Petronella Van Meerhof b2 SM

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Pieternella Saayman (van Meerhof), b2 SM

Also Known As: "Petronella; Pieternella van die Kaap; Pieternella Meerhof; Pieternella Saayman", ";Zaaiman; Zaaijman", "Pieternella Zaayman", "Petronella Zaaijman"
Birthplace: Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
Death: Died in Stellenbosch, Cape Winelands, Western Cape, South Africa
Cause of death: pokkenepidemie
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Pieter van Meerhoff, SV/PROG; Pieter Havgard / van Meerhoff; Krotoa 'Eva' van Meerhof SM/PROG and Eva / Krotoa Havgard / van Meerhoff
Wife of Daniel Saayman, SV/PROG
Mother of Catharina Zaaijman, b1; Magdalena Zaaijman, b7 SM; Eva Zaaijman, b2; Maria Martha Marijke de Vries; Pieter Zaaijman, b5 and 5 others
Sister of Jacobus van Meerhof, b1 and Salomon van Meerhof, b3
Half sister of Jéronimus van de Caap and Anthoniij Everts

Managed by: At Coetzee
Last Updated:

About Petronella Van Meerhof b2 SM

Alternate first name: Pieternella / Petronella

Alternate surname: Meerhof / van Meerhof

Van 1669-1677 is Pieternella is opgegroeid bij Jan Reyniers. Samen met haar broer Salamon zijn ze in 1677 getransporteerd naar Mauritius (samen met nog een zusje en broer Jacobus volgens Meegenomen door vrijburger Bartholomeus Borms en zijn vrouw Theuntje (de voogdouders), met de hoeker de Boode om "om de armen te ontlasten van 2 onmondige kinderen":

"Vrijdagh desen 23en Julij 1677 ....Verders door de diaconij en besorgers der arme deser residentie in Rade overgetransporteert sijnde seeker request van den vrijman Bartolomeus Borms en sijn vrouw, aan haer E. vertoont, luijdende aldus van woorde tot woord:

Verthonen mits desen aen diakonen en besorgers der armen aen de Caep d' Goede Hoope Bartholomeus Borms nevens sijne huijsvrouw Theuntje ... [5] ingesetenen alhier te kennen gevende hoe dat aen hun beijde bij hooger macht passagie verleent zijnde om eerstes daegs met God de voorste per de hoecker de Boode naer Mauritius eijlandt te mogen vervaeren, wel genegen zouden wesen den armen te releveren en t' ontlasten van twee onmondige kinderen van wijlen Sr. Pieter meerhoff zaligen, naemens Pieternella en Salamon ende deselve in haer geselschap en voorsorge naer 't gemelde eijlant mede te nemen....."


[5] Volgens G. G. Kloeke was Bartholomeus Borns (die van word met 'n n gespel) getroud met Theuntje Bartholomeuz Elders; in 1663, word sy Theunken Bartholomeus van der Linden genoem.

[Resolutions of the Council of Policy of Cape of Good Hope Cape Town Archives Repository, South Africa Reference code: C. 11, pp. 45-50. op]

Vermelding in de archieven:

31-12-1712 Monsterrol Stellenbosch, p. 247 "Daniel Zaaijman & Pieternella Meerhof"

Zie ook de historische roman "Pieternella van die Kaap"

Auteur: Dalene Matthee

Zie ook het boek "Islands"

Auteur: Dan Sleigh

Vertaling: Andre Brink


Pieternella MEERHOF (ook bekend as Pieternella VAN DIE KAAP) is op Mauritius getroud met Daniel ZAAIJMAN (afkomstig uit Vlissingen), die VOC se groenteboer. Hul het later na die Kaap gekom. Haar ouers was Pieter VAN MEERHOF (Ned. vir Peter HAVGARD, wat as 22-jarige soldaat en sjirurgyn op 22 MAR 1659 aan boord van die 'Princes Roijael' uit Kopenhagen in die Kaap aangekom het, later ontdekkingsreisiger, vermoor op Madagaskar in 1667) en Krotoa (ook bekend as Eva).

Broer - Jacobus VAN MEERHOF

Broer - Salamon VAN MEERHOF

Bron: Die Geslagsregister van die familie PELSER, PELSTER, PELSZER, PELTSER, PELTZER en PELZER in Suid-Afrika sedert 1708 deur R. DE V. PIENAAR, Stellenbosch, 2004. Bl. 8

(Y. DROST, 23 NOV 2009)

She [her mother, Eva] lapsed into such a dissolute and immoral life, however, that the V.O.C. again sent her to Robben Island on 26th March 1669, and placed the three children in the care of the free burgher, Jan Reyniersz.

In 1677 the free burgher, Bartholomeus Borns recieved permission from the Council of Policy to take two of Eva's children, Pieternella (Petronella) and Salamon van Meerhoff, with him to Mauritius.

There Pieternella van Meerhoff married Daniel Zaayman (from Vlissingen), and, on 26th January 1709, arrived with her husband at the Cape, where she became an ancestor of the Zaayman family in South Africa.

There were eight children born of this marriage, four sons and four daughters, of whom most (or all) were probably born on Mauritius.

The family has descended in the male line from the eldest son, Pieter Zaayman; two sons were baptized in Cape Town on 17 February 1709; two daughters were apparently married at the Cape (to Diodati and Bockelberg). A third daughter, Maria Zaayman, had already arrived at the Cape from Mauritius in 1708 with her husband, Hendrik Abraham de Vries, of Amsterdam (one of the four De Vries ancestors in South Africa) there being with her four children, of whom three boys were baptized simultaneously in Cape Town on 4 November 1708.

A fourth daughter, Eva Zaayman, date of birth unrecorded, was married (apparently at the Cape) first to Hubert Jansz van der Meyden, and later (20 September 1711) at Stellenbosch, to Johannes Smit of Delft. As far as is known no children resulted from these marriages.

Eva (Krotoa) van die Kaap

Source: SESA (Standard Encyclopedia of Southern Africa)

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More information:


Dan Sleigh's book

'Islands' (translated from the Afrikaans by Andre Brink) - tells the story of Krotoa/ Eva; the Hottentot chief Autshumao/Harry/Herrie; & Pieternella, Krotoa's daughter - amongst others.

Dalene Matthee's book

Pieternella daughter of Eva - tells Pieternella's story.


The VOC abandoned its post on Mauritius in 1708. Pieternella and her husband and children came to the Cape where they settled at Stellenbosch. They both died at the Cape before 1 Dec 1714. Her daughter Catharina married Roelof Diodati and died in Batavia. Her son Daniel died in Asia.

See contributed by Jansi Syfert in this [Discussion] about whether there are still family of Pieternella in Mauritius.


view all 20

Petronella Van Meerhof b2 SM's Timeline

September 16, 1663

Kratoa has a another child with Pieter van Meerhof. The child Pieternella was baptized on the mainland. The couple had two more children who did not survive.

South Africa

Kratoa has a third child with Pieter van Meerhof. The child Pieternella was baptized on the mainland. The couple had two more children who did not survive.

Age 2

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 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 6

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 6

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?] 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 6

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."

October 13, 1677
Age 14
Age 14

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.

September 27, 1678
Age 15
June 10, 1682
Age 19