S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Watermeyer, Mr Charles Philip (surveying and cartography)

Born: Date not known, Place not known.
Died: Date not known, Place not known.

Charles Philip Watermeyer was the eighth son of Frederick Stephanus Watermeyer* senior and his wife Anna Ziervogel. He qualified as a government land surveyor in the Cape Colony in May 1861. The next year he was the co-compiler, with F. Skead*, of a chart of Mossel Bay and its harbour. In 1872-1873 he commenced a triangulation in Namaqualand for the Cape government. The survey was connected to the three northernmost stations of T. Maclear's* arc of meridian survey and was intended to extend to the Orange River from its mouth to Pella. He built 26 permanent beacons; observed to as far north as Kosiesberg, some 22 km north-west of Steinkopf; fixed the positions of the mining centres Okiep, Springbok and Concordia; and computed the latitudes and longitudes of five stations. However, the survey remained uncompleted as he was given other work in 1873.

From 1878 Watermeyer did survey work in East Griqualand and by 1886 was stationed at Kokstad. During these and later years he compiled a survey map of East Griqualand (1879-1885); plans of the villages of Ugie (1884, 1904), uMzimkhulu (1884), Port St Johns (1887), Mount Frere (1896), Tsolo (1897), Kokstad (1900), and Maclear (1904); a divisional map of Mount Currie (4 sheets, 1891); and maps of the districts of uMzimkhulu (1891, 1902) and Mount Currie (4 sheets, 1902). He was listed as a land surveyor in the Civil service list of the Cape Colony until 1894.

Watermeyer was married to Maria de Smidt, with whom he had five children.

List of sources:
Cape of Good Hope. Civil service list, 1887, 1891, 1894: Lists of land surveyors.

Cape of Good Hope. Report of the Surveyor-General, 1879, 1880.

De Villiers, C.C. Geslagsregisters van die ou Kaapse families. Hersien en aangevul deur C. Pama. Kaapstad: Balkema, 1981.

General directory and guide book to the Cape of Good Hope and its dependencies..., 1886, list of government land surveyors.

Heaton, J.R. Francis Skead, hydrographer. Africana Notes and News, 1975, Vol. 21(7), pp. 281-285.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). . Documents relating to Watermeyer, C.P.

Compiled by: C. Plug