Ferreira — Bezuidenhout — Swanepoel
THE GRANDPAPA OF South African heraldry studies is undoutedly Dr. Cornelis Pama, a heraldist, genealogist, author, and editor of great importance in the field. Pama was one of the original members of the State Heraldry Council when it was founded in 1963 and refined the genealogical numbering system invented by Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers in the nineteenth century and which is now known as the de Villiers/Pama system in recognition of his contribution.
When I resume acquisitioning for my personal library, a whole slew of Pama’s works are on the ‘works sought’ list. Foremost among them is the excellent Lions and virgins: Heraldic state symbols, coats-of-arms, flags, seals and other symbols of authority in South Africa, 1487-1962 which I frequently made use of in the Stellenbosch university library.
Pama also wrote Heraldiek ABC (1980), Heraldiek in Suid-Afrika (1956), Simbole van die Unie (1960), British Families in South Africa: Their Surnames and Origins (1992), The Wine Estates of South Africa (1979), Vintage Cape Town: Historic Houses and Families In and Around the Old Cape (1973), and a history of the South African Library (the Cape Town institution which has since been foolishly merged with the Staatsbiblioteek in Pretoria to form the National Library of South Africa). The S.A.L. received his important private collection of over 800 genealogical and heraldic books and other works after Dr. Pama’s death in 1994.
The above illustration is from Die Groot Afrikaanse Familienaamboek (1983) and was sent in to the Cheshire Heraldry blog by one of its readers. While the book was written by Dr. Pama, the style of the renderings betrays them as the work of the Bureau of Heraldry in Pretoria. Some of his own more stylistic work in rendering coats of arms can be found at the top and bottom of this post.
Dr. Pama was born in the Netherlands and christened Cornelius, though he often rendered his Christian name with the more Afrikaans spelling of Cornelis, and was known simply as “Cor” to his friends. For simplicity’s sake, a good number of his books list the author’s name simple as “C. Pama”, which adds a certain air of mystery to his work.