Coenraad de Buys, c1d4

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Coenraad de Buys, c1d4

Also Known As: "Coenraad du Buis", "b3c1d4", "Coenraad Buys"
Birthplace: Eselsjagt, Suid Afrika, Kaap
Death: circa 1822
Portuguese East Africa (Possibly Yellow Fever)
Place of Burial: Coenraad's remains were never found
Immediate Family:

Son of Johannes du Buis, b3c1 and Christina Scheepers, b8 SM
Husband of Elisabeth du Buis and Yese
Partner of Maria van der Horst, PROG
Father of Michiel du Buis; Gabriel du Buis, b3c1d4e9; Philip DE BUYS; Baba De Buys; Jan du Buis and 12 others
Brother of Johannes du Buis, b3c1d1; Christina Elisabeth Scholtz, b3c1d3; Elsie du Buys and Frederik Petrus de Buis b3c1d5
Half brother of Anna Christina Minnie, b1 SM; Dirk Cornelis Minnie, b2; Geertruida Minnie, b3; Theodorus Cornelis Minnie, b5 and Maria Cornelia Minnie

Occupation: Farmer, Raising Livestock
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Coenraad de Buys, c1d4

'Coenraad Buys by Rian Malan from his album 'Alien Inboorling'.' - Johan Beaurain

Met vergunning van Hans P Silbernagel: Du Buys, Coenraad, grens-avonturier. 1762: Op 24 Oktober op Swellendam gedoop. 1796: Met die eerste besetting van die Kaap deur die Engelse trek hy oor die grens en vestig horn by die kraal van die jong Xhosa-hoof Gaika, waar hy die man van die koningsmoeder word. Hierdeur en deur sy dominerende persoonlikheid verkry hy groot invloed onder die Xhosas. 1798: Hy word deur goewerneur Macartney beveel om na die Kolonie terug te keer, maar weier en word voelvry verklaar. 1799: Ondersteun Marthinus Prinsloo in die Van Jaarsveld-rebellie, maar met die onderdrukking daarvan vlug hy weer na Gaika se kraal, waar hy die volgende jare 'n element van onrus onder die Xhosas bly. 1803: Word deur goewerneur Janssens tydens sy besoek aan die Oosgrens beveel om na die Kolonie terug te keer. Hy gehoorsaam onder protes en vestig horn by Swellendam. 1806: Met die tweede Britse besetting van die Kaap verlaat hy die Kolonie weer en wyk hierdie keer noordwaarts in die rigting van die Oranjerivier uit, waar hy 'n verb and met die Korannahoof Danster aangaan. 1814-18: Oefen 'n groot invloed op die Griekwas uit, waardeur hy die sendingwerk onder hulle bemoeilik en onrus saai. 1815: Belnvloed ook die Boesmans by die teenswoordige Colesberg in so 'n mate dat die sendelinge uiteindelik na die Kolonie terugkeer.

English translation by Sharon Doubell:

Courtesy of Hans P Silbernagel. Du Buys, Coenraad, frontier adventurer.

1762: On October 24 he was baptized in Swellendam.

In 1796: During the first occupation of the Cape by the English, he traveled across the border and was drawn to the kraal of the young Xhosa chief Gaika, where he became the partner of the king's mother. By his domineering personality, he acquired great influence among the Xhosa.

1798: He was ordered by Governor Macartney to return to the colony, but refused and so is outlawed.

1799: Supported Marthinus Prinsloo in the Van Jaarsveld rebellion, but with the suppression he fled back to Gaika's kraal, where he was an element of disquiet among the Xhosa over the next years.

1803: During Governor Janssen's visit to the Eastern border he was told again to return to the colony. He obeyed, under protest ,and went to Swellendam.

1806: During the second British occupation of the Cape Colony, he left again and this time went northwards in the direction of the Orange River, from where he made a pact with the Korannahoof Danster .

1814-18: Had large influence on the Griquas; sowing unrest, and making it the missionary work among them difficult.

1815: The Bushmen are also influenced ?? in such a way that the missionaries eventually return to the colony.

From wikipedia Coenraad De Buys (1761 – 1821 was of the most remarkable figures on the frontier of the Cape Colony. Travellers described him in tones of awe. Their accounts mentioned that he was an impressive figure, nearly seven foot tall and with enormous self-confidence.[1]

LineageJean De Bus, a wine farmer from Calais, arrived at the Cape with the French Huguenots on board De Oosterland on 25 April 1688.[2] He married a French woman, Sara Jacob, and his son Jean and grandson Jean (sometimes known as Jan) married Cape Dutch women. This last marriage produced a number of offspring including a son, Coenraad De Buys / Buys. Coenraad is regarded as the stamvader (progenitor) of the De Buys/Buys people.[3]

Life By 1773 the area included Jan De Buys on the farm De Ezeljacht. He was the father of Coenraad De Buys. Coenraad was born on the farm Wagenboomrivier in 1761. He had his own farm, De Opkomst, near Kareedouw/Montagu.

When Coenraad was around 7 years old saw his father sitting on a chair "with his legs drawn up as stiff as planks". He was clutching his stomach and screaming. All that night he writhed in pain and died the next day. Coenraad walked to his half sister, Geertruy's house and hold her about the death. Geertruy told Coenraad that she had seen another man die in same way - her father, Christina's first husband, Dirk Minnie.

It is widely believed that Christina had poisoned them both. Coenraad decided not to go back home and lived with Geertruy and her husband, David Senekal, raising the livestock he received from his father's estate. Christina married David's brother, Jacob Senekal within six months.[4]

In the early 1780's Coenraad lived on a farm near the Bushmans River in the Zuurveld with a Baster-Khoikhoi woman, Maria van der Horst, with whom he had seven children. Maria was of slave descent.[5]

He often crossed the Fish River and raided cattle from the Xhosa. Langa, a Zuurveld chief, charged that De Buys had seized his wife and used her as a concubine, and two other chiefs said that De Buys had ‘withheld’ their wives and cattle. He went to live in the homestead of Ngqika well beyond the colonial border. Here he married Ngqika’s mother, Yese, and became Nqqika's main advisor.[6] He also took a Thembu wife, Elizabeth, and had many children with her.[7]

During this time Coenraad was one of a number of white and coloured people who were on the Xhosa side in the frontier wars against the Boers and then the British.

From 1799 the Rharhabe chief Ngcika (also known as Gaika)’s "Great Place" was shared by his erstwhile friend "Khula" or Coenraad De Buys. This place was apparently in the Tyumi river valley, just south of Hogsback.

On 20 Sept 1799, Dr Johannes Van Der Kemp, a missionary from the London Missionary Society, met Coenraad De Buys in Kaffirland, where Coenraad acted as interpreter for van Der Kemp with Ngqika. Over that year and the next Coenraad and Dr Van Der Kemp's friendship grew.

At the end of 1800 Coenraad and Van Der Kemp decided to fight their way through the “Eastern Bosjesmen” - probably those near the Stormbergen -in order to find a new country. In the first days January of 1801, they were to cross the Kabusie river, the first stage of their trek. Van der Kemp was washed away by the strong river and nearly drowned in crossing, but Coenraad took a few strides towards Van Der Kemp and plucked him out of the river basically without getting himself wet.

During the Batavian period he moved to a farm in the Langkloof, where he lived with Maria, Elizabeth and large family of mixed-race children.

Around 1812 Coenraad was living in George again, but soon had a falling out with Martha Ferreira. At her trial witnesses testifed that Martha beat her slave Manissa almost daily with a sjambok and even caused Manissa to loose one of her eyes. On one particular day Manissa was sent to fetch wood. When Manissa didn't return after a while Martha followed her, but returned home without her.

Later, about a half hours walk from the farmhouse, a bundle of firewood which was tied with twine (made of tulip petals) was found. At that same location was a trail of bloody footprints, puddle of blood, a piece of taaiboshout (hardwood), drag marks, 'n karos and the small footprints of Martha Ferreira.

This incident took place while Martha lived in a blockhouse; this was more than likely at Fort Frederick. Fort Frederick was built in 1799 to defend the mouth of the Baakens River and it stands overlooking the Port Elizabeth Harbour.

Martha testified that Manissa, a Mozambican slave, was bought from an Englishman bought while they lived in Algoa Bay. She said that Manissa was very young, tender and small and that she had only chastised her except that she once hit on her back with a cane about five times.

Martha further testified that Manissa suffered from "Mozambiquean sickness" and that she died from bloodletting, adding that the night before her death, Martha looked after her for the whole night, reporting her death to Veldkornet Jan van Niekerk, her brother. She had her slave, Esua bury Manissa. [8] [9]

Several other cases were brought against Martha and, over time, the hearing at George concluded. Martha Ferreira was completely acquitted of some of the cases, while others were dismissed due to lack of adequate witnesses. The only charge to which she was convicted, was wounding a slave on his head, for which a fine was imposed.

During her trial at George, Coenraad de Buys testify against her, thereby further alienating himself from the community there.

In 1813 Coenraad moved north to the central region of the Gariep River and gathered his extended family together with allies from the Khoi, Oorlams Afrikaners, Basters and Xhosa.

Coenraad De Buys preceded organised trekking - he was 54 years old when he became a fugitive from a Boer rising in the eastern Cape Colony, suppressed by the British in 1815. [10]

Death By 1818 Coenraad moved northwards to the present province of Limpopo, now trading with the Sotho-Tswana and perhaps the Portuguese near Mozambique. He left behind an enormous number of descendants of mixed origin, later called the Buys Bastaards, who formed a distinctive community.[7]

In 1820 Coenraad decided to move north down the Madikwe (Marico) River into the Limpopo valley. The Tsonga and Afro-Portuguese in the valley could supply him with gunpowder in exchange ivory. He settled above the tsetse-fly and malarial belt in the Tswapong hills east of Palapye, in present day eastern Botswana.

During the trip Elizabeth contracted yellow fever and died where they had settled. An already old, and for long unwell Coenraad was distressed. He undertook a last journey to Mozambique and asked his sons and their families to wait for him at the border, the Limpopo river. He never returned.[11]

It is believe that he died shortly after this. Coenraad's remains were never found and, although there were rumours that he intended traveling to the Portuguese East Coast, no proof was ever found of him ever arriving there.

Legacy The town of Buysdorp was named after Coenraad De Buys. The 11000 hectares of land which today comprises Buysdorp (‘Buys town’) is situated in the foothills of the remote Soutpansberg (‘Salt Pan Mountain’) of the far northern Limpopo Province of South Africa. A hybrid community of some 300 individuals (de facto) or a few thousand (de jure), the Buys people have been confronted with successive political dispensations over the years. Having over decades developed autonomous structures and procedures of local governance, the ‘fit’ with the pre-1994 South African government was as comfortable as it was unacceptable to the new post-1994 democracy. Still, their history of interaction and intermarriage with surrounding communities have shaped perceptions of phenotypical and genotypical singularity and resulted in strategies to articulate their autochthony in order to define their ethnicity and to develop a kind of ‘moral geography’, their model of space, of their land [12].


1.^ King of the Bastards - Sarah Gertrude Millin 2.^ "French Huguenot Settlers in the Cape (SA)". 3.^ "Coenraad du Buys (1761 - 1822) - Genealogy". Coenraad de Buys, c1d4. 4.^ Coenraad de Buys - The First Transvaaler - Agatha Elizabeth Schoeman 5.^ King of the Bastards - Sarah Gertrude Millin 6.^ "RICSA Volume 1 Chapter 1". 7.^ a b "A Cauldron Of Conflict A Turbulent Frontier Coenraad De Buys". 8.^ OJO Ferreira. Kwaade Martha Ferreira van die Swarte Ommegang. SAJC, 4(4),Desember1990.pp.225-243. 9.^ Panorama of Port Elizabeth’ by E.K. Lorimer (Printed August 2003) page 14 10.^ Coenraad de Buys - The First Transvaaler - Agatha Elizabeth Schoeman 11.^ King of the Bastards - Sarah Gertrude Millin 12.^ (De Jongh 2004:86, 90) [edit] Further readingSarah Gertrude Millin (1950). King of the Bastards. Melbourne, London and Toronto: William Heinemann Ltd. Agatha Elizabeth Schoeman (born Kingdon) (1938). Coenraad de Buys - The First Transvaaler. Pretoria: J. H. De Bussy.

  • Peires, J.B. (2003). The House of Phalo. Johannesburg, South Africa: Ravan Press.

Coenraad is said to have sired 315 mixed-race children by a variety of black and Khoisan wives and had over 3000 grandchildren.

At age 22, he had a loan farm near Willowmore (or De Opkomst near Kareedouw). Shortly afterwards he had a loan farm in the Zuurveld, east of the Bushman's River. He owned or loaned three farms in the Eastern Cape (Zuurveld): Brandwagt, De Driefonteinen and Boschfontein.

The historian Peter M. Sebina derived Kgowe, Coenraads nickname which was given to him by the Xhosa, from an ancient Tswana verb go kgowa, meaning "to peel with a knife"- because the painfully sunburnt Coenraad had left him with red skin that "was regarded as bare flesh peeled off with a knife".

Crampton, Hazel. ‘The Sunburnt Queen’. Johannesburg: Jacana. 2004. Print. Contact Sharon Doubell

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Coenraad de Buys, c1d4's Timeline

October 24, 1762
Suid Afrika, Kaap
October 24, 1762
Swellendam, Suid Afrika, Kaap
October 24, 1762
Age 19
Age 28
Age 28
September 29, 1794
Age 31
Cape Of Good Hope, South Africa
July 1, 1795
Age 32
Cape Of Good Hope, South Africa
Age 35
Suid Afrika, Kaap
October 17, 1805
Age 42
Cape Of Good Hope, South Africa