Claas Jansz VAN RENSBURG,

Name
Claas Jansz VAN RENSBURG
Given names
Claas Jansz
Surname
VAN RENSBURG
MarriageAlleta VAN DER MERWEView this family
14 August 1708

Shared note: The earliest record of his presence at the Cape is his marriage, in the year 1708. The Cape was filled with great political changes at this time at this time. The previous few years there were major confrontation between the burghers (some of the key burghers Husing, Tas(2)) and Governor W.A. van der Stel. Van der Stel was feathering his own nest and denying the burghers opportunities with contracts to supply the Company with wine and meat. It is presumed that Claas must have arrived in 1708, one year earlier Governor van der Stel was removed due to corruption. The Marriage entry at Stellenbosch church, 14th August 1708 (8k) and full page entry (80k) has recorded Claas marrying Aletta van der Merwe(3), the minister H. Beck officiated (this was a Tuesday, some have suggested that the date reads 18th August, this would have been a Saturday). We have a very good idea what the village and church would have looked like since there is a drawing made less than two years later. Here is the drawing by van Stade from 1710 of the village Stellenbosch with the church(23k).(4) One must admire a 47 year old man being able to persuade a 24 year old widow to marry him, and/or did she need some security, being just widowed and having two little children. On the other hand Aletta had a freehold farm from her first marriage and thus whoever married her was to gain the farm.. It is likely that Claas had been previously married since the title "jonge man" or abbreviation j.m. (meaning bachelor), is not attributed to him with his wedding entry. Claas Jansz (which means Claas the son of Jan) was born in 1661. Since Nicolaas is the family name, it is most likely his full name as well. His year of birth is determined from Claas's will (31k) (5) which states that he was 66 years old at the time of making the will on the 21st March 1727.
Birth of a son
#1
Johannes JANSE VAN RENSBURG
1709

Birth of a daughter
#2
Elsie JANSE VAN RENSBURG
1712

Birth of a daughter
#3
Cecilia JANSE VAN RENSBURG
1 March 1715

Birth of a son
#4
Willem JANSE VAN RENSBURG
1717
Christening of a sonWillem JANSE VAN RENSBURG
21 November 1717

Birth of a son
#5
Nicolaas JANSE VAN RENSBURG
1720

Birth of a son
#6
Hendrik JANSE VAN RENSBURG
1723

Birth of a daughter
#7
Sophia JANSE VAN RENSBURG
25 November 1725

Marriage of a childJohannes JANSE VAN RENSBURGAnna Margaretha BOTHAView this family
27 August 1730

Marriage of a childPieter VAN DER MERWEElsie JANSE VAN RENSBURGView this family
12 August 1731

Marriage of a childIzaak VAN DER MERWECecilia JANSE VAN RENSBURGView this family
19 April 1732

Marriage of a childWillem JANSE VAN RENSBURGAnna Sophia BURGERView this family
2 July 1740
Shared note: Willem did not follow his other brothers who settled in the district of Swellendam but instead went in the direction of his sisters who got married to farmers in the Cold Bokkeveld, (Elsie married 1731 to P van der Merwe, and Cecilia married 1732 to Izaak van der Merwe). Thus Willem established the Cold Bokkeveld branch of van Rensburg's. Willem must have moved back to live in the Cold Bokkeveld, it came under the Drakenstein area, before 1736 since he is mentioned in census roll(5) 1736 under Drakenstein. His possessions include one firearm and a dagger. In 1738 he became a member of the Drakenstein church, the records reveal(2k) (6). At the age of 23 Willem and the 17 year old Anna Sophia Burger got married in the Drakenstein church, as per marriage entry(13k) on 2 July 1740(7). She was(b2 c4) the daughter of Willem Burger and Elsie van der Merwe, they were both cousins of Willem. There were numerous connection with the Burger family.
Marriage of a childNicolaas JANSE VAN RENSBURGMaria MARAISView this family
31 March 1743

Death of a daughterCecilia JANSE VAN RENSBURG
25 July 1744

Marriage of a childDavid VAN DER MERWESophia JANSE VAN RENSBURGView this family
30 November 1745

Death of a sonWillem JANSE VAN RENSBURG
21 July 1746
Marriage of a childHendrik JANSE VAN RENSBURGAnna Maria VAN DER MERWEView this family
1747

Death of a daughterElsie JANSE VAN RENSBURG
15 October 1776

Deathyes

Family with Alleta VAN DER MERWE - View this family
himself
wife
Marriage: 14 August 1708
17 months
son
4 years
daughter
3 years
daughter
3 years
son
4 years
son
4 years
son
3 years
daughter

Marriage

The earliest record of his presence at the Cape is his marriage, in the year 1708. The Cape was filled with great political changes at this time at this time. The previous few years there were major confrontation between the burghers (some of the key burghers Husing, Tas(2)) and Governor W.A. van der Stel. Van der Stel was feathering his own nest and denying the burghers opportunities with contracts to supply the Company with wine and meat. It is presumed that Claas must have arrived in 1708, one year earlier Governor van der Stel was removed due to corruption. The Marriage entry at Stellenbosch church, 14th August 1708 (8k) and full page entry (80k) has recorded Claas marrying Aletta van der Merwe(3), the minister H. Beck officiated (this was a Tuesday, some have suggested that the date reads 18th August, this would have been a Saturday). We have a very good idea what the village and church would have looked like since there is a drawing made less than two years later. Here is the drawing by van Stade from 1710 of the village Stellenbosch with the church(23k).(4) One must admire a 47 year old man being able to persuade a 24 year old widow to marry him, and/or did she need some security, being just widowed and having two little children. On the other hand Aletta had a freehold farm from her first marriage and thus whoever married her was to gain the farm.. It is likely that Claas had been previously married since the title "jonge man" or abbreviation j.m. (meaning bachelor), is not attributed to him with his wedding entry. Claas Jansz (which means Claas the son of Jan) was born in 1661. Since Nicolaas is the family name, it is most likely his full name as well. His year of birth is determined from Claas's will (31k) (5) which states that he was 66 years old at the time of making the will on the 21st March 1727.

Shared note

The following interesting information from this website: http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Atlantis/4364/CLAAS.htm Claas Jansz was the 'stamvader' of the Van Rensburg's in South Africa. Mystery surrounds his first 47 years, nothing is known of his life until his wedding entry, in 1708. The arrival of Claas at the Cape is not known. Leaving Europe (he may even have come via Asia) and making his way to the southern part of Africa was a major relocation. Brujns supplies the following information regarding VOC shipping for 1708. Only three people who arrived as passengers for the year, on the Generale Vrede, arrived at Cape 24 Jan 1708. The rest of the people who got disembarked the ships at the Cape were either soldiers or seamen. Their arrived 22 ships from Europe and 16 VOC ships from Asia for 1708. On arrival he would have seen this view of Cape, with Table mountain(30k), painting is from early 1700's. Here is another drawing of the Cape (33k) at that time Research into early documents does not reveal his presence earlier at the Cape. The custom, prior to surnames usage, was based upon patronymical naming pattern. A person was known as: "Given name and then Father's name plus son". Applying this to Claas Jansz: His given name is - Claas. His father's name was 'Jan' and 'sz' represents 'se zoon' which means son (or son belonging to him). Each next generation, the last name changes to who their father was. The full name of Jan was most likely Johannes since the eldest son was named such. Are they all from the same ancestor? and which is the authentic one? There was only one stamvader and the facts are that he signed his name as Claas Jansz. Which means Claas the son of Jan. In order to distinguish between all the people who were Jansz (In other words their fathers had the same name as our stamvader, there were scores of Jansz at the Cape: Claas Jansz: van Hofland; Claas Jansz: van Alkmaar; Claas Jansz: van Amsterdam; Claas Jansz: van Reeuwijk) the authorities added where they were from in order to distinguish them from one another. Thus some people eventually received a double surname. Based on Patronym and Toponym, who they were descendant from and where they originated from. My grandfather (Nicolaas Jacobus Janse van Rensburg) in our case decided to do away with one part of this double surname. To contend that one specific surname is the authentic one is absurd, since our stamvader only signed himself as Claas Jansz, and never included van Rensburg, note how he signs in a partnership contract and the authorities adds the explantory:"dit heeft Claas Jansz v: Rensburg geschrewen"(72k), meaning this is written by Claas Jansz: from/of Rensburg. We have six documented signature's, enclosed you may view them and some comments (14k) (15) of him. Some family members insist on using 'Janse' and others vehemently insist on 'Jansen'. Two of Claas's sons' signatures already adopts both these positions. Janse used by b1 Johannes (2k) and Jansen used by b6 Hendrik (2k) . In Afrikaans the "van" has two meanings: it means "surname", and also "from". Some in the family use three words as our surname "Janse van Rensburg". When it comes to spelling one finds all kinds of variations, it should be kept in mind that it was Ecclesiastical figures and Company officials who recorded the names and they spelled it whichever way it sounded. Thus even in the original documents you will have differences. Other surnames were "Dutchified". All this further complicates the search for his place of origin. R.T.J. Lombard(16) sheds a different view on people such as Claas, whose place of origin his descendants took as their surname. According to him, the place of origin does not necessarily indicate the place of birth, it could just indicate the place of last dwelling. If this is the case with Claas Jansz, which Lombard specifically uses as an example, then it makes it so much more difficult to get a connection to a European country or place of birth. There have been numerous variation in usage and spelling of our surname.