5. Van Staden and Botha
Sketches of various views of the town and surrounds 1762
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Our second set of common 7th great-grandparents were Marthinus Jacob van Staden (1706-1746) and Catharina Botha (1714-1781) who also link the Van Eeden and Ferreira families.
©Alun Stevens 2016
Their eldest daughter, Aletta Maria, links into the Van Eeden line and Megan via Jacobus Stephanus Bruwer and subsequently, his two grandchildren, Jacobus Stephanus Bruwer and Aletta Francina Bruwer, who married as cousins.
Their third daughter, Catharina Maria, links to me, also via a cousin marriage. She married Petrus Hendrik Ferreira and their daughter, Susanna Elizabeth married her cousin, Ignatius Petrus Ferreira, to become Agatha Catharina’s grandmother.
Despite being born in 1706 and 1714 respectively, Marthinus and Catharina were third generation settlers at the Cape. Their forebears were amongst the very early settlers with some of them having well documented stories as colourful and fascinating as the Potgieter forebears.
©Alun Stevens 2016
We will start on the Van Staden side. Marthinus Jacobus van Staden’s grandfather, Marten Jans van Staden (1638-1716), from Haarlem, Netherlands, married Maria Ernst (1656-1677), from Amerongen, in 1670. Their son, Marthinus, was born in 1675 in the Netherlands. Maria unfortunately died in 1677 and Marten Jans remarried the same year. The family migrated to the Cape around 1687 where Marten Jans was granted the farm Bloemendal in the Drakenstein district (Paarl).
Marthinus van Staden (1675-1707) married Aletta van der Merwe (1684-1729) in 1701 and this marriage provides the link to some interesting, and well recorded, characters from the earliest years of the Cape settlement – the Van der Merwes and the Cloetes – who are discussed in the next section.
The Botha side via the Snymans also provides a link to some interesting and well recorded characters, but the Bothas are colourful in their own right. Friedrich Both/Botha (1653-1717) was another German soldier, from Wangenheim, who arrived at the Cape in 1678. He became a vrijburgher in 1683 and by 1686 worked for Jan Cornelisz (Stamouers, Botha). Jan Cornelisz was married to Maria Kickers/Kikkers (1655-1723) from Amsterdam. She is sometimes shown as one of the weesmeisies (orphan girls) who arrived in 1688 as marriage partners, but this is not sustainable as she married Jan Cornelisz in 1683. (First Fifty Years: Kickers M).
The marriage was clearly not a happy one with Maria reported to have on one occasion screamed at Jan Cornelisz:
Jeij zult nagt en dach voor mijn loopen als eck het hebben wil, want ick hou jou minder als een knegt, ja minder als een Hottentot, ja minder als een hont.
You will walk for me night and day if that is what I want (You will do what I want night and day) because I regard you as lower than a servant, yes lower than a Hottentot, yes lower than a dog.
They were divorced in January 1700 and Maria admitted to the court that all eight of her children, who had been baptised as Jan Cornelisz’s, were actually Friedrich Botha’s. In 1706, Maria and Friedrich were before the court again because of illegal possession and hiding of cattle, assault, and adultery because they were living together (the divorce court having ordered them not to do so). The court sentenced them to banishment to Mauritius where they were to live apart for ten years. There is no record that this actually took place and, if it did, it was short lived because the Mauritius settlement was closed in 1707 and Maria is shown in the Cape Muster Roll for 1707. 3 Jan Cornelisz died in 1713 which meant that Maria and Friedrich could then marry and they did so in June 1714. They then re-baptised all the children as Friedrich Botha’s despite a claim, denied by Maria, that the eldest, Theunis, was actually the son of one Ferdinandus Appel. Modern DNA testing of Theunis’s descendants has confirmed that he was not Friedrich Botha’s son. (Stamouers, Botha)
The Bothas farmed in the Stellenbosch district. Friedrich died in 1717 and Maria in 1723. Their second son, Jacobus, married Elsje Snyman, the daughter of a mixed-race father and an aristocratic, Huguenot mother. Theunis, married Elsje’s sister, Maria, and is not connected to us, but Megan has a second link to the Bothas via the Van Eedens. We will deal with the Bothas and Snymans after we contemplate the Van der Merwes and Cloetes.
©Alun Stevens 2019