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Anna Gouws

Great-granddaughter of French Huguenot refugee André Gauche 1
Baptised 22 October 1758, Drakenstein 2
Died 13 October 1843, Georgida - Farm of Ockert Brits Senior in the Upper Olifants River Valley 3


Anna is the eldest daughter among eleven children of Pieter Gouws and Magdalena Brits of Drakenstein. While there has been uncertainty for a long time regarding Anna's paternal grandparents, excellent work by Richard Ball has identified Anna's father Pieter Gouws as the only son, born 1727, of Pieter Gouws and Anna Oosthuyzen. This establishes the link to the immigrant André Gauche (Gouws).

French Huguenot immigrant André Gauche fled Pont-de-Montvert in the rugged and strongly Protestant Cevennes region [#1]. He made his way via Geneva, Coppet, Bern, Zurich (and likely Schaffhausen) in Switzerland to reach Frankfurt in Germany as early as July 1686. Here he gave his destination as being Bremen. However, he eventually made his way via Holland to the Cape. The Swiss and German records appear to identify him as a locksmith. One of his three children died along the way, apparently of smallpox, and was buried in Frankfurt. It is evident that Anna comes from a tough and devout Huguenot family.

Anna has the unique distinction of saving the family Booyens from extinction in South Africa. Neither of her Booyens brothers-in-law sired any children. She gave Mattheus no fewer than 5 sons, who sired among them no fewer than 24 grandsons, ensuring thereby the future of the Booyens family name in the country.

For the references, see below#

Married 16 March 1777 4

Mattheus Booyens Died Circa 1816
Postholder on the route between the Cape and the Eastern Frontier 5
of Schilpadbeen near Willowmore, George District, Swellendam "Colonie" 6

Elizabeth Catharina

Magdalena Geertruida

Pieter Johannes

Barend Matthys
1785 -

Matthys Stephanus

Daniel Jan Andries
1790 -

Anna Johanna

Maria Hermina
1798 -

Marthinus Gerhardus
c1801 -

Children of Anna Gouws and Mattheus Booyens

Elizabeth Catharina Booyens

Baptised 22 November 1778, Cape Town 7

Notes: In 1798 we find Elizabeth and David baptizing a child at Cape town [#1]. The entry states that they resort under "het Land van Waveren". That would be where Tulbagh is today. However, there was not yet a parish at George or Beaufort West, so their options were Graaff-Reinet, Tulbagh and Swellendam. Swellendam is behind the Outeniqua Mountains from the Lower Karoo, where we believe they resided. In 1808 we find Elizabeth and her husband in an Opgaafrol for the Graaff-Reinet "Colonie", which reads: "David Senecal de jonge ... Elisabeth Booyens" and notes that they have a daughter, one horse, 50 head of cattle, and 75 sheep [#2].

When they baptise daughter Geertruijd in George on 18 September 1813, they are listed as living at "Oosthuyskraal" in the Graaff-Reinet district [#3].

The 1814 Opgaaf has them living in the Traka District, east of what is now Prince Albert [#4]. At this point they have two sons and two daughters. There are nine "Hottentots" on the farm with them. They have a wagon and the obligatory ten draught oxen along with 19 head of breeding cattle. They also have 230 sheep and 45 goats.

The couple turns up as witnesses to a baptism by Elizabeth's younger brother, Daniel Jan Andries Booyens on 10 September 1821. The baptism is served by the Beaufort Parish of the Dutch Reformed Curch, but is conducted at home in what the entry refers to as "Winterhoek". We can only assume this refers to the little spot known as Winterhoek, squirreled behind the Groot Winterhoek Mountains near Steytlerville. It is situated at the foot of the highest mountain in the Southeast Cape, known today as Cockscomb [#5]. We do not know whether they have moved to this district.

In 4 July 1831 David Senekal turns up as witness for another baptism by Daniel Jan Andries, but this time he is without Elizabeth [#6]. There is no indication that the baptism is NOT conducted in the church at Beaufort West. This is the last trace we have of either David or Elizabeth.

We have thus far failed completely in our efforts to locate a death notice for either David or Elizabeth. They simply disappear.


#1. Baptism register of the Cape Town Parish of the Dutch Reformed Church (1795-1814). LINK [image 36]
#2. Cape Archives, Graaff-Reinet Opgaafrolle 1808, J130: LINK [image 145]
#3. Baptism register of the George Parish of the Dutch Reformed Church (1813-1825). LINK [image 9]
#4. Graaff-Reinet Opgaaf 1814 J142: p.91. (entry 50): LINK [image 47]
#5. Baptism Book of the Dutch Reformed Church Parish of Beaufort. Entry 329. LINK [image 45]
#6. Baptism Book of the Dutch Reformed Church Parish of Beaufort.LINK [image 139]

 x Married 12 June 1796  8
David Frederick Senekal
Baptised 21 July 1776, Cape Town 9

Notes: Son of David Senekal and Geertruyda Minne who own the loan farm Calbasse Fonteijn right next door to Schilpadbeen in what will later be the Willowmore district, along the upper reaches of the Olifants River, a tributary of the Gouritz. The 19 June 1806 Estate Inventory [#1] of Geertruyda lists P. J Booyens as a debtor to the estate in respect of the house ("opstal") on Calbasse Fonteyn and in respect of the rental of a wagon to go to the Cape. It is not clear whether this refers to David Junior's wife Elizabeth Catharina Booyens' 23 year old brother, or to her uncle of the same name. It is more likely to be the older uncle.

#1. Cape Archives, Inventories of the Orphan Chamber, MOOC8/26.23. LINK

Magdalena Geertruida Booyens
Baptised 4 February 1781, Cape Town

 x Married 15 February 1801 Cape Town
Johannes Bezuidenhout Died 1848
of Zwarteberg Wyk in the Graaff-Reinet "Colonie"

Pieter Johannes Booyens Died 1832
Baptised 12 October 1783, Cape Town
Died 4 August 1832, Ghoup

 x Married (1) 3 June 1809 Swellendam
Susanna Human Died 1820
 x Married (2) 12 May 1822 Graaff-Reinet
Sophia Aletta Jacoba Fredrika Snyman Died 1849

Barend Matthys Booyens 1785-1869
Born ca.30 March 1785, Cape Colony
Baptised 29 April 1786, Drakenstein
Died 20 July 1869, Bakoond, District Beaufort

 x Married 3 October 1807 Swellendam
Elizabeth Johanna Venter Died 1870

Matthys Stephanus Booyens Died 1871
Baptised 17 April 1788, Stellenbosch, Cape
Died 3 November 1871, Klipfontein farm, Bloemfontein district, Free State Republic

 x Married (1) 3 November 1810 Swellendam
Helena Aletta du Plessis 1793-1857
 x Married (2) 18 April 1859 Bloemfontein, Free State Republic
Susanna Catharina van den Berg Born Circa 1842

Daniel Jan Andries Booyens 1790- Circa 1863
Born 18 December 1790
Baptised 11 October 1791, Drakenstein
Died Circa 1863

 x Married (1) 5 March 1820 Beaufort-Wes
Maria Geertruida Catharina Janse van Rensburg
 x Married (2) 19 May 1855 Potchefstroom Hervormde Kerk
Judith Margaretha Susara Reineke Born 1838

Anna Johanna Booyens Died 1861
Baptised 7 June 1795, Graaff-Reinet 10
Died 5 February 1861, Zinking, Prins Albert 11

Notes: We do not know much about Anna beyond the fact that she serves as witnesses to the baptism of the first Booyens boy child from the next generation in faraway Swellendam on 27 November 1809 [#1]. The child is Matthys Booyens, first son of her second oldest brother Barend Mathys Booyens and his wife, Elizabeth Johanna Venter. Anna is barely 15 years old at this time.

Seven years later, on 6 October 1816, Anna marries Ockert Brits in George. Ockert is the son of Ockert Brits and his wife Hester Catharina Oosthuyzen. The Brits family is associated with the nearby farm Georgida, and Anna's mother, Anna Gous, will eventually die on that farm.

#1. Baptism book of the Dutch Reformed Church parish of Swellendam; UNISA Microfilm 33029099
--- Doopdatum 27.11.1809
--- Mattheijs *16.09.1809 sv. Barend Matheijs Booijens en Elisabetha Johanna Venter
--- Getuies: Mattheijs Stephanus Booijens, Anna Johanna Booijens, Daniel Jan Andries Booijens, Maria Hermina Booijens, Marthinus Gerhardus Booijens

 x Married 6 October 1816 George, Cape Colony 12
Ockert Brits Died 1859
Baptised 28 April 1795 13
Died 1859 14

Notes: Son of Ockert Brits and Hester Catharina Oosthuyzen, and brother to Pieter Brits who is married to Maria Hermina Booyens, sister of Anna Johanna.

Maria Hermina Booyens 1798-1873
Born 5 March 1798 15
Baptised 29 September 1798, Drakenstein 16
Died 5 March 1873, Klipdam, Rouxville District, Ornage Free State Republic 17

Notes: The 1826 "opgaaf" or census of the Beaufort district [#1] shows Hermina and her husband "Pieter Brits Ockert Son" living in the Traka wyk (or wick/subdistrict) immediately north of the Swartberg and east of the 21st century Prince Albert. They have at the time 2 sons and one daughter. They have 2 horses or wagons; 6 breeding horses; 12 oxen; 37 breeding cattle; and 135 goats. Her husband is also hereby identified as the son of Ockert Brits.

On 11 March 1855 Hermiena is witness to a baptism in Smithfield in the Free State by the eldest daughter of her youngest brother Marthinus Gerhardus [#2]. By 1857 we see her as baptismal witness, along with her husband Pieter Brits, in the Dutch Reformed Church in Aliwal North, in the far northeast of the Cape Colony. Most interestingly, the couple is again witness to a baptism in the same church on 20 June 1858, along with Pieter Adriaan Booijens and a lady whose name is given as Sebella de Winnaar. It is clear that this is none other than Pieter Adriaan Booyens, second son of Hermina's older brother, Matthys Stephanus. Pieter Adriaan is married to Isabella Duvenhage, the scribe obviously corrupting the rather rare surname Duvenhage to "De Winnaar", a mistake that will be understood by speakers of the Afrikaans language, much as Booyens is very often documented as "Williams" by English speakers.

This result shows conclusively that the sons and daughters of Mattheus Booyens are maintaining contact despite moving from the Cape Colony to the Orange Free State and Transvaal Republics, and despite being separated by hundreds of miles and international borders in the mid-1800s.

By 1864, when they draw up their will at Aliwal North, the couple is living on the farm Kalkfontein in the Caledon River District of the Orange Free State Republic.

When Pieter passes away in 1868, the couple is living on the farm Klipdam in the Rouxville region. When Maria dies in 1873, it represents the end of this generation of the family Booyens in the country. She has survived all her siblings.

#1. 1826 Beaufort Census Journal J11 : LINK; page 32, entry 78.
#2. NG Church - Baptism Book of the Parish of Smithfield: LINK

 x Married 5 October 1817 George, Cape Colony 18
Pieter Brits Died 1868
Baptised 9 February 1800 19
Died 9 July 1868, Klipdam, District Caledon River, Free State Republic 20

Notes: Son of Ockert Brits and Hester Catharina Oosthuyzen, and brother to Ockert Junior who is married to Anna Johanna Booyens, sister of Hermina.

Marthinus Gerhardus Booyens Circa 1801-1870
Born Circa 1801, Cape Colony
Baptised 1 May 1803, Stellenbosch, Cape
Died 8 May 1870, PietPotgietersrus, Transvaal

 x Married 23 November 1823 Graaff-Reinet
Catharina Maria Janse van Rensburg Born 1806

# References for the NOTES of Anna Gouws

#1. Base de données du refuge huguenot - http://www.refuge-huguenot.fr/recherches.php

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