Jacob Theunisz1

M, #13763, b. circa 1615, d. 29 December 1658

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Last Edited09/09/2015
Birth*Jacob Theunisz was born circa 1615 in Cooltiensplaet.1,2
Marriage*He married Mayken Hendriks van den Berg circa 1645.1,2
Death*He died on 29 December 1658 de Caep de Goede Hoop.3,4,5


Mayken Hendriks van den Berg b. c 1625
(CompanyEmployee) ShipVoyage On 10 April 1657 the Hasselt departed Vlie enroute to de Caep de Goede Hoop where it docked on 16 August 1657. Among the passengers were the 5 or 6 year old Gerritt Cloete, and Jacob Theunisz.6,7,5 
Occupation* On 15 December 1657 Jacob Theunisz was sailor.1 
NotesJacob Theunisz and Mayken Hendriks van den Berg were according to the early Cape records from Cooltiensplaet, which also appears as Cooltjens Plaet but today there is so such place in the Netherlands. However, there is a placed named Ooltgensplaat which was a separate municipality until 1966 when it became part of Oostflakkee, which also included Den Bommel. In 2013 Oostflakkee was one of the municipalities which amalgamated to become Goeree-Oostflakkee. This couple's daughter, Cornelia Theunisz, was described in the record as from Bommel, a strong indicator that modern day Ooltgensplaat is in fact Cooltiensplaet/Cooltjens Plaet.8,9
Monsterrollen and Opgaafrollen (Muster and tax rolls)On 15 February 1658 Pieter Visagie, Jacob Theunisz, Frans Gerritsz van den Uijthoorn and Symon Jansz: In 't Velt were enumerated in the muster roll, among the freemen, as Visagie's Company and owners.10
Vrijbriewen and Burgher StatusOn 15 December 1657, Jacob Theunisz was granted a vrijbrief or letter of freedom which released him from his contractual obligations to the VOC and accorded him the status of vrijburgher or free burgher. He was recorded as a sailor.11
He became a burgher on 15 December 1657, 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 de Caep de Goede Hoop.1


  1. [S356] E-mails from Mansell Upham (e-mail address) to Delia Robertson, 2000 to 2008 (Personal Library, Email Upham) "15 December 1657: Jacob Theunisz (from Cooltien(s)plaet), sailor granted Letter of Freedom an unknown place. "
  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. [S405] H.B. Thom, editor, Journal of Jan van Riebeeck Vol II 1656-1658 translated by J. Smuts from the original Dutch, (Cape Town, Amsterdam: A.A. Balkema, 1954), p.208. December 29th. Warm, and S.E. wind. Death of Jacob Teunisz: of Cooltjensplaat, mate of Simon in 't Veld; only left behind him his share of the debt, viz: f 227 16 11 which others are prepared to take over; the Company will not lose anything.. Hereinafter cited as Journal of Jan van Riebeeck Vol II 1656-1658.
  4. [S356] E-mails from Mansell Upham to Delia Robertson, 2000 to 2008 "28 December 1658: Jacob Theunisz: dies."
  5. [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), p.308. Jacob Teuuisz:, of Cooltjesplaet, do., who arrived here in the yacht Hasselt, of Amsterdam, in 1657.. Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope.
  6. [S836] Vrijboek 1681 for de Caep de Goede Hoop (Cape Town) (Genealogical Society of South Africa, eGSSA Branch http://www.eggsa.org/) "Gerrit Cloeten voor Jongen ende Camer Amsterdam anno 1657 met 't Jacht Hasselt aangelant". (The monsterrolle or muster rolls were in effect a population census. In my view they were likely based on ships' musters of the period.).
  7. [S795] Website The Dutch East India Company's shipping between the Netherlands and Asia 1595-1795 (http://resources.huygens.knaw.nl/das/search) "Details of voyage 0870.1 from Vlie

    Number     0870.1
    Name of ship     HASSELT
    Master     Moker, Jakob Hendriksz.
    Tonnage     365
    Type of ship     pinas
    Built     1656
    Yard     Amsterdam
    Chamber     Amsterdam
    Date of departure     10-04-1657
    Place of departure     Vlie
    Arrival at Cape     16-08-1657
    Departure from Cape     
    Date of arrival at destination     
    Place of arrival     
    Particulars     Remained for service at the Cape, and probably sailed to Batavia later on. Sailing to Arakan in 1665/66 it was wrecked.
    Next homeward voyage     
    On Board     I     II     III     IV     V     VI
    Seafarers     152     1     49               
    Soldiers               32.               "
  8. [S629] Personal communications between Mansell Upham and Delia Robertson, 2010-present. My thanks to Mansell Upham for unravelling the confusion about this place.
  9. [S428] Website Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ooltgensplaat
  10. [S647] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, p.294.
  11. [S647] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, p.265. As above to:- Jacob Theunisz:, of Cooltiensplaet, sailor, d.d. 15th December, 1657.
  12. [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. "b2     Cornelia Theunis: (from Bommel) born Bommel ante 1657."

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