Surnames N to Q

OPPENHEIMER Ernest

Ernest OPPENHEIMER was born on 22 May 1880 in Friedberg, Landkreis Aichach-Friedberg, Bayern, South Germany. His German parents were Eduard and Nanette (née  HIRSCHHORN). Eduard was a Tobacco Trader and Nanette work in the family Chemical Business. The surname depicts someone who lived in Oppenheim, Landkreis Mainz-Bingen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany.Ernest is therefore an South African German Ancestor and Progenitor.

Ernest started to work in 1897 in London, England and was then seconded by his brokerage’s company to South Africa in 1902 and settled in Kimberley, Cape Province, South Africa. He worked in the diamond industry. He was faithfull to the Jewish religion. He obtain British citizenship and later South African citizenship.
He married Mary Lina POLLAK on 19 June 1906 in London, England. Mary was born on 30 July 1886 in London, Middlesex County, Southeast England, to British parents Josef and Emma Jane (née GOLDMANN).

The couple had two sons:
 
b1 Harry Frederick * 28 October 1908 in Kimberley, South Africa. Harry married Bridget Denison McCALL in 1943. Bridget’s parents were Robert Foster and Majorie Hamilton (née McKENZIE). She was born on 28 September 1921 and died, in her sleep after a few days of sickness, on 23 October 2013. Harry, an industrialist, humanitarian and magnate, died on 9 August 2000 in Johannesburg, South Africa. He was an honorary member of the Freemasons. 
 
b2 Frank Leslie * 17 October 1910 in Kimberley, South Africa. Frank worked in his father Ernest’s  Company as a manager and died at age 24 on 17 April 1935 São Martinho, Funchal, ilha portuguesa da Madeira. He drowned. He never married.

In 1917 Ernest was one of the founders of Anglo American Corporation.
In 1921 he was knighted for his role in the war. He therefore had the title as Sir. His wife was therefore called Lady.
From 1924 to 1938 he represented Kimberley in the House of Assembly and was three-times Mayor of Kimberley. 
In 1927 he obtained the  majority shareholding control in De Beers Mining Company.

Mary his wife died on 5 February 1934
 
Ernest married again on 6 January 1935. He got married in London, England to Caroline Magdalen HARVEY. She was the daughter of Sir Robert Grenville and Emily Blanche (née MURRAY). Caroline was born on in 1899 in Langley Marish, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire county, England. She was firstly married to Sir Michael OPPENHEIMER, Ernest’s nephew. After Sir Michael died in a plane crash she married Ernest. Ernest was 14 years younger than his brother Bernard. Caroline had a son with Sir Michael called Michael Bernard Grenville (1924-2020) Mary died on 2 February 1971
 
Ernest died of heart failure on 25 November 1957 in Johannesburg, South Africa. His funeral was held in St. Georges Anglican Church, Parktown, Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa. 
 
Sources:
 
Familysearch:
Bridgit McCall’s baptism:
Frank Oppenheimer’s probate: 
Mary Pollak’s  probate: 
 
National archives
Photos: Ernest statue: 
 
The New York Times:
 
British Pathe Historical collection:
Sir Ernest Oppenheimer's Funeral. 

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