Hercules des Prez, SV/PROG

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Hercules des Prez, SV/PROG

Afrikaans: Hercules du Prees, SV/PROG
Also Known As: ""du Preez" Hercules"; des Prez", "Hercules Des Pres of Courtrai"
Birthplace: Courtrai, Flandre, Belgium
Death: Died in Paarl, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
Place of Burial: Paarl, Drakenstein, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
Immediate Family:

Son of Hercule Francois du Pre de Contrai and Catharina Gruson
Husband of Cecilia d'Atis, SM/PROG
Father of Elisabeth des Prez, b1 SM; Hercule des Prez, b2; Marie-Jeanne des Prez, b4 SM; François-Jean des Prez, b4; Jacquemine des Prez, b5 SM and 2 others
Brother of Marie-Jeanne Du Pre and Elizabeth Des Prez

Occupation: Kleremaker, boer
Managed by: Dennis Anthony Burger
Last Updated:

About Hercules des Prez, SV/PROG

"Between 2012 and 2014 journalist and author Max du Preez revealed in an online article and on social media that he is a direct descendant of 'Hercule du Pre/Hercule des Pres'. He also announced that DNA testing done in South Africa revealed that on his "father's side I'm in the E1b1b1c1 [Y Dna] haplogroup". Internationally this haplogroup is known as E-M34" http://www.e-family.co.za/ffy/g7/p7395.htm. See: http://www.news24.com/Columnists/MaxduPreez/Are-we-all-coloured-20110309




Passenger List for Huguenot Ship "De Schelde"


 De Schelde left for Cape February 19, 1688, 140 feet long, arrived Table Bay June 5, 1688, no deaths nor any sickness on board, put in at St. Jago for repairs June 22-30, 1688

- 23 Huguenots - no list

  • Abraham Beluse [Bleuset, Bluse) of Calais, Picardie
  • Hercule Des Prez (Courtrai, Flandres)
  • Cecilia Datis du Preez (Courtrai, Flandres)
  • Elizabeth Des Pres (age 18)
  • Hercule Des Pres Jr. (age 16)
  • Marie-Jeanne Des Prez (age 13)
  • Francois-Jean Des Prez (age 11)
  • Jacqueline Des Prez (age 9)
  • Philippe Des Prez (age 7)
  • Suzanne De Vos
  • Antoine Gros, Dauphine
  • Pierre Jacob (of Calais)
  • Suzanne Jacob (age 17)
  • Daniel Jacob (age 15)
  • Sara Jacob (age 11)
  • Marie Le Fevre
  • Guillaume Nel
  • Jean Nel (age 1)
  • Jeanne Nel (age 1/2)
  • Charles Prevost
  • Abraham Prevost (age 17)
  • Anne Prevost (age 6)
  • Elisabeth Prevost (age 5)
  • Jacob Prevost (born at Table Bay)
  • Daniel Terrier

Source: Coertzen, Pieter - "The Huguenots of South Africa 1688-1988", Tafelberg Publishers Limited, Cape Town, 1988


Des Prez in Boucher

North-west of Ath is Courtrai in Flanders, a town on the Lys associated with the Des Prez family which reached the Cape on the Schelde in 1688. Courtrai was held by the French between 1668 and 1678. ..The Des Prez party consisted of Hercule des Prez, born about the year 1645, his wife Cecile (Cecilia) Datis, some five years his junior, and six children: Hercule, Elisabeth, Jacquemine (Jacomina), Marie-Jeanne, Philippe and Francois-Jean. The place of origin of the Des Prez family is uncertain, but Athis southwest of Mons may provide a clue to the earliest beginnings of the Datis family. Later generations would certainly not have remained confined to the village from which they presumably took their name and it is interesting to find in the church registers of Oostburg in the United Provinces a reference in 1748 to the marriage there of a Marie-Catherine Dathee (sic) from the Saint-Quentin generality of Picardy.

It is, however, certain that the Des Prez family was living in the Courtrai district when the town was a French possession. The daughter Elisabeth was baptized in the Sint-Maartens church there on August 31, 1670, with Charles Loridon and Ludovica (Louise) Pittens as godparents. In the same church on July 4, 1677 Francois-Jean was christened, taking the name of his godfather Francois Loridon. The godmother on that occasion was Jeanne, or Johanna van Neste, of a family well represented in the local church registers. It is probable that, as with other French-speaking settlers from Flanders, the Des Prez party was at home in the Flemish language.

The family must also have lived at some time in Bethune in the province of Artois, since it is known that Marie-Jeanne des Prez was born there. If the date of her birth, 1675, is correct, this would indicate a temporary move there from Courtrai. It is possible that Philippe des Prez was also born in Bethune, as he gave the name Artois to his farm in the Land van Waveren. On the other hand, this could be taken to indicate that the Des Prez family had its origins in that province. It is also evident that Hercule des Prez and his wife were once resident in Lille, where Jacquemine was born. Graham Botha gives Courtrai as the birthplace of both Hercule des Prez and his son of the same name, but no confirmation of this has been discovered.

Hercule des Prez and his family were at Flushing in Zeeland by 1686, together with his wife’s brother Nicolas Datis. On August 29 of that year the two men applied to the municipal authorities to join the Sint- Jans guild of tailors without payment of the usual charges. The request points to the necessity of guild membership for obtaining remunerative employment as an artisan, as well as to the financial difficulties in which so many refugee families found themselves. It also provides evidence of the trade followed by the Cape settler, an occupation in keeping with his background in the textile centres of the north-east. The Flushing authorities were prepared to accept the applicants as paying members and to admit them to citizenship when they had taken the required oath.

The refuge in Flushing enabled Hercule des Prez and his wife to practise openly the Calvinist faith and on February 11, 1688, eight days before they sailed with their children on the Schelde, they were given an attestation of membership by the minister and elders of the Walloon church in Flushing. They had, in the words of the document, “fait ouverte profession de la Religion Reformee, et vescu avec edification au milieu de nous, frequentant les sainctes assemblies et participant au Sacrement de la saincte Cene du Seigneur”. The attestation was signed by the pastor Andre Lombard and, in the name of his colleagues, by the church elder Daniel de Groot.

… The voyage to the Cape on the Schelde brought the Des Prez and Prevost families close. Elisabeth des Prez stood godmother at the shipboard baptism of Jacob Prevost, with the ship’s captain as godfather; Philippe des Prez was later to marry Charles Prevost’s daughter Elisabeth.

  • Boucher.M (1981). French speakers at the Cape: The European Background. Pretoria, UNISA. CHAPTER NINE Cape settlers V: from Flanders to Alsace on the turbulent frontier pp269-271
The First Du Preez's in South Africa     

Hercules, the Du Preez forefather, was married to Cecilia d'Atis (1650-1720). On April 18, 1690, Hercules des Prez received 510 Gulden from the Dutch East-Indian Company. He lived on the farm De Zoete Inval. (De Soete Inval), now Paarl station and east of it. The farm was promised to him in 1692 and formally allocated 15/10/1697. Hercules died in 1695 whereafter Cecilia D'Atis married Pierre Dumont.


a) Elizabeth (born 1670): Marries Pieter Jansz van Marseveen (Marcevene) Children: Anna (marries Abraham Prevost), Cecilia (marries Charles du Plessis), Pieter.

b) Hercule (1672 - 9 May 1721): Member of "Hof van Landdrost en Heemraad van Stellenbosch", captain of the "Burgher Kavallerie". Refuses to appear in court for his opposition against Governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel. He is sentenced in his absence to five year in exile in Mauritius and a fine of £41 13s 4d. Certified incapable ever to hold a public or military position. Arrested on February 4, 1707. Released together with Adam Tas and other "burgers" shortly before departure to Mauritius. Sign his name as "des Pres".

Hercules, the Du Preez Married to:

1. Marie le Febre (Fevre) (1651-1701). 1 son and 1 daughter.

2. Cornelia Villion (Viljoen).


  • Jacquemine des Prez b. c 1670 - Jacquemina (Jaquemine)(1679-?) From Lille in Flanders. Married to Abraham Vivier. 4 Sons and 5 daughters.
  • Elizabeth des Prez+ b. 1670
  • Marie-Jeanne (born 1675 or 1678): Married to Jaques Therand (Jacques Theron from Nismes)(1668-1739). Call her self as "from Bethun"‚ in her will. 5 Sons and 3 daughters.
  • Francois-Jean (born 1677) Married to Marie Cordier. Two sons.
  • Philippe (born in Kortryk, 1681) Fled from Bethuné‚ in Artois. Live on the farm De Klippenvallei (Klip Vallei), currently the area North-east of the sportsfields in Wellington. Allocated 1699. Owns also Artois and De Hoop in Land van Waveren below the Witsenberge, near Wolseley, in the Tulbagh district (both allocated 1714). He married Elizabeth Prevost in 1696 (born 1683, daughter of Charles Prevost: she came to the Cape from Marcq (Marck) near Calais with a brother and sister).

Source: The first Du Preez's in South Africa (http://mysite.mweb.co.za/residents/dpreezg)


Du Preez history 1050-1688

The meaning of the name Du Preez is "man from the house at the meadows". The Du Preez family originates from the region between the Schelde and Somme rivers in Flanders. They originally wrote the name as Des Prez and also Des Pres.

The surname is in existence for more than 900 years. The earliest bearer of the surname was Lambert de Pre, born around 1050 and who was seneschal of Luik. His descendants inherited the surname. Another well known du Preez was the famous Renaissance composer, Josquin des Prez, 1440-1521.

Google Earth coordinates- Kortrijk: 50°49' 40.79"N 3°15'54.10"E Vlissingen: 51°26' 46.68"N 3°34'58.54"E

Events leading to arrival in South Africa

The Edict of Nantes, a decree giving partial religious freedom to the Huguenots (French Protestants), was proclaimed by Henry IV, king of France, in 1598 and revoked by Louis XIV in 1685.

When the edict was revoked, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots were forced to flee France and take refuge in Protestant countries. Hercules des Prez (1645-1695) fled with his family from Kortrijk or Courtrai, a town in the south western Belgium of today, in West Flanders Province, to the Netherlands.

The Dutch East-Indian Company organised the journey in their ship of 140 ft., de Schelde. Hercules, with his wife and four children, departed on 19 February 1688 from Vlissingen in the Netherlands and landed at the Cape of Good Hope on Saturday, 5 June 1688.


A most exciting voyage was experienced by the Schelde, a

boat of one hundred and forty feet long. She brought out

twenty-three French Refugees, men, women and children.

Seven or eight days out at sea a terrible storm sprang up,

and the skipper was compelled to put into St. Jago. On her

arrival at Porto Prayo, he was told that on the previous day

an English pirate ship had captured three ships belonging to

the English, Portuguese and Dutch respectively. She sailed

away almost immediately, and when five days from the Cape

ran into another storm. ^ On board were several members

of the des Pres family.

Hercule of Cortryk, now Courtrai, arrived in 1688

in the Schelde with his wife Cecilia D'Atis and

four children. In 1690 he received help for

himself and five children. He must have died

about 1695. In the inventory of his deceased

estate he is stated to have left six children. The

widow remarried Pierre Dumont, q.v. Descen-

In June a piece of ground, on which the

present church at the Upper Paarl stands, in extent 5

morgen 150 square feet, was surveyed by Mr. Evert Walraven

Cochins, the Government engineer and surveyor. It extended

on the north to the Drakenstein parsonage, east to the Berg

River, south to the place of David SenechaP and west to

the wagon road, now the main street of that place.^

A churchyard was marked off in the form of a square,

each side of which measured 35 square roods, and in the

middle it was decided to build the church, lengthwise to the

north and south. ^ On the 6th September, 1718, the first

stones were laid by Monsieur du Toit, who was followed by

the churchwardens and two Heemraden, Fran9ois du Toit

and Jacob Theron ; then the ex-elders Pieter de Villiers,

Claude Marais and Pieter Rousseau, as well as the ex-deacons

Paul Roux, Hercules des Pres and Pieter Taillefert. The

building was consecrated in June, 1720.^

Before the church was completed it was found that there

were not enough pews for the ladies, as it was customary

for the men and women to sit apart during divine service.

It was therefore decided that each lady was to bring her

own seat, and in order to prevent any disputes the first row

nearest the pulpit was to be set aside for the wives of church-

wardens and Heemraden in office ; the next row for the

wives of ex-churchwardens and Heemraden and then, if there

was not enough room, they were to be placed in the third row

in which the old ladies and the respectable persons sat. AU

others were to be placed in order by the sexton as they were

brought in, and each chair was to have the name of the owner

distinctly marked on it.' Four shillings and twopence was paid

for each chair placed in the care of the sexton, half of which

went towards repairs and the other to the sexton.

dants of Hercule des Pres. The children were

Van Kortryk, Franse vlugteling



1.Judi Maras-Meyer registers.

2. Geslagregister van Vroeë Kaapse families - Cor Pama


Hercule des Pres

of du Pré v. Kortryk, Franse Vlugteling, Aank. 1688 op die skip "Schelde" met sy vrou Cecilia d'Atis en vier kinders; † omstr. 1695. In 1692 is die plaas "De Zoete Inval" aan hom toegeken,


Kortrijk (official name in Dutch, pronounced [ˈkɔrtrɛɪ̯k]; French: Courtrai, pronounced: [kuʁtʁɛ]; Latin: Cortoriacum) is a Belgian city and municipality located in the Flemish province West-Vlaanderen.

Date of death needs source - Stamouers and SAG both say about 1695

Hercule du PRE/des PRES (vandag bekend as du PREEZ), gebore 1645, van Cortryk (Courtrai) was 'n Franse Hugenoot wat in 1688 met sy vrou Cecilia D'ATIS na SA gekom het op die Schelde vanaf Vlissingen in Nederland. In 1690 het hy finansiele hulp vir homself en 5 kinders ontvang. Hy het homself in 1692 gevestig te De Zoete Inval, Paarl, en is omstreeks 1695 oorlede, en het 3 seuns en 3 dogters nagelaat.

1. Phillipe * 1681 Courtrai x Elizabeth Prevot, landbouer, gevestig te Klipvallei, Wamakersvallei en De Hoop en Artois (1714), Tulbach. Hy het 'n groot gesin gehad. 2. Hercule * Courtrai 1672, was lid van die kollege van landdros en heemrade van Stellenbosch en kaptein van die burger-kavallerie. Gevestig te De Zoete Inval, Paarl. x Marie le Febre xx Cornelia Villion (Viljoen) + 9/5/1721 3. Jacquemina x Abraham Vivier 4. Maria Johanna x Jacques Theron 5. Elizabeth x 25/7/1688 Pieter Jansz van Marsevene 6. Francois x Maria Cordier, boer op Hexenberg, Wagenmakersvallei.

Verwysings: De Villiers/Pama Heese/Lombard Verwysingsmateriaal, Boksburg biblioteek Verwysingsmateriaal, Springs LDS FHC biblioteek

Saamgestel deur: Martina Louw (nee van Breda) Kennethl@xtra.co.nz

The date on the Geni profile is the date that is given on Lucas RINKEN's eSAGI CD 3.50. His reference is the DE WET family genealogy and he notes that the DE WET file confirms the date - Y 13/12/2010

of du Pré van Kortryk, Franse Vlugteling, aankoms: 1688 op die skip Schelde met sy vrou Cecilia d'Atis en vier kinders. In1692 is die plaas "De Zoete Inval" aan hom toegeken.
Source: http://southafrica.mypeoplepuzzle.net/


The Huguenot Heritage. The story of the Huguenots at the Cape by Lynne BRYER and Francois THERON. Chameleon Press. 1987. ISBN 0 620 11390 1

Page 36

Ship no. 4 Schelde

140 feet

Dates of sailing and arrival unknown

DES PREZ, Hercule (45) (Flanders)

Cecile DATIS, his wife

Their 6 children

(The name was variously written as DES PREZ, DES PRES, DU PRES and DU PRÉ)


Added by Y. DROST, 6 NOV 2015


view all 18

Hercules des Prez, SV/PROG's Timeline

Courtrai, Flandre, Belgium
August 31, 1670
Age 25
Courtrai, Flandre, Belgium
Age 27
Flandre, Belgium
Age 30
Béthune, Artois, France
July 4, 1677
Age 32
Courtrai, Flandre, Belgium
Age 34
Lille, Flandre, France
Age 35
Age 36
Artois, France
February 19, 1688
Age 43