S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Ortlepp, Mr Albert Frederick (bird egg collection)

Born: 14 June 1840, Colesberg, South Africa.
Died: 1 August 1891, Windsorton, Northern Cape, South Africa.

Albert Frederick Ortlepp, land surveyor and natralist, was a son of the Berlin missionary Adolph Albert Ortlepp and his wife Dorothea Wilhelmine Florentienie, born Waldeck. During 1867-1868, while residing in Colesberg, Cape Colony, he donated many bird's eggs to the South African Museum in Cape Town, including specimens that were new to the museum's collections. A subspecies of the black-chested Prinia, Prinia flavicans ortleppi was named after him in 1869.

Ortlepp was appointed as a land surveyor in the Orange Free State (now the Free State) in 1864, though there is no record of his having been admitted to practice as a land surveyor in the Cape Colony. In July 1871 he went diamond digging near Barkley West, after diamonds had been found there. In 1884, then residing at Dutoitspan (later incorporated into Kimberley), he successfully applied to be admitted to practice as a land surveyor in Natal. In 1890 he compiled a survey map of his farm in the Barkley West district. He died of pneumonia in 1891.

Ortlepp was married to Sarah Atkins Walker of Colesberg, with whom he had a son and a daughter. The daughter, Dorothea S.F.A. ("Florrie") Ortlepp (1863-1940), married Mr (later Sir) Lionel Phillips and became an important benefactress to the arts and education in South Africa.

List of sources:

Beolens, B., Watkins, M. & Grayson, M. The eponym dictionary of birds. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014.

Cape of Good Hope. Report of the Trustees of the South African Museum, 1867, 1868.

Dictionary of South African biography (D.S.F.A. Phillips), Vol. 2, 1972.

Heese, J.A. South African genealogies. Pretoria and Stellenbosch, 1986-2005.

Natal almanac, directory and yearly register, 1890, p. 387, Land surveyors.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Ortlepp, Albert Frederick / Ortlepp, A.F.

Compiled by: C. Plug