Francois Retif, SV/PROG

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Francois Retif, SV/PROG

Also Known As: "Retif", "François Rétif", "Retief"
Birthdate: (58)
Birthplace: Mer, Blois, Loir-Et-Cher, France
Death: September 24, 1721 (58)
Paarl, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
Immediate Family:

Son of Jacques Rétif; Pierre Rousseau de Souvigny and Debora Jaubert
Husband of Marie Mouy, b1 SM
Father of Maria Rossouw, b1; Anna Hugo, b2; Jacques Retief, b3; Francois Retief, b4; Pierre Retief b5 and 6 others

Occupation: Boer- Wagenmakersvallei- La Paris Klein Drakenstein
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Francois Retif, SV/PROG

Jacobus Retief was a farmer near Wellington, his original farm was called “Soetendal”. He also bought the farm “Welvanpas”, formerly known as “De Krakeelhoek” which belonged to his grandmother Maria Mouij, of whom presently. He had eleven children. His father, Francois Retief, was the eldest son of the founding father of the Retief clan in South Africa, Hugenot emigrant Francois Retif Snr. (1663-1721). This Francois Retief fled Mer in Blois, France during the recriminations of King Louis XIV with his young sister to Holland. Since the Dutch were looking for settlers for the Cape, they joined and arrived in Cape Town in 1688. He bought a farm and called it “Le Paris” on the northern banks of the Berg River near Wemmershoek. He married Maria Mouij, (1685-?, daughter of Pierre Mouij, also of France.), 23 years his junior.

1st Gen. Stamouer Francois RETIF

Francois Retif was born 2 February 1663 in Mer, along the Loire river in France Mer is a small tow about 15kms from Blois, a major centre in the Loire valley. When the Edict of Nantes was revoked by Louis XIV in 1685 the persecution of Protestant Huguenots intensified and Francois and his siSter Anne fled first to Holland and then to the Cape.They probably came via Switzerland, because he was recorded on arrival at the Cape as 'francois retijff d’Switser'.

When Francois and his sister Anne left France they would have been 17 and 13 respectively at the tie. As refugees, an invitation to emigrate to the Cape with a Mediterranean climate and the prospect of their own land would have been attractive, and they undertook the perilous journey to the Cape. They embarked on the fluteship Borssenburg at Texel, an island off Holland on a bitter 6 January in 1688, and arrived at the Cape about 4 months later on 12 May, a beautiful autumn day. Governor Simon van der Stel allocated farms of 60 morgen (3) in the Drakenstein valley. A year earlier land was allocated in that area to Dutch locals and the French refugees received what was left, which was not good for farming. Much of the land was rocky or swampy and of the 60 morgen often only about six could be tilled. Being unmarried Francois received less assistance than married couples – he had to share a plough, an iron pot, lead, rifles and shot for hunting and basics for the kitchen. He erected a basic structure of wattle and daub with a thatch roof and no glass for windows. The land had to be cleared for crops and they had to contend with marauding locusts, baboons, hippos, trampling crops at night and ‘wolves’(hyenas) raiding livestock. Life was not easy. About a year after their arrival, Anne Retif married Pierre Rousseau who had also been a passenger on the Borssenburg and who came from Mer or a neighbouring town, Menars-la-Ville. The new minister, dominie Simond took up the plight of the Huguenots with the governor, and they were allocated new and better land on both sides of the Berg River. Francois and his sister Anne and her husband had adjoining farms, which they called La Paris and L’Arc d’Orleans. Nostalgic and somewhat grand names for what was at that stage very humble settlements. In 1699, eleven years after Francois and Anne came to the Cape, Pierre Mouy and his two young daughters, Marié 14, and Jeanne 13, arrived in the Donkervliet in Table Bay. Pierre looked for a place of his own and, as a relatively late‐comer, had to move deeper into the mountain valley where, close to the Val du Charron, or Wagenmakersvallei he found suitable land watered by a constant stream from the Hawequa Mountains. Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel allocated the land but soon Pierre was in strife with a counter claim from neighbour Jan Lourens of Rostock. The dispute was eventually settled and Pierre named his farm De Krakeelhoek . (At a later stage the Retief family acquired this farm, which by then was called Welvanpas.)



Francois RETIEF or RETIF, fr. Mer, nr, Blois (France), b. 2.2.1683. Arr. 1688, later farmer in Wagenmakersvalley (now Wellington), d. 24.9.1721. Marr. 2.5.1700 Maria MOUY, b. 15.5.1685, d. 21.9.1758 (9 children).

Source: Heraldry of South African Families / Coats of arms, crests, ancestry. C. PAMA and A. A. BALKEMA. Pg. 248.

Added by Y. DROST, 17 JAN 2013.


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Francois Retif, SV/PROG's Timeline

February 2, 1663
Mer, Blois, Loir-Et-Cher, France
February 2, 1663
Loir-et-Cher, Centre, France
May 16, 1702
Age 39
Drakenstein, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
October 29, 1704
Age 41
Paarl, Cape, South Africa
Age 42
Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
April 7, 1708
Age 45
Wellington, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
November 13, 1710
Age 47
Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
May 27, 1714
Age 51
Drakenstein, Kaap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
Age 52
Cape, South Africa