DREYER, W.A. 2015.
South Africa: The early quest for liberty and democracy. HTS Theological Studies, vol. 71(3)
DREYER, W.A. 2015.
South Africa: The early quest for liberty and democracy. HTS Theological Studies, vol. 71(3)
FOURIE, J. & VON FINTEL, J. 2014.
Settler skills and colonial development: The Huguenot wine-makers in eighteenth-century Dutch South Africa. The Economic History Review, vol. 67(4)
FOURIE, J. & VON FINTEL, D. 2012.
“The Fruit of the vine: An augmented endowments-inequality hypothesis and the rise of an elite in the Cape Colony” in Amsden, A., Robinson, J. and DiCaprio, A. The Role of Elites in Development. WIDER series on Economic Development. Oxford University Press.
COERTZEN, P. 2011.
The Huguenots of South Africa in documents and commemoration. NGTT, vol. 52(3)
COERTZEN, P. 2011.
The Huguenots of South Africa in history and religious identity. NGTT, vol. 52(1)
FOURIE, J. & VON FINTEL, J. 2011.
‘n Ongelyke Oes: die Franse Hugenote en die vroeë Kaapse wynbedryf. Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, vol. 51(3).
FOURIE, J. & VON FINTEL, J. 2010.
An Unequal Harvest: The French Huguenots and early Cape wine-making. Tydskrif vir Geesteswetenskappe, vol. 51(3), p.332-353.
English summary available here.
FOURIE, J. & VON FINTEL, J. 2010.
Settler skills and colonial development: The Huguenot wine-makers in eighteenth-century Dutch South Africa. The Economic History Review, vol. 67(4).
BRITS, D. 2009.
The French refugees in 20th century South African historiography.
D’ASSONVILLE, V.E. 2003.
The angle of incidence of Paul Roux’s catechism – a study on the theology of a French refugee at the Cape: research. Acta Theologica, vol. 23(2)
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5. The Jourdan (Jordaan) family
The refugee history of the Jourdans reflects the close family networks found in the Aigues valley of the Luberon. Two years after recanting their reformed faith in October 1685, the Jourdans (Marie, Jean, Paul, Piere (Saint-Martin) and Pierre (Cabrières) decided to leave France and seek refuge in the Dutch Republic. They were joined by other Luberon families such as the Jauberts, Courbons, Granges, Rouxs, Malans and Mesnards. Along the way, they received aid in Geneva and in Frankfurt. Together with about 35 other Huguenot refugees, they left Goeree on board the China on 2 March 1688 and arrived in Table Bay on 4 August. Jean and Pierre, brothers from Belle Étoile, Saint-Martin de la Brasque, and Pierre Jourdan from Cabrières-d’Aigues (not a relative) were the only Jourdans to survive the voyage.
6. Jean-Prieur Duplesis (Du Plessis)
Jean-Prieur Duplesis was born in 1638 in the town of Poitiers in the Poitou-Charente region of west-central France. The Royal Declarations of the 1680s meant he could no longer practise as a barber-surgeon because he was member of the Reformed religion. Jean-Prieur left France in 1687 for the French Caribbean island of Saint Christopher. He married Madeleine Menanteau, also from Poitiers, on the neighbouring island of Saint Thomas in June 1687. Soon after their wedding, they sought refuge in the Dutch Republic. On 29 January 1688, the couple sailed from Wielingen on board the Oosterland. Their son, Charl, who was born at sea, was baptised on board ship on 18 April 1688. The family arrived at the Cape seven days later. Duplesis and his family settled in Stellenbosch where he worked as a barber-surgeon and a part-time farmer. Unable to support his wife and two children, he asked permission to return to Europe with his family when he reached the end of his contract. The VOC allowed him to defer payment for the passage. On 12 June 1693, the family boarded the Sirjansland for Veere in Zeeland. They family spent some time in Ireland where their daughter, Judith, was born. In 1702, Jean-Prieur Duplesis returned to the Cape with his second wife, Marie Buisset (41 years his junior), and settled in the Banghoek Valley in Stellenbosch. He died six years later on 7 December 1708 at the age of 70. His eldest son Charl, who was trained as a barber-surgeon by him, practised at the Cape and in Drakenstein from 1712 until his death in 1737. Marie Buisset was a qualified midwife who also conducted autopsies at the Cape.
7. The Vivier (Viviers) brothers
The three Vivier brothers from Normandy, Abraham, Jacques and Pierre, were exiles in Zierikzee, Zeeland when they left for the Cape on 24 April 1688 on board the Zuid-Beveland. Like many refugees, they received hand-outs from the Walloon church, the final one recorded on 28 March 1688 as “for the three departing Viviers”. Abraham married the 16-year-old Jacquemine des Près, when he was 41 years old. He was the only one of the brothers to marry, making him and Jacquemine the primogenitors of the Viviers family in South Africa. Eight of their nine children reached adulthood. The three Vivier brothers died during the smallpox epidemic of 1713, and Jacquemine died one year later when she was 36 years old. Her eldest son was 18 and her youngest daughter, Anna, was baptised at Drakenstein in that January. Anna’s godparents, Marie-Jeanne des Prez (Jacquemine’s sister) and her husband, Jacques Therond, assumed responsibility for raising the five Vivier daughters.
8. Jacques (Jacob) Bisseux and Marie Lefebvre
Jacques (Jacob) Bisseux, a baker from Picardy, fled to Middelburg in Zeeland as the persecution of Huguenots intensified in France. Along with his wife, Marie Lefebvre, and their two sons, the Bisseaux family left Wielingen on 26 April 1696 aboard the Vosmaar. During what was to be a disastrous voyage, ninety-four people died, including five of the ten Huguenots who were on board. On 7 September, the ship’s logbook recorded the death of Jacques and Marie’s son, Paul. Marie died soon after arriving at the Cape. Jacques worked as a baker and a grocer and married Isabeau Pochox in 1700.
9. André Mellet
André Mellet from Nîmes and his recently wedded wife, Marie Gautier, arrived at the Cape in 1731 accompanied by Marie’s uncle, the merchant Gilles Soullier (Sollier), and his wife, Anne Roulain. Mellet settled in Table Valley where he worked as a baker and ran a guest house that was popular with French visitors. In 1748, he was repatriated to the Netherlands for dealing in stolen Company goods.
10. Pierre Grange (La Grange)
Pierre Grange left his hometown, Cabrières-d’Aigues, after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Like other Protestant refugees from the Luberon, Grange and his cousin, the mason Louis Courbon, escaped by crossing the Alps into the Swiss cantons. From there they made their way northwards up the Rhine Valley to Frankfurt. Their privation is reflected by the fact that Louis Courbon had no shoes when he arrived in Frankfurt. Both Pierre and his cousin survived the ill-fated voyage on China and worked as masons at the Cape. 10. François Guillaumé (Giliomee) François Guillaumé (also Guillaumet) was a Huguenot tailor from Berlin, who had left the Languedoc as a child. He and his wife, Claudine Eloy, and their four children came to the Cape to start a silk industry. Problems with the cultivation of mulberry trees and the hatching of silkworm eggs frustrated Guillaumé’s best efforts. He abandoned the project in 1732 to become a free burgher in Stellenbosch. Matthieu, his son, persisted for a few more years before becoming a blacksmith and small-scale farmer at Vlottenburg, Stellenbosch.
12. Suzanne Briet
Suzanne Briet was the daughter a wine growing family in Monneaux in the historic Champagne region. She was married to the hat maker Isaac Taillefert from the nearby village of Château-Thierry. Isaac and Suzanne arrived with their six children on board the Oosterland in April 1688. At the Cape, Isaac continued to work as a hatter. In 1689 Isaac received the farm Picardie on the Berg River in Paarl and his son Jean the adjoining farm La Brie (Laborie) named after his place of origin. They worked the farm as one unit. When he called at the Cape in 1698, the French adventurer François Leguat visited the farm. His travelogue published in 1708 describes Taillefert: “He has the best wine in the country, and which is not unlike our small wines of Champagne”. Suzanne Briet continued farming after her husband’s death, and did so very successfully, according to the tax rolls. In 1700, she had 36 head of cattle and 12,000 grapevines. By 1709, she had 80 head of cattle, 400 sheep, 20,000 vines and she had doubled her wheat production.
13. Jean Durand (Durand, Du Rand, Du Randt)
Jean Durand was a barber-surgeon from the small village of La Motte-Chalancon in the Drôme department. He is thought to have fled France in 1687. He received assistance in Geneva, thereafter in Schaffhausen and finally Amsterdam. He left Texel on board the Wapen van Alkmaar in August 1688 and arrived at the Cape in January 1689. In 1702, Jean Durand married 16-year-old Anna Vermeulen, daughter of Jan Vermeulen of Utrecht and Catharina Opklim from Bengal (a freed slave). The sickly Anna died in 1713. The couple had two daughters, Johanna and Susanna. Jean’s second marriage was to Wilhelmina van Zijl, the 18-year-old daughter of his neighbour. Jean and Wilhelmina had six children. Two sons, Jan and Jonathan, carried on the Durand line in South Africa.
14. Gidéon Malherbe
Gidéon Malherbe came from Normandy, arriving at the Cape on the Voorschoten in 1688. He married Marie Grillon from the commune of Mer close to Blois. In 1694, he was allotted the farm Normandie in Drakenstein, but he did not receive the title deed until 1713. His position strengthened significantly between 1700 and 1715 when he inherited his good friend Philippe Drouin, and then Philippe’s father’s entire estate. This included the farm, De Groene Fonteyn in the Wagenmakersvallei. Like many men at the Cape, Phillipe Drouin remained a bachelor. In 1705, male settlers outnumbered females by an even greater margin than in 1682. In areas like the Drakenstein, there were 227 men for every 100 women.
15. Jacques Malan and Isabeau le Long
In 1688, Jacques arrived as a 16-year-old orphan on board the China. As so often the case at the Cape, it was a widow who lay behind his road to economic and social advancement. In 1699, when he married Isabeau le Long, Jean Jourdan’s widow, he gained access to considerable seed capital. He used this between 1702 and 1733 to acquire property that put him and his family on the road to fortune and prestige. The couple settled on the farm La Motte (near the present-day Huguenot Memorial Monument) in Oliphantshoek (Franschhoek). Between 1702 and 1733, Jacques purchased no fewer than 12 farms as well as two erven in Table Bay, selling many of them no doubt for profit during that time. On the death of his wife in 1736, Jacques Malan’s net worth was estimated at more than 86,000 guilders. In one generation the Huguenot orphan had become a very affluent member of the Cape’s landed gentry, demonstrating the upward mobility that was possible at the Cape for a Huguenot refugee with entrepreneurial flair. Jacques and Isabeau were both buried under the floor in the Dutch Reformed Church (Moedergemeente) in Stellenbosch.
16. Sara Vitu and Jacques Delporte (Delport)
Sara Vitu from Guînes (Wijnen) in Picardy and her husband, Jacques Delporte (born near Lille in Flanders), arrived at the Cape in April 1699 on board the Kattendijk. They settled in Drakenstein where Jacques worked as a knecht (or farmhand). By 1707, Jacques was employed by Pierre Cronier on the farm Versailles in the Wagenmakersvallei. Jacques received the farm, Dekkersvlei, in 1721. He had so little success as a farmer that the family had to depend on financial aid from the Drakenstein congregation. in 1710, 1713 and again in 1716, Sara was granted 36 guilders because they were too poor to clothe their six children. Sara died in 1724 and Jacques in December 1739.
17. Pierre Jaubert (Joubert) and Isabeau Richarde
Pierre Jaubert and Isabeau Richarde were arguably the most successful of the Huguenot farmers. Pierre had fled France in 1685 for Switzerland, and made his way from there along the Rhine River until he reached Rotterdam. He was 24 years old when he arrived at the Cape on board the China from Rotterdam in August 1688. The China carried 175 passengers, 28 of them Huguenot refugees. Nineteen passengers, including 13 Huguenot refugees from the Luberon, died en route. Among them were Jaubert’s first wife (Suzanne Reyne) and Isabeau Richarde’s husband (Pierre Malan). When the ship arrived in Table Bay there were 50 sick people on board. Pierre Jaubert married Isabeau Richarde en route to the Cape. Pierre and Isabeau received the farm La Provence in Oliphantshoek in 1694 and lived there until Pierre’s death in 1732. They bought numerous other farms in Drakenstein and the Land van Waveren. At the time of his death, 44 years after his arrival at the Cape, Pierre and his wife owned 14 farms and a townhouse at the Cape. They employed seven tutors for their 11 children. Isabeau continued farming for at least ten years after Pierre’s death. Pierre’s Bible is on display in the ‘Sacred Texts’ exhibit (Bible No.2).
18. Marie Mouton and Titus of Bengale
On 20 July 1699 a 9-year-old Marie Mouton arrived at the Cape from Middelburg on the Donkervliet with her parents Jacques Mouton and Marie de Villiers, and sisters Madeleine and Marguerite. Her mother died soon afterwards, leaving Jacques to care for his young family. At the age of 16, Marie married Frans Jooste who was at least 15 years her senior. Marie moved into his homestead at the foot of the Elandskloof Pass, not far from the farm her parents had been allocated in the Land van Waveren in the Vier-en-Twintig Rivieren area. In 1714, she was accused of murdering her husband with the aid of their slaves, Titus of Bengal and Fortuijn of Angola. An unusual detail that emerged during the trial is that Jooste’s body was hidden in a porcupine hole on the edge of the wheat field on the farm. During her trial, Marie testified that her husband had treated her badly and that she had not had new clothing from him in the past nine years. Eyewitnesses reported that Marie Mouton and Titus of Bengal were lovers, having committed adultery for a long time before the murder of her husband. Marie’s contemporaries found her actions shocking. She was sentenced to death for murder. Other Huguenot women who had sexual relations with their slaves were censured by the church: Suzanne de Puis in 1716 and Cecilia du Preez in 1765. Marie, Titus and Fortuijn all suffered severe and gruesome punishments and death for murder. Marie Mouton was the only white woman to be executed at the Cape during the eighteenth century.
19. Jean Duthuilé
Like other Huguenots, Jean Duthuilé had a promising start to his life at the Cape in 1699 when he was allocated the farm Hexenberg in the Wagenmakersvallei (Wellington). However, when one of his slaves and a Khoikhoi worker died, after he had cruelly punished them on suspicion that they had stolen some keys, Jean fled into the vast and unknown interior. He was found guilty in absentia and sentenced to death. Duthuilé reappeared in London in 1718.
20. Charles Marais and Edischa
Charles Marais, a member of the Le Plessis Marly congregation near Longvilliers in the Hurepoix region of the Île de France, arrived on the Voorschoten with his wife, Catherine Tabourdeux, and their four children in April 1688. Marais named his Drakenstein farm Le Plessis Marle (today Plaisir de Merle) after his place of origin. One year after their arrival, Charles got into an altercation with two Khoikhoi men, Edischa and Rooman (members of Chief Jantjie’s clan in the Drakenstein area), who were looking for wild almonds in the veld behind the Simonsberg. On Marais’s farm, they came across green watermelons which he forbade them to pick. Edischa ignored Charles’s instruction and when he found the melons were green and tasteless he threw pieces of watermelon and stones at the farmer. One of the stones severed the artery in Charles Marais’ left groin which led to his death five days later. Edischa was sentenced to death by the Council of Justice, but he was handed over to his clan to be beaten to death by sticks.
21. Estienne and Pierre Cronier and Matthieu Frachasse
In 1707 the brothers Estienne and Pierre Cronier brothers were involved in a skirmish with Khoikhoi labourers on Pierre’s farm in which two Khoikhoi were fatally wounded. Pierre’s plea of self-defence (delivered in French) was not accepted by the Council of Justice. However, his sentence of banishment for 25 years was never carried out. This contrasts with the fate of Matthieu Frachasse from Lourmarin in the Luberon who was exiled from the Cape in 1711 for stealing cattle from the Khoikhoi.
22. Matthieu Amiel and Chief Dorha
The Company forbade bartering between the Free Burghers and the Khoikhoi because they were determined to retain the monopoly of stock trade. Many colonists ignored this and engaged in illegal trading. Matthieu Amiel of the farm Terra de Luc in Oliphantshoek assisted the farmers involved, offering them overnight accommodation and acting as their guide in crossing the mountains in return for some cattle or sheep. When Chief Dorha, also known as Claas, reported the illegal bartering to the Company in January 1696, the Company officials were particularly angered to find that the Huguenots owned more stock than the Company.
23. Gérard Hanseret
Gérard Hanseret was married to Gabrielle Wavrand. Their two children did not accompany them to the Cape. Their son, Jan Joseph, had died as an infant, and their daughter, Marie-Gabrielle, was already an adult when they left. Gérard operated as a mason in Stellenbosch and farmed in partnership with Pierre Rochefort on the farm, Vlottenburg. It seems that he never broke his ties with his hometown, St Omer in Artois, as his will was filled with bequests to family and friends there. In 1718, he returned to Europe. In order to recoup the cost of bringing the Huguenots to the Cape, the VOC required immigrants to remain at the Cape for at least five years.
24. List of Huguenots who left the Cape
25. Marie Buisset
Marie Buisset, a qualified midwife, was the first woman to perform an autopsy at the Cape. She arrived in 1702 as the second wife of Jean-Prieur Duplesis, a barber-surgeon. She continued practising as a midwife and a farmer after the death of her husband. To protect herself, she bought two pistols with holsters and ammunition at an auction. She was known to treat all patients alike, writing fearless forensic reports and taking sick slaves to her home on horseback. She married another barber-surgeon, Dietrich Schnitt in 1711, and assisted him as an informal medical practitioner.
26. Louis Fourié
Louis Fourié arrived at the Cape from Pontaix in the Dauphiné in 1689. He married Suzanne Cordier from the Orléanais region in 1694. After her death, he married Anne Jourdan in 1716. At the time, Anne was 18, three years younger than his eldest daughter. Louis fathered 21 children. Ten children (six daughters and four sons) were born from his first marriage and 11 (four daughters and seven sons) from his second. In 1699, Louis received the farm De Slange Rivier in Wagenmakersvallei. By 1707, a small Huguenot colony, 19 adults and several children, was living there on adjacent farms.
27. Jeanne de Clercq
On 26 April 1688 Jeanne (Jannetjie) de Clercq arrived at the Cape on the Oosterland, along with her mother and brothers. She married André Gauche, whose first wife, Jacqueline Décre, and their daughter, Marie, had died in Europe or en route to the Cape in 1691. André died a violent death in 1698 leaving Jannetjie with four small children of her own and her stepson Steven. In the same year, she married the abusive Pieter Becker. He was sentenced to four years of hard labour on Robben Island and banished from the Cape for his barbaric treatment of his slaves. Jannetjie had a daughter, Johanna, as the result of an extra-marital relationship with the VOC corporal, Mattheus de Maker. She divorced Becker in 1715. Pregnant again, and the mother of nine children at this stage she received a loan farm in the Land van Waveren (Tulbagh) on the northeastern frontier of the colony. Judged to be a successful farmer, she received the title deed to Straatkerk, which she named after her town of origin in Zeeland (Serooskerke also known as Straatkerke).
28. Marguerite-Thérèse de Savoye
Marguerite-Thérèse, who was born in Ghent, Flanders was the daughter of the prosperous trader, Jacques de Savoye. She arrived at the Cape on 25 April 1688 with her family. She married Christoffel Snijman (Snyman), who was born into slavery in 1688. Christoffel was the illegitimate child of the soldier, Hans Christoffel Snijman, and the first woman convict banished to the Cape, Catharina van Paliacatta (known as Groote Catrijn). During VOC governance at the Cape, European immigrants married freed, baptised former women slaves. Their mixed descendants were assimilated into the free burgher community. Marguerite-Thérèse and Christoffel’s marriage was the first example of a marriage between a man of mixed descent and a white woman. She and her husband, who had nine children, were the primogenitors of the Snyman family in South Africa. After Christoffel died in 1705, she married Henning Villion (Viljoen) and had four more sons who continued the Henning line of the Viljoen family. Her daughter, Catharina Snijman, married Henning’s brother, Johannes, and they became the primogenitors of this line of the Viljoen family.
29. Anne Prévost
Anne Prévost, who was born in Marck, Calaisis in 1681 became the female primogenitor of the Van der Merwe family. Anne came to the Cape aged seven with her parents, Charles Prévost and Marie Lefebvre, and her brothers, Abraham and Jacob, and sister, Elizabeth. They arrived on the Schelde in June 1688. A second brother, Jacob, was born at sea. Her father died a month later. Her mother married three more times: to Hendrik Eckhoff, Louis de Péronne and Hercule des Prés Jnr. Anne married Schalk Willemsz van der Merwe when she was 15 years old and had ten sons and six daughters between 1697 and 1725. She gave birth to her first child at 16 and her 17th at 44. Ancestral lines with the founder’s genetic effect, Huntington's Chorea, have Anne's daughter, Sophia van der Merwe, as a common ancestor. Anne’s sister, Elisabeth Prévost, who married Philippe des Prés had seven sons and four daughters. Elisabeth was one of the primogenitors of the Du Preez family. 29. Pierre Roux Pierre Roux, an agriculturist from Cabrières-d’Aigues, lost his wife, Madeleine Goirande during the voyage from Amsterdam to the Cape on the Wapen van Alkmaar (1688/9). Pierre, who remained a bachelor, spent time with Louis Barré on his farm La Roque in Drakenstein before receiving the farm Winterhoek in August 1694. He returned to Amsterdam in 1700, but was back at the Cape by 1718 and bought the farm, Paarl Diamant. In 1725, he sailed for Batavia but returned in 1730 and settled permanently at the Cape. He bequeathed his worldly goods to Daniel Malan (son of Jacques), owner of Morgenster, who cared for him in his old age. Other Huguenots whose carers were their sole heirs were Philippe Drouin (to Gidéon Malherbe) and Jean Imbert (to Pierre Jaubert).
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François Bastiaansz, from Armentières in French Flanders, was the first Huguenot to arrive at the Cape in 1671. He married Anna Maria Pietersz de Leeuw on 19 May 1686 and was allotted Vredenhof, a farm in Noorder-Paarl in Drakenstein in 1692.
None of François and Anna’s seven children married Huguenots. Their daughter, Elisabeth, married Willem van der Vyver and she became the matriarch of the Van der Vyver family in South Africa.
The Bevernagie family from Nederbrakel in East Flanders, Francina with her brothers Joost, Theunis, Anthonie and Jean arrived at the Cape on the Ellemeet (a.k.a. Helmeet) on 11 June 1700. Francina married Jacques Mouton, a widower, on 10 October 1700 and they settled on Steenwerck (named after Mouton’s home town in Flanders) in the Land van Waveren. They had three sons and four daughters.
Joost married Anna van der Wey, the widow of Cornelis Ockers, in 1716. Joost, who lived on Rietvallei and Theuniskuyl in the Land van Waveren, did not father any children of his own, but he helped Anna to raise the four Ockers children. His mixed fortunes as a frontier farmer are clearly reflected in the tax rolls of 1712 and 1719. In 1712, Joost had 90 head of cattle and 900 sheep, but raids by Khoikhoi hunters in 1715 drastically depleted his livestock. By 1719, he was down to 50 head of cattle and 150 sheep.
Not much is known about the other children except that Jean was a struggling farmer, Anthonie a road worker and Theunis was pronounced insane. Theunis died in 1736 without issue. For more information on the family visit https://www.stamouers.com
Jacques (Jacob) Bisseux, a baker from Picardy, fled to Middelburg in Zeeland. There he married Marie Lefebvre. Jacob, their first-born, was baptised in 1691. Pierre was born in 1694 and Paul five years later. The Bisseaux family left Wielingen on 26 April 1696 aboard the Vosmaar. During what was to be a disastrous voyage, ninety-four people died, including five of the ten Huguenots that were aboard. On 7 September, the ship’s logbook recorded the death of Jacques and Marie’s son: “one of the children of our French passengers, named Paulus Biosse (Paul Bisseux) who was born in Middelburg” Once at the Cape, Jacques worked as a baker. It seems that his wife died not long after his arrival as he married the 20-year-old Isabeau Pochox from Paris in September 1700. The couple had two sons and two daughters.
Jean Blignault was born in Amsterdam where his parents had sought refuge after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. He worked his passage from Texel, by serving as a sea cadet aboard the Huijs Te Assenburg. He arrived at the Cape on 1 July 1723 and began tutoring the children of Daniel Hugot, a relative, three weeks later. When Hugot died not long afterwards, Blignaut married Anna Rousseau and became the step-father of the eleven Hugot children, as well as the owner of the three Hugo farms. Jean and Anna had another five children. Jean signed his name in the Dutch spelling as Jan Blignaut.
Henri Guillaume Bossau or, Willem Henrik Boshoff of Bayonne as he is recorded in the register of the Dutch ship, Ruijven, arrived at the Cape on 18 March 1741. The Ruijven was en route to Batavia but had to put in at the Cape to allow those of its crew who were sick to disembark. Sixty-three men had already died before reaching the Cape but Willem although ill, survived. The ship’s captain refused to take back any of the recovered men, so Willem remained at the Cape working for the VOC as a blacksmith, locksmith and gunsmith.
In a testimonial from the consistory of the French Church of Hamburg which assembled at Altona on the 25th April 1742 it is stated that he had left the congregation two years before, having lived there for nearly four years and that he had "come from France".
In 1749 Boshoff left the service of the VOC. His name appears for the first time on the Free Burghers Roll drawn up in Swellendam on the 16th, 17th and 18th March 1750. On 15 October 1752 the Tulbagh church register shows that “Willem Hendrik Boshof of Bayonne, burger at Swellendam” married “Martha Maria Cortje of the Cape of Good Hope”. Martha Maria Cortjie (Cordier) was the daughter of Philipe Cordier and Elizabeth Malherbe and the grand-daughter of the Huguenots, Louis Cordier and Francoise Martinet. Willem and Martha had ten children: eight boys and two girls.
Like many employees of the VOC at the time, it seems Willem had also had children by a slave woman. The Dutch- Reformed Church Archives in Cape Town hold entries for the birth of a boy, Willem Lodewyk in 1745 and a girl, Sophia Margarita 1748, to Cornelia Cockzaaya and Willem Henrik Boshof. It is unknown what happened to these children after his marriage.
Willem died in 1786 in the Swellendam district. In 1790 his son Jacobus Nicolaas was granted the farm Duynsigt, near Mossel Bay and the records show that Willem’s widow lived with her son there.
Willem’s descendant Jacobus Nicolaas Boshoff (1808 – 1881) was a Voortrekker leader in Natal and later became the second state president of the Orange Free State between 1855 and 1859.
Notable twentieth-century Boshoffs include Carel Willem Hendrik Boshoff (1927 – 2011), a South African professor of theology and right-wing Afrikaner cultural activist, and Adriaan Boshoff (1935 – 2007) who became an important South African painter. Another talented Boshoff is the conceptual artist Willem Boshoff (1951-) whose work which combines text, language and the processing of information has received international acclaim.
Estienne Bruère was one of a group of 22 Huguenot refugees who set sail from Delftshaven on the River Meuse – the port from which the Pilgrim Fathers had left for America about fifty years earlier – on 13 December 1687. Among those on board were Anne Foucher (née Bruère), his sister, her son Philippe and Philippe’s bride, Anne Souchay.
Estienne married twice at the Cape. His first wife was Esther des Ruelles, and his second, Suzanne du Puis. Estienne and Suzanne had seven children, five daughters and two sons (Steven and Johannes). Steven was childless, so the Bruère line was continued only by Johannes.
In 1692, Estienne was granted the farm Rust en Werk in Daljosafat. In 1712, the family relocated to the farm Voorkeyker (near the present-day hamlet of Wolseley) in the Land van Waveren. They lived there until 1722. Estienne received grazing licences along the Breede River – at Wagenboomsrivier (Slanghoek) and Bruwelskloof (Worcester) – and on Het Roodezandt aan’t Hoopsrivier, site of the present-day village of Robertson. Many of the well-established wine farmers in the Robertson and Worcester districts are direct descendants of Johannes Bruère. Several of his great-grandsons, however, chose to become trekboers or to join the Retief trek to Natal.
Cellier (Cilliers, Cillié, Celliers)
Josué and his young bride, Elizabeth (Isabeau) Couvret, who was nine years his junior, fled to the Netherlands when the Edict of Nantes was revoked. It seems that they lived there until they responded to the VOC’s appeal for married agriculturalists to go to the Cape. They arrived at the Cape on the Reijgersdaal on 22 August 1700. Elizabeth’s brother, Paul Couvret, his wife, Anne Vallette and their daughter, Anne-Elizabeth, had travelled with them. Paul was a winemaker and cobbler from Bazoches-en-Dunois in the Orléanais region. Josué was a carpenter by trade, but he also worked on the land.
The Cellier couple’s first farm was Het Kruyspad (Cross Roads) on the Kuils River near the present-day Brackenfell. The farm was unpromisingly described in the title deed as “sandy and totally unsuitable soil”. The couple spent most of their time in Drakenstein. Josué received a farm on the Hugo River near the present-day Wellington in 1712. He named it Het Orleans. The previous owner was Matthieu Frachcasse from Lourmarin in the Luberon, a fellow-Huguenot. He was exiled from the Cape for stealing cattle from the Khoikhoi.
Their sons Jean (1702) and Abraham (1709) had sons who continued the Cellier line. In time, the name took on various forms such as Celliers, Cilliers and Cillié.
Unlike his brother-in-law, Paul Couvret was an outspoken opponent of the Van der Stel administration. Despite being granted the farm Goede Hoop (Good Hope), Couvret and his family returned to Europe in 1712.
The Cellier couple, who had eleven children, five sons and six daughters, were illiterate so had to sign documents with a cross. They employed Jacob Naudé to tutor their children from 1719 to 1720 so their children would have at least a basic education.
When Josué died in 1721 at the age of 54, Elizabeth was left with six children under the age of 15. Soon afterwards, she married Paul Roux, reader and teacher at Drakenstein. When she was widowed again in October 1723, she farmed in partnership with her sons. At the time of her death in 1743, her estate comprised five slaves, 10 leaguers (± 6,000 litres) of wine, six horses, 30 head of cattle, 200 sheep and substantial quantities of wheat and rye.
In 1739, towards the end of her eventful life, Elizabeth shocked Cape society by offering a home to the social bandit, Estienne Barbier, for nearly a year. Like the Celliers, Barbier was a Calvinist from Bazoches-en-Dunois in Orléanais.
Jean Cellier married Anna Marais, the widow of Gabriel Rossouw (at the Cape the French spelling, Gabriel and Daniel, changed to Gabriël and Daniël), in 1728 and his younger brother, Abraham married Gabriel’s 18 year-old daughter, Anna Rousseau. By 1744, Anna and Abraham had twelve children. Abraham was the first Cellier to leave the Drakenstein region. By 1768, the family was living on the banks of the Breede River near the present-day Swellendam. From there the family fanned out towards the eastern frontier.
A descendant, Sarel Cilliers (1801–1871), was one of the Voortrekker leaders of the Great Trek of 1836–1845 in which some colonists moved into the interior in search of more land and political independence. When Andries Pretorius repelled a Zulu attack at the Battle of Blood (Ncome) River in December 1838, he and Cilliers were hailed as heroes.
Louis Cordier arrived at the Cape in 1688, with his wife, Françoise Martinet, and their five children, Jeanne, Suzanne, Louise, Marie and Jean. An agriculturist, from Montigny in the Orléanais, he received the farm Bethel on the Berg River in Drakenstein in 1689 and financial assistance from the Batavia fund in 1690. An elected elder of the Drakenstein congregation, Cordier, along with Jacques de Savoye, Daniel des Ruelles and Abraham de Villiers, was a member of the deputation led by Pierre Simond to petition the VOC to allow the French community to have their own congregation. Van der Stel was reluctant to accede to their request, given the VOC’s language policy of dutchification and assimilation.
The four Cordier daughters all married fellow Huguenot refugees: Jeanne married Matthieu Frachasse; Suzanne married Louis Fourie; Louise married Daniël Jacob; and Marie married François-Jean des Prés. When Frachasse was exiled by the Company for various misdemeanours, Jeanne followed him to the Netherlands.
In 1698, Estienne and Pierre Cronier, brothers from Thimerais in Normandy arrived at the Cape on the Driebergen.
The Croniers grew up as Catholics, but converted to the Reformed confession before leaving for the Cape. At the Cape they soon became known as Steven and Pieter Cronjé. In February 1699, Estienne received the farm Olyvenhout on the Krom River in the Wagenmakersvallei and he bought the farm Champagne on the Spruit River from Hercule Verdeau in 1713. He never married. Pierre was awarded an adjacent farm on the Krom River, which he named Versailles.
Like so many of the young Huguenots, Pierre married a widow. In this case, Suzanne Taillefert, widow of Jean Gardé, whom she had married in 1709 when she was 15. They raised six children. Pierre died in 1718 and in 1724 Suzanne married Jacob Naudé who came to the Cape on the Abbekerk in 1718. At that point, he was her children’s tutor. Suzanne Taillefert thus became the ancestor (stammoeder) of three Huguenot families in South Africa.
Pierre Cronier jnr married Susanna Roi, a Huguenot. He was the only one of Pierre and Suzanne’s sons to marry a Huguenot. They had eight children, (two daughters and six sons). Five of their sons (Johannes, Stephanus, Johannes Izaak, Daniël and Abraham) continued the Cronjé line.
In 1707 the Cronier brothers and Jacques Delporte (progenitor of the Delport family in South Africa) were involved in a skirmish with Khoikhoi labourers on Pierre’s farm in which two Khoikhoi were fatally wounded. Pierre’s plea of self-defence (delivered in French) was not accepted by the Council of Justice. However, his sentence of banishment for 25 years was never carried out.
Inventories of the brothers’ combined possessions in 1707 and 1708 demonstrate the straightened circumstances in which some of the Huguenot settlers lived: Estienne’s house had two small rooms, and the brothers’ livestock comprised 345 sheep, 49 head of cattle, one waggon and two ploughs. Their only book was a French Bible. The Cronier children heirs of their father as well as Estienne Cronier when he died in September 1724. They inherited the farms Olyvenhout and Champagne.
General Piet Cronjé (1836–1911) is one of the best known of the Cronjés. As a young boy, he left the Cape with his parents on the Great Trek. The family settled in the South African Republic. During the First War of Independence, he joined the Boer forces and fought against the British. He rose to the rank of field general and helped to capture the Jameson raiders when they invaded the South African Republic in 1896. During the South African War, he became Commander-in-Chief of the Boer forces and defeated the British at the battles of Modderrivier and Magersfontein in 1899. After he was forced to surrender to Lord Roberts at Paardeberg in February 1900, he was imprisoned on Saint Helena. Once the war was over, he became a tragicomic figure when he co-starred with General Ben Viljoen in re-enactments of Anglo-Boer War battles in an American show known as the “Boer Circus”.
D - E
De la Bat
Nicolas Labat (De la Bat) who arrived in 1688 and married Elizabeth Vivier in Drakenstein was not the progenitor of the de la Bat line in South Africa – Gerard Henry Guillaume de la Bat was. While at the Cape, Gerard a 27-year-old lieutenant in General Janssens’s Batavian Cavallerie married Hester Petronella Pricelius. The couple had two sons, Bernabé Jan Gerard and Willem before Guillaume was transferred back to Europe to fight under Marshall Jean-Baptiste Jourdan in the Napoleonic wars. Gerard was killed in July 1809 at the battle of Talavera near Madrid. After living in England and Holland, the two De la Bat sons returned to the Cape in 1824 to live with their grandmother. They settled in Worcester, working as notaries public and conveyancers. Bernabé Jan Gerard married Anna Catherina Hugo and continued the De la Bat line in South Africa.
Jacques Delporte, who was born near Lille in Flanders, is the patriarch of the South African Delport family. He and his wife, Sara Vitu (Vitout) from Guînes (Wijnen) in Picardy, arrived at the Cape in 1699 on board the Cattendijk. They settled in Drakenstein valley where Jacques worked as a farmhand (knecht). By 1707, he was working for Pierre Cronier on Versailles farm in the Wagenmakersvallei.
Jacques Delporte bought the farm Dekkersvlei in Klein-Drakenstein from Philippe des Pres. He had so little success as a farmer that he had to depend on financial aid from the Drakenstein congregation in 1710, 1713 and again in 1716 when his wife Sara was granted f36 because they were too poor to clothe their children. Sara died in 1724 and Jacques in 1740. They had five children. Marie, their firstborn (born at sea in 1699) married André Huibaux, who arrived on the Beljois in 1706 as a VOC soldier. They had no children.
One of their sons, Pierre (Pieter), married twice and fathered fourteen children – thirteen by his first wife Anna Maré, and one by his second wife Margaretha Schreuder (widow of Willem Beyers). He inherited Dekkersvlei from his father, received the quitrent farm, Amandelrivier near the present-day Villiersdorp in 1657, and bought the farm De Paardevleij beyond the Hottentots Holland Mountains in 1659. The Muster Roll of 1773 records Pierre’s possessions at Dekkersvlei as seven slaves, 24 head of cattle, 11 horses, 200 sheep 20 000 vines and 27 leaguers of wine. Jacques Delporte’s descendants gradually moved towards the frontier and took part in several acts of defiance first against the Company and later against the British.
Grandson, Petrus Jacobus Delporte (1757-1797) was the leader of the Swellendam Patriot Movement, dedicated to the overthrow of Company rule at the Cape. In June 1795, a commando of 60 burghers under his leadership occupied the offices of the Swellendam landdrost. When the British occupied Simon's Town in the same month, Delporte wrote a threatening letter to their commander, refusing to "surrender our country". As a result, he was banished to the Netherlands.
Jacobus Delport was another of Jacques’s grandsons. The Moravian missionary, Christian Ignatius Latrobe, provided this account of his visit to Jacobus’s farm Moddergat (Muddy Hole) near Stellenbosch in 1815: “. . we reached Mr. Delport’s house at the Moddergat. Darkness and fatigue made us glad to find here a comfortable night’s lodging. We were all put into one room where we also had the honour of having our host and a boy in the same dormitory as us. The good man went to bed with a pipe in his mouth. When he felt sleep coming on he placed it in a chair to be ready in the morning. Between two and three o’clock he struck a light without quitting his bed and fell to smoking again. It proved, however, no annoyance for there being no ceiling to the apartment the volumes of smoke which rose from his lips had room to spread to the top of the roof.”
Des Prés (Du Preez)
Hercule des Prés and his wife, Cecilia d’Atis (d’Athis), and six children fled to Flushing (Vlissingen) in 1686 from Courtrai (Kortrijk) in West Flanders. There they and Cecilia’s brother-in-law, Nicolas d’Athis, applied for poor relief. The family travelled to the Cape in 1688 on De Schelde. Hercule received the farm De Zoeten Inval in Paarl four years later.
Hercules, the Des Prés’s second son, was the fourth husband of Marie Lefebvre, 20 Years his senior, whom he married in 1696. As her husband, he became the owner of Welgevonden farm in Drakenstein. In 1698 he bought the adjacent farm, Watervliet, and in 1709 he received Romansrivier in the Land van Waveren, a loan farm. He was very active in local society: he became a church deacon in 1691, a member of the Heemraad in 1700, a lieutenant in the cavalry (cavallerie) in 1702, and captain of the Drakenstein civic guard (burgermag) in 1705. He signed the 1706 petition against Governor WA van der Stel, who described him as his “most ill-disposed and dangerous enemy” He was arrested and would have been banished to Mauritius had not the VOC recalled the Governor to the Netherlands.
Hercule’s eldest daughter, Jacquemine married Abraham Vivier (some 25 years her senior) in 1695 (the year of Hercule‘s death) and became matriarch of the Vivier(s) lineage in South Africa. In 18 years she gave birth to 11 children, eight of whom reached adulthood. The three Vivier brothers died during the small pox epidemic of 1713. When Jaquemine died two years later, most of her orphaned children went to live with her sister, Marie-Jeanne and brother-in-law, Jacques Therond, who had seven children.
Marie-Jeanne wrote a religious verse in Cape Dutch when each of her seven children was born. In 1827 Pieter Theron, the first Huguenot genealogist, prepared it for publication as “Copia van een oud geschrift door Maria Jane des Preez, vrouw van Jacques Theron, geschreeven t’ welk onder haar oude papieren gevonden is” (Copy of an old manuscript written by Maria Jane des Preez, which was found among her old papers). Her children were given the names of the biblical characters Mary, Elizabeth, Peter, John, Thomas, Jacob and David. The same pattern is used in each quatrain. Marie-Jeanne used the name and date of birth of the child as the heading. In the first two lines she described the biblical character and in the next two lines she asked God to bless her child just as He had blessed the biblical character. As can be seen from the following example, the poems are short prayers:
“On 9 July 1699 Jacques Theron was born
Jacob, the first son of Jacob’s chosen tribe
Let him not forfeit the rich blessings of Jacob
Bestow the full blessings of Jacob on him
So that he will receive eternal victory”
By the middle of the eighteenth century members of the Du Preez family had moved off to Swellendam, Worcester, and even Graaff-Reinet.
In December 1688, the Delft chamber of the Dutch East India Company of December sent a letter to the Cape attesting to the vine growing skills of French refugees Pierre, Abraham and Jacob de Villiers and requesting that they be given every possible support. There is strong evidence their birthplace was Burgundy rather than La Rochelle as listed in the VOC records. They gave the farms they received in 1694 Burgundian names: Champagne, La Brie and Bourgogne.
The De Villiers men were markedly literate – almost on a par with Pierre Simond. They played a key role in church affairs – all three served as elders or deacons in the Drakenstein congregation. Abraham (with fellow-elders Jacques de Savoy, Daniel de Ruelle and Louis Cordier) co-signed Pierre Simond’s 1689 request to establish an autonomous congregation in Drakenstein and again in 1703 (with fellow-elders François Dutoit, Abraham Vivier and Daniel Hugot) a request by Beck to reinstate French language sermons at Drakenstein on the grounds that “out of 116 adults only 25 could follow a sermon in Dutch” . During the burgher rebellion against Wilhem Adriaen van der Stel, Pierre signed the petition against Van der Stel, while Jacob and Abraham supported Van der Stel. Abraham admitted afterwards that he had done so “out of weakness and partially out of fear” because of intimidation by Landdrost Starrenburg.
The three became prosperous and respected burghers. Abraham and Jakob married the Gardiol sisters, Suzanne and Marguerite, and Pierre married Marie Elizabeth Taillefert. Members of the South African de Villiers family can trace their ancestry back to either Pierre and Marie Elizabeth (Taillefert) or to Jacob and Marguerite (Gardiol). Abraham had no sons.
The De Villiers family has made a major contribution to South Africa, particularly in the field of law. Between 1828 and 2007, eleven members of this family served as judges in the colonies of the Cape and Natal, the Boer Republics of Transvaal and the Orange Free State, and still later, the Union and Republic of South Africa. For 122 years between 1873 (when Lord Henry de Villiers was appointed as Chief Justice of the Cape Supreme Court) and 2005, when Judge IWB de Villiers retired as judge of the Transvaal High Court, there was at least one De Villiers serving on the bench in South Africa. Three of these De Villiers judges served as Chief Justice, the best known being Lord Henry de Villiers, Chief Justice of the Cape from 1873 to 1910. In 1910 he became the first Chief Justice of the Union.
Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers (1851-1887), who published the Geslacht-register der oude Kaapsche familien in 1882, is viewed as the father of South African genealogy.
The De Villiers family has also given South Africa some of its best sportsmen. Most of them are the descendants of Jacob and Marguerite’s youngest son, Jean (1717–1798) and Elizabeth Joubert (1721–1761), his cousin. Between 1891 and 2007 seven De Villiers played international rugby for South Africa. Jean de Villiers, who made his debut against France in 2002, not only became the captain of the Springbok side, but was one of South Africa’s most capped rugby players by the time he retired in 2015. In 2008, Peter de Villiers was appointed coach of the Springbok rugby team. Similarly in cricket, the De Villiers family produced internationally renowned players such as Fanie and AB De Villiers.
David du Buisson’s name appears for the first time on the muster roll (opgaafrol) at the Cape in 1703. Although he was from La Rochelle, he may not have left France for religious reasons. However, he was fully part of the French community at the Cape and lived in Drakenstein until 1714.
He had unusually good writing skills for the time and was employed to tutor Pierre Jaubert’s children.
David was firmly opposed to WA van der Stel. He was one of the two drummers (the other one was Nicolas Labatte) in the Drakenstein Infantry who marched to Stellenbosch on 18 September 1706 to confront Landdrost Starrenberg. The action by the Infantry ,“ a strong body of men whom Starrenberg saw as vicious”, attracted a large crowd who danced around the drummers in front of the house of the blacksmith, Hans Jacob Conterman. When asked to stop the drumbeat one of the Drakenstein drummers replied that he “did not understand Dutch
In August 1707, David married 17-year-old Claudine Lombard (born in 1690), daughter of Pierre Lombard and Marie Couteau. They had five children, four sons and one daughter. Jean (Jan), who married Marie Cronjé (daughter of the Huguenot couple Pierre Cronier and Suzanne Taillefert), was the only one of their children to continue the Du Buisson name.
De Bus (De Buys, Buys)
Jean De Bus was born in Marck (Mark) near Calais and arrived at the Cape in 1688 on board the Oosterland as a farmer (lantbouwer). Although he signed his name as Jean Debus, he soon became known as Jan Buys. It should be noted that the De Buys and Buys descendants of Jean De Bus are not related to the majority of Buyses in South Africa. They descend from Barend Buys from Brunswick (Braunschweig) who arrived at the Cape in 1715 or to the Du Bois family who are descendants of Gustave du Bois who arrived in 1839.
Jean received two farms – Palmietvlei in 1694 and Knolle Vallei in 1704. Because of Jean’s opposition to WA van der Stel, Landdrost Starrenberg threatened to confiscate the farms. Jan had to wait twenty years to receive the title deed to Palmietvlei.
In 1700, Jean married Sara Jacob, the 23-year-old daughter of Pierre Jacob and Suzanne de Vos. Sara was the widow of Daniel Terrier – whom she had married at the age of 15 – and the mother of four small children. The Jacob family came from Oude Kerke (Vieille-Église), not far from Marck, an area where West Flemish dialects were spoken. They had four children, two boys and two girls. Of their two sons, only Jean de Bus jnr had boys. He married Elsje Hoffman, daughter of the German settler, Johannes Hoffman and Maria Louisa, a Cape woman of colour. At the time of his death in 1779, Jean jnr was living on his farm De Bergfontein near the Attakwas elephant track in the Kammanassie mountains of the Little Karoo. His descendants moved beyond the eastern and northern frontiers of the Colony. One of them was his grandson, Coenraad de Buys (1761-1821).
He was a giant of a man, who was by turns an adventurer, elephant hunter, frontier farmer, outlaw, outcast, rebel, fixer and interpreter. Nineteenth-century explorer, Henry Lichtenstein, who met Coenraad in person described De Buys in his Travels in Southern Africa, 1803-1805: " His uncommon height, for he measured nearly seven feet (2,13 metres); the strength yet admirable proportion of his limbs, his excellent carriage, the confident look of his eye, his high forehead, his whole mien, and a certain dignity in his movements, made altogether a most pleasing impression. Such one might conceive to have been the heroes of ancient times; he seemed the living figure of a Hercules, the terror of his enemies, the hope and support of his friends."
In 1785, De Buys moved from the family home in the Langkloof and settled near the Bushmans River in the Zuurveld with Maria van der Horst, a woman of mixed slave and Khoi heritage, with whom he had seven children. He often crossed the Fish River and raided cattle from the Xhosa. Although De Buys fell foul of Langa, a Zuurveld (Eastern Cape) Xhosa chief, who accused De Buys of seizing his wife and cattle, he developed a friendship with the powerful Xhosa chief, Ngqika and became his chief advisor. He had a relationship with Ngqika’s mother and later took a Thembu wife, Elizabeth, and had many children with her. During this period, De Buys was one of many people who sided with the Xhosa against the Boers and then the British in a series of frontier wars. During this time, De Buys also made a foray into present-day KwaZulu-Natal.
By the 1790s, he had a price on his head for his illegal trade and gunrunning along the Great Fish River. In 1803, Governor Janssens offered to pardon De Buys and other renegades, so De Buys returned to the Cape Colony. Fluent in Dutch, English and isiXhosa, De Buys acted as interpreter and facilitator between the authorities and various Xhosa tribes. In 1813, he packed his family, servants and his Khokhoi, Oorlams and Baster followers and headed north crossing the Gariep River (Orange River). In Transoranje (now known as the Free State), they carried out stock thefts against black tribes, European settlers and missionaries. In 1818, Landdros Andries Stockenstrom posted a reward for his capture, so De Buys moved deeper into the interior. Here his extended family and allies offered military services to some of the Sotho chieftains and raided or traded with others. They reputedly also traded with the Portuguese in Mozambique.
In 1820, he moved north into the Limpopo Valley where the Tsongo and Afro-Portuguese supplied ivory in exchange for gunpowder. On Elizabeth’s death in 1821, the deeply distressed De Buys left for Mozambique. He had instructed his sons to wait for him at the Limpopo River, but he never returned. His extended mixed-race family near Louis Trichardt in the Soutpansberg became known as the Buysvolk (Buys people). A record of his deeds survives both in black oral history and the colonial records of the time. Willem Anker wrote a novel, “Buys: ‘n Grensroman” (Buys: A Frontier Novel) based on the life and legends of Coenraad de Buys, which was awarded the Hertzogprys (Hertzog Award) in 2015.
The Buysvolk are members of the Dutch Reformed Church and Afrikaans is their mother tongue.
Duplesis (Du Plessis)
Jean-Prieur Duplesis was born in 1638 in the town of Poitiers in the Poitou-Charente region of west-central France. The Royal Declarations of the 1680s meant he could no longer be a barber-surgeon because he was member of the Reformed Religion, (La Religion Pretendué Reformée).
Life became even more unbearable in 1681 when the first dragonnades targeted the Poitou district. Jean-Prieur left France before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. He arrived at the island of Saint Christopher in 1687, probably by way of the Dutch Republic as the Dutch West Indian Company monopolised trade with these islands. He married Madeleine Menanteau on the neighbouring island of Saint Thomas in June 1687. Like him, she was a native of Poitiers. Soon after their wedding, they returned to the Netherlands. On 29 January 1688, they sailed from Wielingen on board the Zeeland chamber ship the Oosterland. Their baby son, Charles, who was born at sea, was baptised on board ship on 18 April 1688. The family arrived at the Cape seven days later.
Duplesis and his family settled in Stellenbosch where he worked as a barber-surgeon and part-time farmer. Unable to support his wife and two children, he asked permission to return to Europe with his family as he had reached the end of his contract. The VOC allowed him to defer payment for the passage. The family left on 12 June 1693 on board the Sirjansland for Veere in Zeeland.
The information about the Duplesis family after that is fragmentary. Their daughter Judith was born in Ireland in 1694. Two years later Jean- Prieur was in Amsterdam, a widower, who was engaged to Rachel Noël. A week later, both parties agreed to call off the wedding. Another week later, the 62-year-old became engaged to the 22-year-old Marie Buisset and married her the following week.
By 1702, Duplesis returned to the Cape where the couple settled in Stellenbosch in the Banghoek Valley. He died six years later on 7 December 1708 at the age of 70. He had six children – three by his first wife, Madeleine Menanteau, and three by his second wife, Marie Buisset. When he died, his eldest son Charl was 20 years old and Pieter his youngest was 11 months old. Jean did not live to see any of his 42 grandchildren. Charl was trained by his father as a barber-surgeon and practised at the Cape and in Drakenstein from 1712 until his death in 1737.
Maria Buisset, a qualified midwife, was the first woman to perform an autopsy at the Cape. She continued practising as a midwife and a farmer after her husband’s death. One of the first things she bought at an auction was two pistols with holsters and ammunition. She was known to treat all patients alike, writing fearless forensic reports in a confident hand and even taking sick slaves home on horseback. She married another barber-surgeon, Dietrich Schnitt in 1711, ably assisting him as an informal medical practitioner.
The Du Plessis family is a very large one today. Prominent descendants range from theologians to sportsmen and business leaders. Professor Johannes du Plessis (1868–1935) a theologian, missionary and ordained minister of the Dutch Reformed Church of South Africa lost his post as a professor at Stellenbosch University when he was accused of heresy. He went on to help found the South African Institute of Race Relations, a widely-respected research organisation. Several members of the Du Plessis excelled in the arts including Hubert du Plessis, composer of the Huguenot cantata, Enslin du Plessis, the acclaimed artist, and ID du Plessis, the poet and writer.
Felix du Plessis captained the Springboks in 1949. In the 1970s, his son, Morné du Plessis, became one of the most successful captains of the national side. Eleven Du Plessis rugby players have played test rugby for South Africa. The 2018 Protea cricket team captain is Francois (Faf) du Plessis.
Durand (Durand, Du Rand, Du Randt )
Jean Durand (1666–1727), a barber-surgeon from the small village of La Motte-Chalancon in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of the Drôme department, arrived at the Cape in January 1689. Jean Durand is thought to have fled France in 1687. He was given assistance from Geneva, thereafter from Schaffhausen and finally Amsterdam. He left Texel on board the Wapen van Alkmaar in August 1688 and arrived at the Cape in January 1689.
In 1690 Durand and the Walloon Jean Parisel became joint owners of the farm Bergen Henegouwe in Simondium. Parisel was from the village of Willebeek, near Mons (Bergen) in the province of Hainaut (Henegouwen) in Wallonia. When Parisel died in 1710, Jean became the sole owner of Bergen Henegouwe. He sold this to Matthys Michelsz a year later. Upon the death of Marie Vitu in 1711, Jean Durand bought the farm Frederiksberg and an adjacent piece of land from her estate. He called his new farm La Motte after his place of birth in the Drôme. (At this point, there were three La Motte Huguenot farms, named after three different La Motte villages in France.) It seems that contact between Jean and his parents in France was maintained because he was his mother’s heir when she died in 1704.
In 1702, Jean Durand married 16-year-old Anna Vermeulen (1686–1713), daughter of Jan Vermeulen of Utrecht and Catharina Opklim, daughter of the Indian slave woman Cathrijn of Bengal. The couple viewed the education of their future family as very important and stipulated in their 1707 will that the surviving spouse had to ensure that their children would be raised and educated in Christian virtues until they came of age.The sickly Anna died in 1713, childless. Jean’s second marriage was to Wilhelmina van Zijl, the 18-year-old daughter of his neighbour, Willem van Zijl. Jean and Wilhelmina had six children, four daughters and two sons, Jan and Jonathan, who became the progenitors of the Durands in South Africa.
A renowned Durand descendant is the Swiss tennis star Roger Federer, whose mother Lynette Durand grew up on the East-Rand near Johannesburg, is a multiple Wimbledon and Grand Slam champion. Other sport stars are the rugby forwards Jacobus (Salty) du Rand who captained the South African national team (Springboks) in 1956, and Jacobus (Os) du Randt who was in the Springbok team that won the Rugby World Cup in 1995 and 2007. On the academic front, the author, theologian and philosopher, JJ (Jaap) Durand, has made a substantial contribution to intellectual life in South Africa and has received several honorary doctorates.
During the apartheid regime, he was a vehement and incisive critic of the practical and theological justification of racial segregation in South Africa.
Dutoit (Du Toit)
Since Guillaume and his wife, Sara Cochet, did not have any male offspring, François and Suzanne Seugnet, who had four sons and six daughters, became the progenitors of the Du Toit family in South Africa.
The Reverend Stephanus Jacobus du Toit (1847–1911), who was born at De Kleine Bos, was a South African nationalist, theologian, journalist and politician. He did a great deal to promote the Afrikaans language as a symbol of Afrikaner nationalism. In 1875 he helped established the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners (Society of True Afrikaners) in order to promote the Afrikaans language, nation and country. He published a monthly journal and soon began working on a dictionary and grammatical rules. In 1876, he launched the first Afrikaans language newspaper Die Afrikaanse Patriot and initiated the translation of the Bible into Afrikaans. In 1883 his campaign for a monument to commemorate the bicentennial of the arrival of the Cape Huguenots resulted in the inauguration the Gedenkschool der Hugenoten as “a living monument for Afrikaans and mother tongue education”
Daniël François du Toit (1853–1918), his brother, played a founding role in creating the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners and was the editor of Die Afrikaanse Patriot. Stephanus’s son, Jacob Daniël du Toit (1877–1953), better known by his pen name Totius, became an important Afrikaner poet as did two of his classmates of 1890 at the Gedenkschool, AG Visser and DF Malherbe.
Dr Alexander Logie du Toit (1878–1948), studied at the University of Cape Town and the University of Glasgow and became a prominent South African geologist. He was the first scientist to propose the theory of two super continents separated by one ocean. More recently, Natalie du Toit became a national hero when she won two gold medals at the 2004 Paralympic Games as well as at the Commonwealth Games and was the third amputee ever to qualify for the Olympics. She was placed sixteenth in the 10 km marathon swim.
F - K
Antoine (Alexandre) Faure came to the Cape on board the Kockengen on 24 March 1714, not as a refugee, but as an employee of the VOC. Also, unlike many of the other Huguenots who came to the Cape, he was highly literate.
Antoine was born in the small Principality of Orange in 1685. His parents fled their home in 1686 to escape Louis XIV’s troops and settled in the town of Borculo in Gelderland in the eastern Netherlands. It is thought that his father served as the gatekeeper of the castle there and that Antoine might have been educated with the children of the officers of the castle. The family returned to their home town in 1697 when it was returned to William III.
When 150 French dragoons re-entered the town in 1703, Protestants had no choice but to recant or flee once again. Antoine fled to Berlin. He was apprenticed as a surgeon there and in 1707 he joined one of Frederik of Prussia’s regiments as an assistant surgeon. When he was offered an administrative position at the Cape, he accepted a five-year contract.
At the Cape he worked as a clerk, but he was promoted to Messenger of the Orphan Chamber after eighteenth months. He married Rachel de Villiers in Cape Town on 30 August 1716. In February 1718 he became a free burgher. His good character and skills opened doors for him and he became school master, cantor and reader to the Stellenbosch congregation, positions he held until his death in 1736.
He and Rachel had seven children, but only their first-born, Abraham, had any children. Abraham and Anna Maria Wium, his wife, had seven children. Like his father, Abraham taught and was a reader at the church until he became secretary to the magistrate and council in 1761. He held this position until his retirement in 1784. No fewer than four of Abraham’s grandchildren studied in Europe, which was very unusual at that time.
Abraham Faure, great-grandson of Antoine, was born on 29 August 1795 in Stellenbosch. Faure , who became a Dutch Reformed minister, made a significant contribution to preserving the culture of the Dutch-speaking colonists. He founded the Zuid-Afrikaansch Tractaat en Boek Genootschap in 1831 to promote literature and was the founder, editor and publisher of the monthly journal, Het Nederduitsch Zuid-Afrikaansch Tijdschrift (1824-43), the first church magazine, De Honigbij (1838-46), and De Gereformeerde Kerkbode. Along with NJ Hofmeyr and John Murray, he founded the Zuid-Afrikaansche Christelijke Boeken Vereeniging in 1853.
He also founded the Zuid-Afrikaansch Athenaeum in Cape Town in 1829, where he lectured in classical languages and helped to establish the first training-college for teachers in 1849 and the Theological Seminary at Stellenbosch in 1859. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Rutgers University in 1862 .
All of the Fouchés in South Africa are descended from Philippe Foucher and Anne Souchay, who arrived at the Cape on the Voorschoten in 1688 with their three children. Phillippe was the son of Bernard Foucher (1617–1674) and Anne Bruère who farmed on La Bruslée near Suèvres, between Mer and Blois. Shortly before departing, Esther Foucher (probably a niece or sister) married a fellow refugee Jacques Pinard in Delft. With Philippe Foucher on the Voorschoten were his first cousin, Estienne Bruère, and Jean and Gabriel Le Roux, who were from the villages of Blois and Mer on the River Loire.
Steven was the only son of Philippe and Anne to have male descendants. He married Maria Olivier in 1720 and worked as a farmhand (knecht) for his brother-in-law Louis Le Riche. In 1732, he received a grazing licence for De Knolle Valleij in the Land van Waveren, a farm that had previously belonged to André Gauche (Gouws).
His descendants include the second South African State President (1968–1974, Jacobus Johannes Fouché (1898–1980) as well as the historian Leo Fouché (1880–1949), who edited the Diary of Adam Tas. This chronicled the life and times of Adam Tas and the struggle against the corrupt regime of Governor WA van der Stel.
Louis Fourié (Faurite) arrived at the Cape from Pontaix in Dauphiné in 1689. He married Suzanne Cordier from the Orléanais region in 1694. After her death, he married Anne Jourdan in 1716. At the time, Anne was 18, three years younger than his eldest daughter. Louis fathered 21 children. Ten children (six daughters and four sons) were born from his first marriage and eleven (four daughters and seven sons) from his second. In 1699, Louis received the farm De Slange Rivier in Wagenmakersvallei. By 1707, a small French colony of 19 adults and several children were living on adjacent farms. The adult couples were Louis Fourié and Suzanne Cordier; Philippe des Prés. and Elisabeth Prévost; Charles Marais and Anne de Ruelle; Claude Marais and Marie Avice; Hercule Verdeau and Marie-Catherine Wibau (Huibeaux); Louis Le Riche and Marie Grillon; and Pierre Cronier and Suzanne Taillefert (widow of Jean Gardé). The four French bachelors were Phillipe Drouin, Estienne Cronier, Jean Duthuilé and Philippe Mesnard.
Louis became familiar with the land beyond the mountains of the Cape (the Overberg) and with the southern Cape when he was granted a licence by Governor van Assenberg to hunt in these areas. As a result of his success as a hunter, he received Zeekoedrift, a loan farm on the Gouritz River. All his sons settled in the Overberg and Swellendam districts. Like many other many Huguenot families, some of his descendants took part in the Great Trek. Hermanus Fourie was one of the Voortrekkers killed along with Piet Retief by Dingane's warriors.
Josef Johannes (Jopie) Fourie (1878-1914), a scout and dispatch rider during the South African War, became a rallying point in the rise of Afrikaner nationalism in the early twentieth century. When World War I began, he led a band of men against the Union government forces in what became known as the 1914 rebellion. This movement was in favour of the re-creation of the old Boer republics and against siding with the British against Germany. Fourie and his brother Hannes were captured on 16 December 1914. An Afrikaner delegation that included the future Prime Minister, DF (Daniël François) Malan, unsuccessfully petitioned the Minister of Defence, General Smuts, for clemency. Fourie was executed without a blindfold on 20 December 1914, a decision that made him a folk hero amongst many Afrikaner nationalists and demonised Smuts.
André Gauche from Le Pont-de-Montvert in the Cévennes mountains of Languedoc must have left his hometown in the early 1680s. He married Jacqueline Decré in 1683 in Celigny in Switzerland. From there they went to Amsterdam via Frankfurt. In 1690, they had a daughter named Marie. In November that year, the Gauche family left Texel on board the VOC flute Spierdijk for the Cape of Good Hope. Only André and his young son reached the Cape in April 1691. In August of the same year Andre married the 15-year-old Jannetje de Klerk (Jeanne le Clercq), daughter of Sara Cochet from Zeeland and the stepdaughter of Guillaume du Toit. Gauche became a blacksmith and part-time farmer in Drakenstein. On 26 February 1698, he was murdered by being struck on the head three times. There is good reason to believe that the perpetrator was a German free burgher, Peter Becker, with the complicity of Jannetje. Within months of her first husband’s murder she married Becker and bore him a child.
Becker, a violent man, was sentenced to forced labour in 1701 and banished to Mauritius. Jannetje de Klerk died at the age of 81, presumably on her loan farm Straatskerk (named after Straaskerk, her place of birth in Zeeland) in the Roodezand district.
Many Gouws (Gous) families in South Africa are not the descendants of André Gauche, but of an adopted son, Carel Eduard Alexander Faculyn (born 1782 in Alsace, France), who became known as Andries Stephanus Faculyn Gous .
Grange (La Grange)
Pierre Grange left his home town of Cabrières d’Aigues after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Like other Protestant refugees from the Luberon, Grange and his cousin, the mason Louis Courbon, escaped by crossing the Alps into the Swiss cantons. From there they made their way northwards up the Rhine Valley to Frankfurt where they met up with Pierre Goirand and his wife François Roux (who both died at sea during the voyage to the Cape). Their hardship is reflected by the fact that Louis Courbon had no shoes. Both Pierre and his cousin survived the ill-fated voyage on the China. Neither became farmers at the Cape, but worked as masons. Pierre also joined the Jourdan brothers, Pierre Rousseau and Matthieu Amiel in bartering for livestock with the Khoikhoi. This sometimes had consequences: Pierre Rousseau, for instance, was sentenced to be flogged and to spend three years in chains.
Grange bought a property in Table Valley (corner of the present-day Wale and Long Streets) where his neighbours were the freed slaves Jacob from Coromandel and Jacob Cornelisz from Malabar. In December 1704, he married Margaretha Kool from Amsterdam. The couple had three children: Pieter, Margaretha and Johannes – who continued the La Grange name.
Guillaumet (Giliomee , Guillaumé)
François Guillaumé (Giliomee), a Huguenot tailor from Berlin who had left the Languedoc as a child, and his family came to the Cape to start a silk industry. Problems with the cultivation of mulberry trees and the hatching of un-acclimatised silk worm eggs frustrated Guillaumé’s best efforts. He abandoned the project in 1732 to become a free burgher in Stellenbosch. Matthieu, his son, persisted for a few more years before becoming a blacksmith and small-scale farmer at Vlottenburg, Stellenbosch.
Hermann Giliomee, professor of Political Studies at Cape Town University and extraordinary professor of History at Stellenbosch is South Africa’s foremost author of historical and political studies of the early 21st century. He is the receiver of many literary awards, a champion of the Afrikaans language and best known for his book, The Afrikaners – Biography of a People (2003) [Die Afrikaners: ‘n Biografie.
Daniel Hugot was born in Serzy-les-Maupas, Champagne where his father Jacques was a shop owner. Daniel had one brother also named Jacques who escaped to Germany. Daniel served his apprenticeship as a blacksmith and locksmith in the nearby town of Monthelon. The dragonnades of 1682 meant that the Hugot clan was dispersed, mainly in Switzerland and Germany. Daniel arrived at the Cape on the Borsenburg on 12 May 1688. He set up shop as a blacksmith in Stellenbosch where he worked for a few years until he received Sion, a farm in Groot-Drakenstein (Simondium), in 1691. Towards the end of 1704, he married the 15-year-old Anne Rousseau, daughter of Pierre Rousseau and Anne Rétif, when he was 45. The couple had eight children.
Daniel bought Bethel in Drakenstein from Louis Cordier in 1708 and obtained De Leeuwenkuyl a loan farm in the Swartland, in 1716. Between 1720 and 1724 the family lived in Table Valley. Daniel died in February 1725. In the November of that year, his 30 year old widow married the 39-year-old Jean Blignaut who had been engaged by Daniel as tutor for his children, two years earlier.
Hugot was a colourful character. In 1692, Stellenbosch farmers complained to Landdrost Linnes that Hugot was not meeting his responsibility to repair their agricultural implements. When Hugot was ordered to relinquish the anvil and bellows he had on loan from the Company, he refused to do so. On another occasion, he was accused of damaging the mill’s water course by dragging firewood across it.
In 1702, 1709 and 1717 Hugot and Hercule des Prés. were involved in a series of disputes because of damage caused by Hugot’s cattle to des Pres’s vineyard, the exchange of calculated insults during a meeting of the landdrost and heemraden, and the theft of young oak trees from Des Prés’s farm.
In 1713 Hugot was fined f25 and demoted from ensign in the Drakenstein militia to a common foot soldier for evading military service. His appeal for consideration of ill health was rejected by the Political Council.
Despite all of these scrapes Hugot’s confidence and charisma must have served him well and he was in fact appointed as a member of the Heemraad for Stellenbosch. He was also a successful farmer. After his death in 1724, his widow married a schoolmaster, Jean Blignault.
Pierre Jacob with his wife Suzanne de Vos and their children Suzanne, Daniel and Sara arrived at the Cape from Vieille-Église (Oudekerke) in Artois. Their other three children had died while they were living in the Calaisis region of Flanders. Pierre received the farm Goede Hoop in Groot-Drakenstein, but he had little success as a farmer, according to the tax rolls. Four years after Pierre’s death in 1693, Suzanne married Nicolas de Lanoy, from the neighbouring farm Bossendal. Also from the Calaisis region, he was 28 years younger than her. The Jacob line was continued by Suzanne’s only son, Daniel Jacob and Louisa Cordier who married in 1702. The couple had five children. The youngest was still a baby when Daniel died in 1712. In 1714, Louisa married Jacques Pinard jnr. She had seven more children and lived to the age of 92.
Pierre and Isabeau Jaubert were arguably the most successful of the Huguenot farmers. They received the farm La Provence in Oliphantshoek in 1694 and lived there until Pierre’s death in 1732. They bought numerous other farms in Drakenstein and the Land van Waveren, among them the show farms. La Provence (1699), Bellinchamp (1700), La Motte-Wemmershoek (1709), Lormarins (1723), Winterhoek (1716), De Plaisante (1716) and La Roque (1732). At the time of his death, 44 years after his arrival at the Cape, he and his wife owned 14 farms and a town house at the Cape. They employed seven tutors for their eleven children; the first one was the VOC soldier Hans Pieter Coning, who signed a contract in 1699 to work for 10 guilders and one pound tobacco per month, and the last one Jan Loots, a VOC sailor from Amsterdam who married their daughter Marie in 1726. Isabeau continued farming for at least ten years after Pierre’s death. Although the Jaubert parents reached what was an advanced age for their time (68 and 70), seven of their children died before the age of 50.
Gideon Daniël Joubert, great-great grandson of Pierre Jaubert, played a mediating role on the Northern Cape frontier from 1822 to 1858. Described by the colonial authorities as “a Dutchman who is highly respected by English, Dutch and the Coloured people, and has exposed himself to all sorts of hardships and dangers, and never fails to risk health, life and property in defence of his Queen’s country and fellow countrymen”, he opposed the Great Trek and tried to convince Voortrekkers to return to the Cape Colony. Moved by the precarious position of the Voortrekkers in Natal, he launched fund raising efforts in the Colony.
General Piet Joubert (1831–1900) was a young child during the Great Trek. He grew up in the then Transvaal and later became a member of the Transvaal Volksraad and served as Acting President of the South African Republic from 1875 to 1876. His forces were victorious at the Battle of Amajuba (26 February 1881) in the First War of Independence. His wife Suzanna was with him during the campaign. Though Piet Joubert was a fierce political opponent of the Kruger government, he was Commandant-General of the Republican Forces at the outbreak of the South African War of 1899–1902. He died in March 1900 and was succeeded by the ageing General Piet Cronjé, another Huguenot descendant, who surrendered at Paardekraal.
Elsabé Antoinette Murray (Elsa) Joubert (born in 1922 in Paarl) is an internationally celebrated Afrikaans author. Her novel, Die Swerfjare van Poppie Nongena (The Long Journey of Poppie Nongena), about the tribulations of a humble Black woman during the apartheid regime had a huge impact on South African society. Her novel Die Reise van Isobelle (The long journey of Isobelle which traces the lives of an Afrikaner family over 100 years won her the Eugène Marais and Hertzog prizes in 1997. In 2004, she was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga in Silver for her contribution to South African literature and journalism.
The refugee history of the Jourdans who came to the Cape reflects the close family networks found in the Aigues valley of the Luberon. Two years after recanting their reformed faith in October 1685, the Jourdans decided to leave France and seek refuge in the Netherlands. They were joined by other Luberon families such as the Malans and Mesnards. Along the way, they received aid in Geneva and in Frankfurt. Together with about 35 other refugees, they left Goeree on board the China on 2 March 1688 and arrived in Table Bay on 4 August. The only Jourdans to survive the voyage were the brothers Jean and Pierre from Belle Étoile, their orphaned nieces Marie and Marguerite, and Pierre Jourdan from Cabrières d’Aigues (not a relative).
Jean (Belle Étoile) and Pierre (Cabrières) received grants to adjacent farms on a Berg River tributary (today the Franschhoek River) in Oliphantshoek. Jean married Isabeau Long, a fellow passenger on the China, and named his farm La Motte after her Provencal village of origin. His brother Pierre (Belle Étoile) settled in Table Valley. The unrelated Pierre (Cabrières) married Anne Foucher from Suèvres on the Loire River in 1697 and named his farm Cabriere. They had six children, but there were no male descendants past the first generation. All South African Jordaans are therefore descended from Jean Jourdan. The first few generations of Jordaans lived in Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, and later in the Hex River area. Later their descendants moved to Swellendam and Graaff-Reinet and then further into the interior.
L - M
The forefather of the South African Labuschagne family is Pierre Labuscaigne (1675–1742), who fled his home in Bergerac in France in 1696 and sought refuge in Amsterdam. By July 1697, Pierre, a tailor like his father and uncle, was registered as a member of the Walloon Reformed congregation in Amsterdam. He moved to Enkhuizen where he met Marie Anne through her sister-in-law and they married in 1703. His wife, Marie Anne Bacot (1679–1743), who came from Leeuwarden in Friesland, had a French father from Tours and a Dutch mother from Groningen. Her bilingualism was a great asset later at the Cape.
The couple had three children: Jeanne Bernardine, Jean and François. François did not reach adulthood, so all South African Labuschagnes are descended from Jean. Jeanne became the matriarch of the Maritz family.
Pierre joined the VOC as a drummer in 1710, probably as a result of the economic downturn. He left for Batavia in 1711, expecting to return to his wife and children on the home-coming fleet. However, he suffered such sea-sickness that he was put ashore at the Cape. When he was discharged from hospital, he was permitted to teach Jacob de Villiers’s children on the farm, La Bri . Later he taught Pierre Jaubert’s children at La Provence and then Phillipe Mesnard’s children at Calais.
In 1716, while still in the employ of the VOC, he was appointed church warden in Drakenstein. The local Huguenot community gave him a plot of land so he was able to build cottage. Soon after that, his family in the Netherlands was able to join him and he received his discharge from the VOC.
In 1723, the Political Council officially granted him ownership of the land he had occupied for seven years. The family turned the property into a flourishing wine farm called Pontac. He died in 1742 and Marie Anne died in 1743 and they were probably buried in the Huguenot cemetery at Paarl.
Their descendants migrated to the Eastern Cape border region in the present-day region of Cradock and took part in the 1815 Slagtersnek rebellion against the British authorities. After 1836, many of the family joined the Boer exodus out of the Cape to Natal, the Orange Free State and the Transvaal.
De Clercq (De Klerk)
The De Clercqs (initially Le Clercq) originated from towns like Lannoy and Aix in the northern provinces of France. They were among the first Protestant families to leave France for the Southern Netherlands. From Bruges, they moved to Zeeland in the United Provinces as early as the 1570s to escape ongoing religious persecution. The French surname Le Clercq changed to De Clercq in the Netherlands and later many became De Klerk in South Africa.
Pierre (Pieter) de Clercq was born in the town of Serooskerke, Walcheren Island, Zeeland in 1634. By then, the De Clercqs had been living in Zeeland for three generations. His wife, Sara Cochet, was born in Oost-Souburg in Zeeland in about 1655. The couple had five children. Because their first son, Abraham, died as an infant in 1670, they named their third son Abraham to retain the family name. Born in 1671 in Serooskerke, Abraham was to become the primogenitor of the De Klerk family in South Africa.
On 29 January 1688, Abraham de Clercq, accompanied by his widowed mother, Sara Cochet, his sister, Jeanne (Jannetje) (b. 1676), and brothers Joost (b. 1678) and possibly Barendt (b. 1674) sailed on the Oosterland from Middelburg to the Cape. They arrived on 26 April 1688.
Sara Cochet, the widow of Pierre (Pieter) de Clercq (who had died in October 1678) remarried Guillaume Dutoit on 16 May 1688, three weeks after her arrival, at the Cape.
Joost married Jacoba Campher in Stellenbosch in 1711.Their only son Barend had no issue. Jeanne (Jannetjie) married André Gauche, whose first wife Jacqueline Decré and daughter Marie died en route to the Cape In 1691. André died a violent death in 1698 leaving Jannetjie with four small children and her stepson Steven. In the same year, she married the abusive Pieter Becker. He was sentenced to four years hard labour on Robben Island and banished from the Cape for his barbaric treatment of his slaves. Jannetje divorced him in 1715. Pregnant and the mother of nine children (the eldest Pieter Gauch born in 1693), she received a loan farm in the Land van Waveren on the north eastern frontier of the colony from Governor Louis van Assenburgh. Judged to be a successful farmer, she received title to Straatkerk, named after her town of origin (Serooskerke also known as Straatkerke).
Abraham probably worked for his step-father Guillaume Dutoit on Aan’t Pad. After Dutoit’s death in 1710 Sara moved to a house at the top of Dorp Street in Stellenbosch.
Abraham married Madeleine Mouton (b. 1692), the daughter of Jacques Mouton and Marie de Villiers, on 12 May 1709 in Stellenbosch. They had two daughters and seven sons. Before that he had had a relationship with Cornelia van de Caep (b. 27 March 1672), who bore him a daughter, Anna de Clercq (b. 26 July 1703).
In July 1734, Abraham was visited on his loan farm Vogelvalleij in Roodezand by Governor Jan de la Fontaine and a group of leading Company officials and Cape burghers on their way to Mossel Bay. Struck by the abject poverty of the 63-year-old Abraham and his family, the governor decided to grant Abraham ownership of the farm. The farm’s title deed explains Fontaine’s spur-of-the-moment decision:
“That we to the farmer Abraham de Clercq for reasons of his poverty and his heavy family load as found by the governor on his journey to Mossel Bay, as requested by him (De Clercq) and with the sanction of our Lords and Masters, grant him in accordance with Council’s decision the cattle post loaned to him for many years named Vogelvallij situated at the Roode Sands Cloof.” (signed by Jan de la Fontaine, acting governor 1724 – 1727, and governor 1730–1737)
Abraham and Madeleine’s sons Barend (1716 – 1794) and Joseph (b 1726) jointly inherited Vogelvalleij, and their descendants owned the land until well into the twentieth century.
The migration of Abraham’s grandson Barend (b 1742) eastwards is typical of many of the farmers of the time. He and his wife Maria van Heyden and their family moved from Tulbagh via Graaff Reinet towards the Albert district (present-day Burgersdorp). One of their sons, Johannes Cornelis (1791 – 1878), married Martha Margaretha Schoeman and they farmed on the farm Spioenkop in the Burgersdorp district. Former State President FW (Frederik Willem) de Klerk is a direct descendant.
Frederik Willem (FW) de Klerk was born in Johannesburg on 18 March 1936. His father, Jan de Klerk, was a Cabinet Minister and the President of the South African Senate and his brother, Dr Willem (Wimpie) de Klerk, a Reformed Church minister, academic and newspaper editor, became one of the founders of the Democratic Party that opposed the National Party’s racial policy.
FW de Klerk practised as an attorney and played an active role in Nationalist Party politics from 1961 to 1972. He was elected to Parliament in 1972 and after holding several ministerial positions he became State President in 1985. He lifted the ban on the ANC, the SACP and the PAC In 1989, after meeting with Nelson Mandela, the imprisoned leader of the ANC, on 2 February 1990. On 11 February, Mandela was released, and this was followed by negotiations and a peaceful transition to non-racial democratic South Africa. In 1993, De Klerk and Mandela were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work “for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime and for laying the foundations, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”.
Le Long (de Lange)
Isabeau le Long was from La Motte d’Aigues. In October 1685, she, as well as Catherine, her sister, and their parents, Pierre Long and Jeanne Gouirand, abjured the reformed faith. She left the Luberon in 1687 with the large contingent of Protestant refugees who went to the Cape. The group included her two future husbands, Jean Jourdan and Jacques Malan, both from Saint-Martin-de-la-Brasque. Isabeau did not travel with them to the Cape. It seems that she sailed four months later from Texel on the Wapen van Alkmaar, together with a smaller group of Provençal refugees that included the Gardiols, Amiels and Goirandes.
In 1690, Isabeau married Jean Jourdan. When Jean died in 1698, she was pregnant with a daughter, Jeanne (Janne). The baptismal register of Drakenstein of 18 January 1699 records the christening of “Janne daughter of Isabeau Longue, widow of the deceased Jean Jourdan with Jacque Mallant and Hanna Fauche, as witnesses and godparents.”
Jeanne married Jacque Malan (Jacque Mallant) In 1699. She had four sons and a daughter from her first marriage and four sons and three daughters from the second, making Isabeau le Long the matriarch of both the Jordaan and Malan families in South Africa.
The following entries were made in the Drakenstein baptismal register of the early 1700s – the spelling of the names varies:
September 25, 1695: Paul the son of Jean Jourdan and Elizabeth Longue. As witnesses the lay reader Paul Roux and Elizabeth Taillefer.
30 October 1701 : Joseph, the son of Pierre Jourdan from Cabrieré and Anna Fauche. The witnesses and godparents Louis Barret and Ejzabeth Long.
22 January 1702: Elizabeth Anna, daughter of Jaqùes Mallang, the mother Elisabetj le Long, witnesses Anna Roùsseaù and Daniel Uijoe.
26 July 1705: Elizabeth, the father Josua Seillier, the mother Elisabeth Couvret, witnesses Jacques Mallan and Elisabeth Long.
May 15, 1707: Catherina, the father Jacqùes Mallan, the mother Elisabeth Long, witnesses Pierre Jaubert representing his son Jacob, and Claùdine Lombard.
September 2, 1708: Jacques, the child of Daniel Hugot and Anna Rousseau, the witnesses Jacques Malan and Elizabeth Longue.
The other Le Longs who came to the Cape were the widower Jean le Long and his children, Charles and Marie. The close similarity between the particulars makes it is possible that the Jacob le Long and the Jacobus de Lange listed on the tax roll of 1705 are one and the same. Jean and his children arrived at the Cape on 19 August 1688 on board the Zeeland ship Zuid-Beveland that also brought Pierre Simond and his party . It is thought that the Le Longs were also from L’Aigle district in Normandy. Jean received f 120 cash and f 370 credit from the Batavia Fund, as well as the farm Bossendal in Groot Drakenstein. The title deed was issued only in 1713 – probably as a reward: all three Le Longs, (Jean, Charles and Jacob) signed the testimonial supporting Wilhem Adriaen van der Stel.
Charles received credit to the value of f150 from the Batavia Fund and Maria, who was by then already married to Arie van Wijk (born 1668 in Amsterdam), received f120. She died before 1693. Charles married Wina Francina van El (the widow of Allardus Koopman) and continued the family line. The surname soon became De Lange.
Louis le Riche, together with the Cronier brothers (also from the Thymerais), Philippe Drouin and Jean Duthuilé, arrived at the Cape on board the Driebergen on 3 April 1698. All five of them received farms along the river bank in the Wamakersvallei. Louis married Suzanne Foucher, daughter of Philippe Foucher and Anne Souchay in 1708. He died on his farm, Groenfontein in Drakenstein in 1732. Two of Louis and Suzanne’s daughters married first generation Huguenot descendants: Susanna married Louis Fourie and Marie married Daniël Rousseau. Their third daughter Anne, died a spinster. Their son, Pieter Pierre le Riche, married Johanna Rousseau. The couple had two sons, Petrus and Joseph. Joseph married Elizabeth de Koning and had two boys, three girls, and a child who died. Joseph, who already owned L’Arc d’Orleans, inherited the Groenfontein when his mother died.
François le Sueur, from Ooij in Gelderland, arrived at the Cape on the Medloo in 1729. His father, Jacques had fled from France with his parents, Jean le Sueur and Marie Heulen, in the 1690s. François served as a Dutch Reformed Church minister at the Cape and in Stellenbosch. He married Johanna Catharina Swellengrebel in 1730.
Leroux, Le Roux
The Le Roux’s in South Africa are descended from two brothers, Jean and Gabriel Leroux, from Mer (both brothers signed their surname as Leroux) in the seventeenth century French province of Orléanais (today part of the Centre-Val de Loir region, France’s most important wheat production area), who arrived in April 1688 on the Voorschooten.
Jean and Gabriel, as well as their mother, the widow Anne Bourdon, were forced to abjure. Once they had escaped to Holland, the two brothers and Estienne Bruère (also from Mer) publicly renounced their recantment on 25 June 1687. Jean and Gabriel Leroux and Estienne Bruère and his first cousin Philippe Foucher were part of the group that left for the Cape on the Voorschoten.
In 1698 Gabriel a received a 60 morgen riverbank farm on the Berg River in Suider-Paarl that he named La Concorde. In 1701, he married the 16-year-old Marie-Catherine Lefebvre. They had one daughter and 4 sons.
Jean probably worked in partnership with other Huguenots. In 1703, he married Jeanne Mouy, the sister of Marie Mouy who had married François Rétif from Mer in 1700. In 1699, both brothers-in-law, Jean and François received farms from Governor Wilhem Adriaen van der Stel. Jean named his farm Parys, and François named his La Paris. As François had agreed to sign Van der Stel’s testimonial, the title deed to La Paris was issued in 1706. Jean, on the other hand, had signed the petition against Van der Stel so the transfer of Parys was authorised only in 1712. One year before that, Jean and his brother Gabriel had drowned.
Of the two brothers Gabriel appears to have been the more convivial. From time to time, his name crops up in court papers. In January 1708, for instance, 13 Huguenots (“Josué Cellier, Isabeau Couvret, Paul Couvret, Nicolas Labat, Gabriel le Roux, Jean Taillefer, Jacob Bourbonnais and six others”) were socialising (“sitting having a drink on Kruyspad, Josué Cellier’s farm, when Bourbonnais came to blows with the passing transporter Pieter Harmensz. Gabriel le Roux was fined 5 rix-dollars (rijksdaalders) in 1710 for calling members of the Drakenstein congregation asses (esels) – his plea for pardon being that he was the worse for drink.
The Le Roux children continued the family name. Now in its tenth generation, the Le Roux family still produces wine on the same land where their forebears planted vines in 1692.
The third Le Roux, Jean Leroux from Normandy arrived on the Wapen van Alkmaar in May 1690. He married Marie de Haas and farmed in the Stellenbosch district. The couple had ten children.
A number of Le Roux’s are associated with the Afrikaans language and literacy movements, including Prof TH Le Roux (1886–1970), a prominent Afrikaans linguist, and Etienne Leroux (1922–1989), an eminent Afrikaans writer and a key member of the South African Sestigers literary movement. Other renowned Le Roux’s include numerous sportsmen who have excelled in cricket and rugby in particular.
The Lombard surname has its origin in Lombardy, Northern Italy. In the Middle Ages the Lombard name became closely associated with the pawn shop commerce in northern Italy, birthplace of banking, from where it evolved into today’s Lombard banks and finance houses.
Pierre Lombard, who was from Pontaix in the Drôme department in south-eastern France, his wife Marie Couteau, and other Couteau family members travelled to the Netherlands via Frankfurt. On 16 January 1688, they sailed on the Borsenburg from Texel and arrived at the Cape on 12 May. Pierre received 750 guilders from the Batavia fund, much more than any of the other refugees, probably because of his circumstances. His family is described as “Pieter Lombard, who had suffered a long illness, his wife pregnant and one child” The farms Watergat and Zondernaam in Simondium (renamed Bien Donné in 1837 by a Joubert Huguenot descendent) were registered in Pierre’s name in 1699. When the couple drew up a joint will on 8 January 1709, (signed on their behalf by Daniel Bouvat), Pierre was 51 years and described as healthy and mobile while Marie was confined to her bed. They had three sons and three daughters. Pierre died in 1715 and Marie in 1718. The majority of their descendants left Drakenstein to settle in the southern and eastern Cape.
The Malan name and its many variations (Malang, Milano, Malano, Mallano, etc.) is a typical Vaudois surname that originated in the valleys of Piedmont. The Malans settled the depopulated Luberon valley in the sixteenth century in towns such as Lacoste, Mérindol, La Motte d’Aigues and Saint-Martin–de-la-Brasque. Other Vaudois names that underwent a similar transformation and found their way to the Cape are Jourdan (Jordan, Jourdain, Giordan), Roux (Rosso, Rouss), Durand (Durant, Durando), Gardiol (Gardiolo, Guardiola), Malherbe (Malerbe, Malerba), Lombard (Lombardo), Joubert (Jobert), Anthouard (Antoardi, Anthodardo) and Hugo (Hugon, Hugonis, Ugon).
Jacques Malan, the progenitor of the Malan family in South Africa, was born c.1670 in Saint-Martin-de-la-Brasque. After the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes and the mass abjurations of Luberon Protestants in 1685, members of the Malan family went into exile. They were in Rotterdam by 1687. Jacques Malan, Pierre Malan (Jacques’s cousin) Isabeau Richarde (Pierre’s wife), Antoine Malan (Jacques and Pierre’s uncle), his wife Isabeau Verdeau and their infant daughter boarded the China on 20 March 1688 en route to the Cape. Among the 19 passengers who died during the long voyage were all Jacques’s family members, except Isabeau Richarde. After her husband’s death, she married Pierre Jaubert on board ship.
It is thought that Jacques and Pierre Jourdan (de Cabrières) initially lived with Jean Jourdan (de Belle Etoile) and his family in Drakenstein, eking out an existence as small-scale farmers. Up to 1691, tax rolls list them as “compagnons”, but as independent free burghers from 1692. After Jean Jourdan’s death his widow Isabeau Long, by then already the mother of five children, married Jacques Malan in 1699. The couple had seven children, three of whom died as infants. When he married Isabeau Long, Jacques Malan became the owner of the farm La Motte in Oliphantshoek. In 1704, Malan bought Languedoc and Rhone that had been consolidated by Jean Gardé. Malan transferred this farm to his stepson, Pierre Jourdan, in 1711 when he bought a portion of Vergelegen, that he named Morgenster.
Jacques Malan played a leading role in the free burgher revolt against Wilhem Adriaen van der Stel, often acting with Estienne Niel as an intermediary between Adam Tas and like-minded Huguenot settlers. Malan, according to Tas a man of few words, refused to be cowed by Starrenberg’s threats and was one of thirty Huguenot settlers who signed the free burgher petition against Van der Stel.
In time Jacques prospered. The 1723 tax roll records him as the owner of 12 horses, 110 head of cattle, 550 sheep, 20,000 grapevines and 23 slaves. This is double the number of slaves owned by Huguenot free burghers with significantly bigger farming operations, such as Daniel Hugot and Pierre Rousseau. Jacques served on the Stellenbosch church council from 1716 and as a deacon supervised the transport of building stones and wood for the building of the new church between August and December 1717 after the first church at Stellenbosch had burnt down. In 1722, Jacques donated a sturdy stinkwood beam for the bell of the new church.
Two renowned Malans are Daniël Francois Malan (1874–1959), a Dutch Reformed Church clergyman, newspaper editor and politician who became Prime Minister of South Africa in 1948 and a Wamakersvallei farm boy, Group Captain Adolph Gysbert Malan (1910-1963), better known as 'Sailor' Malan, a squadron leader and Battle of Britain fighter ace, who won the DSO and the DFC with a bar, the French Légion d’Honneur and French Croix de Guerre.
As a cabinet minister, Daniël Francois Malan was responsible for promulgating laws aimed at establishing South Africa’s national character: a national flag and recognition of Afrikaans as an official language instead of Dutch. As Prime Minister, his National Party introduced policies of racial segregation or apartheid that led to increasingly repressive laws and the eventual international isolation of South Africa. Sailor Malan strongly opposed the segregationist policies of Daniël Francois Malan and the National Party. In 1951 he became the president of the Torch Commando, a pro-democracy movement that protested against the disenfranchisement of the coloured vote. Its manifesto demanded freedom of speech and universal franchise. This highly decorated war hero led the first mass anti-apartheid protest against the apartheid legislation of Daniël Francois Malan’s government.
Gidéon Malherbe, came from Normandy and arrived at the Cape on the Voorschooten in 1688. He married Marie Grillon from the commune of Mer close to Blois. In 1694, he was allotted Normandie, a farm near Lormarins in Drakenstein, but it was not granted to him until 1713.
He strengthened his position significantly between 1700 and 1715. After inheriting all the possessions of his good friend Philippe Drouin, as well as those of Philippe’s father. This included the farm, De Groene Fonteyn in the Wagenmakersvallei. Like many at the Cape, Phillipe Drouin remained a bachelor. In 1705, male settlers outnumbered females by an even greater margin than in 1682. In areas like the Drakenstein, there were 227 men for every 100 women.
All South African Malherbes are descended from Pierre and his wife Elizabeth Cellier. In the late nineteenth century, the Malherbes became strongly associated with the campaign to have Afrikaans recognised as an official language instead of Dutch. Wine farmer, Petrus Jacobus Malherbe (1853–1939), was a founder member of the Genootskap van Regte Afrikaners in 1875. His son, Daniël Francois Malherbe (1881–1969), became a founding member of the Afrikaanse Taalvereniging and devoted his life to the study and promotion of the language. As a novelist, poet, dramatist and scholar he helped establish Afrikaans as a fully-fledged language and became the first Professor of Afrikaans in South Africa at Grey University College (today, the University of the Free State).
Charles Marais, a member of the Le Plessis-Marly congregation near Longvilliers in the Hurepoix region of Île de France, arrived on the Voorschoten with his wife, Catherine Tabourdeux ,and their four children in April 1688. Claude was 26 years old, Charles jnr 19, Isaac 10 and Marie 6. Phillipe Marais named his Drakenstein farm Le Plessis Marle (today Plaisir de Merle) after his place of origin.
Tragedy struck the family one year after their arrival when Charles was killed on his farm by Khoikhoi raiders, following a dispute over a watermelon. The autopsy was performed and certified by the surgeon Jean Prieur Duplesis and his report translated into Dutch by Jacques de Savoye. His widow, Catherine was awarded f600 from the Batavia relief fund. In 1690, she married Daniel des Ruelles from Picardy. His first wife, Anne Goudalle, had died en route to the Cape.
The Marais family in South Africa all descend from two of Charles Marais’s sons, Claude and Charles. Claude married Marie Avis from Châteaudun in the Orléanais province in 1690 and Charles married his stepsister, Anne des Ruelles from Guînes in Flanders, in 1692, thus making him his stepfather and also his father-in-law. Claude inherited Le Plessis-Marly and received the farm Wel-van-Pas in the Wagenmakersvallei in 1699 from WA van der Stel, the same year in which his brother Charles received the adjoining farm, De Fortuin. It is noteworthy that the two Marais brothers hedged their political bets by signing both the testimonial for as well as the petition against, Van der Stel.
Claude was a member of the Drakenstein congregation and a member of the Heemraad. His financial position improved substantially when he married Suzanne Gardiol, the widow of the well-to-do Abraham de Villiers. He acquired two farms, Meerlust and Lekkerwyn, a transformation of the family name, Lécrevant, in Drakenstein, and a house in Table Valley. On Claude’s death, Suzanne’s son Jacob de Villiers inherited Meerlust and Lekkerwyn, and Claude’s sons, Charles and Estienne, inherited the farm Le Plessis Marle.
In Afrikaans literature the legendary poet, writer, journalist, lawyer and naturalist, Eugène Marais (1871 – 1936) has achieved iconic status. Viewed as one of the greatest Afrikaner poets, his poem “Winternag” (1905) is the most-read poem in the Afrikaans language. In 2003, Marais was named one of Africa’s top 15 literary figures of the twentieth century. Born in Stellenbosch, Marais was educated at an English medium school in Paarl. At the age of 19, he was appointed editor of a Dutch-Afrikaans opposition newspaper, Land en Volk (Country and People), in Pretoria. Marais was a fierce critic of President Paul Kruger and his government and its nepotism, patronages and corrupt practices in awarding franchises for liquor, water supply to Johannesburg, dynamite for the mines and many other items. This is reminiscent of the campaign waged by his ancestors two centuries earlier against the corrupt Van der Stels. During the Anglo-Boer War Marais lived in London where he was financially supported by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick (author of the best seller, Jock of the Bushveld). After qualifying as an advocate in 1901, he returned to the Transvaal where he firmly supported Milner’s anglicisation measures.
Eugène Marais was the first person to make a formal study the behaviour of wild primates, and his observations are still cited in contemporary evolutionary biology. His work was translated into various languages. One of these, “Die Siel van die Mier” (Soul of the White Ant) was plagiarised by the Belgian Nobel laureate Maurice Maeterlinck as “La Vie des Termites”.
He was a complex and enigmatic character, who was addicted to morphine. He took his own life in 1936.
Most of the first generations of Huguenots at the Cape were farmers. Three mid-nineteenth century Marais brothers from Stellenbosch are considered to have been the first Afrikaner capitalists. Petrus (b.1839), Christian (b.1849), and Jannie (b.1851) Marais left the Cape in 1870 to join the rush to the newly discovered Kimberley diamond diggings. They proved to be astute business men, consolidating the many claims they had staked and bought into Kimberley Central Mines. They thwarted Cecil John Rhodes’s attempt to gain control of Kimberley Diamond Mines by merging their interests with Barney Barnato’s Standard Mining Company. Apart from their mining interests, the brothers also owned 17 farms in the Kimberley district. Having made a fortune, Jannie returned to Stellenbosch in 1892 and Christian to the Cape the following year.
Ignatius (Ignace) Maré was born around 1670 and died in Drakenstein in 1758. It is not clear whether he came from Calabria (the place where his marriage certificate to his second wife was issued) or the Cambrésis region in northern France (Pama)
The 1705 tax roll lists him as a widower with two sons and one daughter. On 7 February 1706, Ignatius married Suzanne Janse van Vuuren, daughter of the Gelderlander Gerrit Janse van Vuuren and the Huguenot Suzanne Jacob born 1671 in Vieille-Église in Calaisis. The couple, who are listed on the tax rolls from 1709 to 1757, had 9 children.
Ignatius applied for a grazing licence in the Groene Kloof on 7 July 1706 and received it the following year. On 14 October 1714, he received the farm Langefontein on the Elsjeskraal River in the Tygerberg and he bought the farm St Omer in Daljosaphat from the estate of Armand Véron in 1723. Ignatius remained a small-scale stock farmer for most of his active life and was one of the free burghers who was either forced to sign the WA van der Stel testimonial sent to the Lords XVII, or did so voluntarily.
Ignatius, the son born of his first marriage, must have died as the youngest son, born on 18 July 1729, was also named Ignatius. This son married three times. He outlived his first two wives, Margaretha Roux and Claudine du Toit, and died in 1803, the same year as his third wife Anna Dorothea Pretorius (widow of David du Buisson). One of his sons Jacob Phillipus Maree fought at the Battle of Blood River in Zululand and later migrated to the Transvaal to escape British rule. He became a member of the executive council of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek, at times deputising for State President Paul Kruger.
One of the most poignant and iconic Afrikaner folk songs, Sarie Marais, was named after Jacob’s daughter Susara Margaretha Maré by his second wife Cornelia Erasmus. When Susara (Sarie) was sixteen she met and fell in love with Jacobus Petrus Toerien, a poet and subeditor of the Paarl newspaper, Di Patriot, when he came to Pretoria to interview her father. The two were married in December 1884 and settled in Middelburg in the South African Republic so Petrus could establish a pro-Boer newspaper, De Republikein. At the outbreak of the South African War. Toerien enlisted with the Middelburg commando seeing action on the Natal battle front. His deep longing for his wife inspired Toerien to write the words of the song Sarie Maré. It was later corrupted to Sarie Marais, set to the tune of the American Civil War folksong, Sweet Ellie Rhee, and sung by American miners working in the Johannesburg gold mines).
The song was popularised by thousands of South African soldiers fighting on the side of the allies in the First and Second World War. In 1953, it became the regimental march of the British Royal Marines commando – a name suggested by Winston Churchill in honour of the exceptional fighting prowess of the Boer commandoes, which he had experienced first-hand. The song is also sung by the Foreign Legion as Massari Mari and as Sarie Marès the traditional song (chant de tradition) of the elite French l’École Militaire Interarmes (EMIA).
Jean Mesnard from Saint-Martin-de-la-Brasque in the Luberon and his family reached Geneva on 12 September and Frankfurt on 31 October 1687. His wife, Louise Corbonne, had to convalesce at Frankfurt after the birth of her sixth child. Together with them were their five other children and Marie Anthouarde, Louise’s 64-year-old mother. The family left Rotterdam on the China on 20 March 1688. During a tragic voyage, Marie Anthouarde and two of the Mesnard children, Jacques and baby André died at sea. It is thought that Louise either died at sea or soon after arrival. In April 1690, Jean, a widower with four children, received f304 cash from the Batavia fund and f405 credit from the Company.
Jean remarried and lived in Drakenstein until his death in 1692. The only one of his children to reach adulthood was Philippe. In 1702, he went to work for Suzanne Briet, the widow of Isaac Taillefert, as a farmhand [knecht] on Leeuwenvallei in the Wagenmakersvallei. His fortune improved markedly when he married Jeanne Mouy, the widow of Jean Leroux, in Stellenbosch on 7 May 1712 and became the owner of Parys. In later years, he bought Salomonsvlei from Pieter Leroux and De Veerkeyker from Estienne Bruère. Philippe and Jeanne are the progenitors of the Minnaar lineage in South Africa.
André Mellet from Nîmes and his recently wedded wife, Marie Gautier from Marennes in the Saintonge (today the Charente-Maritimes), arrived at the Cape in 1731 accompanied by Marie’s uncle, the merchant Gilles Soullier and his wife Anne Roulain. Mellet settled in Table Valley where he worked as a baker and ran a guest house that was popular with French visitors. In 1748, he was repatriated to the Netherlands for dealing in stolen Company goods .
Pierre Meyer, from the Dauphiné region, arrived aboard the Borsenburg in 1688. Boucher suggests that Meyer “coming from a mercantile background was perhaps of a higher social class than many of his burgher compatriots”, making it easier for him to be accepted by Jacques de Savoye’s family when he married Savoye’s daughter, Aletta. Although Meyer received a portion of the farm Nieuwe Dorp in the Dwars River Valley in 1689 and the title deed to the whole farm on 18 July 1692, official records reveal that he never became an active farmer. He sold the farm to Jacobus van As in 1701.
In 1695, Meyer and three fellow bachelor settlers (Jacques Labat – a fellow Dauphinois, Jacques Therond from Languedoc and Pierre Vivier from Normandy) had to make a statement on their chance meeting with Jean de Seyne, a deserter from the Hirondelle. The Political Council considered the encounter suspicious because the Dutch Republic was at war with France (Nine Year’s War (1688–1697).
Pierre was a doughty opponent of the administration of Wilhem Adriaen van der Stel. He and his father-in-law were imprisoned in the “black hole” of the Castle in April 1706. Alettta de Savoye, Pierre’s wife was seven months pregnant at the time. His defence at the time was that he had signed the free burgher letters of complaint sent to Batavia and Holland because he wanted to be able to trade wine, brandy and other products freely and sell these items to visiting ships as before. Pierre later relocated to Table Valley where he became a merchant like his father-in-law, before him, and his sons, Jacobus and Pieter, and son-in-law Adriaan de Nijs, after him.
It seems that Pierre also traded in property as he bought Klein Constantia from the estate of Simon van der Stel and immediately sold it at a profit to Jan Jurgens Kotze. He bought two more Van der Stel properties in 1714, one of which he sold in the same year. When he died in 1719 Meyer was one of few Huguenots to have books other than the French Bible. Apart from Pierre Meyer, there were several other Meyer progenitors at the Cape. These include Gerrit Hendrik Meyer from the Netherlands who married Suzanne Caucheteux, daughter of Essaye Caucheteux and Suzanne Albert. Jacques de Savoye’s two sons, Philippe Rudolf and Jacques jnr, left no descendants; his daughters continued the Meyer, Viljoen and Snyman lines.
On 4 February 1727, Francois Louis Migault was banished from Cabo de Goede Hoop for being a good-for-nothing. His wife Marie-Madeleine Niel, whom he had treated badly, died and so his children Maria Elizabeth Migault and Johannis Stefanùs Migault were cared for by their uncle Estienne Niel and by their uncle-by-marriage, Andreas Grové.
François-Louis Migault was baptised in Amsterdam on 4 January 1694. He was the son of the Jean Migault who had escaped the dragonnades in Poitou and imprisonment in La Rochelle and then found his way by sea to Emden in the Dutch Republic. Jean Migault became renowned for his journal, “Les dragonnades en Poitou et Saintonge” (translated as “The trials of a French Protestant family during the revocation of the Edict of Nantes”) which gives a vivid description of the privations of Protestants in the Poitou-Charente region after 1685.
The 19-year-old François-Louis Migault arrived at the Cape in 1713 as a VOC soldier on board the Strijkebolle, but he left the VOC and became a schoolmaster. First, he taught Dutch, French and religion in Table Valley and later taught the children of settlers such as Estienne Niel of the farm Dauphine in Olifantshoek, where he also worked as a farmhand. He married Estienne’s daughter, Marie-Madeleine, in 1719 . His behaviour led to complaints by Estienne Niel and his children in 1725 and by a request by Estienne and burghers Andries Grové and Claude Marais that the Political Council banish him for his indecent behaviour, incessant debauchery and the continual grief his lifestyle caused Estienne undertook to raise the two Migualt children, Maria Elisabeth and Johannes Stefanus. The Political Council exiled François-Louis to the Dutch Republic and sentenced him to work his passage there.
Jacob (Jacques) Mouton from Steenwerck (near Lille/Rysel) in the Southern Netherlands was already in Middelburg in Zeeland by 1688 when the main stream of Huguenot immigration to the Cape commenced. His first wife, Catherine l’Hermite, and their three children did not go with him to the United Provinces. After the marriage was dissolved, he married Marie de Villiers. On 2 February 1699, Jacob and Marie and their two daughters, Madeleine and Marie, left for the Cape on board the Donkervliet, a chamber of Zeeland East Indiaman. A third daughter, Marguerite, was born during the passage and baptised on 26 July, six days after their arrival in Table Bay. Marie died soon afterwards leaving Jacob to care for his young family. In October 1770, he married the 20-year-old Francina Bevernagie. She had arrived at the Cape from Nederbrakel in Flanders, four months earlier, accompanied by her four brothers Joost, Anthonie, Jean and Theunis.
Jacob was one of the first settlers to receive land in the Roodezand area and named his farm Steenwerck after his place of birth. He and Francina had ten children to raise, seven of their own as well as the three daughters from his second marriage. The sons, Abraham and Jacob, carried on the Mouton name and five of Jacob’s daughters are the progenitor mothers of other South African families. The Mouton clan eventually became pioneers in this northern border area of the 18th century Cape.
At the beginning of the 21st century, Jannie (Johannes) Mouton was one of South Africa’s most successful businessmen. He was the founder chairman of the PSG Group, an Investment Holding Corporation with major investments in financial services, banking, education and agriculture.
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Jacob Naudé, who was from Berlin, arrived at the Cape in 1718, aboard the Abbekerk. His 18-year-old nephew Philip-Jacob Naudé (son of his brother Roger-David Naudé), travelled to the Cape aboard the Slooten as a VOC soldier in 1754. The Naudé family had left Metz in northeast France to settle in Berlin after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Both Jacob’s grandfather and father (Philippe) were mathematicians of note: the latter was selected as a member of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in 1708 and the Royal Society of London in 1714.
Soon after his arrival, Jacob was released from his VOC contract to become a tutor (schoolmaster) to the children of Huguenot families in Drakenstein. In 1718/19 he was employed by Pierre Jaubert for a remuneration of f10 and half a pound of tobacco, in 1719/20 by Josué Cellier for f10 and a pound of tobacco, and in May 1720 he was taken on by the widow Suzanne Taillefert who had 8 children, two by her first husband, Jean Gardé and six by Pierre Cronier. Jacob Naudé was her third husband. The couple continued living on Versailles, the farm that Suzanne had inherited from Pierre Cronier and they had one son, also named Jacob. When Suzanne died at the age of 39 in February 1724, the 28-year-old Jacob became the guardian of his stepchildren. As Suzanne’s funeral service had to be conducted in French, the church demanded payment of an additional f3 Suzanne was the progenitress of three South African families – Gardé, Cronjé and Naudé.
Jacob continued farming the Cronier farms in the Wagenmakersvallei until his stepson, Jan Gardé, could take over Versailles. He worked as teacher, reader and sexton in the Drakenstein congregation until he retired to his farm, Klipvlei, where he died on 30 March 1740.
The second progenitor, Philip-Jacob Naudé was honourably discharged from Company service in 1766 and worked as a teacher in Drakenstein. He married Johanna Elizabeth du Plessis, the great-granddaughter of Jean Prieur Duplesis, in May 1774. The couple had five daughters and three sons. Their eldest son, Charl David, continued the Naudé name.
One of the Naudé descendants, Christiaan Beyers Naudé (1915–2004), was an internationally famous theologian, cleric and anti-apartheid activist. Naudé received 14 honorary doctorates in his lifetime and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993 . Nelson Mandela described him as “a true humanitarian and a true son of Africa”. Beyers Naudé founded the Christian Institute of South Africa, an ecumenical organisation that promoted interracial dialogue and understanding. The World Council of Churches nominated him as “one of the true Christian prophets of our time”.
Estienne Niel was a soldier from Dauphiné who came to the Cape in the service of the Company. He married Marie-Madeleine, the daughter of Charles Marais, and farmed on La Dauphine in Oliphantshoek. Although they had five children, none of their sons had sons. The male line died out and the patriarch of the large Nel family in South Africa is Guillaume Néel, a tailor who hailed from Rouen.
On 14 April 1685, 23-year-old Guillaume, married the 19- year- old Jeanne la Batte (Jannetjie Labat) from Saumur. in June three years later, the couple came to the Cape on the Schelde. They settled in the Stellenbosch district where Guillaume worked as a tailor, but also farmed on Blaauwklippen on the Dwars River in the Moddergat area. The diarist Adam Tas, a leading opponent of the Van der Stel regime lived on the nearby farm Libertas. Describing the humble but happy home of the Néels he comments that the “friends have eight children [in total they had eleven children] and they seemingly live a happy and contented life in their little cottage”. Poor but hardworking, they supplemented their income by working on the Tas farm at times, in addition to working their own land. Guillaume earned f12 for transporting a wagonload to the Cape for Tas and f9 for looking after his rams.
In September 1714 Guillaume received the stock farm Bootmansdrift on the western shore of the Berg River. His daughter, Cornelia, who married Adriaan van Jaarsveld became the female progenitor of the Van Jaarsveld family of South Africa.
In old age, the Néels moved back to Cape Town. Guillaume (or Willem Nel as he signed himself from 1694) died in 1734 at the age of 71. His wife, Jeanne, who was lovingly cared for by her son-in-law, Pieter Venter, died the next year.
By about 1835, there were Nels in the Albany and Somerset-East Districts. Louis Jacobus Nel, his children and his brother’s children and their families were one of the groups who joined the Great Trek and entered Natal. Hester Nel (b. 1782) was the direct ancestor both of Koos de la Rey, legendary Boer general during the South African War and Theunis [MT] Steyn, President of the Republic of the Orange Free State. Cicelia Nel (b.1780) was the direct ancestor of Louis Botha, the first prime minister of the Union of South Africa. TJ (Theunis) Nel was the only Afrikaans-speaking member of the Natal Parliament and served as a Senator in the first Parliament of the Union of South Africa until his death.
The three Nourtier brothers from Guînes, sons of Jean Nourtier and Eve du Pont, fled to the northern provinces of the Netherlands after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Daniel (b.1666) was a carpenter, and Jacob (b.1669) and Jean (b.1670) were agriculturalists, Daniel married Marie Vitu in the Zeeland capital of Middelburg on 17 June 1687. They were taken into service by Jacques de Savoye, a prosperous merchant from Ath in Hainaut (Hennegouwen), who had arrived in Middelburg via Ghent. The families were probably related because De Savoye’s first wife was Christine du Pont. De Savoye’s entourage who reached the Cape on board the Oosterland in 1688 included not only the Nourtiers but also his second wife Marie-Madeleine de Clerq, his mother-in-law Antoinette Carnoy, his children Marguerite-Thérèse and Barbe-Thérèse by his first wife, and a baby Jacques. This proved to be a rewarding alliance as De Savoye received f1225 from the Batavia Fund – more than any other refugee – and the Nourtier brothers f331.
Daniel received a farm in Simondium 1690 and Jean received the neighbouring Frederiksberg. In 1705, Daniel took over Frederiksberg from Jean, who remained a bachelor. Jacob married the 17-year-old Marguerite Mouton, daughter of Jacques Mouton and Marguerite de Villiers, in 1717. The couple had three sons and two daughters. Daniel and Maria had four sons and one daughter. After Daniel’s death in 1711, Maria married Matthijs Michielsz. She was 43 and he was a widower in his mid-sixties.
The Huguenot refugees, Jacques Pinard (23 years) and Esther Foucher (21 years) were married in the Walloon church in Oude Delft on 10 December 1687. Both were from the Centre-Val de Loire region; Esther from Suèvres in Orléanais and Jacques from the Drouais province.
Since Drouais Protestants were barred from having a temple in Dreux, they established a congregation in Fontaine-sous-Prémont, a hamlet to the southeast of Dreux. On 15 November 1685, Jacques Pinard signed his abjuration of Calvin’s heresy (“l’héresie de Calvin) with the help of the King’s dragoons in Dreux (“avec l’aide des dragons du Roi”). Other Huguenot refugees to the Cape who abjured in Dreux were Philippe Drouin (14 November) and Gidéon Malherbe (17 November 1685) who sailed with Pinard on the Voorschoten.
Boucher notes that “Gidéon Malherbe was among a group of refugees at Delft who on 2 September 1697 appeared before the celebrated pastor and Huguenot historian Elie Benoist to make public reparation of their fault in abjuring Calvinism before escaping from France.”
Jacques and Esther left Goeree on the 13 December 1687 on the Delft chamber flute, the Voorschoten. There were 22 other Huguenots aboard, including the Foucher brothers Gaspard and Philippe from Suèvres on the Loire. When they neared the Cape, a south-easterly wind was blowing so strongly that the passengers had to disembark in Saldanha Bay and be taken to Table Bay aboard the Jupiter.
In 1692, Jacques received Lustigaan in Drakenstein and, in 1699, Phillippe Foucher the neighbouring farm, De Wilde Paardenjagt. In 1711, Jacques he signed the petition against Van der Stel and in the same year bought Geelblomsvlei from the estate of Matthys Michels. The tax roll of 1712 lists Jacques as the owner of one slave, eight horses, 63 head of cattle, 200 sheep and 16000 grapevines.
Jacques and Esther had two sons, Pierre and Jacques. After Esther’s death in 1697, Jacques married Marthe Lefebvre, the first girl to be born of Huguenot parents at the Cape, in 1689. Jacques and his two wives are the progenitors of the Pienaar lineage in South Africa.
One of the family’s most famous sons is Major General Daniël Hermanus (Dan) Pienaar (1893–1942), arguably one of South Africa's most charismatic and popular military commanders. During World War II, he headed the First South African Infantry Brigade and later the First South African Brigade in the North Africa campaign. He was killed at the height of his career when his plane crashed into Lake Victoria on his way home to South Africa.
Francois Pienaar (b. 1967) led the Springboks to victory over New Zealand in the World Rugby Cup in 1995. Nelson Mandela presented the Webb-Ellis Cup, wearing a Springbok jersey bearing Pienaar's number. During this iconic nation-building moment, Pienaar told the world that his team had won the trophy not only for the 60,000 fans in the stadium but for all 43 million South Africans.
François Rétif, the progenitor of the Retief family in South Africa, was born on 2 February 1663 in the small town of Mer near Blois in the province of Orléanais. In 1688, François and his sister, Anne, arrived at the Cape on board Borsenburg. Other members of the closely knit Protestant congregations of Mer and Blois who came to the Cape were Philippe Foucher and his wife, Anne Souchay, their three children, Philippe’s sister Esther, the Leroux bothers, Jean and Gabriel, Philippe’s cousin Estienne Bruère, Michel Martineau, and Pierre Rousseau
In April 1690, François received 130 rix-dollars from the Batavia relief fund and in 1691 the Cape tax records (opgaafrolle) refer to him as a free burgher farming in Drakenstein in partnership with (compagnons) Pierre Rousseau, Michel Martineau and Jean Cloudon. Eight years later, François received his own farm La Paris in Wemmershoek This bordered on L’Arc d’Orléans, his brother-in-law Pierre Rousseau’s farm.
Eleven years after the arrival of the Rétifs, Pierre Muoy a widower from Sint-Amands in Flanders and his two young daughters Marie (14) and Jeanne (13) arrived on the Donkervliet and joined the Huguenots in Drakenstein. The 37-year-old François married Marie Muoy in April 1700, who was still only 14 at the time, and they settled on La Paris. The tax records of that year reveal that he owned two horses, 34 cattle and 3,000 vines. He was making his own wine and growing wheat, barley and rye.
The couple moved to the Wagenmakersvallei (literally “wainwright’s valley”) where they acquired Patatskloof in 1703. When Rétif’s neighbours, including Gidéon Malherbe (De Groene Fontein) , Jean de Tuillet (Hexenberg), Daniel Jacob (Leeuwentuin) and Jacques Potier (Doolhof) reported him to the landdrost (magistrate) for illegally diverting irrigation water from the Krom River, he was ordered to restore the watercourse.
In due course, he also bought Hartebeeskraal from Estienne Terreblanche. Marie Mouy continued farming after Rétif’s death in 1721. She bought the farm Wildepaardejacht from Paul Roux in 1748, planted more vineyards and had 12 slaves working for her.
All four of François and Marie’s daughters married Huguenots. Maria married Pieter Rousseau, Anne married Pierre Hugo and Hester married Jacobus Marais. The two of François and Marie’s five sons who married also chose Huguenot partners. Paul married Dorothea Melius, one of Hester Roux’s daughters, and François married Anna Marais in 1741. François and Anna’s son, Jacobus, married Debora Joubert, the daughter of Pieter Joubert and Martha du Toit. This family pattern of marrying Huguenots was broken only nearly 100 years later when Jacobus and Deborah’s son, Piet , one of ten children, married a widow, Magdalena Johanna Greyling (née de Wet) in 1814.
In the year Piet Retief married, the Cape officially became a British colony. As a farmer on the Eastern Frontier and a commando leader, Retief was frustrated by the rigid rules laid down by the British and their lack of sympathy for the plight of farmers: even if their cattle had been raided, no-one was to cross the border into the lands of the Xhosa. There was no hope of government help.
Rising levels of poverty amongst the Boers on the frontier as a result of land scarcity intensified the tensions. On 22 January 1837, Retief drew up a manifesto on behalf of the Boers setting out their long-held grievances against the British government. It was published in the Grahamstown Journal on 2 February and in De Zuid-Afrikaan on 17 February, heralding an organised migration of six parties of Boers from the Colony to the north to escape the authority of the British Crown. These people became known as the Voortrekkers and their migration as the Groot Trek (“Great Trek”).
Retief led one party from the Adelaide and Fort Beaufort districts across the Drakensberg Mountains into Zululand. His elder brother, Francois (Frans), was a member of another. This area was ruled by Dingane. Retief informed him that he wished to live in peace with the Zulu people, but at the same time boasted about the military strength of the Voortrekkers and their victory over the Ndebele people. The arrival of thousands of Voortrekkers in the Upper-Thukela valley was thus seen as a threat.
On 6 February 1838, Retief, accompanied by his son Pieter and his stepson Abraham, as well as his men with their Khoi servants, about a hundred men in total, were invited to Dingane’s kraal. There Dingane’s warriors mercilessly killed them. This episode set in train a tragic cycle of revenge.
Pierre Rousseau is the patriarch of the large Rousseau family. He arrived in 1688 on board the Borsenburg together with Maria, his sister, his future wife, Anne Rétif, and François Rétif, her brother. All four were members of the Mer congregation. At the Cape, Maria Rousseau married Jan Janse van Eeden and became the matriarch of the Van Eedens in South Africa.
In 1689, Pierre married Anne Rétif, who bore him 11 children. The couple had 94 grandchildren of whom 30 were Rossouw, 20 Dutoit, 15 Marais, 12 Duplesis, nine were Hugo, and five Blignault. His daughter, Anna Rousseau married Daniel Hugot in 1705 and Jean Blignault in 1725, becoming the female progenitor of the Hugo and Blignault families in South Africa. After Anne’s death at the age of 39, Pierre married Gertruida du Toit, daughter of François Dutoit and Suzanne Seugnet, who was 27 years his junior. They had one child who died as an infant. SA Genealogies reports that Pierre had a thirteenth child, Regina Rousseau, who was born out of wedlock. Her mother was Elisabeth Rootsteen of the Cape.
Pierre Rousseau became one of the more progressive Huguenot farmers. In 1694, he received a farm near Wemmershoek, Drakenstein, which he named L’Arc d’Orléans after his region of origin in France. This bordered on his brother-in-law’s farm, La Paris. In subsequent years, Rousseau acquired De Vleesbank in Drakenstein (expropriated from a WA van der Stel cohort, the bailiff, Johannes Blesius), Eikeboom in the Wagenmakersvallei (Wellington), Sonkwasdrift-Oos previously owned by Guillaume Dutoit, Sanddrift in the Land van Waveren (that he had to abandon because of cattle raids by the Khoikhoi), and Stellenkeur-Switzerland (expropriated from the Swiss Johann Jürgen for illegal trading with the Khoikhoi).
Like many other free burghers, Rousseau bartered with the Khoikhoi as a way of increasing the size of his sheep and cattle herds. In June 1696, the Chainouqua captain Dorha (Klaas) reported him, along with Guillaume Frisnet, Guillaume Loret, Pierre Grange, Mathieu Amiel and Matthias Frachasse to the authorities for violating the Company’s ban on trading with the Khoikhoi. They were accused of owning more livestock than the Company itself. Despite the VOC’s efforts to retain the sole right to barter with the Khoikhhoi, however, it was not able to do so for long.
Pierre Rousseau was a pillar of Huguenot society: he was a deacon in the Drakenstein congregation and a member of the Heemraad (District Council). However, when WA van der Stel tried to make him a lieutenant in the Drakenstein infantry, he recused himself for “not being perfect in the Dutch language and not having any knowledge of military manoeuvres”. Rousseau was one of the sixty-three burghers who signed the petition against Van der Stel, but he recanted afterwards apologising and saying he had not fully understood what he had signed.
Of the three Huguenot Roux’s (Paul, Pierre and Jean), who came to the Cape, only Paul a weaver from Orange in Provence had any heirs, so all South African Roux’s descend from him. His first wife was Claudine Seugnet from Saintonge. On her death, he married Elisabeth Couvret from Bazouches-en-Dunois in Orléanais. Roux had seven children from his two marriages, four of whom married. On 8 November 1688, he was appointed Secretary and Reader for the Parish of Drakenstein and teacher of the French children. He remained in this role until his death in 1723. Paul Roux’s son, Jeremias Roux was given permission to establish a school where the children could be taught in French. He also acted as a church warden and would occasionally read in French from the Scriptures.
The founding father of the Senekal family in South Africa is David Sénécal from Dieppe in Normandy. At the age of 21, he arrived at the Cape on board the Zuid Beveland in 1688. It is thought that Sénécal was related to Salomon de Gournay, also from Dieppe, who arrived on the same ship. In 1692, David Sénécal received De Hartebeestkraal, a 60 morgen farm on the Wilde Paards River (Wild Horse River). His farm bordered on the farms of Philip Foucher, Jacques Pinard and Salomon de Gournay (Salomonsvallei). Sénécal and De Gournay swapped farms In 1692. Soon afterwards, Sénécal exchanged Salomonsvallei for La Concorde, a farm that belonged to Gabriel le Roux. The reason for these exchanges is not known, but both were approved by the Council of Justice.
De Gournay married Anne Martin, the widow of Jean du Puis from Dieppe in 1693, and Sénécal married her daughter, Anne-Madeleine du Puis in 1695. David and Anne-Madeleine du Puis had twelve children. David supplemented his income by working as a wainwright. He was one of 30 Huguenots who signed the petition against WA van der Stel.
When the first church building in Simondium fell into complete disrepair in 1716, the Drakenstein congregation selected land to build a new church in Paarl. The land abutted Sénécal’s farm, La Concorde, and he was probably buried in the Paarl cemetery adjacent to his farm when he died in 1746 at the age of 79.
In 1716 Sénécal l was taken to court by his neighbour Suzanne Briet (widow of Isaac Taillefer) for cutting off the water supply to her farm, Laborie. Sénécal was found guilty and ordered to reconnect the watercourse.
The only one of the eight offspring to marry was David. He married his cousin, Marta Bruère. All Senekals are thus descended from this pair, who had three sons and two daughters. David left Drakenstein to settle on De Hoop, a loan farm in the Swellendam district, as a stock farmer.
The Free State town of Senekal is named after Frederick Senekal, the Commandant-General of the Orange Free State burghers in the Basuto War of 1858.
The exact date and place of Estienne Terblanche’s birth are not known. Boucher suggests that he was born in the port city of Toulon in Provence on 25 May 1670 where his parents Louis Terreblanche and Catherine Meissonnière worked in the weaving and cloth trade. Estienne probably left the south of France for the Netherlands after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. By 1701, he was at the Cape as a free Frenchman. His name is mentioned for the first time after a skirmish with Khoikhoi stock raiders in the Land van Waveren (the present-day Tulbagh). For the first few years, Estienne farmed in partnership with other free settlers. The tax roll of 1705 describe him as a small-scale farmer in partnership with a certain Joubert, probably Jacob Joubert, Pierre Jaubert’s son. They owned four horses, 10 head of cattle, a few vines and were dabbling in wheat production. After a few years, Estienne switched farming partners. His new partner was Jean Imbert from Nîmes, who sold his Drakenstein farm, Languedoc, to Essaye Caucheteux.
Estienne married Marthe Lefebvre, the 29-year old widow of Jacques Pinard, In 1713. He not only became the step-father of Marthe’s six Pinard children, but also became the owner of three Pinard farms in Drakenstein, Geelblomsvlei , Hartebeestkraal and Lustigaan. In the next eight years, the couple had two sons, Stephanus and Pieter, and two daughters, Geertruy and Martha. Farming went so badly that Estienne had to ask the Orphan Chamber for a loan and sell his flagship farm, Lustigaan, to Louis le Riche in 1725. According to the 1731 tax roll, Estienne had ceased all farming activities by then. Two of his step-sons, Jan and Salomon Pienaar, became stock farmers and joined the trekboer movement to the interior. Migrating farmers reached the Great Brak River by 1730 (380 kilometres from the Cape). In 1733, Salomon received Welgevonden, a loan farm near the present-day Mossel Bay.
The 19-year-old Jacques Therond left the city of Nîmes in Languedoc in 1687 to escape persecution. He received assistance in Frankfurt am Main in June before travelling from there to Middelburg in Zeeland. There he joined the VOC as soldier, swore the Oath of Loyalty as required, and then headed for the Cape aboard the Oosterland, the Zeeland chamber East Indiaman, on 29 January 1688. There were 24 other Huguenots aboard, including a fellow Nimois, Jean Imber who had similarly joined the VOC as a soldier. Soon after arriving, they were permitted to become free burghers. In 1692, Therond received a farm on the Palmiet River in Klein Drakenstein (Jean Roux and Jean Imbert were his neighbours). Because he signed the petition against Van der Stel , the title deed was issued only in 1710, after the governor’s dismissal. When Therond, his brother-in-law, Hercule des Prés and 13 other Huguenots were summoned to Stellenbosch in February 1706 and instructed by Landdrost Starrenberg to sign the testimonial in favour of Van der Stel, they refused and walked out.
Therond married the 22-year-old Marie-Jeanne des Prés, third daughter of Hercule des Prés, owner of De Zoeten Inval in Paarl in June 1696.Their first child, Maria was born on 7 August 1698 and was baptised on 24 August by Pierre Simond in the temporary Huguenot church in Drakenstein (described by Valentyn as nothing more than a shed). They had one more daughter and five sons, the youngest of which, David, was born on 24 August 1718.
Therond invested in land. He bought Languedoc from Abraham Prévost in 1711 and Keerweder on the eastern slopes of the Drakenstein mountain in 1716. Therond and Imbert formed a partnership in 1714 to develop their two farms on the Klein Berg River. Imbert named his farm Montpellier and Theron named his Le Rhône. In time, Therond became one of the more successful Huguenot farmers. The 1731 tax roll lists him as the owner of 12 slaves, seven horses, 100 head of cattle, 400 sheep and 20,000 vines. He served as a road inspector, a member of the Heemraad, the Drakenstein militia and the Drakenstein congregation (where he was a driving force for the building of the new Huguenot church in Paarl). Marie-Jeanne des Prés is remembered as the devout mother who wrote verses of dedication for each of her babies.
In 1826, Pieter François Theron (1771–1846) became the first Afrikaner genealogist to compile a reasonably accurate Huguenot genealogy, Geslagslijst der Fransche Protestantsche Vlugtelingen (1826). He knew the children and grandchildren of several of the Huguenot settlers.
Descendants of Jacques Therond include Daniel (Danie) Theron (1872–1900), the legendary scout and fearless guerrilla fighter during the South African (Anglo-Boer) War. The British Commander in Chief, Lord Roberts, called Theron: "the hardest thorn in the flesh of the British advance", and put a bounty of £1,000 on his head. His life was cut short when he was killed in action in September 1900.
His great-great-niece, Charlize Theron, won the 2004 Oscar for best actress. Another renowned Theron, Professor Chris Theron of Stellenbosch University helped to develop the Pinotage cultivar, the first successful South African red wine grape varietal.
François Villion from Maaseik in the Southern Netherlands arrived at the Cape as a VOC soldier on t’Huijs te Velsen on 14 February 1672. He married Cornelia Campenaar from Middelburg in the Dutch Republic in 1676. Their elder son, Henning Viljoen, married Marguerite-Thérèse de Savoye and farmed at Watergat in Simondium. Four of their children continued the Henning branch of the Viljoen family. Henning died in the 1713 smallpox epidemic.
The younger son of François and Cornelia, Johannes Villion, married Catharina Snijman, daughter of Christoffel Snijman and Marguerite-Thérèse de Savoye. They had two children, a son and a daughter. Both Johannes and Catharina died in the smallpox epidemic. However, their son, Johannes jnr, married Aletta Olivier and they had eight children who ensured that the Johannes branch of the Viljoen family was continued.
The third son of François and Cornelia died without issue prior to 1713. Their daughter, Johanna, married Hendrik Venter, and thus became the matriarch of the Venter family in South Africa. She died at the age of 34 during the smallpox epidemic. Anna’s sister, Cornelia, was married first to Hercule du Preez, and later to Christian Maasdorp. The third Villion sister, Francina, married Jacob Cloete and they had six children.
After the death of François, Cornelia married Wemmer Pasman in 1690 and they presumably lived with their children on the farm, Idas Valleij in Stellenbosch. Cornelia and Wemmer had three children of their own. In 1700 their way of life was censured by the Stellenbosch church council condemning them for drunkenness. Cornelia fell victim to smallpox in 1713.
Benjamin Johannes (Ben) Viljoen (7 September 1869 to 14 January 1917) was a farmer, freedom fighter, Boer general and American Consul. Viljoen was born in the Eastern Cape and in 1890 he moved to Johannesburg where he founded the Krugersdorpse Vrywilligerskorps that saw military action against the Jameson Raiders. He is famous for saying it was time for the Boers to take up arms against the British and to put their trust in "God and the Mauser". During the South African War, he led the Johannesburg Commando. He later formed a guerrilla commando and became Assistant Commandant-General of the Boer forces. He was captured at Lydenburg in 1902 and sent to St Helena as a prisoner of war, where he wrote My Reminiscences of the Anglo-Boer War. After returning to South Africa he and some other Transvaal refugee officers left to form a farm colony in Mexico with the assistance of Theodore Roosevelt. Although attempts to establish this settlement in the north of Mexico ended in failure, he succeeded in organising the Boer colonies in Doña Ana County at Berino, Chamberino and La Mesa in New Mexico Territory. In 1909 he was granted American citizenship.
He was a friend both of President Theodore Roosevelt and the Governor of New Mexico, George Curry. He was commissioned as a major in the territorial National Guard's First Regiment of Infantry. While promoting New Mexico’s entry into the United States, he also fought for the Mexican revolutionary cause as military advisor to Francisco Madero at the Battle of Ciudad Juarez. For a short while, he was the US Consul in Germany. He died at his farm in La Mesa in New Mexico in 1917.
Abraham and Constand Viljoen were identical twins (born 28 October 1933), but they had strongly different views. Abraham was a deeply religious man, who opposed apartheid, while Constand became head of the South African Defence Force. In the early 1990s, Constand came out of retirement to head the Afrikaner Volksfront, a right-wing group which opposed the negotiations with the ANC and made plans for military action. Abraham, who worked for the Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa (IDASA), formed to bring white South Africans and the African National Congress (ANC) closer together, approached his estranged brother urging talks with the ANC. What followed was a series of secret meetings and negotiations that helped to pave the way for a peaceful settlement.
The three Viviers from Normandy, Abraham, Jacob and Pierre were exiles in Zierikzee, Zeeland when they left for the Cape on 24 April 1688 on board the Zuid-Beveland. Like many refugees, they received hand-outs from the Walloon church, the final one recorded on 28 March 1688 as “for the three departing Viviers” (“aux 3 Viviées pour partir”). In 1690 they were given farms in Daljosafat, straddling Dal-se-Loop, a tributary of the Berg River. Abraham received Schoongezicht, and Jacob and Pierre the adjacent farms, Goede Rust and Non Pareille. Abraham married the 16-year-old Jacquemine des Prés, daughter of Hercule des Prés and Cecile d’Atis, in 1695, when he was 41 years old. He was the only one of the brothers to marry, making him and Jacquemine the progenitors of the Vivier(s) family in South Africa. The couple had nine children of whom eight reached adulthood.
The Vivier brothers died during the smallpox epidemic of 1713 and Jacquemine one year later when she was 36 years old. Her eldest son, Abraham, was 18 years and a daughter, Elisabeth, 17 years. Anna, was baptised at Drakenstein in January 1714. Marie-Jeanne des Prés (Jacquemine’s sister) and her husband, Jacques Therond, took on responsibility for raising the five Vivier daughters.
Although some 320 Huguenots came to the Cape, not all of their names have survived. The names of Huguenot women such as Aubanelle, Avicè, Bacat, Basché, Briet, Buisset, Carnoy, Cochet, D’Atis, De France, De Potter, Eloy, Fourdrinier, Martinet, Mille, Petel, Pochox, Tabourdeux, Valette, Vitu and Wibaut disappeared. Those who married and their daughters, like the De Savoye girls, became the matriarchs of well-known South African families. Another reason that names died out is that some Huguenots died childless. Jean Gardiol was one such. His sisters Marguerite and Suzanne both married De Villiers brothers, making them the matriarchs of this family. To this day, many girls are named Gardiol, keeping alive the memory of the Huguenot family from Lacoste in Provence.
Below are some of the names of Huguenots who came to the Cape and left little more than a record of their names
• Matthieu Amiel, a wool carder from Le Luc in Provence lost his first wife, Suzanne Aubanelle on board the Wapen van Alkmaar or shortly after arriving in 1689. The couple had two children. In 1689, he remarried Jeanne Mille and received the farm Terre de Luc in Oliphantshoek in 1694. Matthieu signed the testimonial in support of Wilhem Adriaen van der Stel in 1706.
• Pierre Barillé, from Niort in Poitou, received a farm in Stellenbosch. He married Dina van Soetermeer in 1692 . The couple was issueless and they were living in Table Valley when Barillé died in 1700.
• Abraham Bleuset, (d. 1735) and Isabeau Pochox (d. 1726) had no children. Abraham is recorded as a widower on the tax rolls from 1693 to 1731, so Isabeau must have died soon after their arrival at the Cape. Abraham was a leading opponent of the Van der Stel administration.
• Louis de Bérault, brother-in-law of Pierre Simond, appears to have died in Stellenbosch around 1698. He was the first Cape Huguenot to acquire an enslaved person, paying 100 rixdollars for Isaac from Madacascar in 1690. As a VOC sergeant, De Bérault led an expedition to the coast of Natal and Mozambique in search of survivors of the Stavenisse. He remained single and left his sister all his worldly goods. There is a note in his will saying he had not heard from his friends for eight or ten years.
• Jacques Bourbonnais from Mons in Hainaut was a sailor in the service of the VOC. He worked as a farmhand for Gérard Hanseret on the farm, Vlottenburg, near Stellenbosch. He remained single and died after 1713.
Little is known about Paul Brasier. He is listed as receiving no assistance from the Batavia Fund and there is no evidence that he had any family.
The record of Antoinette Carnoy, widow of Philipe de Clercq and mother-in-law of Jacques de Savoye, ends with her sailing back to Europe with De Savoye in 1712.
• Jean Cloudon, who came from Condé-en-Brie in Champagne, is recorded as farming on Goede Hoop in Drakenstein in 1692. He seems to have had no descendants.
• Essaye and Jean Caucheteux were orphaned when their parents died during the voyage to the Cape. Esaias, who married Anna Marseveen, died childless in 1708. His brother, Jean, who married Anna Gildenhuys, died in 1713, also childless.
• Philippe Drouin from Calais farmed at De Groene Fontein in the Wagenmakersvallei. When he died childless in about 1701, his loyal friend Gédéon Malherbe inherited his property. This included Phillipe’s inheritance from his father in France as well as his farm in the Wagenmakersvallei. In his will, Phillipe poignantly declared that “as he has no father or mother, brother or sister he nominates Gédéon Malherbe to be his sole heir and beneficiary for the steady friendship that he has shown.
• Jean Duthuilé had a very promising start to his life at the Cape in 1699 when he was given the farm Hexenberg in the Wagenmakersvallei. However, when one of his slaves and a Khoi worker, whom he had cruelly punished on suspicion that they had stolen some keys died, Jean fled into the vast and unknown interior never to be heard of again. He was found guilty in absentia and sentenced to death. By 1718 he was in London as a member of the La Patente congregation in Soho, where he married Marguerite Champagne.
• Jean Gardé from the Dauphiné province married Suzanne Taillefert. They had two children, Jean and Susanna. The family line died out because Jean did not marry.
• Jean Gardiol, an avid supporter of Van der Stel, never married and died childless on his farm La Cotte in the Oliphantshoek in 1738.
• Paul Godefroy from the Orléanais received the farm Knolle Vallei in Daljosafat, which he shared with Daniel Terrier. Paul and his brother, Pierre were incarcerated in the Fort l’Écluse on the Rhône. After abjuring the Protestant faith they made their way to the Dutch Republic. Pierre settled in London. Paul died without heirs at Daljosafat in 1699.
Hardly anything is known about Antoine Gros beyond the fact that he received a generous grant of f338 from the Batavia Fund. The last entry about him is in the 1692 tax roll.
• Jean Imbert remained a bachelor. He received the farm, Languedoc in Drakenstein, but sold it on to Essaye Caucheteux in 1702. He then moved to the Land van Waveren. There he farmed in partnership, first with Estienne Terreblanche and later with Jacques Therond. The latter had arrived as a soldier on the Oosterland. When he died in 1723, he had no close relations. In his will he named “out of special fondness and in recognition of his faithful service Pierre de Provence [Pierre Jaubert] as his sole heir”.
An original invoice in French issued by a farmhand (knecht) summarising the work done for Imbert has survived: “Report of what I’ve done for Jan Imber 1716 – firstly, 8 days pruning vines then 15 days digging [and] 3 days collecting vine cuttings. The year 1717 – 8 days pruning vines and nine days digging in the vineyard.”
The sporadic fall-outs between the quick-tempered Jean Imbert and his one handed friend, Antoine Martin from Uzès, 25 km north of Nîmes were well known. In 1691, Jean de Villiers made a statement that Imbert had hit Martin on the head with a pistol . He had to wrench the pistol from Imbert’s hand to save Martin’s life. In May 1694, these two, together with Daniel Terrier, Daniel Bouvat and Matthieu Fracassé, were celebrating on Paul Godefroy’s farm. During the argument that ensued, Martin drew his knife on Imbert, wounding him in the back and buttocks.
• Jacques Labat’s name appears only in the 1693 and 1705 list of burghers. It is thought that he returned to Europe.
• Nicolas Labat (younger brother of Jacques) married Elisabeth (Isabeau) Vivier, but the couple had no children. Nicolas died in 1717.
• Gidéon Le Grand, a surgeon from Compiègne in Picardy, who lived and worked in Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, died in 1710 leaving his estate to his brother, Abraham in Haarlem in the Netherlands. Daniel Hugot bought 115 boeke and Jean Durand 5 dictionaries from Legrand’s estate.
• Jean Manié who came from Calais did not marry. He left a joint will with Abraham Bleuset with whom he farmed on the farm Calais at Dal Josafat.
• Zacharie Massion‘s story is a sad one. An old man without friends or family, he bequeathed his estate to the Drakenstein Church on condition that they took care of him until his death. His will was registered in 1731.
• Antoine Martin, who had only one hand, came from Uzès, 25 km north of Nîmes and settled in Drakenstein. He named his farm Languedoc after his region of origin. In 1702, he sold this 50 morgen farm to Essaye Caucheteux for f900. This was the last entry about him in the tax rolls. There is no record of any family. He died in 1699.
• Michel Martineau from Mer, worked in partnership with his fellow Orléanais, Pierre Rousseau, Jean Cloudon and François Rétif. He is listed as receiving f120 from the Batavia Fund, but he is not recorded on any tax rolls.
• Pierre Mouy arrived at the Cape in 1699 as a widower and died in 1735. The Mouy line died with him. His daughters, Marie and Jeanne became the matriarchs of the Retief, Le Roux and Minnaar lineages in South Africa. Today, tenth generation Rétif descendants live on his farm, De Krakeelhoek (now Welvanpas) in the Wagenmakersvallei.
• Jean Mézel (Jan Mysal) disappears from the historical record after He was listed as the recipient of f60 from the Batavia Fund.
• Jean Parisel, who came from Villiers-le-Bel on the northern outskirts of Paris, settled in Drakenstein. He farmed on Bergen-Henegouwe in partnership with Jean Durand until his death in 1695. He signed the testimonial in support of WA van der Stel.
• André Pelanchon from Sivergues in Provence arrived in 1688 on the China, aged 15. He was a farm hand employed by Essaye Caucheteux when he received f100 from the Batavian Fund in 1690. His name appears on the Cape tax rolls from 1692 to 1709. In 1709, he is on record as asking the orphan master to donate 63 guilders to Essaye’s widow, who was married to Abraham Prévost by then. Pelanchon was implicated in illegal stock bartering with Khoisan tribes.
• Charles Prévost and his wife, Marie Lefebvre, came to the Cape accompanied by their son, Abraham, and two daughters, Anne and Elisabeth. Jacob, their second son, was born at sea. Charles died one month after their arrival at the Cape. Marie married three more times. Abraham married Anna van Marseveen, the widow of Essaye Caucheteux. They had only daughters and there is no further record of his brother, Jacob, so the family name died with Abraham.
• Anne and Elisabeth Prévost, Abraham and Anna’s daughters, became the matriarchs of the Van der Merwe and Du Preez clans, respectively. Anne Prévost and Schalk van der Merwe had 10 sons and six daughters, and Elisabeth Prévost and Philippe des Prés, seven sons and four daughters. The melting pot effect of the Cape is demonstrated by the two Prévost marriages and by that of Schalk’s father, the progenitor Willem Schalks van der Merwe. Willem Schalks came to the Cape in 1661 from Broek in the Netherlands and his wife, Elsje Cloete (original name Klauten), was from the Electorate of Cologne (Kurfürstentum Köln) in the Northern Rhineland. Elsje was baptised in 1655 in the Catholic church of Ödt near Cologne and married Willem Schalks in the Dutch Reformed Church at the Cape in 1668. Together the couple had 13 children (four sons and seven daughters) to which Willem Schalks added a voorkind – a daughter baptised Maria Schalck – with a slave woman Koddo from West Africa (Koddo van Guinea). Maria Schalk married Paul Heyns from Leipzig in 1696 and became the matriarch of the large Heyns family in South Africa.
• Pierre Rochefort from Grenoble, who arrived in 1689, farmed at Vlottenburg in partnership with the Huguenot mason Gérard Hanseret. There is no record of his having had a family.
• Jean Rey, son of a farm labourer from Lourmarin in the Luberon, married Marie-Catherine Lefebvre, widow of Gabriel Leroux, in 1712. They had two sons and a daughter. He received the farm Lormarins in Drakenstein in 1692 and bought Salomonsvlei in 1712. His son, Jean had two daughters, which led to the name dying out.
• Jean Rogier married twice at the Cape. He and his first wife, Maria Vermeulen, had three children, Gysbert, Brigitta and Johanna. However, the Rogier name died with Jean, who died in 1724. There is no mention of any children.
• Jean Roux, who was born in 1665 came from Lourmarin in Provence, farmed at Daljosafat. In his 1705 will, he left his estate to his father who was still in Lourmarin, and should he not be alive, it would pass to the Drakenstein Poor Fund. It seems that he had no family at the Cape.
• Pierre Roux, a labourer from Cabrières d’Aigues in Provence arrived in January 1689 on the Wapen van Alkmaar. His wife, Madeleine Goirande is thought to have died at sea. Pierre received the farm Winterhoek in Drakenstein (Wemmershoek), which he sold to Wemmer Pasman in 1696. He left for Europe only to return to the Cape in 1718 when he bought the farm Paarl Diamant. In 1725 he left for Batavia from where he returned in 1730 His will was drawn up in 1739 on Morgenster, which belonged to Daniel Malan. In it, Pierre left all his worldly possessions to Daniel on condition that he would take care of him until death.
• Daniel des Ruelles came from Guînes. Although he had a wife and several children, it appears that he arrived at the Cape with two daughters, Anne and Esther. He married a widow, Catherine Tabourdeux, but had no further children. He died in 1726.
• Jacques de Savoye and his wife Marie-Madeleine de Clercq had two daughters and a son. He died in 1741. The De Savoye name was not continued as his son predeceased him. His daughter Marguerite married Christoffel Snyman, the son of a soldier, Hans Christoffel Snijman and the freed slave, Groote Catrijn van Paliacatta, and became the matriarch of the Afrikaner Snyman family.
• The sisters Jeanne, Suzanne and Claudine Seugnet came from Saintes in the Saintonge province. Claudine married Paul Roux and Suzanne married François du Toit.
• Durand Sollier, a cobbler, married Isabeau de Villiers. They had only a daughter, Martha. His brother, Gilles Sollier, who was a merchant, lived an interesting life. He, his wife and stepson returned to Europe in 1718 but were back at the Cape by 1731. Gilles Sollier, who lived in Table Valley, often acted as a go-between for the settlers and the Company as he could write in French, Dutch and English. One of the many of his letters that have been preserved is the letter he received from Pierre Lombard. This was written for him because Lombard could not write and is signed with an “(L)”. The letter asks Gillis to intercede with the Hollander, Andries de Kock, for money owed to him (for seven oxen and a cow) He movingly reports that “his young slave is homesick for his country” and humbly requests Sollier to “send him two pounds of saffron and nutmeg. Your very humble servant (L) pierre lombar.
• The Taillefert family were from the village of Château-Thierry on the Marne River about 80 kilometres east of Paris in the Brie district of the historic Champagne region. Isaac, the progenitor, was a hat maker and the son of Jean Taillefert an apothecary in Château-Thierry; his wife Suzanne Briet was from a wine growing family in the nearby Monneaux. The couple was forced to abjure before Isaac and the older children were able to escape into exile to Middelburg. On 11 January 1687, Isaac made public reparation in Middelburg for recanting his faith. Suzanne and their two youngest daughters joined the family in September of the same year.
• Isaac and Suzanne arrived with their six children on board the Oosterland in April 1688. Family members who had abjured stayed behind to secure the couple’s agricultural properties. At the Cape, Isaac continued to work as a hatter. The Governor Maurits Pasques de Chavonnes (1654 – 1721) whose family had fled France after the Saint Bartholomew massacre bemoaned his death (1699) in one of his reports, saying that “once very good, strong hats were made here by a French refugee named Isak Talifer, which was of great convenience to the colonists but with his death it came to an end”.
In 1689 Isaac received the farm Picardie on the Berg River in Paarl and his son Jean the adjoining farm La Bri (Laborie) named after his area of origin. They worked the farm as one unit. When he called at the Cape in 1698, the French adventurer François Leguat visited Isaac on his farm. His travelogue published in 1708 describes the enterprising disposition of the man from Champagne: “One of the refugees, named Taillefer, a very honest and ingenious man and curious above all in these particulars (of his natural surroundings) has a garden which may very well pass for fine. Nothing there is wanting and all is in good order and so neat . . . He has likewise a great yard very well filled and a large quantity of oxen, sheep and horses, which according to the custom of the country feed all the year out-of-doors . . . This generous man receives and regales all those that are so happy as to come and see him. He has the best wine in the country, and which is not unlike our small wines of Champagne”.
In spite of being a deacon in the French congregation in Drakenstein in 1695, Isaac was quite often involved in legal disputes. In 1696, for example, the landdrost instructed Isaac to settle a claim by a carpenter for outstanding wages. In May, he was sued by his farmhand Christoffel Luyte for not being paid on time; in August, he took the widow Des Prés (Cecilia d’Atis) to court for neglecting to maintain her side of their common river crossing (drift); and in October he took legal action against Gerrit van Deventer for not abiding by the terms of a building contract. Taillefert received the farm De Leeuwenvallei in the Wagenmakersvallei in 1699, the year of his death.
Suzanne Briet continued farming after her husband’s death, and did so very successfully, according to the tax rolls. In 1700, she had 36 head of cattle and 12,000 grapevines. By 1709, she had 80 head of cattle, 400 sheep, 20 000 vines and had doubled her wheat production. Through her daughter Marie Elizabeth, who married Pierre de Villiers (born 1657 in Bar-sur-Seine in the region of Champagne-Ardenne) in 1691, Suzanne became one of the De Villiers matriarchs of South Africa.
Neither of Isaak Taillefert and his wife Suzanne Briet’s two sons had sons.
• Daniël Terrier and his wife Sara Jacob received assistance from the Batavian Fund in 1690. At first Terrier farmed with Paul Godefroy and Antoine Gros on the farm Knolle Vallei. Sara remarried Jean de Bus in 1700 to become one of the founding mothers of the Buys and De Buys lineages in South Africa.
• Estienne Viret from the Dauphiné and his wife Marguerite Roux had five sons but none of them had sons so the name died out.
• André Wibaut (Huibaux) arrived in 1706 from Amiens, Picardy on board the Beljois as soldier for the VOC. Huibaux married Marie Delporte (born 4 October 1699 in Drakenstein), daughter of the progenitors Jacques Delporte and Sara Vitu. Huibaux worked as a labourer for Pierre Jourdan (Cabrière) on Olifantshoek from 1709 to 1711 for 13 guilders per month (also receiving month, food, drink and shelter). He worked for his brother-in-law, Hercule Verdeau on Champagne in the Wagenmakersvallei from 1711 to 1715 for 14 guilders per month plus food, drink, shelter. After working as a carpenter he bought the farm Calais, Daljosafat from Abraham Belusé in 1725. Wibaut died in 1727 leaving behind his wife Marie Delporte, aged 38. They had no children.
The VOC had spent a great deal on bringing the Huguenots to the Cape. In order to recoup this investment, the VOC obliged them to remain at the Cape for at least five years. Most of them made the Cape their home, but there were some who returned to Europe. This was either because they had had no success in making a living at the Cape or that, much to Van der Stel’s vexation, they had done well and wanted to return to Europe with the fruits of their labour. Here is a list of Huguenots known to have returned to Europe:
• Louis Barré from La Roque-d'Anthéron in Provence returned to Europe in 1705.
• Pierre Batté sailed for Europe in 1696. Like many other Huguenots, Barré had to receive financial aid from the Batavian Fund in 1690. Unlike Barré, he managed to pay for his passage back to Europe himself.
• Daniel Bouvat returned in 1708 and became a Dutch citizen in Amsterdam in 1711.
• Paul Couvret, with his wife and four children, and Jacques de Savoye with his wife and mother-in-law, Antoinette Carnoy, returned in 1712.
• Pierre Bénézet, who remained a bachelor, sold his farm, Languedoc, to his neighbour Jean Gardé. He was still a young man when he left for Europe in 1700. The name Pierre Bénézet appears in Dutch and German records between 1721 and 1757.
• Matthieu Fracassé is recorded as living in Holland in 1713 so he must have returned by then. There is also a record that his daughter Suzanne was living in Amsterdam in 1718.
• Jean Caucheteux, Gérard Hanseret and Salomon de Gournay, all three widowers, returned to Europe in 1718.
• Salomon de Gournay from Dieppe, fled to London in 1686. He came to the Cape on board the Zuid Beveland and married Anna Martin, the widow of Jean du Puis. They had one son who died young. Salomon was awarded a farm he named the Salomonsvlei in Drakenstein. However, he left the Cape and joined his oldest brother Jean who was living in London in 1718. There Salomon married Marthe Lormier, daughter of Jean Lormier and Rachel de Senne of Dieppe.
• Gérard Hanseret was married to Gabriella Wavrand. Their children may have stayed in Europe. He was a mason in Stellenbosch but seems never to have broken strong ties with his home town of St Omer in Artois. His will is filled with bequests to family and friends there and in 1718 he returned to Europe.
• Jean Légeret from Courteron in Champagne spent 20 years at the Cape before he left for Europe in 1716 to eventually settle in Hamburg.
• The surgeon Paul Lefebvre and his second wife, Elizabeth Sézille and their two children, Marie-Madeleine and Gédéon, who were born at the Cape returned to Europe in 1705. Marie-Madeleine married David Taillefert from Château-Thierry in France.
• Pierre Sabatier arrived at the Cape in 1688 and left in 1700.
• Pierre Simond and his wife and children left the Cape in 1702 to settle in Amsterdam. By the 1720s his widow, Anne de Bérault, and their children Catherine, Pierre, Jacques-Cléopas, Marie-Elisabeth and Lydie were living in London.
• Jean du Tuillet, Pierre Cronnier and Abraham Jacob were exiled and forced to leave the Cape.
THE END OF OFFICIAL HUGUENOT IMMIGRATION
From 1685 to 1687, recruiting refugees from France to emigrate to the Cape was high on the VOC agenda and waves of Huguenots arrived at the Cape in 1688 and 1689. The VOC’s initial desire to make a success of the immigration programme is clear from the fact that there are records of repeated requests to Simon van der Stel to offer assistance to the Huguenots. Even before their departure from Holland, Van der Stel had been instructed to help them and provide them with the necessary provisions and support until they could fend for themselves. He was also informed that they were hardworking people who would be satisfied with very little.
However, after 1689 there was a rapid tapering off of the numbers of refugees. Indeed there is no mention made by the Lords XVII of further immigration after 1688. Although some refugees continued to make their way to the Cape after 1689, it seems that not only had the VOC lost interest in sponsoring further immigration, but also the initial positive attitude towards the French colonists at the Cape itself seems to have changed quite rapidly. In a report to the Lords dated 26 June 1691, Van der Stel acknowledged he needed more colonists but precluded French settlers: “particularly not French youngsters (cadets) or members of the bourgeoisie but devout farmers and labourers such as the Dutch and High Germans who set an example to other nations.”
A letter dated July 2, 1699 and sent to the Middelburg chamber reiterated that they were not to send any more Huguenots, but to send farmers from Zeeland instead. The VOC seems to have heeded Van der Stel’s request and the Lords XVII records of 22 June 1700 include a note that all colonists had to be Reformed or Lutheran Protestants. The previous ruling had merely excluded Catholics. Nevertheless, some Huguenots did come to the Cape, and their ancestors proudly bear their names to this day.
God bless the Good ship China.
Pierre de Cabrières and Pierre de Belle Etoilé.
In search of the Soul of the Afrikaner.
DE VLEESCHAUWER, C.A.M. 1988.
Die Vlaamse Hugenote. ’n lesing gehou in die Missaksentrum vir die bevordering van die Vlaamse en Armeense kultuur op Woensdag, 23 November 1988.
RIDGE, S.G.M. 2020.
Natal Huguenot connections: the Nels.
VOS, H. 2009.
Bethlehem Farm 153 Dwars River Valley, Drakenstein: Historical survey of its owners & the early French congregation.
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