About Johann Herbst, SV/PROG 1
Name: Johann Herbst
Variations of the name: Herfst, Herbest, Herbster, Erbst
Origin of the name: The Herbst surname is derived from the German word “Herbst”, meaning autumn. It has been suggested that the surname may have originally been used by people whose main work occurred during the fall harvest. For example, Herbster, most likely meant “grape harvester.” First found in Bavaria, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. Early records include a Marquart Herbst, in Würzburg in 1220.
Birth date: circa 1664
Birth Place: Bremen, Germany
Arrival in South Africa: 1686
Date of Death: circ 1728
Place of Death: South Africa
Partner 1: Cecilia van Angola
b1 Angenitie = 1685
Partner 2: Lijsbeth Sanders van de Kaap
b2 Gerbrecht = 1.10.1702
Occupation & Career: In 1686 overseer of the Comp.'s cattle post in Hottentots Holland, later (1690) burgher at Drakenstein.
HERBST JOHANN. - Bremen. In 1686 overseer of the Comp.'s cattle post in Hottentots Holland, later (1690) burgher at Drakenstein. + after 1728. A son, Johannes (2.9.1685) [this is a mistake - there is no such entry], by Cicilia of Angola, two daughters by Lysbeth (Sanders) of the C.: Clara ~ Jan Harmensz Potgieter, Gerbergt (1.10.1702) ~ Johannes Vosloo. (V.R.S., vol. 12, p. 41; MR. Vrye Lieden of 1690; CJ 1125: 234, will in Stellenbosch Arch., vol. 649: 11; Inv. O.C. 2: 102; Test. O.C. 4: 147; MOOC 14/26 nr. 14.)
- Dr. J. Hoge, Personalia of the Germans at the Cape, 1652-1806, Archives Year Book for South African History (Cape Town: Government Printer, Union of South Africa, 1946)
- Birth Date 1664
- Death Date 1728
- First Name Johann
- Last Name Herbst
- Suffix SV/PROG
- Gender Male
- Birth Location Bremen, Deutschland
- Death Location Cape Colony
In 1699 Johann Herbst received a grant of land on the upper reaches of the Wamakers River, in the newly settled region of Wagenmakersvalleij (now Wellington). This was the year that Lijsbeth would have been freed from the chain-gang, if her fine was not paid. Herbst (or Herfst) named his farm ‘Opperherfst’.
He lived there with Lijsbeth (now known as Lijsbeth Sanders)138 until his death in 1734, though in 1724 the farm was transferred to his son-in-law, Johannes Vosloo, on condition that Vosloo maintain him for the remainder of his life (the agreement with Vosloo made no mention of Lijsbeth Sanders).
The genealogical registers tell us that he had two daughters with Lijsbeth: Clara Herfst, who married Johannes Harmensz Potgieter in 1712 and Gerbrecht Herfst, who married Johannes Vosloo.
When they first settled at Opperherfst, Lijsbeth and Herbst were assisted by the burgher (and tailor) Heinrich Venter, who agreed to help Herbst, ‘wegen zijn swaekheijt’ (on account of his infirmity) to establish the farm. They would sow and reap together and share the profit and the loss.
Venter made his 60 cattle available for ploughing and manure and pastured his sheep on the land. In 1704, however, Venter received his own land, further downstream on the Berg River, and he presumably left Herbst and Lijsbeth Sanders to fend for themselves.
In time, as we shall see, they gathered around themselves a small community of relatives, including the husbands and lovers of Lijsbeth’s daughters by Louis of Bengal.