Adam Small: Familiegeskiedenisse, aanlope en vroeër invloede

  • Francois Cleophas University of Stellenbosch, South Africa


This article answers the question: Where does the Afrikaans essayist, dramatist and poet, Adam Small, hail from? It proceeds to
examine the genealogy of Small and the early influences of his family. The writer’s recent family history is traced to his direct
forebears, Adam and Siela Dampies in the early 19th century, and his grandparents Adam and Nellie Dampies. The article
further explores the vagaries of name changes in the instance of the Dampies/Small family, the writer’s multicultural parental
background and his early years in rural and urban settings. In this respect influences on the young writer, emanating from these
circumstances, are alluded to. Besides the genealogical information gained from archival research, the article relies methodologically
on oral sources, informal accounts and personal recollection. It is found that the extended Small family established a relatively
comfortable middle class lifestyle and they were involved at the same time in church and social relief projects. The young Adam
Small grew up in a household where values such as social commitment and multi-cultural tolerance were honoured. Keywords:
Adam Small, Afrikaans poets and dramatists, biography, Coloured people, genealogy, oral history.
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