Maria Coetzee

F, #10760, b. before 20 January 1704
Father*Jacobus Coetzee1 b. 16 Jun 1680, d. b 26 Apr 1738
Mother*Elizabeth Louisz1 b. b 6 Oct 1680
ChartsDescendants of Lijsbeth Sanders

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NGK Drakenstein Baptisms 1694-1732NGK Drakenstein Baptisms 1694-1732
NGK Drakenstein Marriages 1717-1740NGK Drakenstein Marriages 1717-1749
Last Edited21/10/2019
Birth*Maria Coetzee was born before 20 January 1704 in de Caep de Goede Hoop.2
BaptismMaria Coetzee was baptized on 20 January 1704 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Stellenbosch, de Caep de Goede Hoop. The baptism was witnessed by Jan Luy van Ceylon and Dina van Couchin. Although no father was recorded at her baptism, and her mother was at the time married to Hans Jùrgen, Maria was throughout her life recorded as Maria Coetzee.2
BaptismMaria Coetzee was baptized on 15 December 1720 Nederduitsche Gereformeede Kerk, Drakenstein, Cabo de Goede Hoop. My interpretation of this baptism is that Maria was baptised a second time to identify Jacobus Coetzee as her father ... in the 1704 baptism no father was identified. There does not seem to be sufficient time among her siblings around 1715 for her mother to also carry her for 9 months.3
Marriage*She married Gerrit Pretorius, son of Joannes Pretorius and Helena Vosloo, on 21 January 1734 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Drakenstein, de Caep de Goede Hoop.4


Gerrit Pretorius b. b 12 Nov 1712
  • Jacob Lodewyk Pretorius11 b. b 7 Nov 1734
  • Johannes Pretorius12 b. b 29 Apr 1736
  • Gerrit Pretorius13 b. b 4 Aug 1737
  • Dirk Pretorius14 b. b 9 Jul 1741
Names in the record, in publications, etc.21 January 1734, the name of Maria was written in the record as Maria Coetzé.4
Baptisms - WitnessMaria Coetzee and Gerrit Pretorius witnessed the baptism of Gerret Vosloo on 21 September 1732 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Drakenstein, de Caep de Goede Hoop.5
NotesJacobus Coetzee and Elizabeth Louisz and their descendants are glossed over in published genealogies. In the compilations such as South African Genealogies information is sparse. This continues in the major Coetzee publication in 1979 viz. Coetzee, N.A.: Die Stamouers Coetzee en nageslagte. Herdenkingsuitgawe 300 Jaar in Suid-Afrika

In his article, "Die blanke nageslag van Louis van Bengale", Leon Hattingh adds more information about the family noting that Jacobus had been disinherited by his parents - perhaps because of his adulterous relationship with the married woman Lijsbeth Louisz.

Susan Newton-King re-examines the family in her 2007 article in Kronos, "Sodomy, race and respectability in Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, 1689 - 1762: the story of a family, loosely defined", which investigates the background of Gerrit Coetzee, the first vrijburgher to be tried and executed, on 23 September 1733, for sodomy (today the act would be termed as bestiality).

Apart from Lijsbeth Louisz' first child Johannes Jurgens (bapt. 1700-died young) with Hans Jürgens, it is probable that Jacobus Coetzee was the father of all her other children. This is made plain when the couple marry on 27 Nov 1724 and they are formally recognised as the parents of seven children - hebbende 7 kinders tussen haer beide, wanneer v[er]eenigt warden. They had eight children, namely Maria Coetzee. Margareta, however, had died young before their marriage.

The fact that several of the children were baptised as the offspring of Jurgens would be in accordance with Roman Dutch Law prevailing at the time, the legal presumption was that the married husband was deemed to be the effective biological father in the eyes of the law. Actual biological paternity in this case was finally conferred legally when the parents married.

Some researchers have concluded that Dirk (born 1718) died young and that the couple had a second son named Dirk born ca 1721. This conclusion appears to be based on the estate records where Dirk is stated in 1738 to be 17 years old - indicating a birth year of 1720-1721. My interpretation is that there was only one son named Dirk, and that his age in 1738 was incorrectly based on the date of his baptism in 1720, at which time he was described as being two years old

Yet others have interpreted the inventory of Jacobus' estate, MOOC 8/6.11A of 1738, to imply that only three of the children, i.e. Sara, Dirk and Jan, were the biological children of Jacobus. However, the children are clearly identified as minors, which suggests those who had attained majority were not included. Lijsbeth Louisz' inventory, MOOC 8/6.11b, however, mentions six children including Maria, Elisabeth and Jacoba (Gerrit had been executed in 1736).6,7,8,9,10


  1. [S408] Drakenstein Heemkring, compilers, Drakenstein I Baptisms., CD-ROM (Paarl) Drakenstein Heemkring, 2006 , Baptism Register. Hereinafter cited as Drakenstein I Baptisms.
  2. [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, Maria, de moeder Lijsbet Lowis, getuygen Jan van Ceylon, en Diana, den 20 Janry 1704.. Hereinafter cited as Palmkronieke I Baptisms.
  3. [S408] Baptism Register, Drakenstein I Baptisms, Den 15de Dito [Decembr, Anno 1720]. Maria, oudt vijf [DR: vijftien?] jaren, en Dirk out twee jaren. Doghter en zoon van jacobus Coetzee ongetroudt, [en] deselven bij eenen Elisabeth Louies, getroude Vrouw, [gewonne] heeft.
  4. [S470] Drakenstein Heemkring, compilers, Drakenstein I Marriages., CD-ROM (Paarl) Drakenstein Heemkring, 2006 , Marriage Register, Den 21 January [1734]. Gerrit Pretorius met Maria Coetzé.. Hereinafter cited as Drakenstein I Marriages.
  5. [S408] Baptism Register, Drakenstein I Baptisms, 1732; Item [den 21 7br]; Gerrit; Johan Vosloo en Gerrebrecht Harst; Gerret Pretroius en Maria Coetzie.
  6. [S723] Susan Newton-King, "Die Blanke Nageslag van Louis van Bengale en Lijsbeth van die Kaap", Kronos (Sodomy, race and respectability in Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, 1689-1762: the story of a family, loosely defined.) 1 (2007): This article explores the interacting dynamics of race, class, status and respectability in the emerging colonial society at the Cape of Good Hope in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. It is essentially a case study, which examines the background to the trial and execution of Gerrit Coetzee, the first freeburgher to be accused of sodomy at the Cape. By implication, it raises a number of questions about the rural community in which Gerrit was raised and it re-opens old debates about the degree of colour blindness and the determinants of status in early colonial South Africa. Was Gerrit a victim of racial or social prejudice? Was he excluded, cold-shouldered or otherwise subtly marginalised by his young male peers in Daljosafat, where he lived? Was he driven by prejudice to seek the company of other marginalised individuals and ultimately to engage in suicidally transgressive behaviour? Or was he simply a young man who wrecked his chances by going too far?. Hereinafter cited as "Sodomy, race and respectability in Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, 1689-1762: the story of a family, loosely defined."
  7. [S722] Mansell G. Upham, "A black sheep in the Coetzee family", Capensis (A black sheep in the Coetzee family) 3/2001 (September 2001): Often when paging through De Villiers Pama one is struck by certain genealogical lines of descent ending abruptly, appearing to be extinct or less detailed than other contemporaneous lines. Whatever the reasons for the non-inclusion (omission?) of genealogical data of this branch of the family, we remain confronted with the problem of including families that cannot be made to conform to the C.C. De Villiers-style of coding old Cape families. A case in point is the COETZEE genealogy.

    The eldest son [Jacobus] (and his descendants) of the founding parents are conspicuous by their limited appearance and even absence. Only his children are named without any further genealogical data. When the magnum opus on the Coetzee family made its appearance in 1979 *, this 'blank' in the genealogy remained. In 1980 more colourful flesh was added to the meagre bones of the senior branch of the Coetzee family as a result of Leon Hattingh's research on the descendants of the black Cape-born Lysbeth Sanders. J. Leon Hattingh sensing a schism within the family, noted the disinheritance by the stamouers' of their eldest son and the omission of the name of his black houvrou [concubine] (later wife).. Hereinafter cited as "A black sheep in the Coetzee family."
  8. [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke Nageslag van Louis van Bengale en Lijsbeth van die Kaap", Kronos (Die Blanke nageslag . . .) 1 (1979). Hereinafter cited as "Die Blanke nageslag."
  9. [S762] N.A. Coetzee, Die Stamouers Coetzee en nageslagte. Herdenkingsuitgawe 300 Jaar in Suid-Afrika. (Pretoria: N.A. Coetzee, 1979 ISBN 0-620-03336-3). Hereinafter cited as Die Stamouers Coetzee en nageslagte.
  10. [S763] Amanda Elizabeth Boniface, "Revolutionary changes to the parent-child relationship in South Africa, with specific reference to guardianship, care and contact" (Thesis submitted for Doctor Legum in the Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria, January 2007), p.37. Three forms of legitimation were known during the Christian era; firstly, legitimation per subsequens matrimonium. This was where children born out of a concubinate could be legitimated by the legal marriage between the parents.. Hereinafter cited as "Revolutionary changes to the parent-child relationship in South Africa."
  11. [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke nageslag", d1 Jacob Lodewyk (Pretorius) ˜ 7.11.1734(P).
  12. [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke nageslag", d2 Johannes (Pretorius) ˜ 29.4.1736.
  13. [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke nageslag", d3 Gerrit (Pretorius) ˜ 4.8.1737(P).
  14. [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke nageslag", d4 Dirk (Pretorius) ˜ 9.7.1741.

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