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I was raised in the Alexandria District by a mother who was a keen genealogist and her side of the family was well documented however my father's side were not really interested in the history of where they came from etc. As the eldest daughter who has married and had three sons, all of whom are now scattered on three separate continents I am keen to locate family members.


My grandfather was the eldest son who was something of a tyrant whom his mother found difficult to handle. A relation by the name of Walton was widowed and required assistance in running the farm she had inherited from her late husband and so Leonard Orlando Bean was sent by his mother who was also widowed and living in Christiana, but well endowed with sons to assist Lavinia Bean also known as Old Auntie. The name Orlando seems to be very important in the branch of the Bean family which I come from. The farm in the Alexandria district was known as Orlando when I was born and several of my fathers siblings as well as leonard Orlando Bean's sibling were given the name at birth. Leonard Orlando Bean had younger brothers named Vi ctor and also Rollo Orlando who emigrated to Australia and lost all contact with the family locally. Victor remained in Christiana and married and had two daughters. Another of his brothers moved up to Zambia where he ran a commercial farm near Mazibuka and was married to my grandmother's sister, Helen Bennett. The name of the farm run in Zambia was Hamapula.

I understand that the Bean's were farming at a farm known as Tutube (sp) somewhere near Addo or the Suurberg at the time of the Rinderpest and they packed all their animals on a train and moved up to Christiana.


My grandmother was a Miss Constance Bennett whose father farmed at Edge Hill near Fort Beaufort. Her father was married twice and his second wife was known to his grandchildren particularly my father s Mater. She was a Miss MacKenzie and had no children with WW Bennett. He had several sons, Gordon and Graham as well as the daughters Helen and Constance.My grandmother came to Orlando as a teacher which was how she came to marry my grandfather. She was a wonderful woman much loved and respected by all who knew her. One of her nephews Jack Bennett was an author who married twice and settled in Australia. His wife survived him as well as a daughter. Since I have a son who is now resident in Australia I would welcome hearing from anyone who can tell me more about either side of my father's family. 

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Comment by Gena Philibert Ortega on February 5, 2013 at 9:58am


My name is Gena and I am the Director over GenealogyWise for the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. I thought I would just let you know that GenealogyWise has a private message function that you can access by going to the member page for the person you want to message. It's located on the left hand side, under their photo. When giving out your email or phone number, you may want to do that as a private message so you don't receive unwanted correspondence from others.

Just thought I would let you know.


Comment by Gail Carolyn Hayes on February 5, 2013 at 8:00am

Hi Bronwyn,

My e-mail address is and my phone number is 041-3688128. Grandpa Bean was a hard and difficult man and was also the eldest son. He almost disowned my Dad because he chose to fight in the Second World War and rather sadly my uncle who has just died was the apple of his eye and second youngest of 5 while Dad was the second eldest. I imagine that the reason he had to have his mother committed to an asylum was because she suffered from terrible depression after Leo's father died. His wife was a Miss Coltman and had had a sad life. Rollo left because Leo was such a tyrant and an Aunt by the name of Walton whose husband had died without issue thought to help her by asking if Leonard would come and assist her to run the farm Orlando. She had been a Miss Lavinia Bean but was mostly referred to as old Aunty and by all accounts a formidable woman.Upon her death the farm was left to my grandfather though not legally changed into his name until Grandpa finally divided the farm placing a usefruct upon it which would force my father to sell it back to Tavy at whatever price Tavy might place upon it. My father discovered that the farm had not been registered in my grandfather's name which resulted in further unpleasantness as Grandpa had to then pay legal fees to transfer it to his name. Ultimately when my brother decided not to farm my father offered it to his brother who was scathing and unaware that there was a legal loophole and the farm passed into the hands of an Afrikaans neighbour who subsequently sold it to the Addo Elephant National Park. My cousin who now owns the other portion has changed the name of the farm to Schotia Safari's where he has been very successful. Karma is a biatch! Patricia was from Felix Bean's side of the family and they farmed at some distance from Orlando in a rather remote part of the Garden Route. 

Comment by Bronwyn on February 4, 2013 at 11:19pm
Hello. Was your grandfather Leo bean? And his dad Gustavus? I am the great great granddaughter of Felix Frederick bean, who was Gustavus brother, also Thomas pulled bean as my gran married her second cousin (common practice in those days) I am doing our family tree on ancestry with photos and am also in touch with the group of people in England who are researching our family branch, they have us back to the late 1300's. I was speaking to a man last year regarding the Leo branch, however he got a bit upset when I mentioned a few things I had heard. I would love for you guys to add to the tree, I am in touch with so many from all over the world.

Regards Bronwyn




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