Gerrit Gerrits, b1 (c.1695 - c.1730)

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Death: Died in Kaap de Goede Hoop
Managed by: Judith Susanna Hendrika 5 Marais b2c1d6e5f2g7h7i12j2
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About Gerrit Gerrits, b1

Gerrit Gerrits

of Gerritz v. Oldenburg. As soldaat vermeld in 1693, burger 1698, †1730. Hy het vyf onegte kinders gehad by Susanna, v. Bombassa. _____________________________________________________________________________

Stamouers entry

Gerrit GERRITS was a soldier from Oldenburg, near east Friesland. He first appears in the Cape records in 1693. He lived for 35 years with Susanna van BAMBASER but never got married to her.

He took possesion of the farm Altona between Rondebosje and Roodebloem in 1706. He sold this farm and bought another property in 1714, which was part of Liesbeek.

Susanna's origin is a bit confusing since she is referred to us from Macassar and Madagascar, and then there is the obvious similarity to Bombasa. Yet we don't know of any other slave who came from Bombasa. She seems to have been at the Cape in the 1690's. Susanna was a slave and was emancipated in 1696. She was a slave to Anthony van Angola. She had a child with another man, and at that stage was pregnant with the child of Anthony van Angola. Anthony intended to free her and this son, but he died before being able to set them free.

Pieter van der Biijl and Hans Jurgen Grimpe vouched for the facts thus ensuring Susanna's freedom.

The two of them started to live together at Liesbeek. Very close live Hans Jacob Brits the stamvader of this family on the farm Koornhoop. These two families were going to form family unions.

They had the following children:

  • b1 Hermanus born 1701, X Anna Maria Brits
  • b2 Hilletje baptised 20 May 1703, never married, yet had a child with Cornelis Brits
  • b3 Maria baptised 30 Aug 1705,she married 5 dec 1722 at age of 17 to Rudolph Brits
  • b4 Sophia Elisabeth baptised 28 May 1708
  • b5 Susanna baptised 26 Jun 1712, died unmarried

Gerrit Gerrits died in 1730.

Sources: Margaret Cairns "Gerrit Gerrits of Oldenburg and Susanna of Bambaser: An Early 18th Century Couple" Familia XVII 1980 no 3/4

Thanks to research by:

Thanks to submissions by: AM van Rensburg


Although he died 250 years ago the attitude of Gerrit Gerrits of Oldenburg that marriage was an institution that could be dispensed with would have corresponded with what today are considered modern “progressive” attitudes. For 35 years he lived with Susanna of Bambaser and treated her as his wife yet he never raised her to that position. This fact he firmly states in his will1 made a week or two before he died in J 730. In this document he institutes. by his name, as his heirs, his surviving issue by Susanna with herself added. to receive an equal portion with each child. He even went a step further in acknowledging the paternity of his “natuurlijke” children and his name appears in the existing Dutch Reformed Church registers as their father. The form of the entry is identical with that of legitimate issue with the father’s name followed by that of the mother and the children were not labelled in the entry as “onecht” which indeed they were. No explanation has been found for this attitude on the part of the church authorities in the five separate baptisms recorded. The children all bore the name of the father. An illiterate man who managed only an X for his signature throughout his life, Gerrits is documented as a soldier from Oldenburg, a town and a small state lying between East Friesland and Bremen. In 1693 he was on loan as a knegt to Willem ten Damme, senior surgeon and burger at the Cape3 for 1 year and appears for the first time as a burger/freeman in 1698.4 Despite his illiteracy and his menial position in the ten Damme household, by 1700 he owned the state of the present Sendingsgestig in Long Street Cape Town5 and obtained a grant of 28 morgen “tussen Rondebosje en Roodebloem” called Altona in 17066. After he had sold this in 1714 he settled down on a smaller farm at Mowbray on the southern boundary of Valkenburg. This was a portion of the property Liesbeek and was described as “omtrent Rondebosje” in his wi1l7 and here he died in 1730. The property was sold from his deceased estate to Rudolf Brits his son-in-law.

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Gerrit Gerrits, b1's Timeline

January 22, 1696
Age 1
NGK Stellenbosch
January 22, 1696
Age 1
August 28, 1707
Age 12
Age 35
Kaap de Goede Hoop