A tale of resilience and courage, adventure, and tragedy.......
The Hoole - Stephens family which settled in the farm of Coedybrain near Llandyfaelog during the First World War had some of its roots in South Africa. It also had the distinction of having been descended from one of the first settler families to have emigrated to South Africa in 1819.
But there's much more. There are some extraordinary elements in the family story; some episodes dating from the early 1800's and some from the early 1900's are so weird that one thinks they cannot possibly be true. But here they are, firmly established in family mythology, and I suppose that on some things we will never know the truth..........
Family members have beavered away on reconstructing the family tree, and on digging up other information; and in the Chapters which follow I have made extensive use of the few written resources at our disposal. So thanks to May Bell and Wendy and Ross Hoole for their publications, and to Joan, Heather and everybody else who has written things down, saved old photos and provided material for the narrative.
The story -- including the genuine history and the bits of mythology -- will inevitably evolve. But once we have it in a form something like this, it's easy to add photos and to correct the text whenever new things come along.
So if there are any photos I've missed, please send me digitised images and I'll be happy to incorporate them into the web site. The same is true with written information. Please send it along. And corrections -- please point out any errors, since we might as well try and get this as right as possible!
There are eleven chapters to the story. Chapters 1-5 are itemised at the head of the page; for Chapters 6-11 go to "More" in the pages list.
All good wishes
Grahamstown as it is today -- a city of 70,000 people
The painting at the top of the page is by NW Hoole