Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g5

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Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g5

Birthdate:
Birthplace: Swellendam, Overberg DC, Western Cape, South Africa
Death: Died in Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Place of Burial: Mowbray, Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Coenraad Gräbe de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3 and Barbara Wilhelmina de Villiers
Husband of Sarah Susanna de Villiers
Father of Albert Taute de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g5h1; Louis Celliers de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g5h2; Guillaume Brïet de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g5h3 and Aimée Élise de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g5h4
Brother of Jan Daniel Karnspek Reitz de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g8; Peter Jan Albertus de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g1; Jan Albertus de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g2; Matthias Pieter de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g3; Christina Fredrika Hermann, a1b1c1d8e2f3g4 and 2 others

Managed by: Petrus Johannes Erasmus
Last Updated:

About Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g5

Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers was born on 10 March 1850 in Swellendam, in the Cape Colony (now Western Cape). De Villiers is known as the 'father of South African geneaology' and began writing his significant three volume genealogical register called Geslachtregister der Oude Kaapsche Familien (Genealogies of Old Cape Families) in 1882.

De Villiers died on 4 September 1887, and his work was published posthumously, prepared for the press by G. McCall Theal, and sponsored by the Cape Government from 1893 to 1895.

The system of genealogical numbering that he developed later became known as the de Villiers/Pama system, after it was refined in a new edition in 1966 by Dr. Cornelius Pama, one of the founding members of the Genealogical Society of South Africa.

De Villiers was married to Sara Susanna Celliers, aunt of the poet Jan Celliers. His son, Dr. L.C de Villiers, was a professor of geology at the University of Pretoria for many years, and the university sports grounds are named after him.

Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers, who began his gigantic task in 1882, was probably inspired by this work. He worked systematically through the old baptismal, marriage and funeral registers of the Cape church and documents in the Cape government archives, arranging the data according to families. This is how the Geslacht-register der oude Kaapsche familien originated.


It was intended to contain the descent of all the Afrikaner families up to the time of the Great Trek. Unfortunately this work overtaxed his strength and he collapsed in 1887 before he was able to give any definite shape to it. On his deathbed he asked George McCall Theal, the Cape archivist, to complete the work.


Funds were collected, but these were exhausted when the genealogies of the families whose names begin with the letters 'A' to 'D' had been completed. In 1892 the Cape colonial government advanced money for the first volume, which appeared a year later and covered the letters 'A' to 'J'. After this much new information was found in De Villiers' papers, and the second volume again ran from 'A' to 'O'. Finally the third volume appeared in 1894 and completed the work.


For a while it seemed as if this work would provide the answer to all genealogical questions and queries about South African families up to the middle of the nineteenth century. However, the untimely death of the compiler resulted in the omission of a number of families; other genealogies were incomplete and there were many mistakes.

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Christoffel Coetzee de Villiers, a1b1c1d8e2f3g5's Timeline

1850
March 10, 1850
Swellendam, Overberg DC, Western Cape, South Africa
1877
December 4, 1877
Age 27
Wellington, Breede River DC, Western Cape, South Africa
1878
November 25, 1878
Age 28
Wellington, Breede River DC, Western Cape, South Africa
1884
September 23, 1884
Age 34
1886
December 12, 1886
Age 36
1887
September 4, 1887
Age 37
Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
September 4, 1887
Age 37
Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
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