Contact the Author                |                Booyens Genealogy Home Page 
The surnames in the Booyens family tree  | The names of the people in the Booyens family  | The sources from which the Booyens information is drawn

Barent Booyens
Died Circa 1801

Elizabeth Catharina Strydom
Died 1814

Mattheus Booyens
Died Circa 1816

Anna Gouws
Died 1843

Pieter Johannes Booyens

of Keurfontein farm, Upper-Olifantsrivier Wyk of the George District 1
Crop Farmer and later Cattle Rancher 2
Baptised 12 October 1783, Cape Town 3
Died 4 August 1832, Ghoup 4


In 1803 we find Pieter in the Opgaafrol (Census) of the Swelendam "Colonie", which extends all the way to the Groot/Gamtoos River, and includes the Schilpadbeen area. He is around 20 years old [#1], single, with no children, and owns one horse and 26 head of cattle [#2]. Regrettably, that census does not identify the location of the individuals over this vast "colonie".

Pieter Johannes spends his earlier years at Schilpadbeen in the Ghwarriepoort southwest of the present Willowmore. In the 21st century it is practically on the border between the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces. The Ghwarriepoort is generally seen as the gateway to the Little Karoo.The Graaff-Reinet "Colonie" is later divided into a number of smaller units, one of which is the Beaufort District, centered on the later Beaufort-West. Pieter later moves to the Gouph wyk ("-wick") of the Beaufort District.

He first marries Susanna Human, daughter of his sister Magdalena's sister-in-law, Anna Bezuidenhout. There is a single son and three daughters from this marriage. Susanna dies in 1820 at the age of just 26 on the farm Keurfontein on the southern bank of the Upper Olifantsrivier, at the foot of the Great Swartberg [#3]. The farm is 10 km southwest of the present Towerwater Poort, where the railway line to the Cape passes through the Great Swartberg mountain range. This is crop growing country between the Swartberg and the Kammanassie Mountain (below). This is a world of aloes and the plant known in North America as the Money Plant (Plakkieboom), which grows here to profusion.

Pieter remarries to Sophia Aletta Jacoba Fredrika Snyman, who gives him two sons and three daughters, and eventually outlives him to remarry twice, first to Christiaan Jacobus Behr, and then to Leendert Barend Deysel. Of the two sons, only the first, Pieter Johannes Ernst, has progeny alive in the 21st century.

Pieter briefly features in Chapters 9 and 13 of the book AmaBhulu. Sophia's difficult grandfather, Coenraad Bezuidenhout, appears in Chapter 4. He is very active on the Eastern Frontier of the Cape Colony where he is accused of being the reason for the Second Frontier War. A price is eventually put on his head, dead or alive, during the so-called Van Jaarsveld Rebellion of 1799, treated in Chapter 5. Coenraad's younger brothers are central figures in the infamous Slagtersnek insurrection of 1815, treated in detail in Chapter 7 of the book. Coenraad's ancestor, Wynand Wynandsz Bezuidenhout was the leader of the first party of Western men to meet Black people overland in 1702 in Chapter 3. Pieter has certainly married into a bloodline steeped in the complex and volatile history of the Frontier.

When Pieter eventually dies in the Gouph "wyk" of the Beaufort district--the plain between Prins albert and Beaufort West--no one notices that his earlier sale of Wilgebosch farm (adjoining Schilpadbeen) to Ignatius Willem Ferreira is not accompanied by formal transfer of the title deed. The Master's Office in Cape Town duly issues a notice on 31 May 1836 to heirs and creditors that the Distribution account is laid open for four weeks [#4].

Decades later, in 1881, the missing title deed leads to a major commotion when the estate of Ferreira is settled and it is discovered that he does not have evidence of title to his own farm. In the process of attempting to address the situation, no death notice can be found for Pieter Booyens either. In consequence, the following statement is extracted from Pieter's eldest son, Matthys Johannes [#5]:

Reit vlei de strek outs hoorng 9 maart

Ek on der ge tee ken de verklaar bey dese dat ik kan sweer dat myn vader Pieter Booijen gestorven is en het jaar 1833 en dat myn moeder S.A.J.F De├┐sel wede van Peiter Boeysen is gestorven in het jaar 1849 in Kamnaasei in dat in de vaaders boedel en ook en den moeders boedel geen exeke teeur was ik was self op mijn moeders begrafnes tegenwoo[rdig]

Rietvley M.J. Booijjens

District of oudtshoorn

9th March 1881

Ultimately, the authorities, however, do not accept this statement as suitable evidence. By 1891, none less than "Onze Jan" Hofmeyr, Master of the Supreme Court of the Cape Colony, has to call a meeting of the families and interested parties at the Magistrate's Office in Willowmore to thrash out the details of the Booyens and Ferreira estates [#6]:


Master's Office, Cape Town,

12th October, 1891.

THE Next of Kin and Creditors of Pieter Booijens or Booysens, formerly of Wilgebosch, of the George District, deceased, are required to take notice that a Meeting of the Next of Kin and Creditors of the Deceased, and subsequently deceased Spouse S. A. J. F. Booyens, born Snijman, and all others whom these presents-may concern, will be held before the Resident Magistrate, at his Office, at Willowmore, on Tuesday, the 24th November next, at 10 o'clock in the forenoon precisely, and all such persona as aforesaid are hereby required to attend at the time and place afore-said, then and there to see some Person or Persons selected by such Magistrate, for approval by the Master of the Supreme Court, as fit and proper to be by the said Master appointed Executor or Executors Dative to the Estate of such deceased Person as aforesaid.


Master of the Supreme Court

In reality, Pieter dies on 4 August 1832 somewhere in the Gouph district and the death notice is indeed eventually located [#7]. At the time he is incorrectly identified as "Booijsens" and "Booysen". This all-pervasive switching of the family name by all and sundry from "Booyens" (and its phonetic variants) to "Booysen" (and its phonetic variants) is the source of much frustration, both for the living and for those dealing with the genealogy of the dead.

In the 21st century there are several Ferreira graves on Schilpadbeen near the homestead, but none marked "Booyens". Indeed, when Pieter's mother Anna dies in 1843, it is on the nearby farm Georgida of Ockert Brits d'Oude [#8].

For the references, see below#

Married (1) 3 June 1809 at Swellendam 5

Susanna Human Died 1820

Anna Maria
1811 -

Matthys Johannes
1813 -

Susanna Elizabeth

Petronella Susanna

Married (2) 12 May 1822 at Graaff-Reinet 19

Sophia Aletta Jacoba Fredrika Snyman Died 1849

Petronella Wilhelmiena
1823 -

Peter Johannes Ernst
1824 -

Sophia Aletta Jacoba Fredrika
1827 -

Willem Jacobus
1829 -

Petronella Wilhelmina Johanna
1832 -

Children of Pieter Johannes Booyens and Susanna Human

Anna Maria Booyens 1811-1854
Born 8 November 1811, District of George, Cape Colony 6
Baptised 11 September 1812 7
Died 26 October 1854, Syfer Water, Cape Colony 8

Notes: We find Anna and her husband, Pieter Andries Matthys Gous, baptizing in the Beaufort (West) NG Church in 1841 [#1]. Her younger brother, Matthys Johannes and his wife Susara Susanna Snyman are witnesses. In the event, this will be their only child.

#1. Beaufort West Dutch Reformed Church Baptism Book (1841): p.252 LINK

 x Married 23 December 1832 Beaufort, Cape Of Good Hope, South Africa 9
Pieter Andries Matthys Gous 1808-1889
Born 31 July 1808, Olifantsrivier, District George 10
Baptised 20 September 1808 11
Died 15 September 1889, Quaggasleegte, distrik Bloemfontein 12

Notes: Pieter is the son of Gert Petrus Andries Gous and Catharina van den Berg.

After the death of Anna Maria in 1854, Pieter marries again, this time to Sarah Johanna Carstens.

Matthys Johannes Booyens 1813-1897
Born 13 March 1813, Keurfontein, Upper Olifants River Wyk, District George
Baptised 13 February 1814, George, Cape
Died 30 June 1897, Rietvlei, District Oudtshoorn

 x Married 7 January 1838 George, Cape
Sara Susanna Snyman 1817-1857

Susanna Elizabeth Booyens Born 1817
Born 31 March 1817, Olifantsrivier, District George 13
Baptised 5 October 1817, George, Cape 14

Notes: On 12 September 1841, Susanna and her husband are present as witnesses to the baptism in George of Pieter Johannes, the son of her brother Matthys Johannes [#1]. And then we lose track of her. Not even a death notice has been found.

#1. Baptism Books of the Dutch Reformed Church Parish of George (1825-1848). Originals. Not Online.

 x Married 20 December 1835 George, Cape 15
Andries Johannes Gous Born 1814
There is an issue with his entry in SA Genealogies 16
Born 14 July 1814
Baptised 5 July 1817, Paarl

Notes: Most likely, the fourth son of Gert Petrus Andries Gous and Catharina van den Berg and younger brother to the husband of Susanna Elizabeth Booyens' older sister, Anna. See the explantory note discussing the issue of his confused entry in SA Genealogies.

His parentage cannot be solved with 100% certainty without finding a baptism by him or a death notice for him, both of which elude us.

Petronella Susanna Booyens Born 1820
Born 4 October 1820 17
Baptised 28 February 1821, Uitenhage 18

Notes: We know very little about this young lady, beyond the fact that she was still alive in 1832 at the age of around 12 years, as is clear from her father's death notice [#1]. At that point the family listed a truly limited estate. After that point, we never hear of her again.

#1. Cape Archives MOOC8/48.32. Testator(s): Piet Booijsens : 6 December 1832 - Opgenoomen goederen van weijlen Piet Booijsens ... LINK

Children of Pieter Johannes Booyens and Sophia Aletta Jacoba Fredrika Snyman

Petronella Wilhelmiena Booyens 1823-1832
Born 20 February 1823 20
Baptised 26 February 1824, Uitenhage 21
Died Before 6 December 1832 22

Notes: We know very little about this young lady beyond the fact that she dies before 6 December 1832, because she does not appear on her father's death notice [#1] of that date.
#1. Cape Archives MOOC8/48.32. Testator(s): Piet Booijsens : 6 December 1832. Opgenoomen goederen van weijlen Piet Booijsens ...LINK

Peter Johannes Ernst Booyens 1824-1897
Born 3 December 1824, Schilpadbeen, District George, Upper-Olifants River Wyk
Baptised 1 March 1825, Uitenhage
Died 27 January 1897, Rietvlei, District Oudtshoorn

 x Married 21 May 1855 George
Maria Susanna Jacoba Stander 1835-1920

Sophia Aletta Jacoba Fredrika Booyens 1827-1883
Born 29 March 1827 23
Baptised 5 August 1828, Grahamstown Anglican Church 24
Died 12 May 1883, Jan Fourieskraal 25

Notes: - We first meet "Aletta" when she is baptised in the Anglican Church in Grahamstown on 5 August 1828. While this is a comparative rarity among the devout Dutch Reformed Church members, one of father Pieter's brothers also baptises a child in the same church over this period and another does so in the Methodist Church. It is not understood why they do not make use of the Dutch Reformed Church in Uitenhage, which is founded in 1817.

The fact that the authoritative SA Genealogies by Heese does not list this young lady among the children of Pieter Johannes Booyens, is no doubt due to the fact that the particular author did not expect the baptisms to be outside of the Dutch Reformed Church.

It is clear that the surname is a challenge for the presiding Anglican Minister, given as F McCleland, because the family is listed as "Boings". The date of birth is given as 29 March 1827.

We next meet "Aletta" at the time of her father's death in 1832 [#1]. She is listed as a child of "6" years.

The next time she surfaces in the documented records of the Cape, it is as the 19 year-old bride at a marriage on 26 April 1846 to Thomas John Douglas.

Thomas dies in 1860 and "Aletta" marries a gentleman by the name of Van Greunen. "Aletta" dies in 1883
#1. Cape Archives MOOC8/48.32. Testator(s): Piet Booijsens : 6 December 1832
Opgenoomen goederen van weijlen Piet Booijsens ...
procreated in wedlock with Aletta Snyman
Aletta Booysen 6
... LINK

 x Married (1) 26 April 1847 George, Cape 26
Thomas John Douglas 1824-1860
Born 10 June 1824 27
Baptised 9 July 1825, George 28
Died 1860, Cape Colony 29

Notes: Son of John Ogilvie Douglas and Susan Ford, who marry in George on 12 November 1820. John is a British Settler, and Susan is the daughter of British Settler William Ford and his wife Susan Young. John and the Ford Family were members of the Peter Tait Party of British Settlers. The Party sails from Scotland in 1818 on the ship Carmarthen. They receive land in the George District. See H.E. Hockly, The Story of the British Settlers of 1820 in South Africa, pp. 37-38. Juta & Co., Johannesburg (1948). The success of this party was used to promote the greater 1820 British Settler scheme in Britain.

 x Married (2) Before 1883 Cape Colony 30
van Greunen

Willem Jacobus Booyens 1829-1913
Born 1829, Rietvlei, Oudtshoorn
Died 28 December 1913, Ficksburg, OFS

 x Married (1) 15 January 1855 Oudtshoorn, Western Cape, South Africa
Susanna Petronella Weyers 1823-1895
 x Married (2) Circa 11 May 1897 Johannesburg
Cornelia Christina Visagie 1846-1933

Petronella Wilhelmina Johanna Booyens 1832-1852
Born 2 April 1832 31
Baptised 10 February 1833, George, Cape 32
Died 23 December 1852, Buffels Valley, Olifants River, District of George 33

 x Married 5 June 1849 George 34
Jan Carel Murphy

# References for the NOTES of Pieter Johannes Booyens

#1. Baptised 1783

#2. Swellendam Opgaafrol 1803 vol J123, LINK [image 8]

#3. JG le Roux, JJ Niemandt, and Mariana Olivier, Bewaarders van ons Erfenis, (2003), Distrik George : Deel 8 , Wyk Bo-Olifantsrivier

#4. South African Commercial Advertiser, Saturday 4 June 1836: LINK

#5. Cape Archives, MOOC 6/9/298 Ref.1761 Booyens, Pieter. Death Notice.1891-1891

#6. Cape Archives, MOOC 6/9/298 Ref.1761 Booyens, Pieter. Death Notice.1891-1891

#7. Cape Archives, MOOC 8/48.32. ONLINE: LINK

#8. Cape Archives, MOOC 6/9/31 Ref.6560, Booyens, Anna (nee Gous) Death Notice. 1843-1843

Click on names in blue to move around the family tree
Small blue numbers provide the source of the fact to which they are attached
All material on this page copyright Harry Booyens 2020
The surnames in the Booyens family tree   |   The names of the people in the Booyens family   |   The sources from which the Booyens information is drawn  |  
Created with code adapted by Richard Ball from Dan Pidcock's Gedcom to HTML converter