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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

Matthys Jacobus Booyens

Born 14 June 1821, South Karoo, Cape Colony 1
Baptised 10 September 1821, Winterhoek, at home 2
Died 12 September 1907, Elandskuil, wyk Schoonspruit, Potchefstroom 3


Matthys Jacobus, the first son of Daniel Jan Andries*1790, is born at Winterhoek on 21 June 1821. Winterhoek is a rather special place. This is where the Gamtoos River, known here as the Great River, passes through the rugged Winterhoek Mountain range. The area inside this mountain is a nature reserve in the 21st century and is the scene of people repeatedly being cut off in floods. Winterhoek itself is a knot of farms imediately west of the river. These farms, one of which is Doornrivier, lie in a sheltered spot behind what is known today as Cockscomb, the highest mountain in the Southeast Cape. Cockscomb may be seen quite clearly from both Port ELizabeth and Graaff-Reinet, and is a landmark for travellers. Winterhoek is bounded on the south by the mountain known as Mac in the 21st century, but which was known as Rondeberg in the late 1700s. At the time, Doornrivier was the next stop to the east from Schilpadbeen on the trail fro Cape Town to the Eastern Frontier.

Twenty-two years before the birth of Matthys Jacobus, a terrible massacre was perpetrated at Doornrivier by the Khoekhoe (Hottentot) leader Stuurman, a man who some in the 21st century are attempting to get declared as a national hero. The Delport, Strydom, and Scheepers families were attacked and murdered on that farm. This included Sara Delport, by then long retired. She is an ancestor of the author via his Booyens family line.

This massacre constituted the first word the new British Governor at the Cape, Francis Dundas, received in July 1799 to indicate that his frontier policy had comprehensively collapsed and that he was at war with forces unknown. He had ignorantly assumed the Afrikaner frontier farmers to be his enemy and had disarmed them. In reality they constituted the defences of his colony. The AmaGqunukhwebe Xhosa of the Alexandria Bush and the Stuurman Hottentots on the Zondaghs River wasted no time in attacking the strategically defenceless farmers. The details of the events and the story of the disastrous First British Ocupation of the Cape may be found in AmaBhulu - The Birth and Death of the Second America (Chapters 5 & 6).

By the time of his birth on 14 June 1821, the Dutch Reformed Church parish of Beaufort (later Beaufort West) has been in existence for only two years (formed 1819). His death notice will one day erroneously record that he is born in what will later become the Prins Albert district. This is situated behind and in the northern foothills of the Great Swartberg. His father, Daniel Jan Andries, only appears in the muster rolls of the corresponding Traka Wyk of the Beaufort Muster Roll from 1824 onward and is listed in that year with two sons.

In fact, Matthys Jacobus is baptised at home at Winterhoek on 10 September 1821 by a minister from the Beaufort parish. The attending witnesses include the proud father's oldest sibling Elizabeth Catharina and her husband David Frederik Senekal, his older brother Matthys Stephanus and his wife Helena Aletta du Plessis, and his second youngest sister Anna and her husband Ockert Brits.

Matthys grows up in the South Karoo. His father baptises further children in various parishes and under differing church denominations between 1821 and 1840. During the 1830s there is stability in those baptisms and they all occur in Beaufort up to 1839. However, the baptism of Matthys' youngest sibling in 1842 places the family in the Tarka east of Cradock. This is the region most extensively denuded of famers by the Great trek of the previous few years.

On 1 February 1841, at approximately the age of 20, Matthys marries Anna Maria Elisabeth van der Walt, daughter of Tjaart Johannes van der Walt and Hester Jacoba van der Walt, in Colesberg in the Cape Colony.

Matthys Jacobus is representative of the migration of the family Booyens. From 1842 to 1849 he baptizes his first five children in Colesberg. In 1852, at the time of the Sandrivier Convention granting independence to the Boer Republics, we find his next child, Tjaart Johannes, baptised in Bloemfontein in the Free State.

When his eldest child, Hester Jacoba, is confirmed in the Gereformeerde ("Dopper") Kerk in Potchefstroom on 19 March 1859, he is listed as becoming a member of that particular Church on the very same date. The entry lists him as coming from the Hervormde Church. From his 8th child onward, he then baptizes in the Gereformeerde Kerk, first in Rustenburg and then in Potchefstroom. In this way, he changes from being a Karoo sheep farmer to being a classic Western Transvaal maize farmer & cattle rancher.

His progeny will have Potchefstroom and the farms Elandskuil and Klipplaatsdrift as their demographic focus. As a result, they will end up fighting under General Cronje in the Great Anglo-Boer War of 1899-1902. They will be present at the Battle of Paardeberg and will end up on British colonial islands as prisoners of war. Their families will be put in British Concentration Camps.

Married (1) 1 February 1841 at Colesberg 4

Anna Maria Elisabeth van der Walt Circa 1820-1885

Hester Jacoba
1842 -

Maria Magdalena

Daniel Jan Andries

Anna Maria Elizabeth
1847 -

Maria Geertruyda Catharina
1849 -

Tjaart Johannes
1852 -

Daniel Jan Andries
1857 -

Matthys Jacobus Andries Johannes
1860 -

Johannes Hendrik
1863 -

Willem Jacobus
1866 -

Married (2) at Potchefstroom 18

Martha Aletta Catharina Oberholzer1862-1895

Michiel Adriaan
1887 -

Pieter Frederik

Lourens Petrus
1891 -

Martha Aletta Catharina

Children of Matthys Jacobus Booyens and Anna Maria Elisabeth van der Walt

Hester Jacoba Booyens 1842-1898
Born 9 January 1842 5
Baptised 4 April 1842, Colesberg 6
Died 16 August 1898, Ventersdorp, Elandskuil 110

 x Married 19 April 1862 Potchefstroom 7
Hendrik Petrus Janse van Vuuren Born 1841
Born 12 May 1841

Maria Magdalena Booyens Born 1843
Born 24 December 1843 8
Baptised 18 February 1844, Colesberg 9

Notes: She is NOT listed on her fathers death notice, while all the other children are, even if the names vary a bit. The assumption is that she died before her father.

Daniel Jan Andries Booyens Born 1845
Born 13 September 1845, Wyk Middenveld 10
Baptised 2 November 1845, Colesberg 11

Notes: On 28 February 1858 a later son is baptised with the identical name. We therefore conclude that the present Daniel Jan Andries dies before that later date.

Anna Maria Elizabeth Booyens 1847-1873
Born 8 November 1847, Wyk Middenveld 12
Baptised 9 January 1848, Kalkfontein, Wyk Middenveld, Distrik Colesberg 13
Died 26 June 1873, Potchefstroom, Rooipoortjie

 x Married 5 August 1866 Potchefstroom
Hendrik Daniel Janse van Vuuren Born 1849
Born 14 December 1849

Maria Geertruyda Catharina Booyens 1849-1890
Born 13 November 1849, Colesberg, Wyk Middenveld 14
Baptised 23 December 1849, Colesberg 15
Died 7 June 1890, Klipplaatdrif, Ventersdrop, District Potchefstroom

 x Married 6 January 1871 Potchefstroom
Jacobus Jeremias Janse van Vuuren 1849-1931
Born 14 December 1849, Potchefstroom
Died 25 January 1931, Klipplaatdrif 6, Ventersdorp

Tjaart Johannes Booyens 1852-1908
Born 3 December 1852, Bloemfontein
Died 17 June 1908, Klipplaatdrif, Ventersdrop, District Potchefstroom

 x Married 6 January 1872 Potchefstroom
Susara Johanna Sophia Janse van Vuuren 1845-1917

Daniel Jan Andries Booyens 1857-1907
Born 14 August 1857, Potchefstroom; Vlakfontein farm 16
Baptised 28 February 1858, Potchefstroom Hervormde Kerk 17
Died 10 February 1907, Ventersdorp, Elandskuil

 x Married 11 July 1881 Potchefstroom
Hester Maria du Plessis Born 1864
Born 1864, Mahem Vallei, Potchefstroom

Matthys Jacobus Andries Johannes Booyens 1860-1895
Born 6 July 1860
Baptised 11 November 1860, Potchefstroom - Rustenburg Kerk
Died 27 June 1895, Elandskuil, wyk Schoonspruit, Potchefstroom

 x Married 11 July 1881 Potchefstroom
Francina Stephina du Plessis 1863-1895

Johannes Hendrik Booyens 1863-1953
Born 25 January 1863, Potchefstroom, Elandskuil farm
Baptised 31 May 1863, Potchefstroom - Rustenburg Kerk
Died 18 May 1953, Pretoria

 x Married 17 May 1884 Potchefstroom
Elzie Resina van der Merwe 1866-1931

Willem Jacobus Booyens 1866-1940
Born 26 January 1866
Baptised 29 April 1866, Potchefstroom
Died 28 October 1940, Ventersdorp, Elandskuil

 x Married
Maria Magdalena Visser 1869-1914

Children of Matthys Jacobus Booyens and Martha Aletta Catharina Oberholzer

Michiel Adriaan Booyens 1887-1901
Born 14 May 1887 19
Baptised 3 July 1887, Potchefstroom 20
Died June 1901, Potchefstroom Concentration camp

Pieter Frederik Booyens Born 1889
Born 3 June 1889
Baptised 18 August 1889, Potchefstroom

 x Married Vierfontein
Catharina Geertruida Christina van Niekerk Circa 1889-1946

Lourens Petrus Booyens 1891-1962
Born 12 August 1891 21
Baptised 30 August 1891, Potchefstroom; Elandskraal farm 22
Died 26 November 1962, Alberton

 x Married
Magdalena Dorothea M. Onbekend 1902-1989
Born 2 February 1902
Died 4 June 1989, Alberton

Martha Aletta Catharina Booyens Born 1895
Born 22 February 1895 23
Baptised 7 April 1895, Potchefstroom Gereformeerde Kerk 24

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