Adriana Tol - from Delft?
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Notes on the origins of Adriana Tol and Jan Smit,
resident at the Cape of Good Hope from about 1688.


Adriana Tol was married at Stellenbosch on 11th January 1705. In the marriage register she is described as 'Adriana Tol van Delft Wede. Jan Smith'.

She and Jan Smit had had several children baptised at the Cape between 1688 and 1700 and he had presumably died by this date.

The lead to Delft has been followed up before, and there is an article in Familia by Jean M. Schönnberg (Familia vol 15, no.2, 1982, p. 50-51) which lists three baptisms and brief details of three marriages for the Tol family of Delft.

Jean Schönnberg states that he/she traced these details on a recent (1982) trip to Salt Lake City and gives film references for some Delft church and marriage court records.

From research that I have recently done and had done, it seems that the details as given are not entirely accurate and two of the marriages are wrongly attributed. I have, therefore, set out the newly established details of the Tol family of Delft and their connections.


The indexes to the Baptism, Marriage and Burial records of the City of Delft have recently been made available on the web site of the Gemeentearchief Delft, making it a good deal easier to check this information. 

I have spent a lot of time among these indexes working out a likely family tree for Adriana Tol, who did indeed appear among them, and have received copies of the more relevant church register pages.

Having constructed a conjectural family for Adriana Tol I then asked a husband and wife research team in the Netherlands, Family Affairs, to visit the Delft Archives on my behalf to see if any further documents, such as wills, weeskamer records, etc could be found.

What I was really hoping for was some reference to 'my daughter A Tol, now resident at the Cape of Good Hope' but, so far, such positive evidence has not been found. A great deal of information has, nevertheless, come to light, and wills for several of the people concerned, as well as long and detailed Weeskamer records of the family of Adriana Tol, her mother and her brothers and sisters. 

In my opininon the Tol family in Delft is now tolerable well proven and accounted for but I am still researching the Smit/Tol family at the Cape and am hoping to be able to find some more information in the records there when the research can be carried out for me, but the balance of liklihood seems to me to favour the theory that the two Adriana Tols, the one in Delft and the one at the Cape, are the same person.


My reasons:

1. Adriana Tol stated that she came from Delft

Tol is not a rare name in the Netherlands or in Delft, but from the records available to me, there would appear to have been only the one Tol family in Delft during the 17th Century.

2. The coincidence of names:

a. Adriana Tol married to Jan/Johannes Smit in both places.

b. The children's names: 
at the Cape, Christoffel, Jacobus, Hulsie, Francois, Alewijn, Johanna
in Delft, Christoffel (earlier son of Jan Smit), Jacobus (Adriana Tol's father), Alewijn (her elder brother) (One must assume that Christoffel, Hulsie and Frans were names from Jan Smit's side of the family).

3. Dates:

So far as I have been able to discover Adriana Tol does not appear in the Delft records after December 1685.

All the reference works state that the Smit/Tol family was in the Cape from 1688 but so far I have not been able to find out on what this statement is based. Like so much else of the published works on South African genealogy (and there are a lot of them) many of these sorts of statement are copied and recopied but the original source reference is seldom copied with them.

Certainly Christoffel Smit the son of Jan Smit, was baptised in Cape Town on 9 May 1688. The first mention of Adriana Tol that we have so far been able to find is that of the baptism of her son Jacobus Smit on 16 October 1689 in Stellenbosch.



Tol is not a rare name in the Netherlands, but there would appear to have been only the one Tol family in Delft in the 17th Century. So, based on Adriana Tol's statement in 1705 that she came from Delft and the other rather slim circumstantial evidence presented above, I am assuming that Adriana Tol of the Cape of Good Hope is the same Adriana Tol who was baptised on 16 July 1656 in the Nieuwe Kerk, Delft and married Johannes Smit at the same church on 27 December 1681.

If anyone has any evidence for or against this theory I would be very pleased indeed to have it.


Many thanks to researchers: André Kellerman, Graham Lloyd, Helena Liebenberg and Femke and Lars Roobol.

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