Van der Merwe

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Van der Merwe is a common Afrikaans surname, derived from the Dutch van der Merwen. It was brought to South Africa in 1661 by Hollanders in the employ of the Dutch East India Company.[1] Van der Merwe roughly translates to "from the Merwede" in Middle Dutch.

The progenitors of the extended clan are Willem Schalk van der Merwe (born Broek, South Holland) and Elsje Cloete (born Cologne, North Rhine-Westphalia).[2] Married in the Cape of Good Hope, they later farmed for a living in Hout Bay and eventually retired to Drakenstein.[3] Some of their descendants include:

Characters in fiction[edit]

  • Wikus van de Merwe, fictional protagonist in the film District 9

Use in Jokes[edit]

'Van der Merwe' is the butt of many South African jokes.

See also[edit]