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Spierdijk: Huguenot Ship to the Cape

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  • Etiene Gauch, b1 (c.1684 - c.1755)
    Born: 1684, Celigny, Geneve, Switzerland Marriage: Catharina BOCK on 6 Mar 1718 Emigration: from Holland on the ship "Spierdijk", 1691, Le Pont-de-Montvert, Lanquedoc, France. Andre & Etienne Gau...
  • André Gauch, SV/PROG (1659 - 1698)
    See Gou/ws Genealogy of SA Project Andre GAUCH / GOUS van Languedoc, het as Franse Hugenoot in 1691 op die skip Spierdyk aangekom as wewenaar met een seun. Sy eerste huwelik was met Jacqueline DECRE ...

The Spierdijk Arrived at the Cape of Good Hope on 23 April 1688

  • Ship’s type: Fluitschip
  • Construction: Built in 1685 for the Chamber of Amsterdam at the VOC ship yard in Amsterdam.
  • Term: In use by the VOC from 1685 until it was sold on 28 June 1708 in Batavia.
  • Length: 130 feet
  • Breadth: 32 feet
  • Depth: 14 feet
  • Loading capacity: 606 tons
  • Crew: 120-200 men
  • Flag: Chamber of Amsterdam

Voyage to the Cape:

  • Date of departure:30 December 1687
  • Port of departure: Texel
  • Final destination:
  • Date of arrival in the Cape:23 April 1688.
  • Length of voyage: 115 days
  • Total people: 173
  • Total deaths: 21 (12.14%)
  • Details of voyage:
  • Captain: Siarwert de Jonge

Passengers to the Cape & Places of Origin:

Passengers' Stories:

Etienne and Andre Gauch

One young settler at the Cape was apparently born in or near Geneva about the year 1684. Although no baptismal entry for Etienne Gauch has been found, we are indebted to C. Graham Botha for the discovery in 1920 of the entry on January 13, 1683 of the marriage at Celigny of his father Andre Gauch from Le Pont-de-Montvert in the Cevennes to Jacqueline, daughter of the late Louis Deere of Sauverny. Celigny is in a small enclave of Geneva on the western shore of the Lake of Geneva towards Nyon. It is evident that Andre Gauch had left France some time before the revocation; his bride’s father was also probably a refugee, as Sauverny is in the Pays de Gex. Andre Gauch became a member of the Walloon church in Amsterdam on April 16, 1690 and was accompanied to the United Provinces by his wife and son. A daughter Marie was born to them in the Dutch seaport and baptized on May 28, 1690. The family may have spent some time in Basle before leaving Switzerland. A Jean Gauch came to Amsterdam from that city in March 1697. Andre Gauch and his son Etienne reached the Cape in 1691 aboard the Amsterdam East Indiaman Spier- dijk, commanded by Siarwert de Jonge. Whether Jacqueline Deere and Marie died in the United Provinces or on the outward voyage has not been determined. • M. Boucher.M (1981). French speakers at the Cape: The European Background. Pretoria, UNISA: Ch 7: Cape Settlers III: from South-Eastern France and Adjoining Territories p173


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