always been interested in my family history, and between 1990 and
1995 I worked on a study of my antecedents, compiling the information I
collected into a book which I called The Blood of my
Ancestors. I produced only six copies, which I
selected family members, and I placed one copy in the South African
Library in Cape Town. The original is still in my possession, and
I hope that it will one day become a family heirloom.
As I wrote in the Introduction to The Blood of my Ancestors,
As Adan Reitz was the oer-Duits-stamvader, as Johan Friedrick Reitz was the Dutch stamvader, as Jan Frederik Reitz was the South African stamvader, I am hoping that I will be recognized as the first of our line to settle in Canada. My dream is that one day a descendent of mine will carry the Reitz genes to the Moon, or to somewhere out in the far-flung reaches of Space.
Throughout this book there is the thread of what could be considered to be religion in my life. I believe that the soul is passed on from generation to generation in the genes of our descendants, and that my father and my grandfather and their forefathers before them, live on in me.
This philosophy was articulated in three quotations that I included as the epigraph of The Blood of my Ancestors:
Some people may wonder why I went so far back in tracing my background. My answer is that the birth of my ancestors and my grandparents after them ushered in my coming, and therefore I am a continuation of them. As my mind develops, I increasingly believe that wherever I am, whatever I do, my ancestors play a leading part in my actions. I believe that they guide me and protect me. Some people say that since I cannot prove it scientifically, it is false. My defense is that no one has been able to prove a belief.
Naboth Mokgatle, 1971
He said that three groups of people lived in every village. First
were those you could see - walking around, eating, sleeping and
working. Second were the ancestors whom Grandma Yaisa had now
"And the third people - who are they? " asked Kunta.
"The third people" said Omoro, "are those waiting to be born."
Alex Hailey, 1976
When a Westerner is born, he or she enters a stream of time that is always flowing. When a point of life is passed, it is finished. When a Westerner dies, he leaves the stream, which flows on without him. But for us, birth plunges us into a pool in which the waters of past, present and future swirl around together. Things happen, and are done with, but they are not dead. After we splash about a bit in this life, our mortal beings leave the pool, but our spirits remain.
Miriam Makeba, 1987
I have begun to develop a systematic family history page for my
children and anyone else who may be interested. It is to a large
extent based on my compilation, The Blood of my Ancestors , which
in turn is derived from documents I have collected since childhood, as
well as the research conducted by Tony Bosch Reitz and Jonkh. F.C.L.O.
van Kretschmar. Not all the links below have yet been activated,
but I am working on completing these web pages, and I will then promote
Where we come from, and the Reitz, Meder and
Christ families in context