Grietje Gerrits1

F, #5296, b. circa 1630, d. 7 March 1692

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NGK (Cape Town) Baptisms 1665-1695NGK (Cape Town) Baptisms 1665-1695
Last Edited25/04/2015
Birth*Grietje Gerrits was born circa 1630 in Hardenberg, Nederland. When she was murdered in 1692 Grietje/Geertjen Gerrits was said to be 82 years old in both the court record and the governor's journal, indicating a birth year of 1610. If this was correct, she would have been too old to be the mother of Coenraad Jansz Visser (53 years old) and Zacharia Jans Visser (55 years old) and Johannes Visser (57 years old).

This has puzzled researchers and in his February 2012 Uprooted Lives article, "Hell and Paradise … Hope on Constantia", Mansell Upham makes a cogent argument that there may have been two women in the life of Jan Coenraad Visser, i.e. Geertjen Gerrits and Grietje or Margarita Gerrits.

This argument is in part informed by the fact that the names are chronologically distinguished in the record and that the names are not mutually exchangeable: Geertje is a diminutive for Geertruijd/Geertruyd and Grietje for Magarita/Margaretha. Upham also notes that given the usual insistence in legal records of the time for veracity and truth, her age must have been correctly recorded in the records about her murder.

My own view is that the age at death must have been incorrectly recorded - perhaps based on an incoherent statement from the grieving widower.

In the musters and baptism records, Gerrits' first name is given exclusively as Geertje[N] until 1664.

Importantly however, in 1665 she appears as Geertje in the muster, and as Grietje in the 23 August baptism of her daughter Zacharia.

After 1665, her name appears as Grietje, Grietjen, Griet, and Margarita, apart from the 1672 muster in which she is recorded as Grietje Aelties.

She is uniformly recorded as being from Hardenberg (various spellings).

As a guide, I have therefor estimated her birth as circa 1630.2
 
Marriage*She married Jan Coenraad Visser before 1649.3,4
 
Death*She died on 7 March 1692 de Caep de Goede Hoop, she was axed to death by her slave, Claes van Malabar, who took offense when she reprimanded him for being late in chopping firewood. Incensed when she rejected his excuse that he had been searching for stray cattle, he called her an old dog. Infuriated, she grabbed a fallen branch to beat him, but he preempted her, and struck her in the face with the axe he had been using to chop the wood. After she collapsed, he continued the assault, and attempted to sever her head. The household was alerted by the screams of the female slave, Maria van Negapatnam, who yelled repeatedly, moeder is dood, moeder is dood.5 

Family

Jan Coenraad Visser b. c 1620, d. c 1700
Children
(Passenger) ShipVoyage On 27 September 1661 the Wapen van Amsterdam departed Vlie enroute to de Caep de Goede Hoop where it docked on 30 January 1662. On board were Grietie Gerrits, Maria Jansz Visser, Gerrit Jans Visser and Geesie Visser. Their passage had been paid for by the Company. Mansell Upham notes that it was rare for families of free-burghers to immigrate to the Cape during the early years of the colony.6,7,8 
Names in the record, in publications, etc.1663, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Geertjen Gerrits.9
1664, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Geertje Gerrits.10
1665, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Geertje Gerrits.11
1667, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietje Gerrits.12
16 January 1667, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietjen Gerritsen.13
1670, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Margarita Gerrits.14
1671, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietje Gerrits.15
1672, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietje Aelties.16
1673, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietje Gerrits.17
1674, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietje Gerrits.18
1675, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietje Gerrits.19
1677, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietje Gerrits.20
21 February 1677, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietie Gerrits.21
1679, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Griet Gerritsz.22
1685, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietie Pieterse.23
1686, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietje Gerritse.24
1688, the name of Grietje was written in the record as Grietje Visser.25
Baptisms - WitnessGrietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser witnessed the baptism of Zacharia Jansz Visser on 23 August 1665 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, (Cape Town), de Caep de Goede Hoop.1,26
She and Jochem Marquart witnessed the baptism of Willem Wilhelmse on 15 November 1671 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, (Cape Town), de Caep de Goede Hoop.27
She and Gerritt Cloete witnessed the baptism of Gysbert Hendricksz on 15 November 1671 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, (Cape Town), de Caep de Goede Hoop.28
She and Jannetie Tielmans, Gerrit Jansz and Jan Coenraets Visscher witnessed the baptism of Thieleman Visser on 21 February 1677 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, (Cape Town), de Caep de Goede Hoop.21
Monsterrollen and Opgaafrollen (Muster and tax rolls)After 30 January 1662 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser appeared on the muster roll (Cape Town). Children were not included in this muster.29
In 1663 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser were enumerated in the muster roll (Cape Town), This is the first muster in which Jan Grof is enumerated with his wife. Children were not enumerated in this muster.9
In 1664 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser appeared on the muster roll (Cape Town). The three children enumerated with them may have been Geesje Visser, Gerrit Jansz Visser and Coenraad Janse Visser.10
In 1665 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser appeared on the muster roll (Cape Town). The four children enumerated with them may have been Geesje Visser, Gerrit Jansz Visser, Coenraad Janse Visser and Zacharia Jansz Visser.11
In 1667 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser were enumerated in the muster roll (Cape Town), Children were not enumerated in this muster.12
In 1670 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser appeared on the muster roll (Cape Town). They were enumerated with five children, presumably these included Geesje Visser, Gerrit Jansz Visser, Coenraad Janse Visser, Zacharia Jansz Visser and Johannes Visser.14
1670 Jan Coenraad Visser was enumerated on the opgaafrol (census/tax roll) in (Cape Town), as one man along with a wife and five children. Presumably these were Grietje Gerrits.30
In 1671 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser appeared on the muster roll (Cape Town). The five children enumerated with them may have been Geesje Visser, Gerrit Jansz Visser, Coenraad Janse Visser, Zacharia Jansz Visser and Johannes Visser.15
In 1672 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser were enumerated in the muster roll (Cape Town), Children were not enumerated in this muster.16
In 1673 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser appeared on the muster roll (Cape Town). The four children enumerated with them may have been Gerrit Jansz Visser, Coenraad Janse Visser, Zacharia Jansz Visser and Johannes Visser.31
She appeared on the muster roll of 1674 (Cape Town). The four children enumerated with them may have been Gerrit Jansz Visser, Coenraad Janse Visser, Zacharia Jansz Visser and Johannes Visser.18
In 1675 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser appeared on the muster roll (Cape Town). The three children enumerated with them may have been Coenraad Janse Visser, Zacharia Jansz Visser and Johannes Visser.19
In 1677 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser appeared on the muster roll (Cape Town). The three children enumerated with them may have been Coenraad Janse Visser, Zacharia Jansz Visser and Johannes Visser.20
1678 Jan Coenraad Visser was enumerated on the opgaafrol (census/tax roll) in (Cape Town), as one man along with a wife, three sons (?) and three daughters. By this time Grof had custody of the two illegitimate children [Cornelis Ockers and Dina Olivier] of his eldest daughter Maria. Presumably these included Grietje Gerrits.32
In 1679 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser appeared on the muster roll (Cape Town). The two sons, and daughter enumerated with them may have been Coenraad Jans Visser, Zacharia Jansz Visser and Johannes Visser.22
1682 Jan Coenraad Visser appeared on the opgaafrol (census/tax roll) (Cape Town) as one man along with a wife, two sons, and a daughter [??]. Presumably these included Grietje Gerrits, Coenraad Janse Visser and Johannes Visser.33
In 1685 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser appeared on the muster roll (Cape Town). The one child enumerated with them may have been their son Johannes Visser.23
In 1686 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser were enumerated in the muster roll (Cape Town), Children were not enumerated in this muster.24
In 1688 Grietje Gerrits and Jan Coenraad Visser were enumerated in the muster roll (Cape Town), Children were not enumerated in this muster.34
In 1688 Grietje Gerrits was enumerated in the muster roll (Cape Town), Children were not enumerated in this muster.25

Citations

  1. [S397] NGK G1 1/1, Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Kerken Boek (Bapt.), 1665-1695: Noch een kind van Joan Coenraadsz Visscher by Grietje Gerrits, genaamt Sacharias., transcribed by Richard Ball, Norfolk, England, (May 2006), Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/. Hereinafter cited as Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Kerken Boek (Bapt.).
  2. [S21] Date estimated by compiler, Delia Robertson and, unless there is corroborating information, should not be considered as anything more than a guide.
  3. [S331] Webpage Ball Family Records (www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk) "http://www.ballfamilyrecords.co.uk/olivier/I112.html, last accessed on 27 Oct 2010; date estimated by compiler based on the presumed date of birth of the apparent first child."
  4. [S191] C.C. de Villiers & C. Pama, Geslagregisters van ou Kaapse Families III S-Z (Cape Town / Amsterdam: A.A. Balkema, 1966), Page 1061-1062. Hereinafter cited as Geslagregisters van ou Kaapse Families III S-K.
  5. [S205] Mansell G. Upham 'Keeping the gate of Hell… 'subliminal racism' & early Cape carnal conversations between black men & white women', First Fifty Years, Uprooted Lives Unfurling the Cape of Good Hope's Earliest Colonial Inhabitants (1652-1713), (http://e-family.co.za/ffy/ui66.htm), 18 October 2012. "Page 12. Outraged by his insolence, Grietje grabbed a broken tree branch to beat him. Before she could do so, Claes struck her in her face with the axe."
  6. [S654] Mansell Upham 'What can't be cured, must be endured … Cape of Good Hope - first marriages & baptisms (1652-1665)', First Fifty Years, Uprooted Lives - Unfurling the Cape of Good Hope's Earliest Colonial Inhabitants (1652-1713), (http://e-family.co.za/ffy/ui66.htm), January 2012. "30 January 1662:     Wapen van Amsterdam brings: wife of Johannes (Jan Grof) Coenraed(sz): / Coenraet[sz:] Visser (from Ommen) Geertjen [? Alida (Aeltje)] Gerrits: with 3 children; Maria Jans: Visser [already wife to Willem Willemsz: de Lierman (from Deventer [Overijssel]); Gerrit Jansz: Visser; Gesina (Geesje) Jans: Visser. Also:
    The Company financed a passage for his wife and three children to the Cape (30 January 1662) on board the Wapen van Amsterdam, viz: "At your request we have granted a passage to one or two wives [those of Grof & Willem de Lierman?] whose husbands are at the Cape, subject to the usual condition to remain their fifteen years. The wife of Jan Coenraetsz [Visser] we have given f 25 for her outfit, which you may recover there" [as transcribed from 'Leibbrandt' Letters Received, vol. II, p. 183, (Letter from Amsterdam, 19 September 1661)]."
  7. [S406] H.B. Thom, editor, Journal of Jan van Riebeeck Vol III 1659-1662 translated by J. Smuts from the original Dutch, (Cape Town, Amsterdam: A.A. Balkema, 1954), [30 January 1662] A N.W. breeze blowing during the afternoon, by means of which the above vessel safely arrived on the roadstead. The Fiscal landed with the letters, but they contained nothing that was necessary to be despatched in the Nachtegael. About the same time the skipper Jan van Campen and the junior merchant Casper van Dalen also landed and reported their vessel to be the Wapen van Amsterdam, which had left the Vlie on the 27th September, 1661, in company of the Amersfoort, with 350 men, of whom only three had died and 2 been drowned The rest were in good health. She had called nowhere and had lost sight of the Amersfoort the same day that she left. The Malacca was then also ready to leave the Vlie.. Hereinafter cited as Journal of Jan van Riebeeck Vol III 1659-1662.
  8. [S657] Mansell Upham 'Hell and Paradise... Hope on Constantia / De Hel en Het Paradijs... De Hoop op Constantia: Jan Grof (died ante 1700) and his extended family at the Cape of Good Hope', First Fifty Years, Uprooted Lives - Unfurling the Cape of Good Hope's Earliest Colonial Inhabitants (1652-1713), (http://e-family.co.za/ffy/ui66.htm), February 2012. "p.14. Emigration of a free-burgher’s family to the Cape was exceptional during the early years of the colony."
  9. [S774] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1663 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "page 18...
    Jan Coenraet Visser, van Ommen, geh. met Geertjen Gerrits van Hardenb.". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  10. [S775] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1664 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "Page 22...
    Jan Coenraet Visser, van Ommen met Geertje Gerrits van Hardenburg. 3 kinderen". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  11. [S776] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1665 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "page 26...
    Jan Coenraet Visscher van Ommen en Geertje Gerrits van Hardenberg 4 kind:r". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  12. [S777] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1667 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "Page 34
    Jan Coenraet Visser, van Ommen geh. met Grietje Gerrits van Hardenb.". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  13. [S397] NGK G1 1/1, Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Kerken Boek (Bapt.): ao 1667
    Januarij 16: een soonje van Jan Coenraets en Grietjen Gerritsen sijn huysvrouw, wierd genaempt Johannes, peters waren Bartholomeus Boorn en Teuntjen Bartholomeusz., 1665-1695, Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/
  14. [S786] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1670 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "page 39...Jan Coenraet Visser en Margarita Gerrits 5 kinderen". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  15. [S778] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1671 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "page 40 ...
    Jan Coenraed Visser van Ommen en Grietje Gerrits, 5 kinderen". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  16. [S779] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1672 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "page 46...
    Jan Coenraed Visser en Grietje Aelties". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  17. [S780] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1673 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "page 48...
    Jan Coenraed Visser en Grietje Gerrits 4 k.". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  18. [S781] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1674 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "page 50...
    Jan Coenraed Visser en Grietje Gerrits 4 k.". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  19. [S782] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1675 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "Page 53...
    Jan Coend. Visser en Grietje Gerrits, 3 k.". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  20. [S783] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1677 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "page 55...
    Jan Coenraed Visser en Grietje Gerrits, 3 k.". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  21. [S397] NGK G1 1/1, Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Kerken Boek (Bapt.): Den 21 dito (Febr) Tielman Gerrit Jansz en Jannetie Tielmans Jan Coenraets Visscher en Grietie Gerrits syn huijsvr', 1665-1695, Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/
  22. [S771] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1679 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "Man: Jan Coenraadt Visser
    Vrouw: Griet Gerritsz:
    Soons: 2
    Dogters: 1
    Knechts: 1
    Slaven: 2
    Slavinne: 1
    (Slaven) Kindre: -". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  23. [S770] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1685 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "page 69
    ...Jan Coenraet Visser en Grietie Pieterse 1 k.". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  24. [S784] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1686 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "page 77...
    Jan Coenraat en Grietje Gerritse". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  25. [S785] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1688 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "page 79...
    Jan Coenraet Visser en Grietje Visser". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  26. [S205] Mansell G. Upham 'UL06 Keeping the gate of Hell…', Uprooted Lives Unfurling the Cape of Good Hope's Earliest Colonial Inhabitants (1652-1713), "Page 25
    "Zacharia Jans Visser was born at the Cape and baptised on 23 August 1665. Since commander Zacharias Wagenaer had been her godfather, she was commonly referred to as Zacharias Wagenaer. Possibly, this is earliest documented case of a woman at the Cape using a man's name. ""
  27. [S397] NGK G1 1/1, Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Kerken Boek (Bapt.): Anno 1671
    den 15 9veme
    Een soontje van Willem Willemsz en Marie syn huysvr' wiert genaamt Willem tot getuyge stonden Grietje Gerridz en Jochem Marquaert, 1665-1695, Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/
  28. [S397] NGK G1 1/1, Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Kerken Boek (Bapt.): Anno 1671
    dito (15 9vrme)
    een soontje van Gijsbert Hendricksz en Geesje sijn huysvr' wiert genaamt Gysbert tot getuyge stonden Grietje Gerrids, en Gerrid Cloete[N], 1665-1695, Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/
  29. [S647] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Letters Despatched 1652-1662 to which are added land grants, attestations, Journal of voyage to Tristan da Cunha, names of freemen, &c. Vol III, H.C.V. Leibrandt; (Cape Town, South Africa: W.A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, 1900), Vol. III, p.279. Anno 1662. Lists of the Freemen &c. Private Agriculturists of Commander van Riebeeck at the Uytwyck. ...Jan Coenraedt Visser, of Ommen. Geertjen Gerrits of Hardenburg.. Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope.
  30. [S657] Mansell Upham 'UL04 Hell and Paradise', Uprooted Lives - Unfurling the Cape of Good Hope's Earliest Colonial Inhabitants (1652-1713), "Cit.: 1670: No. 34:      Jan Visser: 1 man 1 wife 5 children. His immediate neighbours were Willem de Lierman, Jan Pietersz: Louw and Willem Schalksz: van der Merwe."
  31. [S780] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1673 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) "page 48...
    Jan Coenraed Visser en Grietje Gerrits 4 k.
    Man: Jan Coenraed Visser
    Vrouw: Grietje Gerrits.
    Soons: 3
    Dogters: 1
    Knechts: -
    Slaven: -
    Slavinne: -
    (Slaven) Kindre: -."
  32. [S657] Mansell Upham 'UL04 Hell and Paradise', Uprooted Lives - Unfurling the Cape of Good Hope's Earliest Colonial Inhabitants (1652-1713), "Cit.: 1678: No. 65: Jan Coenraad Visser: 1 man, 1 wife, 3 sons, 3 daughters, 2 males slaves, 3 female slaves, 1 slave child."
  33. [S657] Mansell Upham 'UL04 Hell and Paradise', Uprooted Lives - Unfurling the Cape of Good Hope's Earliest Colonial Inhabitants (1652-1713), "Cit.: 1682: No. 14: Jan Coenraad Visser: 1 man, 1 wife, 2 sons, 1 daughter, 1 male slave, 1 female slave, 1 slave child."
  34. [S785] Monsterrol van de vrije luijden 1688 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) "Jan Coenraet Visser en Grietje Visser."
  35. [S377] Webpage South Africa's Stamouers (http://www.stamouers.com/).
 

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