Total Views: 14490  Daily Views: 6 

505 | During the Transvaal War of Independence 1880-81 the cottage, home of Eugene O’Neill, which lay in “no mans land” between the British and Burgher forces became a makeshift hospital for British after their defeat at Majuba and there are graves on the site. The peace treaty ending the war was negotiated here and over a period of some 21 days in March 1881 it had seated in its parlour Paul Kruger, President Brand, Marthinus Pretorius, Commandant Gen. Piet Joubert, Gen. Sir Evelyn Wood, Col. R. Buller, Major Clarke and Capt Roberts as well as several others. The entrance to the cottage is directly off the N11.

Visitors are welcome to view the newly restored cottage with inside display area between 8am and 4pm, every day of the week.

35 Reviews

  • wow! where does the name Eugene come from? it was Richard Charles O’Neil that lived here. can you site the source of you information?

    • Our forefather was Richard Charles O’Neil not Eugene!. If you want the real story and pics please contact me.
      My mom’s mother was Cornelia Catharine (Dolly) O’Neil, daughter of John Charles O’Neil, son of Patrick O’Neil etc.
      I’ll give you the bloodline up till Richard who came to SA from India as Britis officer to subdue the boers but became a boer himself.
      Please contact me for correct info.
      Thank you

      • Marty, ek is aanbieder van MONITOR op RSG maar n Belfaster in murg en been. Ek stel baie belang in die geskiedenis van die O’Neils. Kan ook nie glo die blad verwys na Eugene nie! Kan jy asb kontak maak met my – ek wil graag meer hoor oor jou persoonlike geskiedenis en jou Ouma Dolly.

        Anita Visser

      • Hi Marty, my gggrandfather was John James O’Neill born 1818 at sea. I am doing our family tree and would love any kind of drawing or copies of drawing or copy of portrait of John James O’neill. Would there be anybody u know that could help me please. Thank u very much. Elizabeth Tagg nee O’Neill. My email is . Thank u and cheers from Australia.

      • Good morning Marty,
        It is with interest that I read reach done by you on the O’Neil family name. I too have tried to get info as my Mother was an O’Neill. According to her the surname had 2 l’s so I have gone on that. Her Father was Stephen Gregory who was Baptized in the Catholic Cathedral in Bloemfontein. Her Mother was Ellen Norah (I am not really sure of her maiden name but think a Margaret Marr came in somewhere) My Grandfather was a Transport Rider who had a huge black horse where my Mother. as a very young child. was put on to go for a ride much to my Grandmother’s dismay! On my Grandmother’s side a nurse maid saved her or her Mother from a Zulu attach by hiding in the fields. She had 2 brothers. Somewhere along the line my Grandmother or her Mother ended up in an orphanage in Ladybrand.
        Reading this through makes very interesting reading and almost a plot for a movie.
        I have been to the cottage many years ago and it was in a terrible state. Black Jack’s everywhere and we could not go inside. Mustnakd a plan to pay another visit there some time.
        I would be very interested if you can veto the above story or not. My husband has had a beautiful Familie Stam book with his Familie tree. I on the other hand came to a grinding halt in Bloem.
        On that note i will stop this triad of mine. Thank you for reading it. Stay safe and enjoy your weekend.
        Margaret van der Spuy

        • Margaret, Ellen Norah Wilson married Stephen Gregory. Stephen Gregory’s father was John Henry O’neill, family tree is on Family Search. Spelling of O’neill varies, my grandfather was O’neill, his brother was O’neil.

      • Hi Marty

        My husband said that his grandmother was the grand child of J.O’Neil. I

      • Hi there I would love to know the family history. My grandmother and I think her name was Maria Magdalene was an O Neil not sure from which side though John O.R. Richard from Belfast she married Timothy Scott my dad and his siblings all went to Belfast High. Do you know anything about any of the women being sent to the concentration camps during the Boer war. I would really love any I fomation on the family.

      • I would love to have further information on Richard Charles O’Neill. He was the father of my great grandmother. Many thanks.

      • Marty, I too am a descendant of Richard, I would love to see how exactly I am connected. My grandmother was Maria Magdelina O’Neil.

      • Hi
        I am a descendent of Thomas O’Neil (Grandfather born in 1906). Thomas O’Neil cam to SA in 1933 from Chorley, England. His father was Peter O’Neil.

        There is a picture in side O’Neil’s house. When my grand father went there he said that the person in the picture looked like his uncle. We have no knowledge of any of my grandfathers family. Can you or anyone assist.

  • Using other sources of information, I have been researching this area unsuccessfully for several years.

    My inquiry you direct to the museum was addressed to literally within hours. Excellent service – thanks.

  • The O`Neils are family on my mother`s side. Thanks to all involved in the restoration. What a joy to see this historic site recovered from the dilapidation and vandalism that threatened to reduce it to rubble.

  • Hi my name is John Patrick O’Neil and my brother is Richard Owen O’Neil. We kind of lost contact with the O’Neil side of the family as my mother divorced my dad , Patrick Burnett O’Neil when I was two. Love to hear from you.
    Good news about the cottage. I was there about 15 years ago and was disappointed at the state

  • If there is any information you need regarding the O’Neill’s, I might be able to help. The O’Neill’s married the Groblers, who then married the Du Plessis. My grand – and great grandparents told me the history and I have been doing research for a while now.

  • My late father was Patrick O’Neil, my brother is Johannes Wilhelm O’Neil and his son is Patrick John Wesley O’Neil. The correct spelling is O’Neil and not O’Neill which has caused a lot of controversy among the O’Neil’s about the spelling.
    Richard Charles O’Neil was the owner of the O’Neil cottage and not Eugene as per history told from one generation to the other.

    • Goeie dag, enige famielie van Daniel Johannes of ( Dan John ) O’ Neill wat saam met die boere in Cylon n gevangene was.

  • Hi, my name is Richard O’Neil and Richard Charles O’Neil was my great, great Grandfather. It was an honor to be there at the opening of the restored cottage and I am grateful for the part that our family played in our history.

    • Hi there must have been very special to be at the restaurant opening. My gran was an O Neil I think she was Maria Magdelena. Do you have the family history?

  • Can anyone tell me whether the O’Neil family had interests in either of the Farms “Belfast”, “Lands End” or “Manning” which lie north of Majuba Mountain and west of Charleston?

    • 26th April 2020
      Hi Cousin
      So nice to meet you
      Yes! Richard Charles O’Neil came from Belfast Northern Ireland and bought land in SA which he named Belfast.
      Coal was discovered on Belfast.
      I have the whole history info and pics.
      Please contact me 0847203404
      Please give me a call and come for tea.
      My dad, Stephanus Hermanus Du Plessis married Helena Johanna Nel.
      Her mom was Cornelia Catharina (Dolly) O’Neil who Martie Jan Hendrink Nel.
      I found my Ouma Dolly’s brother Johannes Albertus O’Neils kids but they’re not receptive.
      My telephone is 0847203404
      My cousin Johan Nel +27 82 619 2286
      Hava fab day
      Martha Louisa (Marty) du Plessis

      • Hi Marty. I am Elizabeth Maria Catharina O’Neill Tagg. My ggggrandfather was Richard Charles O’Neill, his son John James was my Gg grandfather and his son Nicholas Casparus born 1858 was my G grandfather. Nicholas had a son born to him 6 months after his death, my grandfather, Matthew (Matewis) John O’Neill. born 1891. He had a son named Andries O’Neill, my father. My mother was Elizabeth Maria Catharina Nel, her father was Daniel C F Nel and her mother was Anna van de Venter. It sounds very much like we are related in some way. Hope to hear from u. We have copies of birth and death certificates to prove our heritage.

        • Hi Elizabeth,

          I am Paul Smale. My grandmother was Susanna Magrita O’Neal. We assume that Mattheus Johannes O’Neal is my dad’s grandfather.

          We have the original baptism certificates for Mattheus Johannes born in 1891 and a baptism certificate for Mattheus Johannes born 1922.

          We also have the original death certificate for Mattheus Johannes born 1891 with the date of death 1966.

          If we could perhaps talk over whatsapp or something similar we could maybe exchange some information.

          Paul – 0662055087

      • Hello Marty, my name is Mandy Edwards, (nee Scott). My grandmother was Maria Magdalena O’Neil, she was 1 of 13 children and as far as I know was born in the concentration camp in Bloemfontein. I also only knew 1 of her sisters, Anna Hayward, who lived on a small holding in Brakpan. My gran had 5 children, one of them being my dad, Charles Edward Scott. Him and his siblings all went to school in Belfast as thats where my gran grew up. I think that we are from John O’NEIL’s side of the family but am not even sure of that. I would love to be in contact with you. My email is . Look forward to hearing from you

  • I’m trying to do my family tree and a relative remembered my Grandmother mentioning this cottage. I wonder if anyone would be interested in me running a few names past them? I’m looking for a specific few graves.

    • Hi Michelle. I am also busy with the family tree. I will help out and share what I found if there is names that I recognize .


  • I was wondering if anyone will reply to my request. I really am interested in finding my ancestors before Richard Charles came to South Africa. I have trailed my ancestors back to Matthew St John O’Neill in the 16th Century, the Baron of Dungannon. The name Matthew John O’Neill have been in our family back as far as IMatthew St. John O’neill He was the illigitimate son of Con Mor, 1st Earl of Tyrone. I am willing to chat and exchange names and dates with anyone interested.

  • Hello Marty
    Did you receive the What’sApp I sent you this morning with regard my Grandparent Stephen Gregory and Ellen Norah o’Neill?

  • There is a lot of confusion with the genealogy of the “O’Ns” in South Africa! The range is: O’Neil, O’Neill, O’Niell, O’Neale – more detailed study necessary, as the surname changes according to the genealogical records.

Leave a Reply to Syd Oram Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.