Claas Jansz van Rensburg
M, #5320, b. 1677, d. 31 August 1728
|Charts||Descendants of Claas Jansz van Rensburg|
|NGK Drakenstein Baptisms 1694-1732||NGK Drakenstein Baptisms 1694-1732|
|NGK Stellenbosch Baptisms 1688-1732||NGK Stellenbosch Baptisms 1688-1732|
|BirthOrigin*||Claas was probably from Rendsburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, and was perhaps born there in 1677. The date estimate is based on the average age men signed up with the VOC in the period. This location is most likely given that Y-DNA testing of direct patrlineal descendants indicates Claas Jansz was type I1a.|
Several researchers, including Elmien Wood, have posited that he was from Rijnsburg. Ms Wood refers to geographical dictionary van der Aa (1874), in which it is stated that Rhendsburg is an alternative name for Rijnsburg.
In my view, this is an unlikely to be true in the case of Claas Jansz:. As Mansell Upham notes, researchers should also equally consider Danish, Friesian, High German, Low German & all the other dialectical variants found for present-day Slesvig-Holsten.
Furthermore, when he was recorded as Claas Jansz van Rhuynsburgh in 1722, and as Van Rijnsburg in other baptisms, the name would not have been written by him, but by the person who recorded the baptism in question - that is the minister - who would most likely have written it phonetically - i.e. based on his own assumption of what he heard. Researchers have not found his baptism in Rijnsburg, and to date, no one has searched for a baptism in Rendsburg.
In addition, it is clearly stated in his soldijrekenening that he was from Rensburg, and Ds. Beck, known to be accurate, records his provenance clearly as Rensburg.
In the the earliest  known sample of his signature he signs Cß - Gothic script used in German and not Dutch - significantly it suggests he was at least somewhat literate in German. As Mansell Upham notes, German was the literate, royal, and written language also for Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia during the 17th century. In documents he signed during the 1720s, he uses the 'common' cursive script of the period (which was highly variable, but recognisable) - suggesting that this was acquired after his arrival at the Cape.1,2,3
|Marriage*||He married Aletta van der Merwe, daughter of Willem Schalks van der Merwe and Elsje Cloete, on 14 August 1708 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, (Cape Town), de Caep de Goede Hoop.4,5|
|Death*||He died on 31 August 1728 de Caep de Goede Hoop.6,7|
|Soldijrekening*||The soldijrekening maintained by the VOC for Claas Jansz van Rensburg between 21 December 1701 and 31 December 1738. The record notes that he died on 31 August 1728, but moneys continued to be credited to his account until 1738. The soldijrekening was a statement of account for VOC employers which itemised debits and credits to their account with the company.8|
|Aletta van der Merwe b. 30 Apr 1684, d. 30 Sep 1729|
|(Crew) ShipVoyage||On 21 December 1701 the Reijgersdaal departed Texel enroute to (Cape Town) where it docked on 13 April 1702. Among those on board was the sailor Claas Jansz van Rensburg, sailing under the name Claas Schim, who remained at the Cape. In his soldyrekening it is stated that he left the service of the VOC in Azie - however as Mansell Upham notes: technically the VOC's charter covered the area starting at the Cape of Good Hope and all areas to the East thereof thus making the Cape of Good Hope part of its 'Asian' area of operation … which is why many (most/all?) VOC personnel that ended up at the Cape of Good Hope - either permanently or temporarily - are also designated in the general registers as having departed for 'Asia.9,10'|
|Contract*||On 26 April 1702 Claas Hendriksz concluded a contract with Claas Jansz van Rensburg for the latter to work for him as a leenkneg - labourer - for at least one year for ten guilders a month plus food, drink and accommodation. The relationship endured for for more than three years, until 29 October 1705 when the contract was dissolved. In my view it is significant that Diepenouw was from Barsfleth in the Dithmarsh, under Danish rule at the time, and close to Rensburg.11,12|
|Contract*||On 31 October 1705 Gerrit Gerrits concluded a contract with Claas Jansz van Rensburg for the latter to work for him as a bouwknecht - farm labourer - and for any other work that was needed. His wage was twelve guilders a month. The relationship endured just more than three months, until 8 February 1706 when the contract was dissolved. It is also significant that that Gerrit Gerrits was from Oldenburg - the Duchy of Oldenborg, under Danish rule at the time, and also close to Rensburg.13,12|
|Contract*||On 8 February 1706 Pieter Robberts concluded a contract with Claas Jansz van Rensburg for the latter to work for him as a bouwknecht - farm labourer - and for any other work that was needed. His wage was twelve guilders a month. Once again Claas Jansz: associates himself with someone from a town close to Rensburg, this time from Neustadt in Holsten which was also under the Danish crown. Clearly he was choosing to be associated with people ethnically closer to Rensburg. The contract was dissolved on 20 June 1708.12,14|
|Contract*||On 29 December 1722 Claas Jansz van Rensburg concluded a contract with Pieter Paulusz: Tamé in which the latter was paid 14 guilders, Indian valuation, as well as food, drink and housing to serve as a school teacher. The contract was extended in 1723 and 1729. My thanks to Christo van Rensburg for sharing this document.15|
|Will*||Claas Jansz van Rensburg and Aletta van der Merwe left a will on 29 December 1727 Cabo de Goede Hoop. My thanks to Christo van Rensburg for sharing this document.16|
|Names in the record, in publications, etc.||21 December 1701, the name of Claas was written in the record as Claas Schim.17|
14 August 1708, the name of Claas was written in the record as Claas Janse van Rensburg.4
Claas Jansz van Rensburg was also known as Claas Janse.18
31 July 1712, the name of Claas was written in the record as Klaas Janse.19
|Baptisms - Witness||Claas Jansz van Rensburg and Aletta van der Merwe witnessed the baptism of Marritie van der Swaan on 19 May 1709 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Drakenstein, de Caep de Goede Hoop.20|
He and Aletta van der Merwe witnessed the baptism of Anna Maria Minie on 23 August 1722 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Drakenstein, de Caep de Goede Hoop.21
He and Aletta van der Merwe witnessed the baptism of Helena van Heerden on 27 September 1722 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Drakenstein, de Caep de Goede Hoop.22
He and Aletta van der Merwe witnessed the baptism of Catharina van Jaarsveld on 4 April 1723 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Drakenstein, de Caep de Goede Hoop.23
|Vrijbriewen and Burgher Status||Claas Jansz van Rensburg became a burgher on 30 June 1708, in Dutch vryburgher or vrijburgher, initially a status in which a soldier or other employee of the VOC was released from their contractual obligations to the VOC and permitted to farm, become a tradesman, or work for others. Subsequently some individuals, including the Huguenot refugees, were brought to the Cape specifically to farm and were burghers from the time of their arrival.24|
- [S898] Elmien Wood, "My naam is Van Rensburg, Janse van Rensburg", Capensis - My naam is Van Rensburg, Janse van Rensburg. Of is dit Bruin of dalk Schim? 3/2012 (September 2012). Hereinafter cited as "My naam is Van Rensburg, Janse van Rensburg."
- [S629] Personal communications between Mansell Upham and Delia Robertson, 2010-present. ...highly significant that CJ uses Gothic script here - clearly somewhat literate - German being the literate, royal court and WRITTEN language also for Denmark and the rest of Scandinavia during the 17th century.
Looking at marriage entries by Ds. Beck at time he marries CJ is also worth considering - minister generally is quite accurate & consistent about recording provenances of married couples & significantly records CJ clearly as coming from Ren(d)sburg whereas he records GJ coming from Reynenburg … very unlikely that he would err in terms of recording these place names & confusing the sound 'Ren' with 'Rey.'
- [S620] Website Nationaal Archief, VOC Opvarenden (http://vocopvarenden.nationaalarchief.nl/default.aspx) "Gegevens van Claas Shim uit Rensburg [Incorrect, the original gives the last names as Schim]
Datum indiensttreding: 21-12-1701
Datum uit dienst: 30-06-1708
Functie bij indiensttreding: Matroos
Reden uit dienst: Vrijburger
Uitgevaren met het schip: Reigersdaal
Waar uit dienst: Azie [Incorrect, the original says he died at the Cape]
Begunstigde(n): Vader: Jan Bruijn
Opmerkingen: overleden 1728
Gegevens van de vaart
Kaap: 13-04-1702, [Departs the Cape] 02-05-1702
Aankomst: 10-07-1702, Batavia
DAS- en reisnr.: 1879.4."
- [S598] G1-8/1, Aletta vd Merwe-Claas Jansz van Rensbùrg Marriage Record: 1708 ditto [den 14 Aùg] Claas Janse van Rensbùrg met Aaltie Schalk vande Caab, (14 August 1708), Dutch Reformed Church Archive Repository, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa. Hereinafter cited as Aletta vd Merwe-Claas Jansz van Rensbùrg Marriage.
- [S150] Edited & augmented by GISA Originally compiled by J.A. Heese & R.T.J. Lombard, South African Genealogies 5 L-M, GISA SA Genealogies (Stellenbosch, South Africa: Genealogical Institute of South Africa, 1999), Page 591. Hereinafter cited as S.A. Genealogies 5 L-M.
- [S898] Elmien Wood, "My naam is Van Rensburg, Janse van Rensburg", Die laaste stukkie inligting uit die skeepsoldyrekening is: “Nta. Is op 31 Augs: 1728 na bevornes getestaert te hebben overleden, nalatende vrouw en kinderen, vide Caaps Vryboek 1739 fo. 18.” Die sterfdatum waarvan ons tot dusver bewus was, was slegs die jaartal 1728, nou is die volle datum, naamlik 31 Augustus 1728 bekend.
- [S621] Andre van Rensburg, "Andre v Rensburg email Apr 30, 2011 4:11 pm," e-mail message, 30 April 2011, Claas Jansz van Rensburg was in 1732 alreeds 'n paar jare oorlede. ... Aletta word verwys as weduwee op 6 Oktober 1728 (RLR 8/1 no 162 p 55), so Claas was toe alreeds oorlede.. Hereinafter cited as "Andre v Rensburg email Apr 30, 2011 4:11 pm."
- [S620] Website Nationaal Archief, VOC Opvarenden (http://vocopvarenden.nationaalarchief.nl/default.aspx) "unknown cd."
- [S620] Website Nationaal Archief, VOC Opvarenden (http://vocopvarenden.nationaalarchief.nl/default.aspx) "See under citations for his birth."
- [S898] Elmien Wood, "My naam is Van Rensburg, Janse van Rensburg", citing inter alia VOCOpvarenden online and the original skeepsoldyrekening - see image attached his name - Claas Schim.
- [S898] Elmien Wood, "My naam is Van Rensburg, Janse van Rensburg", … Claas Schim sluit op 26 April 1702 ’n kontrak met Claus Heinrich Diepenow van Barsfleth in Duitsland (Kontrakte, 1702). Soos hierbo opgemerk, word dit dieselfde dag in die skeepsoldyrekening aangeteken. Daar word ooreengekom dat Claas Schim vir minstens ’n jaar vir Claus Diepenau sou werk “tijd van een geheel jaar trou en naarstig in alles geene waartoe hy hem benodigt heeft te dienen” en tien gulde per maand (ligte valuasie) sou ontvang. Behalwe die salaris sou hy ook kos, drank en huisvesting kry. Wat baie interessant is, is dat nie een van die twee komparante hul naam kon teken nie. Diepenau het met CHD geteken en Claas Schim met Cß. Waarom Claas so geteken het, weet ’n mens nie. Dit kan wees dat hy sy werkgewer nagemaak het, maar hoe het hy geweet van die letter Eszett? Dit is moontlik weer ’n aanduiding dat hy wel van Duitsland en nie van Nederland gekom het nie.
- [S629] Mansell Upham.
- [S898] Elmien Wood, "My naam is Van Rensburg, Janse van Rensburg", Twee dae later teken Claas 'n nuwe kontrak met Gerrit Gerrits van Oldenburg (Kontrakte, 1705). Hierdie kontrak wat op 31 Oktober 1705 onderteken is, het bepaal dat hy as boukneg (bouwknecht = landboukneg) vir Gerrit Gerrits sou gaan werk en vir wat hy hom ookal nodig kan kry. Sy loon is nou twaalf gulde per maand. … Hierdie dienstydperk van Claas het nie lank geduur nie. Op 8 Februarie 1706, is die kontrak ontbind….
- [S898] Elmien Wood, "My naam is Van Rensburg, Janse van Rensburg", Op 8 Februarie 1706, is die kontrak ontbind en op dieselfde dag word 'n nuwe kontrak met Pieter Robbertsz gesluit (Kontrakte, 1706). Die nuwe kontrak se diensvoorwaardes was dieselfde as die vorige: twaalf gulde per maand en boukneg asook enigiets waarvoor sy werkgewer hom nodig sou kry.
- [S99] Contracts, (folio) 137-139; CJ 2880, Court of Justice; Court of Justice, Western Cape Archives and Records Service, Roeland Street, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa. My thanks to Gawie Groenewald for providing the transcript of this record.
- [S65] Claas Jansz van Rensburg and Aletta van der Merwe will (21 March 1727), Claas Jansz van Rensburg and Aletta van der Merwe Will CJ2604-9 dated 21 March 1727 CJ2604 No. 9, Western Cape Archives and Records Service, Roeland Street, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa. Hereinafter cited as CJ van Rensburg and A van der Merwe Will CJ2604-9 1727.
- [S898] Elmien Wood, "My naam is Van Rensburg, Janse van Rensburg", Daar is dus niks wat teenstrydig is met dit wat ons van hom weet nie, behalwe die eienaardige van “Schim”. (Daar is ’n transkripsiefout op die webwerf gemaak: die van word “Shim” gespel, maar dit moet “Schim” wees.) See image attached to ShipVoyage event.
- [S325] Lorna Newcomb and Ockert Malan, compilers, Annale van Nederduits Gereformeerde Moedergemeente Stellenbosch No 1.., CD-ROM (Stellenbosch) Die Genootskap vir die Kerkversameling, 2004 0-9584832-1-3), Baptism Register, Johannes, de vader Claas Janse d'moeder aaltie Willems Schalk, getùygen Gerrit Basson met syn hùysvroùw Jannetie, 7 Jùly 1709.. Hereinafter cited as Palmkronieke I Baptisms.
- [S325] Baptism Register, Palmkronieke I Baptisms, Elsje, de vader Klaas Janse, d'moeder Aaltie Schalk, d'getù Jacobùs van As met Helena Schalk, 31e July 1712.
- [S325] Baptism Register, Palmkronieke I Baptisms, Marritie, de vader Gerrit Vander Swaan, de moeder Agnitie Canfer, getùygen Claas Janse met aaltie Schalk, 19 May 1709.
- [S408] Drakenstein Heemkring, compilers, Drakenstein I Baptisms., CD-ROM (Paarl) Drakenstein Heemkring, 2006 , Baptism Register, 1722; Den 23ste Dito [Aùgùst]; Anna, Maria, Doghter van Jan Willemse en Sùsanna Maarschalk. Getùijgen Claas Janse Van Rijnsbùrgh en Aaltje Schalk.. Hereinafter cited as Drakenstein I Baptisms.
- [S408] Baptism Register, Drakenstein I Baptisms, 1722; Dito [Den 27ste Septembr:]; Helena, Doghter van Pieter Willemse van Deeren en Maghtelt van Merven. Getùijgen Claas Janse Van Rijnsburgh en Aaltje Van Merven.
- [S408] Baptism Register, Drakenstein I Baptisms, 1723; Den 4de April; Cornelia, Doghter van Adriaan Van Jaarsvelt en Cornelia Nel. Getùijgen Claas Janse van Rijnsburgh, Aaltje Van Der Merven. [Published records ascribe this baptism to Catharina van Jaarsveld, married to Joseph de Klerk. In addition, in her father's inventory of 9 Jan 1751, Catharina is described as 27 years old. The name on this baptism must therefor be an error - the scribe repeating the mother's name.]
- [S898] Elmien Wood, "My naam is Van Rensburg, Janse van Rensburg", Toe die kontrak beëïndig is, op 30 Junie 1708, was dit omdat Claas Schim 'n vryburger geword het.
- [S325] Baptism Register, Palmkronieke I Baptisms.
- [S408] Baptism Register, Drakenstein I Baptisms, Ao 1715; Den 21ste Dito [April]; Cisilia, Doghter van Claas Janse van Rijnsbùrgh en Aletta Van Der Merven. Getùijgen Schalk Van Der Merven en Anna Prevoo.
- [S408] Baptism Register, Drakenstein I Baptisms, Anno 1717; Den 21ste Nov; Willem, soon van Claus Janse van Rensbùrgh en Aletta Willemse Van Merven. Getùijgen Catharina Cloete.
- [S408] Baptism Register, Drakenstein I Baptisms, Anno 1720; Den 31ste Dito [Maart]; Claas, zoon van Claus Janse van Rijnsbùrgh en Aletta Van Der Merven. Getùijgen de Oùders selfs.
- [S408] Baptism Register, Drakenstein I Baptisms, 1723; Den 12de Sept; Hendirk, zoon van Claas Janse van Rijnsbùrgh en Aletta Van Der Merven. Getùijgen Jacobùs Van Merven en Sophia van Merven.
- [S408] Baptism Register, Drakenstein I Baptisms, Den 23 December 1725; K: Sophia; V: Claas Janszen van Rijnsbùrg; M: Aletta Van Der Merven. G: Pieter Willemzen van Heerden, Machteltje van der Merven.