer War. 1899-1902.

*J. McCallum. 1st Battalion Port Elizabeth Town Guard. Reg # 422.

*John Wallace McCallum who participated in the Jameson Raid). Private 3316, Cape Mounted Riflemen. Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902. (see military papers). Awarded QSA and clasps for Wepener/ Wittebergen/ Cape Colony/ Transvaal.

*H. McCallum. Trooper. Mafeking Town Guard. *James Cumming McCallum. Sergeant. 1st Scottish Horse. Reg # 37062. Served Tvl, SA 1901, SA 1902. Anglo-Boer War. Enlisted 14 April 1902 and Discharged 31 July 1902.

*James M C McCallum. Trooper. 41073. 2nd Scottish Horse. Anglo-Boer War. 1899-1902. Of Durban. Discharged at Jhb. 6 July 1902.

*John McCallum. Trooper. 37673. 1st Scottish Horse. Served Tvl. AS 1901, SA 1902. Anglo-Boer War. 1899-1902. Enlisted CT 6 February 1902 and Discharged 16 June 1902.

*N. H. McCallum. Lieutenant. Driscoll Scouts. Anglo-Boer War.

*P. McCallum. Corporal. 1st Imperial Light Horse. Anglo-Boer War. Served OFS and TVL.

*R. S. McCallum. Private. 2916. 2nd Batt. Railway Pioneers. Served- Tvl. Anglo-Boer War.

*Robert James McCallum. Enlists with his brother Archibald in the District Mounted Rifles as Sergeant 241. Later in the Frontier Light Horse. Lieutenant ‘A’ Squad, Stutterheim District Mounted Troops. Anglo-Boer War. 1899-1902. Served Cape Colony. A Squad, Stutterheim, DMT.

*W. McCallum. Lieutenant. Rand Rifles. Anglo Boer War. 1899-1902.

*W. McCallum. Private. 45. Fort Beaufort Town Guard. Anglo-Boer War.

*William Thomas McCallum. Trooper. 22194. Commander-In-Chief’s Body Guard. Anglo-Boer War. Also- SALM, sub Rand Rifles.

*William Henry Alexander McCallum. Lieutenant. Driscoll Scouts. Anglo-Boer War. 1899-1902. (see military records – spelling- McCullum). Also served in South African Light Horse and Rand Rifles

*William McCallum. Trooper. 535. 2nd Kitchener’s Fighting Scouts, Anglo-Boer War, 1899-1902.

*Alexander Frederick McCallum. Sergeant in the Victoria East District Mounted Rifles.




*Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) finds himself in a quandary and (apparently) sides with the Republicans, as he is prosecuted after the war for treason and imprisoned until 1903. One of his farms ‘Alexanderfontein’ once fell within the OFS, but when British authorities had moved the Cape border to take possession of the diamond fields, his farm now fell inside the Cape Colony. His second farm ‘Klipfontein’ lies in the Jacobsdal district of the OFS. He is technically a British as well as an OFS national. His son – Phillip Peter McCallum sides with the Imperial Forces and enlists in the Kby Regiment, while his son Wallace McCallum fights on the Boer side in General Christiaan Smut’s contingent. This is very indicative of the fractious nature of this war with families pulled apart by the conflict. In 1904 after having been released, he claims damages from the British Government. The Klipfontein farm and farmhouse was badly damaged during the war and had been used by British troops for target practice.

Archibald McCallum, progenitor of the Carolina McCallum’s

*John Duncan St.Clair MacCallum perishes in 1899 while serving with the Burgher Forces, aged 23. Occupation- Shopkeeper. His name is recorded on the Boer War Memorial in Carolina. (John is a descendant of Archibald McCallum of Urich, many of whom were shopkeepers at the Cape).

*Captain Malcolm McCallum is captured and imprisoned as a P.O.W in India. Captain McCallum served in the Irish Corp alongside the Republican Forces and came from the United States of America to assist the Boers. His comrade, Major Maclean from Ireland was executed for his participation. Malcolm returned to America where he became a well known chess player.

*Wallace McCallum. Son of Alexander Wallace McCallum jr. Fought on the Boer side during the Anglo-Boer War, while his brother Donald McCallum and Philip Peter McCallum on the British side. Wallace survived the war and later served in both World Wars. He was General Smuts’ chaufeur during his terms of office as Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa.

*Gert Pieter McCallum, Nationality- Transvaaler, Born c1882 is captured in 1901 and imprisoned in the Balmoral Concentration Camp – 7 August 1901, aged 19. He fought for the Transvaal Republic Forces as a member of the  Carolina Commando, and  surrendered 2 August 1901 to the Captain Le Pledge Commando. Occupation – Farmer. Came from Wonderfontein, Carolina. National Archives, Pretoria, recorded as McCullum, Ref # DBC47. From Carolina. Family of the Middleburg McCallums. see Archibald McCallum. Gert died 11th June 1920 as a Lieutenant in the South African Military Contabulary, and is buried at ref. 1.D.R.1. Rooidam Military Cemetery.

*Archibald McCallum. On the 12 of September 1900, Archibald McCallum, son of Archibald McCallum (senior) and Maria Susanna Van Rooyen, born circa 1867 is imprisoned in the Middleburg Concentration Camp. He surrendered to British forces on the 12th of September 1900 at Warmbaths, while carrying arms. Occupation – Carolina Landdrost Clerk (recorded as self-employed). Arrived at Middelburg Concentration Camp on the 7 July 1901, aged 34, and released 15 February 1902. Record in the National Archives in Pretoria, DBC 84, Page 258. Nationality – Transvaaler.

*Cornelia Johanna Virgo McCallum, born c1875 is interned in the Balmoral Concentration Camp, aged 26 years, and dies in the camp of Consumption as a consequence of the poor camp conditions (exposure/ overcrowding/ undernourishment and unsanitary conditions).



Two of Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Ann Ferguson McCallum nee’ Alexander of New Zealand sons enlist with New Zealand contingents and embark for South Africa.

Malcolm Campbell McCallum. Enlists as a Trooper. He had served before the SA War in the Heretaunga Mounted Rifles. He arrived in South African War as a Private in a New Zealand contingent – First Contingent, No. 1 Company, Serial no. 27. He embarked for SA on the 21 October 1899 from Wellington, aboard the Waiwera, and landed in Durban. The New Zealand troops were then shipped to Cape Town and disembarked at Table Bay. His campaigns were the ‘Relief of Kimberley’ where his cousins inside the city were suffering the dire effects of being besieged for 6 months, ‘Driefontein’, ‘Johannesburg’, ‘Orange Free State’ and ‘Diamond Hill’. Kimberley was relieved 15 March 1900. The Battle of Driefontein (10 March 1900) was the last attempt by Boer Forces to prevent the occupation of Bloemfontein by British Forces under Lord Roberts. During the battle, British Forces outflanked the Boer Forces in fighting that had lasted all day, causing the Burghers to flee in panic. British dead – 82 and 342 wounded, Boers dead – 102 and 22 captured. The Battle of Diamond Hill took place on the 11th and 12th of June 1900. Fourteen thousand British soldiers attacked 4 thousand Boers who had entrenched themselves in positions near a hill, and forced them to abandon their positions. The aftermath was the capture of the city of Pretoria. In March 1900, Malcolm Campbell McCallum took ill, returning to duty in April 1900 at Springfield near Bloemfontein. He was discharged from service on the 21st of October 1899, having served 1 year and 96 days.  He returned to New Zealand aboard the S.S. Orient, arriving in NZ on the 26 January 1901. His military papers describe him as of ‘good’ character, of ‘fair’ complexion, ‘brown’ hair, 5ft 8 in height, ‘blue’ eyes, and aged 24. Malcolm Campbell McCallum received the Queen’s SA medal. He was also presented with a gold watch and chain by his Kaiwarra fellow residents. Malcolm returned to his occupation as a Beef Slaughterman and Butcher (Bank Meat Company). Next of Kin- Samuel McCallum of Kaiwarra, Wellington. (see Malcolm’s portrait).

Malcolm Campbell Mccallum NZ (2)

Malcolm Campbell McCallum photographed during the Anglo-Boer War.

A letter written by Malcolm Campbell McCallum to his family in New Zealand while serving in the NZ contingents during the Anglo-Boer War. Transcribed by Graham Leslie McCallum.


December 15/12/99 (1899)


 We arrived in Capetown (Cape Town) on the 23 of Nov at two o’clock in the morning and we laid out in the harbour till six the following evening. We could not get in to the warfe (wharf) on account of the lot of steamers that were. There was one onloading eighteen hundred mules. When we got alongside there was one there that had three thousand troops aboard, it was the Kildonan Castle. (HMS Kildonan Castle, Union Castle Line). It as a grand site (sight) to see them.  The poor devils were fed on biscuits and beef, salt xxxx (unclear) since they left home. They left the warfe the next day to go to Durban. It took us from four in the morning till twelve to unload the horses. Then we marched through Capetown to a place called Maitland to camp. It was about five miles out and it was alright marching in the hot sun. Well when we got there we had to pitch our tents and fix up our horses. It was about eight when we got our tea. Well we were there about a week and we were shifted up to a place called Nauwpoort. We went up in the train from Capetown. Were two days and three nights in the train. The horses were in small cattle trucks and we had to crawl in and give them water and feed. When we got to the place we had to pitch camp again. There was about three thousand troops at this place, mostly all mounted men. When we were there we used to get out at three in the morning and go out scouting, looking for the Booers (Boers). Our horses are getting very poor, they are not feeding them half enough and giving them too much work. When the saddle has got everything on, it weighs about a hundred weight without anything else. We stopped at this place for a week and we shifted to Arrundell, the place where we are now. It is about ten miles from Nauwpoort and about the same distance from Colesburg. When (we) were out last the booers fired at us and our men shot seven on them and two or three horses. None of us got hit but very near it.

We were out last Monday and they shot one of our horses in the leg and I was alongside of it. But on the Tuesday there was about three thousand Booers around our camp and our artillery went out and they did make a mess of the Booers. They killed about a hundred of them and as many horses and the rest left as quick as they could get. Some of our chaps went over the next day and they say it was a terrible sight to see. There was pieces of shell with Booer flesh and their uniforms sticking to it.

We were roused out at two this morning and saddled our horses and then we were told to go back to bed again.

There is a farm house where we are camped, a Booer one, and the troops looted it and stole all they could. What they could not cary (carry) they smashed up. They also had 29 hundred sheep and me and another killed a hundred and ten of them. They were all merinos.

This place is alive with niggers. They drive all the wagons with ten mules in a team.

How is all Kaiwarra getting on and all the boys and all the Banks(?). Hope you are all well at home as I am at present. I have no mote news to tell you this time, so good day.


I remain yours ever loving son

Malcolm McCallum


This is three of the Booers papers that my mate commandeered.


Letter written by Private Malcolm Campbell McCallum of the New Zealand First Contingent, 1st Company, from Kleinfontein, Cape Colony, while serving in the Anglo-Boer War to his brother in New Zealand.

Text in brackets and punctuation that of the transcriber Graham Leslie McCallum. The original letter is in the keep of Lynn Armstrong of Wellington a descendant of Malcolm McCallum.



Wednesday 2 February 1900

Dear Brother


Just a line to let you know that I am alright. I suppose you have seen by the papers the scrapes that we have been in, and about the men that were killed. That chap named Booth that was killed had his head blown of (off) by a shell from the Boer guns. It was one of the big guns that the Boers captured from General Buller up by the Orange River. He did not belong to our Coy (Company, ie. First Contingent 1st Coy). He belong(ed) to No.2 Coy.

Gourley and Connell belong to No.2 Coy too, they were shot about a mile from camp on what we call New Zealand Hill. They were charging the Boers with fixed bayonets at the time Connell was shot through the heart, and Gourley was shot in the head in three places. He lived for about twelve hours afterwards and died.

I think the roughest time we had was at Jasfontein – the place where Bradford was shot. We were trying to get on a Kopje and the Boers got there first and by the Holy St. Pat – didn’t they give us what oh! There must have been four hundred of them and about a hundred of us. Well the bullets were just like a shower of rain in amongst us. If you look for empty saddles when you hear the rifles rattle like that – I can tell you.

Jack Blair had a very narrow squeak the other day we were out. His section was sent out as point, that is ahead of the main body. He was told to gallop up and see if all was clear. When he was about forty yards from the place he thought he saw a man behind some scrub, so he swerved his horse to make shure (sure) what it was, and shure enough – it was a man. Well as soon as Jack turned his horse around the Boers peppered it into him as fast as they could, and not one of them hit him or his horse. Some of the bullets came amongst us and we were about a mile behind him.

It is marvellous the way some of us get away for the bullets. I suppose you saw that about the Australian Rangers getting cut-up. There was nineteen of them and only three got home safe. They don’t know what became of the others. Well we are camped half a mile from that.

Me and another chap belonging to the Life Guards have been killing all the week for the camp. (Malcolm was a Slaughterman and Butcher by profession). They call me Jack the Ripper. They don’t know the way to cut a sheep’s throat. They were dum-founded (Dumb-founded) when they see me do it. The sheep are very small here and they are all merinos. The bullocks are very poor. The niggers take them out in the morning and bring them in at night.

We are now camped at a Boers farm. Our horses have been saddled for over a week, day and night, and was sleeping with all our gear alongside of us. Oh! What a time we are having.

The Tenth Hussars, the Shiny Tenth they are called were out with the big guns one day and the bullets got a bit to (too) thick for them, so they wheeled around and left the guns – and what sort of a name have they got now?

It was Harris that fired the gun and shot the man in Albany. You know he was in our tent at (Harous?).

What did Andy and the Charlies leave Pa for (?) and Jack Hicks is working for him now. How do you get on with him and who is the other man there?

Well I don’t have any more to say at present.

Remember me to all hands, and Jack Stanard and Tom (Waraha?).

I think we make a shift on Friday towards Kimberley.

(sentence blurred and illegible)

Malcolm McCallum

The names of the places we have been camped at…

1.  Maitland (Cape Town)

2.  Nouwpoort

3.  Tweedale

4.  Arundel

5.  Rensburg

6.  Slingersfontein

7.  Potsfontein

8.  and Kleinfontein

9.  ……………………..

Individuals named in Malcolm Campbell McCallum’s letter.

Trooper. Harold Joseph Booth (116) (1st Contingent, No.2 Coy) Occupation – Clerk. Next of Kin – Mrs. C. W. Cooke of Oamaru. Killed at Rensburg, the 4th New Zealander to die. Previously in the North Otago Mounted Rifles.

Sergeant. Samuel Walker Gourley (104) (1st Contingent, No.2 Coy). Born 18 March 1870 in Dunedin. Occupation – Clerk. Next of Kin – son of Hugh Gourley and Ellen Johnstone of Dunedin. Killed 15 January 1900 at New Zealand Hill, Slingersfontein.

Trooper. John Vaille Douglas Connell (119). (2nd Coy). The 23-year-old shorthand teacher was considered a steady, painstaking and excellent soldier but he died instantly when shot at Slingersfontein on 15 January 1900 during a charge, the 2nd New Zealander to perish. Father – John Aitken Connell.

Trooper George Roland Bradford. First New Zealander to perish in the Anglo-Boer War. Wounded on the 18 December 1899 at Jasfontein Farm, and died in a Boer hospital 10 days later.


A letter written by Malcolm Campbell McCallum from Pretoria, South Africa, while serving in the Anglo-Boer War as a volunteer Private in the New Zealand First Contingent, No.1 Company. Malcolm participated in the following campaigns – Relief of Kimberley/ Driefontein/ Johannesburg and Diamond Hill. Malcolm took ill in March 1900 and was returned to duty in April 1900 at Springfield, near Bloemfontein. Malcolm was awarded the QSA and returned to New Zealand, where he returned to his occupation at a Beef Slaughterman.

The Corporal Burne that Malcolm refers to in his letter was Corporal William Joseph Byrne, First Contingent. Born 1876 at Rakaia. William was killed on the 28 May 1900 at Kliprivierburg (or Van Wyls Vlei), Transvaal, aged 24. Although some records state he was hit in the forehead with a shell fragment, official NZ records state he  was killed with a bullet to the head fired accidently by a comrade on the veldt. He is buried in Soldiers Cemetery, Johannesburg. Father was Mr. W. J Byrne of Timaru. His occupation was as a Miller. Williams brother Daniel Byrne also served in the Anglo-Boer War in the 4th Contingent.

Text in brackets and punctuation is that of the transcriber, Graham Leslie McCallum. The original letter is in the keep of Lynne Armstrong of Wellington, New Zealand.



A letter written by Malcolm Campbell McCallum to his sister in New Zealand.


June 22 June 1900


My Dear Sister

 Just a line to let you know I am alive and kicking. I have not had much (time) for writing lately. We have been on the go every day.

We have had a good deal of fighting since we left Bloemfontein. We had a day and a half fighting at a place called Thabanchu. It is about thirty miles from Bloemfontein. We were in the thick of the shells, and bullets too, and we had one man wounded, but he is alright again.

I suppose you saw by the paper about the chaps being taken prisoner. One of our cousins was amongst them. He was the conductor of the wagons. His name is Henry. (Henry McCallum, son of Alexander Wallace McCallum and Christina Heintjes). I saw him the other day in Pretoria. When the Boers found that we were so close on them, they got nine hundred of the prisoners in the train and took them to Liedenberg (Lydenburg) They call the place ‘the white man’s grave’ (malaria).

When the British went to let the other prisoners out, the Boers started and fired at them (and) the prisoners with their big guns, but I don’t think they did any damage.

The No.1 Congt (Contingent) is getting very small (and) now most of them what is left, is joining the Police here. There is thirty eight left now at the front. There is I believe fifteen dead. I was very near joining the Police but I thought no, I will go back to NZ (New Zealand).

There is a lot of our chaps got very good jobs on the Railway. There is plenty of work over here for anyone who has got a trade, and good wages too. They say the average wage here is from five to six Pounds a week.

You know that chap that Maud Rankin used to work for, in Monners St. (Street), that Collie man – he is here in Pretoria and is doing very well. I did not see him (rather) it was Jack Blair who was telling me about it.

All the Dutch towns are dirty places but they have some very nice buildings.

The Boers made no stand at all here, but they made a good stand outside of Johannesburg at a place called Kliprivier. It was there where Corporal Burne (William Joseph Byrne) got killed. We all very sorry because he was a fine chap, always laughing. He was laughing at the time he got killed. He was hit in the forehead with a piece of shell and killed outright.

Well I cannot think of any more at present. I will tell you all about the War when I come home, which I don’t think will be very long now.

Remember me to all the boys and girls, not forgetting Old slap-dabber Mattie. Tell him I will soon be home and give him a deal.


I remean (remain)

Your very loving Brother

M McCallum


A letter penned in Carolina during the Anglo Boer War by Malcolm Campbell McCallum to his sister in New Zealand. Transcribed by Graham Leslie McCallum.



Sept 7/8/1900


Dear Sister


I received your most welcome letters about the 27th of last month and I has (sp) not time to answer them. I also got two about three weeks before then and we were on the march, so you see I had no time to write.

We have had an awful lot of travelling about lately. Since the last I wrote to you we have travelled about two thousand miles. First of all we started out with all the other troops on the general advance. When we got as far as Balmoral we were ordered back to Pretoria. We put in a lovely night here, it rained like the very devil. It was as bad as a south easter and we had no tent. We have not slept in a tent for about seven months. Don’t you think that I will make a good sun downer when I get back. There was about 500 mules and bullocks died this night and two niggers and three of the Scotties so can guess what sort of a night it was. When we got to Pretoria we were sent to relieve Baden-Powell who was surrounded in Rustenburg. Well on the way there we only had one bit of a scrap in which three of the Second Contg (contingent) were wounded. Capt. Hudson was one and I don’t know the names of the others.

Well when we got close to Rustenburg the Boers all did (hid?) again and the so called hero was fee once more.

From there we started to chase that scamp Dewet (General De Wet) but he was a bit two (too) fly for us.

One night we camped about four o’clock and in half an hour’s time we got the order to saddle up at once and we started off again. The reason was to catch Dewet who was supposed to be crossing the Crocodile River. Well we travelled on till eleven o’clock and halted till four and stated off again, and at about ten in the morning we caught sight of the tail of his convoy which they shelled but I don’t think they did any damage. A patrol was sent out to see if all was clear and when they got within fifty yards of the kopje the Boers opened fire on them and they (had) a bad time of it. They had a Lieut (Lieutenant) and one man killed and three wounded and Dewet is still going.

Sergt (Mahard?) says he does not know (Hate) (perhaps Nate). He says it will be his cousin George that she knows.

There is a man by the name of (Hasler) that knows Uncle Bob well. Perhaps Hate/Nate knows him. And Young (is) back home again, he had a bad time when he got hurt. It was a rough shop there.

And so Mrs. Mc is down in Wgton (Wellington) again. I hope she is well again.

We are supposed to be going to a place called Komati Poort and from there we are going up the border of the Transvaal and the Portgues(e) territory. Well I cannot tell you any more just now so Ta Ta.

Give my love to Miss Frost and remember me to all enquiring friends.


I remain

Your ever loving Bro (brother)

M Mc Callum

I am quite well hoping you are the same.


 Donald Samuel McCallum. Enlisted as a Private (5087) Unit- 8CNIRAS. He embarked for South Africa aboard the ship SS. Surrey on the 1st of February 1902. Donald survived the war. He is buried in Taruheru Cemetery, Gisborne, New Zealand, having died on the 23 April 1946.

Donald Samuel McCallum NZ

Donald Samuel McCallum

Donald writes the following two letters to his family and addressed to his sister, Mary Elizabeth McCallum back in New Zealand.

Dear everybody

Just a few lines hoping they will find you quite well as I am happy as larry. Since I last wrote we have traveled about 500 miles. We came to Newcastle from Durban right through all the country that Gen Buller had all his worst fighting and it is a terrible place especially round the Tugela River nothing but great rocks. We were 32 hours in the train and coal trucks at that we were all ready incase of an atack but a devil of a Boer did we see. We had a terrible storm were we were camped in Newcastle our tents had about a foot of water in them the chaps had three swags under their arms and were singing like nightinggales and I was on horse picquet. We have treked thirty 30 miles to this place where we are doing garrison duty waiting for French to drive the Boers through the pass we are holding but I dont think they will come this way because it is to well guarded by blockhouses. There is all of A Squadron here and we are in four troops two troops go out every night on outpost waiting for Jacky to come down from the Burgs. The Seventh got a up when young Len Butter got killed they came into Newcastle the day after we left so we never had a chance to see them. General Lyttleton was here the other day and I was one of his escort along with Geo Rountree to see him and his staff across a drift about 2 miles away. This is all I have to say today as I got to get ready to go out.

Iso sal a gasby (goodbye)



Donald McCallum


1st Brigade

5087 A Sqd


(A letter from Donald McCallum, while serving in South Africa in the Anglo-Boer War, to his family in New Zealand). (All spelling as in the original letter).


Bushy Kop, Klerksdorp


May 26/5/02

Dear Mary and everybody,

I received your welcome letter today and was pleased to hear how things are going. I would have written before but we have just come off a month trek. I wrote my last at Palmeitfontein then we went on a drive after the jackies (Boer burghers) towards the Veyburg (Vryburg) railway line. When we started we had 15,000 men in all in a line for 60 miles and we treked 80 but it only took us five days. We had some fine fun on the march, when we were out three days the Boers tried to break through Col. Roleston’s column which was next to ours and we where with Col. Thorneycroft but were driven off. The next night about 12 o’clock young Botha (General Louis Botha, later first Prime Minister of the Union of South Africa) tried us and the NSW (New South Wales) Bushmen and you should have heard the firing it was grand fun we shot three jackies and 2 cows. He said next day when he was captured, it was the worst time he ever had. The next day we captured all their convoy sheep, cattle and horses and about 561 prisoners. On the railway line all traffic was stopped for 5 days and armoured trains were travelling night and day so the poor jackies never had a chance to escape. When we were coming back to Klersdorp (Klerksdorp) I dropped across our cousin in the highlands. He thought I was Malcolm back again he told me Liverstone’s (Livingstones- after the death of Alexander Wallace McCallum, Christina McCallum nee’ Henkes had married a Livingstone and was now living in Johannesburg) where living in Green St. Johannsburg (Johannesburg). What do you think of old Dick Seddon coming up to see us the day we arrived off the trek – you should have seen us black faces and some raggard pants we did look a picture. He made a speech and made a mess of it.

What is the baby’s name Kitchener, Carrington, Kekewich, White etc. etc. it would be a nice name for it. (Donald lists the names of British Generals). We have not seen anything of the 9th or 10th yet so I cant tell anything of them. I think this is all I can say to day as we are getting ready for a few days sports – remember me to everyone as I am in the picture of health as is hossoob.  

I remain your brother

D Mc

5087 A Sqd 1st NZ Brigade SA


In 1904, Alexander Wallace McCallum jr makes application to the British Government for reparations for war damages to his farm and farm house that was used for target practice by British Forces. (note. A photograph of his damaged farm house in lodged at the CT Archives).



In 1906 John Douglas Smith McCallum is living in Beaconsfield and occupied as a Prospector. On the 13th of January, while sitting on his verandah to his home in Beaconsfield, John saw a man been attacked by two drunk men named Alfred Louis Shirtliff and Vaughan Johnson. He came to the defense of the Kimberley citizen by driving off the two drunks. The man who was initially attacked, ran to get help from the police and on returning to the scene with a policeman found John on the ground with a bloodied head. From evidence given at the trial, the one assaulter had hit John McCallum on the head with a stone. Also giving evidence was John’s young son Alexander Ernest McCallum, who was reported to have told the attending policeman “they are killing my father”. Although John was able to stand up and return to his home, the injury to his brain (fracture of the skull with fragments driven into his brain) were life threatening. This injury affected his speech and judgement and unfortunately, he delayed seeking medical help. Evidence given at the trial suggests his brain injury had already affected his decision making. When his health deteriorated further, he was taken to the Kimberley Hospital where he died of his injuries on the 24 of February 1906. His funeral was held at All Saint’s, Beaconsfield (see Anglican Church Magazine April 1906, the use of the Anglican Church is unusual for a Presbyterian. This church still exits but is in a deplorable condition). John Douglas Smith McCallum was buried in the Du Toitspan Cemetery, grave 5193, aged 42 on the same day as his death. Doc- Diamond Fields Advertiser March 7th and 17th. John’s murderer Alfred Louis Shirtliff fled before sentenced. I found his name on a ship’s manifest. He had sailed from Durban to England and restarted his life with a family.  I was unable to find John Douglas Smith McCallum’s gravestone in the cemetery. Perhaps a map of the graveyard exists that would assist a searcher finding the grave site. See. Newspaper cuttings from the time). This sudden tragedy tumbled the family into a financial crisis. Evelyn Rosina Mabel McCallum and her younger brother Alexander Ernest McCallum were pulled out of their schooling and had to turn out to work. Alexander worked at the bakery owned by the man who his father had lost his life for, contributing his income to the welfare of his mother and younger siblings.

John Douglas Smith McCallum, Diamond Fields Advertiser 1906 b

An excerpt from the Diamond Field’s Advertiser for 1906, relating to the murder of John Douglas Smith McCallum.

In the 1910-1911 Kimberley Voter’s Roll, Alexander Wallace McCallum (junior) (Occupation – Speculator) is recorded as living at 59 New Main Street Kimberley and Archibald McCallum (Prison Warder) as the owner of 1 Orpin Street. (Alexander Wallace McCallum was released from prison and later sought compensation from the British Government for war damages, especially to his farm and farm house at ‘Klipfontein’. It is on his farm ‘Alexanderfontein’ that the Wesselton Diamond Mine was discovered. Through the subterfuge of the Mining Body, the farm border was moved so that the mine now fell within the De Beer’s area. This caused much resentment within the greater McCallum family, then and in latter years. Much of Kimberley is built on ‘Alexanderfontein’ today.

My father recalls his father telling him that as a young boy, he had witnessed his father standing on a koppie, cursing Cecil John Rhodes and the De Beers Consolidated Mines for the duplicitous expropriation of family property.


In 1913 on the 8th of January, Samuel Malcolm McCallum (junior) the brother of Alexander Wallace McCallum (senior), dies in New Zealand, at his residence at Ngahauranga, in his 80th year. He is buried in the Karori Cemetery in Wellington, New Zealand, in a shared plot with his wife and 2 of his children.

Samuel Malcolm McCallum with Christina (Grace) Frederika Helena McCallum nee' Henkes in CT

Photograph of Samuel Wheatley McCallum and his sister-in-law Christina Frances Helena McCallum, taken when he visited his family in South Africa.

Alexander Ernest McCallum. Enlisted (Kimberley Regiment) (2165) 22 January 1907 (age 18). * Discharged (Kimberley Regiment) (2165) 14 February 1910 (age 21) (Served- 1117 days). * Enlisted (Kimberley Regiment) (2785) 4 June 1912 (age 23). * Discharged (Kimberley Regiment). * Enlisted (Rand Rifles) 3 October 1914 (age 25) (reg. No. 136) (Rank – Rifleman) (Served – Dutch Rebellion/ German South West Africa). * Demobilised (Rand Rifles) 28 July 1915 (age 26) (Served – 299 days) (Place- Booysens, Jhb) Alexander’s conduct is recorded as ‘Very Good’. (see posting on Alexander Ernest McCallum’s War Service)

In 1916-1917, the Kimberley Voter’s Roll records James Duncan McCallum (the 6th son of Grace and Alexander Wallace McCallum) as residing and the owner of a brick dwelling in Findlayson Road, Kimberley. Archibald McCallum is still residing and the owner of 1 Orpen Road.


Maternal line – The Badenhorst’s

On the 19 April 1871, Petrus Johannes Badenhorst is born in the district of Britstown, Cape. His father is Frans Hendrik Badenhorst and his mother Martha Susanna Angelina Lourens. His daughter Sophia Maria Badenhorst will marry Alexander Ernest McCallum in 1919. The Badenhorst’s are an old Cape Dutch family of German origin whose progenitor arrived at the Cape in the late 1600’s. (An interesting letter survives written by Frans Hendrik Badenhorst about his forebear Caspar Heinrich Badenhorst and his adventures on his journey to the Cape).

Petrus Johannes Badenhorst

Petrus Johannes Badenhorst

Sophia Maria Badenhorst nee' Stander

Sophia Maria Badenhorst nee’ Stander

On the 29 August 1900, Sophia Maria Badenhorst is born and baptised on the 9th of September 1902 at Strydenburg, Cape. Sophia’s father is Petrus Johannes Badenhorst and her mother is Sophia Maria Stander. Sophia is to marry Alexander Ernest McCallum 17 years later and have 7 children.

Birth Certificate of Sophia Maria McCallum nee' Badenhorst

Birth Certificate of Sophia Maria Badenhorst

Sophia Maria McCallum nee' Badenhorst 1919

Sophia Maria Badenhorst

(I have researched and documented the Badenhorst and Stander family lines back to the 1600’s. It includes several hundred stamouers and includes many well known Cape Dutch families like the Cloete’s/ Du Plessis/ Du Toit/ Wessels/ Bezuidenhout/ Roussouw/ Visser/ Botha/ De la Rey/ Geldenhuys/ Van Wyk/ Snyman/ De La Rey/ Lombaard/ Burger/ Putter/ Cordier/ Beyers/ Du Preez/ Malherbe/ Hoffman/ Nel/ Barnard, Le Roux/ Koen/ Potgieter/ De Joncker/ De Klerk/ Retief/ De Haas/ Brits/ Strydom/ Ras/ Nortje/ and many others. Approximately a third of the progenitors are Dutch, a third German and a third French Huegenot. There are approximately 18 non-white progenitors. Of these 2 are Africans from Guinea/ 14 are Indian/ and 2 are mulattos born at the Cape).

On the 29 December 1919, Alexander Ernest McCallum, aged 30, weds Sophia Maria Badenhorst, aged 17 in the Kimberley Presbyterian Church.

Marriage of Alexander Ernest McCallum and Sophia Maria Badenhorst

Marriage photograph of Sophia Maria Badenhorst and Alexander Ernest McCallum


In c1924, Christina Frederika, Helena Livingstone/ McCallum nee’ Heintjes dies in Cape Town, aged 84, and is buried in the Maitland Cemetery, in Kimberley.

In 1935 – 1936, the Kimberley Voter’s Roll records Alexander Ernest McCallum as residing at 1 Findlayson Street as the occupier; and Evelyn Rosina Pheiffer nee’ McCallum, older sister to Alexander Ernest McCallum is residing and the owner of 12 Searle Street. She also owns 66 Black Street. Charles Duggan McCallum, the son of Alexander and Grace McCallum are residing with his wife Mary Elizabeth Maud Kellsey, they are the owners of 16 Lawrence Street. John Frank William McCallum (the son of John Douglas Smith McCallum and Rosina Louise Zweig) is residing with his wife Aletta Elizabeth Viviers at 5 Lawrence Street (also owners).

In 1939 at the onset of the 2nd World War, Alexander Ernest McCallum served in the 1st Special Services Reserve Battalion having enlisted on the 23 January 1940 (aged 50). He was discharged on the 22 January 1944 at the age of 54 years and 7 months, having served 3 years and 83 days. Ernest was stationed at the Beaconsfield Railway Station.

In 1945, Malcolm Campbell McCallum dies in New Zealand, Wellington, aged 69.

L - R, Malcolm Campbell McCallum, William Alexander McCallum, Donald McCallum, Samuel Wheatley McCallum, NZ

L – R, Malcolm Campbell McCallum, William Alexander McCallum, Donald McCallum, Samuel Wheatley McCallum.

In 1945, on the 12 May, Samuel Wheatley McCallum (junior) dies in Auckland, New Zealand, aged 79.

In 1947, on the 22 November, William Alexander McCallum (the son of Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Ann Ferguson McCallum nee’ Alexander) dies in Wellington New Zealand, aged 80.

In 1952, on the 2 January, Mary Elizabeth McCallum (daughter of Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Ann Ferguson McCallum nee’ Alexander) dies in Wellington, New Zealand, aged 80.

Mary Elizabeth McCallum

Gravestone of Mary Elizabeth McCallum

On the 16th October 1960, Rosine Louise Zweig dies in Kimberley aged 99  of Cardiac Arrest at her home in Compound Street, and is buried in Westend Cemetery.

Rosine Louise McCallum nee' Zweig a

Rosina Louise McCallum nee’ Zweig

John Frank William McCallum and mother Rosine Louise McCallum nee' Zweig

In 1970 on the 2 April, Grace McCallum, the daughter of Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Anne Ferguson McCallum nee’ Alexander dies in Wellington, New Zealand.

Grace Pyne nee' McCallum, daughter of Samuel Malcolm McCallum and Ann Ferguson Alexander, NZ McCallum's zf

Grace Pyne nee’ McCallum

On the 25 January 1977, Sophia Maria McCallum nee’ Badenhorst dies in Kimberley at her home of Myocardial Infarction aged 77. She is buried in the Westend Cemetery.

Alexander and Sophia McCallum - Kimberley

Alexander Ernest McCallum and Sophia Maria McCallum nee’ Badenshorst in old age, Kimberley.

On the 21st June 1982, Alexander Ernest McCallum dies in Kimberley of Carcinoma of the Kidneys and Bones aged 94. He is buried in the Westend Cemetery in Kimberley next to his predeceased wife Sophia Maria McCallum nee’ Badenhorst.

Alexander Ernest McCallum 9

Alexander Ernest McCallum

Grave stone of Alexander ernest McCallum and Sophia Maria McCallum nee' Badenhorst



3 comments on “The McCallum’s of South Africa

  1. Mary Ryan
    October 31, 2014

    This is such an impressive account.
    I am trying to research Margaret Mc Cullam who married Brown Lawrence in Cape Town. Do you have any information on their marriage or any photographs.

    Mary Ryan

  2. Sue Wessels
    November 2, 2014

    Very interesting. My husband’s great-grandparents were Alexander Wallace McCallum and Anna LCS Minnaar.

  3. Margaret Scott
    April 29, 2015

    Thank you for sharing this McCallum information. My Great Grandmother was a McCallum born on the Isle of Bute, Scotland. One of her younger brothers Colin Campbell McCallum born 1859, ended up in South Africa. In September 1924 I found where he left Durban South Africa for Glasgow and from Glasgow he went onto Montreal Canada to meet up with his old brother Archibald who had been farming in Northern Ontario since approximately 1880. I have not found any information about Colin’s time in South Africa and have not found any details about his death, whether he stayed in Canada or returned to Scotland or South Africa. The last census that I found for Colin was from 1881 in Rothesay, Isle of Bute.
    Any information that you might be able to provide would be greatly appreciated.
    Kindest Regards, Margaret Scott
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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This entry was posted on May 24, 2014 by in McCallum Genealogy, Uncategorized.
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