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Barent Booyens
Died Circa 1801

Elizabeth Catharina Strydom
Died 1814

Mattheus Booyens
Died Circa 1816

Anna Gouws
Died 1843

Marthinus Gerhardus Booyens

Born Circa 1801, Cape Colony 1
Baptised 1 May 1803, Stellenbosch, Cape 2
Died 8 May 1870, PietPotgietersrus, Transvaal 3


The first time we locate Marthinus after his baptism is at his marriage on 23 November 1823 to Catharina Maria Janse van Rensburg. He and his immediately older brother, Daniel Jan Andries, have married two sisters.

The next time we locate him, is on 15 March 1825 at Uitenhage when he baptises his first child in the Dutch Reformed Church parish in town. Roughly eighteen months later, on 29 October 1826, he and Catharina baptise their son Matthys Marthinus in the Anglican Church in Grahamstown. Their surname is corrupted to "Boeyeng" in the process. On this occassion his residence is given as Albany. That is the district east of Port Elizabeth. While the portion south of the Zuurberg is not typically Afrikaner country at this time, it is the region where both Piet Uys and Piet Retief will reside at various times before departing as leaders of the Great Trek in 1836/37.

On 22 November 1829 he baptises in the Grahamstown Anglican Church once more. This time his surname is given as "Boosen". After this, we altogether lose track of him for eighteen years.

And then, out of the blue on 30 June 1847, a widowed Afrikaner Boer with name given as Martinus Boyens baptizes five of his eight children in the Anglican Church of Grahamstown. The entries in the baptism books state: "Parents: Martinus & the late Catherina Boyens; Occupation: Farmer; Residence: Sunday's River". For some or other reason, his last daughter born around 1 April 1846 is not baptised on this day. We suspect the rest of the family may have taken her in, as she is too young to be looked after by a single male farmer in tough country.

The Sundays River starts out in the Sneeuberg above Graaff-Reinet. From Graaff-Reinet, which lies in a huge bend in the river, it cuts southward through the harsh plain south of the town toward the Swartruggens. After passing through the high "Money plant" studded ridges, it runs through the Karoo town of Jansenville situated at their southern foot of the ridge. From here, it heads southeastward over the euphorbia covered Noorsveld to cut through the Zuurberg at Perdepoort to the 21st century citrus town of Kirkwood. From there it heads for a point just east of Port Elizabeth to mouth out in the Indian Ocean. Given the history of the Booyens family in the general area of Jansenvlle and further west and southwest, we conclude Marthinus is based somewhere near the 21st century location of Jansenville. It was at this spot that his father Mattheus had his reported encounter in the previous century with a Khoekhoe woman who had killed her own child [See Mattheus' page]. Why he would baptise in the Grahamstown Anglican Church rather than the Dutch Reformed Church in Graaff-Reinet remains a mystery. For those not familiar with this part of the world, we show here a picture taken on the drainage plain of the Sunday's (actually Zondaghs) River, better known as the Camdeboo, south of Graaff-Reinet. The picture clearly shows the unique contrasts of this part of the world.

The image below shows Grahamstown's Church Square in 1849, as seen through the eyes of artist and traveller Thomas Baines. St George's church--later Cathedral--is in the background. Its imposing tower was built much later. At this point the church has not yet been formally consecrated.

It may well be that Martinus has plans to leave the Cape Colony and therefore baptises the children. We make this statement, because two years later, on 24 May 1849, he appears to be witness to a baptism by his eldest daughter Magdalena in Smithfield in the southeast Free State [#1]. However, this may also be his 16-year old son Marthinus Gerhardus Johannes, though 16 is a bit young for a witness. We do not trace Marthinus*1801 at any further baptisms by his own children. He essentially disappears.

On 13 May 1870 a sparsely completed Death Notice is filed in the Northern Transvaal town of Pietpotgietersrust. It relates to a man named Martinus Booyens estimated to be "61" years old and who has died five days earlier at Marabastad, some distance to the north. No names of parents, spouses or children are known to the individual completing the notice; only the surnames of the spouses of three daughters and the fact that there is a son somewhere. The surnames of those sons-in-law identify the departed as none other than Marthinus Gerhardus Booyens*1801, the last son of Mattheus Booyens and the man who defines the fifth wing of the present Booyens family.

For the references, see below#

Married 23 November 1823 at Graaff-Reinet 4

Catharina Maria Janse van Rensburg Born 1806

Magdalena Catharina
1824 -

Matthys Marthinus
1826 -

Anna Marthina

Marthinus Gerhardus Johannes
b. c1833

Catharina Maria
1839 -

Barend Pieter
c1840 -

Maria Marthina
c1841 -

Elizabeth Johanna
1842 -

Cecilia Magdalena Wilhelmina
1846 -

Children of Marthinus Gerhardus Booyens and Catharina Maria Janse van Rensburg

Magdalena Catharina Booyens 1824-1870
Born 12 September 1824 5
Baptised 15 March 1825, Uitenhage 6
Died 4 June 1870, Vrystaat 7

Notes: On 1 April 1863 Okker and Magdalena draw up a will [#1]. They eventually sign and date it in "District Albert". That means they are in the North-Eastern Cape Colony.

#1. Free State Archives : Death Notice and Estate documentation for Magdalena Catharina Booyens: VAB MHG Ref B240 ONLINE: LINK

 x Married
Ockert Matthys Michiel Brits Born Circa 1819
Born Circa 1819

Notes: The son of Pieter Jacobus Brits and Maria Hermiena Brits.

After Magadlena's death Ockert remarries at the age of 57 to Anna Helena Ras [#1]

#1. Marriage Book of the Dutch Reformed Parish of Kroonstad: LINK

Matthys Marthinus Booyens 1826-1887
Born 14 March 1826, Albany District, Cape Colony
Baptised 29 October 1826, Grahamstown, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Died 6 September 1887, Harrismith, Vrystaat

 x Married
Zacharia Geertruida Rabie 1842-1928

Anna Marthina Booyens Born 1829
Born Before 22 November 1829
Baptised 22 November 1829, Grahamstown Anglican Church 8

Marthinus Gerhardus Johannes Booyens Born Circa 1833
Born Circa 1833
Baptised 30 June 1847, Grahamstown, Anglican Church

 x Married 28 December 1856 Cradock
Johanna Catharina Elizabeth van Zyl

Catharina Maria Booyens 1839-1907
Born June 1839
Baptised 30 June 1847, Grahamstown, Anglican Church 9
Died 3 August 1907, Pretoria, Transvaal

 x Married (1) Circa 1860
William Henry Lazenby Born 1826
Smith, Pretoria (1880)
Born 1826, Lancastershire, England, U.K.
Died 9 May, Transvaal

 x Married (2) Circa 1860
Jacobus Abraham Adriaan Botes Died 1893
Died 1893

Barend Pieter Booyens Circa 1840-1921
Born Circa January 1840, Sondagsrivier, Cape Colony
Baptised 30 June 1847, Grahamstown, Anglican Church
Died 2 December 1921, Pretoria, Transvaal

 x Married (1) Before November 1861
Hendrina Hermina Rabe 1844-1862
 x Married (2) Before 2 April 1871
Johanna Adriana van der Westhuysen Circa 1850-1881
 x Married (3) 5 January 1883 Heidelberg, Transvaal
Judith Susara Margaretha Booyens 1860-1887
 x Married (4) 1888 Standerton
Maria Isabella Janse van Nieuwenhuzen Circa 1864-1939

Maria Marthina Booyens Circa 1841-1914
Born Circa October 1841, Cape Colony 10
Baptised 30 June 1847, Grahamstown, Anglican Church 11
Died 4 September 1914, Johannesburg, Transvaal 12

 x Married Circa 1857 Harrismith 13
William Henry Austin 1840-1906
Born 2 August 1840, Grahamstown 14
Baptised 27 September 1840, Fort Beaufort 15
Died 6 July 1906, Johannesburg 16

Elizabeth Johanna Booyens 1842-1913
Born 1842, Graaff-Reinet 17
Baptised 30 June 1847, Grahamstown, Anglican Church 18
Died 27 July 1913, Pretoria 19

 x Married (1) unknown date Unknown place
David Petrus Prinsloo Died 1867
Died 1867, On Commando 20

 x Married (2) 15 December 1869 (unconfirmed) Pretoria 21
Hendrik Willem Brouwer

Cecilia Magdalena Wilhelmina Booyens 1846-1884
Born 1 April 1846, Graaff-Reinet 22
Died 29 October 1884, Harrismith, Aberfeldy 23

Notes: Cecilia is born in the Cape Colony in the district of Graaff-Reinet about 1 April 1846, as calculated from her stated age at death. She is not baptised along with her preceding five siblings on 30 June 1847 in Grahamstown. Our speculation is that she was too little to be cared for by her father and was taken in by family.

No record can be found of her early life and by the time we next meet her, she is married to Coert Johannes Vorster and living on the farm Rietspruit in the Caledon River district of the Free State Republic. They draw up their will on 24 June 1873 at Wepener in that district [#1].

Cecilia dies on the farm Aberfeldy near Harrismith on 29 October 1884. The spot was earlier known as Elandsrivierbrug and has been a railway siding since 1902. The distribution account is drawn up and signed in nearby Harrismith on 19 January 1885. She has given Coert ten children. The fact that Cecilia's last child is unbaptised at the time of her death suggests that Cecilia dies in childbirth [#2]. The child is eventually baptized in Bethlehem on 8 February 1885 and named for Cecilia [#3]. The date of birth of the baby girl is indeed the same as the date of death of her mother.

By 10 July 1887 Coert is baptizing his first child by a new wife [4].

#1. Free State Archives, VAB MHG Ref. B744 (Will): LINK
#2. Free State Archives, VAB MHG Ref. B744 (Death Notice): LINK
#3. Baptism book of the Dutch Reformed Parish of Bethlehem: LINK
#4. Baptism book of the Dutch Reformed Parish of Harrismith: LINK

 x Married 9 April 1866 (unconfirmed) Middelburg KP
Coert Johannes Vorster Born 1847
Born 17 August 1847, Middelburg KP

# References for the NOTES of Marthinus Gerhardus Booyens

#1. NG Church - Baptism Book of the Parish of Smithfield: LINK

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