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Joen Pieter Booyens
Circa 1669-1745

Brechje Mollerus

Barend Pieterz Blom
Circa 1666-1720

Catharina "de Beer"

Pieter Booyens
Died 1777

Geertruida Blom
Circa 1701- Circa 1730

Johannes Booyens

Operator of the pont over the Berg River (1747-1763) 1
Baptised 15 July 1721, Drakenstein 2
Died Between 30 June 1763 and 11 August 1763, Drakenstein 3


In life, Johannes operated the pont over the Berg River. The sketch below of the pont is from Burchell's (First) Travels through Southern Africa, which take place some sixty years after Johannes' death.

Burchell personally describes the sketch as follows:

The level country seen on the left in the distance, is a part of Wagenmakers Valley. The mountains are those of Klein Drakenstein. A farm-house, with a few large orange trees in front, is seen on the bushy plain. A few white poplars stand on the opposite bank, and the foreground is shaded by a large many-stemmed tree of Kareehout, some of the branches of which are loaded with grass and rubbish left there by the waters, attesting the great height to which this river occasionally swells. All the figures in the foreground, excepting two, were Hottentots.


His book describes the area as follows:

The landscape here is rich and fertile: the beautiful flat country of Wagenmaker's Valley and Drakenstein, enlivened with numerous farm-houses, lay extended before us, bounded by a fine range of mountains, a part of the great western chain. The ground is well covered with vegetation, and abounds with shrubs. Very large bushes of Karree-hout, which, in growth and foliage, have a great resem blance to our common willows, grow along the banks.

The river, at this place, was deep and rapid, and might, at this time, be about seventy yards across. This stream is sometimes very suddenly and unexpectedly swelled by torrents, which descend from the mountains of Drakenstein and Fransche Hoek; on which account it is imprudent for travellers, at any time, to remain at outspan immediately on its banks. A melancholy accident of this kind had happened here about a month before, when a boor and his family, not suspecting danger, halted close to the ferry. The floods coming down in the night, swept away the waggon, while all in it were asleep, and three of the party were drowned. The ferry-boat is of a construction well adapted for conveying over cattle and heavier carriages. It may be described as a floating platform, with rails at the sides, and having its ends rising on hinges so as to lie at all times flat on the shore. It was sufficiently capacious to carry over my waggon with eight oxen, and six men, at one time. It was hauled to and fro, by means of a strong rope, strained from one bank of the river to the other, and was managed by a couple of men with great ease. The tolls were one rix-dollar for each waggon, with its oxen and men ; and one schelling for every single ox, and for each foot passenger. The ferry belongs to government, but was farmed to a neighbouring boor.


At the time of his death, Johannes owns two morgen of land at Paarl. When the estate is settled [#1], it is clear that it is completely dependent on the pont toll monies, which the widow has great difficulty in collecting:

"...over soo veel den overleedene weeg:s eenige jaaren agterstallige pontpenn:e van diverse persoonen te goed heeft, en tot welkers incasseeringe de wed:e Boijens betuijgde veele pogingen en moeijtens te hebben aangewend, en sig nog verplig vind te doen, sulx het selve alhier /: tot tijd en wijlen van deselve penn:e soo veel mogelijk sal zijn ingekomen:/ werd ter nedergestelt voor memorie Rd:s1839:6"

There is hardly anything from the estate for the two remaining children:

"...de vaderlijke erfportien der twee in den hoofde deeses gen:e kinderen niet meer is komen te bedragen dan t' samen een somma van een hondert en thien rijxd:s ofte ieder rd:s55 ..."

As a result Pieter du Plessis and Pieter Joubert commit to help collect these monies and they stand surety for the difference between monies collected and the amounts stated on the inventory.

For the references, see below#

Married 21 April 1748 at Drakenstein 4

Magdalena du Plessis Died 1815


Geertruy Catharina

d. c1799

Children of Johannes Booyens and Magdalena du Plessis

Magdalena Booyens
Baptised 14 September 1749 5

 x Married (1)  6
Urbanus Sauerman Died 1771
Baptised 19 October 1742 7
Died Before 11 December 1771 8

Notes: Son of Urbanus (S)auermann and Maria Celliers

 x Married (2) 22 August 1773 Drakenstein 9
David de Villiers Born 1749
Born 23 February 1749 10

Notes: Son of Abraham de Villiers and Johanna Lombard

Geertruy Catharina Booyens Died 1763
Baptised 7 November 1751 11
Died Before 1763 12

Notes: Johannes Booyens' 1763 estate inventory [#1] does not list Geertruyda. By implication she died some time before.

#1. Cape Archives, Estate Inventories, MOOC8/10.60 1/2a. LINK

Petrus Booyens Died Circa 1799
Baptised 19 August 1753, Drakenstein 13
Died Circa 1799 14

Notes: Some sources claim this man died unmarried in 1786 and had no progeny. We have not been able to confirm this information.

Interestingly, in 1791 a muster roll of men owning livestock in the Graaff-Reinet "Colonie" is taken. The roll, under the title "Lijst van't opgegeven Beestiaal - Ao 1791" [#1] lists the names of men alphabetically and does not state their location in this vast "Colonie". This results in the Booyens and Booysen families being listed adjacent to each other. At the top of the list of Booijens men, immediately following the Booijsen individuals, we find "Pieter Booijens jansZ" with 100 "rundern" and 300 "schap". After him follows the man we take to be his uncle Barend (now "d'Oude"), son of Pieter Boyens the immigrant, and the three sons of that uncle. These men constitute the entire living Booyens male line older than 11 years.

A study of the Booysen genealogy reveals that there is no mature "Pieter Booysen" alive who is a son of any Jan/Johan/Johannes Booysen.

Petrus Booyens JansZ appears again in the 1796 Muster List [#2].

The Census of (what appears to be) 1797 [#3] shows him clearly without a wife. Again he appears right after the Booysen men with his name carefully spelled Booyens.

The 1798 Opgaafrol [#4] is interesting in that it states that he is living with Stephanus Venter. His name is given as Pets Boÿens, Janz. He is still unmarried and has 3 horses, 9 cattle and 352 sheep.

His name is absent from the 1799 opgaaf. We conclude he dies ca 1799.

#1. Lijst van Opgegeven Beestiaal Ao 1791. Cape Archives Graaff-Reinet census record Vol J113: LINK
#2. Opgaaf Graaff-Reinet 1796. Cape Archives, Graaff-Reinet census record Vol J113: LINK
#3. Opgaaf Graaff-Reinet 1797. Cape Archives, Graaff-Reinet census record Vol J114: LINK, p.7
#4. Opgaaf Graaff-Reinet 1798. Cape Archives, Graaff-Reinet census record Vol J115: LINK, folio 29, Image 189, 6th entry from bottom

# References for the NOTES of Johannes Booyens

#1. Cape Archives, MOOC8/10.60 1/2b:Testator(s):Johannes Boijens & Magdalena du Plessies: 11 August 1763: LINK

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