Personalia of the Germans at the Cape, 1652 – 1806

By Dr. J. Hoge

To the Memory of my Mother
Argief-jaarboek vir Suid-Afrikaanse Geskiedenis
Uitgegee op las van die Minister van Binnelandse Sake
Onder Redaksie van
Dr. Coenraad Beyers, Hoofargivaris van die Unie.
Dr. P. J. Venter, Assistent-hoofargivaris van die Unie.
Professor  J. L. M. Franken
Professor H. B. Thom
Dr. C. Graham Botha
Sekretaris: Dr. J. H. Breytenbach
Negende Jaargang
Gedruk deur Cape Times Ltd, Keeromstraat, Kaapstad, vir die Staatsdrukker.



Preface – search the people in this book here.

The extent of the immigration of Germans to the Cape during the period of the Dutch East-India Company has not yet been satisfactorily dealt with. Colenbrander’s calculations in his “De Afkomst der Boeren” are unreliable.
They are based on C. C. de Villiers’ “Geslacht-Register”, a work which, notwithstanding its merit, is incomplete and in many ways inaccurate. The only works which have so far specifically dealt with the Germans at the Cape are those of Schmidt (“Der Kulturanteil der Deutschen am Aufbau des Burenvolkes”, by Werner Schmidt Pretoria ; Hannover, 1938) and of  Moritz (“Die Deutschen am Kap unter der holländischen Herrschaft 1652-1806” by Eduard Moritz, Weimar, 1938). They, however, include the personalia of only a limited number of Germans.

In the present publication an attempt is made to give a complete list of those Germans who came to the Cape in the service of the Company during the period 1652 till 1806 and settled here, either remaining in the Company’s service or making a living in one or other capacity after being discharged.
Most of the data under each name have been gathered from the various manuscript sources in the Government Archives in Cape Town and the Archives of the Dutch Reformed Church. Relative completeness has been obtained, the researches in connection with the subject covering a great number of years.

The Germans who came from Switzerland have been classified separately, as well as the women immigrants.

A list of Germans who did not leave the service of the Company, neither married or settled here and consequently only appear in the Monsterrolle, has also been compiled. It comprises about 10,000 names. (In some years, especially during the second half of the 18th century, nearly all the members of the garrison and the majority of the artisans, wagon-drivers and stable-boys
of the Company were Germans.) This section, however, has been omitted, with a few exceptions, for its addition would have made the present volume too voluminous. We hope to publish it at some future date.

Of the approximately 4,000 Germans whose names are contained in the present volume, only a very limited number – about a hundred, as far as we have been able to ascertain – left the Cape again.

As a definite line of demarcation had to be fixed for determining the national origin, we have chosen the geographical borders of Germany as they existed from 1870 till 1918. (The small number of Germans from the Austrian Empire and from the Baltic provinces have been classified among those who came from Germany.) It must, however, be borne in mind that the linguistic border between Germany and Holland during the 17th and 18th centuries did not exactly coincide with the political one, and that the domain of the Dutch language and culture extended far into German territory, especially in East Friesland and on the lower Rhine, so that men like the Reverends Petrus Kalden, Meent Borcherds and Arnoldus Mauritius Meiring or colonists from places like Wesel, Emmerich, Emden and Lingen can to all intents and purposes be regarded as Hollanders. We refer in this connection to the articles of J. W. Muller: “De uitbreiding van
ons taalgebied in de zeventiende eeuw” (“De Nieuwe Taalgids,” vol. XV, pp. 161ff.) and of M. Bokhorst: “Nederlands of Duits? Oor die afkoms van die Kaapse Immigrante uit die Grensgebiede”(“Historiese Studies,” Jaargang 2, nrs. 1 en 2).

Manuscript Sources In the Cape Government Archives.

Generale Monsterrollen.
Monsterrollen van Vrye Lieden.
Requesten en Nominatiën.
Dagregisters (cit. as Journal).
Testamenten (in Cape Archives and in Stellenbosch Archives).
Inventarissen en Taxatiën.
Civiele Processtukken.
Criminele Processtukken.
Requesten – Raad van Justitie.

In the Archives of the Dutch Reformed Church in Cape Town.

Notulen van Kerkeraad.

Doopboeken and Trouboeken in the Archives of the Churches

of Stellenbosch, Paarl and Swellendam.

Printed Sources

Leo Fouché, Het Dagboek van Adam Tas, 1705-1706. London 1914. Cit. as Adam Tas.
E. G. Godée-Molsbergen, Reizen in Zuid Afrika in de Hollandse Tijd. ‘s Gravenhage 1916 ff. Cit. as Godée-Molsbergen.
Kaapse Archiefstukken. Kaapstad 1926-1938.
Kaapse Plakkaatboek, 1652-1707. I. Deel. Kaapstad 1944.
Bydraes (in Afrikaans, Engels of  Nederlands) moet gestuur word aan die Sekretaris, Argief, Koningin Victoriastraat, Kaapstad. Die verskillende dele van die Argief-jaarboek is verkrygbaar by die Staatsdrukker in Pretoria en Kaapstad. Prys per deel, gebonde, 12s. 6d.; ongebonde, 10s.
H. C. V. Leibbrandt, Letters despatched 1652-62, vol. III. (Precis of the Archives of the Cape of  Good Hope.) Cit. as Leibbrandt, Letters.
Requesten (Memorials). Vols. I and II. (Precis of the Archives.) The Defence of W. A. van der Stel. Cape Town 1897.
H. Lichtenstein, Reisen im südlichen Africa in den Jahren 1803, 1804, 1805 und 1806. Erster Theil Berlin 1811, Zweiter Theil Berlin 1812. Cit. as Lichtenstein, Reisen.
E. Moritz, Die Deutschen am Kap unter der holländischen Herrschaft 1652-806. Weimar 1938. Cit. as Moritz.
M. Morrison, The Silversmiths and Goldsmiths of the Cape of Good Hope 1652-1850. Johannesburg 1936. Cit. as Morrison.
J. Prinz, Das Württembergische Kapregiment 1786-1808. Stuttgart 1932. Cit. as Prinz.
W. Schmidt-Pretoria, Der Kulturanteil der Deutschen am Aufbau des Burenvolkes. Hanover 1938. Cit. as W. Schmidt.
C. Spoelstra, V.D.M., Bouwstoffen voor de Geschiedenis der Nederduitsch-Gereformeerde Kerken in Zuid-Afrika. Deel I, Amsterdam 1906. Deel II, Amsterdam 1907. Cit. as Spoelstra.
G. McCall Theal, Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten No. 2. Kaapstad 1896. Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten over Zuid-Afrika. Verzameld in den Haag en Berlijn. Deel III (London) 1911. Cit. as Theal, Belangrijke Historische Dokumenten.
History and Ethnography of Africa South of the Zambesi before 1795. London 1922. Cit. as Theal, History. Records of the Cape Colony 1793-1796. London 1897. Cit. as Theal, Records.
C. C. de Villiers, Geslacht-Register der Oude Kaapsche Familiën. Kaapstad 1893-1894. Cit. as G.R.
J. van Riebeeck, Dagverhaal van Jan van Riebeeck, Commandeur aan de Kaap de Goede Hoop. Ed. by the Historisch Genootschap, Contributions (in Afrikaans, English or High Dutch) to be sent to the Secretary, Archives, Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town. The various volumes of the Archives Year Book can be ordered from the Government Printer at Pretoria and Cape Town. Price per volume, bound, 12s. 6d.; unbound, 10s.

List of Abbreviations

*: born.
~. married.
+ : deceased.
arr. arrived.
b. : received burgher rights.
Begr. Verg. : Stamboek van het Begrafenisgenootschap der Europeanen, begonnen 1 Jan. 1796. (Cape Archives.)
Bdlr. : Boedelrekeningen.
B.S. : Papers of the Burgher Senate of Cape Town.
of the C. : of the Cape.
C.A. : Cape Government Archives.
Death Notice : Death Notice in the Master’s Office in Cape Town.
em. sl. : emancipated slave.
GMR : Generale Monsterrollen.
G.R. : C. C. de Villiers, Geslacht-Register der oude Kaapsche Familiën.
Inv. O.C. : Inventarissen – Weeskamer.
Letters desp. : Letters despatched by the Council of Policy.
Letters rec. : Letters received by the Council of Policy.
MR. : Monsterrollen.
Miscell. Estates O.C. : Miscellaneous Estates filed with the Orphan Chamber.
rel. from serv. : released from service.
Res. Resolutions of  the Council of Policy.
Rq.  Requests.
S behind a name indicates that there exists a signature of the person.
sa. : sailor.
so. : soldier.
Test. O.C. : Copies of wills filed with the Orphan Chamber.
V.C. : Verbatim Copy.
V.R.S. : Publications of the van Riebeeck Society.

A date behind the name of a child indicates the date of baptism.
The dates of baptisms and marriages refer to the Baptismal and Marriage
Registers in the Archives of the Dutch Reformed Church in Cape Town, the other references refer to sources in the Government Archives in Cape Town, the dates of death to the Death Register, unless otherwise indicated. The numbers of the documents in the Government Archives are the old ones, some of them have lately been changed.


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