The following "Historical Survey" is taken from the Meintjes Family Register, compiled by Johann Meintjes in 1972.
The earliest known reference to the [Meintjes] Family is the record of the marriage at Stellenbosch on 14 January, 1709 of Hendrik Meijntjes van den Berg from Munsterland in Germany, to Christina Bastiaanz, the 21 year old widow of Heinrich Gozelke. The Founder of the Family was born in 1675 and evidently arrived at the Cape during 1708, as his name does not until 1709 appear in the annual census records. Hendrik was from the time of his arrival at the Cape until 1711 in the employ of Heinrich Oswald Eckstein, a wine-farmer of Stellenbosch. On 25th February, 1712 he was granted the farm Brandvalley at Roodezand and on 24th October, 1712 was allotted grazing for his stock at Klipkraal, beyond the Berg River. He was subsequently granted other farms, moving frequently from one district to another. According to the census records, he was registered in the following districts: Stellenbosch 1712 - 1714, 1717 - 1721 and 1727 to 1729, Cape Town 1722 - 1726 and Drakenstein 1715, 1716 and 1730 - 1735. It is interesting to note that seven of his eight children were not christened in the district where he resided. Hendrik was finally granted the farm Burgersdrif in the Drakenstein district on 10 April, 1731 and here he evidently stayed until his return to Cape Town, as no trace of later grants could be found. He spent the last years of his life in poverty and on 5th May, 1749 it was recorded in the minutes of the Cape Church Council that he was given a church grant as he was old and unable to earn a living. His eldest daughter re-married in 1752 and on 4th June, 1753 it was recorded in the Church Council minutes that she offered to care for him. He stayed with her and her husband Johann Hasse v. Braunschweig in Cape Town until his death at age 87 years on 17th October, 1762.
Hendrik was the father of eight children, five daughters and three sons. His eldest son, Francis, died young and the youngest, Pieter, never married, and died on his farm "Snoey gelegen over de Buffels Valley aan de Bosjemansberg" in 1811 at the age of 82. The second son, Johannes, also known as Jan and Johan, married Jacoba van Wijk, was the father of seven children and is also the ancestor of all members of the Meintjes family. [See below on Pieter"s children.] On 10th August, 1746 he was granted his first farm, Twee Fonteine, situated in the Koue Bokkeveld in the district of Waveren (the present district of Ceres). In the year 1757 he moved to the farms Vondeling and Welgemoed in the Roggeveld in the same district where he died on 9th January, 1764 at the age of 45. His wife remained on the farm until her three surviving sons moved away and settled on their farms. She died in Cape Town on 5th September, 1788.
Hendrik, the eldest son of Johannes, on 22nd March, 1744, was granted the farm Rietfontyn, situated beyond the Sneeuwberg (between the town Graaff Reinet and Cradock), where his uncle Pieter was farming on a neighbouring farm, Geduld. Although he acquired further farms in this area in the years 1775 and 1784, his family remained in the "Land van Waveren" until he took them to the eastern frontier in 1790 or 1791.
Hendrik was a Heemraad of Graaff Reinet until 1795. A number of Hendrik"s descendants distinguished themselves in various fields. His grandson Jacobus Johannes (born 14 March, 1800) was one of the first Magistrates to be appointed by Lord Charles Somerset. He married the sister of Sir Andries Stockenstrom. After several years on the Government offices at Graaff Reinet, he was, at the age of 24 transferred to Somerset East as Civil Commissioner and Resident Magistrate and from 1830 to 1860 held a similar position at Beaufort West. Stephanus Jacobus (born 19th February 1819) a great-grandson of Hendrik, left Graaff Reinet in about 1862 to settle in the Transvaal as an Attorney, and later as Advocate of the Supreme Court. He purchased the farm Arcadia, which he divided into erven. The hill on the farm, "Meintjeskop", was named after him. Jacobus Johannes (born 23rd December, 1810) was elected member of the Cape Legislative Assembly during 1854 in the first elections after the grant of Representative Government to the Cape. His cousin, Johannes Jacobus (born 18th May, 1830) was the first Registrar of the Transvaal and was appointed as such in 1866. Another descendant, Stephanus Jacobus (born 11th January, 1840) made history by being the first member of the Family to become a medical practitioner. He practised at Aberdeen, Willowmore, Adelaide and Uitenhage. Another distinguished descendant was Laurens (born 9th June, 1868), who on 15th August, 1893 won the World Championship in cycle racing in Chicago.
The second son, Johannes Petrus farmed at Stellenbosch and moved to the Graaff Reinet district more or less the same time as his brother. He settled on the farm "Rietvalley, gelegen achter de Sneeuwberg", near his brother.
The youngest brother, Willem was the last to leave the Western Cape. After farming in what is to-day known as the Tulbach, Ceres and Worcester districts, he followed his elder brothers between 1808 and 1810 to the eastern frontier and took over the farm Rietvalley from his brother Johannes Petrus. Here he stayed until his death on 23rd December, 1836.
Willem"s two sons, after their father"s death, left the Cape Colony under Pieter Uys, and settled in Natal until the British annexation thereof. In 1842 they both moved to Groot Marico and in 1863 a section of the family settled in the districts of Winburg and Kroonstad.
Pieter and his nephews Hendrik, Johannes Petrus and Willem thusall originally settled in the same area, i.e. at Sneeuwberg, between the present Graaff Reinet and Cradock. From here the Family started spreading in different directions. The descendants of Hendrik moved nearer to Graaff Reinet, and also further south to what to-day is known as the districts of Somerset East and Pearston. Others moved to Hanover and Middelburg. The two sons of Johannes Petrus moved in directly opposite directions, the elder joining the Trek of Gerrit Maritz, eventually to settle in Western Transvaal, and the younger one and his descendants settled in the districts of Aberdeen and Willowmore. As stated above, Willem"s sons left the Cape Colony with the Great Trek.
A further general exodus from Graaff Reinet and the neigbouring districts took place towards the middle of the nineteenth century and various members of the Family spread to Pretoria, Molteno, Kimberley, Fauresmith, Beaufort West and a number of other districts, to such an extent that not a single member of the Family is left in the Graaff Reinet district to-day.
Probably as a result of the German pronunciation of the Family name, different spellings appeared in the old Church Records. At the time of marriage of our progenitor, the entry read "Henrik Jan zn. Myntie", and with the christening of his children the surname was spelt Metje, Mantie, Mijntjes, Meijntges and Meijntgens. The earliest record of the correct spelling was found in the minutes of the Cape Church Council, dated 5th May, 1749, 7th August, 1752, 6th November, 1752 and 4th June, 1753, where he was referred to as "Hendrik Meijntjes van den Berg". His daughter Anna Elizabeth and her husband Johann Valentin Eckard v. Magdeburg in their will dated 28th July, 1755 referred to him as "Hendrik Meijntjes van den Berg in Munsterland". According to the marriage registers his three daughters used the surname "van den Berg", while his son Johannes used the full name "Meijntjes van den Berg" at the time of his marriage. This double name appeared in church records for approximately 170 years, at Graaff Reinet, Cradock, Kroonstad and Winburg, until certain branches of the Family gradually dropped the "van den Berg", and later omitted the "j" in Meijntjes. The least said about the modern day spelling "Meintjies", the better.
"MEINTJES 1675-1971", Johann Meintjes (1972) (Actually, Johann Adriaan Meintjes, he is a first cousin to the artist and author, Johannes Petrus Meintjes.)
Supplemental notes by Keith Meintjes
In 1989, Robert Ross corresponded with Johann Meintjes, who was then living in Windhoek. Johann sent him a copy of the first page of Pieter Meintjes" will.
On February 7, 1796, Pieter Meintjes (the last child, b8, of the stamvader) appeared before Samuel Veil Oertel in Graaff Reinet to make his last will and testament which is, in part: "The Testator makes over the sum of one thousand Cape Gulden to the Church, but then his seven natural children born out of wedlock are to be baptized and admitted into the Christian Faith." The children, four sons and three daughters, ranged in age from one to 27 years old at the time.
In his letter, Johann says: "His consort"s name is not mentioned. The Dutch Reformed Church at Graaff Reinet baptised them all. I traced all the entries in the Church records. These are my coloured relatives, almost all living in the Eastern Cape."
Hendrik is also referred to (in South African books) as Johann Heinrich or Jan Hendrik. Munsterland is the region surrounding the city of Munster, which is now in Westphalia, West Germany. Around 1700, this was the Bishopric of Munster, an Ecclesiatical State. There is a town called Berge about 40 miles north of Munster, in Lower Saxony. (Hence, "van den Berg"?)
According to "Afkomst", Jan Hendrik Meintjes was born in Geertruidenberg.
Robert Ross, private correspondence (1989) (Robert Ross is the son of Catherine Maria Meintjes and Dr. Joseph James Ross of Fauresmith.)
"De Afkomst der Boeren", H.T. Colenbrander (1902)
"Driehonderd Jaar Nasiebou", D.F.duT. Malherbe (1959)
Submitted by Keith Meintjes, Michigan, USA, March 2003.
More information available at http://boards.ancestry.com/mbexec?htx=board&r=rw&p=surnames.meintjes
Die inligting is ook beskikbaar in Afrikaans by hierdie skakel.
EKSTRA OPMERKINGS DEUR AM VAN RENSBURG
Hendrik MEINTJES (Meijntjes) van den Berg van Munsterland (hy was ook bekend as Johann Heinrich), Hy was gebore in 1675 in Duitsland. Hy trou in Stellenbosch op 14 Januarie 1709 met Christina BASTIAANSZ, sy was gedoop die dogter van Francois Bastiaansz en Anna Maria de Leeuw in Kaapstad 10 Augustus 1687. Sy was die weduwee van Heinrich Hörsel (hy was ook bekend as Gozelke) Kyk onder Hörsel vir meer inligting oor haar.
bl Anna Dorothea = Kaapstad 5 Julie 1711 x Kaapstad 16 November 1736 Matthias LOTTER xx 26 November 1752 Johann Hasse van Braunschweig
b2 Francis = Stellenbosch 10 Desember 1713
b3 Anna Maria = Kaapstad 22 November 1716
b4 Johannes = Kaapstad 23 Julie 1719 + Waveren 9 Januarie 1764 x Waveren 12 Mei 1747 Jacoba van Wijk = 4 Feb 1725 + Kaapstad 5 Sep 1788 d.v. Arie van Wijk en Anthoinetta Campher
b5 Margaretha = Kaapstad 26 Apr 1722 x Kaapstad 17 Okt 1745 Anthony van der Mey van Amsterdam
b6 Anna Elizabeth = Kaapstad 9 Apr 1724 x Kaapstad 28 Apr 1748 Johan Valentin Eckard van Maagdeburg
b7 Geertruida = Drakenstein 22 Sep 1726
b8 Pieter = Drakenstein 16 Okt 1729 + Cradock 1811 ongetroud
In sy ou dag was hy so arm dat hulle vir hom klere moes gee. In 1752 word Eva Coetsee gevra om hom op te pas vir 4 Rds per maand, sy vra dat hulle die bedrag tot 8 Rds moet maak, want dit was so "n groot beslommernis om hom op te pas en hy was vol van alle "ongediertes". In 1753 het sy skoonseun Hasse hom ingeneem en na hom gekyk. Hendrik sterwe in Kaapstad die 17 Oktober 1762.
Heese en Lombard
JLM Franken " Dr J Hoge"s "Personalia of the Germans at the Cape"" Africana Notes and News Vol VI no 1, Dec 1948
Hoge Personalia of the Germans at the Cape
AM van Rensburg
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