Start My Family Tree Welcome to Geni, home of the world's largest family tree.
Join Geni to explore your genealogy and family history in the World's Largest Family Tree.

Schelde: Huguenot Ship to the Cape

view all


  • Jeanne Néel, SM/PROG (c.1688 - c.1738)
    Entry at the First Fifty Years Project 1st name also spelt JEANNE in certain documents Source: GESLAGSREGISTERS VAN DIE OU KAAPSE FAMILIESCitation Details: p696 Quality of Data: 3Source: Geslagsregiste...
  • Antoine Gros (deceased)
    Antoine Gros - a French Huguenot from Soubeyran, Dauphine, France - arrives in the Cape on 'de Schelde' on 5/6/1688. No further information* Gros in Boucher... the refugee Antoine Gros, whose departure...
  • Jean Néel (1687 - c.1740)
    (Jan) *1687 Amsterdam, x Susanna Fourie, Gevestig te Blaawklip en later Rustenburg en Keerweder, Stellenbosch. Heemraad van Stellenbosch in 1722. Guillaume NEL, / Neel gebore ongeveer 1663, in Rouen, N...
  • Daniel Jacobs (1673 - bef.1713)
    Daniel, geboren te Vieille Eglise (Guines) op 14 september 1673, gedoopt te Guînes (62) op 15 oktober 1673 (doopgetuigen waren Abraham Lategoute en Jeanne le Clerq). - "Transcript of the Registers of t...
  • Suzanne van Vuuren, SM (1671 - bef.1696)
    Suzanne, geboren te Vieille Eglize op 9 september 1671, gedoopt te Guînes (62) op 27 september 1671 (doopgetuigen waren Abraham Jacob en Elizabeth de Vos). - "Transcript of the Registers of the Prote...

The Schelde arrives in Table Bay 5 June 1688

  • Ship’s type: Jacht
  • Construction: Built in 1682 for the Chamber of Zeeland at the VOC ship yard in Middelburg.
  • Term: In use by the VOC from 1683 until it was dismantled in Batavia in January 1703.
  • Length: 140 feet
  • Breadth: 35,5 feet
  • Draught (depth): 14,75 feet
  • Loading capacity: 733 tons
  • Crew: 200-250 men
  • Flag: Chamber of Zeeland

Voyage to the Cape:

  • Date of departure:19 February 1688
  • Port of departure:Wielingen
  • Final destination:
  • Date of arrival in the Cape: 5 June 1688
  • Length of voyage: 107 days
  • Total People: 241
  • Deaths: 11 (4.56%)
  • Details of voyage:
  • Captain: Aarnout Schieteruit

Passengers to the Cape & Places of Origin:

Passengers' Stories:

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

Prevost in Boucher

The Prevosts who worshipped at Guines sailed on February 19, 1688 aboard the Middelburg East Indiaman the Schelde. The voyage was by no means uneventful. After encountering heavy seas the vessel put into the harbour of A Praia on Santiago in the Cape Verde Islands in order to effect necessary repairs. The Portuguese authorities, however, warned the captain that an English pirate was operating with some success in the vicinity and the Schelde weighed anchor without delay. Unfortunately she ran into a severe storm as the fifteen-week voyage drew to a close and further structural damage was caused. There were twenty-three refugees aboard her, but despite all adversities, no deaths occurred.

Charles Prevost was born about the year 1650 to Henri Prevost and Jeanne de Fief. He came from a village described in the Guines registers as Dombroy, probably Dombrie, near Saint-Amand-les-Eaux, south-east of Lille towards Valenciennes. In 1673 he was working in Dunkirk as a master wheelwright and on October 8 of that year married Marie le Fevre, a year his junior and the daughter of David le Fevre and Elisabeth le Bleu of Marck. As all their children from France were born near Calais, it seems likely that their father left Dunkirk soon after his marriage.

The Prevosts were accompanied on the voyage to the Cape by a son Abraham, who celebrated his ninth birthday at sea, and by two younger daughters, Anne and Elisabeth. A second son Jacob was born on shipboard on May 29, 1688. Abraham was born at Marck on May 24, 1679, Anne in the same village on February 18, 1681 and Elisabeth. in the hamlet of Les Attaques, south of Marck, on October 31, 1683. Two other children died before the departure for the Cape: David, born at Marck on March 10, 1675, and Marie, born at lower Marck on February 10, 1678 and baptized in Calais a week later. Marie’s death is not recorded in the Guines registers, but David died at Marck on February 9, 1685, shortly before his tenth birthday.

Although Charles Prevost came from the Lille region, it would seem that the family was originally from the Calaisis, perhaps from Hames- Boucres, north-west of Guines. There were certainly branches there and in Calais itself. ..

  • 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 pp253-4


Jump Back To