The Van der Schyff Ancestral Line
As Prepared for Peter and Sheila Swanepoel
By Greg Seibert, Hudson, Ohio, USA
First we begin with Dirk Pretorius who was born in Holland before 1650. His wife or partner (I haven’t located a marriage record for them yet) was Maria Hansen van de Caep who was born in the Western Cape about 1663. Maria’s name is also recorded as Maria Hanssen, Maria Hanze and Maria Harmse. It appears that Maria was most likely a slave because of the status of a baptism record from around the time of her birth. Also, at that time, most individuals with the surname attachment of “van de Caep” had been born into slavery.
** GASP!! ** We’re not pure royalty! Unlike most Saffers and Aussies we may have had our undoubted blue blood MIXED! I’ll try and fade the parts where Greg says ‘slave’ instead of ‘aristocrat’, OK?
The following information is from “The First Fifty Years Project” with info provided by Delia Robertson.
Together they had Sijbilla Pretorius who was born about October 29, 1688 which is when her baptism is recorded in the Dutch Reformed Church book for Capetown. She married Harmen Barend Van der Schyff on September 23, 1703 when she was only 14 years old. Harmen was born about 1680 in Rotterdam in the Netherlands.
Together they had Dirk Van der Schyff who was born about 1719 at the Cape of Good Hope. He married Catharina Meyer on July 6, 1738 who was born on April 12, 1716 and was the daughter of Lucas Meyer and Agatha Blom.
Together they had Hermanus Barend Van der Schyff who was born in 1739. He married Susanna Johanna de Buijs who was born on February 20, 1746 and who died on January 26, 1825 in Stellenbosch. She was the daughter of Jean de Buijs and Elsje Hoffman. This Hoffman ancestral line is extremely interesting because it follows back to an Indian slave of the early Cape, Louis van Bengale, and an Arabian slave girl named Lijsbeth Arabus from Abyssinia which is now modern Ethiopia. I’ll do another narrative on this line because it seems so interesting!
Together they had Elsie Catharina Van der Schyff who was born in 1774. She married Daniel du Plessis which ties this into the du Plessis narrative.
**** OK, I’m lost. Unfortunately dear ole Greg died way before he should have – damn! – so we may never know just how pure our royal bloodline actually is. We won’t be able to ask him if , for example, where he said ‘Abyssinia’ he actually meant ‘Camelot’ – a simple typo? ****