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Archival terms and definitions

Archival terminology is a flexible group of common words that have acquired specialised meanings for archivists and provides a useful and necessary means of specialised communication within the archival profession. Since researchers communicate with archivists it will be to their benefit to familiarise themselves with the basic terms to facilitate their research experience. Listed below is a few of the most frequently used archival terms and their definitions:

2. Archives on the shelves in a stack room

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Photographs, Negatives and Colour Slides in the Western Cape Archives and Records Service (WCARS)

Photographs are important sources of information for researchers in all study fields, including genealogical research. We are all aware of the necessity of preserving documents, since archives have an important cultural value for the protection of our identity and collective memory. Photographic materials are therefore key sources for historical research, especially for the study of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The amount of information and detail that can be seen in photographs is what makes them a uniquely rich historical resource.  They can show exactly how a person, place, item, building, clothing, etc. looked at a specific time.  Therefore, photographs should not be considered as purely supplementary material but instead as illustrative “windows to our past”.

Rouxville House, Kalk Bay. This property was demolished in 1959
( click on pic to enlarge, plus more pics )

At present the Western Cape Archives and Records Service (WCARS) has about 90 000 photographs in the various collections in stock. The photographic section also houses the negatives of most of these photographs. The descriptions of most of the photographs, negatives and colour slides are already available on the internet databases. The photographs that accompany this article were chosen from the collections due to the buildings shown being subsequently demolished, replaced, restored, neglected, deserted or changed as a result of development. Therefore, although the buildings are not there anymore, the images are proof of their history.

The following is a list of some of the various photographic collections and the where they can currently be accessed:

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The oldest official written document in South Africa

KAB C1 page 2The oldest official written document is volume 1 of the archival group ‘Council of Policy’ (C). The first page in this volume is a prayer that is known as ‘Jan van Riebeeck’s prayer’. The second page is the first official document that contains the resolutions of the Council meeting held on board the VOC ship Drommedaris, Saturday, 30 December 1651. The first signature at the bottom is that of Jan van Riebeeck.
On Sunday, 24 December 1651, six days before the fleet of three ships of the VOC Chamber of Amsterdam that was to establish the VOC replenishment station at the Cape of Good Hope (today Cape Town, South Africa), left Texel in the Netherlands.

The three ships were: Drommedaris (Captain Davit Coninck), Goede Hoope (Captain Symen Turver) and Reijger (Captain Jan Hoochsaet).
Present at this meeting of Saturday 30 December 1651 were the three above captains, the Fleet Commander Jan van Riebeeck and also Pieter van Helm, the Provisional Secretary. The fleet arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on 6 April 1652 and established the VOC replenishment and halfway station to Batavia (today Djakarta, Indonesia).

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What ever happened to Drooge Vlei?

Along the dry and dusty road between Cape Town and Malmesbury lies a stretch of the Swartland known – certainly in the 1800s – as Groote Drooge Vlei (or, alternatively, Droge Vallei). It’s an area I stumbled across searching for the origins of my great-great-grandparents, and one whose history remains elusive.

( click on pic to enlarge, plus more pics )

What we know, it seems, is that it fell within the field-cornetcy of Paardeberg in the District of Malmesbury, part of the quitrent farm having been granted to a C Esterhuysen in 1715 and another to W Proctor on 15 January 1822. Significantly for my own personal research, the section known as Doordrift was granted to Misters WH and JT Eaton on 4 February 1862, as it is this section that came to be known simply as Drooge Vlei.

It is mentioned by the Bishop of Cape Town in the April 1875 edition of The Mission Field, and his description offers some fascinating insight into a place that appears to be a thriving community of its own:

“At Drooge Vlei, a small private station, which I visited on my road, I confirmed five persons. The place, containing about 140 inhabitants, is the property of Mr Eaton, who has built on his farm a school-chapel, where he holds the church service every Sunday, once in English and once in Dutch – Mr Clulee [the Reverend Charles Clulee (1837–1892), born Birmingham] visiting it from Malmesbury and holding service as often as he can … It is a wonderfully complete little town, with it’s smith’s, shoemaker’s, haberdasher’s, grocer’s, butcher’s and baker’s shops, its carpenter’s shed, its wheelwright, machine maker, and brickfields – Mr Eaton being proprietor of the whole and the employer of all the labour at the place.”

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The Meintjes NAAIRS Parser

Using The NAAIRS Parser, by Keith Meintjes.

Introduction NAAIRS is the online index to the South African Archives. You can choose the data base (“RSA” is all of them) and then do a search. A typical result is like this:

Document 4 of 4
VOLUME_NO 7/1/271
STARTING 18520000
ENDING 18520000

So, each result is spread across many lines. In addition, there are those pesky hard spaces NAAIRS uses to fill out each line to 80 characters. I asked my son, Ian, if he could write a parser that puts the information for each result into columns in a spreadsheet, like this:
























FILED 1864.

My idea is to aid my research, by adding a field for notes. Now, I have a permanent record of the documents I have looked at. The spreadsheet can easily be searched and sorted.

Here is the high-level process

  • Make a text file by scraping the results of a NAAIRS search into a text file.
  • Put this file into the parser.
  • Copy the parser results to your Clipboard
  • Paste the results to Excel, or to a file of your choice.

You may then want to play with the Excel file to format headings, column widths, text wrapping, and the like.

Here are the details
Step 1 Open a new file in some simple text editor like Notepad. Save it as a file with a meaningful name, say, “MySearch.txt”. 

Step 2 Open NAAIRS at http://www.national.archsrch.gov.za/sm300cv/smws/sm300dl Choose your data base (“RSA” for all). A new page will appear. Enter your search parameters and press “Enter” or click on “Search”. On the next screen, choose “Result Summary”. This screen is a list of 20 hits. Click “Select Page” which will put a check mark next to each document. Or, manually select the documents you are interested in. At the bottom of the page, click “Next”. Click “Select Page” again. Continue until you have selected all the citations of interest on all the pages of the Result Summary. 

Step 3 At the top of the NAAIRS screen, choose “Multiple Documents”. The result will be a display of all the documents you selected in Step 2. Carefully select all the text, then copy (CTRL+C) it. Paste (CTRL+V) the text into the document you created in Step 1, and save it. 

Step 4 Go to the parser. It is here: https://meintjes.github.io/   Click on “Choose File” and select the text file you have just saved in Step 3. There is then NO ACTION BUTTON. Click the button “Copy to clipboard” and copy (CTRL+C) the resulting highlighted text to the Clipboard.

Step 5 Paste the parser output into Excel, or any other application. When you put it in Excel (there are many ways to do this) be sure to Paste or Import it as text. Otherwise Excel may reformat some of the fields. Done. In an application like Excel, you can now format, search and rearrange your NAAIRS results.

Acknowledgement Many thanks to Geoff Chew for testing the early alpha version of the parser on github, and also to Johann Hanekom for his beta testing and valuable suggestions.

On Text Files, Excel, and NAAIRS The purpose of the parser is to take a text file scraped from NAAIRS and then to make a Tab-delimited column-oriented file. It is not to teach you how to use NAAIRS or Excel. When using NAAIRS, I always select “End Date” <= 2222. What that does is sort the results by ending date.

Now, there is a bug in NAAIRS. (Actually, there are many bugs in NAAIRS, but that’s a different discussion.): When you do a NAAIRS search that has more than 400 results, at the bottom of the “Results Summary” page you will see:

Result Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 [ NEXT>>]

Click on “20”. Then, you are on page 20, and should see results 381 - 400. Now, click on “NEXT”. OK, you are now on page 21, but the above message does not change to tell you that. It is then easy to get lost about which page you are on. You can go figure, but my solution is to do a new search starting with End Date >= the last date on page 20.

There are numerous ways to “Paste” or “Import” into Excel. Be sure that you are bringing in data as “Text”, and check that Excel has not reformatted fields. I appreciate that this procedure can seem a little cumbersome, but you only need to do it once, for each family or topic you are interested in. I have been printing the column-based parser files, and getting them spiral-bound at my local office store. They serve as research log books. For each interest, I doubt I will ever do the NAAIRS search or print any of the parsed files more than once.

Copyright and Use Restrictions This tool is offered for free distribution, and at no cost. It is copyright © Keith Meintjes, 2017. No part of this work may be offered for sale, nor posted on a site that has a paywall or requires a subscription fee for access. This tool is provided only for personal use by individual researchers. NAAIRS is subject to the copyright of its owners, the South African Archives.
Please DO NOT post compendiums of NAAIRS search results online.

Getting Help To use the NAAIRS parser you should be familiar with NAAIRS and with Excel or a similar table-oriented tool. To get help, I suggest you post on the Rootsweb South-Africa list: http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/index/intl/ZAF/SOUTH-AFRICA.html

If you believe there is a bug, please e-mail me with NAAIRS Parser in the subject line. Keith Meintjes Michigan, USA Hierdie e-posadres word van Spambotte beskerm. Jy moet JavaScript ontsper om dit te lees. +1.248.891.6434 September 1, 2017 (V05)

Druk E-Pos

Proving descendancy

Proving your lineage can be useful for a number of reasons: citizenship, estates, family and general history. For a while British ancestry visas were available for descendants either of whose grandparents were born in Britain. Then the Irish ancestry became easier than the British ancestry. With the tightening of immigration to Britain, the chance of getting or even renewing British passport has become stricter. For some dual citizenship, South African and British may be a privilege of the past but we hope not.

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A Bibliography of Published Articles by Colin Graham Botha

by Anne Lehmkuhl

to complement the article in genesis July 2004
(this bibliography is not exhaustive)

1796-1936. Groote Schuur Mill; South African Baker and Miller, March 1936

276 years ago to-day; Cape Times, 06 Apr 1928

300 Years: Van Riebeeck Festival; published by Cilliers de Wet, Johannesburg, 1950

A brief guide to the various classes of documents in the Cape Archives for the period 1652-1806; printed by Cape Times, Cape Town, 1918

A brief historical note on Hemel and Aarde; South African Journal of Science 27, 1930, p. 576

A Cape funeral in 1751; Cape Argus, 16 Jul 1913

A central road board at work in 1844; Cape Times, 28 May 1926

A Central Road Board: Activities in 1847; Cape Times, 23 Jul 1926

A central road board: eighty years ago: a boom in bridge building; Cape Times, 04 Jun 1926

A century of gas; Cape Times, 08 Oct 1945

A European’s Life among the Kaffirs in the seventeenth century; Cape Times, 24 Sept 1927

A European's life among the Kaffirs in the seventeenth century; Cape Times, 26 Oct 1927

A great heritage: Groote Schuur; South African Woman's Magazine, Mar 1927

A holiday on wheels; Cape Times, 08 Oct 1926

A naval action in Table Bay; Cape Times, 06 Nov 1926

A pirate who visited South Africa; Cape Times Supplement, 24 Dec 1927

A tombstone of two centuries ago; Cape Times, 11 Jun 1921

A voyage to Europe in 1751; The Outspan, 03 May 1935

A voyage to the Cape in 1798; Cape Times, 27 Jul 1917

A wedding in bygone days; Cape Argus, Dec 1922

Adderley street sign. Relic of old Cape Town in museum; Cape Times, 31 Mar 1931

Advertising over 100 years; Cape Times, 21 Oct 1932

Agriculture at the Cape; Cape Times, 07 Jul 1928

Along the Peninsula Roads; Cape Times, 21 Aug 1925

An 18th century manuscript on agricultural improvement at the Cape; South African Journal of Science 27, 1930, pp. 673-575

An eighteenth century Law Library; South African Law Journal, 52. 1935, pp. 169-180

An eighteenth century romance of the Cape; Cape Times, 03 Apr 1926

An exiled prince at the Cape; The Outspan, 17 Aug 1934

An old Cape family. A South African fighting under Wellington; Cape Times, 23 Jul 1916

An old cry - South Africa's first hard roads; Cape Times, 21 Sept 1928

Another early reformer of Cape affairs; The Outspan, 13 Jul 1934

Archival problems in South Africa; South African Journal of Science 18 (3-4), 1922

Archives and records; Official Year Book of South Africa 8, 1925-1927

Archives of the Cape of Good Hope; Official Yearbook of South Africa, 7, l 925, pp. s-6

Ascent of Table Mountain in 1665; Cape Times, 29 Jan 1927

Beginnings of Tulbagh; Cape Times, 07 Apr 1928

Brethern of the coast - the story of an encounter with a pirate in South African waters; The Outspan, 14 Jul 1933

Brethern of the Coast (From the story of Guillaume Chenut); Cape Times, 04 Aug 1926

Bygone busses - road transportation services in pre-railway days; Cape Times, 29 Nov 1929

Callings and business of Cape Town; Cape Times, 24 Apr 1926

Cape Town in the old days; Cape Times, 22 Nov 1927

Cape Town's early industries, ninety years ago; Cape Times, 10 Apr 1926

Capital Punishment at the Cape; Cape Times, 31 Jul 1926

Castle Cup (F.E.Fowle); The Castle, Cape Town, 1919

Christmas and New Year in old Cape Town; Cape Times Week-end Magazine, 21 Dec 1946

Christmas and New Year: of other days; Cape Times supplement, 24 Dec 1927

Christmas in Cape Town 100 years ago; Cape Times, 17 Dec 1929

Civil Service hours of long ago; The Service, Jan 1920

Criminal procedure at the Cape during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; South African Law Journal 32, Nov 1915

Dassen Island in the early days; Cape Times, 22 Aug 1928

De Hugenoten in Zuid-Afrika; De Kerkbode, 18 Oct 1917

Die Kaapse Hugenote; published by Nasionale Pers, Cape Town, 1939

Die ou Kaapse Parlement; Suid-Afrika, Oct 1954

Die wonings van ons voor-ouders; Oudtshoorn Courant, 5 Dec 1912

Do opportunities recur?; The Outspan, 10 Feb 1928

Dr.Samuel Bailey, the Cape's hospital Pioneer; Cape Times, 30 Apr 1936

Du Toit's Kloof Pass. Early Road-making schemes which failed; Cape Times, 15 Nov 1929

Early agricultural societies at the Cape of Good Hope; Province Agricultural Society, Mar 1922

Early business methods; Cape Times, 28 Jul 1928

Early Cape Land tenure; South African Law Journal 36, May-Aug 1919, pp.149-160, 225-233

Early Cape Laws - rigid enactments of Dutch East India Company; Cape Times, 3 Dec 1917

Early Cape matrimonial law; South African Law Journal 31, Aug 1914

Early Civil Service Commissions; The Public Servants Magazine, Dec 1924

Early coaching days. Road transportation services of a century ago; Cape Times, 26 Feb 1932

Early defence system in South Africa; The Nongqai, Aug.1944, pp. 899-901

Early forms of punishment; Cape Argus, 14 Oct 1922

Early history of mining in South Africa; Official Yearbook of South Africa 15, 1934, pp. 28-30

Early history of St.Helena; Cape Times, 30 Jun 1928

Early history of the Cape Province as illustrated by Dutch Place names; South African Journal of Science 19, Dec 1922, pp.431-438

Early inferior courts of justice at the Cape; South African Law Journal 38, Nov 1921, pp.406-423

Early influence of the English Law upon the Roman Dutch Law in South Africa; South African Law Journal 40, 1923, pp.396-406

Early inquests and post-mortems at the Cape 1652-1825; South African Medical Record 14 (4), Feb 1916

Early juvenile affairs in South Africa; The Careers Guide, Aug 1934

Early legal practitioners of the Cape Colony; South African Law Journal (41), 1924, pp.255-262

Early Place names of the Cape; Cape Times, 29 May 1926

Early postal service; Cape Times, 30 Dec 1927

Early Postal system in South Africa; Cape Times, 19 Mar 1927

Early racing at the Cape; Cape Times, 25 Jun 1927

Early road administration at the Cape in Official Yearbook of South Africa 14, 1933, pp. 11-14 Early Road communications; Official Yearbook of South Africa 11, 1930, pp.747-748

Early road laws - parking problems 120 years ago; Cape Times, 05 Sept 1930

Early Road making in South Africa; The South Africa Annual, Dec 1934

Early road transport in South Africa; The Outspan, 23 Jun 1937

Early Road-making; Cape Times, 10 Dec 1928

Early settles in the Oudtshoorn district; Oudtshoorn Courant, 21 Dec 1923

Early streets of Cape Town, Cape Times, 08 May 1926 Echoes of the past: an army surgeon's experiences in South Africa; Cape Times, 27 Aug 1927

Eighteenth century farming at the Cape. A treasure from the Union Archives; Cape Times, 07 Mar 1931

Exiled princes at the Cape — Robben Island a convict settlement — the story of Sheikh Joseph; Cape Argus, 23 Sept 1922

Extracts from registers of deaths at the Cape of Good Hope 1795-1815; The Genealogist 29, 1913

Extracts from the register of deaths at the Cape of Good Hope 1816-1826; The Genealogist 32, 1915

Extracts of baptisms at the Cape of Good Hope 1810-1821; The Genealogist 30, 1914

Extracts of marriages at the Cape of Good Hope 1806-1821; The Genealogist 30, 1914

Familiewapen; Die Huisgenoot, 12 Apr 1946

Famous shipwrecks in Table Bay; Cape Argus, 23 Dec 1916

First breakwater and docks in Cape Town; Cape Times, 18 Jan 1947

French Hoek Pass - we want good roads - a century-old cry; Cape Times, 04 Oct 1929

From sail to steam; Cape Times Week-end Magazine, Children's Supplement, 23 Nov 1946

Further Monumental inscriptions at the Cape of Good Hope; Genealogist's Magazine 11 (1), Mar 1951

Genealogical records of the Province of the Cape of Good Hope; Genealogist's Magazine 10 (4), Dec 1947

Geskiedenis van die drukpers maatskappy Van der Sandt de Villiers & kie; Ons Land, 08 Apr 1930

Gewoontes van ons voorouers; Die Boervrou, Jan 1925

God's acre; Cape Argus, 10 Jul 1913

Hectic new years of the old days; The Outspan, 01 Jan 1937

Historical Research in South Africa, with special reference to the Cape Archives; South African Journal of Science 15 (3), Oct-Dec 1919, pp.177-185

Historical review of the Lodge De Goede Hoop; printed by Citadel Press, Cape Town, 1922

History of place names. When silkworms breed in Spin-street; Cape Times, 01 Feb 1930

History of Robben Island; Cape Times, 01 Sept 1928

Home life in the early days at the Cape; Our Home, 01 Jul 1922

Housing South African Archives: the new building at Bloemfontein; Cape Times, 10 Aug 1927

How Australia got a start - First merino's from the Cape; Cape Times, 29 Nov 1929

How Cape Town became known as the tavern of the seas; The Outspan, 12 Jul 1929

How Graaff-Reinet got its name; Cape Times, 20 Dec 1927

How the Roeland Street Goal came to be built; Cape Times, 13 Aug 1930

Iets oor Ou Kaapstad; Die Boervrou, Jun 1924

In the days of Father Tulbagh; Cape Argus, Xmas No., 1917

In the days of slavery at the Cape; British South Africa Annual, Dec 1933

In the days of slavery; Cape Argus, 18 Nov 1922

In the days of Van Riebeeck; Cape Argus, 06 Apri 1929

In the days of windjammers and shellbacks. A voyage to the Cape in 1798; The Outspan, 20 Dec 1928

Incidents in Cape History; Cape Times, 14 May 1927

Instructions for the Surgeons on the Dutch East Indiamen in the seventeenth century; South African Medical Record 22 (20), 1924, pp. 479-480

Intestate succesion; South African Law Journal 34, May 1917

Jewish pioneers in South Africa. Merchants and traders who helped to open up the country; Cape Times, 21 Sept 1933

John Macadam (maker of modern roads) died 100 years ago; Cape Times, 04 Dec 1936

Jonkheer Gerard Beelaerts van Blokland (1772-1843) Attorney-General at the Cape 1803-1806; South African Law Journal 39 (11), 1922, pp.147-153

Legislation of other days; Cape Times, 23 Oct 1926

Links with St.Helena; Cape Times, 02 Jul 1927

Louis Michel Thibault 1750-1815; Architect Builder and Engineer, Jun 1924

Market places of the Cape; Cape Times, 26 Jun 1926

Mauritius and the Cape; Cape Times, 31 Aug 1946

Medicine in the early days at the Cape; Souvenir brochure of the 37th medical congress at Cape Town, 1945

Michell's Pass; Cape Times, 20 Feb 1925

Old Cape buildings; Cape Times Week-end Magazine, 07 Sept 1946

Old Cape forms and ceremonies; The South African Quarterly, Jun-Aug 1915

Old Cape Town. Where was the passer?; Cape Times, 18 Jan 1947

Old Dutch weights and measures at the Cape; The Outspan, 14 Aug 1936

Ons Monumente; Die Huisgenoot, Jul 1926

Onze voorouders; De Goede Hoop, 01 Jul 1913

Ostentation and extravagance barred; Cape Times, 17 Apr 1926

Ou gewoontes in die Kaap; Die Huisgenoot, 27 Jun 1924

Our Archives; Public Service, May-Dec 1935

Our South Africa Past and Present - Ons Suid-Afrika voorheen en tans. A graphic and entertaining story dealing with men and matters concerning South Africa from its first discovery by the great Portuguese Navigators up to the present day; published by United Tobacco Co. and Cape Times Ltd., Cape Town, 1938

Out of de Mist (Uitenhage); Cape Times, 05 Jan 1928

Outspans; Cape Times, 11 Jun 1926

Pages from the past - old time customs, etc.; South African Railways and Harbours Magazine, Dec 1918

Past and future of Robben Island; Cape Times, 07 Nov 1934

Pirates at the Cape of Good Hope - How the burghers captured Captain Tew; Cape Times, 14 Dec 1929

Place names in the Cape district - their origin and history; printed for the South Afican National Society for the Preservation of places of historical interest, Cape Town, 1917

Place Names in the Cape Province; published by Juta & Co., Cape Town, 1926

Place names of South Africa's Coast; Cape Times, 07 Jun 1930

Pomp and Ceremony at the Cape, early sumptuary Laws; Cape Argus, Xmas Number, 1919

Press gleanings in other days in Cape Times, 15 May 1926 Prices in the eighteenth century; South African Journal of Science 20, 1923, pp.552-554

Public Archives and the Records of the Cape of Good Hope; Official Yearbook of South Africa 10, 1929

Quaint early customs at the Cape; Cape Supplement, April 1936

Records of the Cape of Good Hope 1806-1814; Official Yearbook of South Africa 9, 1926-1927

Road and Rail transport. Wynberg bus competition of ninety years ago; Cape Times, 22 Jan 1931

Roads a century ago, a 1824 report; Cape Times, 02 Apr 1926

Roads and Trekpaths; Cape Times, 2 Jul 1926

Roads in 1848: opening of Michell's Pass and birth of Ceres; Cape Times,

13 Aug 1926 Romance of early place names; Cape Times, 15 Apr 1927

Royal visitors to the Cape; Cape Times Week-end Magazine, 07 Aug 1946

Salvage at the Cape in the early days; Cape Times, 12 Jun 1926

Seereis van Hugenote na die Kaap; Paarl Post, 11 Aug 1939

Severe Punishments, early Criminal records of the Cape; Cape Argus 29 Aug 1925

Sir John Andries Truter, LL.D. 1763-1845, Chief Justice of the Cape of Good Hope; South African Law Journal 35, May 1918

Social Customs in South Africa during the 18th Century; South African Journal of Science (22), 1925, pp. 540-551

Social life in South Africa two centuries ago; South African Lady's Pictorial, Jan 1916

Social Life in the Cape; published by Juta & Co., Cape Town, 1926

Some Early expeditions. Blazing the Trail; Cape Times, 12 Nov 1926

Some early exploring expeditions and travels in South Africa; published by Cape Times, 1916

Some early industries; Cape Times, 08 Jan 1927

Some early landmarks of the Cape; South African Railways and Harbour Magazine, Dec 1927

Some monumental inscriptions at the Cape of Good Hope; Genealogist’s Magazine, 10 (13), Mar 1950

Some Road History; Cape Times, 03 Sept 1926

Some wayside history; Cape Times, 11 Sept 1925

South African coastal place names; Cape Times, 07 Aug 1926

South Africa's first hotels - an interesting historical survey; The Catering Trade's Journal, Jun 1929

South Africa's oldest Export Industry - the history of wine farming at the Cape; Cape Times Annual, Dec 1934

Stellenbosch: glimpses into its early history; Cape Times, 18 Oct 1927

Stellendam: a glance at its early history; Cape Times, 20 Oct 1927

Survivors of an early wreck; Cape Times, 13 Aug 1927

Taking a new look at the Union. Exploration-Settlement-Transport; The

Voter, Aug 1949 The adventures of John Benbow; Cape Times, 17 Dec 1927

The birth of printing in South Africa; Cape Times, 07 Sept 1946

The birth of Somerset-West; Cape Times, 16 Aug 1928

The Canals of Cape Town - early street history; Cape Times, 04 Sept 1926

'The Cape doctor'; Cape Times, 26 Oct 1946

The Cape Hospital Board 1913-1949 with a survey of hospital developments in the Cape Peninsula from early times; published by Blackshaw & Sons, Cape Town, 1950

The Cape Supreme Court; South African Law Journal 49, 1932, pp. 453-461

The Castle of Good Hope; The Nongqai, pp. 643-647, Jun 1944

The Castle of the Cape; Silver Leaves, 1952, pp. 35-39

The Central Road Board 1843-1858. History which is repeating itself to-day; Cape Times, 23 Jan 1931

The century of Sir Lowry's Pass. When waggons were unloaded and goods carried by slaves; Cape Times, 04 Jul 1930

The Civil Service Club 1858-1938; The Club, Cape Town, 1939

The Common and Statute Law at the Cape of Good Hope during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries; South African Law Journal 30, Aug 1913

The construction of Sir Lowry's Pass, Cape Times, 07 May 1926 The Court of Vice-Admiralty; Cape Argus, 14 Sept 1914

The development of printing and newspaper publication in the Union; Official Year Book of South Africa 16, 1934, pp. 32-33

The dispersion of the Stock farmer in the Cape Colony in the eighteenth century; South African Journal of Science 20, 1923, pp.574-580

The early days of Robben Island - rabbit farm and convict settlement; Cape Times, 10 Dec 1930

The early development of South Africa; South African Journal of Science 19, Dec 1922, pp.13-16

The early French refugees brought honour and prosperity to our country; The Outspan, 13 Apr 1945

The early Highways of South Africa; The Outspan, 21 May 1937

The early history of Worcester; Cape Times, 20 Sept 1927

The fascination of old maps; Cape Times, 18 Jan 1936

The Father of the mother city; Cape Argus, 06 Apr 1927

The First Home Guard; Silver Leaves, 1950, pp. 116-117

The first public hospital in South Africa; Health and Medicine, Jun 1946

The first South African to be made a knight; The Outspan, 28 Sept 1934

The flat-roofed house in old Cape Town; Architect, Builder and Engineer, Nov 1921

The founding of Cape Town; Cape Times, 08 Apr 1930

The French refugees and the medical profession at the Cape of Good Hope; South African Medical Record 12 (5), 14 Mar 1914

The French refugees at the Cape; 2nd print, Cape Town, 1921

The French refugees at the Cape; published by Cape Times Ltd, 1919

The grain and wool stores at Mossel and Plettenberg Bay respectively, 1786; George and Knysna Herald, 04 Jun 1919

The Historic Peninsula; British South Africa Annual, Dec 1932

The history of early discovery and exploration in South Africa 1652-1795; Official Yearbook of South Africa, 7, 1925, pp. 11-20

The History of the Castle at The Cape of Good Hope; Lantern 7 (3), Mar 1958, pp. 214-217

The Honourable William Menzies 1795-1850, Senior Judge of the Supreme Court of the Cape of Good Hope; South African Law Journal 33, Nov 1916

The Huguenots in South Africa; Proceeding of the Huguenot Society of London 13 (6), 1929

The Huguenots; Cape Times Week-end Magazine, 13 Apr 1946

The Lutheran Church; Cape Times, 10 Sept 1927

The maker of Dover's powder; an interesting glimpse of early South African History; The Outspan, 30 May 1930

The material available for early South African history; The South African Quarterly, Dec 1919

The medical profession at the Cape during the eighteenth century; South African Medical Record 10 (24), 28 Dec 1912, p.540

The men who trekked; Escom, Dec 1936

The old Order changes; The Headlight, Jun 1930

The Old Supreme Court Building, Cape Town; Lantern II (3), Mar 1962, pp. 32-38

The old windmill - Groote Schuur; South African Miller and Grain Trader, Feb 1935

The origin of Government departments at the Cape; The Service, Jul 1919

The peninsula and Hottentots Holland bartered for 9.12.gd.; Cape Argus, 20 Jan 1923

The Pioneer; Die Staatsamptenaar, Dec 1938

The policing of town and village in the early days at the Cape; The Nongqai, Dec 1915

The preservation of our historical monuments; The Monitor, 15 Mar 1946

The preservation of our National Monuments; South Afrcan Journal of Science 18, Dec 1921, pp.195-196

The preservation of our National Monuments; South African Journal of Science 18, 01-02 Dec 1920

The Public Archives - their value to scientific research; South African Journal of Science (21), 1924, pp. 120-130

The Public Archives of South Africa 1652-1910; published by Cape Times, Cape Town, 1928

The Public Prosecutor of early days; The Nongqai, Sept 1944, pp. 1079-1080

The rise of the tearoom-cafe, a revolution in urban social customs; The Catering Trade's Journal, Jun 1929

The science of Archives in South Africa; South African Journal of Science 34, 1937, pp. 1-17

The smelly old days: when the 'Cape Doctor' was a boon; Cape Times, 16 Jun 1934

The Somerset Hospital celebrates its hundredth birthday; published by Nasionale Handelsdrukkery, Elsiesrivier, 1959

The Supreme Medical Committee 1807; South African Medical Record 13 (6), 27 Mar 1915

The valley of the Huguenots; British South Africa Annual, Dec 1931

The Voortrekkers; Cape Argus, 04 Jun 1927

The wreck of the Stavenisse; Cape Times, 29 Oct 1927

Then and now in the Mother city - Life in old Cape Town; Cape Times Annual, 1932

They had a 'rule of the road' in ox-waggon days; Cape Times Weekend Magazine, 16 Mar 1946

To make one blue frock coat - four guineas; The Outspan, 19 Feb 1937

Tourists of other days; Cape Times, 17 Apr 1925

Travelling in the early days of the Cape; Annual of Mountain Club of South Africa, 1917

Treasure hunting in the old days; The Outspan, 29 Apr 1932

Under the Jolly Roger. Pirates in Table Bay; Cape Times, 04 Sept 1926

Union's six oldest towns - perpetuating names of governors; Cape Times, 26 Jun 1930

Van Riebeeck's Day - landmarks of the 17th century; Cape Times, 06 Apr 1929

Van Riebeeck's Day; Cape Times, 06 Apr 1927

Vicissitudes of Old Supreme Court Building; Cape Argus, 04 Oct 1924

Volunteers of the Nineteenth century; The Nongqai, Oct 1944, pp. 1155-1156

What a South African learns in America; Cape Argus, 26 Apr 1924

When a South African goes to the States; Cape Argus, 12 Apr 1924

When pirates chased their victims into Table Bay; Cape Argus, 20 Dec 1930

When Robinson Crusoe visited South Africa; Radio Week, 22 Mar 1946

Where undertakers hold exhibitions (A South African in the States); Cape Argus, 29 Mar 1924

Who are the six greatest men in South African History?; The Outspan, 30 Dec 1927

Windjammers and Shellbacks at the Cape; British South Africa Annual, Dec 1935

Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum; Cape Times, 18 Aug 1928

Zeekoe Vlei. History of a popular resort; Cape Times, 10 Jan 1931

Druk E-Pos

Some of the articles that were published in Historiese Studies

Anne Lehmkuhl

to complement the article in genesis July 2004

Vol. 4, Oct - Dec 1943, No. 3 - 4

M. Hugo: Die Kruger-ultimatum (vier maande van spanning)

H.S. Pretorius: Afkoms van Paul Kruger

Vol. 6, Mar 1945, No. 1

D.J. Pieterse: Die kommandeer-vraagstuk

B.V. Lombaard: Die ontdekkers van platina in Transvaal

Vol. 6, Jun 1945, No. 2

A. Kuit: Generaal Joubert besoek Europa en Amerika

J. Ploeger: 'n Paar besonderhede in verband met Jacobus Stuart (1803-1878)

J.C. Otto: Die voorgeskiedenis en opkoms van die Bapedi-stam

B.D. Malan: Die Historiese Monumente-Kommissie

Vol. 6, Sept 1945, No. 3

P.R. Nell: Die konsulere en diplomatieke verteenwoordiging van die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek in die buiteland

Vol. 6, Dec 1945, No. 4

W.J. de Kock: Vyf ongepubliseerde briewe van Hendrik Witbooi

B.V. Lombaard en C.W. Prinsloo: Die voorgeskiedenis en opkoms van die Bapedi-stam

J. Ploeger: 'n Paar besonderhede aangaande die afstamming en lewe van Willem Eduard Bok (1846-1904)

J. Ploeger: Wilhelm Johan van Gorkum (1827-1888)

A.N. Pelzer: Enkele besonderhede t.o.v. die Kaapse samelewing teen die helfte van die vorige eeu

Vol. 7, Mar 1946, No. 1

N.C. Weideman: Die Malaboch-oorlog (1899)

Vol. 7, Jun - Sept 1946, No. 2 - 3

J.H. Fouche: Die Asiate-vraagstuk in die dae van die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek

Vol. 7, Dec 1946, No. 4

C.J. Beyers: Graham Bower en die Jameson-inval - 'n kritiese benadering

J.C. Otto: Oorsake en gebeurtenisse wat indirek en regstreeks aanleiding gegee het tot die veldtog teen Sekoekoeni (1876)

A.J. van Heerden: Kommandant Carl Petrus van Heerden

Vol. 8, Jun 1947, No. 1

A.N. Pelzer: Izak Daniel Bosman, 1897-1947

P.J.S. de Klerk: Prof. dr. I.D. Bosman en die Krugergenootskap

I.D. Bosman: Enkele probleme by die geskiedskrywing en by die geskiedenisonderrig

A.P. van der Merwe: Professor I.D. Bosman in die Krugerwildtuin

T.A. du Plessis: Jacobus Stuart en die Transvaalse verdeeldheid van 1855-1856

W. Backeberg: Carl Jeppe - Enkele biografiese besonderhede

F.A. van Jaarsveld: Landmeting in die ou dae

J.J. van Heerden: Die dood van kommandant-generaal Christiaan Frederik Beyers

Vol. 8, Jan 1948, No. 2

J. Hoge: Verbeterings en aanvullings op die Geslacht-register der oude Kaapsche familien

F.A. van Jaarsveld: Tydgenote oor die Boer, die onderwys en die onderwyser

M. Bokhorst: Die Kaap en Engeland, 1649-1652

A.N. Pelzer: Burgergrafte in Lourenco Marques

E.H. Tonsing: Briewe uit die tyd van president Paul Kruger se ballingskap

Vol. 8, Apr 1948, No. 3 - 4

P.J. van Winter: De Nederlandsche Zuid-Afrikaansche Spoorweg-Maatschappij, de Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek en die Unie van Zuid-Afrika

J. Hoge: Verbeterings en aanvullings op die Geslacht-register der oude Kaapsche familien

D.J. Haupt: Die Staatsartillerie van die Suid-Afrikaanse Republiek

C.J. J. Reyneke: Landdros en heemrade se rol in die plaaslike bestuur van die Republiek Lydenburg

Vol. 9, Aug 1948, No. 1 - 2

M.C.E. van Schoor: Troubreuk of misverstand? Die voorspel tot die proklamering van die Oranjerivier-Soewereiniteit, 3 Feb. 1848

C.M. Blankwaard: Op bezoek bij generaal De Wet na den Tweeden Vrijheidsoorlog

C.J.J. Reyneke: Landdros en heemrade se rol in die regspraak van die Republiek Lydenburg

F.O. Dentz: Het perskantoor van het Algemeen Nederlandsch Verbond

J. Hoge: Verbeterings en aanvullings op die Geslachtregister der Oude Kaapsche Familien

Vol. 9, Apr 1949, No. 3 - 4

J.I. Rademeyer: Die implikasies i.v.m. 'n opvolger vir Moselekatse as Matabele-opperhoof

F.O. Dentz: Afrikaners als gouverneurs-generaal in Nederlandsche kolonien

J. Hoge: Verbeterings en aanvullings op die Geslachtregister der Oude Kaapse Familien


Druk E-Pos

The Italians And The Voortrekker Monument

Estelle Pretorius, Researcher Voortrekker Monument

a paper presented to the Ntvl GSSA branch


It is not commonly known that the Italians were involved with the construction of the Voortrekker Monument. Apart from the fact that the initial construction, till after the placing of the corner stone (1938) was done by an Italian firm, Italians were also involved with the construction of the laager wall and the casting of the Anton van Wouw statue of the woman and children in front of the Monument. Further more the marble frieze was chiselled from Italian marble in Italy.

During the 17th and 18th century a small number of Italians settled in South Africa, but it was only in 1880 during the gold rush, that their numbers increased appreciably. By 1890 for example, there were between 150 and 200 Italians in the Cape Colony and towards the end of that decade about 1200 in the Transvaal. Many of them were miners, builders and businessmen. However, not all of the Italians were workmen and shop owners - there were also professionals among them such as doctors, lawyers, engineers and also artists. There were between 3 000 and 4 000 Italians in South Africa by 1900.

When South Africa became a Union in 1910 the building industry blossomed. Two new capital cities, Cape Town and Pretoria, had to be provided with public buildings. For example a great many stonemasons, bricklayers and decorators worked on the construction of the Union Buildings in Pretoria (1910-1912) - many of them were Italian. There was discernible prosperity in the 1930’s with the development of the industrial, commercial and agricultural activities in the Italian community. On the forefront were the families Carleo (mechanical industry), Lupini (building material), Gallo (railroad construction) and Rossi, Beretta and Lombardi (farmers). Italian industrialists, businessmen and individual technicians contributed to the country’s prosperity.

Background: The Central People’s Monuments Committee (Die Sentrale Volksmonumente Komitee)

At the Congress of the Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Societies (Federasie van Afrikaanse Kultuurvereniginge) in 1931 representatives from several monument committees and other interested organisations under the chairmanship of doctor E.G. Jansen met in Bloemfontein. The aim was to establish a central body for the construction and maintenance of people’s monuments. The Central People’s Monuments Committee (SVK) was established and they decided to erect a national monument in honour of the Voortrekkers during the 1938 centenary celebrations.

After thorough deliberation it was eventually decided to erect the monument in Pretoria and the SVK assigned the architect Gerard Moerdyk to design it. The design was approved in 1936 and tenders were submitted for the construction.


The groundbreaking ceremony took place on Monument Hill on 13 July 1937. Advocate E.G. Jansen, chairman of the SVK, turned the first sod. Progress with the excavations and foundation was already well on the way by February 1938 and tenders for the construction was obtained. (7,646 cubic metres of concrete were eventually used in the foundation of the Monument). Ten tenders were obtained and the lowest tender (£175,000) was accepted, namely that of the Italian construction firm, A. Cosani. The construction started early in 1938 and the cornerstone of the Voortrekker Monument was laid on 16 December 1938 as the highlight of the Central Centenary celebrations in Pretoria.

After the onset of the Second World War in 1939 construction came to a standstill whereupon Cosani wanted to be discharged from the contract because he was not strong enough financially to complete the construction. Most of his security was in Italy where he also had to obtain a lot of the machinery and tools. The contract was concluded in good spirit and the SVK paid Cosani an amount of £2,103 for the work already completed.

The tender for the completion of the construction was accepted from the firm W.F. du Plessis in Bloemfontein in 1940 - the firm would make use of white builders exclusively. As a result of the war there was an increase in the loss of white workers and from 12 black workers were used to mix the concrete and clean the site from 1942.

Statue: Woman and children

At the base of the Monument there is a statue of a Voortrekker woman and her two children. Moerdyk gave pride of place to the Voortrekker woman, because without her contribution the Great Trek would not have lead to lasting settlement.

The sculptor was Anton van Wouw (1862 - 1945). This sculpture group was his last commission as he was already nearly 76 years old. He used a nurse, Isabel Snyman, as a model for the Voortrekker woman and Betty Wolk and Joseph Goldstein as models for the children. Apparently Van Wouw started early in July 1937 with the sculpture and his contract with the SVK ended on 31 March 1938. The Woman and children is 4.1 metres high, weighs 2,5 tonnes and was cast by the firm R Vignali in Pretoria.

What makes this bronze sculpture group unique is that it is the first public sculpture that was cast in one piece in bronze in South Africa. Renzo Vignali quoted Van Wouw £725 for the casting: The casting of the bronze in one piece will give a better result as there will be no weldings or alteration whatsoever. The alloy of the metal to be used shall be of 84% copper, 14% tin, 2% zinc... (The Woman and children was removed from the base of the Voortrekker Monument in 1965 by the same firm in Pretoria and cleaned - the first time that it was done).

Renzo Vignali (1903 - 1945) came to South Africa from Italy in 1931, apparently on Van Wouw’s insistence. He was a practised bronze caster mastering the art in his father’s foundry in Florence. He stayed in Johannesburg initially but later moved to Pretoria West where the sculpture group of the Voortrekker woman and children was cast in bronze on 5 August 1939. For this task Renzo Vignali called for the help of his father, Gusmano Vignali (1867 - 1953). Gusmano arrived in South Africa early in 1939 and also helped his son to cast the Coert Steyberg statue of Louis Botha in front of the Union Buildings. The Vignali foundry moved to Pretoria North in 1942 where it is still in business.

The Vignali Foundry played an important role in the art history of South Africa - during the first 27 years of its existence (1931-1958) it was the only foundry in South Africa specializing in the casting of works of art. Before Vignali’s arrival in South Africa artists, (amongst others van Wouw), had to have their works cast overseas - in countries such as Italy and the Netherlands. This brought about high costs and delays. Hendrik Joubert, an employee of the Vignali foundry, started his own business in 1958 and since then several independent foundries have seen the light. The pioneering work in this regard was however done by the Vignali Foundry.

Renzo Vignali unexpectedly died in 1945, leaving his wife Vittoria and daughter Gabriela behind. His father, Gusmano, extended his stay in South Africa with two years to finish Renzo’s uncompleted works. Thereafter, Luigi Gamberini (1916 - 1987) an employee of Vignali and a former Italian prisoner of war from Zonderwater, continued the business. Luigi Gamberini married Renzo’s daughter Gabriella in 1960. After Luigi Gamberini’s death his two sons, Lorenzo and Carlo Gamberini took over the Vignali Foundry, supported by their mother, Gabriella. She died in 1996. Although the two Gamberini brothers were born and bred in South Africa they learned the art of casting in the Italian manner and they still respect the old proven casting techniques.

The Vignali Foundry also cast Phil Minnaar’s statue of general P.J. Joubert (1971). This bronze bust is currently standing at Fort Schanskop that is part of the Voortrekker Monument Heritage Site.

Historical frieze

The frieze against the walls of the Monument’s Hall of Heroes is an intrinsic part of its design - the story of the Great Trek from 1835 to 1852 is depicted relief on 27 panels. The frieze does not only depict the Great Trek, but also a way of life, methods of labour, conflict, religious beliefs and the way of life of the Trekkers. The frieze cost £30,000 to create, is 92 metres long and one of the biggest marble friezes in the world.

Four sculptors created the frieze, namely Hennie Potgieter, Laurika Postma, Frikkie Kruger and Peter Kirchhoff. They worked for five years creating the plaster of paris panels whereupon it was sent to Italy to be chiselled from marble. According to Hennie Potgieter it was decided to chisel the panels in Italy as the South African marble was not suitable for sculptures of that nature. It would have been cheaper to transport ready-made panels of marble from Italy instead of importing the heavy blocks of marble and finishing the sculptures on site.

Fifty initial chisellers under the supervision of the well-known Italian sculptor professor Romano Romanelli (1882 - 1968) started the panels. Initial chisellers are not artists but with the help of a dotting machine they are able to chisel and reproduce the work of a sculptor precisely. Romanelli had a large studio with machinery and technical apparatus in Florence where initial chisellers could work together. Romanelli was interested in the South African history and made a thorough study of the Great Trek. Hennie Potgieter and Laurika Postma stayed in Italy for a year to ensure that everything went according to plan (1947 - 1948).

Three hundred and sixty metric tonnes of Quercetta marble was taken from the quarries - the finished frieze weighs about 180 metric ton. There were constant strikes in the marble quarries in Italy and therefore the work was delayed. Two months before the inauguration of the Monument a few of the panels were only arrived in Durban and they still had to be transported to Pretoria. Eight panels of the frieze were not ready when the Monument was inaugurated.

With the inauguration of the Monument a medal was sent to Romanelli to honour him for his involvement. After seeing photos and plans of the monument, he declared that it was a very important monument from an artistic viewpoint, a first rate creation.

Thérèsa Viglione

Panel 15 of the marble frieze is a depiction of the heroic deed of the Italian woman Thérèsa Viglione. She was a trader who camped near the Trekkers with 3 Italian men and three wagons to trade. During the attack by the Zulus on Bloukrans on 17 February 1838, she fearlessly charged down the banks of the Boesmans River on a horse to warn the laager of Gerrit Maritz against the oncoming Zulus. Because of her action the Trekkers were forewarned and could defend themselves - many lives were saved. After the attack she nursed the wounded children in her tent and thereby also drew the respect of the Trekkers. Frikkie Kruger, the sculptor of this panel, used an Italian woman Lea Spanno as the model for Thérèsa Viglione. Lea Spanno worked in a chemist in Sunnyside near the artist’s studio.

Laager Wall

Around the Monument is a laager wall of 64 wagons - the same amount of wagons as at the battle of Blood River (16 December 1838). The Voortrekkers drew a laager with their wagons when danger was threatening and have proven its military worth. The laager wall forms a symbolic rampart against everything clashing with the ideals and views of the Voortrekkers.

The laager wall consists of terrazzo work - a mixture of pieces of marble and cement. White cement was imported from America and pieces of white marble from the quarries at Marble Hall were used as well as pieces of blue granite from Namakwaland. The Dey firm in Pretoria laid the foundation of the laager wall in March 1949. Frikkie Kruger made a clay model of the wall whereupon a plaster of paris imprint was taken to Johannesburg. Imprints were made in cement and the Italian firm Lupini in Johannesburg cast the final sections. The final cement sections were transported directly to the Monument where the final casting took place.

The first wagon was finished in March 1949. Every wagon weighs about 8 tonnes and is 4,6 metres long, 2,7 metres high and compiled from 24 sections. The total length of the laager wall is 313 metres. Nearly all the artists who worked on the wall were Italian. A photograph of two of the Italians, namely Fornoni and Carrara appears in the Transvaler of 21 April 1949.


From the above it is clear that up to now the Italians who had a stake in the history of the Voortrekker Monument have not had the acknowledgement that they deserve. They are sometimes only mentioned in passing in literature on the subject and this has made research very difficult.

The grandson of Romano Romanelli, Laurent Romanelli, sent photographs of his grandfather to the Voortrekker Monument on 22 May 1995:

I am very proud to be associated with your country. Your monument is part of myself as it represents some of the values my grandfather loved so much and that I share ... I wish South Africa the best.

Estelle Pretorius
Voortrekker Monument
© 18 August 2003


Aspeling, H.R., Deur hulle leef ons nageslag. Die Huisgenoot, 24 March 1950.

Du Plessis, A., The Renzo Vignali Artistic Foundry: a history of its establishment and

contribution to bronze sculpture in South Africa, 1931 - c. 1958. Unpublished MA-

thesis, University of the Witwatersrand, 1996.

Ferreira, O.J.O., ‘n Volk se hulde. Pretoria, 1975.

Ferreira, O.J.O., Die geskiedenis van die Sentrale Volksmonumentekomitee. Unpublished

MA- thesis, University of Pretoria, 1970.

Grobler, J., Ontdek die Voortrekkermonument. Pretoria, 1999.

Potgieter, H., Unpublished information brochure, Pretoria, n.d.

Sani, G., History of the Italians in South Africa, 1489-1989. Edenvale, 1992.

Schoon, H.F. (ed.), The diary of Erasmus Smit. Cape Town, 1972.

Schoonraad, M., Suid-Afrikaanse kunstenaars se siening van die Groot Trek, Lantern

37(4), October 1988.

Swart, M.J. (ed.), Afrikanerbakens. Johannesburg, 1989.

Minutes SVK, 26 June 1937.

Minutes SVK, 28 March 1938.

Dagbreek en Sondagnuus, 30 October 1949.

Transvaler, 05 March 1949.

Transvaler, 25 March 1949.

Transvaler, 21 April 1949.

Transvaler, 14 October 1965.

Volkstem, 16 December 1949.

Druk E-Pos

Re-inventing the Wheel: Diederik Johannes Koekemoer

by Richard Ball, Hierdie e-posadres word van Spambotte beskerm. Jy moet JavaScript ontsper om dit te lees.

originally published in Genesis, 2009, issue 2

When I first became interested in my Cape ancestors, around the year 2000, I was thrilled to find various family trees already on the internet as well as email groups concerned with genealogy, such as the Rootsweb South Africa list and, at that time, the Genforum group, run by Johann Erasmus, concerned mostly with Afrikaans genealogy. At first I was happy to be given dollops of ancestry by the members of this list.

During this time I often received or saw posted the advice: 'Don’t re-invent the wheel' - that is, one should simply build on what was already available, in the printed genealogies.

In an ideal world, of course, this would be good advice but after a while I learned about the documentary sources of such information and how to access them. I then began to find differences between what I was discovering in the documents and the printed genealogies. After I investigated families such as the Smits, Louws, Van Stadens and Van Wyks where all the printed genealogies contained serious mistakes, I learned to ignore this advice and now always check up on any genealogical information myself - what, after all, is the use of a defective family tree? With each new family I investigate, therefore, I now re-invent the wheel by obtaining my data from the original contemporary records wherever possible.

I present my investigation into one branch of the Koekemoer family as an example that adopting a published genealogy is not always wise.

The original wheel I would assume is the Koekemoer family tree printed in the Geslacht-register der oude Kaapsche familien (Genealogies of old Cape families) part 2, edited by G.M.Theal from the research of C.C.de Villiers, published 1894, and reproduced on the following page.

This layout was copied, with additional generations, into Genealogies of Old South African Families (DeV/P), the revised and augmented edition of the earlier work, edited by C. Pama, 1966 and copied again, with yet more generations added, into the South African Genealogies (SAG), part 4, compiled by J.A.Heese, edited by R.T.J Lombard and published by The Human Sciences Research Council in 1992.

Here, then, is a good example of 'not re-inventing the wheel'.

According to the genealogy of the Koekemoer family as there presented (please see the following page), all present day South African members of that surname are descended from the five youngest sons of Diederik Koekemoer (1716-1790). Judging from the extended genealogy given in SAG 4, it appears that by far the largest number of modern day Koekemoers descend from Diederik Johannes Koekemoer (born 1765), son of the above Diederik and his second wife, Jacomina van Wijk. In SAG and DeV/P his De Villiers code is: b1c4.

Following the genealogy above Diederik Johannes Koekemoer (b1c4) married Hilletje Pretorius in 1789 and they produced 2 daughters and 5 sons. These sons produced large Koekemoer progenies.

There was also, however, as you can see from the tree, a second member of the Koekemoer family named Diederik Johannes Koekemoer (born 1771), the grandson of Diederik Koekemoer (1716-1793) and his first wife, Catharina van Wijk. His De Villiers number, in both SAG 4 and DeV/P is b1c1d1 and he was a contemporary of b1c4.

Neither of these two men is provided, in the printed genealogies, with a date of death or any other information, and, having found from previous research how difficult it can be to identify which John Jones it was who married Mary Brown when you have several John Jones baptisms to choose from, I wondered what evidence the original compiler had used to decide which of the two men had married Hilletje Pretorius and produced offspring.

Above is the Koekemoer family as it appears in the Geslacht-Register der Oude Kaapsche Familien (Genealogies of old Cape families) part 2, edited by G.M.Theal from the research of C.C.de Villiers, published 1894.

This article, therefore, concerns just two of the descendants of Jochem Koekemoer and Maria Putters, their grandson, 

Diederik Johannes Koekemoer, b1c4, the son of Diederik Koekemoer (1716-1790) and his second wife, Jacomina van Wijk ( -1770), baptised at Tulbagh in 1765:.

VC 657, Church Registers - Tulbagh Congregation, baptisms, page 71, 1765

no 11, den 17 Octo

't kint: Diederik Johannes

Vader: Diderik Koekemoer

Moeder: Jacomina van Wijk

Get[uijgen]: Jochem Scholtz en Catharina Elisabeth van Wijk

and their great grandson,

Diederik Johannes Koekemoer, b1c1d1. baptised 22 December 1771 at Tulbagh, the son of Jochem Koekemoer (1744-1772) and his wife Johanna Adriana de Beer (1751-1797), baptised at Tulbagh in 1771:

VC 657 Church Registers - Tulbagh Congregation baptisms, page 108, 1771

den 22 Xbr. Diederick Johannis, Vader: Jochem Koekemoer, Moeder: Johanna Adriana

de Beer, Get[uijge]n: Johannes Lodovicus Pretorius en Hilletje de Beer, Diederik

Koekemoer en Maria Christina Koekemoer.

One of these men named Diederik Johannes Koekemoer married Hilletje Magdalena PRETORIUS at Cape Town on the 5 April 1789:

VC 622 Church Registers - Cape Town Congregation marriages, page 122, 1789

den 5 April, Diederik Johannes Koekemoer van Cabo de Goede Hoop, burger aan

Graaff Raynet, jongman met Hilletje Magdalena Pretorius van Cabo voornoemd


As you can see from the marriage inscription above, there is nothing to identify which of the two men named Diederik Johannes the bridegroom was.

There are various ways one can attempt positively to identify such an individual, and some of these will be presented later in this article, but the most obvious first step, it seemed to me, was to try to establish dates of death for both of these gentlemen if possible. This proved to be fairly easy for one of them.

The South African Archives online index NAAIRS listed a liquidation and distribution account (boedelerekening) for one of them:


Since Diederik J Koekemoer and his wife were bearing children until at least 1808, according to the printed genealogies, this Liquidation and Distribution Account would presumably prove to be that of the Diederik Johannes K who did not leave offspring, and so it proved to be.

In the good old days when I was doing this research it was relatively easy to obtain a copy of a document in the Cape Archives and I commissioned photographs to be taken of this document.

A liquidation and distribution account (in the original Dutch a 'boedelrekening') consists of a set of accounts detailing the credit and debit sides of a deceased estate and the distribution of the ensuing balance, if positive.

The final accounts in this particular document are dated 31st May 1794. The earliest date in the accounts is 12 April 1793. It states that this Diederik Johannes Koekemoer was unmarried and had died without making a will. His estate was therefore being distributed (as laid down in the Roman Dutch Law under which it was administered) amongst his brothers and sisters who are named as follows:

whole sisters and brothers:

  1.   Gerrit Jacobus Koekemoer
  2.   Maria Christina Koekemoer married to the Manh: Godlieb Rudolph Opperman
    1.   Abraham Koekemoer
    2.   half sisters and brothers, or their surviving children:
    1.  the two surviving children of the late Jochem Koekemoer named:
      1.   Diederik Johannes Koekemoer, Joachim's son
      2.   Catharina Jacomina Koekemoer married to Jan Adriaan Venter
  3.   Joachim Zacharias Koekemoer, a minor
  4.   Johannes Christoffel Koekemoer, a minor
  5.   Godlieb Rudolph Koekemoer, a minor

This tells us unequivocally, firstly that Diederik Johannes Koekemoer, b1c4, the son of Diderik K and Jacomina van Wijk, born 1765, died unmarried around 1793 and secondly that Diederik Johannes Koekemoer, b1c1d1, the son of Jochem K and Johanna Adriana de Beer was still living at that date.

This, of course, proved the printed genealogy to be incorrect, and suggested strongly that it was in fact Diederik Johannes Koekemoer (bapt.1771), b1.c1.d1, who had married and left offspring,

More recently, corroborative evidence has come to hand in one of the Bibles from the National Cultural History Museum Pretoria which have been photographed on the initiative of eGGSA and are now available to all in the eGGSA download library

KOEKEMOER Jochem getroud 1769 Johanna Adrian DE BEER

This extremely interesting document starts with the marriage of Jochem Koekemoer and Johanna Adriana de Beer, married 18 March 1769. This is followed by the birth on the 21st April 1771 of their son Diederik Johannis, then follows the death of Jochem Koekemoer 27 May 1772, and then the birth of their daughter Catharina Jochemina on the 25 October 1772.

The bible then records Johanna Adriana de Beer's re-marriage to Marthinus Wessel Pretorius on 11 April 1773, followed by the successive births of eight children to the couple

Marthinus Wessel Pretorius,

Zacharia Pretorius,

Anna Johanna Pretorius,

Johannes Pretorius,

Johanna Adriana Pretorius,

Johannis Lodewijk Pretorius,

Magdalena Pretorius,

Elisabetta Maria Pretorius,

followed by the record of the death of Johanna Adriana de Beer on the 28th March 1797.

We now skip on to the baptisms of the children of Diederik Johannes Koekemoer and Hilletje Magdalena PRETORIUS. It was the practice then, and often still today, for the baptismal witnesses to be chosen from close family members, the grandparents and uncles and aunts of the child being baptised. Baptismal witnesses can, therefore, be important clues when doubt exists as to where the parents belong in the family tree.

Here are the baptismal inscriptions of the first four children of Diederik Johannes Koekemoer and Hilletje Magdalena PRETORIUS:

Church Registers - Drakenstein Congregation baptisms, page 156, 179Den 5 Decembr, Joachim Martinus. gebooren den 28 Junij 1790v[ader]: Diderik Johannes Koekemoer, m[oeder]: Hilletje Magdalena Pretoriug[etuigen]: Johannes Lodewijk Pretorius, Anna Elisabeth Marais, Martinus WesselPretorius, Anna Dorothea Pretorius

The baptismal witnesses above can probably be identified as half brothers and sisters of Diederik Johannes and the wife of the first of these.

Church Registers - Tulbagh Congregation baptisms, page 300, 17928 Octbr. 't kind: Heyltje Magdalena, vader: Diederik Joahnnis Koekemoer, moeder:Heijltje Magdalena Pretorius, get[uigen]: Jan Adriaan Venter en Catrina JacominKoekemoer, Martinis Wessel Pretorius en Maria Pretorius

Here the witnesses are Diederik's whole sister and her husband, with two half brothers and sisters.

Pretoria Archives FK 2215 - Church Registers - Graaff Reinet baptisms, page 33, 1794 Den H. Doop bediende den 15 Junij, 't kind: Diederik Johannes, Ouders: Diederik Johannes Koekemoer, Hyla Magdalena Pretorius, Getuijgen: Marthinus Wessel Pretorius, Johanna Adriana de Beer, Abraham Koekemoer, Heyltje Pretorius

Witnesses: DJK's mother and step fatter, uncle and half sister

Church Registers - Tulbagh Congregation baptisms, page 343, 1797 Ged: d 29 Febr: (sic), Johanna Adriana, geb. den 16 Novbr: 96, oud: Didrik Johannis Koekemoer; Heijltje Magdalena Pretorus, Get: Johannis Lodewk. Pretorius; Anna Johanna Pretorius; Johannis Pretorius, Johannna Adriana Pretorius, Johannis Barend Venter; Anna Christina Booijens

(details of the other children can be found on my web site where this Koekemoer family is laid out in detail - Koekemoer Family

All the above seems to indicate, without much doubt, that the traditional view of the Koekemoer family tree, as copied from one publication to another, is incorrect. Re-inventing the wheel has meant that this family tree should now look like this:

Jochem Koekemoer x Maria Putter

b1 Diederik Koekemoer 1716 - 1790 Residence: De Twee Fonteijnen, on the Sondags Rivier, below the Camdeboo Mountain

x. Catharina van Wijk 1716 - 1747

b1.c1 Jochem Koekemoer born 6 October 1744, died 27 May 1772 Residence: Goliats Kraal, in the Kantebo (from SAG 4)

x Johanna Adriana de Beer 1751 - 179she remarried Marthinus Wessel Pretorius 11 April 177and died 28 March 1797, whereupon her widower remarrieSusanna Elisabeth Viljoen 12 November 1797

b1.c1.d1 Diederik Johannes Koekemoer born 21 April 1771, died x Hilletje Magdalena Pretorius xx Maria Louisa Lotter

b1.c1.d1.e1 Joachim Martinus Koekemoer, born 28 June 1790 b1.c1.d1.e2 Heyltje Magdalena Koekemoer, born 1792 b1.c1.d1.e3 Diederik Johannes Koekemoer, born 1794 b1.c1.d1.e4 Johanna Adriana Koekemoer, born 16 November 1796 b1.c1.d1.e5 Gerhardus Petrus Koekemoer, born 1798 b1.c1.d1.e6 Martinus Wessel Koekemoer, born 1800 b1.c1.d1.e7 Catarina Joagomina Elisabeth Koekemoer, born 19 August 1803 b1.c1.d1.e8 Jacobus Matthijs Wijnand Koekemoer, born 26 February 1806 b1.c1.d1.e9 Johannes Lodewijk Koekemoer, born 22 June 1808 b1.c1.d1.e10 Willem Godfried Koekemoer, born 24 May 1813

b1.c1.d2 Catharina Jochemina Koekemoer born: 25 October 1772 x Jan Adriaan Venter

xx Jacomina van Wijk - 1770

b1.c2 Gerrit Jacobus Koekemoer born 1749 b1.c3 Maria Christina Koekemoer born 18 September 1758 b1.c4 Diederik Johannes Koekemoer, born 1765, died unmarried March 1793 b1.c5 Abraham Koekemoer Born: 1770

xxx Elisabeth Johanna Wagener Died: circa 1784

b1.c6 Jochem Zacharias Koekemoer born circa 1773 b1.c7 Johannes Christoffel Koekemoer borncirca 1775 b1.c8 Godlieb Rudolph Koekemoer born circa 1779


Geslacht-Register der Oude Kaapsche Familien (Genealogies of old Cape families) part 2, edited by G.M.Theal from the research of C.C.de Villiers, published 1894:

Genealogies of Old South African Families, completely revised edition augmented and rewritten by C.Pama, A.A.Balkema, 1966.

Suid-Afrikaanse Geslagregisters, opgestel deur J.A. Heese, geredigeer deur R.T.J. Lombard, Protea Boekhuis, 1999

Western Cape Archives Repository: MOOC 13/1/20, 10 - KOEKEMOER, DIEDERIK JOHANNES. LIQUIDATION AND DISTRIBUTION ACCOUNT.1793-1794 VC series, photocopies of the Cape Town, Tulbagh and Drakenstein NGK registers done for the Human Sciences Research Council in the 1980s.

Pretoria Archives Repository: FK series, photocopy of the Graaff-Reinett (FK 2226, FK 2215, FK 2216) NGK registers done for the Human Sciences Research Council in the 1980s.

National Cultural History Museum Pretoria, The Bible of Johanna Adriana de Beer, 1769.

Druk E-Pos

The West Rand During the Anglo-Boer War

Presentation made to the West Gauteng branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa on 17 April 2004 by Dr Janetta du Plooy, PhD (1999) University of Potchefstoom. 
Contact details: email Hierdie e-posadres word van Spambotte beskerm. Jy moet JavaScript ontsper om dit te lees.  Cell 082-334-7913
The establishment of Krugersdorp in 1887 was the main event that influenced the social-cultural development of the West Rand. Two major events in the late nineteenth century led to the establishment of the town, namely the First Anglo-Boer War and the discovery of gold. The Paardekraal Monument became the centre of cultural activities, especially of the Afrikaner on the West Rand. Krugersdorp was the only town on the West Rand at the time of the Anglo-Boer War.

The discovery of gold on the Witwatersrand in the early 1880s and the proclamation of public diggings on the farms Paardekraal, Vogelstruisfontein, Luipaardsvlei, Witpoortjie, Klipplaat, Heuningklip and Wilgespruit in 1886/1887 led to the establishment of a stands township on the West Rand. This town was named after President Paul Kruger at the request of his friend, "Vaal Martiens" Pretorius, on whose farm (Paardekraal) the town was established in 1887.1

The Krugersdorp Diggings were under the jurisdiction of a Mine Commissioner, Robert Gerrit Ockerse.2 Two clerks assisted him with the administration of the goldfields. Act No 8 of 1889 authorised the Mine Commissioner to control and manage the goldfields, which included the issuing of licenses and the collection of license fees.3 But the authority of the Mine Commissioner was restricted to mining-related activities of the goldfields, and not related to a town or district.4 Ockerse was in charge of more than fifty mines and diggings on the West Rand at the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War.

A Special Magistrate with authority to deal with criminal and legal matters was appointed for each goldfield. As in the case of the Mine Commissioner, the authority of the Special Magistrate was restricted to a given goldfield and not related to anything outside the jurisdiction of the goldfields. JC Human was the first Special Magistrate for the Krugersdorp goldfields.

The influx of people to the newly proclaimed diggings necessitated the proclamation of a Stands Town, Krugersdorp in 1887. The first 200 stands in Krugersdorp were sold on a public auction on 31 October1887 under a 99-year leasehold. The condition of the leasehold stated that the lessee could "own the property for 99 years as long as his payment of stand fees was not in arrears."5

The newly established town serviced only the goldfields and mining. People from the surrounding farms had to go to Pretoria, Rustenburg, Potchefstroom or Heidelberg for administrative, military and legal purposes.6 The need for an independent district and town to attend to local requirements led to the proclamation of the Krugersdorp District Town in 1894.7 A magistrate, assisted by a justice of the peace and clerks, was responsible for the district, which included the management and administration of the District Town. The District Town was established opposite the Stands Town, northwest of the Paardekraal Monument. The first 309 "burgher" stands of approximately 400 square Cape rood (±39.65424²m) each was allocated to qualifying burghers in 1896.8

Arising from the establishment of a District Town was the establishment of separate offices for the management and administration of the District Town. By implication, Krugersdorp was serviced at the time by two magistrates, namely JC Human as Special Magistrate for the goldfields and H Hugo as the District Magistrate. Separate Health Committees were responsible for health and the general hygiene of the two townships. The amalgamation of the administration of Krugersdorp happened only after the Anglo-Boer War with the establishment of the Krugersdorp Municipality in 1903.

The original layout of these towns did not make any provision for the accommodation of people of colour. Black people working on the diggings were usually housed in mine compounds. The families of these people and other blacks squatted on the southwestern periphery of the white settlements in an uncontrolled manner. Generally these people were poor and the government gave little attention to their housing and health. The black settlement was proclaimed as a "location" in 1905.

The first Indians came to Krugersdorp in 1897. They settled in the area between the black settlement and the new township for poor white people called Burgershoop. The government established the Burgershoop Brickfields in 1896 to accommodate white farmers who had flocked to the diggings for a living after the rinderpest of that year.9 The settlement of the Indians next to the poor whites and the black people is striking of the settlement pattern of Indian trader of the time, namely to be near their clientele where they provided goods on credit to the poor in competition to the established white traders in town. 

The early development of Krugersdorp was overshadowed by the political turmoil and influx of foreigners from all over the world to the gold diggings. The character of Krugersdorp was since its inception very cosmopolitan with the development of social clusters based on income, the nature of labour and where the people stayed. During this period Lieutenant Frederick Tossel from the local police excelled at capturing South Africa's first bank robber, and the young and later famous Danie Theron started his practice as an attorney in Ockerse Street. The so-called foreigners dominated the economic, political and social scene of the day, eg Abner Cohen as hotel owner, Joseff Seehoff and Harvey Greenacre as general dealers, and the Hartley's from Hekpoort. The majority of the people, however, depended on a self-sustainable livelihood, whether as digger, water car-driver, brick maker or vegetable grower. Opportunities for employment were very scarce.

Jameson Raid
The Jameson Raid into the ZAR of 1895/96 was the result of a conspiracy between the Gold Barons of Johannesburg, the so-called Reform Committee, and Cecil John Rhodes. 

The discovery of gold had brought hitherto unknown prosperity to the ZAR, but also an influx of foreigners. The political turmoil over the political rights of the many foreigners on the Witwatersrand opened the door for Cecil John Rhodes to approach the Reform Committee with his imperialistic ideas.10 With the help of his friend, Dr Leander Starr Jameson, and the Reform Committee he plotted to whip up unrest in Johannesburg to such a level that the overthrow of the ZAR government would be seen as a deed of humanity.11

Various factors contributed to the failure of the Reform Committee to muster the necessary support for their conspiracy. The result was that they were forced to call the Raid off, but contradicting reports and the stubbornness of Jameson to ignore the telegram instructing him to call off the Raid contributed to the failure of the Raid.12 

Jameson gathered his force of Rhodesians at Pitsani on the border between the ZAR and Betchuanaland (Botswana), crossed the border on 29 December 1985 and marched in the direction of Krugersdorp where the Reform Committee was supposed to have met him for his march into Johannesburg. His advance towards Krugersdorp was unhindered until he reached the vicinity of the town. Jameson demanded the surrender of Krugersdorp or else he would bombard the town, notwithstanding assurances that the Raid was of a friendly nature.13 In reaction to this threat the Krugersdorp Commando stopped him in a fierce battle at the Queens Battery Gold Mine west of the town.14Jameson was forced to retreat. He then decided to cross the railway line between Krugersdorp and Randfontein in an attempt to reach Johannesburg via the Potchefstroom-Johannesburg coach road, but he soon realised that Boer Commandos under the command of General Piet Cronje had outflanked him. After the Battle of Doornkop, Jameson was forced to surrender to Cronje on the farm Vlakfontein south of Krugersdorp on 2 January 1896.15

The defeated raiders were marched to Krugersdorp where they were treated with "rough consideration" on the Market Square,16 while General Cronje prepared his report to the President. However, on the arrival of the battle-hungry Waterberg Commando, Cronje was forced to send his prisoners to Pretoria on the same day. Historians like Hole17 attributed the total failure of the raid on the impetuosity of Jameson and his failure to listen to reason and the advice of his officers.

A Captain Garraway was responsible to attend to the wounded and dead with the help of ten soldiers. A temporary hospital under Dr AG Viljoen18 was set up for the wounded in the shop of Harvey Greenacre.19 Verbal history relates that Jameson was kept in the cells behind the Magistrate's Court, but it is unlikely that he could have been there for more than a couple of hours. Garraway and his troopers were however kept there overnight after attending to the wounded and marched to Pretoria on the next day.

Verbal accounts attribute various legends to Krugersdorp interweaving truth and fiction to a great extent. One of the stories relates how the women and children were gathered in the courthouse for their own safety, but that they left the shelter later due to boredom and the excessive heat. The inhabitants were told that black people had raided them.20

The contradicting reports on the Raid urged Lieutenant Sarel Eloff, a grandson of President Paul Kruger in command of the local Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek Politie (ZARP), to approach Jameson during a scouting expedition at Boon's shop on the farm Rietfontein. Eloff was captured by the raiders and in an interview with Jameson, questioned the latter on his intensions and purpose of the Raid. Jameson assured him of his friendly intensions and set Eloff free on condition that he remains at Boon's shop for two hours before alerting the commandoes, but in the meantime Eloff's scouts had already alerted Field-cornet Piet Steenkamp, who had mobilised the Commando immediately.21

The Jameson Raid did not resolve the demands of the foreigners, although the government had made some minor concessions to their demands. The Raid, however, prevented any further attempts at a peaceful establishment of a federation of states in Southern Africa. More significantly, the position of people of colour in the ZAR remained unresolved: They were seen as a source of cheap labour for the mines with minimum rights and with little attention given to their living conditions and quality of life.22

Anglo-Boer War
The relationship between the ZAR and its enemy, the British Empire, worsened after the Jameson Raid. As a result the ZAR prepared for a possible war by equipping its burghers with modern weapons.23 The ZAR passed an ultimatum on 4 October 1899 to the British government to stop hostilities on its border. Failure to do that would be considered an act of war. The British did not respond to the ultimatum and the Anglo-Boer War started on 11 October 1899. The war ended in 1902 with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging.

Traditional historical accounts of the Anglo-Boer War cite the war as a conflict between the Afrikaners (Boers) and the English (British) and that it is why it is called the Anglo-Boer War. Furthermore, historians concentrated mainly on the military offensives, neglecting the struggle for survival of non-combatants on farms and in towns and in the concentration camps. Recent accounts with a more holistic approach of the war, cites the involvement and suffering all the people in the ZAR and the Republic of the Orange Free State. The involvement of the black and coloured people, supporting both armies, and their suffering in concentration camps has also received attention in more recent accounts of the war.

Krugersdorp was no exception to circumstances elsewhere in the ZAR during the War. Historians relate the victorious and heroic deeds of the Krugersdorp Commando under Generals Ben Viljoen, Jan Kemp, Jan Cilliers and Sarel Oosthuizen, as well as that of Commandant JC Bodenstein and the famous scout Danie Theron.24 Jan Kemp was probably the most famous of the four generals, whereas the Krugersdorp Centenary Album describes Viljoen as a colourful leader.25

Krugersdorp Commando
The Krugersdorp Commando was established in 1898 with the War against Magato and Mpefu in the now Limpopo Province. The Commando was known during the Anglo-Boer War for its dogged resistance, whereas "The Times History of War in South Africa" describes it as the backbone of the Boer forces under General De La Rey in the Western Transvaal.26

In Natal the Commando was always in the thick of things. It fought a brave rearguard at Dundee, and served with distinction at Elandslaagte against the Gordon Highlanders. In the crucial Battle of Modderspruit, which determined the siege of Ladysmith, the Krugersdorpers stormed a hilltop and, with murderous mauser-fire, prevented General French's Fifth Lancers from breaking through the lines. Later, in an attack on an armoured train near Estcourt, the Krugersdorp men took Winston Churchill, a war correspondent, prisoner.

Krugersdorpers also played a great part in capturing General Buller's artillery in the fine victory at Colenso. Then came the Battle for Pietershoogte and the finest feat of arms in the Commando's history. The men from Krugersdorp and Rustenburg stood firm against three fiery Irish regiments, the Iniskillings, the Dublin Fusiliers and the Cornaughts, driving them back twice with superhuman courage and backed by the biggest artillery barrage of the war. After seven days of fighting they were finally overwhelmed by massive forces and bayoneted, as they stood upright in their trenches, stubbornly firing to the last.

Under the leadership of General Jan Kemp the Krugersdorp Commando defended its country in the Western Transvaal at the Battles of Vlakfontein (30 May 1901), Moedwil (30 September 1901), Driefontein (24 October 1901), Yzerspruit (25 February 1902), Tweebosch (7 March 1902), Boschbult (31 March 1902) and Roodewal (11 April 1902). Notwithstanding the depressing defeat suffered at Roodewal, the Krugersdorp Commando told its spokesman, General Kemp, to vote against accepting the British peace terms. They were still in the field and resolved to die rather than lose their independence. But despite a defiant speech by Kemp, only six of the 60 Boer delegates voted at the Peace Meeting to continue the fight. Peace came on 31 May 1902.

Various bigger and smaller skirmishes were fought in the Krugersdorp District. Of exceptional importance were the battles of Dwarsvlei (7 July 1900) and Nooitgedacht (13 December 1900). Major-General HA Smith-Dorien was en route to Hekpoort with his army consisting of Gordon Highlanders, Shopshire Light Infantry, Imperial Yeoman, Royal Scottish Fusiliers and the 7th Battery Royal Field Artillery when his advance was stopped on the farm Dwarsvlei by a Boer contingent under the command of General Sarel Oosthuizen. Smith-Dorien decided to return to Krugersdorp with the main contingent of his force, but left a battalion of Royal Scottish Fusiliers under the command of Captain Trenchard to cover his back and to protect a gun battery. During the following skirmishes Trenchard was seriously wounded.27 General Sarel Oosthuizen was fatally wounded and a Captain Younger killed in the fight for the possession of the gun battery. Oosthuizen died three days later from his wounds. Captain Younger (posthumously) and Captain William Gordon from the Gordon Highlanders received the Victoria Cross for Bravery for saving the gun battery and attending to the wounded at the Battle of Dwarsvlei.

A long guerrilla-struggle followed, with the Battle of Nooitgedacht in the Krugersdorp District as a notable victory. Unfortunately the Boer Armies under Generals Kemp, De La Rey, Smuts and Beyers lost the initiative when they plundered the abandoned British camp instead of pursuing and capturing the running British soldiers under the Command of Major-General Clements. A total of 78 burghers and 332 British soldiers were killed at the Battle of Nooitgedacht.28

The Battle of Nooitgedacht could have been the biggest victory on the Boer side if the Boers had followed through and captured Clements with his whole army. The Boers however lost the initiative due to their "loosely organised armies and ill-disciplined and ill-coordinated conduct".29 The undisciplined conduct of the Boers and the ransacking of the camp cost them the war. Henceforth the war was in the hands of the British and the Boers had to resort to fighting running battles and guerrilla warfare.

British occupation of Krugersdorp
After the capture of General Piet Cronje at Paardeberg on 27 February 1900, the British High Command, under the leadership of Lord Roberts, was certain that to capture the Boer capitals would strike the final blow in the Boer's resistance. The British flag was raised in the Free State capital on 4 April 1900. The main army resumed its march to Pretoria, crossed the Vaal River on 27 May 1900 and on 4 July 1900 Lord Frederick Sleigh Roberts proclaimed that the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR) had been conquered by Her Majesty's Forces and that the ZAR was annexed to form part of the British Dominions. He renamed the territory and called it the Transvaal Colony.

On their way to Pretoria the British troops under Major-General Archibald Hunter, occupied Krugersdorp without opposition from the town's people in June 1900. Magistrate JC Human handed over the administration of the town to the British command. Martial Law was declared and the Union Jack was hoisted on the Government Building at a ceremony in front of the Old Magistrate's Court in Commissioner Street. Krugersdorp was under British military administration.

The British garrison had established its headquarters in Krugersdorp, according to popular belief, in the District Town (Krugersdorp North) in the house known as Kilmarnock House, at the corner of De Wet and Begin Streets.30 A blockhouse was built on the Monument hillside to keep the town under surveillance. Seven soldiers and four blacks that acted as servants and watchmen manned the blockhouse.

The movement of all people in the Transvaal Colony was restricted under Martial Law. Public meetings and gatherings were prohibited. No persons, except railway officers, were allowed on the platform of the railway station unless they were in the possession of a travelling permit. All travellers by whatever means also had to carry permits.31

Information on the conditions in Krugersdorp during the Anglo-Boer War is limited. Archival documentation relates primarily the military offensives. However, the town's people were not spared the distress and misery of the war. The town experienced a shortage of essential provisions and food. The closing of shops at the beginning of the war aggravated the shortages. A few of the bigger shops, eg Hompes and Seehoff, Harvey Greenacre, and McCloskie and Te Water reopened after the British occupation of the town and rendered an invaluable service to the poor. The majority of the town's people who suffered during the war were diggers who previously made a living on the Krugersdorp goldfields. The closing of all mining activities aggravated the need of the people.32 The Krugersdorp Women's League was started to provide poverty relief through a feeding scheme33 and medical support.34 With the establishment of the Krugersdorp Concentration Camp the League extended its work to include the inhabitants of the camp.

A Health Committee was established in October 1901 to take over the administration of public health in the town. The Health Committee functioned under the same regulations and authority that existed before the war. Under Proclamation 21 of 1900 all cases of infectious diseases were to be reported to prevent the spread of such diseases. Medical practitioners were entitled to a fee of twenty cents for each case notified. By Proclamation 10 of 1901 it became the duty of the Resident Magistrate to hold an inquest on any person who died suddenly, or was found dead, or was suspected of having died by violence, or by other than natural causes. All births and deaths had to be registered.35

All Burghers of the ZAR became British subjects with the annexation of the Old Republic. Under Martial Law the Town's people were prohibited from communicating with or supporting the Boer Commandoes. A permit was issued to each household in town that required an audit of their belongings to prevent the town's people from providing the Commandoes with food and other provisions. Notwithstanding this regulation, a few old gentlemen, namely JC Human, MWP Pretorius, S van Blommenstein, A Vorster, A te Water and D Grundlingh, succeeded in passing crucial information about the movements of British soldiers and provisions to the Krugersdorp Commando.36 As a result of this the British put Magistrate JC Human under house arrest, but this did not prevent him from continuing to pass on information he obtained in town.37

General conditions in the town were hard. Town's people suffered immense hardship. Nobody earned a sustainable income and no money was exchanged for trading purposes. Daily survival depended on the ability to sustain oneself with limited resources. No child received any formal education at the time. The local NG Church School closed at the beginning of the War. The British however opened an English medium school in 1901. In response, JH Grundlingh, a patriarch of the town, opened a private school with 100 learners. He employed two Dutch-speaking teachers, Misses F van Binnedyk and H Putten at five pounds a month each to teach the children in Dutch.38

Krugersdorp Concentration Camp
In an attempt to isolate the fighting Boer forces from food resources the British soldiers under the command of Lord Kitchener, who succeeded Roberts as High Commissioner, launched his scorched-earth policy with the wholesale destruction and burning of farms and crops. This aggravated the suffering of dependants of Commando fighters. Civilians, both white and black, were removed from the devastated countryside and interned in concentration camps that resulted in a dreadful loss of life. By the end of the war more than 11 600 whites and 115 000 blacks were interned throughout the two Republics in these camps.39

Although one of the smaller camps, conditions in the Krugersdorp Concentration Camp did not differ from that in any of the other camps. The Krugersdorp Concentration Camp was situated against the Monument hill more or less on the site of the current Yussaf Dadoo (Paardekraal) Hospital.40 The camp housed more than 6 000 women and children by the end of 1901. Many of the inhabitants perished in the over-crowded, unsanitary and ill-organised camp.41 Water pollution was a major health hazard, as well as starvation and malnutrition.42 The general unsanitary condition of the camp with exceptionally severe epidemics of measles, pneumonia and dysentery contributed to the high number of deaths the camp experienced in October and November 1901. The more than 1 800 graves in the Old Krugersdorp Cemetery, Burgershoop, are witness to suffering of the women and children in the Krugersdorp Concentration Camp. The following table reflects the situation in the Krugersdorp Concentration Camp at the time:

Death of Children October-November 1901 - Krugersdorp Concentration Camp
Month Measels Gastric Fever Pneumonia Emaciation Hooping Cough Epilepsy Other ailments Total
October 48 6 10 3 1 1 1 70
November 25 3 2 1 0 3 1 35
Totaal 73 9 12 4 1 4 2 105
Numerous observers pointed out serious shortcomings in the administration of the camp. The mortality rate decreased remarkably after the administration was transferred from the military to civilian authority under the command of a Mr Tomlinson and Dr Aymard.43 During this period the "Ladies Commission" who handled poor relief in town, extended its efforts to include also devastated families in the concentration camp, especially with regard to the improvement of food rations.

Food rations were classified into two categories. Class I rations were issued to the families of Boers who had surrendered or were in the employ of the British Army. Class II rations were issued to families with men still fighting with the Commandoes. The following rations were issued per week:44

Voedselrantsoene: Krugersdorp Konsentrasiekamp
Beskrywing Klas I Klas II
Meel 7 lb een keer per week 7 lb een keer per week
Koffie 6 oz een keer per week 4 oz een keer per week
Suiker 12 oz een keer per week 8 oz een keer per week
Sout 4 oz een keer per week 4 oz een keer per week
Vleis 1 lb twee keer per week 1 lb twee keer per week
An additional ration of mealie meal was issued when available. Milk was issued to children under the age of two years. The number of people in a family was not taken into consideration with the issue of rations with the result that hunger and malnutrition were rife among many families. The presence of foreign objects in the food was also reported.45 Families were left to fend for themselves in the camp. Records of their struggle to obtain firewood or cow dung for cooking fires are available at the National War Museum of the two Republics. Some of the women had to work for the British soldiers, eg by doing the washing in order to secure a better life for their families in the camp.46

A big marquee tent in the middle of the camp served as church and school. This school was for many of the Boer children the first and only opportunity to receive formal education. Teaching in camp schools through the medium of English formed part of the British policy to anglicise the Afrikaner into British subjects. For this purpose English-speaking teachers were imported from various British colonies to run the camp schools. Many of these teachers remained in South Africa, including Krugersdorp, after the War to form the backbone of the early teaching fraternity in the Transvaal Colony.47

The repatriation of families from the concentration camp received priority after the signing of the peace treaty in May 1902. The Krugersdorp Concentration Camp was officially closed down in November 1902.

Krugersdorp Native Refugee Camp
That Krugersdorp had one of the biggest Refugee Camps for black people is not an acknowledged fact. At the end of July 1901 many black people in the northwest region (Western Transvaal) sought military protection from the British Imperial Army. It became clear to the British that the only way that the policy of removing Boer women and children to concentration camps would work, was to remove black workers also from the farms. In view of this, a Native Refugee Camp was established on the farm Roodekranz No 83 IQ near Krugersdorp.

When the policy of self-sustainment of Refugee camps by way of land cultivation was implemented in November 1901, the Krugersdorp Native Refugee Camp was moved to the farm Waterval No 74 IQ,48 because of the availability of water on this farm. The cultivation of crops on Waterval must have been a success because in September 1902 the Native Refugee Department negotiated with the original farm owner, Mr AHF du Toit, that one third of the crop on the land at that time would be retained by Du Toit. The remaining two thirds would go to the Native Refugee Department in return for the labour and expense incurred.49

A special Native Refugee Department was established in 1901 by the British High Commissioner to provide shelter to homeless blacks, but also to provide labour to the army and soldiers where and when needed. The Krugersdorp Native Refugee Camp housed 3 382 people in December 1901. Of this number, 1 288 males were in the service of the British Army, whereas two males, ten women and nine children worked in private households in Krugersdorp.50
Reports from various missionaries who visited the Native Refugee Camp in Krugersdorp stated that the living conditions of the refugees were as dire as that of white women and children in the Krugersdorp Concentration Camp, if not worse. The mortality rate at the Refugee Camp was the highest in the period November 1901 to January 1902. Reports on the mortality of refugees stated pneumonia, dysentery and measles as the main causes of death. Food rations in the Refugee Camp were limited. The conditions of the refugees can be summarised by the following statement of refugees noted on 23 November 1901 by Reverend Farmer: "We have to work hard all day, but the only food we can get is mealies and mealie meal, and this is not supplied to us free, we have to purchase some with our own money. Meat we are still not able to get at any price, nor are we allowed to buy anything in shops..."51

The Krugersdorp Native Refugee Camp was abolished in October 1902, five months after the signing of the peace treaty. Some of the camp inhabitants did not want to return to the Boer farms after the closure of the camp, because they hoped for a better living under the British administration of the Transvaal Colony. The general situation among black people in the Transvaal was so bad that conditions of famine prevailed in many districts. In view of this situation, the grain depot in Krugersdorp was retained by the new Department of Native Affairs to provide in the need of the devastated communities.52

The aftermath of the war in Krugersdorp
The war changed society on all spheres in Krugersdorp. The Assistant Resident Magistrate, Lieutenant Phillips, took over the military administration of the town. The repatriation of the families in the concentration camp and the returning prisoners of war took up the first six months after the signing of the peace treaty. The return to ruined farms with limited provisions forced many farmers into an impoverished economic position where they lived from the hand to the mouth.

A commission under the control of the Assistant Resident Magistrate attended to applications for compensation from returning Boers. The commission was responsible that proper compensation be given, based on damage to property as a result of the war. According to Esterhuizen53 compensation was awarded according to the extent of the damage and classified into three groups, namely:

 Those burghers who had lost everything and needed immediate help;
 Those who had not lost as much and could restart without assistance; and
 Those who had not owned anything before the war and thus did not qualify for any compensation.

Food and farm implements were available on credit from the Colonial Government. Several impoverished Boers became vastly indebted, thereby aggravating their devastated and impoverished situation.

Many impoverished Afrikaners settled in Krugersdorp, mainly at the Burgershoop Brickfields where they tried to make a living. The general survival of the families depended on their ability to sustain themselves with limited resources. The extent of the devastation in Krugersdorp at the time is reflected in the high mortality of babies under the age of one year in the period 1903/1904.54

Groep Persentasie
Blankes 66.6%
Nie-blankes 88.7%
As opposed to the devastated situation among the returning Boer families, influential traders and professional people settled in the District Town where they were regarded as community leaders and were respected as town managers. They introduced a new British Colonial lifestyle and social order. The Afrikaner was able to come into his own right as community leader only in the late 1920s and 1930s.
Living conditions among people of colour after the Anglo-Boer War remained poor in Krugersdorp. No special provisions were made to better their plight. They were considered to be a source of labour with no political rights. 

Krugersdorp did have all the elements characterising a town, namely cultural, administrative and economical functions, physical structures (buildings and streets) and an orderly settlement pattern. The development of the town however happened only after the establishment of the Krugersdorp Municipality in 1903 and the election of a Town Council. At the time Krugersdorp had 19 483 inhabitants, of which 3 224 people were under the age of fifteen and 16 259 above the age of fifteen. The total population is reflected in the table below:55

Krugersdorp: Bevolkingstatistiek 1903
Ras Mans Vroue Totaal
  3982 2675 6 657
Swart mense 11 307 784 12 091
Bruin mense/Indiers 500 235 735
Totaal 15 789 3694 19 483
Poor social conditions, poverty, unemployment and the lack of proper housing persisted in Krugersdorp among the majority of its inhabitants until late in the 20th Century.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection: Information file K57, Krugersdorp: Oorsprong van naam ,wd.

 TAB, Pretoria, ZAR, band 24: Executive Council resolutions 1886-1889, Resolution, Executive Council, 26 April 1887, Art.327; Resolution, Executive Council, 5 June 1888, Art. 305.

 TAB, Pretoria, ZAR, band 26, J.G. Kotze, Locale Wetten en Volksraadbesluiten der Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek 1886-1887, Art.24, Act. No. 8 of 1885, p.67

 M.A. Schutte, Die geskiedenis van Krugersdorp ..., p.12

 M.A. Schutte, Die geskiedenis van Krugersdorp ..., p.20

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection: Information file K13, Krugersdorp, vroeë geskiedenis, wd.

 M.A. Schutte, Die geskiedenis van Krugersdorp ..., pp.24-32; Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection: Information file K24, Krugersdorp, Akte van Transport, wd.

 TAB, Pretoria, MKR, band 2/3/1/119, Correspondence G9, Konsep dorpsbeplanningskema, Maart 1939.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Mayor's Minute for the year ending 31 October 1908, p.24

 TAB, Pretoria, ZAR, band 92, pamphlet, W. Harcourt, Een banier dragger der geregtigheid.

 TAB, Pretoria, ZAR, band 92, vol.2, Telegram No. 61, pp.44-46. See also H.M. Hole, The Jameson Raid.

 TAB, Pretoria, ZAR, band 92, vol.2, Telegram No. 24, p.8; Telegram Nr. 37, p.12.

 H.M. Hole, The Jameson Raid, p.180.

 TAB, Pretoria, ZAR, band 92, Telegram No. 29-34, pp.10,11.

 TAB, Pretoria, ZAR, band 92, Telegram No. 46-48, p15.

 TAB, Pretoria, ZAR, band 92, Telegram No. 49, p.16.

 H.M. Hole, The Jameson Raid, p.174; T.V. Bulpin, Lost trails of the Transvaal, p.353; Library Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, J.H. Zeederberg, "The Jameson Raid changed S.A. history", The Star, 10 Dec. 1965.

 C.N.J. du Plessis, Uit die geskiedenis van de Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek e van de Afrikaanders, pp.168-170; TAB, Pretoria, ZAR, band 92, Telegram No.50, p.36.

 .M. Hole, The Jameson Raid, p.191

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Information file K20, "A women pioneer's early recollections: Mrs. Honora Wiltshire's impressions of Krugersdorp", The Standard and West Rand Review, 17 September 1937.

 H.M. Hole, The Jameson Raid, pp.166-176.

 T. Cameron & S.B. Spies, Nuwe geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika in word en beeld, p.192.

 A.J.H. van der Walt, "Vier jare van spanning", A.J.H. van der Walt, e.a. Geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika, Derde bygewerkte uitgawe, Tweede druk, p.406.

 J.M.H. van Aardt, Die aandeel van die Krugersdorp kommando aan die Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, 1899-1902 (unpublished M.A.-thesis, PU for CHE, 1950); J.G.C. Kemp, Vir vryheid en vir reg.

 W. de Klerk, Krugersdorp 100 jaar/years, pp.61,62.

 J.M.H. van Aardt, Die aandeel van die Krugersdorp kommando aan die Tweede Vryheidsoorlog, 1899-1902 (unpublished M.A.-thesis, PU for CHE, 1950)

 Trenchard became later, during the First World War, the first commander of the British Royal Air Force.

 The names of the fallen soldiers appear on a memorial stone in the Krugersdorp Cemetery.

 T. Pakenham, The Boer War, illustrated edition. Pp.242-243.

 M.A. Schutte, Die geskiedenis van Krugersdorp ..., pp.92-119.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Information file A14, Anglo-Boer War, wd.

 M.A. Schutte, Die geskiedenis van Krugersdorp ..., pp.92-119; Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Information file A14, Anglo-Boer War, wd

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Information file A14, Anglo-Boer War, wd.

 M.A. Schutte, Die geskiedenis van Krugersdorp ..., pp.110-112.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Mayor's Minutes for the year ending 25 October 1904, p.3.

 The possibility exist that they made use of dogs to carry messages to burghers in the veldt as British soldiers were instructed to shot all dogs found in the veldt. No proof of this assumption could however be found.

 TAB, Pretoria, PM, band 6, ref.429, Report Lt. Col. H.T. Hicks (Krugersdorp)-Provost Marshall, 1 Des. 1901.

 J.H. Dippenaar, Onderwys van Blankes in Krugersdorp, 1887-1939, pp.101-102.

 T. Pakenham, Die tweede Anglo-Boereoorlog" ..., p.214.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Information file C13, Coronation Park, wd.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Information file C13, Coronation Park, wd.

 National War Museum of the Boer Republics, Bloemfontein, band OM 5890/89, Letter: C.S.E. Ackerman - Organizers of Memorial Celebrations, Krugersdorp Concentration Camp, 1982.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Information file C20, Concentration Camp, wd.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Information file C20, Concentration Camp, wd

 National War Museum of the Boer Republics, Bloemfontein, band OM 5890/89, Letter: C.S.E. Ackerman - Organizers of Memorial Celebrations, Krugersdorp Concentration Camp, 1982.

 National War Museum of the Boer Republics, Bloemfontein, band OM 5890/89, Letter: H.J. van Jaarsveld - Organizers of Memorial Celebrations, Krugersdorp Concentration Camp, 1982.

 F.C. Symington, Die konsentrasiekampskole in die Transvaal en Oranje-Vrystaat, pp.44-72.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Information file C20, Concentration Camp, wd

 TAB, Pretoria, LTG, band 124, ref. 115/31, Letter: Secretary, Attorney general - Secretary Lieutenant-governor, 24 October 1902.

 TAB, Pretoria, SNA, band 59, ref. 2097/01, Report De Lotbiniëre - High Commissioner, December 1901.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Information file C20, Newspaper clipping: Die Beeld, 3 Jul. 1990; P. Warwick, Black people in the South-African War, 1899-1902, p.156.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Information file C20, Concentration Camp, wd

 S.J. Esterhuizen, Die ekonomiese en maatskaplike toestande na die Anglo-Boereoorlog, p.70.

 Library, Krugersdorp, Africana Collection, Mayor's minute for the period ending 25 October 1904. p.30.

 Library, Krugersdorp Africana Collection, Mayor's minute for the period ending 25 October 1904. p.2.


copyright © 2004 Janetta du Plooy

Druk E-Pos

Anglican Church Records In Simonstown

published in Familia vol. 9, no. 1, 1972, p. 14-15

Records relating to births, confirmations, marriages and burials in the Anglican Parish of Simonstown in accordance with the rites of the Anglican Communion:-

1. Combined registers of baptisms, marriages and burials:-

a. Military from 20/12/1813 to -/-/1830.

b. Civil from 16/2/1814 to 24/7/1831.

c. General from -/-/1831 to -/-/1849.

2. Baptism registers: -

a. From 2/4/1849 to 29/2/1908.

b. From 1/3/1908 to 7/8/1932

c. From 7/8 /193 2 to 2/7/1944.

d. From 2/7/1944 to 28/9/1954.

e. From 10/10/1954 to 10/3/1968.

f. From 10/3/1968 to present date.

3. Registers of confirmations in St Frances/St Francis of Assisi Church, Simonstown: -

a. From 7/4/1876 to 26/10/1897.

b. From -/-/1899 to -/-/1942.

c. From 27/2/1944 to 11/12/1957.

d. From 15/10/1958 to present date.

4. Registers (in respect of St Frances/St Francis of Assisi Church, Simonstown) of questions to be asked (of persons desirous of being married) before solemnization of Holy Matrimony:-

a. From 13/4/1904 to 20/6/1905.

b. From 21/8/1918 to 15/11/1924.

c. From 9/11/1940 to 7/7/1953.

d. From -/-/1964 to -/-/1969.

e. From -/-/1969 to present date.

5. Registers of banns of marriage published in St Frances/St Francis of Assisi Church, Simonstown :-

a. From 15/4/1849 to 16/7/1916.

b. From 16/7/1916 to 28/6/1942.

c. From -/-/1958to-/-/1969.

d. From -/-/1969 to present date.

6. Registers of marriages in St Frances/St Francis of Assisi Church Simonstown:-

a. From 30/4/1849 to 7/1/1908.

b. From 25/3/1908 to 27/12/1955.

c. From 7/1/1956 to 29/6/1963.

d. From 12/10/1963 to present date.

7. Burial registers: -

a. From -/-/1849 to -/-/1867.

b. From -/-/1849 to -/-/1927.

8. Records in respect of Anglican cemeteries and graves at Simonstown:-

a. Book containing:-

1. Alphabetical and numerical index of graves in upper portion of new cemetery.

2. Record of burials:-

(1) In old cemetery.

(2) In lower portion of new cemetery from -/12/1903.

b. Plan of new cemetery Girca 1906.

H. E. Wraige (Rector of Simonstown)

Druk E-Pos


This article was originally printed in the July 2007 issue of genesis, the quarterly journal of eGGSA, internet branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa.

Die Nederlandse Weesmeisies is deel van die mitologie van die vroeë Kaapse genealogie. Volgens J.A. Heese[1]: 'Colenbrander en baie ander navorsers oor die samestelling van die Afrikaanse volk, heg baie waarde aan die feit dat daar in Simon van der Stel se tyd aan die Kaap, talle Hollandse weesmeisies na Suid-Afrika gestuur is, om die ongetroude vryburgers van vroue to voorsien.' Hierdie artikel bespreek die getalle van hierdie weesmeisies asook wie hul afstammelinge was.

The Dutch Weesmeisies (girls from an orphanage) have become part of the mythology of early Cape ancestry. As J.A.Heese writes[1]: 'Colenbrander and many other researchers into the composition of the Afrikaners attach much value to the fact that during Simon van der Stel's time at the Cape, quantities of Dutch orphan girls were sent to South Africa, in order to provide wives for the unmarried free settlers'. This article covers how many such orphan girls there in fact were, and who their descendants are.

As a result, it seems, any woman of unidentified origins has often been labelled a 'weesmeisie'. If you do a Google search for 'weesmeisie', for instance, the largest number of entries will refer to Maria Kickers. As you will see if you read on, she was not one of the Weesmeisies (as defined above). It is not known how or when she arrived at the Cape. It seems because of this someone in the past decided to include her in the Weesmeisie category and that this epithet has stuck and been endlessly copied without further investigation. Other such examples are also to be found.

It seems, in fact, that there were only eight of these girls imported from an orphanage in Rotterdam who arrived during 1688.

C.G.de Wet writes[2] :

'Jan van Riebeeck had already in 1659 requested that the Council of Seventeen (of the Dutch East India Company) send out at least 20 marriageable girls from Europe to the Cape settlement. In 1685 Simon van der Stel made a similar request, differing in that he asked for between 30 and 40 girls. The Council of Seventeen reacted favourably to this request and decided to send 40 farm girls to the Cape. Suitable girls were apparently no so readily obtainable and in the event only 8 orphan girls from Rotterdam,

Ariaantje Jansz van Son,

Willemijntje Ariens de Wit,

Ariaantje Jacobsz van den Berg,

Judith Jansz Verbeek,

Petronella Cornelisz van de Capelle,

Intjen Cornelisz van der Bout,

Catharina Jansz van der Zee and

Anna Eltrop

departed in December 1687 on the ship 'China' for the Cape. By October 1688 six of them had already married and the last of the eight was married on 8 May 1689. The orphan girls were in fact so few that they resulted in no noticeable improvement in the shortage of marriageable women in the Cape settlement'.

J.A.Heese in his article[1](based on an article in the Zuid-Afrikaansche Tijdschrift of 1882) gives a list of 10 young women:

Willemijntjie Ariens de Wit

Adriaantjie Jacobs

Catharina van der Zee

Anna Eltrop van Kleef

Engelte Cornelissen

Adriaante Janse

Adriana van Zon

Petronella van Capelle

Judith van der Bout and

Judith Verbeek

but since his Engelte Cornelissen and Judith van der Bout are probably two readings of the same name, i.e.. Engeltje Cornelisse van der Bout, and the same is the case for his Adriaante Janse and Adriana van Zon, whose name was, in fact, Adriaantje Jansz van Zon, we seem to have the same list in both accounts.

Geoffrey Dean [3] supplies a translation of an extract from the letter listing the young women:

... we now therefore have favoured eight young women with a passage to the Cape of Good Hope on the ship China (which is a large vessel) ... and they are to remain at the Cape for the above purpose under a five-year contract ... The names are:

Ariaentgen Jansz van Son van Rotterdam

Willemtgen Arijens de Wit d[it]o.

Arijaentgen Jacobs van den Berg d[it]o.

Judith Jansz verbeecq d[it]o.

Petronelle Cornelis van Capelle d[it]o.

Jongetgen Cornelis van den bout d[it]o.

Catharina Jans van der Zee d[it]o. and

Anna Eltrap van Kleef d[it]o.

conversant with (farm work and) the cultivation of the soil. And it is the intention of the Lords 17 to employ these and other young women as agriculturists. We therefore request and earnestly recommend to you that you see that they are suitably placed, or if they marry, see that they do so with honest, capable and industrious men engaged in farming or of definite intention to undertake such work, and with whom these young women may be able to make a living, while (at the same time) as far as possible dissuading them from marriage with military men, as this is not within the intentions of the Lords Seventeen.

In the meantime, and until the marriage of these young women, it is incumbent upon you to provide them with the necessary sustenance and housing, maintaining such discipline you may deem suitable, and providing them appropriate handiwork or honest employment, so that their occupations and deportment may further their own advancement; and the management and conducting of this recommendation we entrust to your 'Honours' discretion. [4]

De Wet supplies source references for his list.[5] I have not been able to examine the originals but I have found him on the whole punctilious and accurate as to his sources. Heese provides no other source than the Zuid-Afrikaansche Tijdschrift of 1882.

De Wet gives us no further information on these young women, but Heese gives a short statement on each of them. I shall preface each of his statements with the label 'Heese states' and follow it with comments based on my own research.

Heese states: Willemijntjie Ariens de Wit was married to Detlev Biebow. Their daughter Maria was the stammoeder of the De Vos family.

This statement is incorrect.

Wilhelmina Adriaanse de Wit, born Rotterdam, died circa June 1727 [6]

married (1) 24 December 1688 at Cape Town [7]

Dideloff Bibouw, surgeon, of The Corner of Tweede Berg Dwars Straat, Table Valley, died circa 1695[8]

married (2) 2 October 1695 at Cape Town

Jacob Pleunis

The children of Wilhelmina Adriaanse de Wit and Dideloff Bibouw:

Hendrik Bibouw, baptized 28 May 1690, Cape Town

Maria Bibouw, baptized 2 March 1692, Cape Town, died circa 1713 [9]

married 25 March 1708 Cape Town

Philip Morkel, constable on the returning ship 'Oosterstein'

Cornelis Bibouw, baptized 7 March 1694, Cape Town, died before September 1695

Anna Bibouw, baptized 21 August 1695, Cape Town

The child of Wilhelmina Adriaanse de Wit and Jacob Pleunis:

Johannes Pleunis, boekhouder (1727) [10]

He left a number of daughters who married. I do not know if there are living descendants or not.

It was, in fact, the only surviving child of her daughter Maria Bibouw, namely her granddaughter Elisabeth Morkel, who married Wouter de Vos on 5 September 1728 at Stellenbosch as his second wife. Elisabeth Morkel is, therefore, joint stammoeder of the De Vos family, sharing this honour with Maria Sophia van der Bijl, his first wife. Elizabeth Morkel herself married a second time to Johannes Louw Jacobsz: circa 1732 and also has a very large number of descendants from that marriage.

Heese states: Adriaantjie Jacobs (later known as the carrier of porfiria) was the stammoeder of the Van Deventer family.

She was indeed the stammoeder of this family and has many descendants. For a good deal more information about her, see the article 'Die Stammoeder Ariaentjie Jacobs of te wel Ariaentjie Ariens' by N.A. Coetzee in Familia XV 1978 no 1. Some of the author's conclusions, particularly as to names and patronyms seem to me, on the face of it, dubious, but there are no sources stated and I have done no research into this area, so merely note this here.

As to being the carrier of porphyria, although Geoffrey Dean traced the origian of porphyria variegata in the South African population back to she and her husband, Gerrit Jansz van Deventer, he states that there is no evidence as to which of this pair was the actual carrier of the gene. [3]

Heese states: Catharina van der Zee was married to Jan Visser and thus stammoeder of that branch of the Vissers. Only b5.3 has descendants in South Africa today.

My research indicates that his couple had the following family:

Catrina Janse van der Zee, born Rotterdam

married 8 May 1689 at Cape Town

Jan Jansz Visser, baptized 16 January 1667, Cape Town

They had seven children baptised at the Cape:

Jannetie Visser, baptized 5 March 1690, Cape Town

Zacharia Visser, baptized 1 April 1691, Cape Town

Johannes Visser, baptized 29 November 1693, Cape Town

Willem Visser, baptized 26 August 1696, Cape Town

Geertruyd Visser, baptized 31 May 1699, Cape Town

Catrina Visser, baptized 20 August 1702, Cape Town

Willem Visser, baptized 17 July 1705, Cape Town

But this couple and their children disappear from the Cape Records after 1708. They made their last opgaaf return in 1705, when they were recorded as having one son and three daughters, and they last appear in the muster rolls, living at the Cape, on 31st January 1708. After that there is no record of them at the Cape. Did they move on to Batavia or repatriate? There is the following entry in the Cape Town Congregation membership register of 1696-1712, page 121: 1708, 27 June, Johannes Visscher, onder-coopman, met attest[atie] vertrokken, but whether it applies to them I do now know. So far as I can establish they left no descendants at the Cape.

Heese states: Anna Eltrop van Kleef was married to Andries Beets but had no descendants.

The marriage appears in the Cape Town church register, 1688, page 85

Den 26 7ber (September) Andries Be[ets] van Mastrigt J.M. vrijborger aan de Caap met Anna Elkop J.D. van Cleef.

This would imply that her name was Anna Eltrop/Elkop (as given by C.G.de Wet) the van Cleef being her place of birth. I can find no baptisms of any children to this couple, so must agree that they left no known descendants at the Cape.

Heese states: Adriaante Janse. She married Albert Holder. They had two daughters but did not establish a progeny.

Her marriages and family were as follows:

Ariaantie Jansz van Son, born circa 1659, Rotterdam, died circa April 1731 [11]

married (1) 16 October 1688 at Cape Town

Aelbert Holder, born Bremen, burger of Stellenbosch, died circa 1697 [12]

married (2) 4 December 1701 at Stellenbosch

Pieter Malmer

The children of Ariaantie Jansz van Son and Aelbert Holder:

Heijltje Holder, born circa 1689 [12], died 1713 [13]

married 1 February 1709 at Stellenbosch

Allardus Bartholomeus Coopman, born Utrecht, died circa 1720

This couple had two daughters, both named Ariaantje and both of whom seem to have died in infancy. Allardus Bartholomeus Coopman married again circa 1715.

Trijntjen Holder born circa 1691 [12]

Maria Holder born circa 1693 [12]

Rebecca Holder born circa 1695 [12]

Alberdina Holder born circa 1697 [12]

Rebecca Holder attained adulthood since she appears as a witness at the baptism of Ariaantie, daughter of Allardus Bartholomeus & Elsje (sic) Holders, 8th November 1711, but apart from Heijltje, they do not appear to have married, and none seems to have left descendants. Perhaps they all died in the smallpox epidemic of 1713.

The children of Ariaantie Jansz van Son and Pieter Malmer:

Pieter Malmer [14]

Johannes Malmer [11] born circa 1707 [15], died circa 1772 in the Swellendam district.

In her will of 1730 [11] Ariaantie stated that since her two sons lacked the ability to manage their inheritance, she named the heemraad Jan Nel as guardian and controller of their inheritances.

Ariaantie Jansz van Son seems to have left no descendants beyond her children.

Heese states: Engelte Cornelissen was married to Bart Koopman. Although they had three children this family did not survive to propagate in South Africa.

Engeltje Cornelisz van der Bout, born Rotterdam

married (1) 11 October 1688 at Stellenbosch

Bartholomeus Jansz Coopman, blacksmith, born Utrecht (he was a widower at the time of his marriage.)

married (2) 19 November 1719 at Stellenbosch

Hans Carelse van den Burgh, died circa 1725 [16]

The children of Engeltje Cornelisz van der Bout and Bartholomeus Jansz Coopman:

b1. Annetie Coopman, baptized 20 August 1690, Cape Town,

probably died before 1698 [17]

b2. Cornelis Koopman, baptized 24 October 1691, Cape Town, died circa 1771 [18]

extra-marital relationship (1)

Anna van de Caab, died before 1759 [18]

married (2) 12 April 1761 Swartland

Catharijn Thomasse

Many descendants. See my web site: Cornelis Koopman

b3. Francina Coopman, baptized 14 September 1694, Stellenbosch

married 5 July 1709 Castle, Cape Town

Jacob Hendrikse

There was one child of this marriage, Hendrik Jacobs Hendrikse, but whether he left descendants I do not know.

b4. Anna Maria Coopman, baptized 17 July 1695, Cape Town [19]

married 10 January 1712 Stellenbosch

Pieter Zaaijman

All the South African Zaaimans/Saaimans are descended from this couple. See my web site: Anna Maria Coopman

b5. Catharina Coopman [20], born at the Cape

married 22 September 1715 Stellenbosch

Simon Pieterse Plooij died circa 1733 [21]

A large progeny. See my web site: Catharina Coopman

b6. Matien Coopman, baptized January 1700, Stellenbosch

b7. Johannes Coopman born, baptized 9 January 1701, Stellenbosch

b8. Annetje Coopman, baptized 4 March 1708, Cape Town

The children of Engeltje Cornelisz van der Bout and Hans Carelse van Den Burgh:

b1. Hendrik Carelse van den Burgh, baptized 19 November 1719, Stellenbosch

b2. Anna Carelse van den Burgh [18]

Heese states: I could find no records of marriage for the other four orphan girls .

They are: Adriana van Zon, Judith van der Bout, Petronella van Capelle and Judith Verbeek.

The first two are duplicates of two already dealt with above, as previously mentioned.

Petronella van Capelle

I also can find nothing about her.

For Judith Verbeek

I have not found a marriage, but I have found the following baptism, but no further record, at the Cape, of this couple or their child:

Cape Town, baptisms, 1693, page 50: Den delfde(sic) Dito (16 Aug) Een kindt gedoopt waervan vader is Wille[m] Duijsert, de moeder Judith Verbeek, tot getuijge stondt Dirk Mol, ende Daentie Rijkes ende is genaemt Cornelis

Heese states: Of the ten weesmeisies were there thus only three who were stammoeders of Afrikaner families (his implied list is: Willemijntjie Ariens de Wit, Adriaantjie Jacobs and Catharina van der Zee).

Given that there were in fact only eight of these orphan girls (see above) there would still seem to have been only three who contributed to the general population of South Africa, although Heese and I differ as to the third candidate. My list consists of: Wilhelmina Adriaanse de Wit, Ariaantje Jacobsz van den Berg and Engeltje Cornelisz van der Bout.

Richard Ball, Norfolk, England

copyright 2007

There have been a number of queries regarding the Weesmeisies on the various South Africa interest Genealogy email groups which stimulated my interest in the first place and I then found that most of these women intersected with other aspects of my research. Details of most of the above families, along with detailed references to the original documents on which I have based my conclusions, are to be found on my web site: http://www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk/safamilies

I thank Gerda Pieterse for bringing to my attention the article by J.A.Heese [1] and Colin Pretorius for his help.

Notes and Sources:

(all original document references are from the Cape Archives)

1. J.A.Heese, Die Hollandse Weesmeisies, In: Familia, 1976, no 3. All further quotes from this article, which is written in Afrikaans, are my own translations into English.

2. C.G.de Wet, Die Vryliede en Vryswartes in die Kaapse Nedersetting, 1657-1707, Die Historiese Publikasie-Vereniging, 1981, page 147. (The Free Colonists and Free Blacks in the Cape Colony, 1657-1707). This quotation is my own translation into English of the original Afrikaans text.

3. Geoffrey Dean, The Porphyrias. London, Pitman, 1963. pages 77 – 78

4. Cape Archives: C.416, pp. 1030 to 1032, Letter from the Directors of the Chamber of Rotterdam to Commander Simon van der Stel, Commander at the Cape of Good Hope, and his Council, from the, of the Dutch East India Company, dated 23.12.1687. As quoted in The Porphyrias, by Geoffrey Dean.

5. Cape Archives: C.502 Outgoing Letters. Governor and Council of Policy to the Council of Seventeen, 11.10.1688 and Governor and Council of Policy to the Chamber of Rotterdam, 15.4.1689, pp. 238 and 345-6; C.593 Diary 8.5.1689, p.218.

6. MOOC 13/1/2, 48 Estate Accounts - De Wit, Wilhelmina - 1727

7. I have checked all church register entries used in this article using the VC photocopies held in the Cape Archives: Cape Town: VC 603, VC 604, VC 605, VC 621, Stellenbosch: Palmkronieke 1, Doop Register Stellenbosch 1688-1732, and VC 639 marriages 1700-1788, Drakenstein: VC 644 and VC 654.

8. MOOC 8/1, 14, Inventory - Bibout, Ditloff - 1695

9. MOOC 8/2, 87 Inventory - Bibou, Maria - 1713

10. MOOC 13/1/2, 48 Estate Accounts - De Wit, Wilhelmina - 1727

11. MOOC 7/1/4, 93 - Will - Son, Arriaantje Jansz van - 1730

12. MOOC 8/1, 29 - Inventory - Holder, Albert - 1697

13. Malan, Ockert - Verlore Dokumentasie oor die Gemeente Stellenbosch van 1689 tot 1725: 1713 Heijltie Holder f6 (burial charges). In: Capensis 2/2001: 36-41.

14. Stellenbosch Church Meeting Notes, page 36 and 37, 17 September 1713

15. Stellenbosch Church Meeting Notes, December 1714

16. MOOC 1/4, Weeskamer Notulen, Maandagh den 7e Januarij 1726

17. VC 39, 1698, Cape Muster rolls of Freemen 1660 onwards

18. MOOC 7/1/19, 70 Will - Koopman, Cornelis - dated 1759 and exhibited to the Weeskamer 7th June 1771

19. There is no baptism of an Anna Maria Coopman to be found. My guess is that she is the same person as the daughter baptised 17 July 1695 as Maria Coopman, the more particularly since the baptismal witness on that occasion was one Anna Marie. Catharina Coopman’s first child had baptismal witnesses Maria Zaaijman and Cornelis Coopman (brother), the third had: Sijmon de Plooij en Catryn Coopman (sister and her husband); the fourth had Hans Carelse van der Burg and Engela van' Bout (mother and step father), and the fifth had Jan de Buys, en Francina Coopmans (sister).

20. There is likewise no baptism of a Catharina Coopman to be found but I believe she is in all probability a daughter of this Coopman family. The evidence is slim but I find it convincing. In the Muster Roll of 1719 (VC49, Cape Muster rolls of Freemen 1660 onwards, Stellenbosch, 1719, page 408) she is listed with her husband: Symon Pietersz Plooy & Catharina Bartholomeus. Thus she is given the patronym (father’s name) of Bartholomeus. She was also a witness at the baptism of Catrijn Zaaijman, daughter of Anna Maria Coopman, on 22 October 1719. Being witness at a baptism was an honour usually accorded to members of the family. She herself did not, apparently, have any of her family as baptismal witnesses for her own children.

21. MOOC 8/5, 115 Inventory - Plooij Simon - 1733

Druk E-Pos

Traditional Naming Patterns


originally printed in the October 2007 issue of genesis, the quarterly journal of eGGSA,
internet branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa

This article discusses the traditional way of naming children, and gives examples of how it can be used to guide genealogy research.

Many, if not most, South African families of European descent named their children according to European tradition. This tradition was strong in Ireland and Scotland (less so in England) across to eastern Europe, including the Netherlands and Germany. In South Africa, the custom seems to be most prevalent from about the mid 1700’s to the first part of the 20th Century.

The naming pattern is shown in the following table.


Named for

1st Son

Father’s father

2nd Son

Mother’s father

3rd Son


4th Son

Father’s eldest brother

5th Son

Mother’s eldest brother



1st Daughter

Mother’s mother

2nd Daughter

Father’s mother

3rd Daughter


4th Daughter

Mother’s eldest sister

5th Daughter

Father’s eldest sister

Additional children continue the pattern, being named after the next eldest siblings of the father and mother.

Names are usually not used more than once. So, the first son of a first son would carry the names of both his father and his paternal grandfather. The third son would be named for the father's eldest brother (and hence also for his father's maternal grandfather).

The naming pattern can be very useful:

1. To establish the birth order of children.

2. To identify the parents and siblings of the mother and father.

3. To unravel the children of a first and second marriage.

In some cases, the naming pattern seems to apply partially, or the names are out of order. This may be a clue that one or more children died young. (Note that Wills, Death Notices and census records include only those living at the time.) For example, suppose the first three sons in a Death Notice are named:


Named for

1st Son

Mother’s father

2nd Son


3rd Son

Father’s father

<P< p>

One might guess that there was another son, born before the first listed above, and who died young, perhaps after the birth of the second listed above. So, if names are reused, the pattern will be out of order; if not, there will be gaps.

This naming pattern is both a blessing and a curse for the genealogist. The blessings are given above, and below in the examples. The curse is that it causes many family members to have the same name, and it becomes very difficult to distinguish people. For example, if two brothers marry two sisters (and use the naming pattern) many of their children will have the same names, have similar birth dates, and will likely have lived in the same area.

It is very important to look at the baptism registers, and to note the names of the witnesses. The reason is that the persons for whom the child was named usually appeared as witnesses with their spouses. Thus, the witnesses at the baptism of a first son of a second son would be the parents of the father, and possibly also the father's elder brother (and his wife, if married).

For example, the first child of Hendrik CLOETE and Maria Josina Christina WATNEY was baptised as Jan Gerhard in Durbanville on 29 July 1855. The witnesses were:

1. Anna Petronella Ulrica KUCHLER, widow of the deceased Jan Gerhard Cloete, Hendrik's son, and

2. Jan Gerhard CLOETE, Jan Gerhard's son.

These are clearly the mother and brother of the father of the child. This evidence helped to correct an error in the published Cloete genealogy [1].

Another example is the family of b1c7 Marthinus Gerhardus OOSTHUIZEN (baptized 1752), as listed in both de Villiers / Pama [2] and in SA Genealogies [3]. He is said to have had sixteen children, baptised between 1775 and 1803. The date of his second marriage is not given. Which children belong to which wife?

The bigger question, noted by Ariel Rudolph, is that his first wife, Hester Cecilia Olivier, remarried Johannes Petrus Meintjes on 23.9.1792, and had two (additional) children [4]. It would have been highly unusual for a couple to be divorced, and for both to then remarry and have additional children. What actually happened?

The sixteen children, as given in SA Genealogies, are listed in the next table.



Father’s Name?

Mother’s Name?


Anna Cecilia = 16.12.1775

Marthinus Jacobus Wynand Petrus [5]

Hester Cecilia [5]


Ockert Johannes = 3.5.1778

Marthinus Jacobus [3]

Hester Cecilia [3]


Gerhardus Frederik = 9.7.1780




Marthinus Rudolph Jacobus = 8.4.1781

Marthinus Rudolph Jacobus [3]

Hester Cecilia [3]


Hester Adriana = 30.3.1782




Gerrit Johannes = 18.5.1783




Magdalena Margaretha = 26.9.1784


Barbara Magdalena [6]


Hester Hendrina Elisabeth = 18.3.1787




Nicolaas Johannes = 29.7.1788




Barbara Petronella = 6.5.1790

Marthinus [7]

Barbara Petronella [7]


Willem Maartens = 17.1.1791

Marthinus Johannes Petrus [3]

Hester Cecilia [3]


Johanna Wilhelmina * 30.6.1793




Elsie Jacomina = 14.6.1795




Marthinus Gerhardus = 6.8.1797

Marthinus Gerhardus [3]

Barbara Nicolasina Henrietta [3]


Nicolaas Jacobus = 12.1.1800

Nicolaas Jacobus [3]



Adriana Susanna = 6.3.1803

Marthinus Gerhardus [8]


For each of the children, we looked at the names of their children. For example, the first child, Anna Cecilia, married Johannes Jacob NORTJÉ. Her first daughter was named Hester Cecilia, her second son was Marthinus Jacobus Wynand Petrus. (Examination of the names of other children, not shown in the table, enabled us to assess whether the naming pattern was being used or not.)

Hester Cecilia Olivier remarried before the baptism of d13 above. The glaring problem is that Marthinus’ first few children by Barbara appear to be born before his last child by Hester. We noted that the father of Hester’s children was likely Marthinus Jacobus, and the father of Barbara’s children was likely Marthinus Gerhardus. So, we inferred that these might be two different families, and that the husbands of Hester Olivier and Barbara van Rensburg were not the same man.

Indeed, our subsequent research [9] showed that Hester Cecilia's first husband was deceased at the time of her remarriage, and that the children named above are from more than one family.

Certainly, this naming pattern does not prove any fact. But, it can suggest strong circumstantial evidence, and does provide good indications for further research.

Keith Meintjes, Hierdie e-posadres word van Spambotte beskerm. Jy moet JavaScript ontsper om dit te lees., and Ariel Rudolph, Hierdie e-posadres word van Spambotte beskerm. Jy moet JavaScript ontsper om dit te lees.


[1] Keith Meintjes, 'The families of Hendrik Cloete and his wife, Maria Josina Christina Watney', Familia 43 (4), p. 155 (2006).

[2] C.C. de Villiers, 'Genealogies of Old South African Families', edited by C. Pama, Balkema (1981).

[3] J.A. Heese, South African Genealogies 6, edited by GISA, Genealogical Institute of South Africa (2001), p. 145 (Oosthuizen).

[4] Johann Meintjes, 'Meintjes 1675 - 1971', edited by Keith Meintjes (2004), p.27. Available (free) at www.eggsa.org.

[5] J.A. Heese, South African Genealogies 6, edited by GISA, Genealogical Institute of South Africa (2001), p. 447 (Nortjé).

[6] J.A. Heese and R.T.J. Lombard, South African Genealogies 1, Protea Book House (1999), p. 324 (Bonnet).

[7] J.A. Heese, South African Genealogies 6, edited by GISA, Genealogical Institute of South Africa (2001), p. 140 (Oosthuizen).

[8] J.A. Heese, South African Genealogies 6, edited by GISA, Genealogical Institute of South Africa (2001), p. 130 (van Onselen).

[9] Ariel Rudolph and Keith Meintjes, 'Martinus Gerhardus Oosthuizen b1c7 (1752 - 1838)', genesis 14 (2007).

Druk E-Pos

The Names and Genealogies of those involved in the Massacre at Zuurberg.

an appendix to his article on this subject.

This list of names has been compiled from various sources by Keith Meintjes as discussed in his article, The Massacre at Zuurberg. He has added genealogical information where he has been able to ascertain this. (information last updated 10 March 2011)

If you can add to this information or these genealogies, please contact him via eGGSA.

BOTHA, Philip (killed)

BOTHA, Piet (killed)

BUYS, Philip (killed) - Possibly a son of b3 c1 d4 Coenraad de Buys, see [DSAB 2, p. 163]. In the Dutch original of CO 2580 he is "een Bastaard", and in the English version he is "a Baster Hottentot". See also [SAG 1, pp.523-4].

DU PLESSIS, Jacobus (killed)

DU PLESSIS Paul (escaped) - Daniel Jacobs has provided an article [Jacobs 1, pp. 140-143] in which Paul Jacobus Erasmus says, "Myn grootvader Paul du Plessis had op vele kommando's gegaan en by Doornek is hy die enigste man die uitgekom is toen Landdros Stockenström met dertien vermoor is …". His parents were Carel Stephanus Erasmus and Sara Johanna du Plessis [Jacobs 2, p. 120], leading immediately to:
b1 c5 d5 e3 Paulus Jacobus du Plessis = Tulbagh 19.9.1779, son of Johannes Petrus du Plessis and Susanna Johanna de Wet [SAG 8, p. 135].

ERASMUS, Cornelis (wounded)

GREYLING, Johan Christiaan (killed)
b11 c2 Jan Christoffel, = 5.9.1779, son of Abraham Carel Greyling and Geertruy Botma. He married Magdalena Johanna de Wet. In 1814 she remarried Piet Retief, the Voortrekker leader. [SAG 2, p.543; Visagie, p. 195]

HATTINGH, Michiel (killed)

KRUGEL, Andries (wounded)

LYSTER, T. (informant) - Probably Thomas Lyster. In 1810 he was a Major in the Cape Corps. [Stockenström, p. 53].

MARÉ, P (official)

MEINTJES, H. A. (official) - Probably a1b4c1d3 Hendrik Adriaan Meintjes = 11.10.1772. [SAG 5, p.513].

POTGIETER, Jacobus (killed)
b7 c8 d6 Jacobus Christoffel Potgieter, = 6.4.1765, son of Jacobus Potgieter and Clara Isabella du Preez [SAG 8, p.276], and uncle of (d7 e2) Andries Potgieter, the Voortrekker leader. [SAG 8, p.284; Visagie, p. 168].

PRETORIUS, W. S. (official)

PRETORIUS, Willem (killed)

RABIE, J. B. (official)

ROBBERTS, Christiaan (escaped)  - Probably b1 c7 d10 Christiaan Stephanus Robberts, = 17.9.1789, son of Jan Hendrik Robberts and Geertruy Jacoba van der Linde [deV/P, p. 783].

STOCKENSTRÖM, Anders (killed) - Anders Stockenström, * Sweden 6.1.17 - 57, son of Anders Anderssen Stockenström and Catharina Margareta Eckman, married 1.6.1786 Maria Broeders [DSAB 1, p. 773]. At the time of his death, Anders was Landdrost of Graaff-Reinet and his son, Andries, was serving as his aide-de-camp. Andries was to become Lieutenant Governor of the Eastern Cape and, later, Sir Andries, baronet. He died in London and is buried there [DSAB 1, p.774]. See also [SAG 12, p. 270].

VAN HEERDEN, Isaac (killed)


[deV/P] C.C. de Villiers, "Genealogies of Old South African Families", edited by C. Pama. A.A. Balkema, Cape Town, 1981.

[DSAB] "Dictionary of South African Biography". Human Sciences Research Council, Pretoria. In 5 Volumes, 1968 - 1987.

[SAG] "South African Genealogies". Genealogical Institute of South Africa, Stellenbosch In 12 volumes, 1999 - 2005.

Jacobs, Daniel M, "Die Vosloos, Nuttige Landsburgers". Print24.com, Woodstock. In 2 volumes, 2003.

Stockenström, Andries, "The autobiography of the late Sir Andries Stockenström, Baronet.", edited by C.W. Hutton. Juta, Cape Town, 1887. Facsimile reproduction, Struik, Cape Town, 1964.

Visagie, J.C., "Voortrekker-Stamouers 1835-1845". University of South Africa, Pretoria, 2000.

Druk E-Pos

The Bastroo Family of Mauritius and the Cape


I have been interested for some time in the second VOC settlement on the island of Mauritius1 and collecting what information I could find on the families who lived there, since a number of these families figure among my ancestors.

The family of Bastro or Bastroo kept coming up during these researches and I gathered quite a lot of miscellaneous information about them from various documents in the hopes that Magdalena Munnix, one of my ancestors, might figure among their relations.2

For some unstated reason De Villiers / Pama3 lists this family under the name of Backstroo, a spelling I have not found in the original records. In the Estate Accounts dated 1709 of Magdalena Martinus, her children are given the surname 'Bastroo'8. In the Inventory of 1708 the surname is 'Bastre'.4

Generally speaking, in the earlier documents the name is spelled Bastro and in the later Bastroo. I have used the latter spelling since I assume it represents the pronunciation of their name. The stamvader (founding father) does not seem to have used a surname but a patronym, being known as Laurens Gabrielsz.

I came across the key document needed to connect up all my misellaneous information when I was putting together the photographic reproduction of Cape Archives volume MOOC 13/1/14 when I found the Estate Accounts MOOC 13/1/1, 4, after which I looked for and found the equally key Inventory, MOOC 8/2,27 among those in the TANAP Cape Inventory transcriptions4 recently published online.

I have, therefore, put all this information together here in case if is of interest to other people, although I rather doubt whether this family has any living descendants. I have also included this family on my web site at:
Laurensz Gabrielsz Bastroo

Richard Ball, copyright December 2006

The Family of Bastroo

Laurens Gabrielsz, the stamvader (founding father) of this family, known simply by that name, was already settled on the Island of Mauritius as a free settler with a wife and two children when a census of the inhabitants was compiled in 1677 by the new Commander (opperhoof), Isaac Lamotius, when he took over command of the island. Since their son, Lourens, was born about 1674 in Batavia he and his wife had, presumably, arrived on the island between 1675 and 1677.

He must have died on Mauritius since his widow is found married to Hannes Ossenburgh in the census taken on the island in 1706.

he was married to

Magdalena Martinus born Batavia, died circa October 1708

She, her husband and her sons still living with her, were rehoused to the Cape when the VOC settlement on Mauritius was disbanded at the endo of 1707. Within a year of arriving at the Cape she had died. The inventory of her estate lists 72½ Rixdaalers in cash and a list of miscellaneous household goods and tools.

she remarried

Johannes Ossenbuijl

He (and presumably his wife and children) were taken from the disbanded settlement on Mauritius to the Cape on the ship 'Jerusalem'. At a farewell dinner given by Momber for ship's officers and the departing freemen, apparently in the first half of November 1707, those firing a volley of nine shots in honour of the Prince of Orange and the Government of India, managed to set fire to the storehouse and the Lodge, burning them to the ground along with their contents, including all the records of the settlement. Some things were saved by the wife of Wijbrandt (he was the second in charge and she was one of the daughters of Maria Jans Visser) and the three sons of Hans Ossenburgh (these would have been the three youngest Bastroo boys).

b1 Lourens Lourensz: Bastroo, born circa 1674 at Batavia

When the abandonment of the VOC settlement on Mauritius was being organised in Novmeber 1707, he chose to be rehoused to Batavia, as did his brother-in-law, Adam Adams.

b2 Ragel Laurense Bastroo, born circa 1680 on Mauritius

married Lourens Lourensz: Paling born Middelburg

They were rehoused to the Cape.

b3 Gabriel Bastroo, born circa 1682 on Mauritius

Assistent in the employ of the VOC which he joined on Mauritius in 1705

he left Mauritius on the ship 'Beverwaart', destination Batavia, in 1709

b4 Hillitje Bastroo, born circa 1683 on Mauritius

married Adam Adamse born Mauritius

When the abandonment of the VOC settlement on Mauritius was being organised in Novmeber 1707, he chose to be rehoused to Batavia, as did his brother-in-law, Lourens Bastro

b5 Martinus Bastroo, born circa 1685 on Mauritius, died circa 1761

married 12 August 1714 at Cape Town

Catharina Hector, died circa 1730

c1 Laurens Bastroo, born 1715 at the Cape, baptized 19 May 1715, Cape Town

married Lasija Buijs, who was born at the Cape

c2 Elizabeth Bastroo, born 1716, baptized 29 November 1716, Cape Town

married 7 April 1743 Stellenbosch Nicolaas Mulder

According to De Villiers / Pama they had 5 children baptised (the first certainly in Stellenbosch) between 1743 and 1753, but no descendants are shown.

c3 Gabriel Bastroo, born 1719, baptized 6 August 1719, Cape Town

c4 Cornelis Bastroo, born 1722, baptized 29 March 1722, Cape Town, died before 1761

married Helena van Graan

d1 Marthinus Bastroo

d2 Magdalena Bastroo

c5 Magdalena Bastroo of Cape Town, born 1724, baptized 16 July 1724, Cape Town

died circa August 1755, presumably in the smallpox epidemic of that year

married Hendrik Thomasz:, born Cape Town, died circa 1755

She, and possibly her husband as well, probably died during the 1755 smallpox epidemic and the children seem to have been cared for by their grandfather, Marthinus Bastroo. (MOOC 13/1/4, 23)

According to the inventory drawn up in August 1755 after her death, they owned two houses in Cape Town. The house inventoried, one assumes their dwelling house, was in the usual style of a gallery with a room either side and a room over, plus a kitchen, and seems to have been well furnished. They owned seven slaves.

a1 Catharina Wilhelmina Thomasz: born circa 1746

a2 Hendrik Thomasz: born circa 1748

a3 Marthinus Thomasz: born circa 1751

c6 Catharina Bastroo, born 1727, baptized 5 January 1727, Cape Town

b6 Andries Bastroo born circa 1687, Mauritius, died before November 1714

married 26 June 1712 at Cape Town

Leonora de Vijff

c1 Laurens Bastroo, born 1713, baptized 5 June 1713, Cape Town

b7 Cornelis Bastroo, born circa 1689


Johanna Jansz

The only evidence found so far is the Cape Town baptismal register, there is no marriage registered for this couple. At the muster roll of 31 December 1712, Cornelis Bastroo appears as a single man, in February 1713 his child with Johanna Jansz is baptised. We know no more about any of them. 1713 was the year of the smallpox epidemic. Perhaps they were among the many people who died that year.

c1 Johannes Bastroo, baptised 5 February 1713


1. 1664-1710 D. Sleigh, Die Buiteposte, Proteaboekhuis, 2004, page 643-679

2. a vain hope - she is still, alas, without connections in my research

3. Genealogies of Old South African Families, completely revised edition augmented and rewritten by C. Pama, A.A.Balkema, 1966, page 17.

4. This Inventory I have seen only in transcription (MOOC8/2,27 dated 2nd November 1708, TANAP Inventories of the Orphan Chamber, the Estate Account as a photograph (MOOC 13/1/1,4, dated 1st July 1709, Cape Archives and eGGSA online shop)

5. C313, Incoming Letters, page 869, covering letter dated 3rd October 1677: Lijste der vrijluijden met hun vrouwen,
kinderen, slaven en slavinnen op het Eijland Maurititus (List of the free settlers with their wives, children and slaves on the Island of Mauritius): Laurens Gabrielsz: 1 wife, 2 children, 1 slave.

6. Cape Archives, C383, pp. 12-13, Opgaaf (census), Mauritius, dated 31st December 1706, signed G. Wijbrandtsz:-

At the Noordwesthaven:
Adam Adamse van Mauritius, and wife Hilla Bastro van [Mauritius], 1 son, 3 daughters, 2 slaves, 8 cattle ...
On De Vlackte:
Johannes Osenbuijl and wife Madelena Martijnsis van Batavia, 3 sons, no daughters, 4 slaves, 40 cattle
Lourens Lourensz: Paling van Middelburg and wife Ragel Lourense Bastro van Mauritius, 2 sons, 4 daughters, 3 slaves, 20 cattle ...
Laurens Lourensz: Bastro van Batavia} partners
Jacob de Groot van Dort }

7. Cape Archives, MOOC 8/2, 27, Inventory - Marthinus, Magdalena, dated 2 November 1708, transcription via TANAP the web site.
Inventaris der goederen nagelaten en met de dood ontruijmd bij Magdalena Marthinus ten voordele van haare egte man Johannes Ossenbuijl ter ener, en seven voorkinderen geprocrieert bij haar eerste man Lourens Gabrielsz: genaamd
Lourens oud 34,
Ragel 28
Gabriel 26
Hillitie 25
Martinus 23
Andries 21 en
Cornelis Bastre oud 19 jaaren
ter andere zijde

8. Cape Archives, MOOC 13/1/1, 4, Estate Accounts, Martinus, Magdalena, dated 1st July 1709

from: eGGSA Archives CD no.1, MOOC 13/1/1 Boedelrekeningen.

Magdalena Martinus in gemeenschap b[ ]ten met haar man Johannes Ossenbuijl ten boehoeve van haer 7 voorkinderen by den Inventaris beken[t ] welke goederen op den 28e November 1708, ten overstaen van gecommitt[eerd]e Weesmeesteren publicq zijn verkogt.

9. Leibbrandt,H.C.V., Letters Received, 1695-1708, page 451-453

10. D.Sleigh, Die Buitenposten, page 670

11. Cape Archives, C383, Letters Received, (?page 99): Generaale monster roll van alle 's Comp[agnie]s dienaaren, sodaanig deselve onder dato ult[i]mo Junij A[nn]o 1707 allomme int bijweesen onser gecommitteerd[ ] ens, in weesen bevonden zijn waar bij distinctelijk iders beschijden plaats boven aangesteld, zijnde met haar naam, toenaam, geboorte plaats, qualiteijt en gagie ...
Gabriel Laurens Bastro van Mauritius, f9, waar beschijden en dienst doen: aan de Logie, in dienst, met wat schip uijtgekoomen: aangenomen, 1705, voor': soldt. f.9, voor wat camer: Amst.
(born: Mauritius, position: Pl. Assistent, salary: f.9, located at the Lodge, working there, joined here, in 1705, as a soldier at f 9, under the chamber of Amsterdam)

12. Uitgevaren voor des Kamers). when he was Persoonsgegevens van Gabriel Lourensz Bastro Herkomst: Mauritius Rang: Assistant Datum einde verbintenis: 00/00/0000 Einde verbintenis: niet ingevoerd Plaats einde verbintenis: Onbekend

Gegevens van de vaart Schip: Beverwaart Inventarisnr.: 14353 Kamer: Hoorn Folio: 249 Uitreis: 07/05/1709 Bestemming: Batavia DAS- en reisnr 2046.3 Aankomst: 04/05/1710

vorige pagina

13. Cape Archives, MOOC 7/1/12, 46, Will, Marthinus Bastroo, dated 9th May 1761 but no filing date appended: den burger deeser plaatse Marthinus Bastroo, geboortig van Mauritius ... siek te bedde leggende ...

14. Cape Archives, MOOC 7/1/12,46, Will, Martinus Bastro and Catharina Hector, dated 14 November 1729 and filed 8 February 1730.

15. Cape Archives, MOOC 7/1/9,6, Will, Laurens Bastro and Lasija Buijs, dated 30th June 1755 and filed September 1755: den burger deeses Plaaetse Laurens Bastro en Laija Buijs beijde van Cabo de Goede Hoop geboortig, Egte Lieden ...

16. Cape Archives, MOOC 7/1/12, 46, Will, Marthinus Bastro, dated 9th May 1761 (no filing date appended)

gelijk meede Marthinus en Magdalena Bastro, beijde door zijn vooroverleeden zoon Cornelis Bastro, bij Helena van Graan in Egt geprocreeerd ...

17. Cape Archives via the TANAP web site, MOOC 8/9/11, Inventory, Magdalena Bastro, the earliest date in the accounts is 22 October 1755 for the auction of the moveable goods.

Inventaris van alle soodanige goederen als sijn naargelaten en met er dood ontruijmt door Magdalena Bastro wed:w wijlen den burger Hans Hendrik Thomasz ten voordeele van haare bij haar evengem: man geprocreeerde en in levende lijve thans overgeblevene drie minderjarige kinderen met naame:
Catharina Thomasz oud 9 jaaren
Hendrik Thomasz oud 7 jaaren
Marthinus Thomasz oud 4 jaaren

18. Cape Archives, VC604, Church Registers - Cape Town Congregation, marriages, page 109,

1712, 26 Junij, Andries Castro, jongm[an] van 't Eijland Mauritius met Leonora de Vijff van de Cabo

19. Cape Archives, VC621, Church Registers - Cape Town Congregation, marriages, page 4,

1714, 25 November, Nicolaas Jansz. Mulder, Jongm[an] van Cabo, en Leonora de Veij, van do. Cabo, Wed[uw]e van Andries Bastro

20. Cape Archives, VC 605, page 1, Church Registers - Cape Town Congregation, baptisms,

1713 5 Februrij Johannes, ouders: Cornelis Bastro en Johanna Jansz, getuigen: Matthijs Pagie en Christina

Druk E-Pos

Matthijs Greeff and his Children

Matthijs Greeff, the progenitor of the Greeff family in South Africa, and his wife, Susanna Claasen (also Klaas, Claas, Klaasz, Claessen, etc; d o Claas Jacobsz van Meldorp and Aagje Rijx), had nine children1. Their youngest child, Adrianus, is not recognised by any of the Genealogical Authorities.

The genealogical authorities, Genealogies of Old South African Families2 , and SA Genealogies3 conflict as to the number of Matthijs and Susanna's children and their names. Personalia of Germans at the Cape, 1652 - 18064 (p 119) reports that they had 8 children, but does not name them. Genealogies of Old South African Families lists eight children:


SA Genealogies vol 2 (D-G) lists nine children:

(b9) Jacobus

Both authorities show considerable variation of the spelling of names from the way they appear in the baptismal records. Names appear to have been standardised and more closely allied to Afrikaans spelling, eg from Matthijs to Matthys; Margareta to Margaretha; and Joghem to Joachim.

A transcript of the original baptism records5 shows that Matthijs and his wife, Susanna Claasen, baptised their first five children before 1695. The children of Matthijs Greeff and Susanna Claasen are:

1. 1685, Anna :

"den 7 October Antie
Matys Greve en Susanna Claesen
Aegie Rycks en Theunis van Schalckwyck"

2. 1687, Matthys:
"Den 25 dito (Maij) is een kint gedoopt ende genaamt mathys
waar van Vader was Mathys Greven ende moeder Zusanna Claasz
de getuijgen waaren Jacob Aarts Brouwer en Maria Lindenhovius"

3. 1689, Klaas:
"eodem dito (26 Junius) een kindt ghedoopt waervan vader is Mathijs Greeve, de moeder Susanna Claesz de ghetuijge Gerrit van der Bijl ende Anna Sophia Bos, ende ghenaemt Claes"

4. 1691, Margareta:
"Den 20 Maij een kindt gedoopt waer van vader is Mathijs Greeve de moder Susanna Claesze als getuijge stont Cornelis Botma, ende Aeltie Vannes genaemt Margareta"

5. 1693, Susanna:
"Den selfden Dito (26 April) aen Stellenbosch een kint gedoopt waer van vader is Matthijs Greeff, ende de moeder Susanna Claesze de getuijgen waren Cornelis Linnes, ende Geret[ruij] Lubringh, ende is genaemt Susanna"

6. 1695, Joghem:
"Joghem zoon van Matijs Greef de moedder Susanna Klaas is gedoopt 14 April 1695 als getuijgen Henning Kruisman Fintie Cloeten." 6

7. 1696, Hendrik:
Baptism not found in Stellenbosch register of Baptisms. SAG (p 519) report that he was baptised at Paarl on 21 October 1696. This note is all that was found in the Drakenstein baptismal register7 :

"Le 21 ditau [October] Lannee 1696 - Il y aeut deux enfants quil sont ete baptize l un de jacobus vanas et L'autre de Mathis Grif [Greeff] je nay point eut de billiet de ce personne."

On the 21st ditto [of October] in the year 1696 there were two infants baptised; the one of Jacobus van As and the other of Mathis Grif. I did not receive a paper for the latter person....[original document damaged...]

8. Catharina:
Baptism not found in Stellenbosch register of Baptisms. If one assumes that all the Greeff children were baptised within the first three months of life, then it is not possible for Catharina to have been born after Jochem (April 1695) and before Hendrik (October 1696). It is more likely that she was born after Hendrik and before Adrianus, rather than before Jochem.

9. 1702, Adrianus:
"Zoon van Mattijs Greev, de moeder Susanna Klaasz, getuijgen Burger Pieterse van Dijk, en Anna Greeff, den 21 May 1702" 8.

His name was written in the baptism register as Adrianus, but no other record refers to him by the latinised form of the name, all other references use the Dutch forms, Adriaan or Adrian.

Adriaan Greeff appears in neither Genealogies of Old South African Families, nor in SA Genealogies. Adriaan Greeff does appear in several sources that link him to both parents and to other members of the family:

1. MOOC 8/2.40 9. 3 August 1710. Susanna Classen, deceased. Inventory of goods divided among her husband Matthijs Greef and her surviving children, Anna, Matthijs, Claes, Susanna, Margaretha, Catharina, Hendrik and Adriaen.

2. MOOC 8/2.63 9. 12 July 1712. This is an inventory of the goods divided on the death of Matthijs Greeff among his children Matthijs, Claes, Susanna, Margaretha, Hendrik, Catharina and Adriaen, and his grandchildren, the five children of his deceased daughter, Anna, by Burgert van Dijk.

3. MOOC 8/2.65 9. 6 December 1712. On the death of Matthijs Greeff (the elder) his gold and silver is divided equally among his surviving children (wives represented by their husbands): Claes, H Scheffer, J F Delits, B van Dijk, Matthijs, Catharina, Hendrik, and Adriaen.

4. MOOC8/3.51 9. 26 August 1713. The intestate Claes Greef's belongings are divided on his death among his siblings and their spouses, excluding the deceased, Anna (x Burgert van Dyk) and Joachim. Adriaen is specifically included.

5. MOOC8/18.26 9. 17 May 1780. Thedeceased, Matthijs Greeff, owed to "Adriaan Greeff d’ oude" an amount of 195Rd:16s. The deceased was the son of Hendrik Greeff and Susanna van Hoeven. Adriaan d'oude, 78 years old at the time, could thus have been the deceased's uncle; his father's brother.

6. Resolusies van die Politieke Raad, Deel VIII , p299, 21 July 173310. "aan Adriaan Greef 10 morgen 170 roeden bij sijn plaats gent. de Grendel van de Paardeberg".

Jacobus Greeff, who is reported by SA Genealogies to have married Maria Louwrens on 14.1.1725, appears to have been missorted by the editors of SA Genealogies. He is not the child of Matthijs Greeff and Susanna Claasen. He appears nowhere in the six documents listed above, while all the family of Matthijs and Susanna do appear in these documents. Jacobus Greeff was never any part of the family described by those documents. Hoge does not mention him in Personalia of Germans at the Cape, 1652 - 1806.

Marija Rostok, wife of Jacobus Greeff, appears in the members register of Stellenbosch Church11 in the early eighteenth century, with notes by the editors that confirm his marriage (and his existence): "238. Maria (Rostock) ~ 18-10-1705 dv Jan Lourens van Rostock en Anna Elizabeth Michiels; x 14-1-1725 Jacobus Greef; xx 4-11-1736 Andries Harting s/v Jan Harmenz Harting." This note explains why she is variously referred to as both Rostock and Louwrens. There is never any link between her and Matthijs and Susanna, who would have been her parents-in-law, had Jacobus been their son. All the other children in law of Matthijs and Susanna are directly linked to them in several official documents.

It would seem, thus, that what the three quoted genealogical authorities report contains both error and omission. There is little or no doubt that Matthijs Greeff and Susanna Claasen had nine children and that they were:

(b9) Adrianus

Francois Greeff © 2006
Hierdie e-posadres word van Spambotte beskerm. Jy moet JavaScript ontsper om dit te lees.


1. Matthijs married Susanna when she was twelve years old and her first child was born when she was thirteen. She had had nine children by the time she was 30. She died when she was 38 years old.

2. C. Pama. 1981. C C de Villiers, Genealogies of Old South African Families, A A Balkema, Cape Town. (With special thanks to Daniel Jacobs, from whose copy of the book I drew the information)

3. Suid-Afrikaanse Geslagregisters/South African Genealogies, Vol 2 (D-G) Heese, JA; Lombard, RTJ : GGSA, 1989 (With special thanks to Paxie Kelsey, from whose copy of the book I drew the information)

4. Hoge, Dr J. Personalia of Germans at the Cape, 1652 - 1806. Archives Year Book for South African History, Published by Authority of the Minister of the Interior, Government Printer, Cape Town [Ninth Year].

5. eGGSA, Transcriptions, Baptismal Register 1665-1695, Cape Town Nederduits Gereformeerde Congregation

6. Stellenbosch Doopregister, p 410, 14 April 1695. (Doopregister Stellenbosch 1688 - 1732. Palmkronieke. Annale van die NG Moedergemeente Stellenbosch)

7. Ekstrakte van die Drakensteinse Doopregister 1694-1713, Rekords wat deur Paul Roux in Frans gehou is by die Drakensteinse Kerk 1694. Email message.

8. Stellenbosch Dooregister, p 38, 21 May 1702. (Doopregister Stellenbosch 1688 - 1732. Palmkronieke. Annale van die NG Moedergemeente Stellenbosch)

9. TANAP, Inventories of the Orphan Chamber of the Cape of Good Hope

10. G C de Wet (Oud). 1968. Resolusies van die Politieke Raad, Deel VIII. Kantoor van die Direkteur van Argiewe, Johannesburg. (Also at TANAP Resolutions of the Council of Policy of Cape of Good Hope, Reference code: C. 93, pp. 30-40)

11. Lidmaatregister, Footnote number 238 (Doopregister Stellenbosch 1688 - 1732. Palmkronieke. Annale van die NG Moedergemeente Stellenbosch).

Druk E-Pos

The Massacre at Zuurberg


Following the re-establishment of British authority at the Cape in 1806, the British found themselves increasingly drawn into the conflict between the indigenous peoples and the Boers. By 1810, the major confrontation was with the Xhosa on the Eastern Frontier.

In October, 1811, the new Governor, John Cradock, resolved to clear the Zuurveld of the Xhosa, and to drive them back to east of the Fish River. He appointed Colonel John Graham to this task. By December, Graham had raised three forces. The southernmost was near the mouth of the Sundays River, while a second was in the area of Coerney near Addo. The third was a Commando from Graaff-Reinet, led by the Landdrost, Anders Stockenström. They were stationed north of the Zuurberg (somewhere in the area south of Ann's Villa), to protect Bruintjeshoogte and Graaff-Reinet against Xhosa intrusions from the south and east.

After events around Christmas Day, Graham concluded the major Xhosa force was concentrated near his central unit at Addo. He summoned Stockenström to bring his force across the Zuurberg. Stockenström responded with about forty of his men, who left their camp at sunrise on December 28, 1811 to travel south over the Zuurberg.

Near the peak of the Zuurberg, Stockenström's party encountered a group of Xhosa. A palaver began and continued for a time, but it ended with a surprise attack on the Landdrost and his men. Stockenström and about a dozen others of his force were killed. This was in the first few days of the Fourth Frontier War (1811-12).

Detailed accounts of this incident can be found in Stockenström, Pringle, Cory, and Mostert (see References below). A shorter account is in the Dictionary of South African Biography (DSAB). These accounts differ in some details, as will be discussed.

I became interested in this incident after reading Pringle's description of the place: "On their route they had to pass along the narrow ridge called Slachters-nek, which connects two arms of the great mountain chain … One of the kloofs of the White river, beautifully lined with various sorts of tall forest timber and thick brushwood, joins another kloof, equally picturesque and magnificently wooded, stretching down into the valley of the Courney, thus forming, together with the stupendous cliffs above, over-hanging their deep and sombre recesses, one of the most remarkable landscapes in Southern Africa." (This is not the same place where the Slagtersnek rebellion occurred.)

I was surprised that the precise location of this incident is not known; that the graves of those slain are not marked; and that I could not find a list of those killed.

The Men Involved

Although historians are specific (and disagree) about the number of men killed and wounded, they name only a few. Daniel Jacobs recently found a document in the Cape Archives (CO 2580/4), which is a report from officials in Graaff-Reinet to Governor Cradock. The report is in Dutch, and there is an English translation. The side-by-side transcriptions of the documents are here.

Among those killed, it names the Landdrost, two Veld-Kornets, and seven Burgers. Two unnamed young Hottentots were also killed. Two men (also named) escaped on foot. The report is signed by four officials, and the informant was Lieutenant-Colonel Lyster.

Not listed in the report is Paul du Plessis, who is stated by both Stockenström and Pringle to have been a survivor who escaped on foot.

Who were these men? Have a look at the list of names, and what is known of their genealogy. If you can add to these genealogies, please contact eGGSA.

The letter from Graaff-Reinet has the Landdrost and eleven of his men killed, and three escaped. Is this a complete list? Probably not. Here is what the historians say:

Stockenström lists Paul du Plessis and Christian Roberts (the latter "severely wounded") as survivors, and says that fourteen were then missing. The next day, "Their bodies were found … and we buried them." He is quite precise about the count of men.

Cory: "The landdrost and thirteen of the Boers were killed, two though wounded, managed to escape."

Pringle: "Mr. Stockenström and fourteen of his men fell, pierced by innumerable wounds. … two, who not being able to get on horseback, crept into the thicket, and eluded the search of the Caffers , until darkness enabled them to re-cross the mountains to the spot where they had that morning started. One of these two men was my acquaintance Paul du Plessies of Zwagershoek."

Mostert: "In moments the Graaf Reinet Landdrost and fourteen of his men lay dead, cut to pieces by the assegais. Two of the Boers managed to crawl into the bush, where they hid."

DSAB: "Stockenström, eight burghers and a half-caste interpreter were killed, and four men were wounded, although they managed to escape."

The Date of the Incident.

According to the letter from Graaff-Reinet, the massacre occurred on December 29, 1811. But, there is not agreement:

DSAB: " At sunset on 29.12.1811 he set out …" Clearly, it should be "sunrise".

Pringle: "On the morning of the 28th December .."

Cory: December 29.

Stockenström: Of his father, he says "He went into his tent and slept for the last time till peep of day, the 28th December, 1811."

Mostert: 28 December.

The date of 28 December is likely correct, for it fits in with the chronology of the campaign in British documents. The time was noon, or soon thereafter.

The Place of the Incident

Map of the area of the Zuurberg massacreAlthough I have not been there, I believe the place of the massacre is on the Zuurberg pass, a few km north of the Zuurberg Inn. This is on the R335, which runs from Port Elizabeth north to Addo, Zuurberg, Ann's Villa, and Somerset East. The latitude and longitude are about -33.335 and 25.759

Stockenström: "… the spot where the massacre had taken place. This was on the narrowest part of the Doorn Neck - the watershed between the Wit-Rivier and Kournay. The new Zuurberg Road has cut away the very tree under which my father and his party sat and stood when they met their fate." (The Zuurberg Pass was built in 1848-58.)

Stockenström returned later to the place, and "found there a worthy farmer named Matthews in possession" Stockenström offered to purchase the site of the massacre, but Matthews refused, saying he would be honoured to erect the monument. On another visit, Stockenström found the place in possession of "the brother of this same Matthew". Stockenström on this occasion offered to purchase the spot where the fallen were buried, but says he was "too sick to proceed in the matter". These Matthews were owners of the farm Doornnek, on which the Zuurberg Inn now stands.

So, neither the spot of the massacre nor the location of the graves was marked. The burgers of Graaff-Reinet asked to build a monument, but they were refused with assurances a monument would be built by the Colonial government. That never happened, possibly because the younger Stockenström became a controversial figure and fell out of favour with the authorities.

Pringle visited the spot in 1821, and says: "The precise spot where the bodies were interred could not, when I was there, be discovered. It is little to the credit of the Colonial Government that not even a rude stone has been erected to mark the grave of this meritorious magistrate …".

According to DSAB, the site of Anders Stockenström's grave is unknown.

Eileen Russell, however, has noted that there is a framed document on the wall of a lounge at the Zuurberg Inn. It is undated, and written by Mrs. D E Rivett-Carnac of Grahamstown. It says of Landdrost Stockenström: "His grave was at a spot near the Post Office until removal many years later to the family home near Bedford." This would be Maasström, granted to Andries Stockenström in 1820. Neither Sir Andries nor his wife are buried there.

Copyright Keith Meintjes © 2005


Noel Mostert, "Frontiers: The epic of South Africa's creation and the tragedy of the Xhosa people, Knopf, New York, 1992.

Thomas Pringle, "Narrative of a residence in South Africa", Struik, Cape Town, 1966.

C.W. Hutton (ed.), "The autobiography of the late Sir Andries Stockenström, Baronet.", Juta, Cape Town, 1887. Facsimile reproduction, Struik, Cape Town, 1964.

G.E. Cory, "The Rise of South Africa", Facsimile reprint, Struik, Cape Town, 1965.

Dictionary of South African Biography, Vol. I, pp 773-4, "Stockenström, Anders", Tafelberg, Cape Town, 1968.

Cape Archives, Colonial Office Archives, document CO 2580/4.

Druk E-Pos

Locating South African Death Records on LDS Films

The following guide should enable you to relate the South African Archives Death Notice reference numbers to the appropriate film among those which can be ordered at one of the Latter Day Saints family history centres.

FIRST: Find the reference numbers for the death notices you are looking for.

1. These can be found by searching the South African Archives online index, know as NAAIRS, to be found here:

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS)

2. Click on SEARCH

3. Click on RSA. This option allows you to search all of the available records.

Type in the name you are searching for, one name per line. Do not hit the space bar after typing the name. Use the tab key instead to get to the next box. When you have completed typing the name, hit the SEARCH button at the top left of the screen.

On the next screen, you will see how many ‘hits’ you got on those names. If you enter a very common name, like ‘John SMITH’, you will get a lot of extraneous hits, so try to include some unique info about your particular ‘John SMITH’, such as a middle name, or a date.

4. Click on Result Summary at far left of set of gray boxes.

Each one of the resulting links can be clicked on and will give you some information about what type of record it is. In this case, you are looking for death notices. They may say Death Notice, or Estate Papers, or they may just list the individual’s name.

5. To find the LDS film for the death notice, you will require the Depot, the Reference Number, the Description, and the start/end date. For example, here is the pertinent information from four different death notices:

i. Depot: KAB Reference #: 6884 Description: RIDGARD, Sarah (nee UITCHLEY). Death Notice. Starting: 1871 Ending: 1871

ii. Depot: NAB Reference #: 25467/1937 Description: THOMAS, Henrietta (S/S William Alexander) Starting: 1937 Ending: 1952

iii. Depot: TAB Reference #: 20426 Description: LESLIE, George Starting: 1912 Ending: 1912

iv. Depot: VAB Reference #24233 Description: COCKCROFT, James Nendick Starting: 1932 Ending: 1932

SECOND: Find the catalogue number of the LDS film for the required death notice

6. Go to the LDS Family Search web site, section: Family History Library Catalog

7. Click on Place Search (blue boxes on the middle right portion of screen)

8. In the Place box, type in the Province:

a. If the Depot is KAB, type in Cape Province and South Africa

b. If the Depot is NAB, type in Natal and South Africa

c. If the Depot is TAB, type in Transvaal and South Africa

d. If the Depot is VAB, type in Orange Free State and South Africa

In our examples above, there is one from each depot, so you will repeat this step four times to get the information you need. Click on the SEARCH button.

12. Click on the link (e.g. South Africa, Transvaal)

13. Scroll down to Probate Records and click on the link.

14. Select the appropriate class of record:

For Cape Province, click on Probate records, 1834-1989.

For Natal, click on Deceased estates, 1846-1950.

For Transvaal, click on Probate records, 1869-1958

For Orange Free State, click on Estate files, 1832-1989

15. Click on View Film Notes at top right of screen.

16. Scroll down to the desired year, and find the film number that corresponds to your reference number.

In the case of Orange Free State, your reference number may have a single letter prefix before the number. The reference numbers with the letter prefix are first in the list, and then following them are some reference numbers that are strictly numeric. Just keep scrolling to the bottom of the page and clicking on Next film notes until you find the reference number and the year you are looking for.

copyright 2008 Ellen Stanton, Birmingham, Alabama, USA

Druk E-Pos

Jan Robbertsz, 1704-1758

originally printed in 2006, vol. 26, no. 3 of 2006 the February 2007 issue of Familia, the quarterly journal of the Genealogical Society of South Africa.

If the marriage of Sophia Schalks van der Merwe to Pieter Robbertsz was childless, as seems likely from my research, who then was Jan Robberts, generally held to be their son?

Going through various documentary sources in search of the facts concerning the children of Willem Schalks van der Merwe and his wife Elsje Jacobs Cloeten, it became apparent to me that these sources suggest that the second marriage of their daughter Sophia van der Merwe to Pieter Robbertsz was childless. I wondered, therefore, what the origin might be of the son, Jan Robberts, ascribed to this couple, originally in CC de Villiers's Geslacht-register, and still so in its modern manifestation, the South African Genealogies [1]

I have based my arguments on documentary records from the relevant period, preserved in the South African Archives Repository in Cape Town. There may well be other relevant documents that I have not come across. I shall be only too pleased to hear of them. The arguments below are based on those documents I have been able to find and consult.

All documents are liable to contain mistakes. People like you and me wrote them and we are all too aware of how easy it is to make mistakes when writing up or copying. A great many of the documents that survive from this period are neat copies of originals that have not themselves survived, and sometimes copies of copies, so the scope for mistakes is increased. Although the scribes of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were more experienced and skilled at writing and copying than most of us are today, they still suffered from the common human failings and they too made mistakes. Unfortunately the mistakes are not always obvious.

But, generally these faults were few, and despite any failings they may have, these documents are all we have from which to derive our interpretation of the past, and it is these documents I have consulted when trying to sort out the puzzles that follow. I have tried, wherever possible; to gather evidence for each fact from more than one document, so as to help eliminate such errors.

My very grateful thanks to Jenni Ball, Leon Endemann, Malan Jacobs, André Kellerman, Keith Meintjes, Janet Melville and Barend Venter who all helped me in different ways to gain access to documents or reference works not available to me here in Norfolk.

Proposition: That the marriage of Pieter Robbertsz and Sophia van der Merwe was childless.

In the documents Sophia van der Merwe appears named in several different ways. Here I have standardised her name as Sophia van der Merwe, but she is most likely to have been known in her time as Fijtie Schalks, Juffrouw Robberts or Widow Robberts.

Her first marriage was to Roelof Pasman on 12 November 1684 [2] and together they baptised four daughters before his death in 1695, some time before September of that year. [3]

His surviving children are given in the inventory drawn up after his death as ‘the four minor children named Grietjen aged 6, Trijntjen 4, Sybilla 2, and Roelofjen 1/6 years (ie one sixth of a year or two months)’ thus accounting for all four baptisms. [4,5] When, therefore, Sophia van der Merwe married for the second time to Pieter Robberts on 25 January 1696 at Stellenbosch,6 she brought to the marriage four daughters. She and her second husband were married for seventeen years, until his death in 1713, and during that time or before; there are no baptisms to be found in the extant church registers of any children of this couple. [7]

I have consulted the various opgaaf returns between 1695 (when Pieter Robberts first appears in the rolls) and 1712 (when he last appears). [8] In 1695 Pieter Robbertsz and Sophia van der Merwe are recorded as having three daughters, no sons, and in 1705, 1709 and 1712 four daughters and no sons. Even allowing for mistakes in the transcription and computerisation this is pretty consistent and convincing.

This is confirmed by the muster rolls of 1701 (the last to contain numbers of children) where the couple is listed having four children in their family [9 ] and in 1709, when they drew up their joint will, the four children are named as the four daughters of her first husband, Roelof Pasman, all still living at that date. [10]

No children by Pieter Robberts are mentioned in this will but that is not unusual. Although there are exceptions, the children of the couple making the will are usually referred to as ‘any children, existing or yet to be’ and not named.

Pieter Robbertsz died during 1713, most probably during the smallpox epidemic of that year, as also did his stepdaughter Margareta (Grietje) Pasman and most probably also Roelophina (Roelofje) Pasman. [11] Since he and his wife had drawn up a joint will in 1709 there was no requirement for an inventory or any estate accounts after his death, so we do not have either of these documents to indicate his heirs.

Sophia Schalks van der Merwe drew up several wills. The one mentioned above jointly with her second husband, Pieter Robbertsz, and three more as a widow. Only the last of her wills as a widow, dated 5 February 1732 (1/STB 18/8, 35) mentions the names of her children.

In this will she leaves various legacies to her grandchildren, all of them children of her two daughters Catharina Pasman and Sibilla Pasman, including the farm Rustenburg, that had belonged to her husband, Pieter Robberts, which she left to her grandson, Pieter Laubser, son of the latter daughter.

Then she specifically names as the only heirs of the residue of her estate her two daughters Catharina Pasman and Sibilla Pasman to share her estate equally between them. Had she had a son Jan Robbertsz, we would have expected him too, by right of the law, [12] to have been named as one of the heirs of her estate, apart from any motherly feelings she may have or may not have had for him.

Question: Jan Robbertsz – who then was he?

On 6 August 1730, at Cape Town, Jan Robbertsz married Anna Sophia Horsel. According to the marriage register entry both were single and both had been born at the Cape. [13]

Between 1731 and 1745 they baptised nine children, the first three in Drakenstein, and the rest, from 1737, in Cape Town. This is confirmed by the opgaaf returns according to which they were living in Drakenstein in 1731 but in the Cape District from 1741 to 1757, probably in Cape Town itself since in 1751 Jan Robberts was granted a freehold building plot in a newly laid out section of that town. [14]

When, on 18 February 1758, the inventory was drawn up of the goods left by the deceased Anna Sophia Horsel, the couple was living in a rented house, place not stated, and their belongings were few but sufficient, including three slaves, the total valuation coming to 330 rixdalers after deduction of debts. Jan Robbertsz, presumably unable to write his name, signed the valuation by adding his mark to the document.

He died at the end of the same year, and the couple left only two of their children still living, Anna Catharina Robbertsz married to the burger Daniel Rooden, and Johannes Hendrik Robbertsz aged fourteen years. [15]

CC de Villiers, in his Geslacht-Register [1] assumed that Jan Robbertsz was a son of Pieter Robbertsz and Sophia van der Merwe whom we have examined above. There is, however, no baptism of a Jan Robbertsz to be found in the extant church registers of the period, Cape Town, Stellenbosch or Drakenstein. All three of these registers have faults, lacunae and errors; those for Cape Town, for instance, have lost most of the year 1698, and that of Drakenstein is largely defective or missing before 1714, [16] so this lack may not be significant. We must, therefore, look for other clues.

It was the convention then, and much later too, for baptisms of children to be witnessed by close relatives. Thus the witnesses at the baptism of a first child were often the grandparents, for later children often the uncles and aunts. There was no hard and fast rule, however, and relatives were not obligatory as witnesses; sometimes apparently unrelated individuals appear as witnesses, or the parents double as witnesses, or sometimes there were no witnesses.

The baptisms of the nine children of Jan Robbertsz and Anna Sophia Horsel are recorded in the Drakenstein and Cape Town church registers. Not one of the baptismal witnesses came from the family of Sophia van der Merwe, widow of Pieter Robberts. All of the children seem to have been named in honour of relations on the mother’s side (Horsel and Meijntjes van den Berg), with baptismal witnesses also drawn, in almost every case, from the mother’s side of the family.

Of the only two exceptions, the first was the daughter, Johanna Magdalena, baptised on 8 May 1735 at Drakenstein [17] and the second exception was the baptism of a pair of twins, Franciscus and Pieter Robberts, on 6 June 1745 at Cape Town. [18]

In the baptismal entry of 1735 the witnesses are named as ‘the father and his sister Johanna Robberts’. In that of 1745 the witness who was not one of the mother’s relations, was one Pieternella Boere.

The first of these baptisms tell us that he had a sister named Johanna. I looked, therefore, through my transcriptions of the church records of the period for Johanna Robberts to see if I could find any connections. I found a woman called Johanna Elisabeth Robberts, the wife of Pieter Burée, more usually known as Johanna Elisabeth van Hoorn. [19] Upon checking, I found that she had a daughter named Pieternella Burée.

This is slim evidence indeed – that the only two baptismal witnesses to his children not from his wife’s side of the family seem to have been Johanna Elisabeth Robberts van Hoorn, wife of Peter Bury, and her daughter Pieternella, but it is all the evidence I have been able to find. It may be that further searches will reveal another Johanna Robberts and Pieternella Boere, but so far I have not found them and this is the only positive proof I have been able to find which indicates his origin.

Who were these latter people? Johanna Elisabeth was the daughter of Robbert Jansz van Hoorn and his wife Catarina Cornelisz [20] who lived in Stellenbosch and baptised six children there between 1700 and 1712, including a son baptised 3 August 1704 and named Jan [21] and four daughters, including Johanna Elisabeth. [22]

Robbert Jansz van Hoorn (the Jansz in his name is not a baptismal name but a patronym) [23] lived at Stellenbosch with his wife Catharina Cornelisz (another patronym) and is listed there in the opgaaf return in 1705 with a wife, one son and one daughter and in 1723 without a wife, but with one son and two daughters. In neither entry does he have any livestock, vines or crops, so one must presume that he was not a farmer.

I can find no evidence from the few documents that mention Robbert Jansz van Hoorn, as to whether he himself regarded the ‘van Hoorn’ as a surname or whether it was just a location name added to distinguish him from all the other men of the time with the patronym Jansz, and adopted later by his children as a surname.

In the church register entries for the baptisms of his six children, he is twice entered as Robert Jansz van Hoorn, and four times as plain Robbert Jansz. Similarly his daughters: Metje is refereed to in one case as Metie van Hoorn [24], and in another as Metje Robberts [25] and Johanna Elisabeth is occasionally given the surname Robberts [26] but is most often called Van Hoorn, although just once she is referred to as Johanna Elizabet Robberts van Hoorn. [27]

The evidence of the only two opgaaf returns for Robbert Jansz van Hoorn [28] strongly suggests that the son baptised in 1704 survived and reached adulthood. This son, with patronymic added, would have been called Jan Robbertsz van Hoorn, like his sisters.

Jan Robbertsz appears for the first time independently in the muster rolls in the year 1723, under the District of Cape Town, at the end of the list, where the mostly young, unmarried men generally appear. It was common for a young man to start out by working as a knecht (hired hand), for an established burger and this is probably what he was doing in the Cape Town district. Unfortunately I do not have access to the muster rolls beyond 1725, but here are his appearances up to that date:

Muster Rolls, Cape District (VC 49)
1723 page 486 Jan Robbertsz
1724 page 517 Jan Robbertsz van Hoorn
1725 page 546 Jan Robbertsz

Among the opgaaf returns we find only the name Jan Robbertsz, no Jan Robbertsz van Hoorn, or Jan van Hoorn, first in 1725 as a single man with no possessions but his rifle and his knife and later as a married man.

It seems that, for some reason, Jan Robbertsz chose to retain his patronym as his surname, rather than to adopt the name Van Hoorn as did his sisters, and possibly his father too.


Summing up

There is no baptism recorded of any child born to Sophia van der Merwe and Pieter Robberts.

No children other than the four Pasman daughters are recorded for this couple in the four opgaaf returns between 1696 and 1713.

Sophia van der Merwe does not name Jan Robberts with her two daughters, as heirs in her will.

No members of Sophia van der Merwe’s family feature as witnesses to the baptisms of the children of Jan Robberts.

The only baptismal witnesses of the Jan Robberts children not belonging to the mother’s side of the family belong to the family of Robbert Jansz van Hoorn.

Robbert Jansz van Hoorn had a son named Jan who, to judge from the evidence of the opgaaf returns, survived into adulthood. This son, if given his full name including patronym, would have been called Jan Robbertsz van Hoorn.

In the muster rolls of 1723-1725 appears a Jan Robberts/Jan Robbertsz van Hoorn.

On 6 August 1730, at Cape Town, Jan Robbertsz married Anna Sophia Horsel.


I believe that the documentary evidence I have presented here indicates that Pieter Robberts and Sophia van der Merwe had no children, or at least none that survived to inherit from them, [29] and that Jan Robberts, who married Anna Sophia Horsel, was most probably the son of Robbert Jansz van Hoorn and his wife Catharina Cornelisz.

For a genealogical tables of the Jan Robbertz family, see: http://www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk/robberts/I001.html

For that of Sophia van der Merwe, see: http://www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk/burger/I480.html

Notes and References. All document references are to documents in the Cape Town repository of the South African Archives.

[1] Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers, Geslacht-Register der Oude Kaapsche Familien, published posthumously 1892-95 by GM Theal

Geslagregisters van die Ou Kaapse Families, CC de Villiers, revised C Pama, AA Balkema, 1966

South African Genealogies, published by the Genealogical Institute of South Africa, Stellenbosch, in current publication

[2] VC 603, Cape Town Congregation, marriages, 1684

[3] Palmkroniek 1, Stellenbosch Congregation, baptisms, page 11, Roelofje dogter van Roelof Pasman Za[liger] en de moe[der] fitie Zchalks js gedoopt den 7 Septemb[er] 1695 als getuijge

[4] MOOC 8/1,15, dated 6th December 1695

TANAP Inventories of the Orphan Chamber of the Cape of Good Hope

[5] CC de Villiers in his Geslacht-register (see note 1 above) listed in addition a son named Roelof (no baptism, supposed date of birth around 1694, source not stated) and De Villiers/Pama followed suit, but I have found no evidence for the existence of such a son. I conjecture that the son, Roelof, born ca 1694 was probably a misreading of the above inventory, mistaking Roelofjen (one of the female forms of the male name Roelof) for Roelof and reading 1/6 jaaren as one and a half years (as one contemporary researcher I corresponded with had read it)

[6] Palmkroniek 1, Stellenbosch Congregation, marriages: den 25 Januarij 1696 Pitter Rooberts: jongman sergiant in dienst van d: E Companie met Fitie Schalck gebooren aen de Caap weduwe van Roelif Pasman

[7] It has been suggested that an entry in the Drakenstein (later Paarl) baptismal register, dated 28 May 1696, is his. It reads (in my translation from the French):

1696. The 28 May was baptized a child of the son-in-law of Willem Escalk van den Merven.

Obviously, on the face of it, this could refer to the baptism of a son of Sophia van der Merwe and Pieter Robberts, but it would need some other corroborating evidence particularly since there was one other son-in-law of Willem Schalks van der Merwe at that date, Barend Burger married to Marritie Willemsdr Schalk [van der Merwe] a couple whom we do know to have had several children over the period 1691 to 1700 for whom no baptisms are to be found either.

In addition, on 6 December 1695, the youngest daughter of Sophia van der Merwe, Roelofje (or Roelophina) Pasman was stated to be two months old (see note 4 above). She had been baptised on 27 September 1695 at Stellenbosch. These two facts together give September 1695 as a reasonable birth date for her. On 28 May 1696, at the time of the above baptism, she would have been eight months old. I suppose it would have been possible for another child to have been conceived and born within those eight months but, to me, it seems very unlikely

[8] I wonder about this date of 1695. Pieter Robbertsz and Sophia van der Merwe were not married until January 1696. Perhaps the opgaaf returns for 1695 were done in the early part of the following year?

The Opgaaf (Tax) returns were lists of Free persons at the Cape with their belongings and their yearly produce, crops and animals, upon which their tax contribution was based. What has been consulted here are printouts from the computerised version of this information as produced at the University of the Western Cape, housed at the Genealogical Institute of South Africa, Stellenbosch. This is the only form in which I have access to these opgaaf returns. They contain returns only for certain years. I do not know if the reason for this is that these are the only returns surviving, or if they have been selected on some other basis.

Here is an example of the information for this couple:

1705 (Pieter Robbertsz & Sophia van der Merwe), 1 man 1 wife 0 sons 4 daughters, 0 knegts, 11 male slaves, 2 female slaves, 14,000 vines, 150 cattle, 1200 sheep, district Stellenbosch

[9] The Muster Rolls (monsterollen) were lists of the inhabitants at the Cape of Good Hope, drawn up separately for Company officials and Free persons, and dispatched to the Netherlands, where copies are preserved in the Ryksarchief, S'Gravenhage. What has been consulted here are the so-called ‘Verbatim Copies’ kept, and which are copies of those in the Ryksarchief.

VC 49, Monsterrol van de vrije luijden opgemaakt 23 Januarij 1702, page 3, Pieter Robberts & Sophia Schalck 4 k.

[10] Will – Robbertsz, Pieter and Sophia Schalk van der Merwen – 1709. 1 STB 18/3, 4 and MOOC 7/1/2, 24, dated 2 May 1709: de vier kinderen, door de testatrice bij wijlen Roelof Pasman, geprocre-eerd als namentlijk Margareta oud 20 jaren, Catrijntie oud 17 jaren, Sibilla oud 15 jaren en Roelofphina oud 13 jaren

[11] Muster Rolls, VC 49, page 249, Stellenbosch district, 31 December 1712, Pieter Robbertsz & Sophia Willemsz Schalk, page 273, 31 December 1713, Sophia van der Merwe, wede. Pieter Robberts.

CJ 2876, 62 Contract - Van der Merwe, Sophia - dated 16th October 1713. She is named in the contract as the ‘de weduwe Pieter Robbertsze’

[12] Under Roman Dutch Law as in force at the Cape under the VOC, all children were entitled to an equal share of the children’s portion of a deceased parent (usually half to the children and half to the surviving spouse). No child could be disinherited and cases were brought to the Weeskamer by children who had been left out of the wills of their parents

[13] VC 621, Cape Town Congregation, marriages, page 20, 1730: Den 6 August, Jan Robbertz van Cabo de Goede Hoop burger alhier jongman met Anna Sophia Horsel van Cabo voorn' jonge doghter

[14] C.129, pp. 238-259. 16 November 1751, grant of a building plot to Jan Robberts in a newly laid out block in Cape Town. TANAP Resolutions of the Council of Policy of the Cape of Good Hope

[15] MOOC 8/8.39, Anna Sophia Horsel, 18 Februarij 1758

MOOC 8/9.46, Jan Robbertsz, 7 November 1758

TANAP Inventories of the Orphan Chamber of the Cape of Good Hope

[16] See: http://www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk/notes/Drakenstein_registers.htm

[17] VC 644, Drakenstein Congregation, baptisms, page 131, 1735: 8 dito (Maij)

Johanna Magdalena, ouders: Jan Robbers, Anna Sophia Horsel, getuijgen: de vader en syne suster Johanna Robbers

[18] VC 606, Cape Town Congregation, 6.6.1745: Franciscus [&] Pieter, tweelingen, de Ouders Jan Robbertsz, en Anna Sophia Horsel, de Getuýgen Johannes en Johanna Elisabeth van den berg: mitsgaaders Pieter van den Berg en Pieternella Boere

[19] VC 605, Cape Town Congregation, baptisms, page 42, 1727: 30 9br (November), Alida, d'Vader Isaak Nieuwout, d'Moeder Anna van Wyck, get[uijgen] Pieter Burée en Johanna Elisabeth Robberts

VC 605, Cape Town Congregation, baptisms, page 29, 1725: 15.do. (April), Pieter, Onegt. geEcht(different writing), Ouders: de zo genaamde vader is Pieter Buureij, en Johanna Elizabet Robberts van Hoorn, Getuijgen: de moeder

See also De Villiers/Pama, Geslagsregister, 1961, page 124

[20] For the parentage of Catharina Cornelisz see the article by Mansell Upham, The Soetkoek Syndrome: the dangers of ‘wishful linking’ & perpetuating genealogical myths when sharing ancestors and genealogical data, in: Capensis 2/2001: 27-30

[21] Palmkroniek 1, Stellenbosch Congregation, baptisms, page 18: 3e Aug[ustus] 1704, Jan, soon van Robbert Jansz van Hoorn en Catharina Cornelisz, getuijgen Andries Voormeester en Catryn van Bengalen. (There was, in fact, an earlier son baptised Johannes in 1701, but I think it can safely be assumed that the earlier one had died before his brother was born)

[22] Palmkroniek 1, Stellenbosch Congregation, baptisms, page 50, 1708:

Johanna Elisabeth, de Vader Robbert Janse, de Moeder Katrina Cornelis, getuygen Jan Barents Siechard, en Anna Cornelis, den 29 April

[23] Patronyms. Before surnames come into use (a very variable date throughout Europe), children would bear their fathers’ name as a second name. Pieter would be called Pieter Jansz (Pieter the son of Jan) to distinguish him from all the other Pieters in his area. When the Cape was first settled, from the mid 17th century onwards, the use of the patronym was normal in the Netherlands, although surnames had gradually been adopted by the better off since the early 1500s, particularly in the south of the area. So some settlers arrived at the Cape already using a surname (Mostert, Visser, Van Staden), whereas others were using a patronym (Jansz[oon], Pietersz[oon]).

It seems that those Cape settlers still using patronyms usually adopted a surname sooner rather than later. This surname might be their patronym (Jansen, Pieters, Hendrickse) or their place of origin (Van Deventer, Van Nieuwkerk) or a name whose origin we are not aware of (Meijburgh, Louw)



[24] VC 644, Drakenstein Congregation, baptisms, page 42, 1715

[25] Palmkroniek 1, Stellenbosch Congregation, baptisms, page 87, 1718

[26] VC 605, Cape Town Congregation, baptisms, pages 40 and 42, 1727

[27] VC 605, Church Registers Congregation, baptisms, page 29, 1725

[28] VC 49, Opgaaf returns:

1705 (Robbert JZ van Hoorn and Catharina Cornelisz), 1 man, 1 wife, 1 son, 1 daughter, no cattle, no crops, District Stellenbosch

1723 (Robbert van Hoorn), 1 man, 0 wife 1 son, 2 daughters, no cattle, no crops, 1 gun, 1 rapier, District Stellenbosch

[29] During the course of my research, I was referred to an article in Familia entitled Genealogy and Hereditary Diseases, a précis of an article in the South African Medical Journal (Familia 17 (3/4) 1980, p 79-81.), as having relevance to this family. I have since examined the doctoral thesis, Huntington’s chorea in South Africa, Michael R Hayden, University of Cape Town, 1979, to which the SA Med Journal article referred. It does not affect the above research since, so far as I can judge, the thesis has taken its information on the marriages and children of Sophia van der Merwe from either the CC de Villiers Geslacht-Register, or from the later C Pama revision of that work. At all events, it merely assumes that Jan Robertsz was the son of Sophia Schalks van der Merwe and presents no source or evidence for that assumption.

Druk E-Pos

Tryn Ras (Part One)

from: Familia, Vol.15, no.4, 1978, pages 97-98

In July 1662 the Hof van Zeeland brought to the Cape, Catharina Ufftincx, a young woman immigrant from Lubeeck in eastern Holstein1. Aged twenty-one and already a widow2 she was to lose three more husbands before marrying the fifth who survived her. She created a considerable impact in her new country home and even impressed the Netherlands Commissioner Hendrik Adriaan van Reede tot Drakestein, Heer van Mijdracht, when he was on an official visit to the Cape in 1685. In his private journal van Reede succinctly describes the tragic deaths of these three men thus:

'den eersten van een leeuw, den tweden door de hottentots en den derden door d' elephant en om hals gebracht' 3

Such experiences would have overwhelmed a lesser woman but Catharina Ufftincx was a remarkable person, and, as Tryn Ras, became a legend in her lifetime in the land of her choice.

Born in 1641, Ufftincx was in all probability her maiden name for it was then the custom for widows to revert to this. Her name appears in many guises in preserved records, Uftincx, Uftings, Ufftinghs, Oefftinghs and even Kistings. Ustings, the form in general use today is, according to Dr A. J. Boeseken not correct for the second letter is an 'f' and not an 's'.

What persuaded Catharina to leave Europe? New places, new faces to erase the memory of the early loss of her first consort? In a young settlement such as the Cape she would be assured of another marriage partner for single women were at a premium and appropriated immediately on arrival by unmarried settlers eager to find wives. Time and again preserved documents reveal the truth of this assertion. Hester Weyers van Lier arrived in Table Bay on June 17, 1658 and her marriage to Wouter Cornelisz Mostert was decided and a fait accompli by the fourteenth of the following month4. Another young woman, Anna Ru(o)dolphus of Grietrijl in East Friesland set foot on shore in mid-December 1659 from the Gekroonde Leeuw, was betrothed by the twenty-fourth and died of dysentery on 6 January 1660 before her marriage to Gijsbert Aries van Bommel could take place5. Had Anna survived she might have proved a rival to Tryn Ras for the prospective bride had spent several months travelling from Europe Voor soldat in mansklederen'6. The manner in which she managed to conceal her sex among her fellow-soldiers on a troopship was sufficient evidence of her enterprise to ensure that she would have played an interesting role at the Cape had she survived.

Germany and adjacent states provided large numbers of soldiers for the use of the Dutch East India Company in her overseas possessions and many natives of Holstein enlisted. Among these were two future husbands of Tryn Ras, Hans Ras of Angel(n) and Matthias (Matthys) Michiels(z) of Gluckstadt, towns situated on opposite sides of the Holstein peninsula. Possibly Catharina was aware of what amounted to German immigration to Dutch colonies overseas and decided to leave her homeland. Whether she was bound for the Cape or for the East is uncertain but when the Hof van Zeeland sailed eastwards from the Cape she 'remained behind'7.

The five month voyage from Texel to Table Bay must have been a nightmare experience for the girl with an initial 400 men on board. No other women are mentioned but she surely cannot have been the only one. The ship dropped anchor in the bay on 25 July 1662. Twenty Recently dead' were still unburied, another 50 sick of the scurvy with almost the entire company 'more or less affected'8. How many others had already died and been buried at sea is not stated and those who were landed at the Cape were for the most part too far gone for recovery and the journal mentions their deaths almost daily for some time. One of these landed was a junior merchant, Paulus de Moulier, bound for the east and described as Very ill'. He too succumed and the very interesting inventory of his estate has been preserved in the Deeds Office, disclosing that he was evidently a young man of some consequence and wealth9.

Catharina must have stumbled gratefully ashore with the more able-bodied of the ship's complement and less than a month later, on Sunday August 20th her banns of marriage to Hans Ras aged 26 years Vrylantbouwer alhier' were called for the first time10. On Sunday September 2nd they were pronounced man and wife by Hendrik Lacus, Secretary to the Council of Policy. No permanent minister had as yet been appointed at the Cape and early marriages were solemnised in this manner.

This, her second wedding day also almost spelt the beginning of Catharina's second widowhood. After the ceremony in Table Valley when she and Ras were on the way to his farm on the Liesbeeck at Rondebosch, trouble erupted between Frans Gerrits van Uijthoorn and Thieleman Hendricksz, the drivers of the two wagons carrying the bridal pair and a few guests. Both men were apparently somewhat merry, with the prospect of more cheer at their destination, and they vied with each other for the first place on the primitive track. This resulted in what was probably the first recorded traffic accident at the Cape with one wagon being forced off the road. Ras took strong exception to the abusive language (scheltewoorden) of Hendricksz, the driver of the other wagon, as to the cause of the mishap and in the ensuing brawl he was twice stabbed by Hendricksz. According to the contemporary account in the Court of Justice records11 the second thrust broke Hendricksz' knife off in Ras's ribs. Catharina must have taken home an enraged and severely wounded husband. That he survived with such injuries is evidence of his toughness, allied perhaps with some good fortune and the good care of his wife.

(continued: part 2 in Familia Vol.16, no.1, 1979, pages 20-26, and part 3 in Familia Vol. 16, no.2, 1979, pages 38-39, 44-49)

All references in Cape Archives unless otherwise stated.

1 C1 p.712-713,19.8.1662

2 ibid.

3 Journal om zijn verbljjf aan de Kaap, medegedeeld door A. Halshof, 1941 in Bijdragen en Mededeelingen van Met Historisch Genootschap, part 1.

4 C.I p.347, 30.6.1658 and C.I 14.7.1658

5 Journal of Van Riebeeck and following commanders/governors at the Cape 6.1.1660.

6 ibid.

7 Journal 3.7.1662

8 Journal 25.7.1662

9 Transfer deed volume for 1652-1662, 15.11.1662, unpaginated. Deeds Office, C.T.

10 C.I pp. 712-713, 18.8.1662

11 Attestation 1652-1662 no. 244

Druk E-Pos

Genealogiese Bronne Uit Die Kompanjiestydperk In Die Kaapse Argiefbewaarplek

in: Familia, Vol.8, no.1, 1971, bladsy 16-20

Om genealogiese en biografiese besonderhede uit die tydperk van die Verenigde Oos- Indie se Kompanjie se bewind aan die Kaap te bekom is in die meeste gevalle 'n moeisame en tydrowende taak. Daarom is dit noodsaaklik dat die navorser vertroud sal wees met die bronne en 'n redelik goeie idee sal hê in watter dokumentereekse moontlik inligting opgesluit sal wees. Die doel van hierdie artikel is om to probeer aan- dui waar genealogiese inligting in die verskillende argiefgroepe uit die Kompanjiesperiode wat in die Kaapse Argiefbewaarplek gehuisves word, aangetref kan word.

Aan die einde van die artikel verskyn 'n volledige lys van die bronne wat geraadpleeg kan word. Hier word volstaan met 'n kort bespreking van die belangrikste dokumente- reekse binne elkc argiefgroep.

I. Die Argief van die Sekretaris van die Politieke Raad (verwysingsnommer: C)

Die resolusies van die politieke raad is die belangrikste reeks in hierdie groep. Sake soos die bevordering van amptenare, uitreiking van grond- en vrybriewe, en die verlening van toestemming om die Kaap te mag verlaat, kom daarin voor. Die resolusies van die tydperk 1651-1723 is gepubliseer in die reeks Suitl-Afrikaanse Argiefstukke, Kaap nrs. 1-6 (deel 7 sal hopelik nog hierdie jaar verskyn). Hierdie reeks publikasies is voorsien van 'n volledige register, wat navorsing natuurlik vergemaklik. Die kladnotule dien as aanvullende bron by die resolusies en bevat dikwels inligting wat nie in die reslusies self voorkom nic. veral ten opsigte van die uitreiking van vrybriewe en bevorderings en salarisverhogings wat aan amptenare toegestaan is.

Die dagregister is ook 'n belangrike bron, hoewel dit tydrowend kan wees om inligting daarin te vind. Die tydperk van Van Riebeeck se bewind (1652-1662) is deur die Van Riebeeck-vereniging uitgegee en is ook van 'n register voorsien. 'n Ander baie belangrike bron van genealogiese inligting is die rekweste. Dit bevat die versoekskrifte wat deur private persone en instances aan die politieke raad gerig is. Kort Engelse opsommings van hierdie versoekskrifte is gepubliseer in H.C.V. Leibbrandt se reeks Precis of the Archives (Requests and Memorials, A-O). Daarin is die versoekskrifte alfabetiese volgens die name van die indieners gerangskik, wat 'n baie groot hulp is. Die letters P-Z is nie gepubliseer nie, maar is in manuskripvorm in die Kaapse Argiefbewaarplek aanwesig (verwysings- nommers LM 15-17). Enkele ander belangrike reekse is die inkomende en uitgaande briewe, beedigde verklarings (attestatieen), pagvoorwaardes en die eedboek. In laasgenoemde verskyn die name van alle persone wat by die aanvaarding van een of ander amp die betrokke ampseed afgele het. Ons vind dus daarin die name en die datum van ampsaanvaarding van alle lede van die politieke raad, raad van justisie, huwelikshof, burgerraad en die heemrade, asook alle amptenare soos die fiskaal, sekretarisse van die politieke raad en die raad van justisie en die landdros.

2. Die Argief van die Sekretaris van die Raad van Justisie (verwysingsnommer: CJ)

Vir die genealoog is die belangrikste reeks in hierdie groep sekerlik die testamente. Dit bevat al die oorspronklike testamente wat voor die sekretarisse van die politieke raad en die raad van justisie opgestel is. 'n Kaartjie-indeks op hierdie reeks is in die ieeskamer voorhande. Ewe belangrik is die stukke met betrekking tot kriminele en siviele hofsake, soos bv. die hofverslae en -strukke, konfessies en vonnjsse. Notariele stukke, soos kontrakte en prokurasies, bevat ook heel- wat inligting van belang vir die genealoog. Ander reekse in hierdie groep wat spesiale vermelding verdien is die inkomende en uitgaande briewe, versoek- skrifte en vendurolle.

3. Argief van die Weesheer (verwysingsnommer MOOC)

In hierdie groep is verskeie belangrike reekse. Die reeks testamente bevat alle testa- mente wat na die dood van 'n persoon by die Meesterskantoor ingedien is. Op die meeste daarvan is die datum waarop dit ingedien is aangeteken. Fotostatiese kopiee van die indeks op hierdie reeks kan in die leeskamer geraapleeg word. Aansluitend hierby moet die boedelinventarisse (waarop 'n inventaris bestaan), boedelrekenings en bylaes by boedelrekenings geraadpleeg word, 'n Ander belangrike bron, die doodregister, begin ongelukkig eers in 1758. Die inkomende en uitgaande briewe en die vendurolle kan ook heelwat iniigtin oplewer.

4. Opgaafrolle (verwysingsnommer: J)

Dit is 'n baie belangrike groep wat 'n rykdom van inligting bevat, maar ongelukkig is dit baie onvolledig, veral wat die sewentiende eeu betref. Die opgaafrolle is jaarliks opgestel, en bevat benewens die name van die Kaapse vryburgers, ook 'n volledige opgawe van hulle besittings.

5. Woordelike Afskrifte (verwysingsnommer: VC)

Die belangrikste bande in hierdie groep is die monsterrolle van vryburgers en Kompanjiesamptenare aan die Kaap. Dit bevat die name van alle amptenare, asook die vryburgers en hulle vrouens wat die betrokke jaar aan die Kaap aan- wesig was. Band VC 39 bevat, benewens die monsterrolle vir die tydperk tot 1700, ook nog afskrifte van die vry- en grondbriewe wat gedurende die eerste jare aan die Kaap uitgereik is, en 'n naamlys van alle persone wat in die Fort oorlede is van 1655 tot 1670. Band VC 56 bevat weer 'n alfabetiese naamlys van alle persone wat van 1718 to 1791 hulle vrybriewe van die Kamer Zeeland ontvang het.

6. Landdrosargiewe

Slegs drie landdrosargiewe bevat dokumente wat in die Kompanjiestydperk ont- staan het, t.w. Stellenbosch (verwysingsnommer Stb), Swellendam (verwysings- nommer SWM) en Graaff-Reinet (verwysingsnommer GR).

Van bogenoemde drie het die Stellenbosch-argief die grootste dokumenteneerslag. Vir die navorser wat in die genealogie belangstel, is veral die testamente van belang. 'n Kaartjie-indeks op hierdie testamente kan in die leeskamer geraad- pleeg word. Hierdie reeks bevat die testamente wat voor die sekretaris van die landdros opgestel is. Onder die regstukke verdien die volgende vermelding: verklarings, dagvaardings en lykskouings. Onder die militere stukke is van be- belang die monsterrolle, naamlyste van persone wat op veldtogte uitgegaan het en lyste van seinposte en die persone wat dit beman het. In die burgerlike verklarings word die name gevind van alle persone aan wie toestemming ver- leen is om na 'n ander distrik te verhuis. Laastens kan melding gemaak word van die burger-vrybricwe (1742-1783). naamlyste van seuns wat in die kerke van Drakenstein en Swartland gedoop is, met die name van hulle vaders (1768- 1776). naamlyste van burgers wat agterstallig is met die betaling van belastings, en die notariele stukkc, soos kontrakte, obligasies en prokurasies. In die Swellendam- en Graaff-Reinet-argiewe is slegs enkele bande, wat in die lys hieronder aangedui word, van belang.


1. Argief van die Sekretaris van die Politieke Raad

C 1-112 Resolution, 1651-1795

C 113-119 Klad Notulen, 1717-1795

C 120-222 Bylagen, 1716-1795

C 223-290 Requesten en Nomination. 1715-1791

C 326-408 Attestation. 1652-1791

C 409-90 Inkomende Brieven, 1649-1784

C 492-573 Uitgaande Brieven, 1652-1795

C 583-649 Dagregister, 1652-1794

C 670-677 Pacht Condition. 1687-1794

C 678-679 Bed Boek. 1692-1793

C 728 Diverse Vrijbrieven en Billiettcn

C 747 Compagnies Dienaaren. 1783-1789

C 806 Rang Lijsten, 1786, 1793

C 807 Naamlijst van zodanige onbekende vrijlieden als bij 't vrijboek der Europeaansche ingezeetenen alhier continueeren . . .

2. Argief van die Sekretaris van die Raad van Justisie

CJ 1-9 Kriminele en Siviele Regsrolle, 1652-1727

CJ 10-77 Kriminele Regsrolle. 1728-1795

CJ 282-58 Kriminele Prosesstukke, 1672-1795

CJ 780-797 Kriminele Vonnisse, 1652-1798

CJ 822-896 Siviele Regsroile, 1728-1795

CJ 1022-2021 Siviele Prosesstukke, 1708-1795

CJ 2485-2492 Inkomende Briewe, 1729-1795

CJ 2506-2539 Rekweste, 1716-1795

CJ 2569-2579 Uitgaande Briewe. 1720-1795

CJ 2597-2648 Testamente en Kodisille. 1691-1793

CJ 2649-2685 Testamente en Kodisillc, 1686-1793

CJ 2686-2748 Prokurasies, 1702-1795

CJ 2750-2824 Prokurasies, 1686-1793

CJ 2825-2861 Soldy Prokurasies, 1778-1793

CJ 2870-2913 Kontrakte, 1692-1790

CJ 2914-2948 Vendurolle. 1688-1794

CJ 2952-2954 Konfessies en Interrogatories, 1652-1685

CJ 3023-3072 Gemengde Notariele Stukke. 1686-1793

CJ 3074-3127 Gemengde Notariele Stukke. 1715-1792

3. Die Argief van die Weesheer

MOOC 3/3-18 Inkomende Briewe. 1690-1797

MOOC 4/1-9 Uitgaande Briewe, 1691-1798

MOOC 6/1 Dood Register. 1758-1797

MOOC 7/1/1-40 Testamente, 1689-1796

MOOC 7/136 Losse Testamente, 1678-1799

MOOC 8/1-21 Inventarisse. 1673-1797

MOOC 8/49-51 Inventarisse en Taksasies, 1780-1796

MOOC 8/76 Indeks op Inventarisse

MOOC 8/77 Indeks op Inventarisse van Getakseerde Boedels

MOOC 10/1-17 Vendurolle, 1691-1797

MOOC 12/1-8 Bewyse, 1731-1798

MOOC 13/1/1-20 Boedelrekenings, 1700-1795

MOOC 14/1-85 Bylaes by Boedelrekenings, 1700-1795

MOOC 14/195-201 Bylaes by Ontbrekende Boedelrekenings, 1683-1796

MOOC 14/212-215 Fragmentariese Boedelpapiere, 1674-1799

MOOC 14/232 Dagboek G. Lotter. Silwersmid, 1791-1795

MOOC 18/1-4 Joernaal Kaapse Wese. 1698, 1718, 1719, 1727

4. Opgaafrolle

J 82A-85 Opgaafrolle, Graaff-Reinet, 1787-1794

J 153-193 Opgaafrolle, Stellenbosch, 1692, 1716-1795

J 290 Opgaafrolle, Swellendam, 1762-1765

5. Woordelike Afskrifte

VC 39 Monsterrolle, 1655-1700, ens.

VC 40-48 Monsterrolle, Kompanjiesamptenare, 1701-1789

VC 49-55 Monstenolle, Vryburgers, 1702-1774

VC 56 Alfabetiese Lys van Persone aan wie Vrybriewe uitgereik is deur die Kamer Zeeland, 1718-1791

VC 103 Monsterrol. 1705

VC 162 Aantekeninge betreffende verskillende Amptenare aan die Kaap, ongeveer 1790

6. Stellenbosch-argief

Stb 1/1-21 Notule vanLanddrost en Heemrade, 1691-1795

Stb 3/8-13 Verklarings in Kriminele Sake, 1702-1796

Stb 6/1 Siviele Prosesstukke, 1748-1800

Stb 6/5-7 Dagvaardings, 1747-1799

Stb 8/1 Skouaktes en Lykskouings, 1731-1799

Stb 12/82-83 Lyste van Skape-, Beeste-, Leeu- en Tiergelde verskuldig, 1710-1798

Stb 12/84 Lyste van Skape- en Beestegelde verskuldig, 1748-1788

Stb 13/1-11 Notule van Krygsraad, 1688-1798

Stb 13/1 6-20 Siviele Rolle van Krygsraad, 1724-1782

Stb 13/21-27 Generale Monsterrolle, 1700-1794

Stb 13/3 1 Alfabetiese Naamlyste van Persone wat op Veldtogte uitgegaan het, 1736-1744

Stb 13/33-34 Naamlyste van Diensdoende en Afgeskrewe Burgers 1776-1805

Stb 13/35-37 Verklarings van Mediese Praktisyns en Burgers oor Onbekwaamheid tot Militêre Diens. 1760-1794

Stb 13/38 Seinposte en Seinmanne. 1776-1795

Stb 15/1 Burger-vrybriewe, 1742-1783

Stb 15/2-5 Burgerlike Attestatiën. 1688-1798

Stb 17/3 Lystc van Kinders gedoop, 1768-1776

Stb 18/1-20 Testamente. 1687-1798

Stb 18/30-35 Inventarisse. 1687-1804

Stb 18/40-48 Kontrakte. 1689-1793

Stb 18/60-71 Obligasies 1687-1793

Stb 18/104-115 Prokurasies, 1703-1798

Stb 18/152-165 Notariële Verklarings

Stb 19/130-134 Generale Paaie en Weërolle. 1708-1799

7. Swellendam-argief

SWM 1/1-3 Notule van Landdros en Heemrade, 1747-1798

SWM 3/10-17 Algemene Verklarings, 1746-1795

SWM 7/7-10 Dagvaardings, 1746-1795

8. Graaff-Reinet-argief

GR 1/1 Notule, 1786-1795

Druk E-Pos

The Early British Families of Paarl

published in Familia vol. 28, no. 4, 1991, p. 198-203

Many books rightly deal with the history of the Dutch and Huguenots of Paarl. They contain almost not a single word about the British. Yet families from the British Isles were here from an early date and played a valuable part in the life of the community. Two of them moreover, (Barker and Curlewis, see below) were important enough to merit articles in The Dictionary of South African Biography and the Standard Encyclopedia of Southern Africa and in E. Rosenthal's Southern African Dictionary of National Biography. Clergy were soon on the scene and did noble work in ministering to their compatriots and to their non-European converts. George Barker served here in a branch of the London Missionary Society 1839-1856 and then stayed on till his death five years later. The son of a farmer, he did useful work teaching agriculture to his Hottentots. There are copies of his letters with Paarl's historical society, the Drakenstein Heemkring. And his diary of an earlier period (1815-1828) remains with a descendant.

Barker built the Zion Chapel in Zion Street and opened it on 4 August 1842, a large building which seats 500 but cost only £320 as the congregation gave their labour free of charge. Eventually, however, they were driven out by the Group Areas Act and it is now leased to the Dutch Reformed Church. It became a National Monument on 22 November 1990.

Barker had a large family, of whom three sons and six daughters reached adulthood. Sarah the eldest girl married G.A. Munro of Grahamstown. Elizabeth (1816-1904) stayed unwed. Anne (1818-1886) married another L M S missionary James Read (1811-1894) in 1841. Jane (1825-1924) married D.T. Hockly of Cradock (1826-1897) in 1849. Mary Anne (1827-1903) married the Dutch minister Johannes Budly. And Harriet married the D R C theologian J.H. du Plessis (1826-1891).

Barker taught in the mission school and his daughter Anne started a Ladies Seminary for European girls and young boys. Jane and Mary Anne later took over and finally Elizabeth. The school had at least two distinguished alumni. J.H. de Villiers, later Chief Justice of South Africa, was born in Paarl in 1842 and learned here till he went on to South African College ten years later. And F.C. Kolbe who became a monsignor in the Catholic Church studied here in his Paarl sojourn of 1856-1862. He was the son of F.W. Kolbe who took over from Barker in 1856 and is recorded as having a congregation of 600 two years later.

The Barkers were Congregationalists and a still standing church for their European members was erected in Auret Street, quite close to the Zion Chapel, in 1903. At first the Catholics were few in number and depended on priests from Cape Town to celebrate their masses from time to time. Their present church of St. Augustine in Van der Lingen Street was designed by (Sir) Herbert Baker and opened in 1910. Most of the earlier Catholics were buried by the Anglican clergy of Holy Trinity and appear in their registers.

The first Anglican services were held in the Government Free School in 1850 by James Inglis who had been appointed the Master of the school in 1843 on a salary of £130 a year plus £30 for house rent. The present parish hall of Holy Trinity was built in 1856, probably to the design of Sophy Gray, the wife of the Bishop of Cape

Town. It was used as a day school on weekdays, for services and Sunday school on Sundays and for parish meetings from time to time. The present church, now at 220 Main Street, was built to the north of it in 1883. Mrs Gray had died in 1870 but this may have been one of her designs.

Inglis had been born in Scotland in 1803 and was ordained deacon on 23 December 1849. He also started work among the non-Europeans in Noorder Paarl. He had several children by his wife Anne but she and all of them except one had died by 1886. The survivor, his daughter Mary Elizabeth, married George Lawrence who became rector of Durbanville and Inglis died in their rectory on 18 April 1886. In the nineties one J.Inglis M A, presumably a grandson, was assistant teacher at the English Church School and also the secretary of Paarl Public Library.

At first the congregation were too poor to meet any part of the minister's stipend but he received £90 a year from diocesan funds. Rectors of some rural parishes had to do much travelling and some received as much as £80 a year to maintain two riding horses. Holy Trinity and later the second Paarl parish did have a few out stations but these were fairly near and each rector got only an annual £20 to maintain "half a horse".

By 1856 Holy Trinity had four Europeans and 198 others. Two years later the numbers had greatly changed. Most of the non-Europeans had moved to the Noorder Paarl congregation and only 30 remained while the whites had risen to 70. By 1890 the numbers had risen to 350 and they contributed £174 to church funds. There were 283 children on the books of the weekday school under a single teacher. The average daily attendance was only 81 but surely he/she was still overworked? The Sunday school was much better staffed with the 56 children having no less than four teachers.

The founder of the mission church was James Frederick Curlewis. Born on 30 October 1833, he came to Paarl as a catechist in about 1852. He was ordained deacon in 1859 and remained here for the rest of his life till his death in an accident on 12 August 1901.

Curlewis had married Mary Murray, the widow of William Robert Shaw Wilson, who died in Paarl on 29 June 1899. Four sons and a daughter were living at the time of his death. All of them probably had their early education at Holy Trinity School and the boys went on to Bishop's in Cape Town. John Stephen (Paarl 31 March 1863 - Pretoria 24 August 1940) was the most distinguished, living to be Chief Justice of the Union of South Africa in 1936. John Frederick Inglis Curlewis was a land surveyor and died on 14 January 1944. And George Edward, born on 8 March 1867, was a manager in the Standard Bank and died on 6 February 1954.

Curlewis' first school-chapel was built by 1858 but by 1869 he had 178 parishioners and the chapel was too small. St. Stephen's Church was therefore built, in Paarl granite, in 1877 and this in its turn was replaced by a new church, the work of the Cape Town architect J.C. Parker, in 1896. Noorder Paarl was at first under Inglis at Holy Trinity but later became a parish on its own. Most of the services were held in Dutch, the home language of its coloured worshippers. In recent years they had to move out under the Group Areas Act. The church has become a hall for the Dutch Reformed Church and a new church has been erected at New Orleans across the Berg River.

Among the leading families at Holy Trinity were the Hitchcocks who also contributed to the town's musical life. Henry Thomas, their earliest member, was born in 1789 and died in Paarl on 2 March 1836. His nephew Thomas Joel (born in Worcester, England in May 1803, died at Klein Drakenstein 3 March 1886) opened his Musical Depository in Cape Town in 1828, advertising himself as an organ builder and pianoforte manufacturer. Perhaps his greatest work was the erection of.the organ in St. George's Church (later the Cathedral) in 1834-1841, with parts imported from Britain.

Hitchcock was married three times, in each case to a Dutch lady. He wed Johanna Christina Rykie Zulch (17 April 1814-28 October 1850) on 14 February 1832. His next marriage, on 11 June 1851, was to Helena Dorothea Meyer. And his final wife was Elizabeth Maria, daughter of Johannes Jorgens Scholz of Klapmuts and his wife Anna Aletta Elizabeth (nee Muller).

Hitchcock had no less that 17 children. Several of them followed musical professions, among them Thomas John, a piano tuner of Paarl, who was born in 1842 and died in Fraserburg on 6 June 1876. The family must have had plenty to do, keeping the town's organs and citizens' pianos in good order.

Paarl was noted for its wagon builders and at least one of these was British, George David Wilson who was in the trade by 1858 and did well enough to be able to send his two sons to Diocesan College. But faster means of transport were on the way and the railway from Cape Town reached Paarl in 1863. Several of the British railwaymen settled here with their families and are buried in the graveyards.

A man who has left a graphic record of his Paarl days is James Gribble who had opened a photographic shop at 54 Hanover Street in Cape Town in 1869. He moved to Paarl twenty years later and set up his "Art Studio" in Market Square, working there until 1894. Two of his elaborate carte-de-visite trade cards are referenced in Africana Notes and News of June 1973. A copy of his photograph of West Jones the Bishop of Cape Town is in the vestry at Holy Trinity. And Paarl's historical society, the Drakenstein Heemkring has many of his photos and no less than 26 000 of his glass negatives. Born in 1863, he did not die till 1943 after being secretary to the Paarl Farmer's Association for forty years.

Some Paarl British are listed in the Cape Almanacs. Many have death notices in the Cape Archives and their burials are in Holy Trinity's registers. All these and other written sources are likely to survive. But another valuable source is gravestones and these are an endangered species. Some become weather-worn, they break up or become illegible. There is much vandalism. Whole graveyards are torn up and the stones destroyed. Paarl historians told me the only old Dutch graves were the few round the two oldest churches. They felt there must have been at least one other old cemetery but such had been destroyed before their time. And there has been a sizeable Jewish community since early days. They must have had graves but none of those in the present Jewish cemetery in Hospital Street are earlier than 1898.

So it has seemed a wise precaution to record the surviving early British stones before they too are gone. (For brevity those below are only of people who lived entirely or mainly before the year 1900). Some of the information below is from sources other than the epitaphs.


So-called by H.E. Hockley in his article on Barker in the DSAB but apparently not by anyone in Paarl now. Most people I asked had never heard of this place, only two knew where it was or had ever been to it. I found it at length in the forest at the foot of Paarl Mountain, not far above the top of Bosnian Street, and found it only through the kindness of a gentleman who took me there. It is not far above the Zion Chapel and all those buried here were members of the chapel. There is no graveyard area and no enclosing wall. The tombs are simply dotted about among the trees and the rocks of Paarl granite.

George Barker, Wimbish, Essex (east of Saffron Walden) 1789 - Paarl 9 May 1861. Son of Nathaniel and Sarah, m 1. in England Sarah Williams (1790 - Theopolis, Eastern Cape December 1836). m 2. Paarl 2 April 1844 Hilletje Smuts (below). Slate slab in large granite tomb. Erected by Paarl friends.

Hilletje Barker. Wife of George. 1797 - 2 April 1864. Daughter of Jacobus Johannes Smuts (1775-1834) and Aletta Geertruida (nee Versfeld). Died in Paarl homeof P G Russ. Slate.

Elizabeth Barker. Daughter of George. Theopolis 13 October 1816-26 September 1904. Died at "Magnolia", Sea Point, home of Dr J. du Plessis (1868-1925), son of her sister Harriet.

Georgina Isabella Walker. Eldest daughter of Rev. F. Walker. 19 May 1850 - 30 March 1868. Slate. Erected at cost of her young friends in Paarl.

Henry White. Son of Henry and Sarah of Blackheath, Kent. London 4 January 1851 -15 May 1869, of pulmonary tuberculosis. Stone, with carved lily at the head.

H W May. A rock has fallen over the remainder of the slab which no doubt gives further details.


On Berg River Boulevard. Next to D R C cemetery (which contains no British graves). All monuments below are in Carrara marble unless otherwise stated. Nearly all these persons are in Holy Trinity's burial registers.

Mary Jane Ward. 1846 -19 March 1860. And her mother Anne 1826 - 21 May 1861 on same slate slab.

Angelina Neal. November 1845 -11 April 1860. Slate.

Jane Ghislin. Daughter of Eleanor Filby (below). Widow of William Augustus Ghislin (1820 - November 1842). He buried from Holy Trinity but no tomb here. His mother Melia Ghislin May 1779 - November 1865 was also buried from that church but has no tomb. Slate cross.

John Henry Filby. Son of Henry and Jane. Bromley, Kent August 1868 - 27 May 1902. Engine driver on Cape Government Railways. Died in Railway Camp, Touwsrivier. m. Dora. He again is in Holy Trinity's register but has no tomb.

The Filbys and Ghislins lived mostly in Somerset West and could have been buried there or near-by in the Anglican cemetery in Stellenbosch. So must have had some Paarl connections to be brought all this way.

James Conroy. Roscommon, Ireland 15 December 1817 -10 October 1874. Chief Constable of Paarl. Lived near Lady Grey Bridge over Berg River. Slate.

Johanna Caroline Conroy. Wife of James. 1832 - Cape Town 13 March 1894.

David Geduld. 3 January 1832 - 10 May 1880. And his wife Caroline Susanna 9 September 1835 - 25 March 1889. Slate.

Joseph Benjamin Herbert. Shrewsbury 5 August 1827 -11 March 1881. A baker. Marble.

He m 1. 25 May 1853 Harriet Ann Cassidy, only eighteen but already a bonnet maker and already a widow. She 2 March 1835 -10 February 1858. The marriage was the first in Holy Trinity's register and took place in the Government Schoolroom before the church was built. She also was buried from Holy Trinity but has no tomb here. Herbert m 2. Sara Maria who survived him.

Helena Sperling. Born Jacobs. Cape Town 4 April 1814 - 4 November 1893. Marble tomb by Robert Cane and Sons (of 80 Strand Street, Cape Town and Church Street, Wynberg).

James Gribble. Born near Cape Town 27 January 1863 - Paarl 23 January 1943. His photographic work is described above.

Kate Leger Gribble. First wife of James. 23 March 1866 - 31 July 1930.

Rose Gribble. Second wife of James. 26 November 1874 - died near Windsor,

England 10 September 1939.

Another James Gribble, son of James. 28 April 1891 -10 March 1895.

All four above are recorded on the same marble cross.

Mary Ann McGhie. Paarl 1 July 1825 - 24 December 1895. Born Philip.

John McGhie. Son of Mary Ann. 1850 - March 1928.

Catherine Nellie McGhie. Wife of John, d 11 July 1911.

All above three on same tomb.

Diana McGhie. 1866 - Muldersvlei (next village south of Paarl) 29 August 1894. Sister of John. In church burial register but no tomb here.

Elizabeth Harriet Green. Born Hazell. Wife of Henry Green (Bampton, Oxon, west of Oxford 1851 - 1903. Store keeper, Paarl.) Maidstone, Kent October 1855 - 29 February 1902. Cross.

George Gooch. 883 - 7 December 1902. By C.D. Wells (of Darling Street, Cape Town).

Elizabeth Mary Ann Parker. Born Cherry. First wife of James William Parker, 1849 - 1912, station master at Paarl. 24 January 1852 - 21 October 1903. By Bohlmann Brothers. (They were from Hanover and were the leading monumental masons of Paarl in their day. Their yard was in Breda Street.) Thomas Richard Proudfoot, Port Elizabeth 3 January 1842 - 9 January 1900, Son of Thomas Richard and Dorothy. Married Ellen Jan Tregaskis. By W.T. Attwood (of Main Road, Mowbray).

Musgrove John Tomkin. Ashford, Kent January 1858 - 15 May 1904. Messenger of magistrate's court. Died at his house in Patriot Street.

Benjamin Herbert Dale. 29 January 1880 - 22 October 1904. Cross.

Water M. Pilkington. Son of Harry below. 9 September 1862 - 28 October 1904.

Harry Pilkington. Son of George William of Westmeath, Ireland and Mary. Mowbray 24 December 1852 - 6 January 1907. (Merchant in Cape Town and farmer at The Chase, Klein Drakenstein). m Sea Point 17 November 1875 Mary Agnes Bowe of Sea Point, aged 19. Father and son on same tomb.

Minnie King. 11 November 1874 -11 October 1905. Born Dearn. Wife of Sergeant H.King.

Ida Wolfe. Wife of Robert Inglewood, District Surgeon of Paarl. 1870 - 20 December 1907. Cross.

Joseph Calvert. Mirfield, West Riding of Yorkshire 30 December 1860 - 8 August 1911.

Henry Jenkins. Bath 12 June 1834 - 11 August 1912.

Annie Jenkins. Wife of Henry. 1830 - 27 November 1920. Both on same tomb, by Bohlmann Brothers.

Elizabeth Sherard Thorgill. Born King. Manchester 1849 - 6 December 1916. Tomb of Paarl granite.

-R.R. Langham-Carter

Druk E-Pos

Which Pieter Gous was Aletta Vorster’s husband?

Genealogies of Old South African Families, by C.C. de Villiers, revised C. Pama, A.A. Balkema, Cape Town, 1966 (De Villiers / Pama) does not allocate this Pieter Gous any parents, leaving him uncoupled to the main Gous family tree. South African Genealogies, by J.A. Heese and R.J.T. Lombard, GISA (SAG) has Aletta Vorster as the second wife of Pieter Gous, born 1693, son of the Stamvader André Gauch and his second wife, Jannetje de Clerq.

Unfortunately for this last theory, there is no doubt that this Pieter Gous (born circa 1693) died in 1730 (MOOC 8/5, 27) as pointed out by Johann Pottas in 2004 in the GISA errata database, doubly confirmed by the fact that his widow, Anna Oosthuisen, married Gerrit van Emmenes on 1st April 1731 at Drakenstein.

A little more investigation revealed that the Estate Accounts (Boedelrekening) of Johanna De Clercq, 1748, listed the following children of her two sons, both of whom had predeceased her. Of her eldest son Pieter Gous, four children: Johanna, Dorothea, Pieter and Sara, and of her second son Andries Gous, eight children: Pieter, Andries, Barend, Johanna, Sara, Stephanus, Helena and Hester.

The Pieter in the first list, son of Pieter, was baptised in 1727 and, therefore, did not seem a likely candidate for the husband of Aletta Vorster (married 1742), but the Pieter in the second list, that of the children of Andries Gous, seemed to be a good candidate. I found baptisms for all of the children in that second list except for the Pieter who heads the list. Since the list is in the same order as the other children were baptised I assumed that Pieter was the first born, despite the lack of a baptism.

Andries Gous the father of these children, died circa June 1735 (Inventory MOOC 8/5, 85). This inventory does not mention the names or number of his children.

The next document I consulted was the Acte van Kinderbewys (deed of guarantee for children’s inheritance) (MOOC 12/1, 28) sworn by Johanna Conterman, the widow of Andries Gous, on 23 June 1735. Such a deed was required by the Weeskamer if the surviving spouse was going to retain control of the inheritance due to the children, as a safeguard in case of such spouse’s future marriage. Such a marriage as took place soon afterwards between Johanna Conterman and Jan la Grange.

In this document she guarantees an amount of 5259 gulden as the paternal inheritance of her eight minor children, whom she listed as: Pieter aged 16, Andries 15, Barend 13, Johannes 10, Sara 8, Stephanus 6, Helena 3 and Hester Gous, aged 1 year, thus confirming the previous conjecture that Pieter was their eldest son.

Here, in my opinion, we have an excellent candidate for the husband of Aletta Vorster, since this Pieter would have been around 23 in 1742. I have, however, been unable to find any direct evidence that unequivocally identifies Pieter Gous born circa 1719 with Pieter Gous, bachelor, who married Aletta Vorster on 25 November 1742. I believe, nevertheless, that he is our man.

I first became interested in this Pieter Gous when researching Maria van Staden, the wife of Frans Smit, a very interesting woman in her own right. In her will (CJ 2672, 44, 17 January 1775), Maria van Staden makes (among others) a bequest as follows:

And the testatrix bequeaths to her nephew the farmer Pieter Gous and to his wife Aletta Forster, or to the survivor of them both, the farm buildings on the cattle farm which she also has on leasehold from the Honourable Company, situated across the Oliphants Rivier at the Langefonteijn.

Maria van Staden referred to him as her nephew (neef - an ambiguous word in afrikaans, but the others in her will to whom she referred in the same way were all sons of her half sister Cecilia Janse van Rensburg, so we can assume that her meaning was that of nephew). Maria's husband, Frans Smit, and his brother, Alewijn Smit, farmed in partnership all through their lives, so far as I can establish (Frans died first, in 1758). Alewijn Smit was married to Hester Bekker. Pieter Gous the son of Andries Gous, would have been her nephew. I presume that Maria van Staden regarded him, in this related-by-marriage sense, as her nephew too.

It was the convention then, and much later too, for baptisms of children to be witnessed by close relatives. Thus the witnesses at the baptism of a first child were often the grandparents, for later children often the uncles and aunts. There was no hard and fast rule, however, and relatives were not obligatory as witnesses; sometimes apparently unrelated individuals appear as witnesses, or the parents double as witnesses, or sometimes there were no witnesses.

With the children of Pieter Gous and Aletta Vorster, this is true so far as the Vorster relations go, but there is not one single Gous relative appearing as witness at the baptism of any of their six children.

Their children were all baptised in the church at Tulbagh, known then as De Land van Waveren, and I assume that they lived within the area of that church. The baptism of their first child was witnessed by her brother and her mother, of the second child by Francois Smit and Maria van Staden. One later baptism was witnessed by Hester Smit, daughter of Alewijn Smit and Hester Bekker, all the others by Vorster relations. My conjecture here, not confirmed by any document as yet, is that on the death of his father, or perhaps the remarriage of his mother, he went to live, or more likely to live and work, on the farm owned and run jointly by his aunt Hester Bekker, her husband Alewijn Smit and her brother- and sister-in-law, Frans Smit and Maria van Staden. Either he was too far from his mother's home, or out of favour there, to ask them to stand as baptismal witnesses. Their first son has the same name as Aletta Vorsters's father (a not uncommon variation of the usual naming pattern) or perhaps as Pieter’s step-father, Jan la Grange, or perhaps both of these, and their second son as Pieter's father, Andries. His eldest daughter has the name, as was the usual convention, of his mother-in-law, and his second daughter the name of both Maria van Staden and his own mother, Johanna Conterman. It would seem that this couple held Maria van Staden in high esteem, and vice versa.

We know that Pieter Gous, born circa 1719, eldest child of Andries Gous and his wife Johanna Conterman, survived into adulthood. We have the documents mentioned above, the kinderbewys of 1735 and the estate accounts of 1748 attesting to his still being alive at those dates. In addition we have an estate account (boedelrekening), dated February 1799, for Sara Gous, widow of Nicolaas Bruijns, in which are listed as her heirs all her brothers and sisters, just as they had been listed in the two previous documents of 1735 and 1748.

This Pieter Gous seems to have been the one who died 18th January 1790 at Waveren - unfortunately no other details are given. His wife, Aletta Vorster, died 20th July 1798, inscribed as the widow of Pieter Gous.

I hope that I may yet discover more direct proof, but in the meantime I believe that Pieter Gous, born circa 1719, the eldest child of Andries Gous and his wife Johanna Conterman, is the most likely candidate for the husband of Aletta Vorster.

All references are to documents in the Cape Archives unless otherwise specified.

My grateful thanks are due to Malan Jacobs, Helena Liebenberg, Keith Meintjes, and the late André Kellerman, all of whom have helped me to consult source material and accounts of this family to which I did not have access here.

As always I will be very pleased to receive any corrections, additions or references to other documents bearing on this family.

Richard Ball Norfolk, England Hierdie e-posadres word van Spambotte beskerm. Jy moet JavaScript ontsper om dit te lees.">Hierdie e-posadres word van Spambotte beskerm. Jy moet JavaScript ontsper om dit te lees.

This areticle was originally printed in the February 2007 issue of genesis, the quarterly journal of eGGSA, internet branch of the Genealogical Society of South Africa.

The Gous Family Tree

In my attempts to establish the above facts, I have reconstructed a large part of the first three Gous generations from the various documents that I consulted and I take the opportunity of presenting the first two generations here, since there is some variation between what I have found and what is presented in De Villiers / Pama and SAG. These generations can also be seen on my web site The Gous Family of the Cape where the detailed source for every piece of information is also provided.

André Gauch, smith and farmer, living in Drakenstein Born: Le Pont-de-Montvert, Languedoc - died 26 February 1698 x Jacqueline Decré 13 January 1683 Celigny, Geneva died before 1691 (assumed) xx Johanna de Clercq 19 August 1691 Stellenbosch, born Zeeland, died circa 1748

His own signature gives his name as André Gauch. At the Cape the name was variously spelled; mostly Gausch and Gousch in the early documents (reproducing very closely the sound of the French name using Dutch spelling) and later apparently taken to be the word 'Gouws' and spelt thus or as 'Gous'. I have decided to standardise the form of the name as Gous from his children onwards.

The marriage entry in the Celigny, Geneva, register gives his father's name as the late Pierre Gauch of Pont de Monvers aux Sevens, but does not record the bridegroom's age at that date. So far as I know there is no source for his date of birth.

The children and grandchildren of André Gauch and Jacqueline Decré:

b1 Steven Gous, born between 1683 and 1684 at Geneva, died before March 1758

farmer, of Berg en Daal, Koeberg

x Catharina Bok, 6 March 1718 Cape Town

born: circa 1704-1705 at the Cape, died circa December 1779 father: Christiaan Bok, mother: Anna Groothenning

I have assumed that he was the son of Jacqueline Decré. There is, so far as I am aware, no proof of this. He gave his birthplace as Geneva at the time of his marriage, so it seems very likely. Although he appears as 'Etienne' in SAG, De Villiers / Pama, Boucher’s French Speakers at the Cape, and many of the web sites which list this family, I have found not a single historical source for this name. So far as I know we have no record of him other than what is housed in the Cape Archives where his name is always Steven.

b1.c1 Stephanus Gous, baptised 1 September 1720 Cape Town died (in all probability) between 1720 and 1721 as an infant.

Although given a large progeny by SAG this child almost certainly died as an infant. The opgaaf (tax cum census) returns for this family list no children for the year 1721. Later returns of 1725 to 1738 list only daughters in this family. The return of 1741 lists 1 son and 5 daughters. In addition the will of Catharina Bok, widow of Steven Gous, 17 March 1758, lists her 5 daughters and her one son, Andries Stephanus and the estate accounts of Clara Bok, who died without children of her own in 1798, lists the then living children and descendants of her late sister Catharina Bok, 'procreated within marriage with her likewise deceased husband Stephanus Gousch' as Andries Stephanus Gousch, Sara Gousch and Clara Gousch.

b1.c2 Anna Gous, baptised 30 September 1721 Cape Town

b1.c3 Catharina Gous, baptised 1 August 1723 Cape Town

The two daughters above were still living when their mother made her opgaaf return in 1773 but had died by the time the estate accounts of their aunt, Clara Bok, were drawn up in 1798 (MOOC 13/1/22, 4).

b1.c4 Christina Gous, baptised 18 March 1725 Cape Town, died circa 1792

b1.c5 Sara Gous, baptised 6 April 1727 Cape Town,

date of death unknown, except that it was probably after 1798 since she is mentioned as one of the heirs of her aunt, Clara Bok (MOOC 13/1/22, 4).

b1.c6 Clara Gous, baptised 20 July 1732 Cape Town, died circa July 1821

b1.c7 Andries Stephanus Gous, baptised 12 June 1740 Cape Town, died circa October 1814 x Maria Hendrina Mulder born at the Cape

This couple had no children of their own but their apparently unrelated adopted son, Andries Stephanus Faculyn Gous, left a large progeny (see SAG).

b2 Marie Gous, baptised 31 May 1690 Amsterdam, Oude Waalse Kerk

died presumably before her father arrived at the Cape.

The children and grandchildren of André Gauch and Johanna de Clercq:

b3 Pieter Gous, born circa 1692-1693 at the Cape, died circa 1730

farmer of De Doorn Rivier, over 't Roode Sand

x Anna Oosthuisen 4 May 1721 Stellenbosch

born at the Cape, died circa December 1745 (date of inventory) she married secondly Gerrit van Emmenes, 1 April 1731, Drakenstein.

De Villiers / Pama and SAG both list what appears to be a spurious daughter named Anna for this couple, but I have been unable to find any evidence of her existence. So far as I can establish there were only the following four children.

b3.c1 Johanna Gous, baptised 25 April 1723 Drakenstein, died circa July 1794

x Matthijs Strijdom 11 October 1739 Drakenstein

farmer, died before 1758

xx Ockert Brits 16 April 1758 Drakenstein

She had children with both husbands.

b3.c2 Dorothea Gous, baptised 26 November 1724 Stellenbosch

according to SAG she married Willem Botha (Tulbagh, VC 664, marriages, page 18, 23 May 1762) and they had four children.

b3.c3 Pieter Gous, baptised 6 July 1727 Drakenstein

of De Voorbaad, situated at the Swarteberg

x Magdalena Brits 5 November 1752 Tulbagh

I found no evidence from wills or other documents that the Pieter Gous baptised 1727 was the husband of Magdalena Brits, so I checked out the baptisms of their all their children for the clues provided by baptismal witnesses.

The witnesses at the baptism of their first child were Johanna Gous and Matthijs Strijdom, the sister and brother-in-law of the Pieter Gous who was born 1727 to Pieter Gous and Anna Oosthuijsen; those of the second child were Johannes Oosthuijsen and Anna Botha, brother of Anna Oosthuijsen and his wife, uncle and Aunt of the Pieter Gous born 1727; those of the third child were Dorothea Gous and Ockert Brits, she the sister of the Pieter Gous born 1727 and the second husband of Johanna Gous, sister of Pieter Gous born 1727. It seems pretty certain to me, therefore, that this is a correct identification.

Beyond their baptisms, I have not investigated their children.

b3.c4 Sara Gous, baptised 21 August 1729 Cape Town

according to the SAG, vol 2, page 494, she married Willem Goosen (Cape Town marriage register, VC 621, page 59, 31st August 1749) and they had eight children.

b4 Sara Gous, born circa 1694 or 1695, died circa December 1722

x Christiaan Gobrechts, farmer, died circa 1731 (date of inventory)

they had just the one child, Andries Gobrechts, born circa September 1722

b5 Johanna Gous, baptised 25 September 1695 Drakenstein, died before June 1698

b6 Andries Gous, born circa May 1698, died circa June 1735

farmer of De Melkhouteboom, on the Duijvenhoks River

x Johanna Conterman 14 May 1719 Drakenstein

she married secondly Jan La Grange, circa 1735 or 1736 (there are no entries for this period in the Drakenstein marriage registers).

b6.c1 Pieter Gous, born circa 1719, died 18 January 1790 Waveren

x Aletta Vorster 25 November 1742 Drakenstein born circa 1722 at the Cape, died 20 July 1798 Waveren

Please see the article above which introduces this family tree for my reasoning in allocating this family to this point of the tree, which I consider their correct location. Their children, so far as I can see, are exactly as laid out in SAG and De Villiers / Pama.

b6.c2 Andries Gous, baptised 5 January 1721 Drakenstein

x Anna Magdalena Vosloo 9 September 1742 Drakenstein

b6.c2d1 Andries Gous, baptised 16 December 1744 Tulbagh

b6.c2d2 Johannes Stephanus Gous, baptised 31 March 1748 Stellenbosch

The NAAIRS online index suggests (but I have not seen the documents concerned) that he died circa 1792 and that his wife, Anna Magdalena Vosloo died circa 1810 (MOOC 7/1/37, 24 and MOOC 7/1/59, 62). The Cape Death Notifications (MOOC 6, volume2, page 49) lists her death under the district of Swellendam during the year 1794, no date attached.

b6.c3 Barend Gous, baptised 25 April 1723 Drakenstein, died circa January 1741

b6.c4 Johanna Gous, baptised 8 July 1725 Cape Town

x Wessel Pretorius, farmer of Hollebak, over the Duijvenhoxrivier died circa 1752 (date of inventory)

xx Jan Vosloo 26 November 1752 Stellenbosch died circa 1756 (date of inventory)

xxx Jan Lasch 15 October 1769 Tulbagh

She appears to have had children by all three husbands.

b6.c5 Sara Gous, born circa 1727 at the Cape, died circa 1797

x Claas de Bruijn 9 March 1745 Tulbagh born at the Cape, died before 1797

They appear to have had no children.

b6.c6 Stephanus Gous, baptised 25 September 1729 Cape Town

of De Elands Valleij, at the Swarte Berg

x Catharina Huppenaar 16 June 1756 Cape Town baptised 2 September 1736 Drakenstein,

Father: Frederik Huppenaar Mother: Catharina Hofman

We have seen earlier that it could not have been Stephanus Gous, the son of Steven Gous (b1c1), who married Catharina Huppenaar, as averred by SAG and De Villiers / Pama, since he did not survive (or leave surviving heirs) to be named as an heir in his mother’s will of 1759, having most probably died as an infant. We have also seen that Steven Gous (b1) died around 1758 and was survived by his wife, Catharina Bok, so that he could not have been Catharina Huppenaar’s husband.

This leaves as the only other candidate Stephanus Gous (b6.c6). I have, in addition, checked the baptismal witnesses for his first two children (I have not been able to examine details of the baptisms of his later children as I do not currently have access for the appropriate dates to the registers where they were presumably recorded, possibly Cape Town or Drakenstein).

The witnesses recorded were; for the first child, Andries, baptised 7 November 1756 at Tulbagh, Johanna Conterman and Jan le Grange, the child's paternal grandmother with her second husband; for the second child, Catharina, baptised 17 December 1758 at Tulbagh, Catharina Hofman and Willem Landman, maternal grandmother of the child with her second husband.

Again, this is slim evidence, but I believe that mine is the correct interpretation.

SAG lists a good number of other children as well but I have not investigated them.

b6.c7 Helena Gous, baptised 4 July 1732 Cape Town

x Willem van Wijk 5 September 1756 Tulbagh, Died before 1802

b6.c8 Hester Gous, baptised 27 June 1734 Cape Town

x Reijnier van Rooijen 4 March 1753 Tulbagh, of Swellendam, died 18 July 1770 at Swellendam

5 children.

xx Willem Pilje 26 May 1771 Stellenbosch, died before 1802

copyright Richard Ball

Original Documentary Sources used in the above research:

Cape Death Notifications 1758-1838, MOOC 6/1, 6/2, 6/3

Cape Opgaaf Returns, computerisation by the University of the Western Cape,

printouts, as housed at the Genealogical Institute of South Africa, Stellenbosch

Church Registers:

Amsterdam, Oude Waalse Kerk, Gemeentearchief Amsterdam web site

Cape Town Congregation, VC 603, 604, 605, 621

Celigny, Geneva 1571- 1798, Latter Day Saints, film number 128310

Drakenstein Congregation, VC644, VC645, VC654

Stellenbosch Congregation, VC 633, VC 639, VC 645

Swartland Congregation, VC 666-8, VC 672

Tulbagh Congregation, VC 657, and VC 644

Deed of Surety, Conterman, Johanna wed. Gous, 23 June 1735, MOOC 12/1, 28

Estate Accounts:

Bok, Clara, weduwe Gideon Slabbert, dated 12 July 1798, MOOC 13/1/22, 4

De Clercq, Johanna, from 1748 to 8 August 1757, MOOC 13/1/4, 2

Gousch, Sara wed Bruijns, from 1798 to 9 December 1802, MOOC 13/1/25, 31

Inventories: (transcripts available on the TANAP Cape Inventories web site)

Gaus, Pieter, dated 9 May 1730, MOOC 8/5, 27

Gausch, Andries, dated 23 June 1735, MOOC 8/5, 85

Gobregts, Christiaan, dated 8 November 1731, MOOC 8/5, 49

Goos, Andries, dated 9 June 1698, MOOC 8/1,37

Gous, Sara 1722, dated 9th December 1722, MOOC 8/4, 39

Oosthuisen, Anna, dated 22 December 1745, MOOC 8/6,100

Joernaal-boek der Caapse Weesen van de jaare 1698, MOOC 18/1, page 14

entry dated 21 June 1698:

Johanna du Clercq: vryburgeresse, en weeduwe wijlen de franse smit

tot drakensteijn Andries Goos, aan haar 4 onder volgende weeskinderen

aan Steven Goos oud 14, zijnde 't voorkind f 100:-:-

aan Pieter Goos oud 5 jaar, f 100:-:-

aan Sara Goos oud 3 jaar, f 100:-:-

aan Andries Goos oud 6 weeken, f 100:-:-


Bock, Catharina, wed. Steven Gousch, dated 17 March 1758, CJ 22664, 10

Bock, Catharina, wed. Steven Gousch, dated 22nd April 1767

and filed 30th December 1779, MOOC 7/1/22, 45

Gous, Andries Stephanus, dated 31 March 1804

and filed 8 November 1814, MOOC 7/1/49, 85

Van Staden, Maria, dated 17th January 1775, CJ 2672, 44

Secondary sources consulted:

Boucher, Maurice - French Speakers at the Cape, Univ. of South Africa, 1981

De Villiers, C.C. Genealogies of Old South African Families,

revised by C. Pama, A.A. Balkema, Cape Town, 1966

Gouws, Danie M.G., Die Dubbele Gouwse, no date.

Heese, J.A. and R.J.T. Lombard, South African Genealogies, GISA

Malherbe, J.E. Jannetje de Clerc, In: The Huguenot Bulletin, 35, 1998, page 52

Swanepoel, Wynand P., Elf geslagte van die gesin Gouws in Suid-Afrika 1691-1997,

Randfontein, COM Printers, 1999.

Druk E-Pos

Who was Susanna Claasen?

Having seen a posting on one of the email newsgroups which asked for information about the baptism and parents of Susanna Claasz, the wife of Matthijs Greef, I  became interested in the problem.

De Villliers, revised Pama, Genealogies of Old South African Families, 1966, present her like this:

Quote from De Villiers / Pama - Genealogies of Old Cape Families

the K, an abbreviation, presumably meant to be discreet, implying that she was of non european origin. That made me check in Dr H.F. Heese's Groep Sonder Grense, 1984, and she is there (page 50) stated to have been Susanna Claasen v.d.K. (i.e. van de Kaap, or the usual form of name for Cape Born slaves and free blacks (vrijswarten). The source for this statement is given as J.A. Heese's boek, Die Herkoms van die Afrikaner, to which I do not have access, so I do not know the reasoning behind this assumption.

My curiosity pricked, I decided to do some investigation for myself.

I started with the church registers of the Cape Town congregation, checking first the marriage entry:

page 83, 1684 eodem dito (12 November) Mathys Greve, jonghman, vryborger en Susanna Claessen, jonge dochter van de Caep.

This told me that at her marriage she was a spinster and that she had been born at the Cape and that, since she used a patronymic form of last name, her father's first name was probably Claas, a form of the name Nicolaas.

Since baptisms of children were often witnessed by near relations, and the firstborn children often witnessed by grandparents, if such were still alive, I then checked tha baptisms of their children. The baptismal entries for their first two children are as follows:

page 30, 1685 den 7 October Antie ouwders: Matys Grove en Susanna Claesen getuijgen: Augie Rycks en Theunis van Schalckwyck

page 31, 1687 Den 25 dito (Maij) is een kint gedoopt ende genaamt mathys waar van Vader was Mathys Greven ende moeder Zusanna Claasz de getuijgen waaren Jacob Aarts Brouwer en Maria Lindenhovius

I knew that neither Theunis van Schalckwyk nor Maria Lindenhovius were her parents, but I knew nothing about Augie Rycks or Jacob Aarts Brouwer, nor cold I find them in De Villiers / Pama. so I moved backwards in the church registers to see if I could find the baptism of a daughter named Susanna around what might have been the appropriate period, perhaps 15 to 20 years before the date of her marriage, say 1665 - 1670. The population of Cape Town was very small at this time, so it did not seem a hopeless task.

I found not one child named Susanna until I reached the following entry:

page 6, Anno 1672 den 14 Febr een dochterke van Claas Jacobz van Meldorp en Aagje Rycks syn huysvr' wiert genaamt Susanna tot getuyge stont neeltje Roosen-daal huysvr' van Frans Gerritz

on the 14 February a daughter of Claas Jacobsz van Meldorp and Aagje Rycks his wife was named Susanna, as witness stood Neeltje Roosen-daal the wife of Frans Gerritsz

and here we have not only a father named Claas, but a mother named Aagje Rycks, which, give or take a littl spelling variation of the type one expects to find in documents of this period, is the same name as that of the woman who was a witness at the baptism of Susanna's first child.

The people in the above entry are most probably using patronyms rather tban surnames, as was the normal form in the Netherlands at this date, surnames being usually used only by the aristocracy and the bourgeoisie.



His name, assuming I am right about the patronymic, tells us that his father's name was Jacob. Because both Claas and Jacobsz were in common use, his place of birth, Meldorp, is used to distinguish him from other men called Claas Jacobsz. Her name indicates that her father's name was Rijk.

I checked furthr for Aagje Rijcks and found the following baptism:

page 20, 1676 Den 29 dito (April), Jacobus (ouders:) Jacob Hendricksz en Aafie Rijcks (getuijge:) Jelletie Hartmans

so I moved to marriages and found the following:

page 75, Anno 1671 Den juni (sic) Claas Jacobsz Meldorp en Aagje Rix jonged. van ter [..r]

page 79, 1675 Den 17 Maart Jacob Hendricksz geboortigh van Leyden en Aaghje Ricx van Middelburgh wede. van Borger Claas Jacobs van Meldorp

page 82, Anno 1677 Den 2.Maij. Jacob Aertsz Brouwer van Tiel J.M. vrijborger alhier met Aeghie Rijcks van der Veer Weduwe.

and in the muster rolls of free people, VC 39. (the k at the end of some of the entries is an abbreviation of kinderen, children)

1672, p. 46 Claes Jacobsz van Meldorp en Aefien Rijcks

1673, p. 48 Claas Jacobs en Aeltje Rijx 1 kind

1678, p. 59 Jacob Aarts Brouwer en Aechje Rijkx 2k.

1682. p. 67 Jacob Aartsz Brouwer en Aachie Rijckx

1685, p. 73 Jacob Aartsz Brouwer en Agie Rijck 2 k

So it seems that the two children of Aagje Rijks were both still alive in 1685, although I am not sure why there should be an overlap with Susanna's marriage in November 1684. She appears with her husband Matthijs Greef in the roll of 1685, and, in a baptismal entry of 4 February 1689 at Stellenbosch (but recorded in the Cape Town registers, VC 603 page 37) as one of the witnesses, named as Zuzanne Claasse Meldorp.

If Susanna Claasz, wife of Matthijs Greef, was indeed the Susanna baptismed in 1672, then the baptismal witnesses for her first two children would have been her mother and her step father, quite a good circumstantial case. But so far I had not found what I call proof positive, a statement in some contemporary document that she was indeed the daughter of Aagje Rijks.

I next check in Ad Biewenga's De Kaap de Goede Hoop and found references to both Jacob Aartsz Brouwer and Susanna Claasz, but nothing that related them to one another. Biewenga made reference to the prosecution of JA Brouwer for the attempted murder of his wife, with documentary references, so I first checked the Stellenbosch Notarial records for the period (1 STB 18/154) and found several declarations about the incident as well as declartions about the assault of JA Brouwer on the wife of Matthijs Greef, but still no statement of relationship.

Biewenga also made reference to Court of Justice records in the Netherlands National Archives, so I ordered a copy of those.

The relevant documents are contained in the VOC collections of the Netherlands National Archives which seem to consist of filed copies of all documents received from the Cape, year by year. What was sent were further copies of all the Stellenbosch declarations which I had already studied, plus a connected statement of the happenings based on the declarations, which was presented to the court for judgment. And in this statement (called Eijsch en Conclusie) was the evidence I was hoping for:

(speaking of JA Brouwer) den ged[aagte] ... zijn vrouws dogter de huijsvrouw van den oud heemraad Matthijs Greeve ...

his wife's daughter the wife of the ex heemraad Matthijs Greeve


Juffr[ouw] Greeve, des ged[aagte]s behuwd dogter ...

Mistress Greeve, the accused's daughter by marriage ...

Susanna Claasz, the wife of Matthijs Greef, we can now conclude, was baptised on 14th February 1672 at Cape Town, the daughter of Aagje Rijks, variously stated to have been born at Middelburg and Ter Veere, and of Claas Jacobsz, born at Meldorp.  (see my note below)

Claas Jacobsz van Meldorp had been at the Cape since at least 1662, working as a free sawyer, first as a hand but from 1664 as a master sawyer. (Muster rolls of the free settlers at the Cape, VC 39).

In the second section of this account, I give a paraphrase of the evidence presented at the trial on 4th April 1705 of Jacob Aartsz Brouwer at Cape Town, as contained in the documents in the Cape Archives and the Netherlands National Archives at the Hague.


In the case of Jacob Aartzen Brouwer, farmer of Stellenbosch, accused of attempting to murder his wife and beating up his step daughter. Heard by the Council of Justice at the Cape on 4th April 1705.

This account of the events is a summary of the presentation (Eijsch en Conclusie) of the evidence put before the Council of Justice at the Cape at the trial on Saturday 4th April 1705, presumably by the prosecutor. The summing up is based on seven sworn statements by participants and witnesses, made shortly after the event, before Jan Mahieu, secretary to the Stellenbosch acting Landdrost, Pieter Robbertsz.and his heemraden.

Jacob Aartsz Brouwer had been married for approximately 25 years to Aagje Rijks when, on the morning of the 2nd February, 1705, he asked her 'Where are the sheep?'. She replied that they were on the mountain and at once set out to look after them. Hardly had she arrive, however, when she heard her husbands gun fire a signal for her to come home again.

At once she returned home. As she got to the door he grabbed her by the arm, dragged her in and shut the door, saying 'Now I shall reward you, I am going to cut your throat!' but, not finding his knife, he took up his gun, pointed it to her breast, and pulled the trigger. By great good luck the firing powder burnt without setting off the charge and while he reached for his powder horn she fled out of the door.

Aagje Rijks testified, in a sworn statement, that over the years her husband had often mistreated her and issued many threats that he would kill her and that if she left him he would find her out and burn down any house she was sheltering in.

He also mistreated his wife's daughter, the wife of Matthys Greef. On the 2nd January of that year, she having just arrived at his house, he grabbed her and beat her up. The noise and screaming attracted the attention of the soldier, Pieter van der Linden, who entered the house to find her painfully beaten and mistreated and asked Jan Arentsz Brouwer how he could thus treat a woman who was unable to defend herself. He replied 'What business is it of yours!' and came forward with a half open razor in each hand. The soldier grabbed one of them whereupon Brouwer slashed at him with the other razor, but he managed to evade it as it passed just before his nose.

The prosecutor states that he learned all this from Aagje Rijks herself.

1STB-18-154 B-226

Aagie Rikx signs her sworn statement with her mark (1STB 18/154, page 226, 3 February 1705)

Twice messengers were sent requesting J A Brouwer to account for his behaviour in person before the acting Landdrost, Pieter Robbertsz, but he refused and abused the messenger and the Landdrost.

Brouwer was then arrested on the 5th February and taken to Cape Town, cursing the Landdrost and also the veldwagter who took him the whole way.

This summing up suggested that a separation was the usual solution to this typ of matrimonial strife (but there is no mention of such in the statement of punishment at the end of the document) and that Brouwer receive corporal punishment.

Brouwer was sentenced by the court to be taken to the usual place of execution, to be bound to a pole and severely beaten, after which he was to be banished to Mauritius for 25 years.


In December 1708 J A Brouwer was apparently confined on Robben Island, since an extract from a letter dated 12th December 1708, instructs Seargeant Hamerling on the island to send over the convict J.A.Brouwer to give evidence in a case. Leibbrandt, HCV, Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope: Letters Despatched 1696-1708, Cape Town, 1896, page 396.

Richard Ball © 2006 Norfolk, England


Netherlands National Archive, VOC 10907 Rechtsrolle 4 Apr 1705

Cape Archives, 1 STB 18/155, Verklaringen 1700-1705

Cape Archives, VC 603, photocopy of the Cape Town church registers 1665-1695

Cape Archives, VC 39, transcripts of muster rolls 1662-1700


After having written and published this article, I have now found that, unnoticed by me, that this information has already been published, in a form without the sources and evidence which I have provided above, by Lorna Newcomb in her notes to the membership register of the Stellenbosch Congregation which were published on the Stellenbosch Doopregister 1688-1732 (Palmkronieke No 1) produced and sold by the Moedergemeente Stellenbosch (available to purchase on the eGGSA web site in the Online Shop section.

She has added this additional information about Claas Jacobsz van Meldorp that his first wife was Dorothea Anna Margaretha Sperlings and that he was murdered by the Khoikhoi in 1673 at Moordkuil.

Druk E-Pos

Johannes Martin Els, The Progenitor of the ELS Family in South Africa

originally printed in the March 2011 issue of Familia, the quarterly journal of the Genealogical Sociey of South Africa.


On his wife’s Inventory documents the Els progenitor in South Africa, Johannes Martin Els, signed his name Johan Merthien Eltz (MOOC 8/17:32; Inventory, dated 22 May 1779) (Image below):



He is also recorded as Johan Martien Eltz an his marriage entry in Stellenbosch on 8 May 1763 (VC 639, Stellenbosch marriages, page 45):


This inscription reads:

1763 Den 8 Maij Johan Martien Eltz van Stendaal in 't Brandenburgsche burger aan Swellendam jonghman met Anna Maria Pieterse van Cabo de Goede Hoop

In some Cape records he was sometimes simply called Jan Els or even Marthinus Els.

He originates from the town Stendal, then situated in the Kingdom of Prussia (German: Königreich Preußen) of which Brandenburg was the power base. Presently Stendal is situated in the state of Saxony-Anhalt which lies directly west of and adjoins the present state of Brandenburg in Germany.

He is recorded in the Baptism and Confirmation Book of the parish of the Jakobikirche (St. James Church) of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in Stendal as Johann Martin Oeltz, born 4 June 1724, the son of Martin Oeltzen and Gertrud Gronemayers (See abstract below):


INSCRIPTION OF THE BIRTH OF JOHANN MARTIN OELTZ (Source: Copy obtained from the Church Administration (Kreiskirchenamt), Stendal)

The entry reads:

Johann Martin Oeltz, Martin Oeltzen Bürger und Tageslöhners und Fr. Gertrud Gronemayers Sohn, war geboren anno 1724 d.(den) 4 Juni

(Johann Martin Oeltz, son of Martin Oeltzen, Citizen and Day Labourer and his wife Gertrud Gronemayers, was born in the year 1724, the 4th June.)

He was baptised in this church on the 7 June 1724 and he was confirmed as a member of the church in 1738.

The godparents at the baptism were Matthias Gronemaier, Gertrud’s father, a citizen and day labourer, his wife (probably 2nd, as shown later) Maria Schültzen and four other persons (Me Erdmann Arneburg, Me Johanna Cramer, Johann Martin Sape and one more person who’s name could unfortunately not be deciphered on the baptism entry).

The Jakobikirche is situated in Breite Strasse in the so-called “old town”, the old part of Stendal. Built in the 14th and 15th centuries, it is the second of Stendal's three major churches. The building which preceded the present-day Jakobikirche was possibly the village church in the days when Stendal was only a village, the one mentioned in the document of privileges which established the town.1

The church’s present tower stands in place of the original one which collapsed on 30 April 1808. The tower was also previously destroyed by lightning in 1701 and was rebuilt in 1704.

The church is known for its exceptional bell play (glockenspiel) (listen to it on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE3-fJjy_X4 ).


THE JAKOBIKIRCHE (ST. JAMES CHURCH) STENDAL (Source: Website of the Jakobikirche, Stendal at http://www.jacobistendal.de/ )

The church is renowned for its beautiful interior. Major parts of the decoration of this parish church have been preserved. A particular feature is the colourful pulpit, made out of sandstone by Hans Hacke, from Werben. (See photo’s on the website at http://www.jacobistendal.de/ )


The church records show that Johann Martin Oeltz’s parents were Martin Oeltzen (also written Martin Öltzen) and Gertrud Gronemeyer. They were married on the 2nd January 1709 (See marriage entry below):


MARRIAGE ENTRY OF THE PARENTS OF JOHANNES MARTIN ELS (Source: Copy obtained from the Church Administration (Kreiskirchenamt), Stendal)

The entry reads:

Anno 1709

den 2. Januar: ist Martin Ölze mit j. Gertrudt, ..... Matthias Gronemaiers, gewesenes Tagelöhners Tochter, copuliert worden.

(Year 1709

the 2nd January Martin Ölze entered into matrimony with Miss Gertrudt, daughter of Matthias Gronemaiers, who is a Day labourer.)

The father Martin Öltze was thus a day-labourer. Like his son, his full names were also Johann Martin, as recorded at his death (see below). In old German the first name given to a son was usually the first name of his father. They were, however, usually called by their middle names; so also Martin Öltze. He died on 22 June 1751 at the age of 79 years (thus born in 1672) and was buried on 24 June 1751. The entry from the church’s “Sterbebuch” (Book of Deaths) reads:

19 Johann Martin Oelze, ein 79 jähriger Bürger u. (und) Tageslöhner ist gestorben den 22ten Juni früh um 4 Uhr, den 24ten, auf dem Johannis Tage mit der gantzen Schul ….. parentate und 2 hl. (heiligen) Glocken beerdigt, die Kirche empfing 22 gr. (Groschen) “

(19 Johann Martin Oelze, a 79- year old Citizen and Day Labourer died on 22nd June early at 4 am, buried on the 24th on the Day of Johannis 2 with the whole parentate (probably accompanied by the ringing of) the two holy bells, the Church received 22 Groschen” (a coin then used in various German states))

Gertrud Gronemeyer was baptised on 5 March 1686. Her parents were Matthias Gronemeyer and Ilse Limpermanß. Ilse is probably Matthias’s first wife as, at the baptism on 7 June 1724 of Gertrud’s son, Johan Martin Oeltz (Johannes Martin Els), his wife is given as Maria Schültzen. She is thus probably the second wife.

Both Johannes Martin and his parents are mentioned in the Citizen Books of the City of Stendal 1694 – 1850 (“Bürgerbücher der Stadt Stendal 1694 – 1850; Dr. Willy Salewski, Marktschellenberg, Verlag Degener & Co., 1938)

This record shows the alternative ways that the surname was written (Eltze, Elze, Öltze).


EXTRACT FROM CITIZEN BOOKS OF THE CITY OF STENDAL 1694 – 1850 (Source: Bürgerbücher der Stadt Stendal 1694 – 1850; Dr. Willy Salewski, Marktschellenberg, Verlag Degener & Co., 1938.)

According to the above Johann Martin Eltz gains citizenship of Stendal on 10 October 1746. His father, Martin Öltze acquires citizenship for both him and his bride to be, Gertrud Gronemayer, on 5 November 1708. He was a burger from “Jürgen, Kossät in Farchan”. (Farchant is a town in the district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, Germany. It is situated 75 km southwest of Munich).


Stendal is situated on the Uchte, a tributary of the Elbe River, approximately 100 km west of Berlin and 55 km north of Maagdeburg, presently in the state of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.

In the early 1700’s Brandenburg was the most important portion of the Kingdom of Prussia. When Prussia was subdivided into provinces in 1815, the territory of the Margraviate of Brandenburg became the Province of Brandenburg. In 1618 the province’s western border was brought eastward to the Elbe River, with the Altmark region (west of the Elbe) going to the newly-formed Province of Saxony.

In 1945, the Soviet military administration combined Magdeburg and Halle-Merseburg with the State of Anhalt into the Province of Saxony-Anhalt which, in 1947, became a state. Germany was not united until 1871. In the 1600’s and 1700’s the Germany of today consisted of 1 789 kingdoms, principalities, grand duchies, dukedoms, electorates, free cities and small personal estates. In 1700 Stendal was in the kingdom of Prussia, in the province of Sakse, generally referred to as Prussian-Sakse to distinguish it from the electoral princedom of Sakse.

Although Stendal is situated in a fertile agricultural region with mining and manufacturing activities, during the 1600’s and 1700’s the German states, in particular Prussia, were ravaged by wars and conflicts. Furthermore, the German princes led a life of ease and luxury at the expense of their impoverished subjects by imposing burdensome taxation.

Low productivity, the high taxes and rents as well as the requisitioned labour service, caused the majority of the people to fall heavily in debt. The crops were just not adequate to pay for the taxes and rents required by the princes. Thousands from all parts were compelled to sell what little property they had. They paid their debts, took their remaining possessions and went looking for a new life elsewhere. Emigration records repeatedly show reasons given for emigrating as “scarcity of food”, “hard times”, “lack of livelihood”, “poor crops”, and “high taxes”.

(Sources: An extract from “Routes to Roots – Tracing your European Ancestors”; by Anne Lehmkuhl; http://www.rupert.net/~lkool/     and The History of the Johann Friedrich Mohr Family; Eugene Irving Mohr at: http://mysite.verizon.net/res1y70k/mohrhistory.htm )

During this period the “Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie” or “V.O.C” (Dutch East India Company (D.E.I.C.)) was a major employer of maritime labour and was recruiting sailors and soldiers for the ships of their trading fleet with the east and for their colonies at the Cape of Good Hope, Batavia and elsewhere in the East. The V.O.C. preferred recruiting sailors from abroad and younger employees who were still unmarried. The young job seekers from the German areas were ideal candidates. The Netherlands, in contrast to their country at the time, was a neutral country that benefited and prospered during the time of wars elsewhere. Many Germans, including Johannes Martin Els, went to the Netherlands in search of a better future.


Johan Martin Els, recorded as Johan Martien Ulsen from Stendaal, was employed by the V.O.C. on 8 January 1749 as a soldier 3. He was assigned to the ship Elswoud 4, under the command of Captain Dirk Took, which left on the same day, 8 January 1749, from the “Rede van Texel” (the V.O.C. anchorage at this island of North Holland) for the Cape and Batavia. It was the ship’s maiden voyage. The Elswoud did not call at the Cape but at False Bay on 2 June 1749. According to his ship’s Pay Ledger (Scheepssoldijboek) Account he went ashore on 15th June 1749. The ship left again on 3 July 1749 to sail to Batavia where it arrived on 12 September 1749. On the return journey, leaving Batavia on 28 October 1749, the Elswoud called at Cape Town again, arriving on 25 January 1750 and leaving for Texel on 17 February 1750.

His name appears on page 431 in “Personalia of the Germans at the Cape 1652-1806” by Dr. J. Hoge, namely:

ULSEN, JOHANN MARTIN.- StendaI. Arr. 1749 as so., woodcutter 1751, wagon-driver 1752, so. 1753-55, b. 1756, resident at Stellenbosch (GMR 1750-55; Rq. 1756: 82; Stellenbosch Arch., vol. 369.)

As a VOC employee, before he became a Free Burger on 16 March 1756, he is thus recorded in the “Generale Muster Roles” (Hoge’s reference “GMR”) from 1750 to 1755 as a soldier (woodcutter in 1751, transport driver in 1752) under the names Johan/Jan Martin/Marten Ulsen from Steendal/Stendaal/Stendal.

In 1754 and 1755 he was stationed at “’t Revier Zonder Endt” (the river runs into the Breë River). There were a few VOC “Buitenposten” in the area such as “ ’t Ziekenhuijs” and “Zoetemelks Valleij”. The present town Riversonderend in the Western Cape is in this area.

There were huge forests in ’t Revier Zonder Endt with a variety of large trees that provided good quality building timber and wood suitable for making wagons, which was transported to the Castle by ox wagon.5 In 1760 he is also recorded in the Muster Roll as Jan Marthen Ulsen of Drakenstein District.

On page 87 of “Personalia”, Hoge records his marriage, based on information from “Geslacht-Register der oude Kaapsche Familiën of C. C. de Villiers (Hoge’s reference” “G.R.”), not realizing that it is the same person as the Johann Martin Ulsen above:

ELS, JOHANNES MARTIN.- Stendal. (1763 ?) Anna Maria Pieterse, illeg. d. of Willem Hendrikse by Elsje Gerrits (later married to Jan Pieterse, G.R. III, p. 23), bapt. 17.12.1747 at Stellenbosch. 6 children. (G.R. nr. 109.)

“Johann Martin Ulsen from Stendaal” disappears from the records after he became a Free Burger in 1756 (see below) while “Johan Martien Eltz van Stendaal” appears in the records for the first time when he married Anna Elizabeth Pieterse in 1763.

His VOC employment particulars are as follows:


V.O.C. SERVICE INFORMATION OF JOHAN MARTIEN ELS (Source: VOC – Opvarenden, Nationaal Archief records at http://vocopvarenden.nationaalarchief.nl/ )
By the time he left the employ of the V.O.C., the situation in his home country was still bleak. Between 1756 and 1763 Prussia fought on the side of Great Britain and Hanover in the Seven Year War against France, Saxony, Austria, Sweden and Russia. This was the first war in history really fought on a worldwide scale. The seven Years’ War resulted in havoc and destruction in Prussia, Saxony and other parts of Germany. During this war the Swedes ransacked much of Saxony. Saxony was on the loosing side and had to give one-third of its territory to Prussia. Prussia itself was gravely affected by the war and prospects for its youth were poor. This was probably known in the Cape as news was brought by visiting ships. This situation made it unlikely that a V.O.C. official who retired from service would consider returning to his home country. Johannes Martin left the service of the V.O.C. on 16 March 1756 and became a Free Burgher.


On 8 May 1763 he married Anna Maria Pieterse. She was the illegitimate daughter of Willem Hendrikse by Elsje Gerrits ("Personalia of the Germans at the Cape, 1652-1806"; J. Hoge). She was baptised on 17 December 1747 in Stellenbosch:


BAPTISM ENTRY OF ANNA MARIA PIETERSE IN STELLENBOSCH (Source: VC 633 Stellenbosch baptisms, p. 51)

Anna Maria carried the surname of her stepfather, Johannes (Jantje) Peters/Pietersen, who, together with her mother, Elsje Gerrits, probably raised her from the age of about 5 years following his marriage to Elsje (if not earlier, as they had an illegitimate son about two years before they got married).

Anna Maria died in about May 1779, shortly after the birth of her last child. Her Inventory was dated 22 May 1779 (Inventories of the Orphan Chamber, Cape Town Archive Repository, ref. MOOC 8/17.32).


On 14 January 1774 the loan farm, Jagersrivier, situated east of Oudtshoorn between the Groot Swartberge and the Kammanassieberge on the Olifants River, between De Rust and Barandas in the Klein Karoo, was allotted to Els as grazing land. He had to pay the usual leasehold of 24 Rix-dollars (Rijksdaalders) per annum to the magistrate in Swellendam. He was also obliged to deliver 10% of his wheat-harvest free to the Castle in Cape Town and deliver the receipt for it to the magistrate.

Although the original farm was later subdivided into a number of portions, the remaining portion of the farm Jagersrivier still exists (situated where the Snyberg siding is on the railway line between Oudtshoorn and Willowmore).

The original farm is shown amongst other farms along the Olifantsrivier on the following Sketch plan:


MAP OF LOAN FARMS ALONG THE OLIFANTS RIVER, SHOWING ALSO THE FARM JAGERSRIVIER (Co-ordinates 33° 28’ 46” S, 22° 52’ 21” E) (Source “Bewaarders van ons Erfenis” Deel 8 (Distrik George); J G le Roux, J J Niemandt, Mariana Olivier; 2003; p 33.)

By 7 April 1787 Els had abandoned the farm as on this date grazing rights on the farm were granted to fellow farmer Douwe Gerbrand Stein. Els fell in arrears with the payment of his debt on the land. He was in arrears for a period of 12 years and 3 months. This was recorded in the "Resolutions of the Council of Policy of Cape of Good Hope" on 24 July 1788 (Resolutions of the Council of Policy of Cape of Good Hope; http://databases.tanap.net/cgh/ ). Arrears rent for the farm is also mentioned as a debt of the estate in Anne Maria Pieterse’s above-mentioned Inventory.

Copies of the original loan farm licenses were obtained from the Cape Archive Repository. The loan transaction of J. M. Els is also recorded in “Changing Hands” as ID 5553 in the section “1687 to 1793 – Salt Collection and Hunting Permits and Loan Farm Applications”). The following are transcriptions of the licenses:


Jul: 14 Swellendam

Werd door deesen gepermitteerd aan den Landbouwer Jan Marthinus Els omme voor den tijd van een geheel jaar met Zijn Vee te mogen gaan leggen en wijden op de plaats gen’d (genaamd) de Jagers Rivier geleegen aan de oliphants Rivier, mits aldaar ijmand leggende in’t hoegten niet hinderlijk te zijn, nogh help om geen consequentie te trekken, de houden wegende voordat dese ter Secretarije zal werden registreerd daarvoor in’t E Comp’s (Edele Compagnie’s) Cassa te tellen tolken recognitie voor d’ E Comp (Edele Compagnie). Een Somma van Sesthien (Goue?) ducats a 72 Sts.ijder of te rd (R(ix)d(aalders)) 24 en deese permissie binnen den tijd van een maand naar dies Expiratie wederom te moeten laten vernieuwen op de panalteijten (penalties?) daartoe staande voorts verpligt blyvende de thiende van’t aldaar ‘t’ougste Coorn ter deesen Casteel aan den Heer af De E Comp (De Edele Compagnie) te moeten opbrengen en deesen alvoorens aan den Landdrost Joachim Frederik Mentz, over te geven.

In’t Casteel de Goede Hoop den 14 Jann 1774..was geteekend : /J.V. Plettenberg/:lager:/voldaan/:en geteekend:/ J.J. Le Sueur
Geboek door my 3 Jaaren en 10 mde tes agteres BJ Leijdler . Gers tot den 14 Novbr 1778 -
Huyden den 7 april 1787 heeft opgem(elde) Els met voorkennis van den Edelen Heer goewerneur bovenstaande veeplaats verlaten en de daar op tragten den agterstal van twaalf Jaar en Drie maanden benevens Zegelregt Bvehoorlik in’t Comp’s (Compagnie’s) Cassa te hebben voldaan ……………                                                                                                                          P A Horak ………….119 ½                                                                                                                   E G Cliney


Fo(lio) 110 ½ Swellendam
Werd door deesen Gepermitteerd aan den Landbouwer Douwe Gerbrant Stein omme voor den tyd van een geheel Jaar met zyn vee te mogen gaan leggen en weiden op de plaats genaamd de Jagers rievier gelegen aan den oliphants rievier , zynde door den meeden Landbouwer Jan Marthinus Els verlaten, gehouden weesende voor dat deese ter politicque Seretarye zal werden geregistreerd daar voor in Comp (Compagnie’s) Cassa tot een recognitie van de E Comp (Edele Compagnie) te tellen eene Somma van Sestien op Ducatons a 72 (Stuivers) ijder ofte Rxdrs. 24: en dese permissie binnen den tyd van een maand naar experatie deeses wederom te laten vernieuwen op de penaliteiten daartoe staande. Voorts verpligt blyvende de tiende van’t aldaar t’ougste Coorn ten deesen Casteel aan den Heer op de E Comp op te brengen en deesen alvoorens aan den Landdrost Constant van Nuld Onkruid over te geven.
./ onder stond /. In’t Casteel de Goeden Hoop den 7 April 1787 /:was geteekend :/ C F van de Graaff /: lager: / voldaan /: en geteekend :/ G H Cruywagen
                                                                                                                              Geboek door                                                                                                                  W L Van Hardenberg

Stein too was in arrears for a period of 6 years on payments on another farm before he was granted grazing rights on Jagersrivier. (Resolutions of the Council of Policy of Cape of Good Hope, 24 July 1788). First Clerk Horak was found guilty of misconduct and negligence and severely reprimanded for having recorded these (and other) debts as paid and having issued receipts in respect thereof while the debts were in fact not paid. The commission that investigated the actions of Horak also recommended that farmers be prohibited from leaving their farms and letting it to others (Resolutions of the Council of Policy of Cape of Good Hope 24 July 1788 ( TANAP )

The house on the farm is mentioned in Anna Maria Pieterse’s Inventory of 22 May 1779:

“Een opstal staande op die leenings plaats gen:t de Jagers Rivier geleegen aan de Oliphants Rivier”

(Inventories of the Orphan Chamber, Cape Town Archive Repository, ref. MOOC 8/17.32, date 22 May 1779, TANAP )


In summary the following is a time line of major events in the life of Johannes Martin Els:

Johann Martin Oeltz/Öltz

Born in Stendal: 4 June 1724 Baptised (Jakobikirche, Stendal): 7 June 1724 age 3 days Confirmed (Jakobikirche, Stendal): 1738 age 14 years Gains citizenship of Maagdeburg: 10 November 1746 age 22 years

Johan Martien Ulsen

Join service of V.O.C. as soldier: 8 January 1749 age 24 ½ years Leaves from Texel on the “Elswoud”: 8 January 1749 age 24 ½ years Arrives in False Bay: 2 June 1749 age 25 years (The Elswoud leaves False Bay for Batavia: 3 July 1749) Leaves service of the V.O.C. and becomes a Free Burger: 16 March 1756 age 31¾ years

Johan Merthien Eltz/Johannes Martin Els

Marries Anna Maria Pieterse: 8 May 1763 age 39 years First child, Johannes Marthinus, born: 20 December 1763 age 39½ years Obtains loan farm “Jagersrivier”: 14 January 1774 age 49½ years Last child, Anna Maria, baptised: 18 April 1779 age 55 years Death of wife (leaving him a widower): 18 April-22 May 1779 age 55 years Abandons the farm “Jagersrivier”: 7 April 1787 age 62¾ years Clerk Horak is found guilty of misconduct: 24 July 1788 age 64 years

The obscure periods in the life of Johannes Martin Els require further research. From what is recorded about him in the Cape Muster Rolls during the 7 years that he was a V.O.C. employee after he landed in False Bay on 15 June 1749 until he became a Free Burger on 16 March 1756, we know at least that he was for some time stationed at ’t Revier Zonder Endt with the rank of soldier but that was not necessarily his occupation. According to the Muster Rolls he also served as a woodcutter and wagon driver. We also know that, after becoming a Free Burger in 1756, he lived in the Drakenstein district in 1760. Nothing further is known about his life during the 7 years before he married Anna Maria Pieterse in Swellendam on 8 May 1763 and also about his life and whereabouts during the almost 11 years from his marriage until he was granted the loan farm “Jagersrivier” between De Rust and Barandas on 14 January 1774. It is also not known when and where he died.


The origin of the father of Anna Maria Pieterse, Willem Hendrikse, is unknown. From J. A. Heese’s “Die Herkoms van die Afrikaner, 1971” it can be deducted that he is probably Dutch.

The descend of Elsje Gerrits is also unsure. According to the above publication of J. A. Heese she could be "non-white". Heese, however, seems unsure about this and puts a "?" behind his own contention that her daughter Anna Maria is “1/2 Dutch and 1/2 Non-white”. No other source mentions anything about this. Like her daughter, Anna Maria Pieterse, who was recorded as “Anna Maria Pieterse van Cabo de Goede Hoop” at her marriage, Elsje is also recorded in “South African Genealogies” as “Elsje Gerrits van die Kaap” which could reflect on her possible non-European decent. In his publication "Groep Sonder Grense", 1984 and an article in "Die Vaderland" of 23 October 1985, following the publication of "Groep Sonder Grense", Prof. H. F. Heese lists "Els" as one of the South African surnames with "Euro-Indian" (probably slave ancestry) connections.

Elsje Gerrits could have been an unrecorded daughter of Hermanus Gerrits and Anna Maria Brits (Note that Elsje named her daughter “Anna Maria”; it could be after her mother, Anna Maria Brits). The parents of Hermanus were Gerrit from Oldenburg and Susanna van Bambaser, the freed slave of Anthony van Angola. That would explain the alleged Indian slave connection in Elsje Gerrits’s ancestry. This could, however, not be confirmed. Elsje is, in fact, not mentioned as a daughter of Hermanus Gerrits and Anna Maria Brits in a study by the respected researcher Margaret Cairns: “Gerrit Gerrits of Oldenburg and Susanna of Bambaser. An Early 18th century couple”. (Familia Vol. XVII 1980 no. 3/4; p. 49). Also, neither Anna Maria Brits nor any of her relatives appear as witnesses at the baptisms of Elsje Gerrits’s children, nor do any of Hermanus Gerrits’s relatives (he was already deceased by then).

Alternatively, there seems to be strong circumstantial evidence that Elsje Gerrits is in fact the same person as Anna Elizabeth Weyers, daughter of Heinrich Weyers from Epe in the Netherlands. Like her mother, Anna Elizabeth Gerrits - who was known as Elsje Gerrits - she seems to have also been called Elsje Gerrits.

Anna Elizabeth Gerrits was the daughter of Caspar Gerrits of Nijmegen in the Netherlands and Elsje Speldenberg, daughter of Hendrik Speldenberg, also of Nijmegen, by Arriaantje van Cathryn, the daughter of Catharina van Malabar, an Indian ex-slave of Cape Commander Cornelis van Quaelberg. Catharina was baptised in 1673, set free in 1676 and married Cornelis Claessen (Kees de Boer) on 15 March 1676 when Arriaantje was approximately twelve years old.

With the exception of one child, where the relatives of the father, Jantje Peters, were the witnesses, the witnesses at the baptisms of all the other children of Elsje Gerrits were relatives of Anna Elizabeth Weyers, including Elsje Speldenberg, who (if the baptism entry is correct), together with Jantje Peters, brought Elsje Gerrits’s last child, Marthinus Pieterse, for baptism on 4 June 1763 in Stellenbosch. Elsje Gerrits could have died before the baptism and Elsje Speldenberg (the grandmother of Anna Elizabeth Weyers), seems to have stood in as “doopmoeder”.

(For more particulars see “Die Herkoms Van Elsje Gerrits, moeder van Die Els-stammoeder, Anna Maria Pieterse”; Charlie Els, Pretoria, Julie 2010)


In conclusion the ancestry of Johannes Martin Els can be summarized as follows:

Johan Merthien Eltz/Oeltz, born in Stendal, Germany on 4 June 1724, baptised in the Jakobikirche (St. James Church), Stendal on 7 June 1724, died after 1787, married in Stellenbosch on 8 May 1763 to Anna Maria Pieterse, baptised in Stellenbosch on 16 November 1721, died about April/May 1779, illegitimate daughter of Willem Hendrikse and Elsje Gerrits.

His parents:

Johann Martin Öltze(n)/Oeltzen (called Martin) from Jürgen, Kossät in Farchant, district of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Bavaria, Germany, born 1672, died 22 June 1751 in Stendal, Germany, married on 2 January 1708/09 to Gertrud Gronemayer, baptised 5 March 1685/86, daughter of Matthias Gronemaier and Ilse Limpermanß from Stendal, Germany.


On Anna Maria Pieterse’s Inventory of 15 March 1779 the following is, inter alia, listed amongst the “Schulden van den burger Jan Martin Eltz”:

“52 voet planken aan Nicolaas van Rensburg tot twee dood kisten voor zijn vrouw en kind geleverd                   6:4 Rd:s”

Although Anna Maria’s death was clearly related to the birth of her last child, Anna Maria Els, baptised on 18 April 1779 6, the child who died about the same time as Anna Maria and for whom the coffin was made, could not be this last child as she grew up to marry Jan Willem Minie on 2 August 1795. The child who died was probably the son, Christiaan Els, twin brother of Frederik Nicolaas Els; the twins were baptised on 27 April 1777. While Frederik grew up and later married Susanna Cornelia de Bruyn on 20 November 1803, Christiaan’s name does not appear in any later records, also not on Anna Maria’s Inventory of 22 May 1779 (MOOC8/17.32), while her other children are mentioned. Christiaan probably died shortly before his mother, at the age of about two years.

Johannes Martin Els and Anna Maria Pieterse had six children; five sons and a daughter:

  1. Johannes Marthinus, born 20 December 1763, baptised Stellenbosch 9 September 1764, died 9 September 1844, Klipplaatdrif in the Winterberg, district Albany, married 16 Nov 1783, Johanna Catharina van Tonder, baptised 12 November 1769, Olifants River, Cape Province, died 30 May 1846, Caledon.
  2. Nicolaas Jacobus, baptised Cape Town, 7 June 1772, died before 18 August 1830, married Swellendam, 1 March 1795, Hester Botha, baptised 18 February 1781, died between 1811 and 1817. His second marriage: about 1818, Maria Albertha Joubert.
  3. Johannes Christoffel, baptised Cape Town 19 January 1775, married Graaff-Reinet 30 Oct 1803, Elizabeth Sophia van der Merwe, died before 6 February 1839.
  4. Christiaan (twin brother of Frederik), baptised Drakenstein 27 April 1777, died probably before 22 May 1779.
  5. Frederik Nicolaas (twin brother of Christiaan), baptised Drakenstein 27 Apr 1777, married 20 November 1803, Susanna Cornelia de Bruyn, baptised Cape Town, 20 May 1787.
  6. Anna Maria, baptised Drakenstein 18 April 1779, married 2 August 1795 Jan Willem Minnie, baptised Tulbagh, 25 December 1772.

While the birth dates of the last 5 children are spaced the usual two to three years apart, the first two children were born almost nine years apart, which is unusual. A possible explanation could be that there were additional children, who did not survive, born between the birth dates of the first two children.


The majority of South Africans with the surname Els (and at least one known third generation branch who changed the surname to Else) are descendants of one of the four sons, Johannes Marthinus, Nicolaas Jacobus, Johannes Christoffel and Frederik Nicolaas Els, although there could be some Elses who are descendants of the Irish progenitor Patrick Henry Ellis from Dublin Ireland, who married an Afrikaans woman, Margaretha Magdalena Joubert, in Drakenstein on 14 August 1803. On the baptism entries of their children in the Swellendam and George baptismal registers, they were simply entered with the Afrikaans spelling Els in stead of Ellis. The children also all married Afrikaans spouses and many of the families probably became Afrikaans.

There is also a John Arthur Ells from Godalming, Surrey, Engeland who married an Afrikaans woman, Elsje Sophia Pansegrouw, born in Agter-Sneeuberg, Cradock 24 April 1858, in the Methodist Church, Kroonstad on 12 December 1882. Most of his children also had Afrikaans names. Whether any of his descendants adopted the surname Els is not known.



The author acknowledges with gratitude contributions and assistance provided by Daniël Jacobs, Jean le Roux, Edwin Conroy, Richard Ball, Harry Rascher, Annelie Els, Roderick Hinkel and Brigitte van der Linde. Their contributions were indispensable.


1         Baptism, Confirmation and Deaths Records of the parish of the Jakobikirche of the Evangelical (Lutheran) Church, Stendal; information supplied by the Church Office Administration (Kreiskirchenamt) of the Evangelische Kirche, Stendal.

2          Bewaarders van ons Erfenis, Deel 8 (Distrik George); J G le Roux, J J Niemandt, Mariana Olivier; 2003.

3          Cape Town and Stellenbosch Baptism and Marriage registers.

4          Die Deutschen am Kap unter der Holländischen Herrschaft, 1652-1806: Prof. Dr. Edward Moritz.

5          Die Herkoms van die Afrikaner; J. A. Heese; 1971.

6          Die Vaderland, 23 October 1985; article about “Groep Sonder Grense” by Prof. H. F. Heese.

7          Gerrit Gerrits of Oldenburg and Susanna of Bambaser. An Early 18th century couple,   by Margaret Cairns; Familia Vol. XVII 1980 no. 3/4

8          Groep Sonder Grense; Prof. H. F. Heese; 1984.

9          Web Site of Jakobigemeinte Stendal

10         Inventories of the Orphan Chamber; Cape Town Archives Repository, South Africa (TANAP)   

11        Personalia of the Germans at the Cape, 1652-1806; Dr. J. Hoge

12        Resolutions of the Council of Policy of Cape of Good Hope (TANAP)

13        Routes to Roots – Tracing your European Ancestors; Anne Lehmkuhl; http://www.rupert.net/~lkool/

14        Stadarchiv, Brüderstrasse, Stendal; Information obtained from the Curator.

15        The History of the Johann Friedrich Mohr Family, Eugene Irving Mohr

16        Inventories of the Orphan Chamber, Cape Town Archive Repository

17        VOC – Opvarenden, Nationaal Archief records

18        Wikipedia Encyclopedia

19        Table of Women whose deaths were childbirth-related; Maureen Rall from:              MOOC8/1-75 (75 volumes), period 1720 to 1834 in “Cape Transcripts TEPC,               two centuries transcribed 1673-1934

[1]    http://www.jacobistendal.de/

[2]   The Day of John (also “Johanni” or “Johannestag”) is the Anniversary of the birth of John the Baptist on 24 June. It is closely linked to 21 June when the summer solstice occurs. The Night of John is the night before the Day of John, from 23 to 24 June. The Catholic and some other churches consider the Day of John as of greatimportance.

[3] If he gave his name as Oeltzen or Öltzen (in German pronounced like in “Jewel”) it could easily have been interpreted as “Ulsen” by a Dutch VOC registration officer. There is a Dutch surname “van Ulsen”. Ulsen is not a German surname; Oeltzen, Oeltz, Eltz and Els are. The surname Els is still largely concentrated in  Saxony-Anhalt and Brandenburg in Germany (consult World Names Profiler at http://www.publicprofiler.org/worldnames/Main.aspx

[4] The name Elswoud is “Mogelijk genoemd naar de buitenplaats Elswoud bij Haarlem”; thus derived from what presently is a nature area, “Landgoed Elswout” (Elswoud Estate), situated between Haarlem and Aerdenhout in Overveen (North Holland). The ship’s name has no connection with the surname of Johannes Martin Els.

[5] Die Buitenposte, D. Sleigh, Pretoria Boekhuis, 2004; page 549

[6] Table of Women whose deaths were childbirth-related; Maureen Rall uit MOOC8/1-75 (75 Volumes), period 1720 to 1834 in “Cape Transcripts TEPC – two centuries transcribed 1673-1934”

Druk E-Pos

Effective use of Search Engines for Genealogy

Presentation by Anne Lehmkuhl

West Gauteng branch of the Genealogical Society on 22 January 2005

The Internet is a huge collection of information and it is growing by the day. For a genealogist, it can be a formidable task to locate valuable information. There are hundreds of search engines out there. Most of them do not provide much information of use to genealogists but some have a wealth of information if you know how to find it. One of the biggest mistakes people make when beginning to research their family tree online is believing all of the information they need will appear at a click of their mouse.


The Internet is the largest information repository in the world. The amount of information available often makes it difficult to find the specific information you want. More than a million pages of information are added to the Internet each day. It’s no wonder that searching the Internet is like looking for a needle, but not in a haystack: in a meadow! By learning how to search effectively, you'll spend a lot less time chasing dead ends. The Internet provides various ways to search for content.


What is a Search Engine? A search engine is a searchable database of Websites collected by a computer program (called a crawler, robot or spider). Search engines are the card catalogues of the Internet. The crawler reads millions of Web pages and indexes the text they contain into a very large database. Because Web documents are one of the least static forms of publishing (they change a lot), crawlers also update previously catalogued sites.

Different search engines have different strengths in searching different types of information. The most powerful search engines for research purposes are, in my opinion, the advanced versions of Google, Northern Light, FASTSearch and Alta Vista. Two little-known search engines favoured by researchers are Teoma and Vivisimo (really Meta search engines).

Google: http://www.google.com

One of Google’s most useful features for genealogists is the cached feature. When you’ve done your search, if the Web page the link gives you is no longer available, click on the Cached link and you will see the page as last cached by Google.

Northern Light: http://www.northernlight.com/

This is the professional researcher’s favourite, because it organises material so well by topic. It is based in Canada.

FASTSearch: http://www.alltheweb.com/

FASTSearch scans the Web every 7 to 11 days to ensure that it has fresh content and that there are no broken links. It supports searching in 49 different languages.

Alta Vista: http://www.altavista.com/

Also has a translation feature.

Ananzi: http://www.ananzi.com/

The Ananzi search engine is devoted to South African Web sites and was created early in 1996, making it the first South African search engine.

Teoma: http://www.teoma.com/

Vivisimo: http://vivisimo.com/


Search directories divide Websites into topics and subtopics, eg Arts, Science, Health,

Business, and News. You will find sites that appear only in the directory at the time but with a search engine you can locate sites all over the Web. Sites such as Yahoo are created by cataloguing information submitted by individuals or companies. Its strength lies in its structure of topics and subtopics.

Yahoo: http://www.yahoo.com/

Yahoo is the most popular search directory, although most people think it is a search engine. It is the largest guide to the Web and is compiled by 80+ editors who categorise Websites they come across.


Another powerful technique for searching is Meta search utilities that send your query to more than one search engine at the same time. Copernic, a Windows program, at

http://www.copernic.com is a popular one. It takes complex search terms and contacts multiple search engines at the same time. The results are collated and further analysed by the program itself to perform search term logic not supported by individual search engines. It has advanced management features like filtering, grouping and summarising. It can also give you email alerts when Websites change or when new pages relevant to your searches are found.


The Invisible Web is the term used for Web pages that aren’t found by using conventional search engines or directories. It is made up of subject specific search engines or directories. The Librarian’s Index at http://lii.org/ is a very useful one, as is The Invisible Web Directory at http://www.invisible-web.net/

Another little known aid for genealogists is the Internet Archive at

http://www.archive.org/ This site allows you to search for lost Web pages. It contains 10-billion Web pages archived from 1996 to the present. To use it, you type the URL (the Website address) into the search box.



Most people have a basic understanding of how to use search engines - they type in what they’re looking for and click "Go" or "Search". This works, but depending on your query, you usually get thousands of sites returned. Wading through many sites before finding what you want wastes time. When you get a large number of search results, concentrate on the top 10 or 20. This way you increase the chances of finding the needle in the haystack.

Here are some general tips for effective searching:


If you misspell the words you’re looking for, you might still find information but it will likely take longer or be unrelated to your query. Remember that spelling may vary, depending on where the Website was created - in the USA or in the UK - both English but with different spelling (eg colour vs color, and favourite vs favorite). Another tip is choice of language - sometimes you won’t find what you're looking for in English, so try an Afrikaans search.


Most search engines treat lower case search phrases as universal, but will perform a case sensitive search if you capitalise any letter. It is better to use lower case letters in your searches. Example: paint will match paint, Paint, paINt, and so on; Paint will match only Paint.


Search engines facilitate finding information by the use of keywords. If you’re using a directory for your search, you don’t have to use keywords as you follow only the subject links provided by the directory. Type as many keywords as you can think of for your query. If you don’t know what a vintage jam pot looks like, you could use vintage jam pot as your search query. When queried like this, search engines will return pages containing any of your keywords, and those that contain them all are usually listed first. This is the type of search most people do, but it is not the most effective way.


Advanced searches are controlled by Boolean operators and certain keywords. Most search engines support Boolean searching. Boolean operators are words and symbols that, when used in conjunction with the keywords you're searching for, help to pinpoint your information. The main words are AND, OR and AND NOT. Most search engines allow substitute symbols such as + representing AND, a space representing OR, and - (minus) representing AND NOT. Here are a few examples, using Google:

AND (+)

+vintage +jam +pot

Returns Websites containing all 3 words (approximately 48 000 sites). The + symbol forces a key word to be included in the search results. Note there is no space between the + symbol and the keyword. Google does an AND search by default.

OR (a space)

vintage jam pot

Returns Websites containing either word, with those containing all three ranked highest (approximately 48 200 sites). AltaVista does an OR search by default.


-vintage +jam +pot

Returns Websites that contain the words jam and pot but do not contain the word vintage (approximately 752 000 sites). The - symbol forces a key word to be excluded from results. This is an extremely powerful research tool when you learn how to use it properly with the + symbol.


What is the difference between using them and not using them? If you search for "vintage jam pot" using quotation marks, search engines treat your query as an exact phrase and you get about 47 Websites listed. If you don’t use quotation marks, search engines return about 48 200 Websites!

You can string Boolean operators together for more complex, focused searches.

Typing +jam +pot +England +bone -vintage returns Websites mentioning the first four words but not the last word (approximately 19 300 sites). To narrow the search further, you can type +"jam pot" +bone -vintage, which returns Websites that contain the phrase jam pot, the word bone, and definitely will not contain the word vintage (approximately 1 230 sites).


An asterisk * is a wildcard when doing a search. It is placed on the right-hand side of a word or embedded within a word with at least three characters to the left. Use an asterisk to find various spellings or related words. Example: paint* would return matches of paint, paints, painter and painting.


You use brackets that incorporate words and characters. Example: cape AND (cod OR town) lists Websites about Cape Cod or Cape Town.


Field searches look for very specific information of Web pages. You use a field name followed by a colon and then a search term. Valid field names include link (that will find the search term in links only), title (searches only in titles of pages), url (looks only in URLs), alt (looks in labels of images). If I want to know which Websites link to my Website I’d use link:www.rupert.net/~lkool/ to see the results. Field names can be useful for genealogy.


Searching for information online is easy when you develop a detective’s mind. Learning how to translate your problems into appropriate keywords and symbols to use in search engines is like a switch being turned on in your mind and then the keys to the Internet are yours.

The staple of genealogical research is records - births, marriages and deaths. Using your name or surname with the keywords born, died or married brings up mostly Websites containing genealogical data. Adding the place name makes it more effective. Using

Google I could try +"van der merwe" +married +born +died +"south africa" to find 602 Websites containing genealogical information. Changing the search query to +"van der merwe" +trou +gebore +sterf +"suid-afrika" gives me 33 results and they are Afrikaans sites (Van der Merwe being predominantly Afrikaans).


Fine-tuning is necessary for the detective’s mind to find genealogical gems buried deep within the Internet. When you first try your search query, you may or may not see the results you want. Sometimes it takes 3 to 5 search queries to find what you want - this is part of the fine-tuning process. Enter keywords, examine the results. Add more keyword, examine the results, and so on. Sometimes you may have to remove a keyword, but usually you will be adding them. If you get 20 000 results, concentrate on the top 10 or 20 results. With fine-tuning, you get what you want to come to the top of the search results, making it easier to find the needle in the haystack.

Here is an example of fine-tuning:

I’m looking for the name of Hansie Cronje’s (the late South African cricket captain) mother. I don’t know what her name is.

I start my search with "hansie cronje" +mother

I receive about 629 results using Google.

The first 3 sites show her name as San-Marie, so now I can fine-tune my query to "hansie cronje" +"san-marie" This returns about 40 results but none of them give me her maiden name.

Further fine-tuning is required, so I try ewie +sanmarie

Note that I'm using his father’s name (Ewie) that I found in previous search result and

I’ve also combined San-Marie into one word (possible Afrikaans spelling, this being an Afrikaans family).

This gives me 9 results and one of them shows that Sanmarie’s names are Susanna Maria.

More fine-tuning using "wessel johannes" +cronje +"susanna maria"

Note I’ve now used Hansie’s actual names and this returns 16 results with the very first site listed and containing my genealogical gem - Hansie’s family tree back to the stamvader and his mother’s details too! http://www.geocities.com/hugenoteblad/cronje/cronje9.htm

Another fine-tuning trick: When you have a name or surname that is the same as that of a famous person, you will get hundreds of results to wade through. To cut out the results referring to the famous person, you would have to use appropriate keywords and symbols. Here’s an example: If your surname is Reagan you will see that when you start doing searches many of the results are about President Ronald Reagan. To cut those out, use +reagan +born -president. Now the word president will not be in any of the results because it was forced to be excluded.

Another example is a common surname such as Morse or Cook, which are also the name of non-related things. To fine-tune this you could use: +morse +married -code (the word code is excluded because you don't want results about the Morse code).

+cook +died -food -chef (the words food and chef are excluded).

Other general keywords that are useful for genealogical searches include genealogy, stamvader, ancestors, descendants, family, history, certificate, buried, cemetery. Adding these to your specific key-words (name, surname, place name, year) results in more effective searches. Choosing significant keywords for genealogical searches is important.


Digging deeper means you’ll not only look at Websites. There are email groups (many at Yahoo), newsgroups, and databases that may not show up in searches. These need to be accessed directly once you know their URL. Examples include online newspaper archives, image search engines (Google has a good one), library catalogues, online telephone directories, and street directories. You can search newsgroups (back to 1995) via Google, by subject, author or specific newsgroup at http://www.google.co.za/grphp

Genealogy newsgroups are classified under the soc. main heading and then under the soc.genealogy sub-heading. Be aware that newsgroups contain a lot of Spam where they are not strictly moderated.


Despite the importance of the Internet in establishing contacts and information, this valuable research tool is still in the infancy stages when it comes to South African genealogy.

Anne Lehmkuhl

©  22 January 2005

Druk E-Pos

Gisa En Die Sag Reeks

Leon Endeman, Direkteur: Genealogiese Instituut van Suid-Afrika

'n voorlegging gemaak aan die Wes-Gauteng, Noord-Transvaal, Vaaldriehoek en Noordwes takke van die Genealogiese Genootskap van Suid-Afrika op 16 Oktober 2004.

Ter inleiding wil ek vanmiddag in die eerste plek my dank en waardering uitspreek teenoor Richard Ford wat hom deur niks van stryk laat bring het om vandag se verrigtinge te reël en van stapel te stuur nie. Bowenal ‘n spesiale woord van dank aan die GGSA takke van Wes-Gauteng, Noordwes, Vaaldriehoek en Noord-Transvaal wat my koms hierheen geborg het, waarsonder my teenwoordigheid vandag nie moontlik sou wees nie. Ek is dankbaar oor die geleentheid wat my gebied word om met die aanwesiges te kan gesels oor sake wat ons almal raak en wat vir my ‘n groot erns en ‘n roeping is. Daarby wil ek die hoop uitspreek dat dit wat ek vanmiddag met u wil deel vir u van waarde sal wees.


Nadat die RGN op hoogste vlak etlike maande vantevore ‘n finale beginselbesluit geneem het, om die laaste oorblyfsel van die voormalige Instituut van Geskiedenisnavorsing, t.w. die Afdeling Genealogie ook te ontbind, is daar met verskeie instansies geskakel om te besin oor die toekoms van die Afdeling en sy uiters waardevolle genealogiese versamelings. Hierdie instansies het behalwe die RGN self ook o.a. die Genealogiese Genootskap van Suid-Afrika (GGSA), die Hugenote Vereniging van Suid-Afrika en die Port Elizabeth Genealogiese Navorsingsgroep o.l.v. prof Gideon de Kock ingesluit. Deur die Hugenote Vereniging het die Hugenote Gedenkmuseum op Franschhoek (wat oor die grootste versameling dokumente en manuskripte aangaande Hugenote families beskik) asook die Hugenote Trust van die dilemma te hore gekom en ook aangedui dat hulle graag saam sou wou besin oor hierdie belangrike aangeleentheid. By gebrek aan enige belangstelling van ander tersiëre inrigtings in die noorde het die Universiteit van Stellenbosch hulle bereidwilligheid getoon om ‘n heenkome aan te bied. Op hierdie wyse het die sewe stigterslede van die Instituut gedurende 1997 bymekaar uitgekom. ‘n Grondwet en reglement is opgestel waarvolgens die te stigte Instituut bestuur en administreer sou word.


Die RGN het as voorwaarde gestel gehad, dat die instansie wat die werksaamhede en versamelings van sy voormalige Afdeling Genealogie sou oorneem, oor ‘n permamente kantoor en infrastruktuur moes beskik. Sodoende is in September 1997 die Genealogiese Instituut van Suid-Afrika op Franschhoek in die lewe geroep met verteenwoordigers van elk van die sewe bostaande instansies as stigterslede. Hierdie sewe stigterslede het die Raad van GISA gevorm en is die Genealogical Society of Utah ook as bykomende lid gekoöpteer. Die gedagte was dat elkeen van die sewe instansies ‘n wesenlike bydrae moes lewer ten einde toe te sien dat die nuutgestigte Instituut van die grond kom. Aanvanklik was ‘n huis regoor die Hugenote Gedenkmuseum in Franschhoek wat aan die museum behoort het oorweeg as lokale om die Instituut te huisves. Sommetjies is gemaak van die kostes wat veranderinge aan die huis (wat uit die vroeë 1900’s dateer) sou meebring om dit doeltreffend in te rig. Daar is bevind dat dit nie ‘n haalbare oplossing sou wees nie, omdat GISA daardeur finansieel uit die staanspoor geweldig teruggesit sou word. Daarbenewens was die gedagte geopper om die Instituut as ‘n onderdeel van die museum te bestuur en van die museumpersoneel te benut om bykomend ook die Instituut te beman. Terugskouend moet erken word dat soiets nie tot enige van die twee instansies se voordeel sou strek nie.

In hierdie stadium het die Universiteit van Stellenbosch met ‘n briljante voorstel vorendag gekom om ‘n onbenutte ruimte (eintlik stoor) in die gebou te Banghoekweg 115 aan te bied as lokale vir die nuwe Instituut. Buiten enkele kantore wat deur die oorloop van die Universiteit se IT Departement beset was, asook die laboratorium van die Departement Polimeerwetenskap agter, kon die res van die gebou ingeruim word as kantore, leeskamers en biblioteek vir die Instituut. Wat die voorstel nog meer aantrekliker gemaak het, was die Universiteit se aanbod om die gedeelte wat GISA sou beset op hulle onkoste in te ruim deur dit uit te verf, regdeur te bemat, beligting waar nodig aan te bring, verdelingsmure op te rig, genoegsame kragpunte, lugreëling en rekenaar netwerkpunte te installeer, die gebou te beveilig deur toegangsbeheer, brandblussers en veiligheidhekke aan te bring asook ‘n alarmstelsel en brandverklikkerstelsel te installeer. Die kersie op die koek was die aanbod van die Universiteit om van GISA gedurende die eerste drie jaar slegs ‘n persentasie van die markverwante maandelikse huur te verhaal. Bruikbare tweedehandse meubels soos tientalle tafels stoele en lessenaars is gratis beskikbaar gestel. In totaliteit was hierdie ‘n aanbod wat niemand sou kon weier nie en kan ek my kwalik voorstel dat dit herhaal of getroef sou kon word. Daarby kom nog verder die voordele van die onmiddelike nabyheid van die IT Departement, die JS Gericke Biblioteek met sy waardevolle versamelings, US Drukkery asook onbelemmerde toegang tot die Universiteit se voortreflike rekenaarnetwerk en –stelsels. GISA het sodoende toegang verkry tot ‘n formidabele, gevestigde infrastruktuur waarsonder die Instituut nie sou kon klaarkom nie. Bogenoemde is harde feite wat uitgespel moet word en baie min mense mee rekening hou en sommige gerieflikheidshalwe uit die oog verloor.

Onteenseglik is die grootste bydrae gemaak deur die RGN wat benewens ‘n bruidskat en al sy waardevolle genealogiese versamelings en boekery ook van sy oorbodige rekenaars, mikrofilmlesers, rakke, staalkabinette, onverkoopte boeke en mikrofilms geskenk het. Boonop het die RGN die genoemde skenking vir hulle rekening teen groot onkostes laat pak en afstuur. So het elkeen van die ander instansies ‘n wesenlike bydrae gelewer (ek wil nie een van hulle daarvan uitsluit nie) en daarmee die vestiging van GISA op Stellenbosch nie net moontlik nie, maar ook gerieflik gemaak


Vir diegene wat dalk nie my CV gelees het nie: Alhoewel ek vir bykans sewe jaar vanaf September 1973 tot Februarie 1980 by die Afdeling Genealogie van die RGN in Pretoria werksaam was, neem my betrokkenheid by GISA op Stellenbosch, eers ‘n aanvang op 1 Maart 1998 toe ek diens aanvaar het as eerste direkteur, ses maande na die stigting van die Instituut. Maar ek kan u verseker dat daar ‘n wesenlike verskil was tussen my indienstreding by die RGN 25 jaar vantevore teenoor wat my nou te wagte was. Behalwe dat ek nou 25 jaar ouer en miskien ietwat wyser en ervare was, het ek destyds iemand soos dr Roelf Lombard gehad waarop ek kon steun, asook gebruik maak van die gevestigde infrastruktuur van die RGN. Dr Lombard, ekself en een ander dames-assistent het aanvanklik die totale personeel van die Afdeling Genealogie by die RGN uitgemaak. Weldra sou ons groei tot ‘n kontingent van agt personeellede voordat ek in Februarie 1980 my dienste by die RGN beëindig het om terug te keer na die diplomatieke diens.

Maar om terug te kom tot GISA: Per slot van sake kan ‘n werksplek nie sonder mense funksioneer nie. In hierdie opsig ag ek my besonder geseënd deurdat die regte persone elke keer op die regte tyd opgedaag het. Een van die aanvanklike aanstellings mev De Villiers is nog steeds daar werksaam en is haar besondere forte die beantwoording van langafstand navrae en hulpverlening aan die vele besoekers wat ons ontvang. Daarenteen het mev. Lorenzen met haar onblusbare ondernemingsgees en werksywer, mnr Isak Bosman met sy toewyding aan en besondere passie vir genealogie en mev. Van der Westhuysen wat ons biblioteek tot ‘n hoë standaard opgradeer het, reeds lankal noodgedwonge ander weivelde gaan soek, maar hulle nalatenskap is nog steeds sigbaar. Buiten mev. De Villiers word ek tans nog bygestaan deur uiters bekwame dames in die persoon van my regterhand mev Heula Nel en mej Pauletta Joubert wat saam met my op die redaksie van die SAG reeks dien, om nie te vergeet van ons voortreflike en noukeurige boekhoudster mev Carol Greener wat die Instituut se finansies moniteer en alle bestellings en inbetalings hanteer.


Alhoewel die aanvanklike inruimingswerk by GISA se lokale nou grootliks afgehandel was, was daar buiten my tydelike kantoor, my telefoon en ‘n splinternuwe rekenaar op my lessenaar, niks verder nie – net ‘n groot leegte. Deur die loop van Maart het ek onderhoude gevoer met voornemende werknemers en is twee dames mevv Lorenzen en De Villiers in April 1998 aangestel. Terselfdertyd is die besending hierbo genoem vanaf die RGN in Pretoria ook in ontvangs geneem en uitgepak. Daarna is die rakke opgeslaan en het ek en die twee dames eiehandig die boeke georden en op rak geplaas. Albei van hulle het ‘n toepaslike biblioteek agtergrond gehad wat handig te pas sou kom. Spoedig het die Instituut, met sy biblioteek, mikrofilmoteek en leeskamer beslag gekry en kon ons teen einde April reeds besoekers ontvang. Die Universiteit se Departement Finansies het GISA se fondse administreer en moes rekwesisies vir elke pen, potlood, uitveer ens. aangevra word. Vir praktiese doeleindes is die Instituut goedgunstiglik deur die Departement Geskiedenis op sy kostepunt geakkommodeer totdat ‘n eie kostepunt geskep kon word en kon ons sodoende voorrade en dringende benodighede sonder enige verdere oponthoud aankoop en bestel. Die Departement Geskiedenis het o.a. ook twee mikrofilmlesers wat in onbruik geraak het, maar in goeie werkende toestand was, aan GISA geskenk.

Gedurende Junie 1998 het die RGN regtens alle eienaarsregte en outeursregte op sy gepubliseerde werke wat voorheen deur die Instituut Geskedenisnavorsing uitgegee was (daar is ‘n lys van bykans veertig familieboeke) en genealogiese manuskripte (waaronder die Heese manuskrip) amptelik aan GISA oorgedra. Die Instituut was daardeur bemagtig om voortaan besluite aangaande hierdie publikasies en manuskripte te mag neem. ‘n Maand later aan die einde van Julie 1998 is GISA amptelike geopen tydens ‘n gesellige geleentheid waarheen al die belanghebbende persone wat met die vestiging van die Instituut gemoeid was, uitgenooi is.

Tot en met 31 Maart 2002 het die Universiteit homself verantwoordelik gehou vir GISA se finansiële bestuur, maar op laasgenoemde datum na vier jaar daarvan losgemaak. Vanaf 1 Januarie 2002 moes die Instituut sy eie boekhouding stelselmatig oorneem en ‘n eie finansiële infrastruktuur binne drie maande tot stand bring. ‘n Eie ouditeur is aangestel en ondertussen is GISA ook by die Ontvanger as ‘n nie-winsgewende instansie geregistreer. Die Instituut se finansiële boekjaar loop nou van 1 April tot 31 Maart van die daaropvolgende jaar. Die Instituut se self-genererende inkomste verkry uit navorsingstariewe en opdragnavorsing word aangevul uit skenkings wat van welwillende instansies en persone ontvang word. Een van die skenkingsvoorwaardes is dat GISA twee volumes van die SAG reeks per finansiële boekjaar uitgee.


Die Instituut se opdrag (missie) word duidelik in sy grondwet soos volg uitgedruk: “GISA versamel en bewaar genealogiese bronnemateriaal op ‘n wetenskaplike wyse en doen genealogiese navorsing met die oog op dienslewering en die publikasie van stamregisters en familiegeskiedenisse van alle Suid-Afrikaanse families”. Ons opdrag is dus drieledig (a) Versameling en bewaring (b) doen van genealogiese navorsing en (c) publikasies

5.1 Versameling en bewaring

Die omvangryke en waardevolle genealogiese versamelings van die voormalige Afdeling Genealogie wat uit die RGN se biblioteek onttrek is, word by GISA bewaar. Maar daarby bly dit nie net nie – ons versamel voortdurend (deur aankope of as skenkings) elke nuwe genealogiese publikasie wat op die mark verskyn. Daardeur probeer ons verseker dat GISA se biblioteek verteenwoordigend bly van Suid-Afrikaanse genealogie in die breë. Voorts word gereeld manuskripte oor families of takke van families aan GISA beskikbaar gestel vir toekomstige gebruik, hetsy vir opname in die SAG reeks en/of as bron deur ander navorsers in ons Leeskamer geraadpleeg te word. Sodra ‘n manuskrip sowat twintig of meer foliobladsye beslaan, word dit laat bind en op rak geplaas met erkenning aan die opsteller van die manuskrip. Kleiner manuskripte, enigiets van ‘n velletjie papier tot ‘n manuskrip van minder as twintig foliobladsye word op lêer geplaas en bewaar. Familielêers word ook aan navorsers in die Leeskamer op aanvraag beskikbaar gestel. Die enigste uitsondering is die Heese-manuskrip wat volgens die oorspronklike skenkingsooreenkoms met die RGN (nou oorgedra aan GISA) nie voor publikasie aan die publiek beskikbaar gestel mag word nie. Bykans ‘n honderdtal CD’s is die afgelope jare ontvang in die vorm van e-boeke, hetsy as genealogiese manuskripte, of as elektroniese weergawes van reeds-beskikbare publikasies.

GISA probeer ook publikasies aangaande reisverhale uit voorafgaande eeue, gemeentegeskiedenisse, dorpsgeskiedenisse en streeksgeskiedenisse, biografieë en outobiografieë vir die biblioteek aankoop, aangesien dit nuttige bronne is vir die opstel van ‘n familiegeskiedenis. Vroeër is ook heelwat geïdentifiseerde foto’s van persone , groepe en geboue ontvang en bewaar, maar deesdae word dit digitaal afgeneem en as aanhangsel tot ‘n e-pos boodskap aangestuur. Van die genealogieë wat elektronies aangestuur word, word desgelyks hardekopieë gedruk en op lêer geplaas of gebind as ‘n manuskrip vir die biblioteek.

5.2 Doen van genealogiese navorsing

Hierdie is die gedeelte van ons opdrag wat ons die graagste voltyds mee besig sou wou wees, maar wat helaas as gevolg van omstandighede nie altyd reg aan geskied kan word nie. Uiteraard kry ons besoekers voorkeur waar dit kom by navorsing - waarmee bedoel word dat sou te veel besoekers op ‘n spesifieke dag opdaag, GISA personeel die lesers waarmee hulle besig was moet ontruim sodat die besoekers dit kan benut. GISA beskik oor ruim nege mikrofilmlesers en vier mikrofichelesers in ons mikrofilmoteek. Daarbenewens is daar drie rekenaars in die Leeskamer en genoeg sitplek en tafels waarby elf navorers kan werk. M.a.w. tot soveel as twintig navorsers kan maksimaal per dag by GISA akkommodeer word.

Afgesien van die touwysmaak hoe om die lesers te gebruik en die verskillende indekse t.o.v. kerkregisters en sterfkennisse te kan benut, word nuwe navorsers van meet af aan gelei hoe om familienavorsing aan te pak en terselfdertyd word hulle blootgestel aan die verskillende bronne wat by GISA beskikbaar is. Rekord word ook gehou van alle daaglikse besoekers en die vanne waarmee hulle besig is en kan ons sodoende aan die Raad verslag doen oor die benutting van ons fasiliteite. Hulpverlening aan die publiek is dan ook van ons vernaamste funksies. Die kostes daaraan verbonde is in kort R15 per uur tot ‘n maksimum van R80 vir ‘n dag van agt ure. Ons sluit nie oor etensuur nie en GGSA lede betaal slegs R10 per uur. Daar is ook spesiale tariewe vir weekgebruikers en maandgebruikers terwyl vir ‘n boekjaar (1 April tot 31 Maart van die daaropvolgende jaar) navorsing gedoen kan word teen R1200 per jaar. Persone wat op daardie basis van ons fasiliteite gebruik maak word outomaties “Vriende van GISA”. As vergunning vir persone wat voldag werk is GISA elke derde Saterdagoggend van die maand oop op voorwaarde dat daar vooraf gereël word (anders kan die betrokke personneellid dalk ‘n waardevolle oggend verniet opoffer)

Onder hierdie opskrif sorteer voorts langafstand-navorsing (ook opdrag-navorsing genoem) – d.i. navrae wat deur GISA personeel teen betaling namens ‘n navraer elders in Suid-Afrika en oorsee hanteer word. Langafstand-navorsing wat in die vorm van telefoonoproepe, e-pos boodskappe, briewe en fakse ontvang word, het sedert die ontstaan van GISA so toegeneem dat ons beswaarlik kan voorbly in die hantering daarvan met die skrale drie personeellede waaroor die Instituut beskik. (Hierby word die boekhoudster nie ingereken nie, want dit is ‘n half-dag pos en hou die finansiële aangeleenthede haar genoegsaam besig). Persone wat telefoniese navrae doen word waar moontlik onmiddellik gehelp, of elders heen verwys, of as dit ‘n omvangryke navraag is, versoek om dit skriftelik aan GISA te rig. Ondervinding het geleer dat dit die beste manier is om enige misverstande uit die weg te ruim. Persone wat binne ‘n honderd tot 150 kilometer radius vanaf Stellenbosch woon word aangemoedig om liefs self na die Instituut te kom waarna ons hulle met raad en daad bystaan om te vind waarna gesoek word.

Desnieteenstaande neem langafstand-navrae steeds toe. Daarom moes die Instituut onlangs ‘n beginsel besluit neem om langafstand-navrae slegs te beperk tot die opsporing van EEN doopinskrywing, of EEN huweliksinskrywing of EEN sterfkennis op ‘n keer, waarvoor R60-00 per soektog gevra word. Omvangryke navrae waar meer as een dokument gesoek moet word, sal voortaan na vryskut genealogiesenavorsers vir afhandeling verwys word. Op hierdie wyse word die agterstand in die beantwoording van navrae nou stadig maar seker weggewerk en is die omset nou heelwat vinniger. Die voordeel daarvan om omvattende navrae na vryskutnavorsers te verwys, is dat hulle meer beweeglik (mobiel) is as GISA personeel wat aan ‘n kantoor gebonde is.

5.3 Publikasies

Die SAG reeks se ontstaan kan teruggevoer word na die oorspronklike reeks Geslachtregisters van de Oude Kaapsche Families deur C.C. de Viliiers meer as honderd jaar gelede. Die jong dominee Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers (na regte die Vader van Suid-Afrikaanse Genealogie genoem) het die Kaapse NG Kerkregisters vanaf omstreeks 1660 tot 1810 d.w.s. ‘n periode van 150 jaar sorgvuldig deurgewerk en daarna georden waarna geslagregisters opgestel is voordat hy op 37 jaar te sterwe gekom het. Kritiek wat teen hierdie monumentale werk uitgebring was, is dat die inligting selde die plek van doop of huwelik aangedui het en dat dit daarom net lyste van vanne, voorname met datums bevat het. Sewentig jaar later (1966) is die oorspronklike reeks aangevul deur die bekende heraldikus dr Cornelis Pama wat ‘n groter hoeveelheid families ingesluit het en van die inligting in sy reeks van drie dele De Villiers & Pama aangevul het tot ongeveer 1830 (of ‘n generasie verder as sy voorganger se boeke)

Dr J.A. Heese wat besig was met die versameling van inligting vir die skryf van sy latere publikasie Die Herkoms van die Afrikaner het De Villiers & Pama se navorsing nog verder gevoer tot net na die afloop van die Groot Trek (circa 1850). Laasgenoemde genealoog het die bestaande gegewens verder verryk deur plekname aan te dui, asook sterftedatums en beroepe waar moontlik te voorsien. Sy omvangryke manuskrip is omstreeks 1980 aan die RGN beskikbaar gestel onderhewig aan sekere voorwaardes en het die Afdeling Genealogie o.l.v. dr Roelf Lombard die eerste vier volumes van die SAG reeks oftewel Heese & Lombard uitgegee, wat die vanne A tot K dek.

Met die oorname van die destydse RGN genealogiese versamelings is ondermeer ook die restant van die Heese-manuskrip (vanaf L tot Z) in ontvangs geneem. Daarmee saam is ‘n CD Rom afgelewer waarop die getikte manuskrip vir die volgende SAG volume (oftewel Heese & Lombard deel 5) elektronies vasgelê was. Die Instituut is verkeerdelik laat verstaan dat dit die finale geredigeerde manuskrip was. By nadere ondersoek het dit egter geblyk dat die CD toe nie so volledig was as wat ons laat glo is nie. Verskeie vanne het heeltemal ontbreek wat agterna bygewerk moes word, terwyl sommige vanne wat as volledig en afgehandel beskou was, ook nog te kort geskiet het. Dit was onmoontlik om presies te bepaal in hoeverre die data op die CD Rom betroubaar was, aangesien daar geen oorbruggings-periode tussen die sluiting van die Afdeling Genealogie in Pretoria en die vestiging van GISA op Stellenbosch plaasgevind het nie. Dit kan byna vergelyk word met van die naelbyt Airport nagmerrie ondervindings waar een van die passasiers halfpad in die lug die straler se beheer moet oorneem om dit veilig te probeer laat land.

Die redaksie het die opdrag om SAG vol. 5 so gou moontlik persklaar te maak pligsgetrou nagekom en dit met volharding en toewyding aangepak. Agttien maande na die vestiging van GISA het hierdie volume, nie sonder die gepaardgaande tandekry-probleme nie, sy verskyning gemaak. Al die probleme ten spyt (soos bv die aanvanklike swak bindwerk deur die drukkers) kan ek eerlik met trots oor my mede redaksielede opmerk: never have so few, with so little means, achieved so much, in such a short time… Alhoewel oorspronklik ‘n te groot oplaag laat druk is, kan ek vandag rapporteer dat die laaste oorblywende eksemplaar net verlede week verkoop is.

Vanaf SAG vol 6 d.i. die “N” vanne, was GISA se redaksie alleenlik aanspreeklik vir die eindproduk. Kritiek was ontvang oor die klein druk (10 pt Times New Roman) waarin SAG vols 1 tot 5 verskyn het en het ons daarom besluit om vir die volgende deel ‘n groter lettertipe 12 pt Times New Roman te gebruik. Met die verskyning daarvan was die reaksie uit sommige oorde dat GISA die reeks opsetlik uitrek deur dit in ‘n groter lettertipe te laat druk. Daarom is vir SAG vol. 7 (vanne O tot Ph) teruggegaan na die oorspronklike 10 pt Times New Roman waarby nog steeds volstaan word. Na SAG vol 5 het daar ‘n nuwe verblydende tendens na vore getree. Al meer Engelssprekende vanne se familienavorsing is aan GISA beskikbaar gestel vir oorweging en opname in ons reeks – ‘n wending waaroor ons uiters dankbaar is.

Tydens die voorbereiding en redigering van die SAG reeks moet die volgende faktore in berekening gebring word:

(a) Soos reeds voorheen genoem is een van die skenkingsvoowaardes dat twee boekdele van die SAG reeks per finansiële boekjaar verskyn. Dit plaas geweldige druk op die redaksie en as een van die redaksielede boonop ander weivelde gaan soek, word daardie leemte moeilik vervang.

(b) Die grondslag tot elke deel van die reeks is die handgeskrewe manuskrip van wyle dr J.A. Heese aangevul uit naslaanwerke soos De Villiers & Pama, Malherbe, Aided British Immigration, Hoge, Ben Cilliers se Genealogieë van die Afrikaner families in Natal en vele ander waardevolle werke, asook tydskrifte soos Familia. Daarbenewens word letterlik honderde bydraes van die publiek (waaronder ook GGSA lede) ontvang oor SA families vir oorweging en insluiting in die reeks. Dit word bereken dat die Heese manuskrip en De Villiers & Pama tans gesamentlik minder as tien persent van die totale inhoud van elke volume bevat.

(c) GISA is uiters dankbaar oor die publiek se belangstelling en meeleweing in die werksaamhede van die Instituut en wil baie graag alle inligting akkommodeer. Die reaksie is so oorweldigend dat die “S” vanne oor drie volumes strek t.w. nrs 10, 11 en 12. Laat bydraes vanaf die publiek is egter ‘n groot bron van kommer, aangesien dit die beraamde publikasiedatums in die wiele ry. Die gevolg is dat daar heel aan die einde ‘n bottelnek ontstaan en in die proses kan makliker onnodige flaters insluip.

(d) Sodra daar meer as een weergawe van dieselfde genealogie of tak van ‘n familie bestaan of ontvang word, word die bronne met mekaar vergelyk en enige ooglopende teenstrydighede eers vooraf nageslaan en geverifiëer, voordat uitsluitsel verkry word. Dit gebeur egter dikwels dat verskillende bydraers by mekaar “afskryf” of “oorskryf” en kan ‘n fout sodoende verewig (perpetuate) word.

(e) Ongelukkig het die redaksie nie die tyd of mannekrag om elke feit te boekstaaf nie en word die inligting wat van die bona fide navorser ontvang word as korrek aanvaar. Erkenning word gegee aan elke bydrae wat in die reeks opgeneem word.

(f) Die afsnydatum van inligting vir opname word soos volg bepaal: (i) Wat betref vanne wat in De Villiers & Pama voorkom m.a.w. ou Kaapse families, word 1900 as afsnypunt geneem, met dien verstande dat die hele gesin voltooi word al is die jonger kinders na 1900 gebore. (ii) Vanne waaroor daar reeds boeke gepubliseer is bv. De Villiers, Pretorius, De Wet, Swanepoel, Schoeman ens. word by 1850 afgesny m.a.w. ten minste een generasie verder as De Villiers & Pama. (iii) Kleiner families en laat inkomelinge in Suid-Afrika (veral Engelssprekende families na 1800) word waar moontlik volledig tot die hede gerapporteer. Die rede daarvoor is dat laasgenoemde families beswaarlik ‘n eie alleenstaande publikasie sal regverdig.


Na verwagting sal die volledige reeks by voltooiing uit sestien dele bestaan – A tot Z. As die huidige tempo volhoubaar sou wees beteken dit dat die reeks teen middel 2007 afgehandel sal wees. Tans word die reeks in boeke gepubliseer, maar die nadeel daarvan is dat ons geweldig aan bande gelê word deur die omvang van elke deel. Die ooreenkoms met die drukkers is dat elke volume nie meer as 500 bladsye sal beslaan nie, anders raak dit moeilik om die boeke gemaklik in die voorafvervaardigde standaard omslae te bind, terwyl die eenheidsprys per boek ook daardeur beïnvloed kan word. Die drukkers waarborg om die eenheidprys binne hulle boekjaar (1 Jan tot 31 Des) overanderd te hou, mits daar by die spesifikasies gehou sal word. Reeds oorskry ons dit met gemiddeld dertig tot veertig bladsye per volume, maar het die drukkers tot dusver gelukkig nog nie beswaar gemaak nie.

GISA is bewus daarvan en erken dat foute gemaak word met die oortik van inligting, maar wil dit ook onomwonde stel dat ons nie verantwoordelik gehou kan word vir foute wat in bydraes voorkom en dan netso gepubliseer word nie. Voor in elke volume by die redaksionele Inleiding word ‘n skriftelike vrywaring gegee wat soos volg lui: Menings wat in die werk uitgespreek is, of gevolgtrekkings waartoe geraak is, is dié van die skrywers/opstellers en moet in geen geval beskou word as ‘n weergawe van die menings of gevolgtrekkings van die Genealogiese Instituut van Suid-Afrika nie. Ons as redaksie is oorbewus van ons feilbaarheid as mense en word die finale manuskrip oor-en-oor geproeflees, maar somtyds lees jou oog die fout reg, sonder om dit op te merk. Op GISA se webwerfwww.sun.ac.za/gisa/ is daar voorsiening gemaak vir Errata bladsye waar enigeen wat toegang het tot die internet direk byvoegings, foute en regstellings kan rapporteer deur dit self in te tik. U word uitgenooi om gebruik te maak daarvan.

Tans is daar ‘n voorstel ter tafel om SAG vols. 1 tot 4 op CD beskikbaar te stel as ‘n proefneming. Geen bywerkings of aanvullings of regstellings word vir hierdie rondte beoog nie m.a.w. die eindproduk op CD sal ‘n bykans presiese weergawe wees van die vier oorspronklike dele. Die gedagte is om dit ‘n read only fasilteit te maak en sal geen skerm afskrifte of duplisering van gedeeltes (downloads) uit die CD gemaak kan word nie. Die doel daarvan sal bloot ‘n soek- of vindmiddel wees tot die bestaande vier volumes. Afhangende van die sukses daarvan sal daar mettertyd voortgegaan word met die res van die reeks. Indien dit egter sou blyk dat die Instituut finansieël verliese gaan ly a.g.v. van “roofkykers” sal hierdie negatiewe faktore ook bepalend wees en in aanmerking geneem moet word, wanneer die voortsetting van die projek ter sprake kom.

Dit word verder voorsien dat aan die einde van die reeks in 2007 daar van vooraf sal begin word met ‘n nuwe reeks op CD (dit mag dalk selfs nie meer SAG genoem word nie). Eerstens sou daar ‘n aanvang geneem word om al die honderde regstellings wat op lêer gehou en op die Errata bladsye aangeteken is, in die bestaande SAG reeks aan te bring . Daarna sou volg byvoegings na 1850 en 1900 onderskeidelik wat stelselmatig ingewerk word. Ten slotte word beoog om talle “nuwe” vanne wat nog nie voorheen in die SAG reeks opgeneem was nie,ook op die CD reeks in te sluit. Dit is GISA se visie vir die toekoms.

Leon Endemann

©  16 Oktober 2004

Druk E-Pos

Another Piece In The Joubert Jig-Saw

by K. van der Berg Joubert

published in Familia vol. 19, no. 4, 1982, P. 85-89

All genealogists remember hearing some sad tale of an old man who was immensely interested in family history and who had spent years researching minute details of family myths in order to 'discover the real truth!' Many have been amazed at his dedication and continually encouraged him to publish his results - but he had 'wanted to finish his research and publish the whole story'. While waiting for a final piece of family history, he suddenly died of a heart attack and uninterested relatives, simply wanting to 'clean up the place' bundled his material into cardboard boxes in the cellar where in a couple of months they mildewed and rotted. Later family researchers lamented 'Why did he wait so long? If only he had shared his findings with someone . . .'. Remembering, I suddenly felt guilty and resolved to share my limited findings with the world and perhaps gain in return those vital pieces of information which might help me solve my family myths. ...

Perhaps, it was 'Turning Forty' that developed my interest in family origins about nine years ago. Now living in Canada, somewhat isolated from my South African roots, I began to wonder 'where I came from?' Questions to relatives brought little in the way of concrete evidence and only produced more questions without answers plus a number of fascinating myths.

I struck gold when I finally discovered the Research Centre of the Huguenot Museum in Franschhoek, Cape, that with some skilful research provided me with a complete link between myself and Pierre Joubert who arrived in South Africa aboard the 'Berg China' in 1688. Background reading suddenly presented me with a colourful, heroic and very tragic saga of the courageous Huguenot struggle for freedom of religion and a series of memorable names which had played a vital part in the history of Southern Africa. This explosion of heritage resulted in my returning to South Africa accompanied by my Canadian wife, Fern, after an absence of over 25 years to discover how beautiful and awe-inspiring my homeland really was! To visit the Huguenot museum; discuss my heritage; visit the lovely graceful La Provence at Franschoek; to wander slowly from Stellenbosch retracing the ruts of my ancestors' wagonwheels through the Karroo desert to the lovely city of Graaff-Reinet; to watch the sun slowly setting from the verandah of the Land-drost Hotel as I puzzled over the unsolved Joubert's myths.

Mystery No. 1 - The first mystery to be solved on my return to Canada was to investigate the difficulty I had encountered when I asked for details of Pierre Joubert's French origins. I was told that he was recorded as coming from La Motte d'Aigues in Southern France. But here the information stopped! Letters to the National Archives of France in

Paris produced little help. They had suggested that perhaps the name was misspelled and that further research could be provided by the Centre for Genealogy for the Midi-Provence in Avignon, France. The combination of this information matched with a reliable researcher finally produced results. Pierre Joubert did not read or write! The family name prior to leaving France was spelled - not Joubert - but JAUBERT! I was horrifed at the countless number of past seekers who had been looking for the wrong spelling of their own family name.

Notorial records for the period 1633-57 (Marriage contracts, wills, etc) produced the beginning of a French Family Tree, as follows:

SEBASTIEN JAUBERT (d. before 1660)
m. Audierne Authoard

PIERRE JAUBERT (d.bn 1660-63)
m. Jehanne Goirand

Marguerite Bourgue 


- Pierre 

- Jacque

- Judith 

Andre Barthelmy
Franchise Rambert 


- Pierre

Eventual Destination South Africa.

What a thrill it was to receive copies of Wills in the original writings and grammar of the 1600s. What Will and Testament today carries the poetry and mystique of that period. I quote from the beginning of Pierre Jaubert's (Pierre's grandfather's) Will:

In the name of God, May it be, Amen. In the year 1665, on the 20th day of the month of May, as it always is in this world of misery, only one thing is certain: and nothing more uncertain than the time it will come; each day each of us gets nearer to it....

And in these rich, faded historic documents there suddenly appears a ray of light which begins to illuminate another mystery which has plagued family history writers for centuries . . .

Mystery No. 2 - Reviewing the fate of Pierre Joubert - ancestor in South Africa of all the Joubert clan - one comes across confusion in all historical sources. On gathering details, I remember being teased by friends about the manner in which 'Pierre Joubert jumped from wife to wife . . .'. In the Journal of the History of French Protestantism, 1899, there are questions being asked concerning the disappearance of Pierre's first wife, Susan Reine. These questions are still being asked in the famous Capt. Hinde's report of 1895 to the Huguenot Society of London. And the question still remains unanswered in both Graham Botha's 1919 The French Refugees at the Cape and in the 1980 letters from the National Archives of France and the illustrious Central Bureau lor Genealogy in the Hague, Holland. What confusing facts caused the 300 year old mystery?

(Fact No. 1) In 1885, Dr W. de Rieu, then Librarian at the University of Leiden recorded that he had located evidence that on Feb. 1, 1688, one Pierre Joubert, native of de la Motle d'Aigues in Provence had married Susanne Reyne de la Roque, Native of Antheron, Provence and embarked on the ship 'Mont de Sinai' bound for the Cape of Good Hope. . . .

(Fact No. 2) On the 20th March, 1688, one Pierre Joubert of de la Motte d'Aigues sailed from Rotterdam on the ship 'Berg China' as a bachelor. For some reason, writers over history have provided him with an appropriate wife on board - Isabeau Richard. It is interesting to note that on the passenger list of the 'Berg China' published in the 1970 edition of Botha's book, Isabeau Richard is shown as the '20 year old wife of Pierre Malan'. It can only be assumed that Pierre Malan was one of the 30 deaths reported on board the four month voyage and that Pierre Joubert married the 'widow'.

Suddenly the research in La Motte, France raises new hope of a solution. Lven M. Boucher's recent book, French Speakers at the Cape, indicates the possibility of several Pierres in the same family! In fact, there appear to be TWO 24 year old PIERRE JAUBERTs, both born about the SAME YEAR, in the same VILLAGE - first cousins! Both were named after their grandfather; and both appear from local records to have fled the area at the same time -just prior to the dale of the required 'oath of acceptance of the Catholic faith' - possibly they escaped together - as cousins might just do. (Suddenly I feel a lot more relieved about the morals of my ancestor in dumping wives so quickly!)

Since there appears to be general agreement that Pierre and Susanne sailed lor the Cape in the 'Mont de Sinai', there is some concern that no record can be found of that ship arriving and discharging her human cargo. My efforts through the Algemeen Rijksarchief (State Archives) of the Hague, Holland to have the ultimate destination and fate of the ship traced have been fruitless so far! Perhaps because of the international war situation, the ship was diverted to Batavia? Somewhere in the world we may yet find another branch of the Joubert clan growing fruitfully but unnoticed!

Mystery No. 3 - One of the most colourful legends in the Joubert family history is the story of a young Minister, while polishing a silver chalice in a little church in the Cape, suddenly became aware that the vase he was holding was engraved. On having the inscription trascribed, it appeared to be a permanent record of land holdings of the Joubert family in France. A local member of the family was notified and the matter was duly investigated. Ultimately this resulted in a journey to France where the matter was placed before the French government and a claim made for a 'beautiful chateau'. Since it appeared that the land had been seized from the family by the 'evil' King about 1688, the present anti-monarchist French authority agreed to settle the value of the land and chateau 'provided that all possible heirs were recorded and satisfied. . . .' (So the story goes - what a modern romance it would make!)

However, my investigation reveals that a now deceased relative of mine, Daniel ('Danchie') Francois Joubert (born 1875 Graaff-Reinet; died 1955) appears to have made this journey of investigation about 1913 to apparently check on the authenticity of a silver vase which was located in a church in the Cape. He apparently was told by the French government that the land recorded was still in Chancery' after 300 years. My efforts to locate his children in South Africa (Shiela Grantham - nee O'Niell; Noreen Culverville - nee O'Niell; Andrew Joubert of Sea Point; Harry Joubert of Mossel Bay) in order to authenticate this story have been in vain.

However, the Will and Testament of Jacques Jaubert (dated 1665) reveals that Pierre was an only son and would inherit his complete estate. Previous Wills of the grandfather (also Pierre) include death gifts of land to this branch of the family. There appears to be no record of any claim being made by Pierre once he settled in South Africa. It could, in fact, be true that the estate has never been settled and that perhaps, like the plot in any good film, 'somewhere in the hills of Provence, France there lies a lovely green valley with a quaint chateau with the Joubert crest emblazoned above the outer gate' . . .dream along, genealogists all. . .!

Since I do not speak or read French and my Afrikaans is very limited, I continue to carry on my Joubert family research at a long distance and with linguistic difficulty. I would appreciate any assistance in this endeavour and hope that my small contribution to 300 years of confusion and mystery is appreciated like 'a candle in a cavern of darkness'.

Kenneth van der Berg Joubert

References Documents

Departmental Archives, Departemente de Vauclause, Avignon, France.  - Marriage of Jacques Jaubert & Francoise Rambert; 1665 (Contract May 1665; Reg. 293, Folio 78; Archival Index Meilhasse reg. 297 me).

- Will of Jacques Jaubert - father of Pierre Jaubert of South Africa; (above - dated May 23, 1665; Reg. 293; Folio 78)

- Will of Pierre Jaubert - senior (Pierre's grandfather); (Fonds enjoubert Pertuis; me Meilhasse Reg. No. 292; dated Nov. 1, 1660).

(French and English translation of the above copies held by author)

Reference Works

Histoire du Protestantisme Francais; Vol. XLVIII; Paris 1899; p. 671.

Proceedings of the Huguenot Society of London; Vol. 5; 1894-96;

Capt. W. H. Hinde, RE, 'The Huguenot Settlement at the Cape of Good Hope; p. 205.

The French Refugees at the Cape; C. Graham Botha; C. Struik (Pty) Ltd., Cape Town; (1970); Original edition 1919.

Pierre Joubert & Isabeau Richard; unpublished manuscript by unknown Joubert member; deceased 1970; provided by Miggie Joubert of Claremont, Cape.

French Speakers at the Cape;M. Boucher; University of South Africa, Pretoria; 1981.

Druk E-Pos