i.1. Rachel NEL, geb. 17/09/1919

i.1.  Rachel, geb. 17/09/1919, Gatooma, Mashonaland Wes, Rhodesië,  oorl. 06/04/1993, Umtali, Rhodesië x Apr 1939 Mattheus Hendrikus Conroy Human Wessels (Tok of Rassie) ERASMUS, ged. 31/10/1914 (of 05/10/1914?), Lyndley, OVS, oorl. 04/09/1979. Salisbury, Rhodesië, s.v. Tielman Roos Erasmus en Engela Helena Human.

Rachel was die dogter van Stephanus Daniël Nel en Hester Adriaana Liebenberg.

Rachel was born in 1919 at Gatooma in Southern Rhodesia. As her mother was unwed at the time she was registered as Rachel Liebenberg, and in 1922 when her mother married her biological father the Liebenberg was dropped and Rachel was known as Rachel Nel until her marriage in 1939.  (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Liebenberg-288)

Rachel grew up in a strict and forboding home. Her father was especially cold and cruel to his children. The children were never shown any love or appreciation and grew up in fear. Consequently, the males of the family deserted as soon as they were able to fend for themselves. Rachel, being the eldest, was forced to tend to her parents and the younger children at home until she married. Her childhood was amongst the unhappiest years of her life and it echoed through to her adulthood by leaving her feeling insecure.  (https://www.myheritage.com/person-5021093_148888701_148888701/rachel-cornelia-erasmus-gebore-nel)

Her father moved the family to Northern Rhodesia where he was a prospector and together with other family members mined for gold. They did not make a rich strike and eventually her father became a miner at Mufulira. Rachel was incredibly intelligent, most of her education gained from her prolific reading. She excelled as a dress maker and during her years on the Copperbelt she made countless wedding dresses for various people and made all her own and her children's clothes.(https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Liebenberg-288)  Her self made talent stretched to being an adept dress maker. Her creations were highly acclaimed and admired.  (https://www.myheritage.com/person-5021093_148888701_148888701/rachel-cornelia-erasmus-gebore-nel)

 Her greatest love was books and she had library shelves packed to the ceiling with her books which she managed to ship to Rhodesia in 1969 and kept until her death in 1993. There was no subject she did not have knowledge of and her knowledge of the bush and the plants was sadly wasted. (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Liebenberg-288)

Rachel was an avid reader and collector of books. Every time she moved to another house or town the books alone would take up more space than her furniture. Her knowledge gained from reading was monumental and she was able to discuss any subject you could muster - and knew her facts(https://www.myheritage.com/person-5021093_148888701_148888701/rachel-cornelia-erasmus-gebore-nel)

Mattheus was a 6' 6" gentle giant.  Not cut out to be a farmer, he ran away from home aged 14 and went to Cape Town where he pretended to be 16 and joined a Norwegian Whaling ship to the Antartica. He spent 9 years travelling around the world.  On return, he travelled to Northern Rhodesia and found work underground at the Mufulira Copper Mine. He met his wife Rachel in Mufulira and got married in April 1939. He worked on the mine as a "Rock Breaker" and moved to Luanshya at the end of 1940 where he remained until 1968.
He was a member of the RAOB and a Masonic Mason lodges. He left Luanshya in 1968 after retiring from the Roan Antelope Copper Mines and moved to Rhodesia. He bought a farm on the banks of the Umtali River which he named "Royal Flush". He missed mining and couldn't settle into a quiet retirement, and at the end of 1969 he found work at an Asbestos Mine at Mashaba where he worked until 1979 when he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He lingered for 13 weeks from the time of diagnosis until he died wracked with the pain of bone cancer.  Tok and Rachel had six daughters and 16 grandchildren.


Her life (Rachel) was incredibly sad, and more than likely was one of the reasons she lost herself in books and gaining knowledge. She lost five infant brothers and later a sister and a brother in a car accident. Then just after her husband died, she lost her son in law and three of her six daughters in the space of three years.   (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Liebenberg-288)

Following the death of her husband and three of her daughters within a short space of 3 years, Rachel became a recluse and locked herself away with her books. Her bedroom was stacked ceiling high with books, some read more than twice.  (https://www.myheritage.com/person-5021093_148888701_148888701/rachel-cornelia-erasmus-gebore-nel)

The sorrow proved too much for her and she became a total recluse and passed away sometime during the evening of 6th April 1993 or the early hours of 7th April 1993. She was found in her bed by her grandson still holding her book wearing her spectacles. We can only think she died as the result of a broken heart.  (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Liebenberg-288)


j.  Rhoda ERASMUS x Lamb

j.  Georgina ERASMUS x Bezuidenhout

j.  Denise ERASMUS x Marcolina