Our history


Our history

We are currently the 5th and 6th generation living on the farm. 

We also have the last remaining portion of the original farm which apparently stretched from the little river along the tar road until halfway to Broederstroom.

Danielsrust was originally settled by Daniel Jacobus Oosthuizen (26/7/1821 – 6/6/1899) who left the Cape Province during the Great Trek in 1838. He and his wife Anna Susanna du Toit (14/11/1840 – 20/9/1921) settled here in 1861.

Daniel and Anna had 5 sons and 4 daughters, all born on the farm. Among their children, the eldest son, Sarel Francois Oosthuizen (22/3/1862 – 14/8/1900) was the well-known Boer General who fought in both the First Anglo-Boer War (1880-1881) and the Second Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). These wars are now referred to as the First and Second South African Wars. Due to his fiery red hair and ruddy complexion he was affectionately known by his burghers as “Die Rooi Bul van Krugersdorp” His youngest brother Isak Daniel Oosthuizen also fought in the Second South African War and died in battle at the age of 17.

Daniel and Anna’s youngest daughter was Elizabeth Catharina Oosthuizen (8/6/1886 – 30/11/1972) and she is the lineage by which Danielsrust has stayed in our family. She and her family were placed in the concentration camp in Krugersdorp during the Second South African War when Britain implemented their “scorched earth” policy. All the buildings on the farm were burnt down. When she was released from the concentration camp in 1901, she applied for permission to rebuild their houses and sheds. The house and sheds still stand today and Dylan van der Merwe currently lives in the original house. The house still has all the original corrugated iron on the roof, yellowwood rafters in the roof and yellowwood floors. Our sheds were originally one of the local schools in the area.

In 1904 Elizabeth Catharina Oosthuizen married Johannes Wilhelmus van der Merwe (22/5/1871 – 22/8/1931). He was a teacher who was born in Ceres, Cape Province. They had 7 children, 2 daughters and 5 sons of which one died at 2 years of age and is buried in the cemetery on the farm. While he was teaching, she ran a dairy farm and sold her milk in Krugersdorp from the Kingdon Street Dairy.

Of their 4 remaining sons, the youngest son, Sarel Francois van der Merwe (1/11/1911 – 16/4/1985) bought the remaining portion of the farm from his parents. He married Kathleen Mary Cox (16/6/12 – 21/9/2003) who was the daughter of an 1820’s Settler who ran a Trading station in Quaba in Lesotho. 

They had 3 children, Johannes Pieter van der Merwe (20/6/1942 – 21/7/2015), Elizabeth van der Merwe (7/10/1944) and Susan van der Merwe (2/8/1951), Sarel van der Merwe was also a teacher and was the principal of Krugersdorp High School from 1951-1973 when he retired. He had been involved with Krugersdorp High for 41 years – 4 years as a pupil and 37 years as a staff member. Upon his retirement he farmed with a commercial beef herd.

Johannes Pieter van der Merwe married Gail Gardner (8/2/1944 – 23/6/2014) and they had 2 children, Darrell (4/9/1966) and Dalene(5/9/63). Darrell van der Merwe married Michelle Butts (15/10/1966) and their children are Dylan van der Merwe (10/1/1994) and Kerryn van der Merwe (19/10/1996). After Sarel van der Merwe passed away Pieter and Darrell continued with the commercial beef herd as well as Mutton Merino sheep for a number of years.

In 1999 when the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site was proclaimed, the farming operation changed yet again. We converted into a game farm and served as a tourist destination for game-viewing horse and quad rides for many years.

We are now still involved in the game farming side with mountain bike trails, walking trails, picnics, day functions and camping accommodation available. Please feel free to take a stroll through the cemetery. From the original settlers to current generations, the farm’s history unfolds. There are over 70 graves in the cemetery and they have all been recorded by the Genealogical Society of South Africa.

We are delighted to be able to share this with you, please respect our home and the animals that we share this pristine environment with.

We hope you enjoy your visit.