Die Cruywagens van Suid-Afrika : 'n genealogiese en kultuurhistoriese ondersoek, 1690-1806
Cruywagen, Willem Adriaan
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The research covers the time of Dutch East India Company rule at the Cape from 1690 to 1806, and focuses on a branch of an early Cape family, the Cruywagens, of which the writer is a lineal descendant. The Cmywagen ancestor, Jan, a miller, his second wife, and a son, Meendert; born from his first marriage arrived at the Cape in 1690 during the governorship of Simon van der Stel. He soon became a free burgher and, like most other Capetonians, provided board and lodging to the crews and passengers of passing fleets. The good profits reaped from the lucrative boarding business enabled Jan and his son to acquire town properties and extensive agricultural land. Meendert's son, Johannes who inherited most of the farmland, was for eighteen years, from 1724 to 1742, the holder of part of the "pag" or licence to provide the Company with meat for its ships, the hospital and the town. His cattle farms which stretched from St. Helena Bay in the north to the mouth of the Gourits River near Mossel Bay in 1739 covered nearly 39 000 morgen. By 1739 he was considered to be one of the most affluent burghers of the time. He had many dealings with the government and senior Company officials and exerted a meaningful influence on the affairs of the Cape. The same accounts for his two sons Jan (IV) and Gerhardus Hendrik, notable gentlemen who were prominent in the Patriot movement of 1779. The research ends with the second British occupation of the Cape in 1806. Attention was not only given to notable individuals but also to the general living conditions, customs, traditions, beliefs and dispositions of the ordinary citizens and countrymen. Interesting evidence on certain historical periods was collected by studying the lives and activities of the quiet, sometimes unnoticed individuals -their life stories impart meaning to the events which they experienced. The research underlined the basic truth advanced by L.G. Pine in his The Genealogist's Encyclopedia, namely The genealogy of every country is determined by the course of history; conversely, the history of a country is elucidated by its genealogy.' By integrating genealogy with cultural history and other historical disciplines a new methodology is advanced in the belief that it may prove advantageous to future researchers.
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