Johann Herbst, SV/PROG 1

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Johann Herbst, SV/PROG 1

Also Known As: "Herfst", "Jan or Johan Herfst"
Birthdate: (68)
Birthplace: Bremen, Germany
Death: circa 1728 (60-72)
Cape, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Partner of Cecilia van Angola, SM/PROG and Lijsbeth Sanders, SM
Father of Angenitie Herbst, a1b1; Agenietie ("Johannes") Herbst/Van de Caep and Gerbrecht Herbst, a1b2

Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

About Johann Herbst, SV/PROG 1

Name: Johann Herbst

Variations of the name: Herfst, Herbest, Herbster, Erbst

Origin of the name: The Herbst surname is derived from the German word “Herbst”, meaning autumn. It has been suggested that the surname may have originally been used by people whose main work occurred during the fall harvest. For example, Herbster, most likely meant “grape harvester.” First found in Bavaria, where the name was anciently associated with the tribal conflicts of the area. Early records include a Marquart Herbst, in Würzburg in 1220.

Birth date: circa 1664

Birth Place: Bremen, Germany

Arrival in South Africa: 1686

Date of Death: circ 1728

Place of Death: South Africa

Parents: Unknown

Partner 1: Cecilia van Angola


b1 Angenitie = 1685

Partner 2: Lijsbeth Sanders van de Kaap


b2 Gerbrecht = 1.10.1702

Occupation & Career: In 1686 overseer of the Comp.'s cattle post in Hottentots Holland, later (1690) burgher at Drakenstein.

HERBST JOHANN. - Bremen. In 1686 overseer of the Comp.'s cattle post in Hottentots Holland, later (1690) burgher at Drakenstein. + after 1728. A son, Johannes (2.9.1685) [this is a mistake - there is no such entry], by Cicilia of Angola, two daughters by Lysbeth (Sanders) of the C.: Clara ~ Jan Harmensz Potgieter, Gerbergt (1.10.1702) ~ Johannes Vosloo. (V.R.S., vol. 12, p. 41; MR. Vrye Lieden of 1690; CJ 1125: 234, will in Stellenbosch Arch., vol. 649: 11; Inv. O.C. 2: 102; Test. O.C. 4: 147; MOOC 14/26 nr. 14.)

- Dr. J. Hoge, Personalia of the Germans at the Cape, 1652-1806, Archives Year Book for South African History (Cape Town: Government Printer, Union of South Africa, 1946)

  • Birth Date 1664
  • Death Date 1728
  • First Name Johann
  • Last Name Herbst
  • Suffix SV/PROG
  • Gender Male
  • Birth Location Bremen, Deutschland
  • Death Location Cape Colony

In 1699 Johann Herbst received a grant of land on the upper reaches of the Wamakers River, in the newly settled region of Wagenmakersvalleij (now Wellington). This was the year that Lijsbeth would have been freed from the chain-gang, if her fine was not paid. Herbst (or Herfst) named his farm ‘Opperherfst’.

He lived there with Lijsbeth (now known as Lijsbeth Sanders)138 until his death in 1734, though in 1724 the farm was transferred to his son-in-law, Johannes Vosloo, on condition that Vosloo maintain him for the remainder of his life (the agreement with Vosloo made no mention of Lijsbeth Sanders).

The genealogical registers tell us that he had two daughters with Lijsbeth: Clara Herfst, who married Johannes Harmensz Potgieter in 1712 and Gerbrecht Herfst, who married Johannes Vosloo.

When they first settled at Opperherfst, Lijsbeth and Herbst were assisted by the burgher (and tailor) Heinrich Venter, who agreed to help Herbst, ‘wegen zijn swaekheijt’ (on account of his infirmity) to establish the farm. They would sow and reap together and share the profit and the loss.

Venter made his 60 cattle available for ploughing and manure and pastured his sheep on the land. In 1704, however, Venter received his own land, further downstream on the Berg River, and he presumably left Herbst and Lijsbeth Sanders to fend for themselves.

In time, as we shall see, they gathered around themselves a small community of relatives, including the husbands and lovers of Lijsbeth’s daughters by Louis of Bengal.

See the article by Susie Newton-King:

Sodomy, race and respectability in Stellenbosch and Drakenstein, 1689 – 1762: the story of a family, loosely defined

This is an intriguing story about the fate of Gerrit Coetsé who was exectued on 22 September 1733. He was the grandson of Lijsbeth through her daughter Elisabeth Louisz by freed slave Louis van Bengal. It provides a good look at the strained lives of Lijsbeth and her family as they struggled to fit into Cape Huguenot/European society. Lijsbeth's own story begins on page 18, and Jan Herbst on page 22.

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Johann Herbst, SV/PROG 1's Timeline

Bremen, Germany
August 19, 1685
Age 25
Age 25
Cape Town
Age 42
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Age 68
Cape, South Africa