Claude Marais, b1

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Claude Marais, b1

Birthplace: Plesis Merle, France, Paris
Death: Died in Kaapstad, Caap de Goede Hoop
Place of Burial: Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
Immediate Family:

Son of Charles Marais, SV/PROG and Catherine Tabourdeaux, SM/PROG
Husband of Maria Avice and Susanna Gardiol, SM
Father of (No Name); Charles Marais, b1c2; Stephanus Marais, b1c3; Jacques Marais and Maria Marais
Brother of Charles Marais, b2; Isaac Marais, b3 and Marie Madeleine Marais, b4 SM

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Claude Marais, b1

b1 “SA Genealogies” vol 5, Genealogical Institute of SA, Stellenbosch, 1999” page 424

Arrived in South Africa on board "Voorschoten" with his parents brothers and sister on 13 april 1688 at the age of 24, according to the Passenger list. The ship left in Dec 1687 and arrived in April 1688, therefore he would have been born in 1663.

Claude was the owner of the farms Meerlust, Lekkerwyn, Wel van Pas and owned a house in Cape Town.

Volgens die inventaris MOOC8/5.51 wat op 12/9/1729 opgeskryf is na die afsterwe van Susanna Gardiol, was haar man, burger Glaude Marais, en haar ses kinders met Abraham De Villiers haar erfgename.

Hy het toe gewoon in die huijs en erff gelegen in die Tafelvalleij.

Dan het hy ook 'n plaas negelaat Meerlust asook Lekkerwijn wat beide moeten aan de soon Jacob volgens huewelijkse voorwarde overgalaten werden.

Die plaas Plessi Marli gaan aan soons van Claude Marais genaamt Chales en Stefan(us) Marais en die plaas Wel van Pas en die huis in Tafelvalleij aan sy nagelate eggenoot.

Judi Marais-Meyer register.

Professionele navorser - Emerentia v Rensburg

Geslagregister van Vroeë Kaapse families - C C De Villiers.

Groot Afrikaanse familie Naamboek - Cor Pama.

Foto's by die Hugenote Sentrum.

Passasierslyste - Hugenote Sentrum

Plaas " Plaisir Merle" , Drakenstein Kaap.

Weesc K d GH verw no. MOOC8/5.51


Blignaut Navorsing

Privaat Navorsing

Pegisis Databasis

Claude was the owner of the following farms: Meerlust, Lekkerwyn, Plessis merle, Wel van Pas and owned a house in Cape town. All his children was from his first marriage with Maria Avicè.

Claudes Estate Papers can be found in KAB MOOC Vol no 6/9/864 System 01, Part 1 Begin and ending 1917

His testamant is filed at KAB Source CJ Vol 2601 System 01, Ref 14 Part 1 Begin and end 1721.

Claude Marais owned Meerlust, Lekkerwyn, Le Plessis Marle in Drakenstein; Wel van Pas inWagenmakersvallei, and Kykuit in Daljosafat (Paarl).

Claude(24) ? arrived at Saldanha Bay with his family on the Voorschoten 13.4.1688. He married Marie Avice from Chateaudun, Orleans in 1690. On 13.10.1721 he married Suzanne Gardiolle from La Coste, Provence, in Cape Town. He owned a house in Cape Town in addition to the wine farms Meerlust, Lekkerwyn, Le Plessis Marle and Wel-van-Pas. He had 2 sons, Charles * 1694, who remained unmarried, Estienne (Stephanus) * 1696 who married Marie-Isabeau De Villiers 15.8.1718 at Paarl, and a daughter Marie * 1692 who married Pierre Taillefert

He and Isabeau de Villiers witnessed the baptism of Rachel Jùbert on 16 April 1730 Drakenstein, therefore he could not have died in 1929.


French Refugees at the Cape, C.G.Botha, Cape Town, Cape Times Ltd, 1919

C416, Inkomende Brieven: Kamer Delft, Dec 19 1687, f.1013

Met dit schip’ staen mede van hier te gaen de volgende persoonen, die om de vervolginge tegens de waere gereformeerde Religie in Vrankrijk bij ons sijn overgekomen, die nu volgens Resolutie van de vergaderingh der Heeren 17 en ‘t reglement aen de Caep moeten werden geplaetst en als vrije luijden tot den lantbouw en andere hantwercken gebruijkt, wij recommandeeren U : E : deselve in alles behulpsaem te wesen waer aen de Compc in ‘t particulier en de kercks godsdienst sal geschieden-namentlijk

  • Charles Marais uijt plessis in Vrankrijk
  • Catarina Taboureux sijn huijsvrouw
  • Claude Marais out 24 jaeren
  • Charles Marais 19 jaeren
  • Isaac Marais 10 laeren
  • Marie Marais 6 jaeren
  • der selver kinderen


  • 1 jonge gen:t Alie van Mallabaar
  • 1 jonge gen:t Septemb:r van Mallabar
  • 1 jonge gen:t Nero van Mallabar
  • 1 jonge gen:t Alexander van Mallabar
  • 1 jonge gen:t Jan van Batavia
  • 1 jonge gen:t Andries van Bougis
  • 1 jonge gen:t Salomon van Maccasser
  • 1 jonge gen:t Pieter van Maccasser
  • 1 jonge gen:t April van Bengalen
  • 1 meijt gen:t Sara van Rio de La Goa

12 Sep 1729:

Signed MOOC8/5-51 on 12 Sept 1729 -

Death Date > 16 April 1730:

He and Isabeau de Villiers witnessed the baptism of Rachel Jùbert on 16 April 1730 at Nederduitsch Gereformeerde Kerk, Drakenstein, de Caep de Goede Hoop Drakenstein I Baptisms, Den 16 April 1730; K: Rachel; V: Pieter Jùbert De Jonge; M: Susanna de Villiers reets overleden; G: Claùde Marais, Elizabeth De Villiers.

so at least after 16 April 1730 June Barnes Sep 2016

There has been a date offered of 1740 - but we can't find the Sources.

M.Boucher. (1981). French speakers at the Cape: The European Background.

The Cape settlers from this part of France [From the Loire to the Channel] came largely, but not exclusively, from the towns and villages of coastal Normandy and from a rural quadrilateral with Paris, Orleans, Blois and L'Aigle at its corners. Indeed one refugee ship brought a party of French settlers from the United Provinces whose original homes, despite indications to the contrary by C. Graham Botha 2 and J.L.M. Franken,' were all within the quadrilateral. The vessel was the Voorschooten of Delft, which sailed from Goeree on December 31, 1687 under the captaincy of Frans Villerius.4 Special provision had been made for the spiritual needs of the emigrants. The ship carried two new quarto French Bibles and ten books of the psalms of Marot and Beze, and for the edification of the refugees on the voyage, the sermons of the former Caen pastors Pierre du Bose and Jean Guillebert. 5 In the context of this voyage, Franken’s identification of the Cape farm Le Plessis Marie with a locality near Marie in Picardy is certainly wide of the mark. 6 It was the refugee Charles Marais who perpetuated the name of his place of origin in the designation of the farm granted to him in 1688. He and his family came from the Hurepoix region of the Ile-de- France, south and south-west of Paris, and were members of the congregation worshipping at Le Plessis-Marly near Longvilliers, a village north-west of Dourdan towards the Rambouillet forest. Le Plessis- Marly was the estate of the Duplessis-Mornays, the family which gave the statesman Philippe de Mornay to the Protestant cause in the troubled days of Henri IV. Le Plessis-Marly came into Philippe’s possession through his mother Francoise, daughter of Charles du Bec-Crespin, vice- admiral of France. Formerly owned by her maternal aunt Jeanne de Deauvilliers, the property was acquired by Francoise in June 1561.7

The church was chosen in 1601 by the royal commissioners Francois d’Angennes and Pierre Jeannin to serve the Calvinists of the Montfort- l’Amaury bailiwick, replacing an earlier place of worship at Garan- cieres-en-Beauce to the south-west.8 The Mornays made personal provision in 1606 for the salary of a minister and for the support of the poor. The church was included in the Beauce colloquy of the synodal province for the north-east of France and had close connections with the seigneurial church of La Norville in the Hurepoix, sharing the same pastor, Maurice de Lauberon de Montigny, for a number of years after 1626. The Paris temple had been sited in the Hurepoix before 1606, first at Grigny and later, in 1599, at Ablon-sur-Seine. both south of the capital, but with the removal to Charenton, Le Plessis-Marly and La Norville alone served the region.9

It was for Jansenism, rather than Calvinism, that the Hurepoix was noted in the seventeenth century. The Calvinist reform movement had made little headway there and was very much a minority cult. Jean Jacquart has put forward some tentative reasons: the ease with which repressive measures could be introduced to counter heresy in towns and villages close to the capital; few complaints of a material kind against the Catholic church and close family ties between many of the clergy and their parishioners; social stability in a region which remained relatively strong economically during the wars of religion. Here then was no fertile field for religious innovation and proximity to Paris strengthened the efforts of Catholic reform: mission priests, following in the footsteps of Vincent de Paul, were active; eucharistic devotions, a counterpoise to Calvinism, were encouraged. A number of landowners returned to the Catholic faith and those who remained members of the reformed church do not appear to have strongly influenced their tenants.10

The anti-Calvinist drive mounted by Louis XIV drove the pastor Jacques Rondeau of Le Plessis-Marly to England,11 while Charles Marais, his wife Catherine Taboureux and their children Claude, Charles, Isaac and Marie-Madeleine made their way to the United Provinces. Like so many other refugees of the period they had been compelled to accept Catholicism at the revocation, but returned to the reformed faith in their first country of refuge. Charles, his wife and the older children rejected their forced conversion at the Walloon church in The Hague on September 14, 1687.12

Tradition has it that Claude served as an officer in the French army and that the family occupied a higher social position than most other Cape refugees.1-' However, apart from the fact that it was to the more aristocratic congregation of The Hague that they were attached in the United Provinces, nothing has been discovered to substantiate the claims. Did economic hardship play any part in deciding Marais to quit France? The peasantry of the Hurepoix, essentially a region geared to the production of cereals and wine for the Paris market, suffered a long period of growing pauperization in the seventeenth century, as Jacquart has amply demonstrated. The crisis reached its peak in 1652 during the military operations of the Fronde, with widespread famine and general misery. A subsequent increase in land appropriation, in which the Paris bourgeoisie played a conspicuous part, subjected the humble rural population to further degradation.14 We do not know the circumstances of Charles Marais’s daily life, but it is possible that, even without religious persecution, his position was becoming intolerable. The Hurepoix, unlike some other agricultural regions of France, did not generally offer alternative means of remunerative employment, apart from the usual run of village crafts. Those who normally made a living from the land could often turn elsewhere to small scale textile manufacture. However it was virtually only in the stocking industry of Dourdan that such an opportunity existed in this part of the country.15

But were opportunities for immigrant agricultural workers much greater in the United Provinces? It is to be doubted. The Cape of Good Hope, however, needed farmers and if the Marais parents were a little old to begin a new life in a distant land, their children might be expected to prosper and make a useful contribution to the well-being of the colony. Claude was twenty-four years of age when the passenger list of December 19, 1687 was sent by the Delft chamber to the Cape. Charles was nineteen. Isaac a boy of ten and Marie a child of six.' (M.Boucher. (1981). French speakers at the Cape: The European Background. Pretoria, UNISA p 105-7)


  • 1. See MOURS, Protestantisme en France au XVIV siecle, pp. 62-67; 86.
  • 2. The French refugees at the Cape, 3rd ed., pp. 85; 98.
  • 3. ‘Jean Prieur du Plessis’, Die Huisgenoot, XIV. 382. July 26, 1929, p. 25.
  • 4. COERTZEN, Franse Flugenote in Suid-Afrika, pp. 150-151; BOTHA, French refugees, p. 7 and n.
  • 5. C 416, Inkomende brieven, 1685-1687(1688): Kamer Delft. Dec. 19, 1687, f. 1013v. (CA). The French settlers listed in this letter (ff. lOllv. -1013) are also in BOTHA, French refugees, pp. 137-138.
  • 7. On the Mornay background see HAAG and HAAG, France protestante, VII, pp. 512-542. Le Plessis-Marly is discussed in M. BOUCHER. ‘Cape and company in the early eighteenth century’, Kleio, IX, 1 and 2, June 1977, pp. 67-68.
  • 8. 5642, Collection Auziere, Ile-de-France, Eglises, L-Z: Le Plessis-Marly, Pays chartrain, p. 23 (Bibl. Prot., SHPF).
  • 9. JACQUART, Crise rurale, p. 582 and n.; J. PANNIER. ‘Notes sur l’eglise reformee de La Norville; les origines; un registre de 1671; la disparition’, BSHPF, L, April 15, 1901, p. 175.
  • 10. Crise rurale, pp. 168-169; 583.
  • 11. MOURS, 'Pasteurs’, BSHPF, CXIV, Jan.-March 1968, p. 81.
  • 12. AB ZH Gra dtb, ’s-Gravenhage, Lidmaatschap, ens., 1621-1893 (copy): 1225-1227, p. 78, where the names are given as Marets and Taboureur (CBG).
  • 13. A.O. HEESE (transcribed), Das Tagebuch des Missionars Albert Nachti- gal; Lydenburg, Stellenbosch, Detmold. I, 1871-1881, pp. 196-197 (p. 228 of original): information from Margaretha Elisabeth de Villiers, nee Marais (Original and transcript in Unisa Library).
  • 14. Crise rurale, pp. 643-740.
  • 15. JACQUART, Crise rurale, p. 495.
  • 16. C 416, Inkomende brieven: Kamer Delft, Dec. 19, 1687, f. 1013; Botha, French refugees, pp. 137-138. See these sources for ages of others on ship.
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Claude Marais, b1's Timeline

December 10, 1662
Plesis Merle, France, Paris

According to the Passenger List in Cape Town, Claude was 21 when he was on board the Voorschoten with his parents which makes his birth year 1667. The year ca 1662 is a date according to "Vroeë Geslagsregister van Kaapse families."

April 13, 1688
Age 25
Plessismornay, Longvilliers, Paris, France
Age 29
Age 31
Paarl, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
Age 33
Drakenstein, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
April 16, 1730
Age 67
Kaapstad, Caap de Goede Hoop