BLACK WINDOW SA
STRANGER! STOP! This spot is sacred… and so reads the new restored grave of MARIA HARKER by NAOMI KEYTER Famous Major Robert Charles Harker 1780-1859 and his infamous descendant Margaret. Please allow me to explain Harker Genealogy SA. Despite having a reputation of the worst kind, Margaret Elizabeth Harker, came from a good line of Irish Harker’s, because her male grandparents were brothers, it’s the same double line, for me it makes the Genealogy line easier to resolve. Major Robert Charles Harker 1780-1859, was her great-great- grandfather, he was this Harker’s SV/PROG and a well-known as a government official at Plettenberg Bay. In addition to being Government Resident, he was also Postmaster and Justice of the Peace. When his post was abolished, he was granted a pension and the use of the residency for his lifetime. Captain Harker's wife, Maria, died December 1834 and he buried her in this grounds. Other buried with her : his eldest son, Edward Herrick Harker; Edward's wife, Wilhemina (daughter of S H du Toit and Mrs du Toit, of Uitenhage); Maria, infant daughter of Olivia (Harker) and her husband J J Sandenbergh; and his eldest daughter's husband, John Archibald Sinclair. This made them the oldest graves of Plettenberg Bay. (Links) Graves now restored see images. Margaret descending from his son William Augustus Harker. MARGERET ELIZABETH HARKER, 1922-1958 from 24 Dykeweg. PE. (Image as nr 24 looks today-GB) Infamous for murdering her husband with Arsenic poison IN SOUTH AFRICA. DAUGHTER FOR CLARENCE WILFRED HARKER and GRACE MAUDE HARKER nee HARKER. Yes they were 1st cousins. Some will say this was the cause for Margaret’s actions but truth be told, ENDOGOMY were practiced frequent in those years. What we must look at today is where Harker originated from and that she actually came from strong bones, double line. Margaret Harker were born in Platbos, near Knysna. She had 6 siblings when her dad passed away. Her mother then married Cornelius Share after that and they had another five children, bringing the total to eleven. The Harker’s childhood was the mirror image of ‘abject’ poverty, meaning the most miserable, humiliating circumstances. Therefore, abject poverty refers to those living in the worst conditions imaginable. Cornelius Share then died in 1934, and the 3 sisters were sent to the orphanage in George.
Margaret married her first husband, SNYMAN, had two children, she divorced him while he was in prison. Margaret then married a checker from the docks, Benjamin Fredenman Rheeder, a.k.a BEN but as most Black Widows she got bored very soon with Rheeder and had her eye set on the young lodger Johannes Strydom, and confined in him that she wants Rheeder dead. In April 1957 she bought Antexit antkiller from a pharmacy in PE, signed the poisons register and went home. Nobody ever will know how much he was given, but he got very ill a week later. One week after that he was at deaths door… On the 8th of May Ben died. Soon after his death, the Dr wrote a death notice with natural causes of death, because no foul play was suspected, but the community new better and suspected a lot of foul-play. The word on the streets was she killed her husband and Detective P.J.J. Petrus Rheeder (not family) listen to these rumours and decided to investigate along with Lt L.R Botha . Upon the investigation they found her name in the register in PE. Ben’s body was exhumed and traces of arsenic found in most organs. August of 1957 Margaret was arrested and pleaded not guilty, the trial was concluded in November, verdict from nine Jurors came back - Guilty as charged and her sentence were read, upon which she emotionally collapsed and cried for her children. May 1958 MARGERET ELIZABETH HARKER, previously SNYMAN, RHEEDER met the Gallows and hanged until she died. Attached links is some more on the Family Harker.
* SV/PROG Stamvader/Progenitor https://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/46726 https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/L4JW-D1Y https://www.theheritageportal.co.za/.../short-history... https://www.graves-at-eggsa.org/main.php?g2_itemId=1803256 https://www.ouririshheritage.org/.../major-robert-charles... Shirley Harker and Leigh Dunn https://showme.co.za/.../the-coloured-folk-of-plett.../ ALSO SEE LISTED PDF https://www.familysearch.org/tree/person/details/LTPJ-69C Hooffoto Rheeder: met toestemming Bun Booyens