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Barent Booyens
Died Circa 1801

Elizabeth Catharina Strydom
Died 1814

Mattheus Booyens
Died Circa 1816

Anna Gouws
Died 1843

Barend Matthys Booyens

of the Traka in the Beaufort District 1
Sheep Farmer 2
Born ca.30 March 1785, Cape Colony 3
Baptised 29 April 1786, Drakenstein 4
Died 20 July 1869, Bakoond, District Beaufort 5


The first time we find Barend beyond the baptisms of his first two children is as Barend Matthys Boyens on the 1812 Graaff-Reinet Opgaaf where he is listed unnumbered at the very back of the opgaaf under "Nagekomen Opgaven" (late returns), along with wife Elizabeth Venter, one son & one daughter, one Hottentot girl under 14 years, 16 head of cattle, 61 sheep, and a wagon with 8 draught oxen [#1].

The 1814 Opgaaf (the book is dated 1815) done between February and March 1815 shows he is in the Traka wyk [#2] with his wife, one daughter and one son. His uncle Petrus Johannes also lives in the district, as does his eldest sister, Elisabeth Catharina and her husband David Frederik Senekal.

Barend and Elizabeth eventually have three sons and five daughters, the last three of whom are baptized in the new Beaufort Parish. Only his youngest son will remain in the Cape Colony, eldest brother Matthys trekking north to the Boer Republics. Barent will live out his life on the plains of the South Karoo, between the Swartberg Mountains and the Nuweveld Mountains or, as they are called further to the east, the Sneeuberge. The view in the image below, taken from the lookout pint at the "Valley of Desolation" near Graaff-Reinet, covers that plain.

His eldest daughter, Johanna Jacomina, better known as "Jenny", marries a Scot named James Nehemia Wright, a British Army soldier who takes discharge at the Cape in 1816. The marriage in 1823 is the earliest in the Booyens family tree between any member of the family and a person of British descent. James will remain a staunch member of the Dutch Reformed Church throughout his life and the baptisms of their children may be followed in the baptism books of the Beaufort Dutch Reformed parish.

In 1824 the Opgaafrol of the Beaufort district [#3] places Barend in the Traka wyk with one son and three daughters. They have 6 slaves, 553 sheep and one wagon with 10 draught oxen. He also has some 41 goats. The 1826 Opgaaf [#4] shows them as having one son and three daughters, eight "Hottentots", one wagon with ten draught oxen, 500 sheep and 40 goats. The 1828 Beaufort Opgaaf still places them in the Traka [#5]. Similarly, the tattered 1829 Opgaafrol [#6] has him in the Beaufort District. He now has a wagon, 6 oxen, and 105 sheep. His son Matthys has a separate entry.

Barend makes a brief appearance in Chapter 9 of the book AmaBhulu.

For the references, see below#

Married 3 October 1807 at Swellendam 6

Elizabeth Johanna Venter Died 1870

Johanna Jacomina
1808 -

1809 -

Anna Catharina Susanna
1813 -

Elizabeth Johanna

Martha Magdalena
1818 -

Magdalena Maria
1822 -

Jan Andries
1825 -

Barend Matthys
1831 -

Children of Barend Matthys Booyens and Elizabeth Johanna Venter

Johanna Jacomina Booyens 1808-1871
Born 24 January 1808, De Willigen Houten River at the Kammanassie Mountain 7
Baptised 5 March 1809, Swellendam 8
Died 9 December 1871, Beaufort District 9

Notes: The 1826 Beaufort District Opgaaf [#1] has them living in the Traka northeast of the later Prins Albert. His first name is given as "Jacobus", the Latin/Afrikaans/Dutch form of "James". They have no children as yet, but they do have some wagons and horses, as well as 6 oxen and 5 breeding cattle. In a countryside made for sheep, he has none. The 1828 Beaufort District Opgaaf [#2] has them living in the Traka with one son, 2117 sheep, 53 goats, a cart and 8 oxen.
Johanna Jacomina, better known as "Jenny", makes a brief appearance in Chapter 9 of the book AmaBhulu.

#1. Beaufort District Opgaaf, Cape Archive Vol J12, (Volume not dated, but signed off to be 1826), LINK , Image 104, Folio 32, Entry 77
#2. Beaufort District Opgaaf, Cape Archive Vol J13, LINK Image 174 Entry 46 Folio 28

 x Married 15 November 1823 Beaufort-Wes
James Nehemia Wright 1799-1872
Born 31 October 1799, Lanark, Glasgow, Scotland
Died After 1 July 1872, Beaufort-Wes

Notes: James Nehemia Wright is enlisted in the 72nd Regiment of Foot; originally called the Seaforth Highlanders. This unit was part of both British invasions of the Cape of Good Hope; 1795 and 1806. It will go on to fight in Nxele's (5th Frontier) War in 1819 and Hintsa's (6th Frontier) War in 1835. On 20 May 1816 he is discharged and granted the right to remain at the Cape. At this point the regiment has lost its designation as a "Highland" regiment, but James is indeed a Scot from Glasgow. He eventually settles at Van Aardtsfontein in the Prince Albert district and marries young Johanna Jacomina "Jenny" Booyens in Beaufort in late 1823; she is three months short of 16 years old. The baptisms of their children may be followed for years through the Beaufort Books of the Dutch Reformed Church from 1826 to 1840, together with other Booyens baptisms.

Matthys Booyens 1809-1888
Born 16 September 1809, Schilpadbeen
Baptised 27 November 1809, Swellendam
Died 6 January 1888, Groot Constantia, Hoopstad

 x Married 21 June 1829 Beaufort-Wes
Catharina Elizabeth Esterhuizen Died 1880

Anna Catharina Susanna Booyens 1813-1884
of Beaufort District 10
Born 25 January 1813, Antjesfontein, Swartberg 11
Baptised 1 August 1813, Graaff-Reinet 12
Died 4 May 1884, Tweefontein, Transvaal 13

 x Married 24 April 1829 Beaufort-Wes 14
Wynand Carel Bezuidenhout Born Circa 1808
Born Circa 1808

Elizabeth Johanna Booyens Born 1816
Born 22 March 1816, Graaff-Reinet District 15
Baptised 15 September 1816, Paarl 16

Notes: Beyond her baptism, we have no further information about Elizabeth. No marriage, child baptisms have been found, nor any death notice has been found. We are focred to assume, in the absence of better information, that this young lady died young.

Martha Magdalena Booyens 1818-1839
Born 14 November 1818, Elandsfontein, District of Beaufort 17
Baptised 11 October 1819, Paarl, Cape Colony 18
Died 22 March 1839, Middelwater, District Zwartberg 19

Notes: Martha marries Casper van Zyl but dies at the very young age of 20 years, less than three years into the marriage.

 x Married 5 June 1836 Beaufort-Wes
Casper Johannes Jacobus van Zyl Born 1813
Born 11 September 1813, Buffelsvalley, Cango, District George 20
Baptised 13 February 1814, George 21

Magdalena Maria Booyens 1822-1879
Born 15 February 1822, Zwartberg 22
Baptised 2 June 1822, Beaufort District 23
Died 1879, Cape Colony

 x Married 28 April 1839 Beaufort-Wes
Jan Abraham Botha Born 1815
Born 24 November 1815
Baptised 3 March 1816, George

Jan Andries Booyens 1825-1870
Born 9 October 1825
Baptised 29 January 1826, Beaufort District
Died Before 1870 24

Barend Matthys Booyens 1831-1904
Born 3 August 1831, Wagenmanskraal, Willowmore
Baptised 3 October 1831, Beaufort District
Died 26 January 1904, Venterskloof, Klaarstroom

 x Married (1) 24 June 1850 Prince Albert
Andriesa Susanna Catharina van Wyk 1830-1896
 x Married (2) 28 December 1897 Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, South Africa
Maria Susanna Jacoba Stander 1835-1920

# References for the NOTES of Barend Matthys Booyens

#1. Graaff-Reinet Opgaaf 1812 J138: p.129 [3rd unnumbered entry from top of page] Actually dated 5 March 1813 and covering an opgaaf done from 1 February to 9 March: LINK, (image 66)

#2. Graaff-Reinet Opgaaf 1814 J142: p.91 [entry 50]: LINK (image 47)

#3. Beaufort Opgaaf/Census 1824 J11: p.28 [entry 19]: LINK (image 29)

#4. Beaufort Opgaaf/Census 1826 J12: p.32 [entry 67]: LINK (image 104)

#5. Beaufort Opgaaf/Census 1828 J13: p.28 [entry 42]: LINK (image 174)

#6. Beaufort Opgaaf/Census 1829 J14 (While the actual tattered Journal is stamped "Graaff-Reinet" and "1820", some documents inside bear the date 1829 and certainly some pages have the names of districts, such as Gouph, that were part of the Beaufort district in later years): No page numbers, no clearly marked sections; entry 80 in the first set of 100 entries: LINK (image 8).

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