FERREIRA – WELENSKY (Rhodesia connection)

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Aletta Maria Catharina Ignasia Ferreira (b9c1d9e1f1) Born Willowmore 1863.09.17, died 1918.03.13 Salisbury Hospital and buried in the Jewish Cemetery was severely ill from a tumour and contracted flu in hospital in 1918. She was 53y 6m old. She was married to Michael Welensky, born in Vilna, Russia in 1843.

He arrived in South Africa from America at the age of 38. He was of Jewish descent on his mother`s side. He led a life such as that of which adventure story books are composed. After receiving what schooling was available in his circumstances he had spent forty years proving the futility of aspiration, wondering over most of the western world in search of the fortune that forever eluded the grasp of his caloused fingers.

Youth and manhood had been spent as an itinerant trader, plodding around towns and villages of Poland with merchandise on a sleigh or in packs on his back. When threatened with conscription into the Czar`s army, he had evaded service by the self-amputation of a finger from his right hand – an old Russian custom at that time. As it was also a criminal offence so he skipped into Sweden. He moved to Germany where he bought women`s hair and sold it to wigmakers. He married in Germany but divorced. He became a bigtime smuggler of horses into France during the Franco-Prussian war.

When the war ended he left for America. In America he became a saloon keeper and an oil millionaire. He was attracted to South Africa by the diamond rush.

Standing 6 foot 2 inches with dark curly hair, flashing dark-brown eyes and shoulders like the fenders of a Jeep his face was always slashed by a friendly grin. He found that De Beers Consolidated had closed the door on the diamonds.

He became a trader of ostrich feathers. Travelling all over the country he eventually reached the little dorp called Willowmore. In his first year he had more than 1000 pounds – in those days a small fortune. In Willowmore he met Aletta Ferreira, 17 years old and living with her parents.

At this time the bottom dropped out of the ostrich market. He then went to the Transvaal where he tried gold digging, but he went to Barberton in stead of the Witwatersrand.

The couple had 9 children:

  • Jeanette 1882 – 1962 X Shillington XX van Rooyen
  • Abe 1884 – 1913
  • Raphael 1886 known as Ray X Wirz
  • David 1889 – 1971
  • Joseph 1890
  • Benjamin 1892 1964 born in Barberton
  • Lionel 1902 – 1971
  • Roland (Roy) Salisbury 1907 – 1991 known as Sir Roy Welensky, Prime Minister of Rhodesia

Latroska 1909

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