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Mattheus Booyens
Died Circa 1816

Anna Gouws
Died 1843

Daniel Jan Andries Booyens
1790- Circa 1863

Maria Geertruida Catharina Janse van Rensburg

Daniel Jan Andries Booyens

Born 22 January 1826 1
Baptised 20 October 1827, Grahamstown Methodist Church 2
Died 3 September 1889, Leeuwfontein, district Smithfield 3


It is rather interesting to note that this young man is baptised not in the Dutch Reformed Church of the Afrikaner community, but in the Methodist Church of Grahamstown.

On 22 December 1856 he marries Heila Elizabeth Oosthuyzen, daughter of Jacobus Ockert Oosthuyzen and Elizabeth Cornelia Visagie, in the Dutch Reformed Church in Smithfield [#1], situated in the Caledon River district of the Orange Free State Republic. The marriage entry records that he is from the farm Sevenfontein and she from the farm Haasfontein. Their agonised and halting signatures suggest that they were barely literate. It is therefore a forgivable genealogical tragedy that he somehow confuses not only his surname when he registers this marriage, but also the order of his three names. He thereby immortalises his name not as Daniel Jan Andries Booyens, but rather as Jan Daniel Andries BooySEN. This has created a persistent problem for this wing of the Booyens family, but it is not the only part of the wider family to suffer this way. This is a significant problem as there is a considerably larger BooySEN family in South Africa bearing no relation to the family Booyens, other than that both can trace their roots to 17th century Southern Denmark, later Schleswig-Holstein in Northern Germany. It has led to many Booysen descendants fruitlessly searching for their ancestors among BooySEN records.

Daniel then proceeds to exacerbate the problem by naming his first born son Andries Jan Daniel Booysen at Smithfield in 1860. His own surname subsequently varies from Booijens to Booyens to Booise to Booijsen.

Heila dies on 20 November 1874 on the farmVaalbank in the District of Caledon Rivier in the Free State, having delivered eight children. Daniel Jan Andries Booyens, by whatever name he perceives himself to be known, then marries Maria Helena Alberta Hefer in the Magistrate's Office in Smithfield on 1 January 1876. She is the daughter of Francois Nicolaas and Dorothea Christina Hefer.

Maria gives him five more children. As though not content with the naming confusion he has sown thus far, Daniel (or is it Jan?) names his very last child "Andries Daniel Jan". The confusion is thereby complete.

When Daniel and Maria draw up a will on 6 September 1881 [#2], he is identified as Jan Andries Daniel "Booijen" and they live on the farm Leeuwfontein in the Smithfield district. To his credit, he signs his name as "Jan Andries Danihel Boiyens", which at least gets the last part of his surname phonetically correct.

When Daniel Jan Andries Booyens*1926 dies in 1889, his widow signs her name as M.H.A Boisen and confirms her late husband as having been "Jan Andries Daniel Booijsen". I would appear that he lived through two marriages and the baptisms of thirteen children with the firm conviction that his own surname was Booysen. How it corrupted in that fashion is unclear. Perhaps he was illiterate in his early years and no one corrected him. His wives clearly never knew any different. When Maria Helena dies in 1932, her death notice still records Daniel Jan Andries Booyens, her husband of 43 years earlier, as "Jan Daniel Booysen", and the children from the earlier mariage are listed quite correctly.


How do we know we have the correct man?

Piecing together the genealogy of this man and his progeny has been a massive challenge, given the absence of death notices for his parents. Fortunately, the well kept registers of the Dutch Reformed Church eventually come to our aid in this matter, revealing that the witnesses to the baptism of his son Jacobus Ockert to include "Jacobus Frederik Booijens en Leentje Petronella Catha. Plessis". Those are the immediately older brother of DJA*1826 and that brother's wife, Helena Petronella Catharina du Plessis. Those records also show that the witnesses to the baptism of his son Willem Jacobus are "Willem Jacobus Booyens en AC Bester". Those are a younger brother of DJA*1826 and that brother's wife, Aletta Cecilia Bester.

This man's own death notice shows not only the correct children as listed on this page, but also identifies his parents as "Andries, Jan, Daniel, Booysen en Mearia, Magdalena, van Rensburg". The grieving wife may well be forgiven for persisting in her mistaken belief that her husband, who she knew as "Jan Andries Daniel" or Andries Jan Daniel", was the son of a man of the identical (wrong) first name, but there is no way in which she could have dreamt up the first name and surname of her mother in law. That mother-in-law was Maria (Geertruida Catharina) Janse van Rensburg.

There was indeed a person named Jan Andries Booyens, a cousin of DJA*1826, son of Barend Matthys Booyens, but he died without progeny before 1869, because he is not named in his father's death notice of 1869. DJA*1826 was then still alive in the Smithfield District and baptising children with Maria Hefer.

For the references, see below#

Married (1) 22 December 1856 at Smithfield 4

Heila Elizabetha Oosthuyzen1842-1874

Elisabeth Cornelia Johanna Maria

Andries Jan Daniel

Jacobus Ockert

Maria Magdalena
1864 -

Johanna Maria Christina
1866 -

Heila Elizabeth

Willem Jacobus
1870 -

Maria Magdalena

Married (2) 1 January 1876 at Smithfield Magistrate's Office 18

Maria Helena Alberta Hefer Circa 1857-1932

Dorothea Christina

Anna Maria

Francois Nicolaas

Frederik Carel

Andries Daniel Jan

Children of Daniel Jan Andries Booyens and Heila Elizabetha Oosthuyzen

Elisabeth Cornelia Johanna Maria Booyens Born 1858
Born 28 June 1858 5
Baptised 3 October 1858, Smithfield, Orange Free State 6

Andries Jan Daniel Booyens Born 1860
Born 19 July 1860
Baptised 2 September 1860, Smithfield, Orange Free State

 x Married (1) 2 February 1892 Smithfield
Clasina Wilhelmina Jansen Circa 1870-1892
 x Married (2) 5 June 1893 Smithfield, Orange Free State Republic
Christina Sophia Jansen Circa 1872-1908
 x Married (3) 3 August 1909 Parys, District Vredefort
Johanna Barendina Wiese

Jacobus Ockert Booyens Born 1862
Born 1 April 1862
Baptised 17 August 1862, Smithfield, Orange Free State

 x Married
Catharina Gertruida Johanna Jacoba Gouws Nel Circa 1867-1924

Maria Magdalena Booyens 1864-1872
Born 18 March 1864 7
Baptised 5 June 1864, Smithfield, Orange Free State 8
Died Before 17 November 1872

 x Married  9
Jacob Cornelis Wessels

Johanna Maria Christina Booyens 1866-1874
Born 1 June 1866 10
Baptised 1 July 1866, Smithfield, Orange Free State 11
Died Before 22 December 1874

Heila Elizabeth Booyens Born 1867
Born 18 December 1867 12
Baptised 2 February 1868, Smithfield, Orange Free State 13

Willem Jacobus Booyens 1870-1946
Born 16 May 1870 14
Baptised 12 June 1870, Smithfield, Orange Free State 15
Died 1946, Transvaal

 x Married
Susanna Johanna Roets Circa 1870-1959
Born Circa 1870
Died 1959, Transvaal

Maria Magdalena Booyens Born 1872
Born 15 September 1872 16
Baptised 17 November 1872, Smithfield, Orange Free State 17

Children of Daniel Jan Andries Booyens and Maria Helena Alberta Hefer

Dorothea Christina Booyens Born 1877
Born 18 February 1877 19
Baptised 15 April 1877, Smithfield, Orange Free State 20

 x Married
Paul J. du Plessis

Anna Maria Booyens Born 1879
Born 19 August 1879 21
Baptised 5 October 1879, Smithfield, Orange Free State 22

 x Married 16 January 1905 Bethulie, OFS
Jurgen Johannes Holtzhauzen Circa 1883-1918
Born Circa October 1883, Smithfield
Died 6 November 1918, Ladybrand

Francois Nicolaas Booyens Born 1881
Born 23 November 1881 23
Baptised 29 January 1882, Smithfield, Orange Free State 24

Frederik Carel Booyens Born 1885
Born 30 March 1885 25
Baptised 11 October 1885, Smithfield, Orange Free State 26

Andries Daniel Jan Booyens Born 1887
Born 8 April 1887 27
Baptised 22 July 1888, Smithfield, Orange Free State 28

# References for the NOTES of Daniel Jan Andries Booyens

#1. Free State Dutch Reformed Church Archives, Marriage Book of the Parish of Smithfield (1850-1857); LINK

#2. Free State Archives VAB MHG ref. B968: ONLINE: LINK

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