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The Bastroo Family of Mauritius and the Cape


I have been interested for some time in the second VOC settlement on the island of Mauritius1 and collecting what information I could find on the families who lived there, since a number of these families figure among my ancestors.

The family of Bastro or Bastroo kept coming up during these researches and I gathered quite a lot of miscellaneous information about them from various documents in the hopes that Magdalena Munnix, one of my ancestors, might figure among their relations.2

For some unstated reason De Villiers / Pama3 lists this family under the name of Backstroo, a spelling I have not found in the original records. In the Estate Accounts dated 1709 of Magdalena Martinus, her children are given the surname 'Bastroo'8. In the Inventory of 1708 the surname is 'Bastre'.4

Generally speaking, in the earlier documents the name is spelled Bastro and in the later Bastroo. I have used the latter spelling since I assume it represents the pronunciation of their name. The stamvader (founding father) does not seem to have used a surname but a patronym, being known as Laurens Gabrielsz.

I came across the key document needed to connect up all my misellaneous information when I was putting together the photographic reproduction of Cape Archives volume MOOC 13/1/14 when I found the Estate Accounts MOOC 13/1/1, 4, after which I looked for and found the equally key Inventory, MOOC 8/2,27 among those in the TANAP Cape Inventory transcriptions4 recently published online.

I have, therefore, put all this information together here in case if is of interest to other people, although I rather doubt whether this family has any living descendants. I have also included this family on my web site at:
Laurensz Gabrielsz Bastroo

Richard Ball, copyright December 2006

The Family of Bastroo

Laurens Gabrielsz, the stamvader (founding father) of this family, known simply by that name, was already settled on the Island of Mauritius as a free settler with a wife and two children when a census of the inhabitants was compiled in 1677 by the new Commander (opperhoof), Isaac Lamotius, when he took over command of the island. Since their son, Lourens, was born about 1674 in Batavia he and his wife had, presumably, arrived on the island between 1675 and 1677.

He must have died on Mauritius since his widow is found married to Hannes Ossenburgh in the census taken on the island in 1706.

he was married to

Magdalena Martinus born Batavia, died circa October 1708

She, her husband and her sons still living with her, were rehoused to the Cape when the VOC settlement on Mauritius was disbanded at the endo of 1707. Within a year of arriving at the Cape she had died. The inventory of her estate lists 72½ Rixdaalers in cash and a list of miscellaneous household goods and tools.

she remarried

Johannes Ossenbuijl

He (and presumably his wife and children) were taken from the disbanded settlement on Mauritius to the Cape on the ship 'Jerusalem'. At a farewell dinner given by Momber for ship's officers and the departing freemen, apparently in the first half of November 1707, those firing a volley of nine shots in honour of the Prince of Orange and the Government of India, managed to set fire to the storehouse and the Lodge, burning them to the ground along with their contents, including all the records of the settlement. Some things were saved by the wife of Wijbrandt (he was the second in charge and she was one of the daughters of Maria Jans Visser) and the three sons of Hans Ossenburgh (these would have been the three youngest Bastroo boys).

b1 Lourens Lourensz: Bastroo, born circa 1674 at Batavia

When the abandonment of the VOC settlement on Mauritius was being organised in Novmeber 1707, he chose to be rehoused to Batavia, as did his brother-in-law, Adam Adams.

b2 Ragel Laurense Bastroo, born circa 1680 on Mauritius

married Lourens Lourensz: Paling born Middelburg

They were rehoused to the Cape.

b3 Gabriel Bastroo, born circa 1682 on Mauritius

Assistent in the employ of the VOC which he joined on Mauritius in 1705

he left Mauritius on the ship 'Beverwaart', destination Batavia, in 1709

b4 Hillitje Bastroo, born circa 1683 on Mauritius

married Adam Adamse born Mauritius

When the abandonment of the VOC settlement on Mauritius was being organised in Novmeber 1707, he chose to be rehoused to Batavia, as did his brother-in-law, Lourens Bastro

b5 Martinus Bastroo, born circa 1685 on Mauritius, died circa 1761

married 12 August 1714 at Cape Town

Catharina Hector, died circa 1730

c1 Laurens Bastroo, born 1715 at the Cape, baptized 19 May 1715, Cape Town

married Lasija Buijs, who was born at the Cape

c2 Elizabeth Bastroo, born 1716, baptized 29 November 1716, Cape Town

married 7 April 1743 Stellenbosch Nicolaas Mulder

According to De Villiers / Pama they had 5 children baptised (the first certainly in Stellenbosch) between 1743 and 1753, but no descendants are shown.

c3 Gabriel Bastroo, born 1719, baptized 6 August 1719, Cape Town

c4 Cornelis Bastroo, born 1722, baptized 29 March 1722, Cape Town, died before 1761

married Helena van Graan

d1 Marthinus Bastroo

d2 Magdalena Bastroo

c5 Magdalena Bastroo of Cape Town, born 1724, baptized 16 July 1724, Cape Town

died circa August 1755, presumably in the smallpox epidemic of that year

married Hendrik Thomasz:, born Cape Town, died circa 1755

She, and possibly her husband as well, probably died during the 1755 smallpox epidemic and the children seem to have been cared for by their grandfather, Marthinus Bastroo. (MOOC 13/1/4, 23)

According to the inventory drawn up in August 1755 after her death, they owned two houses in Cape Town. The house inventoried, one assumes their dwelling house, was in the usual style of a gallery with a room either side and a room over, plus a kitchen, and seems to have been well furnished. They owned seven slaves.

a1 Catharina Wilhelmina Thomasz: born circa 1746

a2 Hendrik Thomasz: born circa 1748

a3 Marthinus Thomasz: born circa 1751

c6 Catharina Bastroo, born 1727, baptized 5 January 1727, Cape Town

b6 Andries Bastroo born circa 1687, Mauritius, died before November 1714

married 26 June 1712 at Cape Town

Leonora de Vijff

c1 Laurens Bastroo, born 1713, baptized 5 June 1713, Cape Town

b7 Cornelis Bastroo, born circa 1689


Johanna Jansz

The only evidence found so far is the Cape Town baptismal register, there is no marriage registered for this couple. At the muster roll of 31 December 1712, Cornelis Bastroo appears as a single man, in February 1713 his child with Johanna Jansz is baptised. We know no more about any of them. 1713 was the year of the smallpox epidemic. Perhaps they were among the many people who died that year.

c1 Johannes Bastroo, baptised 5 February 1713


1. 1664-1710 D. Sleigh, Die Buiteposte, Proteaboekhuis, 2004, page 643-679

2. a vain hope - she is still, alas, without connections in my research

3. Genealogies of Old South African Families, completely revised edition augmented and rewritten by C. Pama, A.A.Balkema, 1966, page 17.

4. This Inventory I have seen only in transcription (MOOC8/2,27 dated 2nd November 1708, TANAP Inventories of the Orphan Chamber, the Estate Account as a photograph (MOOC 13/1/1,4, dated 1st July 1709, Cape Archives and eGGSA online shop)

5. C313, Incoming Letters, page 869, covering letter dated 3rd October 1677: Lijste der vrijluijden met hun vrouwen,
kinderen, slaven en slavinnen op het Eijland Maurititus (List of the free settlers with their wives, children and slaves on the Island of Mauritius): Laurens Gabrielsz: 1 wife, 2 children, 1 slave.

6. Cape Archives, C383, pp. 12-13, Opgaaf (census), Mauritius, dated 31st December 1706, signed G. Wijbrandtsz:-

At the Noordwesthaven:
Adam Adamse van Mauritius, and wife Hilla Bastro van [Mauritius], 1 son, 3 daughters, 2 slaves, 8 cattle ...
On De Vlackte:
Johannes Osenbuijl and wife Madelena Martijnsis van Batavia, 3 sons, no daughters, 4 slaves, 40 cattle
Lourens Lourensz: Paling van Middelburg and wife Ragel Lourense Bastro van Mauritius, 2 sons, 4 daughters, 3 slaves, 20 cattle ...
Laurens Lourensz: Bastro van Batavia} partners
Jacob de Groot van Dort }

7. Cape Archives, MOOC 8/2, 27, Inventory - Marthinus, Magdalena, dated 2 November 1708, transcription via TANAP the web site.
Inventaris der goederen nagelaten en met de dood ontruijmd bij Magdalena Marthinus ten voordele van haare egte man Johannes Ossenbuijl ter ener, en seven voorkinderen geprocrieert bij haar eerste man Lourens Gabrielsz: genaamd
Lourens oud 34,
Ragel 28
Gabriel 26
Hillitie 25
Martinus 23
Andries 21 en
Cornelis Bastre oud 19 jaaren
ter andere zijde

8. Cape Archives, MOOC 13/1/1, 4, Estate Accounts, Martinus, Magdalena, dated 1st July 1709

from: eGGSA Archives CD no.1, MOOC 13/1/1 Boedelrekeningen.

Magdalena Martinus in gemeenschap b[ ]ten met haar man Johannes Ossenbuijl ten boehoeve van haer 7 voorkinderen by den Inventaris beken[t ] welke goederen op den 28e November 1708, ten overstaen van gecommitt[eerd]e Weesmeesteren publicq zijn verkogt.

9. Leibbrandt,H.C.V., Letters Received, 1695-1708, page 451-453

10. D.Sleigh, Die Buitenposten, page 670

11. Cape Archives, C383, Letters Received, (?page 99): Generaale monster roll van alle 's Comp[agnie]s dienaaren, sodaanig deselve onder dato ult[i]mo Junij A[nn]o 1707 allomme int bijweesen onser gecommitteerd[ ] ens, in weesen bevonden zijn waar bij distinctelijk iders beschijden plaats boven aangesteld, zijnde met haar naam, toenaam, geboorte plaats, qualiteijt en gagie ...
Gabriel Laurens Bastro van Mauritius, f9, waar beschijden en dienst doen: aan de Logie, in dienst, met wat schip uijtgekoomen: aangenomen, 1705, voor': soldt. f.9, voor wat camer: Amst.
(born: Mauritius, position: Pl. Assistent, salary: f.9, located at the Lodge, working there, joined here, in 1705, as a soldier at f 9, under the chamber of Amsterdam)

12. Uitgevaren voor des Kamers). when he was Persoonsgegevens van Gabriel Lourensz Bastro Herkomst: Mauritius Rang: Assistant Datum einde verbintenis: 00/00/0000 Einde verbintenis: niet ingevoerd Plaats einde verbintenis: Onbekend

Gegevens van de vaart Schip: Beverwaart Inventarisnr.: 14353 Kamer: Hoorn Folio: 249 Uitreis: 07/05/1709 Bestemming: Batavia DAS- en reisnr 2046.3 Aankomst: 04/05/1710

vorige pagina

13. Cape Archives, MOOC 7/1/12, 46, Will, Marthinus Bastroo, dated 9th May 1761 but no filing date appended: den burger deeser plaatse Marthinus Bastroo, geboortig van Mauritius ... siek te bedde leggende ...

14. Cape Archives, MOOC 7/1/12,46, Will, Martinus Bastro and Catharina Hector, dated 14 November 1729 and filed 8 February 1730.

15. Cape Archives, MOOC 7/1/9,6, Will, Laurens Bastro and Lasija Buijs, dated 30th June 1755 and filed September 1755: den burger deeses Plaaetse Laurens Bastro en Laija Buijs beijde van Cabo de Goede Hoop geboortig, Egte Lieden ...

16. Cape Archives, MOOC 7/1/12, 46, Will, Marthinus Bastro, dated 9th May 1761 (no filing date appended)

gelijk meede Marthinus en Magdalena Bastro, beijde door zijn vooroverleeden zoon Cornelis Bastro, bij Helena van Graan in Egt geprocreeerd ...

17. Cape Archives via the TANAP web site, MOOC 8/9/11, Inventory, Magdalena Bastro, the earliest date in the accounts is 22 October 1755 for the auction of the moveable goods.

Inventaris van alle soodanige goederen als sijn naargelaten en met er dood ontruijmt door Magdalena Bastro wed:w wijlen den burger Hans Hendrik Thomasz ten voordeele van haare bij haar evengem: man geprocreeerde en in levende lijve thans overgeblevene drie minderjarige kinderen met naame:
Catharina Thomasz oud 9 jaaren
Hendrik Thomasz oud 7 jaaren
Marthinus Thomasz oud 4 jaaren

18. Cape Archives, VC604, Church Registers - Cape Town Congregation, marriages, page 109,

1712, 26 Junij, Andries Castro, jongm[an] van 't Eijland Mauritius met Leonora de Vijff van de Cabo

19. Cape Archives, VC621, Church Registers - Cape Town Congregation, marriages, page 4,

1714, 25 November, Nicolaas Jansz. Mulder, Jongm[an] van Cabo, en Leonora de Veij, van do. Cabo, Wed[uw]e van Andries Bastro

20. Cape Archives, VC 605, page 1, Church Registers - Cape Town Congregation, baptisms,

1713 5 Februrij Johannes, ouders: Cornelis Bastro en Johanna Jansz, getuigen: Matthijs Pagie en Christina

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