Matching family tree profiles for Michiel Basson, b5
About Michiel Basson, b5
No source has been found to verify some of the following information.
Please assist if you can.
Martina Louw (Em Lo) wrote:
Johanna Petronella Basson – possibly an illegitimate child of Michiel Basson (b5) and his slave Petronella van die Kaap?
Research to uncover the identity of my earliest documented matrilineal ancestor Johanna Petronella Basson (not listed in the official Basson genealogies) has led me to the theory that widowed Michiel Basson (b5), farmer of Keesenbosch in the Swartland, had an illegitimate daughter in 1717 with his slave Petronella van die Kaap. I think there is a strong likelihood that this child was my ancestor Johanna Petronella Basson whose south-east Asian mt-DNA I carry.
Michiel Basson’s wife Maria Daasdons/Dansdons/Daalsons died in 1714 [Inventory MOOC 8/2.118, 15 Aug 1714], leaving him aged 35 with 3 sons to take care of. In die 1716 opgaafrol Michiel Basson is shown without a wife with 3 sons and no slaves. I believe he must have acquired Petronella van die Kaap soon thereafter, because after his death a few years later early in 1719 [Inventory MOOC 8/4.25, 3 Maart 1719] he leaves behind 3 teenage sons (Arnoldus 19 ½, Michiel 17 ½, Johannes 13) and a slave Petronella with ‘n young child.
UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES! Petronella and her child are NOT listed in the usual fashion in Michiel’s estate inventory, nor are they sold at his estate auction! (MOOC 10/2.17,21 Nov 1719) Instead, they are taken in by his mother, well known freed slave Angela/Ansela/Ansiela/Ansla van Bengale! Angela even purchases “1 mandje met poppe goet” for 4:5 Rd:s from amongst Michiel’s belongings at his estate auction – presumably the little slave girl’s toys (she would have been about 2 years old at this time)
Interestingly, the “poppe goet” was relatively expensive compared to other items sold from his estate. This appears to indicate that the items were of very good quality, and imply that this little slave girl was spoilt with only the best – not what one would expect an owner to buy for a slave…. more like one would expect a well-to-do father may do for his only daughter….
Not only is Johanna Petronella Basson’s age and names in line with being the daughter of Michiel Basson and his slave Petronella van die Kaap, but the relatively expensive "poppe goet" in Michiel's estate and the way Michiel’s mother Angela van Bengale shielded them from being sold and took them under her wing strengthens my belief in this theory.
Unfortunately fate stepped in a year later when Angela van Bengale died [Inventory MOOC 8/4.15, 18 July 1720] and it appears to have become unavoidable for them to be sold. Petronella van die Kaap and her young child are sold along with Angela van Bengale’s belongings on 24 Aug 1720 [MOOC 10/2.13 (Angela) en MOOC 10.2.17 ½ (“een meijd genaamt Petronella van de Caab met haar kind” – for Michoel Basson’s account)] Mother and child are sold to sick comforter Tomas Verrijn for 141 Rd:s.
QUESTIONS ARISE! One cannot help but wonder if this slave child was indeed Michiel’s daughter as I suspect, why she was not recognised as such at least by Angela and mentioned in her will? Was the rest of the family, especially perhaps Michiel’s three sons strongly opposed to recognising this slave child as their ‘sister’? Did the family not want to share the proceeds of Michiel and Angela’s estates with her? Was her slave status a stumbling block? Was there another reason? Or is my theory perhaps incorrect?
Sadly things went from bad to worse for Petronella van die Kaap and her child after this. Their new owner Thomas Verrijn died 2 months later on 28/10/1720, so they had to be sold again! Unfortunately I can not see an auction document for Thomas Verrijn on TANAP to see who bought them next. They are listed in his inventory as “1 slavin met haar kindt gen:t Pieternelle 80 Rd:s” (MOOC 8/4.17, 19 Feb 1721).
Years ago I found a 1730 slave transfer on Ancestry 24 which could be for Petronella van die Kaap: Petronella sold 20/3/1730 by Elias Kina’s (baker) widow Barbara de Savoye to Jan H Potgieter (farmer). No mention is made of a child but she would have been a teenager and likely working independently by then.
If this Jan H Potgieter was Jan Harmen Potgieter aka Johannes Potgieter *23 Sept 1674 x Clara Herbst, then this too would have been a short-lived ownership since he died in 1733.
I have no idea whether Petronella van die Kaap was ever freed or when she died. She does not witness any of the BASSON-DU PLOOY children’s baptisms, so if she was their grandmother she may have died prior to their births from 1741 onwards.
Baptismal record for Johanna Petronella Basson (ca 1717)
I have been anable to find the baptismal record of my matrilineal ancestor Johanna Petronella Basson who x Willem du Plooy amongst the transcribed Cape Town or Stellenbosh records (eGGSA).
Unfortunately the Drakenstein records have been lost, it is possible it may have been amongst those.
I can see that Johanna Petronella Basson was baptised before 20 Feb 1735 though, since she then witnesses the baptism of Anna Francina (“of Sara Elizabeth CAAP en Pieter van Coast”).
Baptismal records for Petronella van die Kaap (b 1680-1705)
A few possibilities have been identified, the most promising at this stage:
1693/08/16: “Een kint van Cornelia van de Caep gent Petronella castijs”. [Source: Dutch reformed baptisms Cape Town 1665-1695, transcribed by Corney Keller for eGGSA] This Petronella would have been around 24 years old in 1717 when Michiel Basson acquired his slave - I suspect this is the most likely record for Michiel's slave Petronella van die Kaap.
And possibly of her mother:
1672/03/27: Een Comp' slavinne kint zynde de vader een onbekent christen wiert genaamt Cornelia, tot getuyge stont Alexander Carpius schoolmeester. [Source: Dutch reformed baptisms Cape Town 1665-1695, transcribed by Corney Keller for eGGSA]
From the VOC 1693 Lodge Census – as in “Changing Hands” by Robert Shell:
Cornelia van de Caab Female (1693 census) Age group: adult Workplace: Pencijn, Juffrouw Descent or status: halfslag [half-breed] Specific occupation: Servant Occupational group: Domestic Archive or printed source: Den Haag, Algemene Rijksarchief: VOC 4030; title: Generale Opneeming... (1693.01.01), page[s] 365 sequence number: 271
With Drakenstein baptismal records lost, I think the only way to prove/disprove my theory would be to find all possible slave transactions for Petronella van die Kaap up to Michiel purchasing her, as well as slave transactions and manumissions for her and her child after 1720.
I have already searched Robert Shell’s compiled Cape Slave Transactions 1658-1731, and it’s not there. Ditto for Boeseken’s for 1658-1700 (and a similar collection by Sue Williamson). Not in any of these I’m afraid…..so it may not be impossible, but it’s not going to be easy.
I think the next best action will be to try and find an estate auction list for Thomas Verrijn, to see who bought the mother and child pair from his estate and follow the trail one step at a time hoping to find mention of the child’s name [possibly Johanna Petronella (Basson)].
There are two 1719 documents listed on NAAIRS for a Thomas Verrijn (KAB CJ LEER 2651 01 73 and KAB MOOC LEER 7/1/2 01 105). They would be good to follow up, in case Petronella van die Kaap and her child are mentioned. If anyone has access to the Cape archives and can check these and investigate whether an auction list showing who bought slave Petronella (Pieternelle) van die Kaap and her child from Thomas Verrijn’s estate (MOOC 8/4.17) in 1721, it will certainly be much appreciated.
Johanna Petronella Basson’s age and the unusual circumstances in which Michiel Basson’s mother, the well-known free slave Angela/Ansela/Ansla van Bengale, took his slave Petronella van die Kaap and her young child under her own wing after Michiel's death in 1719, even buying relatively expensive "doll stuff" - likely the young child's toys - at Michiel's estate auction, provide strong circumstantial evidence in favour of the theory that Johanna Petronella Basson was likely the illegitimate child of Michiel Basson (b5) and his slave Petronella van die Kaap, ie Angela van Bengale's granddaughter.
Unfortunately I do not have access to any more records than I have accessed to date, hence my putting the theory out there in the hope that others with a Basson or du Plooy interest would participate in the research required to solve this 300 year old mystery.
More about Keesenbosh
Michiel Basson owned the farm Keesenbosch in the Swartland. A visiting astronomer Nicolas-Louis De La Caille visited Keesenbosh on 12 Aug 1952 and made a note in his journal of what a lovely view the farm had.
The farm Keesenbosch is still shown on the Swartland demarcation map as farms 595 and 597, off Malmesbury Rd. http://www.demarcation.org.za/index.php/ward-delimitation/2014-2015/western-cape/maps-8/11671-wc015-2014/file
Compiled by Martina Louw (Em Lo)
(See transcripts of above-mentioned estate documents attached in Sources.)
Michiel Basson, b5's Timeline
June 26, 1676
Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
June 29, 1679
Caap de Goede Hoop
July 28, 1697
Cape Town, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa
October 24, 1706
Kaapstad, Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
Caap de Goede Hoop, Suid Afrika
Alternate date of death: 1714