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The earliest original records of the Drakenstein congregation for the period 1691 to 1717 had been lost by the 1720s. As the result of a letter from Mme Simond, widow of the first dominee, an investigation was set on foot in 1726 and found some loose notes that had been made between 1694 and 1701 for his own use by the first voorleser, Paul Roux, as well as some notes made by the second minister of Drakenstein, Henricus Beck, for the period 1702 to 1707 and 1710 to 1713. Together with a few isolated records from 1711 and 1714 these notes are all that exists today for this period - a very incomplete and, in some cases erroneous, record.

I have transcribed these records and added my own translations since I have found a number of instances online where some of these records have been misinterpreted, particularly those starting  Ilya ..., for instance those at 14 Dec 1695, 28 May 1696  and 21 Oct 1696.

In the existing register, the first set of copied notes is headed: Fransch Doopboek, beginnende met 29 Augt. 1694, Eindigende met 5 Maart 1713: there are only 2 entries for 1694 and a large gap from 11 November 1701 to 21 September 1709, after which there are 8 entries for 1709, 2 for 1711 and 2 for 1713.

The second set of copied notes is merely headed Gedoopte kinderen: it starts with 19th June 1702 and continues to 12th October 1707, after which there is a gap of a blank page and the baptisms continue from 31st May 1710 with a handful of entries only, up to 13th January 1714, after which we have a new heading Register der gedoopte kinderen van Drakensteijn  starting 1714 and apparently fairly full from then onwards.

For the year 1719 there are only 7 baptisms recorded for 1719, all in November and December of that year. For 1718 there are 34 baptisms recorded and for 1721 there are 28. This may indicate that some original pages for 1719 are now missing or, perhaps, that the congregation was without a minister during that period.

There are no marriages recorded before 1717 and there are none surviving between 10th November 1720 and 22nd July 1725.

The enquiry of 1726 also questioned Ds. Beck, by then the minister of the Cape Town congregation, who was unable to give them any more Drakenstein records, but returned the Stellenbosch registers which he had taken away with him! 

This information was kindly provided by Jean le Roux of Paarl from the Library maintained by the Drakenstein Heemkring, with some additional observations from me on the register as examined in a microfilmed version at the Norwich Family History Centre of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and in photographs of the copies kept in the Cape Archives as VC644 and VC654, which are photocopies of the originals which latter are now housed in NG Kerkargief, Noordwal-Wes, Stellenbosch as G3 3/1 but not, I understand, available to the general public.

An index to these registers, along with photographed copies of VC644 (1694-1732) as described above and an unidenitified later handwrittien transcription of the marriage register (1717-1749), has been published on CD by the Drakensteinse Heemkring. The index entries have been normalised and in some cases 'corrected' by the compilers (not always correctly!).    

Richard Ball
April 2012

Back to the Drakenstein Baptism Register 1694-1713

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