Retired typist Mrs. Barbara Greyling (née Prior, born Jun 21 1944 in Aliwal North, Eastern Cape) is a keen genealogist and painter with a home full of old photographs and artworks. She reminisces with fondness on a day in 1948, when Errol and Sophie Prior took her and her brothers out for a visit to a photographer’s studio, where the family had their portrait taken.
In 1967, Barbara married Joseph Johannes Greyling with whom she had four children. Her husband Joe, who was a millwright, passed away in 2010.
Today, Barbara lives on her own in a gated retirement community in Bloemfontein, where she fills her days with gardening, painting flowers and keeping the family history alive. She has twelve grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Barbara’s dad grew up in Witwatersrand with six siblings. When Errol and Sophie married, the couple first worked at Sophie’s family hotel. In 1958, following his father’s footsteps in the mining industry, Errol started teaching Fanagalo (a pidgin language based on Zulu, English and Afrikaans, used by miners of different ethnic groups to communicate) at the training centre of the Welkom goldfields.
Barbara’s great-great-grandfather Joshua Prior was born in Middlesex (UK) on the 15th of March 1819. Aged 15, he ran off to sea and ended up in South Africa. In 1845, he married Jane Style, daughter of an English settler. As a result of conflicts with the Xhosa population in the Eastern Cape, the family trekked to what was then known as the independent Boer republic Oranje Vrystaat. Joshua became a well-off farmer owning nearly 60 square miles, or roughly 38,000 acres of land. His wife Jane passed in 1892. When he died a few years later, he left each of their nine children a farm.