Johanna Potgieter

F, #10654, b. before 3 May 1707
Father*Johannes Potgieter1 b. 23 Sep 1674, d. 1733
Mother*Clara Herfst1 b. c Sep 1689, d. b 18 Feb 1714
ChartsDescendants of Lijsbeth Sanders

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NGK Drakenstein Baptisms 1694-1732NGK Drakenstein Baptisms 1694-1732
Last Edited02/01/2014
Birth*Johanna Potgieter was born before 3 May 1707 in de Caep de Goede Hoop.1
BaptismJohanna Potgieter was baptized on 3 May 1707 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Drakenstein, de Caep de Goede Hoop.2
NotesClara Herfst has widely been assumed to be the biological daughter of Jan Herfst but the events in the life of her mother Lijsbeth Sanders and in her own life make this highly unlikely. It is far more likely that her biological father was Willem Teerling and that Herfst was her step- or de facto adoptive father.

Starting with the most recent key event in the timeline is the birth of Clara's daughter Johanna Potgieter before 3 May 1707 - the date on which she is baptised. Even given the very early age of motherhood for some women at the time (for example 14 years), Clara must have been born at least as early as May 1693, but probably even earlier.

On 6 April 1689 Lijsbeth confessed that she was four months pregnant with Teerling's child. She said she had become sexually involved with Teerling after he left the employ of Louis van Bengale. Two and a half months earlier she refused in court to marry Louis because of his abusive treatment including hitting her and threatening to kill her.

Teerling's child was due in September 1689, and this date fits a logical birth date for Clara who then would have been 17 when her daughter Johanna was born - a not unusual age for the birth of first children in that period.

I am of the view that Lijsbeth Sanders and Jan Herfst only became romantically involved around 1699/1700 after she was released from a three year term in a chain gang. Her only biological child with Herfst would then be Gerbregt with Clara becoming his de facto adopted or step-daughter.3


  1. [S408] Drakenstein Heemkring, compilers, Drakenstein I Baptisms., CD-ROM (Paarl) Drakenstein Heemkring, 2006 , Baptism Register. Hereinafter cited as Drakenstein I Baptisms.
  2. [S408] Baptism Register, Drakenstein I Baptisms, 1707; 3de Appril; Johanna. d'Vader Jan Harmensz Potgieter, de Moeder Clara Harst.
  3. [S658] Mansell Upham 'Made or Marred by Time - the Other Armozijn & two enslaved Arabian 'princesses' at the Cape of Good Hope (1656)', First Fifty Years, Uprooted Lives - Unfurling the Cape of Good Hope's Earliest Colonial Inhabitants (1652-1713), (, March 2012. "Pp.49-50."

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