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Surnames V to Z

VAN GRAAN Otto Ernst

Otto Ernst van GRAAN was born c 1651, he died at the Cape 30 July 1763  (30 Aug 1763)  (thus he would have been well over 100 (112) years) he got married at Cape Town on 31 August 1704 to Rebekka van de KAAP, daughter of Moses van Macasser and Sara van Macasser, Rebekka died 23 June 1766.

In 1709 they were living near the new Markplein in an "appartementen", the owner was the Scotsman Jacob Thomas. In 1709 the sailor Demetrius Petrus (he was from Schipio in Greece) was living with them. Demetrius and Dolle Dries (Andries Christiaansz Coppie) fought behind the sand dunes and Dolle Dries was killed with a knife. The murderer was put to death on 23 November 1709. (HF Heese, Reg en Ongereg, p 67)

Both Moses and Sara must have received these biblical names from their European masters. Moses was also know as Moses Aron/ Moses Arensz van Macassar. I suspect that that even though Aron can be derived from the biblical Aaron, that it is indicating the name of his father which must have been Aron or Aren. Moses-Aaron and Rebbecca was baptised at Cape Town on 17 October 1700. Sara died c 1709/1710. This daughter of Moses and Sara, Rebecca died 23 Jun 1766 and got married 31 Aug 1704 Otto Ernst van Graan *1651, died 1763.

On 6 May 1708 a slave child Dirkje of Theunis Dirksz Schalkwijk was baptised and the witnesses were Moses Aarons and Sara van Macassar. On 10 March 1709 Moses van Macasser and Sara van Macaser were the witnesses to the baptism of two slave children: Sara and Pieter both owned by Harmen Buys (He was the father and the mother was the slave Diana van Krankebaar).

On 2 October 1707 Moses van Macasser and Johanna van de Caap were the witnesses of the baptism of the slave child Antonij, who was owned by Willem van Damme.

Moses subsequently got married on 2 Nov 1710 to Jacomijntje van Madagascar. They made a will CJ 2651 no 12 on 1721, May 21, in which we have the cross mark of Moses.

The local name for Macassar was Oedjong Pandang, the Dutch referred to it at first as Uithoek and then build a castle which they named Rotterdam. Batavia issued in 1665 a prohibition on the purchase of slaves from Celebes (Sulawesi). Since they were stolen people refer to H Sutherland, p 266, 268 "Slavery and the Slave Trade in South Sulawesi" in ed A Reid, Slavery and Bondage and Dependence in Southeast Asia.

Between 1666 and 1669 a war was fought between the tribes of Goa under command of Sultan Husanuddin and, Bugis tribe from Bone and Soppang under command of Arung Plakka. During this war they caught 195 Macassar women and children and sent 50 to Batiavia and the rest to the Molluccas to be sold as slaves, with the profit to be shared amongst the Dutch officers. The Dutch used the Bugis to suppress the Goa kingdom. Part of the final peace treaty with Goa in 1667 was the demand of supplying 1,000 slaves or in kind to the Dutch.

The term slavery encompasses a broad spectrum: real slaves, prisoners, debt bondsmen, free followers.

The slaves from Macassar, southern part of the Indonesian Island of Celebes (Sulawesi), were known to be dangerous and truculent. They were considered a stubborn nation and people were cautious in case they gave trouble. The Malay slaves tended to run amok. Without reason they would run down the streets with a knife crying "Amok! amok!" slashing and stabbing anything until they were overpowered or killed, this was an honourable way of committing suicide (Victor de Kock p195). Valentijn in Bescrijvingen Vol III, no 2, p136 refer to the Macassar"s "men vind in"t Oosten, geen trotzer, vernuftiger, oorlogskundiger, nog dapperder volkeren, als de Macassaaren". He also speaks of the women p137 "De vrouwen zyn door de bank veel schooner, netter besneden van wezen, en veel blanker, dan alle andere Indiaanze vrouwen ... waarom zy by die meeste Hollanders voor alle andere slavinnen gezogt worden, te meer dewyl zy seer fraai van oogen, mooi, dog wat plat van weezen, zeer vriendelijk, lieftallig, n doorgans zeer beleeft en wel opgevoed zyn. ... Deze vrouwen zyn in haar ijgenland ook zeer moedig, en trots, en weten haar fatsoen zoo wel, als de beste Hollandze juffrouw, te houden". One can hardly find more positive superlatives to describe them. Their culture included them filing their teeth and covering it with gold.

Otto Ernst van Graan and Rebekka had the following children:
1. Moses Ernst baptised 7 Nov 1706
2. Sara baptised 9 June 1709, 29 June 1732 married Evert Jansz Volschenk
3. Johanna baptised 3 July 1712
4. Carel Ernst baptised 16 December 1714, married 5 July 1733 Anna de Vries
5. Jacobus baptised 27 June 1717, married 28 July 1737 Adriana Groenedyk (daughter of Claas Jansz Groenedyk and Cornelia van de Kaap), married again Johanna Franke van de Kaap, married third time Martha Sophia Beyers van de Kaap.
6. Aaron baptised 21 January 1720
7. Johanna baptised 11 October 1722, married Willem Raams, XX 22 Sept 1743 Hermanus Schilt, XXX 29 Sept 1765 Pieter van Papendorp
8. Barendina baptised 10 June 1725, married 29 November 1744 Barend Jacobus Langeveld
9. Maria Elizabeth baptised 15 Feb 1728
10. Helena baptised 19 March 1730, Married Cape Town 17 Nov 1748 Cornelia Backstroo

According to the "Resolusies van die Kaapse Kerkraad" 9 December 1720 the suckling child of the freeblack Catharina van Colombo was after Catharina"s death placed in the care of Otto Ernst van Graan. On 9 December 1720 the church placed the minors of the deceased freeblack Catharina van Colombo in the care of Harmen van Marle [sic] and Otto Ernst van Grau [sic]. Harmen had to take care of 2 children and van Graan 1 child. Harmen van Marlo was married to a free slave. (refer also to stamouer Gerrit Augustijnsz Vermaak)

As been noted Otto Ernst was also refered to as "van Grau", his first names Otto Ernst and this latter name does seem to have a german ring.

J.A. Heese & R.T.J. Lombard, Suid-Afrikaanse Geslagregister Vol II
Victor de Kock, Those in Bondage
Francois Valentijn, Bescrijvingen Vol III
Personal information from Mansell Upham

Thanks to researcher:
A.M. Van Rensburg

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