Samuel Walters, SV/PROG

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Samuel Walters, SV/PROG

Birthdate: (52)
Birthplace: Pressburg (Bratislawa), Slovakia
Death: December 13, 1725 (48-56)
Malmesbury, Western Cape, South Africa
Immediate Family:

Husband of Maria van der Westhuizen, b1 SM
Partner of Catryn van Ceylon, SM/PROG
Father of Lodewyk Bernard Walter; Daniel Walters b1; Nicolaas Walters b2 and Stephanus Sebastiaan Walters b3

Occupation: Soldier/Farm worker
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Samuel Walters, SV/PROG

WALTER SAMUEL (S). - Preszburg. So. since 1696, farmhand 1707-10. ~ 22.3.1711 Maria v. d. Westhuysen, wid. Cornelis v. Niekerk. 9 children. One illeg. son, Lodewyk Bernardus (14.12.1710), by Catharina of Ceylon. (GMR 1696 ff.; CJ 1125: 180; CJ 1126: 22; G.R. nr. 1047; Test. in Stellenbosch Arch., vol. 650: 47.)

- 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)

Died at Droogevallei, Malmesbury District

Where to we come from?

The story of the Afrikaner Walters families starts with Samuel Walters, born in 1673 in a lesser-known European country, Slovakia, which was originally part of Hungary and later Czechoslovakia. The Walters name originates from the patrimonial use of the name Walther. Walther comes from walt-hari (walt meaning reigning and en hari meaning army or nation). Walther are kept in surnames such as Walter, Walters, Wolters, Wouters(se) and Wouterson. Samuel and his three sons are mostly sign there names as Walter although several documents refer to them as Walters(s). From the second generation the name Walters appear consistently in all documents and is used until today. The change from Walters to Walters was possibility due to the Netherlands use of the German surname Walters as was common with many other Afrikaner surnames and also the interpretation of the document writers. Ernst Friedrich Walters from Breslau became a Cape citizen (“burger”) in 1688 and was the first Walters to set foot in the Cape (Cabo de Goede Hoop). Ernst had only one daughter and therefore had no Walters descendants. Mauritz Walters (or Wolder) from Lubeck, arrived approximately in 1700 in the cape as a Sailor and later building assistant (“bouknegt”). He had two sons but their progeny disappear after three generations. All Walters families in South Africa from non Anglo-Saxon origin therefore originate from the founder (“stamvader”) Samuel Walter(s) from Pressburg.


Samuel Walter was likely the son or even grandson was of a German immigrant (possibly Daniël or Samuel) who fled from Austria as a result of the persecution of Protestants. Die German emperor, Ferdinand II, has declared in 1627 that all Protestants must leave the country, which included the Austrian countries. German Protestant families left Austria from 1627 to well after 1650 mainly for the Waldviertel area in the northwest of Lower-Austria and are better known as the Exulanten. More than 20 000 families left the Waldviertel area as a result of their religious conviction. As a result of the well-established trading routes most of them fled westwards to Franconia. It is however not so well known that many also fled eastwards including Pressburg (currently Bratislava) the capital of Slovakia, originally part of the Hungarian empire. Two Walter(s) families left Lower Austria early in 1700 according to the records of the Exulanten in Vienna, the one from Vitis and the other from Untermeisling. Die records from Vitus only start after 1648 and those from Untermeisling were destroyed in a fire in 1835. It is quite probable that Samuel grandfather or father fled under this scenario. Samuel father must have been born around 1650 in lower Austria or even possibly in Pressburg since the record indicates that a few people as late as 1670 left the Walrdviertal. We estimate Samuel birth to take place in 1673 making it highly likely that he was born in Pressburg. It is however difficult to verify his birth and his fathers marriage since the Protestant baptism and marriage records between 1661 and 1684 were apparently destroyed. We are however certain about his city of origin since it appears many times in the documents in the Cape Archives as well as the Rijksargief in The Hague in the Netherlands.

Samuel Walter(s) Samuel Walter name appears the first time in the shipping register in The Hague in the Netherlands in 1695 and on the muster roles at the Cape (Cabo de Goede Hoop) in 1697 where he is listed as a soldier in the service of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). His place of birth is sometimes indicated as Presspoort instead of Pressburg probably as a result of the Dutch interpretation. Die Slovak name for Pressburg was Presporok en could also have contributed to Samuels use of the name Presspoort. Protestants were later again persecuted in Hungary, including Pressburg (the capital of Hungary for more than 400 years as a result of the Turkish occupation) and lost more than 900 of their churches. For example in Pressburg, two of their churches was given to the Jesuits in 1672, one year before Samuels birth which can still be visited in Bratislava today. The Protestants build a small wooden church outside the walls of the city and it is highly probable that Samuel was baptized in this church. The church was rebuild on the same spot and contains the furniture of the old wooden church. From the various documents in the Cape Archive it is clear that Samuels Christian-Protestant value system played a vital part in his decision to leave his birthplace for a new future. Pressburg also suffered under many attacks from the Turkish armies who occupied large portions of Hungary. Pressburg and not Buda was the principal seat where king were crowned for more than 400 years as a result of the Turkish occupation. Thus the terrible socio-economic condition further contributed to Samuels’s decision to join the VOC who were active in all regions to enlist young men into the company for duty as soldiers and workers in their colonies. It will probably remain a mystery how Samuel got involved with the VOC and how he travelled more than 500 kilometres from Pressburg to Amsterdam to board a ship to Batavia.

Agriculturist and Free “burger”

Samuel left the Netherlands in 1695 on board the Assendelft and arrived in 1696 in Cabo De Goede Hoop where he served as soldier for 11 years in the garrison at the Cape. The next phase in Samuel life had a profound impact on the Walters family in South Africa. Samuel was hired out as a farm hand form 1707 tot 1710 to Samuel Elsevier, the deputy Governor (“secundes”) of the Cape and later in 1710 to Dirk Vion. During this period Samuel developed his agricultural skills, became a free settler (burger) in 1711and met Maria Van Der Westhuizen, widow of Cornelis Van Nieuwekerken (Van Niekerk). Cornelis was one of the “burgers” banned to Mauritius as a result of his participation in the revolt against the Governor Willem Adriaen Van Der Stel. Samuel married Maria op die 22ste March 1711 in Stellenbosch and became the stepfather of Cornelis en Maria had four sons and two daughters. Al the Van Niekerks in South Africa originate from these four sons and all Van Niekerk en Walters families share the same ancestral mother (“stammoeder”). Cornelis left Maria several farms witch enabled Samuel to buy the farm, de e, laying on the Tygerberg berg Hills near Cape Town, in 1714 for 9000 Cape Guilders. The farm, de e, is known today as Altydgedacht en can be considered as the Walters farm of origin (“stamplaas”). The three Walters sons are born and baptized in the Cape Dutch Reformed Church (“Moederkerk”) namely Daniël in 1711, Nicolaas in 1714 en Stephanus Sebastiaan in 1716. They grew up together with the older van Niekerk children on de e. From the farm inventories its clear that Samuel was a successfull wine, sheep and cattle farmer. In 1725 he already had 25 000 vines and produced t 18 barrels “leggers” wine. Samuel died in 1726 en left his estate to Maria who continued the farming and expanded her farming into the Swartland area to the north. He also left 12 000 Cape Guilders to the four Van Niekerk sons and 15 000 Cape Guilders to the three Walters boys which were kept in trust until they have reached major age. Maria died as a well off women in 1734 en left an estate valued more than 80 000 Cape Guilders, a small fortune in those days. Her three farms, de e, Droogevallei en Hoorenbosch and a farmhouse on the loan farm, Zeekoeivalleij, were sold on a public auction. Each of the seven sons, the four Van Niekerk and three Walters sons, received 8 643 Cape Guilders from her estate which together with their father’s inheritance enabled all of them to buy their own farm cash. Since the three Walters sons were still minors (in those days younger than 25) they applied for major status (Venia Aetatis) in 1734 (Daniël) and in 1738 (Nicolaas en Stephanus) in order to receive their inheritance from the master. Daniël, the oldest Walters son never married and Nicolaas (38%) and Stephanus (62%) descendants forms the two main branches of the founder, Samuel Walters, progeny.

Nota deur Richard Ball op webblad: Samuel Walters, SV/PROG He first appears in the records of the Dutch East India Company in the Skeepssoldyboek of the ship Assendelft in 1695 which contains his service record and record of pay. This tells us that from 1696 we was at the Cape, and he first appears in the muster roll of Company employees in the year 1697 as a solider, his origin given as Prespoort, and continued as a soldier in the garrison at Cape Town until 1705 when he is listed as a stable hand (stalknegt).

From July 1707 until at least October 1710, when his contract was renewed for the third time he was hired out by the Dutch East India Company to Samuel Elsevier as a farm hand.

On 1st November 1710 he was contracted out by the governor as a hired hand to the burger Dirk Fion. The latter would pay him 15 gulden a month over and above his board and keep. He, Samuel Walter, was at all times still liabe for recall to his post as soldier when necessary.

The Skeepssoldyboek tells us that he left the Company's service on the 24th February 1711 to become a free settler.

(My grateful thanks to Nico Walters for a copy of the Skeepssoldyboek. For more detail on this family as well as a complete register of all Walters descendants, see his excellent web site The Walters Family).

Samuel verlaat Nederland in 1695 aan boord die Assendelft en kom in 1696 in Cabo De Goede Hoop aan waar hy elf jaar diens as soldaat in die garnisoen aan die Kaap.

Kaapstad in 1705 was Samuel Walter(s) werksaam in die Kasteel.

Samuel word uitgeleen vanaf 1707 tot 1710 om as plaasarbeider diens te doen.

Samuel tree in die huwelik met die weduwee Maria Van Der Westhuizen, weduwee van Cornelis Van Nieuwekerken (vandag Van Niekerk), op die 22ste Maart 1711 in Stellenbosch.

Al die Van Niekerks en Walterse het dus die selfde stammoeder Maria.

Samuel koop plaas de Tijgerberge, geleë aan die Tygerberge, in 1714 vir 9000 Kaapse Gulden. Vandag bekens as Altydgedacht. Samuel was ‘n suksesvolle wyn- en veeboer.

Hy sterf in 1726 en laat sy boedel na aan Maria.

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Samuel Walters, SV/PROG's Timeline

Pressburg (Bratislawa), Slovakia
Age 37
Age 39
June 10, 1714
Age 41
Cape Town, WC, South Africa
Age 43
Durbanville, Western Cape, South Africa
December 13, 1725
Age 52
Malmesbury, Western Cape, South Africa