Jacobus Coetzee

M, #7474, b. 16 June 1680, d. before 26 April 1738
Father*Dirk Coetzee1 b. c 1655, d. 25 Jun 1725
Mother*Sara van der Schulp1 b. c 1654, d. Feb 1728
ChartsDescendants of Lijsbeth Sanders

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NGK (Cape Town) Baptisms 1665-1695NGK (Cape Town) Baptisms 1665-1695
NGK Drakenstein Baptisms 1694-1732NGK Drakenstein Baptisms 1694-1732
NGK Stellenbosch Baptisms 1688-1732NGK Stellenbosch Baptisms 1688-1732
Last Edited14/09/2021
BirthJacobus Coetzee was born before 16 June 1680 in de Caep de Goede Hoop.2
Marriage De facto* Circa July 1713 Jacobus Coetzee and Cornelia van Caab were in a de facto relationship de Caep de Goede Hoop.3  
Marriage*He married Elizabeth Louisz, daughter of Louis van Bengale and Lijsbeth Sanders, on 27 November 1724 Nederduitsche Gereformeerde Kerk, Stellenbosch, de Caep de Goede Hoop.4,5
Death*He died before 26 April 1738 de Caep de Goede Hoop.6,5

Family 1

Cornelia van Caab b. c 1685

Family 2

Elizabeth Louisz b. b 6 Oct 1680
Misc* Between 9 November 1707 and 10 March 1708 Jacobus Coetzee was banished to and returned from Batavia In 1707 after frequent petitions from his parents Dirk Coetzee and Sara van der Schulp the Council of Policy stripped him of his burgher rights, enlisted him as a soldier and sent him to Batavia for living a dishonourable and disgraceful life. At the time he had two illegitimate children with Liijsbeth Louisz who was married to Hans Jùrgen, an elderly freeburgher and neighbour to his parents.

But on arrival in Batavia, Jacobus (and Jan Croese who had been similarly banished) managed to convince the authorities they had been badly treated and were returned to the Cape with instructions in a letter dated 9 November 1707 that they be treated "kindly".

The authorities at the Cape were incensed and on the 10th March 1708 they wrote to Batavia asking that they "not always be liable to be called to account for groundless charges brought by one or other soldier, or sailor, and to reply to their pretended hardships".

Croese was shipped off to Holland but Coetzee was permitted to remain at the Cape as a soldier.7,8 
Farm* In 1733 Jacobus Coetzee owned the farm Non Pareille Daljosafat, Drakensteijn.9
Names in the record, in publications, etc.30 October 1729, the name of Jacobus was written in the record as Jacobùs Coetze.10
BaptismsJacobus Coetzee was baptized on 16 June 1680 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, (Cape Town), de Caep de Goede Hoop. The baptism was witnessed by Jan Dircksen de Beer.2
Baptisms - WitnessJacobus Coetzee and Maria Malherbe witnessed the baptism of Gerrit Coetzee on 30 October 1729 Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Stellenbosch, de Caep de Goede Hoop.10
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, Elisabeth Coetzee, Jacoba Coetsee, Gerrit Jacobsz: Coetzee, Dirk Coetzee, Sara Coetzee, Johannes Coetzee and Margareta Jürgens. 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).11,12,13,14,15


  1. [S153] J.A. Heese & R.T.J. Lombard, South African Genealogies 1 A-C, HSRC SA Genealogies (Pretoria: Institute for Historical Research, Division Genealogical Research, Pretoria, 1986, 1989), ISBN 0-620-23962-X, p. 603. Hereinafter cited as S.A. Genealogies 1.
  2. [S397] NGK G1 1/1, Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Kerken Boek (Bapt.), 1665-1695: ao 1680
    den 16 dito (Junij) Jacobus
    Dirck Couse [Coetzee] en syn huisfrou Sara Couse [van der Schulp]
    Jan Dircksen en Juffrou [.]urrij, 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.).
  3. [S674] Mansell Upham 'Who is Jannetje Rutgertroost? A genealogical investigation into the origins of a Cape of Good Hope-born mesties woman variously found in the records as: Jannetie / Jannetie Hans:/Hanse: Rutgertroost', 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), April 2012. "marries (2) (de facto) Johannes Jacobus Coeser / Coetzer same person as Jacobus Coetzee (s/o Dirk Coetzee & Sara van der Schulp)."
  4. [S502] Website Family Search (www.familysearch.org) "27e Nov:[ember][1724] Jacobus Coetsee van Cabo, met Elisabeth Glam Wed:[uw]e, van Cabo (hebbende 7 kinders tussen haer beide, wanneer v[er]eenigt warden)
    https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.3.1/TH-266-12344-94871-90; retrieved 20 September 2012."
  5. [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke Nageslag van Louis van Bengale en Lijsbeth van die Kaap", Kronos (Die Blanke nageslag . . .) 1 (1979): xx 27.12.1724 Jacobus Coetsee (b1) ˜ 16.6.1680(K) + na 24.8.1744. Hereinafter cited as "Die Blanke nageslag."
  6. [S332] Webpage tanap.net (http://databases.tanap.net/mooc/) (Original records held by Western Cape Archives and Records Service, Roeland Street, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa) "MOOC8/6.11b
    Jacobus Coetze
    26 April 1738
    Staat en inventaris mitsgaaders taxasie der goederen van den weeduwe wijlen Jacobus Koetse, genaemt Elisabeth Louise ten voordeele van haarselver ter eener, ende haar ses kinderen als Maria, Elisabeth, Jacoba, Saara, Dirck en Jan Koetse
    [DR: My thanks to Jan Mienie for this Inventory]."
  7. [S721] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Letters Received 1695-1708, H.C.V. Leibrandt; CD-ROM (Cape Town, South Africa: W.A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, 1896), Jacob Coetche born at the Cape, and Jan Croese, born there also, both soldiers, have stated that they have been enlisted against their will and sent away; the latter added that he had lost his hand by the bursting of a gun when watching some of the "Wynbergen" at the Cape, and was therefore unable to serve the Company. They have consequently been allowed to return to the Cape in their condition as soldiers, and to request you to become agriculturists. You are to deal kindly with them, and assist them.. Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope.
  8. [S576] Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope, Letters Despatched 1696-1708, H.C.V. Leibrandt; CD-ROM (Cape Town, South Africa: W.A. Richards & Sons, Government Printers, 1896), p.342. To Batavia. 10th March. … To what you wrote in yours of the 9th November about the soldiers Jacobus Coetzee and Jan Croese, who arrived here with the "Barneveld," we reply that by complaining to you they did not do the right thing; the first is a person of most dishonest and depraved habits, and has been taken into the Company's service not only at the urgent request of his father and mother, but also with his own wish and consent.His parents begged hard and incessantly to send him to India, that they might no longer experience such disgrace through him, and that he might never return.It was the same with the other.He had been a Company servant, and on loan, then to one, and then to another farmer for many years, but instead of remaining with the master who loaned him, he wandered over the whole country, finding shelter among different people. He is a vile fellow - a great drunkard; and lost his one hand by the bursting of his gun, on which he had put a double charge, not as is said to protect some vineyards, but when he was drunk as usual. Besides, there were other weighty reasons for sending him away, because when drunk, he had once uttered very many slanders against the ex-governor Van der Stel.He had asked us to be allowed to settle here as freeman, but for the reasons given, and because of the lies he uttered, we ordered him to proceed to Holland.The first named we will employ some time longer, to see whether he intends to mend, then he will receive his freedom again, if his parents request it.We do not believe, however, that they will have much inclination to do so, but prefer to see him far, far away.
    We wish you to believe that we did not act in this matter as these two persons stated, and beg that henceforth you may be pleased not to listen to such complaints, unless supported by good evidence, that we need not always be liable to be called to account for groundless charges brought by one or other soldier, or sailor, and to reply to their pretended hardships.. Hereinafter cited as Precis of the archives of the Cape of Good Hope.
  9. [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): ...Non Pareille, owned by Gerrit's father, Jacobus Coetsé.. Hereinafter cited as "Sodomy, race and respectability in Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, 1689-1762: the story of a family, loosely defined."
  10. [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, Den 30 October 1729; K: Gerrit; V: Gerrit Coetze; M: Sùsanna Lùfke; G: Jacobùs Coetze, Marija Malherbe.. Hereinafter cited as Palmkronieke I Baptisms.
  11. [S723] Susan Newton-King, "Sodomy, race and respectability in Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, 1689-1762: the story of a family, loosely defined.", 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?
  12. [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."
  13. [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke nageslag."
  14. [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.
  15. [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."
  16. [S502] Website Family Search (www.familysearch.org) "[1714] do. [primo April.] Sùsanna, Johannes Jacob Coetser, en Cornelia Laamans. Gerrit van Hardenberg."
  17. [S408] Drakenstein Heemkring, compilers, Drakenstein I Baptisms., CD-ROM (Paarl) Drakenstein Heemkring, 2006 , Baptism Register. Hereinafter cited as Drakenstein I Baptisms.
  18. [S325] Baptism Register, Palmkronieke I Baptisms, Lorna: Lysbet =6.10.1680, is gebore in slawerny en was d/v Louis van Bengale en Lysbet Sanders. Sy was die vrou van Hans Jurgen van Salzburg, maar het 'n buite egtelike verhouding met Jacobus Coetzee (oudste seun van Dirk) gehad. Lysbet en Jacobus trou 27.12.1724. Was Anna Elisabeth ook 'n kind van Jacobus? Sien H&L 1 A-C p.603 asook Capensis 3/2001: `A Black sheep in the Coetzee family' van Mansell Upham.
  19. [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke nageslag", Lijsbeth Louisz en Jacobus Coetsee het blykbaar vir langer as tien jaar saamgewoon of ‘n verhouding gehad voordat hulle op 27 Desember 1724 getroud is.
  20. [S326] J.L. (Leon) Hattingh, "Die Blanke nageslag", c8 Sara (Coetsee).

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