Jacobus van Meerhof, b1

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Jacobus van Meerhof, b1

Birthplace: Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
Death: Died in At sea between Mauritius and Cape Town
Immediate Family:

Son of Pieter van Meerhoff, SV/PROG and Krotoa 'Eva' van Meerhof SM/PROG
Brother of Petronella Van Meerhof b2 SM and Salomon van Meerhof, b3
Half brother of Jéronimus van de Caap and Anthoniij Everts

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About Jacobus van Meerhof, b1

Crampton has his father as an Unknown, likely White, man - prior to van Meerhoff. She intimates it might have been van Riebeeck, or at least an embarrassment to him - given his & his wife's absence at the christening. (Crampton, Hazel (2014) The Side Of The Sun At Noon. South Africa: Jacana)


Died 1685 on the ship back to the Cape from Mauritius


His father Pieter Van Meerhof was murdered 30 September 1668 at Antogil Bay on an

expedition to Madagscar. His mother Eva was banished to Robben Island. Eva died in 1674. after the death of both his parents Bartholomeus Borns and his wife Theuntje took care of the children. Their new family moved to Mauritius in 1677 on the ship "Die Bode" ... Due to misbehavior Daniel Zaaiman asked that Jacobus be sent back to the Cape in 1685, he died on the ship which sailed back to the Cape.


Hy is in die Kaap en op Mauritius as 'n "ongewenste persoon" beskou

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Jacobus van Meerhof, b1's Timeline

South Africa

There doesn't seem to be a source for the exact date of this birth. Pieter arrives in the colony in 1659, so presuming it was his child - the birth is likely to be not earlier than 1660.

An unconfirmed report from an employee of the Dutch East India Company who passed through the Cape in1660 mentioned that Eva had a child by a European man. The author claims the father was a Frenchman who was heavily fined for making her pregnant, none of which is recorded elsewhere. Unfortunately, this memoir is rife with inaccuracies and repetitions from earlier accounts, casting doubt on its full reliability. If Van Riebeeck had indeed imposed a heavy fine on his rival - a thoroughly unprecedented measure - it is not surprising that he kept it out of the official record. However, a birth in 1660 fits into known chronologies. [Wells http://eprints.ru.ac.za/709/1/Evas-men.pdf last accessed by Sharon Doubell 7 Apr 2013]

Age 5

About one year later, Pieter was again promoted, this time to the position of Superintendent of Robben Island, moving there with a pregnant Eva and their two children. This appointment lasted two years before Pieter was given command of a prestigious expedition to Madagascar and Mauritius, key new spheres of influence for the Dutch.. [Wells http://eprints.ru.ac.za/709/1/Evas-men.pdf last accessed by Sharon Doubell 7 Apr 2013]
Robben Island was mainly used as a prison or place of banishment at this time..

February 8, 1669
Age 9

On the 8 February 1669 a new Church Council of the Dutch Reformed Church was elected consisting of Adriaan de Voogd, Johannes Coon, Adriaan Wils and Gerrit van der Bijl.

At the first sitting of this Church Council a decision was taken to remove Kratoa’s 3 children from her care. Kratoa was accused by the Dutch Reformed Church Council of being a drunk and “playing the beast at night” and reverting to her ‘native habits’.The church councillors having taken this decision, pulled the wool over the eyes of Kratoa to lull her into a sense of false security. They simply conveyed a reprimand and suggested that only if she did not mend her ways that her children might be removed from her care. The decision however had already been taken and they were about to execute their decision.

Kratoa, known as Eva the widow van Meerhof lived in the old pottery, then a make-shift abode. Kratoa got wind that all was not right and feared for what may be done to herself, fled when her children were seized and her house was sealed up to keep her away.

March 1, 1669
Age 9

The children were put into the temporary care of the outgoing Church Deacon Jan Reijniers and his wife. They were considered to be ‘honest and godly people’ and had already been made the adopted parents of another infant Khoe child by the name ofFlorida. This child died a short while later.

In reality Jan Reijneiers was a notorious cattle rustler and sheep thief who had been caught at it by Chief Gogosoa of the Goringhaiqua. The chief had kept van Ruijniers as hostage and strung him up after he was caught stealing some years previously in 1661. [Wells says Reijniers held Gogosa hostage? http://eprints.ru.ac.za/709/1/Evas-men.pdf] In 1666 Reijniers was also convicted of theft by the authorities.

The three children of Kratoa were formally committed to the care of Jan Reijniers and his wife on 1 March 1669.

March 26, 1669
Age 9

On 26 March 1669 Kratoa was banished without trial toRobben Island where she was to remain until her death on 29 July 1674.
"South west wind blowing lustily. Our little yacht "De Bruydegom" proceeds to Robben Island to fetch thence some Dutch slaughter wethers for the ships on the roadstead.
She takes with her to the Island, the Hottentoo woman, Eva, who has now for some time already been sitting in the hole (prison) in consequence of her godless life."

Age 17

Kratoa’s children Pieternella van Meerhof and Solamon van Meerhof were shipped off to Mauritius in 1677 as wards of Theuntje Bartholomeus van der Linde and her husband Bartholomeus Borns on the ship ‘De Boode’.

Jacobus van Meerhof, the eldest of the children was later also sent off to Mauritius to join them. He would later be sent back to the Cape but died mysteriously on the return voyage.

Kratoa also had two other children which officialdom called ‘illegitimate’. These were Jeronimus and Anthonij. It is not known into whose care they had been placed nor whether either the Church Council or the authorities at the Castle officially even concerned themselves with these children. The records are silent. The only records on Anthonij is that he was alone, unmarried and without children when he died during the smallpox epidemic in 1713. One clue that exists is that Anthonij had the surname Everts suggesting that he was brought up in the care of Anne and Evert of Guinea, two freed African slaves.

Age 25
At sea between Mauritius and Cape Town