Adolph Jonker, SV/PROG (c.1709 - 1779) MP

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Death: Died in Drakenstein,Kaapkolonie,Suid Afrika
Managed by: Judith Susanna Hendrika Marais, i12j2
Last Updated:

About Adolph Jonker, SV/PROG

UPDATED due a a very well sourced and research of Dr. Jonker with an article in Familia. See under source.

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UPDATED based on the recently published article "God's Slave & Afrikaner 'Hearts of Darkness' - Abdullah alias Adolf Jonker (c. 1709-1779)" by Mansell Upham - published on the website of The First Fifty Years project. http://www.e-family.co.za/ffy/RemarkableWriting/UL28_Jonker.pdf

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http://www.stamouers.com/jonker.htm

There has been some controversy regarding the origin of Adolph Jonker. According to genealogist Dr Hoge and later also Dr. Malherbe, Adolph was the son of two slaves - Jonker from Macassar and his wife Rosetta from Java. According to the book Heraldry of South African Families, Adolph Jonker was born about 1715 in the Cape. According to R Elphick and H Giliomee’s, The Shaping of South African Society p.153, “Free black fishing began as early as 1722, when we have a memorial requesting fishing rights signed by both European and black fishermen. Among them was one Chinese, Sobinko, and two Indonesians Jacob of Bugis and Jonker of Macassar”. But in Jonker van Macassar’s will his children are named Jacob, Jamela, Adol Jolle and Raja - no Adolph mentioned.

Dr. A.H. Jonker could not find any evidence of Adolph’s birth in the Cape. According to him, Dr. Hoge had made an assumption that Jonker from Macassar was the only Jonker at the Cape in the first half of the eighteenth century, which was incorrect, and Dr Malherbe supposedly just reprinted Dr. Hoge’s information without checking its validity.

According to Dr. Jonker the earliest document mentioning Adolph Jonker appears to be a record of his confirmation in the Dutch Reformed Church, the “Groote Kerk” in Drakenstein (Paarl) on 10/7/1734. This implies that he must have been baptised previously, but he could find no evidence of this having happened at the Cape. Unfortunately there is also no record of him arriving by ship either, but based on his Christianity, German features of the seal that he used, and his social standing in the community, Dr Jonker considers it most likely that he originated from Germany.

On 16/10/1734, Adolph Jonker became a “burger” of Drakenstein. Six years later on 26/6/1740, he married Maria Petronella Langeveld, daughter of Pieter Pietersz Langeveld and Cornelia Jacobs, in the “Groote Kerk”. She was born around 1722 in the Cape and died on 4/1/1773 in Drakenstein.

They had 10 children: 1. Adriaan ~ Cape 30/4/1741, died young. 2. Adolph ~ Drakenstain 15/12/1743, x 30/11/1766 Maria Sauerman 3. Pieter ~ Drakenstein 28/11/1745 x 21/11/1773 Martha Petronella Langeveld, his cousin. 4. Johanna ~ 29/9/1747 x 29/5/1768 Willem Landman from Amsterdam 5. Johannes ~ Drakenstain 29/6/1749 6. Jacobus ~ Drakenstain 22/11/1750 7. Adriaan ~ Drakenstain 18/11/1753 x 15/11/1778 Aletta Margaretha van Deventer 8. Daniel Johannes ~ Drakenstain 12/10/1755 x CT 21/2/1800 Magdalena Catharina Delport 9. Michiel ~ Drakenstain 15/4/1758 x Paarl 26/5/1793 Cornelia Elizabeth Horn 10. Johannes ~ Drakenstain 21/9/1760 x 31/10/1784 Magdalena van Zyl

We do not know what he did for a living between 1734 and 1745, but he did use a seal marked A. Jonker to seal important documents. There is a wax impression of it in the Government Archives in Cape Town, dated 20.2.1753. This crest on it corresponds with features of the North and South German Jonker crests. He was also allowed to wear a sword, which was a rare privilege at the time.

Adolph must have been quite well-off, since he signed numerous documents as witness or sponsor to have slaves freed. He must have been reasonably wealthy to have been permitted to be a sponsor.

On 16/5/1745 both Adolph Jonker and German Andreas Seitz applied for the position as sexton of the Drakenstein congregation. Adolph was selected. On 20/6/1745 he was appointed both as sexton of the church, and as teacher in the state school, even though Seitz was already a registered teacher. Now Adolph also became one of the few registered teachers permitted to teach in public schools. There were only six – four in the Cape, one in Drakenstein and one in Stellenbosch.

Adolph taught for nearly 17 years until 5/5/1762 when he retired as teacher. Apparently few teachers held their positions this long in those days and as soon as he had left, the church had problems with the new teacher. He continued to be sexton though until his death in 1779. It seems he gave up teaching in order to become a farmer. He had acquired various pieces of land and seemed to start farming on a large scale. Between 1752 and 1779 he owned 3 pieces of ground in the heart of Drakenstein, with a combined value of 7000 Guldens. He also owned many cattle and goats and had 10 000 vines growing on one farm.

Adolph was also well-read. Although books were scarce in those days, he owned a small library of 20 books on a variety of subjects as well as 2 Bibles. He was an excellent teacher, a very religious man, a loyal friend, caring towards others less fortunate than himself, and a supporter of the abolition of slavery. He died in 1779 in Drakenstein.

References and Sources: PAMA & HEESE/LOMBARD HF Heese, Groep Sonder Grense R Elphick, H Giliomee, The Shaping of South African Society Dr. A.H. Jonker, "Die stamvader Adolph Jonker", Familia, 1965 no 2 Cornelis Pama, 'Die wapens van die ou Afrikaanse families', AA Balkema, Cape Town, 1959, Mansell Upham of GSSA, western Cape (krotwa@iafrica.com Arlene Langsmith (olangsmith@hotmail.com)

Thanks to Submission by: Martina Louw mlouw1@bigpond.net.au

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Adolph Jonker, SV/PROG's Timeline

1709
1709
1740
June 26, 1740
Age 31
Kaapkolonie,Suid Afrika
1741
1741
Age 32
Cape of Good Hope
1743
1743
Age 34
Paarl,Kaapkolonie,Suid Afrika
1745
1745
Age 36
Paarl, Western Cape, South Africa
1747
1747
Age 38
Cape, South Africa
1749
1749
Age 40
Cape of Good Hope
1750
1750
Age 41
Paarl,Kaapkolonie,Suid Afrika
1753
1753
Age 44
Cape of Good Hope
1755
1755
Age 46
Paarl,Kaapkolonie,Suid Afrika