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Mattheus Booyens
Died Circa 1816

Anna Gouws
Died 1843

Matthys Stephanus Booyens
Died 1871

Helena Aletta du Plessis

Matthys Andries Booyens

Farmer, the farm Darling 67, District Standerton, Transvaal Republic
Born 24 January 1813, Keurfontein, District George, Cape Colony 1
Baptised 13 February 1814, George, Cape of Good Hope 2
Died 13 September 1902, Darling 67, Standerton 3


Matthys Andries is only the second male Booyens to be born in his generation in South Africa. While he is born on 24 January 1813, his baptism is more than one year later in George on the ocean side of the rugged Outeniqua Mountains. At the time of the baptism, this parents are stated to be living at Keurfontein in the Little Karoo. The farm is just south of Towerwater Poort in the Swartberg, where the 21st century railway line passes through the Swartberg mountain range. The region is known as the Upper-Olifantsrivier Wyk.

When we next meet Matthys Andries, he has left his father's home in the Little Karoo and is a 34 year old mansome 260 miles away in the district of Colesberg near the Orange River border of the Cape Colony. Here he marries Maria Elizabeth Griesel on an as yet unknown date in 1847.

We know that he now moves north to the not yet independent Free State, because he baptizes his first child in the capital of Bloemfontein on 7 May 1849. Twenty years later, by 1869, he still baptises his last child in Bloemfontein, suggesting that he lives in the district. Given that his father marries a second time in Bloemfontein in 1859, we assume that the extrended family lives on or nearVierfontein, the address the father gives at the time of that marriage.

Maria Elizabeth eventually gives Matthys Andries five sons and three daughters, but the first of two sons named Hendrik Jacobus (after Maria's father) dies in infancy. The net result is that the eldest son, duly named Matthys Stephanus, after Matthys Andries' own father, is a full ten years older than the next surviving brother, Andries Jacobus. It is to Matthys Stephanus that the mantle of the family will fall.

When Matthys Andries' father dies two years later in 1871, the late patriarch's address is given as Klipfontein, District Bloemfontein. Since the father is 81 at the time of death, we assume that he is living in retirement at that time with Matthys Andries, his eldest son, and that they are all on Kliprivier.

By 1877, Matthys Andries has moved his family to the area of the present Standerton on the Vaal River in the independent Transvaal Boer Republic. At this time, Standerton does not yet have a church parish and, as a result, Mathys Andries' eldest son, Matthys Stephanus, baptizes his first child in Heidelberg, nestled in the Suikerbosrand to the west.

When the Great Anglo-Boer War breaks out in September 1899, Matthys Andries, at just on 87 years of age, is too old to fight. His sons, however go off to war, each typically with two horses, an accurate government-issue German Mauser rifle firing the new smokeless rounds, and a month's supply of coffee, flour, and biltong in his saddle bags. They are eventually taken prisoner-of-war very late in that war and sent overseas to British prisoner-of-war camps in India and the island of St. Helena, where Napoleon died under suspicious circumstances in British captivity.

In 1901 the British Government institutes its hienous policy of intentionally burning down and dynamiting the Afrikaner farms in the two Boer Republics. The British Army is the instrument for this inhuman policy and its soldiers kill or remove whatever they can find. Matthys Andries' farm is destroyed and he and Maria Elizabeth are trundled off and incarcerated in the Standerton Concentration Camp on 25 June 1901. The Birish Army has now sunk to its lowest level of human degradation since hanging the corpses of its slain enemies from trees in India and in the Xhosa frontier wars, almost half a century earlier. The camp records show the couple as coming from the farm Darling [actually Darling 67] in the Standerton District. They are assigned to tent RT 897, E30. This winter it snows across the Free State and photographs immortalise this fact.

Against all odds, Matthys Andries survives the squallor, deprivation, and disease of these infamous camps that have conveniently been written out of British History. He returns to his farm, Darling 67, but is now a completely destitute 89 year old man on a farm that has been completely and willfully destroyed by the British Army, who erected a blockhouse instead. Matthys has the presence of mind to file a claim aginst the British Military Authorities that now hold sway over his surrendered country. This claim is filed on 7 August 1902, even while he is still in the concentration camp. Fascinatingly, he states in the preamble of the document that he is "Matthys Andries Booyens, combatant of the farm Darling..." . His claim covers three farms, being Darling, Weltevrede, and Kliprivier. A later official document limits it to Darling and Welteverede, both in the Standerton District. It is assumed that the Kliprivier farm is a property what is now the Orange River Colony; the earlier Free State Republic. The farm is mentioned earlier in the history of his father.

One month later, on 13 September 1902, before hearing anything from his British military overlord, Matthys Andries slips this mortal coil in the ripe old age of 89, having weathered everything life has thrown at him but the horror of seeing his world reduced to ashes and rubble by the masters who now control what is left of his life.

On 9 August 1903, the new British Magistrate of the Standerton district remarks on the claim of (then) late Matthys Andries Booyens: "I concur in the Assessement at £470. Claimant is deceased & claim made by MS Booyens [the eldest son returned from POW camp in India], the family & widow are in need of pecuniary assistance."

The British Army has completely destroyed their livelihood and, even though the sons have returned from their overseas prisoner-of-war camps, the family is now destitute. The three sons returned from the war submit a request for resettlement loans of £250 each on 18 November 1803.

A reduced claim is eventually awarded to the estate of the deceased Matthys Andries on 22 November 1905. The stamp reads: "Orphan Master's notice put up herewith". He has been dead for three years and two months.

Married 20 September 1847 at Colesberg 4

Maria Elizabeth Griesel1829-1909

Maria Magdalena Elizabeth
1848 -

Matthys Stephanus
1850 -

Helena Aletta Francina
1852 -

Hendrik Jacobus
1855 -

Andries Jacobus
1860 -

Pieter Adriaan
1862 -

Hendrik Jacobus
1866 -

Anna Catharina Francina

Children of Matthys Andries Booyens and Maria Elizabeth Griesel

Maria Magdalena Elizabeth Booyens 1848-1902
Born 31 December 1848 5
Baptised 7 May 1849, Bloemfontein 6
Died Before 13 September 1902

Notes: We know no more about this young lady, except that she dies before 13 September 1902, because she is not mentioned in her father's death notice of that year.

Matthys Stephanus Booyens 1850-1932
Born 19 July 1850
Baptised 19 August 1850, Bloemfontein
Died 9 June 1932, Springs

 x Married Circa 1876 (Unknown Place)
Johanna Magdalena Botha Circa 1860-1931

Helena Aletta Francina Booyens 1852-1902
Born 23 October 1852 7
Baptised 26 December 1852, Bloemfontein 8
Died After 23 October 1902 9

 x Married (1) 20 June 1870 Bloemfontein 10
Nicolaas Jacobus Diederichs Circa 1846-1886
Born Circa 1 October 1846, Cape Colony 11
Died 5 January 1886, Ladybrand District 12

 x Married (2) 26 December 1887 Darling, Standerton District 13
Hendrik Loock Lourens Circa 1852-1905
Born Circa 1852, Bredasdorp, Cape Colony 14
Died 26 August 1905, Standerton 15

Hendrik Jacobus Booyens 1855-1866
Born 30 March 1855 16
Baptised 20 August 1855, Bloemfontein 17
Died Before 2 December 1866 18

Andries Jacobus Booyens 1860-1924
Born 20 December 1860
Baptised 29 April 1861, Bloemfontein
Died 6 December 1924, Ermelo, Tvl

 x Married Circa 1888 Standerton
Hendrina Johanna Elsabe Beukes Circa 1869-1920

Pieter Adriaan Booyens 1862-1917
Born 21 October 1862, Kaalspruit, District Bloemfontein, Orange Free State Republic
Baptised 8 February 1863, Bloemfontein
Died 6 November 1917, Standerton, plaas Uitkijk

 x Married Circa 1890 Standerton
Dorothea Johanna Wilhelmina Moolman 1866-1944

Hendrik Jacobus Booyens 1866-1902
Born 29 September 1866 19
Baptised 2 December 1866, Bloemfontein 20
Died Before 13 September 1902

Notes: We know no more about this young man, other than that he dies before 13 September 1902, because he is not mentioned in his father's death notice of that date

Anna Catharina Francina Booyens Born 1869
Born 17 July 1869 21
Baptised 3 October 1869, Bloemfontein 22

 x Married unknown date Unknown place 23
Dirk Francois Lourens Circa 1859-1940
Born Circa 1859, Cape Colony
Died 25 January 1940, Standerton

Notes: Son of Dirk Cornelis Lourens and Wilhelmina Johanna Look. At the time of his death, Dirk was retired, had three sons and two daughters, and owned a number of erven in Standerdton.

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