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The Origins of the Van Staden family of South Africa

Notes on the identification of Marten van Staden of Drakenstein with the Marten Jans van Staden living and working around Utrecht 1675-1685.

At the Cape of Good Hope the Van Staden family appears for the first time in the muster rolls of 1688. It consists of Marten van Staden and his wife Catharina Willems with 6 children. In 1705 this couple made their last will and testament where the members of the family are named as:

Maarten van Staden born at Haarlem, 76 years old, and

Chatarina Willemsz, born at Gisen-Nieukerk, aged 57

and their seven children:

Martinus van Staden aged 28, being a previous child of the testator procreated with his previous wife, the late Maria Erns van Amerongen

Maria aged 24,

Mourits aged 23,

Jan aged 20

Caspara aged 19

Willem aged 18

Lijsbet aged 15

Pieternella aged 13
 

In Werkhoven, a village just to the east of Utrecht, on the 25th November 1677 Marte Jans van Staades, widower of Maria Aritens, married Catelijntje Willems, spinster, of Giessen Nieukerck. They baptised their children first in Werkhoven and from 1681 until 1685 in the nearby village of Doorn where he was a gardner at the local big house, Huis te Doorn.

These children were:

Martienis 06-06-1675 Werkhoven, no mother's name mentioned

Marije 22-12-1678 Werkhoven

Maurus Louies 11-07-1680 Werkhoven

Joannes Op 10-11-1681 Doorn

Caspara 27-05-1683 Doorn

Wilhelmus 15-03-1685 Doorn

 

Taking into account the two parents and the six children who would have been born before 1688, after wich date the family is known to have been living at the Cape, the concordance between the two families is amazingly close.

Particularly striking is the birth place of Catharina Willemsz in each place, both born at Giesen Nieuwkerk.

The marriage entry for Willem van Staden in the Drakenstein church register, records that he was born at Utrecht.

There are, however, some discrepancies:

The names of the parents and children vary,

Marten, Meerten, Marte, Maarten

Catelijntje, Caetje, Chatarina, Catharina

Marije, Maria

Maurus, Mourits

Joannes, Jan

Wilhelmus, Willem

These inconsistencies need not detain us, however, since these are frequently found variations of these names and such differences in form and spelling are quite usual for the period.

The ages given in the will don't tally very closely with the baptismal dates, two are 3 years out and the rest 2 years out. This is a phenomenon often found at the Cape with these lists of children and their ages (often found in inventories). I do not know the reason but given that the ages in these lists are always less that the real ages I assume they must have been based on a list drawn up at an earlier period, perhaps for an earlier will or for some other reason.

The first wife is given as Maria Aritens in the Werkhoven marriage register and Maria Ernst van Amerongen in two documents at the Cape. Which is correct remains to be ascertained from future further evidence, but a first wife, Maria, in both cases is not in doubt.

Marten van Staden signed a lease on the 27th October 1683 registered with a Utrecht notary, Egbertus de Leeuw, for a house and land in Doorn. He signed this document:

We have a signature of Marten van Staden from the will which he and his wife Catharina Willemsz signed on 31 July 1705 at the Cape:

To me they appear to have been made by the same man.

My conclusion is that these two families are one and the same. I have therefore include this information in the Van Staden family section of my web site.


Any further information that anyone may have on this subject will be gratefully received.
 

The above notes were written and researched by Richard Ball 2005 
My hearty thanks to Frank Witschge of Almere in the Netherlands for bringing this Utrecht data to my attention.


Reference sources:

Church Registers - Doorn, Utrecht
Microfilm of the original registers in the National Archives at the Hague
as filmed by the Latter Day Saints Church, film number 121460
and consulted at the Eaton Family History Centre, Norwich.

Church Registers - Drakenstein congregation
Microfilm of the original registers in the National Archives at the Hague
as filmed by the Latter Day Saints Church, film number 2214162
and consulted at the Eaton Family History Centre, Norwich.

Church Registers - Werkhoven
Microfilm of the original registers in the National Archives at the Hague
as filmed by the Latter Day Saints Church, film number 122074
and consulted at the Eaton Family History Centre, Norwich.

Will - Van Staden, Maarten & Catharina Willems - 1705
dated 31 July 1705
Cape Archives,1 STB 18/2, 20

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