Willem Jan Klerck, SV/PROG

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Willem Jan Klerck, SV/PROG

Birthplace: Rhenen, Rhenen, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Death: Died in Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Son of Dirck Klerck and Wilhelmina Johanna Menthen
Husband of Aletta Wilhelmina Deneys b1c1 and Catharina Maria Munnik
Father of Dirk Jacob Arnold Klerck; Johan Rynhold Gerardus Klerck; Hester Aletta Arnoldina Klerck; Wilhelmina Albertina Maria Klerck and Magdalena Petra Dorothea Klerck
Brother of Rijnholt Anthonij Klerck; Abertina Huygens Broeck and Dorothea Aletta Flury Verset

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About Willem Jan Klerck, SV/PROG

Looking for ORIGINAL Cape DENEYS I found this extract from the Klerck family records : Willem Jan [Klerck] was also born at Rhenen, obtained a commission in the Dutch navy and finally became a naval captain and Commander of the frigate ‘De Swaluw’ between 1791 and 1793. The frigate went to the Dutch East Indies and this brought Klerck to the Cape where he met Aletta Wilhelmina Deneys (although a letter from the Dutch archives states that Klerck in fact sold De Swaluw in China; it is assumed that the ship which brought him to Cape Town, a Danish ship called Thetis ( DONT SOME OF THE KID’S IN THE TREE HAVE TIS AS A FIRST NAME ?), also carried his future wife, and mother of the SA Klercks, Aletta).. They became engaged and after they had married Klerck decided to leave the navy and settle permanently at the Cape. It was probably in this period that he built the house in Boomstraat, now Commercial Street. Today it is a street of warehouses and wholesalers, but when called Boomstraat and even earlier when it was known by the aristocratic-sounding name of Ridderstraat (Knight Street) it was a much sought-after residential area in which civil servants of the Dutch East India Company of the highest ranks used to live. Colin Graham Botha gave a charming picture of them as they sat on their stoeps, discussing current affairs while smoking their long Gouda clay pipes. In Klerck’s time the retired Ad Interim Fiscal Gabriel Exter lived there and he himself was no less important a personality. What Klerck did during the first British occupation I have been unable to discover except that, according to the Cape Directory of 1800, he still lived in Boomstraat and evidently had not left the country. When the Dutch returned he was appointed Weesmeester (Master of the Orphan Chamber) in 1804 and later, under the second British administration, he became a Receiver of Revenue. The coat of arms of the Deneys’s was a horse ‘regardant’ and when Klerck’s house was finished he combined this coat of arms with his own arms, showing the keys, and placed them on the pediment. I know of no other examples of heraldic decorations on houses at the Cape and it was probably unique, although obviously fashioned after examples in Holland where such heraldic decorations were quite common, especially in Amsterdam. On his seal, still preserved in the Cape Archives, Klerck also placed the combined arms of himself and his wife. That was not unusual in his time either, although less so at the Cape. It may be wishful thinking but because of this persistent habit of combining the two arms one cannot help feeling that perhaps Klerck and his wife were very much in love with each other and showed it in this heraldic way. However, it may also have been nothing more than convention. In any case, when Aletta died in December 1816 Klerck remarried, hardly three months later, with Catharina Maria Munnik, which seems unduly quick. The arms of both wives were placed on the hatchment which now hangs in the museum of the Cape Archives, the Munnik arms being ‘canting’: a monk with a rosary.

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Willem Jan Klerck, SV/PROG's Timeline

August 20, 1766
Rhenen, Rhenen, Utrecht, The Netherlands
July 7, 1793
Age 26
Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
September 1794
Age 28
January 1797
Age 30
April 1798
Age 31
Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
July 1799
Age 32
November 1804
Age 38
March 31, 1817
Age 50
Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
May 21, 1839
Age 72
Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa