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Pieter Johannes Booyens
Died 1832

Sophia Aletta Jacoba Fredrika Snyman
Died 1849

Peter Johannes Ernst Booyens

Maria Susanna Jacoba Stander

Petrus Johannes Booyens

General farmer at Olyvenhoutskloof farm outside Dysselsdorp
Born 6 September 1871 1
Baptised 1 October 1871, Oudtshoorn 2
Died 5 December 1953, Calitzdorp 3


Petrus Johannes and his younger sister Sophia are the only surviving children of Petrus Johannes Ernst Booyens. The young Petrus' early life is on Rietvley farm outside De Rust, which does not yet have its own Dutch Reformed parish. The head of the Booyens family on that farm is Matthys Johannes*1849, grandson of Pieter Johannes Booyens*1780.

On 28 September 1888, at the age of 17, Petrus is confirmed in the Dutch Reformed parish of Oudsthoorn and is introduced to to the congregation the very next day [#1]. Since Petrus is a few years older than the oldest son of Matthys Johannes*1849, he is fawned on by Matthys Johannes, who treats him very much as an own son. When Petrus' own father, Petrus Johannes Ernst Booyens, dies in 1897, Petrus, now 26 years old, remains on a section of the farm Rietvley.

Petrus features in Chapters 14, 15, 16, 18 and 19 of the book AmaBhulu.

On 4 January 1898 Petrus marries Elizabeth Petronella Wilhelmina Snyman, the neighbour's daughter. "Bettie", as she is known, gives Petrus nine (possibly ten) children. By now, the family is on the farm Olyvenhoutskloof, immediately outside Dysselsdorp. Within the family, it is said that young Gabriël, the third child, is one of a set of twins. By the Afrikaner naming convention, the other one of the twins, if she were indeed the third daughter, would be named Elizabeth Petronella Wilhelmina for Petrus' wife. The fact that the next daughter is named Anna Sophia, suggests that the name of the mother has been either omitted or (more likely) used for a child that died young. To date, no formal record of the birth or death of Bettie Jr. has been found, and we rely here totally on the claims of family members.

When Bettie dies on Olyvenhoutskloof during the birth of her last child Willem Gerhardus, Petrus is left with seven children under the age of eleven years to care for. This is when Bettie's cousin travels from the north of the Cape Province to marry the stricken Petrus Johannes. By a quirk of fate, this cousin has the identical triple names of his first wife, because they not only share the same grandmother, but both Betties are first daughters, named for that grandmother, Elizabeth Petronella Wilhelmina Destro, daughter of an Afrikaner farmgirl from Caledon and an Italian soldier in the 60th Regiment of the British Army who had taken discharge at the Cape in 1817.

By the early 1930s, Petrus moves with his family to a smallholding farm immediately south of Calitzdorp. Here he grows fruit near the Gamka River and keeps ostriches in the drier scrubland away from the river. With all of his children out of the house, he eventually retires to Calitzdorp town, near his son Ben (Bernardus).

Petrus is known as a strong Christian man of conservative convictions and plays a significant role in the matters of the local church. His loses his second wife in 1948. Petrus dies on 5 December 1953 at the age of 82 in the town of Calitzdorp, where he lies buried with his second Bettie.

For the references, see below#

Married (1) 4 January 1898 at Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, South Africa 4

Elizabeth Petronella Wilhelmina Snyman1878-1911
of Olijvenhoutskloof in the district of Oudtshoorn 5

Maria Susanna Jacoba
1899 -

Wilhelmina Petronella Elizabeth
1901 -

Gabriël Johannes
1902 -

Elizabeth Petronella Wilhelmina
Born and died

Anna Sophia
1903 -

Petrus Johannes Hendrik
1905 -

Johanna Cecilia
1906 -

Jacobus Philippus
1908 -

Bernardus Jacobus
1909 -

Willem Gerhardus
1911 -

Married (2) 18 October 1911 at Oudtshoorn magistrate's court by special licence 42

Elizabeth Petronella Wilhelmina Snyman1881-1948

No children were born from this marriage

Children of Petrus Johannes Booyens and Elizabeth Petronella Wilhelmina Snyman

Maria Susanna Jacoba Booyens 1899-1969
Born 16 November 1899, Olijvenhoutskloof farm, De Rust 6
Baptised 17 December 1899, Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, South Africa 7
Died 24 March 1969, Kimberley 8

Wilhelmina Petronella Elizabeth Booyens 1901-1969
of Republiekstraat, Lichtenburg 9
Born 18 February 1901 10
Baptised 9 June 1901, De Rust, Western Cape, South Africa 11
Died After 1969 12

Gabriël Johannes Booyens 1902-1905
Born 15 July 1902 13
Baptised 2 November 1902, De Rust, Western Cape, South Africa 14
Died 21 March 1905, Spring Grove, Ward 5, District Oudtshoorn 15

Notes: In the 21st century, there has been much disagreement about the birth and death of this young man. However, his Cape Colony "medical" death notice has now been found, as has his baptism. Family members maintain that he was one of a set of twins. No record of such a twin sister has ever been found, though the omission of the mother's name from among the children is a very strong clue that a child is missing from the formal list. Around 7 March 1905, Gabriël contracted mumps and struggled for 14 days, before succumbing on 21 March 1905, despite the best efforts of Dr. Pretorius. Young Gabriël never saw much of life, dying at the age of just on three years.

Elizabeth Petronella Wilhelmina Booyens 16 Born and died 1902
Born possibly 15 July 1902 17
Baptised no record 18
Died possibly ca.1902 19

Notes: There is no formal evidence of the existence of this child, though remaining family members insist that the child was born and died young. The most persuasive evidence is the absence of the mother's name from among her children; a peculiar phenomenon indeed within the Afrikaner culture. The next daughter is named for the mother's eldest sister, strongly suggesting that a daughter bearing the mother's own name has died in infancy. The absence of a baptism for such a daughter suggests the child died in 1902, either at or soon after birth. A formal affadavit drawn up in the 1960s by a stepson of the eldest sister, Maria Susanna Johanna, lists the names of two siblings who died in infancy. The name of the putative Elizabeth is not among these.

Anna Sophia Booyens 1903-1987
of Angelierstraat 12, Homelake Uitbreiding, Randfontein 20
Born 22 November 1903 21
Baptised 10 January 1904, De Rust 22
Died 14 October 1987, Krugersdorp 23

Petrus Johannes Hendrik Booyens 1905-1989
of Chestnutstraat 6, Algoapark, Port Elizabeth 24
Born 9 May 1905 25
Baptised 11 June 1905, De Rust, Western Cape, South Africa 26
Died 19 October 1989, Klerksdorp 27

Johanna Cecilia Booyens 1906-1907
Born 16 November 1906 28
Baptised 13 January 1907, De Rust, Western Cape, South Africa 29
Died 7 April 1907 30

Notes: An affidavit submitted on behalf of the family at the death of eldest sister Maria lists any brothers or sisters that died young. That list contains Gabriel and Johanna, but quite incorrectly suggests Johanna is born in 1902. This proves that by 1969 the family had unfortunately lost its own information from the first decade of the century.

Jacobus Philippus Booyens 1908-1993
of 39 Kirkwood Street, North End, Port Elizabeth 31
Born 7 February 1908 32
Baptised 19 April 1908, De Rust, Western Cape, South Africa 33
Died 13 February 1993, Port Elizabeth 34
Buried Forest Hill, Port Elizabeth 35

Bernardus Jacobus Booyens 1909-1985
Born 12 June 1909, Le Roux Station, De Rust 36
Baptised 25 July 1909, De Rust, Western Cape, South Africa 37
Died 9 November 1985, East London 38

Willem Gerhardus Booyens 1911-1986
of Elsemereweg 16, Kimberley 39
Born 5 March 1911 40
Died 3 December 1986, Kimberley 41

Notes: His mother dies in labour. It leaves father Petrus Johannes with 8 children of ages ranging from 2 hours to 11 years. It is under these circumstances that his late wife's cousin, ironically bearing her identical triple name, travels down from the north of the Cape Colony and marries Petrus. The couple then raises all but Willem, who is placed with the new wife's family in Barkley West. The young man is indeed referred to in the Liquidation and Distribution Account of his late mother, but is as yet unnamed at that time.

Children of Petrus Johannes Booyens and Elizabeth Petronella Wilhelmina Snyman

No children were born from this marriage

# References for the NOTES of Petrus Johannes Booyens

#1. Little Karoo Dutch Reformed Church Membership Register (courtesy of W.P. Jordaan & Alta le Roux), Entry No.1246

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