Christoffel Snyman

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Christoffel Snyman

Also Known As: "Christoffel Snijman", "Senayment"
Birthplace: Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
Death: Died in Drakenstein, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
Immediate Family:

Biological son of Hans Christoffel Snyman, SV/PROG and Catharina van Paliacatta, SM/PROG
Adopted son of Anthonij Jansz van Bengale, SV/PROG
Husband of Marguerite -Therese de Savoye, b4 PROG1
Father of Jacobus Christoffel Snyman, b1; Catharina Snyman Viljoen, b2; Maria Magdalena Snyman, b3; Christina Snyman b4; Elsje Snyman, b5 and 4 others
Half brother of Catharina Wagenmakers, SM; Marritie Pieterz; Petronella Everardsz, SM and Anthony Everaerts

Occupation: Farmer on the farm "Sandvliet". Married on 12/10/1690 Therese de Savoije, Belgium, Het in 1692 geboer in vennootskap met Erns Friederich Walter op Sandvleit in Groot Drakenstein. Corporal in the Infantry Burgher-Corps, Stellenbosch.
Managed by: Chris Steyn
Last Updated:

About Christoffel Snyman

Input from Delia Robertson:

It was the accepted legal practice at the time that new spouses to the biological parent of a child became the legal parent … this applied in different circumstances, children born out of wedlock, children of a deceased parent, etc. Sometimes they were referred to as adopted, sometimes as (step)child, etc. So there was generally no formal adoption process in these examples. In other cases (the Meerhof children being an example) children were placed in the care of an individual by the Council, or the church, or the court.

Christoffel was the universal heir to Anthonij Jansz v Bengale and his mother Groote Catrijn.


Viking' blood at the Cape - DNA evidence confirms European paternity of Christoffel Snijman van der Caep and debunks theory he was the biological son of Anthonij Jansz van Bengale. An examination of recently published public DNA test of Kornelius Snyman showing him to be in the Y-DNA haplogroup I-M253 - the ancient paternal lineage of the Nordic countries popularly known as the 'Viking' haplogroup. Forty percent of Fins and 38% of Swedes are from this haplogroup which also commonly occurred in other north European countries and in Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Delia Robertson posted this.


Name: Christoffel Snyman

Variations of the name: Snijman, Schneider, Snijder

Origin of the name: Snyman is an Afrikaans variation on the German surname Schneider - which is German for "tailor"; literally "someone who cuts," from the verb schneiden "to cut".

Birth date: circa 1668

Birth Place: Cape of Good Hope

Baptism date: 9 March 1669, Cape Town

Date of Death: circa 1706

Place of Death: Drakenstein, Cape of Good Hope

Parents: Hans Christoffel Snijder (this is the Dutch version of Schneider) also known as Snijman and Catharina van Paliacatta. Christoffel Snyman was the stepson of Anthonie van Bengale.

Marriage: Margaretha de Savoye

Date: circa 1689

Place: Cape of Good Hope


b1 Jacobus Christoffel = 10 December 1690

b2 Catharina = 27 January 1692

b3 Maria Magdalena = 9 August 1693

b4 Christina = 22 July 1695

b5 Elsje = 1 August 1697

b6 Johanna = 25 October 1699

b7 Philippus = 24 July 1701

b8 Susanna = 28 October 1703

b9 Elisabeth = 21 March 1706

Occupation & Career: Farmer at Zandvliet, Groot Drakenstein between 1692 and 1705.

Relevant Links

Greeff Family History

First Fifty Years project

South Africa's Stamouers

Other information:

Christoffel was one of the few free slaves that married into the white community.

Christoffel Snyman started farming in 1692 in partnership with Ernst Friedrich Walter.

After his death in 1706 Margaretha Therese DE SAVOYE married Henning Viljoen.

Hans Christoffel Snijman (the father of Christoffel Snyman) was a soldier in the garrison convicted and banished to Robben Island on 30th July 1667 for not standing guard - instead he had been sleeping on a regular basis with Groote Catrijn - washerwoman at the Fort to successive commanders. Thereafter, Snijders disappears from the records at the Cape. On instructions from the Council of India, Groote Catrijn was again pardoned.

VOORKIND with Hans Christoffel SNIJMAN

Christoffel Snyman baptised on 9 March 1669. (He became the stamvader of the Snyman family).

Groote Cathrijn then gets baptised herself as an adult with her fellow slave friend Mooij Ansela on 29 April 1668.

Catharina later married a free black (mardijker) Anthonij (Jansz) (de Later) van BENGALE on 20th December 1671. In a letter dated 6 January 1672 it is mentioned that Groot Catrijn was freely pardoned.

Groote Catrijn, her husband, her daughter and granddaughter - with the exception of Christoffel Snijman Jnr appear to have all died, in some family tragedy sometime between December 1682 and February 1683.

Antjonij Jansz van Bengale's sizeable estate provided for the boy's education and a substantial inheritance.


M Upham "In Hevigen Woede ... Groote Catrijn: Earliest Recorded Female Bandiet at the Cape of Good Hope - A Study in Upward Mobility" Capenis, Sept 1997. Part of a series.

New updated article to be available soon..

Christoffel was een van die min manlike halfslag slawe wat in die wit gemeenskap ingetrou het. Christoffel trou in Julie 1689 met Margaretha Therese DE SAVOYE sy was van Gent, Vlaandere. Haar ouers was Jacques de Savoije en Christine du Pont (korrekte ouers gekry van Jean le Roux) , sommige gepubliseerde inligting verkeerdelike gee haar moeder as Marie Madeleine de Klerk.

Y-DNA Genetic Information

A descendant of Christoffel's son Philippus (b7) has tested positive in April 2014 for: I1 M253+ Z60+ (The haplogroup I-M253 is also referred to as I1d1a)

Haplogroup I-M253 (Y-DNA) is the original paternal lineage of Nordic Europe (Z60 is a subclade under this haplogroup). The highest frequencies of the I-M253 lineage are now found in Scandinavian countries. I-M253 males are currently present throughout Europe, consisting of about 40 percent of the male population of Norway, 35 percent of Finland, between 10 and 11 percent of French, about 18 percent of German and between 10 and 22 percent of the British Isles.


1. Geno 2.0 test results by the Geneographic Project of National Geographic

2. The document Snyman_genetics_20140423_v0.4.pdf under the Sources tab:

Christoffel Snyman x voor 1690 Marguerite de Savoye, d.v. Jacques de Savoye, v. Aeth, Frankryk, en Christine du Pont. Marguerite hertrou met Henning Viljoen. Christoffel was one of the few free slaves who married into the white community. Haplogroup I-M253 (alias I1, prev. I1a) - Z60 subclade (prev. I1a2a).

Christoffel Snyman, corporal in the Burgher-Corps Infantry, Stellenbosch.

Died before 12th Sept.1705

Succeded as corporal by Jacob Nortje.


To Stellenbosch.] 12th Sept. “ Jacob Cruse and Johannes Swellengrebel deputed to be present at the parade and parrot exercise on the 15th and 18th. Jan Elbertsz to be captain of the cavalry in the place of Pieter Robbertsz; François du Toit to be lieutenant, and Claas Elbertsz to be cornet. Lourens Verbrugge to be quartermaster. Jan Harmensz Potgieter to be cavalry sergeant. Nicolas Cleeff to be standard bearer. Hans Jacob Conterman to be sergeant vice the disrated Hans Henske. Jacobus van Driel to be corporal. Hercules du Preez to be captain vice Barend Burchard deceased. Willem van Zyl to be lieutenant. Jan Mague to be ensign. Nicolas de la Noy to be sergeant. Jacob Nortje to be corporal vice Christoffel Snyman, deceased.

Source: Precis of the Archives of the Cape of Good Hope: Letters Despatched, 1696-1708 pg.272

Geni source:


From 1686 to 1705, parrot-shooting was a regular feature during the annual military review (Stellenbosch Three Centuries: Official Commemorative Volume, Stellenbosch Town Council, 1979).

On November 29, 1705, the High Government in the Indies had ordered the Cape Government to abolish the annual custom of shooting at the parrot at Stellenbosch (The Huguenots in South Africa, Manfred Nathan).


  • 1692
  • Den 12 Maij sijn tot het gebruijk van des Heeren H: Avondtmael aen Stellenbosch overgekoomen
  • Margaretrha de Savoije van Gent,
  • Den 14 Augusti sijn aen Stellenbosch tot het gebruijk van des Heeren H: Avontmael overgekoomen
  • Chrijstoffel Snijman van de Caep,
view all 16

Christoffel Snyman's Timeline

March 9, 1669
Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
March 9, 1669
Kaapstad, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
12, 1671
Age 1
Age 20
Age 20
Drakenstein, Cape Province
Age 21
Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
February 1693
Age 23
Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
Age 25
Drakenstein, Cape, South Africa
Age 27
Stellenbosch, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika