Boy (Hans) Booysen (Boysen/Boijeszoon)

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Boy Booysen (Boijeszoon), SV/PROG

Also Known As: "Hans Boysen", "Boijesz~", "Boijeszoon"
Birthplace: Barlt, Dithmarschen, Schleswig-Holstein, Denmark (now part of Germany)
Death: January 13, 1743 (68-107)
Stellenbosch, Caep de Goede Hoop, South Africa (Natural causes, allegedly (but unproven) aged 103 years)
Immediate Family:

Son of Peter Boisen/Boysen (Petrus Boëthius) and Anna Boysen
Husband of Hermina van Nes, SM/PROG
Father of Leendert Booysen; Dirk Booysen; Pieter Booysen; Gerrit Booysen, b3 and Maria Magdalena Claasen
Brother of Broder Boysen, Dr. jur.; Andreas Boysen; Anna Ingwersen; Leven Boysen and Margaretha Stockmann

Occupation: "Soldier" (prob. general worker) for VOC;farm hand; Farmer; Councillor
DVN: a1
Managed by: Herman Booysen
Last Updated:

About Boy (Hans) Booysen (Boysen/Boijeszoon)

In my opinion, Hans Boysen, son of Peter Boisen/Boysen (Petrus Boëthius) , is the same person as Boy Boijeszoon/Booysen, founding father of the Booysen family in Southern Africa, who arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in 1689. Please see this PDF document for a full explanation.

The South African family name Booysen is of North-Frisian origin. It derives patronymically from the father's first name: Boy. In this way, it originally appeared variously as Boiesen, Boieszoon, or its abbreviated form Bois/Boisz/Boijesz) but later consolidated into Boisen, Bojsen Boijsen, Boysen, and in South Africa: Booijsen and finally Booysen.

About two generations before the birth of the South African progenitor Boy Booysen, the traditional Scandinavian / Germanic patronymic aftername system fell out of favour, to rapidly become replaced by the family name system (what we now call surnames). Today, the Boysen surname is quite common in the Schleswig-Holstein area, and from there inter alia throughout Germany, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands.

The South African branch of the family originates with the arrival of the stamvader (progenitor) Boij Boijeszoon [modern spelling: Boy Booysen]. Boy joined the service of the Dutch East India Company [VOC], and at the time declared his place of residence as Barlt, Northern Friesland in Schleswig-Holstein. Almost certainly, this was not the place of his birth. Speculatively, this might have been where Boy was living at the time of his application for employment.

Until shortly before Boy's departure to the shores of the Cape of Good Hope, Northern Friesland was self-governing under the authority, protection and concession of the king of Denmark: Germany annexed the area in the early 17th century, after which German became a compulsory language in schools. Despite this Germanification drive, the region proudly maintains its own unique Frisian dialect to this day, which is largely unintelligible to the uninitiated. Compulsory military service was applicable at the time, and a significant number of young men chose to leave the region to avoid conscription. We have no evidence that this was the case with Boy, but there is no record of his service in the military. It therefore remains a speculative possibility that he was one of those who dodged the draft.

Boy Booysen descends from a very wealthy family who owned a large tract of most fertile land on Nordstrand, a large island off the North-Frisian western coast. Before 1634, the surface area of the island covered about 540 square kilometres and was separated from the mainland with rather shallow underwater sandbanks . It was recorded that one could wade the considerable distance between the mainland and the island on foot at low tide. Throughout recorded history, floods were known to occur (often causing damage and drownings), but on 11 to 12 Oktober 1634 a violent storm struck, the like of which had never been recorded previously. To this day, it is known as die Grote Mandränke (= the great drowning of people). Nordstrand island was literally ripped to shreds and most of it disappeared under the waves, taking with it the lives of more than 6 000 people and the entire wealth and property of the Boysen family, among many others. The surviving Boysens settled on what remained in the form of three small islands as well as on the mainland where some became town/city councillors of varying ranks (including mayors), public officials, law practitioners, and ministers in congregations of the (then still) young Protestant Reformed Church.

Boy Booysen, South African progenitor, remains elusive as to his exact identity. Records of the Dutch East India Company (VOC) captured his name as "Boij Boijesž": the tilde (~) was written above the -z, which indicates an abbreviation, therefore his surname should read "Boijeszoon" (Boije's zoon/son of Boy) -- the Dutch patronymic equivalent of the Danish/Frisian surname "Boysen" (the often-found transcription "Boijesz" is therefore a transcription error as it ignores the tilde/indicator of abbreviation).

VOC records list Boy's employment as soldaat (soldier, an administrative term commonly used at the time to denote anything from actual fighting soldier to general labourer, possibly to simplify the payroll). On 24 May 1686, Boy boarded the ship Huis te Zilversteijn [also Huis t' Zilversteijn, sometimes simply Zilversteijn] (commissioned in 1674, commanded by Captain Karsten de Gilde, sailing under the flag of the Chamber of Amsterdam) at Texel, a Frisian island port naturally suited to docking of large ships, its final destination being Batavia, capital of the Dutch East-Indian Isles (presently Jakarta, Indonesia). Records suggest that this was also to be Boy's intended posting, although it's not very clear.

Underway, as planned, the ship docked at the Cape of Good Hope (presently Cape Town, South Africa) on 24 September 1686, where Boy went ashore by order/permission of the local "Commander", Governor Simon van der Stel. It appears that Boy then remained at the Cape, still in the employ of the VOC, while the ship left for Batavia on 7 October 1686 (the ship arrived in Batavia on 30 December 1686).

On Tuesday, 31 December 1686, Boy resigned from his employment at the VOC after only 221 days in its service. He motivated his resignation that he wished to become a vrijburger (a burgher or “free citizen”, i.e. a settler-citizen of the Cape Colony endowed with the rights and privileges of such status). The Governor granted his request, no doubt motivated by the VOC's policy to encourage settlement by Europeans in the young Dutch colony in order to establish a sizable occupation population to counter the number of native people in the region.

As a burgher of the Cape of Good Hope, Boy continued to receive a cash allowance from the VOC throughout his life. 26 years later, Boy was awarded the farm Optenhorst in Drakenstein (near present-day Paarl). J.G. le Roux states in Noorder-Paarl ‎(part of the series Ons Drakensteinse Erfgrond published by the Drakensteinse Heemkring)‎:

"Hierdie plaas is in 1713 toegeken aan Booy Booysen, oorspronklik van Barlt, 'n dorpie in die deel van Holstein langs die Noordsee bekend as Ditmarschen. Hy was reeds in 1688 'n burger van Drakenstein en in 1713 'n bejaarde persoon van 73. Binne twee maande nadat Optenhorst aan hom toegeken is, verkoop hy die helfte daarvan aan Jean Louis du Plessis, tweede seun van die stamvader Charl Prieur du Plessis. Jean Louis noem sy deel van die plaas Olyfboom, maar koop in 1716 ook die oorblywende deel van Optenhorst van Booysen sodat die plaas weer verenig is."

English translation: In 1713, this farm was awarded to Booy Booysen, originally from Barlt, a village in the North Sea region of Holstein known as Ditmarschen. He had been a burgher at Drakenstein since 1688, and by 1713 he had already reached the advanced age of 73 years. Within two months of receiving the farm Optenhorst, he sold half of it to Jean-Louis du Plessis, second son of the progenitor Charl Prieur du Plessis. Jean-Louis named his portion of the farm Olyfboom [Olive Tree], but he later bought the remaining portion of the same farm from Booysen, thereby reuniting the original farm land.

Boy married Hermina van Nes, SM/PROG, originally from Wijk in Duurstede. They had 5 children: Leendert, Pieter, Dirk, Maria, and Gerrit. It is notable that a minority of sources show Hermina's surname as "van Nek". This is doubtlessly a transcription error, as the hand-written -s in her surname may look like a -k to a less-experienced transcriber. In fact, the surname "van Nes" is an alternative form of the surname "van Essen".

Boy Booysen died in 1743 at Stellenbosch where he had also served as a district councillor.

Contributed by: Herman Booysen ( Curator)

The muster roll of 1702 for Drakenstein shows that Boij Boijesz & Harmina van Nes had 5 children http­://­www­.­eggsa­.­org­/­transcriptions­/­monsterrollen­/­1702­/­monsterrol_23_jan_1702_drakenstein­.­htm­ while the one for the Cape shows Boy Boyse en Harmina van Es 5 k http­://­www­.­eggsa­.­org­/­transcriptions­/­monsterrollen­/­1702­/­monsterrol_23_jan_1702_caab­.­htm­ The one for 1695 shows a Boy Boijsz van Baxend & Hermina van Eb 3 k.

BOOYSEN BOY (S). - Barlt in Dithmarschen. * 1640, burgher at Stellenbosch and, since 1688, at Drakenstein. ~ 10.6.1691 Hermina van Nes of Wyk to Duurstede. 5 children: Leendert, Dirk, Pieter, Maria, Gerrit. + 1743, at the age of 103. (Stelllenbosch Arch., vol. 653: 51 and vol. 657: 17; Test. O.C. 5: 28 and 6:28; G.R. nr. 45.) - 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)

Huwelik met Hermina Van Nes SM/PROG
NGK Kaapstad
1691 Den 10 junij sijn in den huijwelijken staedt veree- nigt, Boij Boijse van Barelt jonghman, ende vrijborger alhier, met Heremina van Nes, van Wijk te Duijrsteeden, jongedoghter.

Cabo de Goede Hoop

In 't schip Silversteijn A:o 1686 Boij Boijesz: v: Barent, sold:t debet ... 1743 13 Janrij: getesteert hebbende overleeden blyvende desselfs kinderen in 't besit syner nalatenschap als p:r Caaps vryboek f:o 14



Aanvullende notas deur David Abraham Swanepoel

‘n Meer volledige verwysing vir die boek: Noorder-Paarl. Le Roux JG en le Roux WG. Ons Drakensteinse Erfgrond: deel 5, Noorder-Paarl. [Stellenbosch] : [GISA], [200-?]

Dit wil voorkom of hierdie die bron is waaruit sy geboortejaar bereken is, en toe weer sy ouderdom by afsterwe. Ek kon ongelukkig nog nie die boek raadpleeg nie.

Hierdie ouderdom is uiters onwaarskynlik, synde dit selfs in die 21ste eeu ‘n uitsonderlike hoë ouderdom is om te bereik. Dit sal deur ‘n primêre dokument bevestig moet word. Die rekeninge by afsterwe bevat dit nie. Sien ook die debietinskrywing by:

Kobus Naude met die FamilySearch-genealogie as bron, meen sy geboortedatum is 1649. Dit bly steeds onwaarskynlik.

Die mees waarskynlike geboortedatum is die van Robertson [1]. naamlik c.1670. Dit sou hom net 16 gemaak het by aankoms aan die Kaap in terme van inligting hierbo. Dis weer bietjie jonk, maar dit maak sy sterfouderom 73, veel meer geloofwaardig. Dit bring hom ook meer in lyn met sy vrou se dokumentêr bevestigde geboortedatum, sy troudatum in Junie 1691 en die te verwagte, geskatte datum van sy eerste kind se geboorte. Mens kan sy geboortedatum ook met 'n paar jaar terugskuif, bv 5 jaar.


1. Boij Boijsen. Robertson, Delia. The First Fifty Years Project. Available online: Visited on 02-02-2018.

Kopiereg: Oop Toegang onderhewig aan lisensie CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 - Creative Commons

Kwytskelding: geen verantwoordelikheid word aanvaar vir enige foutiewe of onakkurate inligting nie, hetsy aangehaal, herverpak of self geskryf. ________________________________________________________________

See this genealogy page.

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Boy (Hans) Booysen (Boysen/Boijeszoon)'s Timeline

Barlt, Dithmarschen, Schleswig-Holstein, Denmark (now part of Germany)
Paarl, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
Cape Town, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
Paarl, Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
Paarl, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika