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TANAP (A treasure trove of information!)
Inventories of the Orphan Chamber of the Cape of Good Hope
by Marian Olivier
(posted on eGGSA Facebook Nov 2015 to January 2016)
Introduction - information about the Inventories.
5 downloadable maps of the Cape: 1660, 1760, 1785, 1786 & 18th century

Spelling - by today’s standards, very free.
A good place to start ‘de-learning’ the current spelling is geographical name. The letter D was selected for the following example.

Using a free search:

Free search: Not case sensitive, searches on part of a word.  'cillie' yielded 40 results – Cillie & Cilliers, but not Cillié.
Ref. no. can be the Estate Inventory of the ‘search word’ person or that of another person containing the search word.

Click on the Ref. no. to either print the Inventory from the internet or download it as a pdf file.  Search word is highlighted when opening the file on the internet.
Pieter Cilliers
(MOOC8/21.32, Estate Inventory of Josua Joubert)
        Information found in Estate Inventories
Varies from inventory to inventory - name of deceased, spouse(s), children/heirs, ages of minor children, birth & death dates, spouses of female children/heirs, inventory of assets, monies owing to/by deceased.  Inventory of assets - early inventories, lists everything owned by the deceased, down to the number of old handkerchiefs. (MOOC8/13.10, Estate Inventory of Jacob Haager – ‘5 oude neusdoeken’.)

As far as I know, this is the only database where one can search for names in a document of another person – to put it grandly: information encapsulated in a data source – and this provides interesting snippets of information.

Snippets of Information in Estate Inventories

Warning: It is not always clear from the information in the Estate Inventories who the person is that is being referred to or the location of property. More research is usually required.

MOOC8/13.10, 1766.07.25, Estate of Jacob Haager. Jan Cillie is the executor of the estate and sole heir. There are only two known Jan Cillie’s for this period, one died in 1755 and the other died a month before Jacob Haager. Possibly it’s the latter Jan Cillie, but this could not be confirmed.

MOOC8/17.31a, 1779.05.22, Estate of Dirk Pretorius. Amongst others, Dirk Pretorius owed money to Henricus Kronenburg and Johannes le Sueur.

MOOC8/20.45, Undated, Estate of Maria Lombard & Pieter Willem van Zyl. Money is owed to the estate by various people who bought animals from the deceased: Jacob de Villiers who bought 3 oxen and 3 cows; Willem van Zyl Frederikzn who bought 1 ox; Pieter Cilliers, Joh: Swart Jacobzn, Pieter Rossouw and Jan Gideon de Weeger who each bought a castrated sheep.

MOOC8/21.32, 1795.05.11, Estate of Josua Joubert. He owned the farm Welbedagt situated in the Wagenmakers Vallij and a homestead on two loan farms: Elands Jagt situated on the Molenaars Rivier in de Toits Cloof and de Varkens Kop situated in agter de Sneewberg, in Brakke Riviers Veld.

MOOC8/39.28, 1822.01.21, Estate of Elisabeth Catharina van der Westhuizen. Amongst other debt, money is owed to Guill: Joh:s Oberholzer M:l z:n for a wagon he made; to Rudolph Nagel for looking after 15 horses for 7 months and to Ger:t Pet:s Visser Jan z:n for cash borrowed from him.

MOOC8/40.67, 1823.06.03, Estate of Richard Stear. He was born in London and died on 16 April 1823 at 3pm on the farm of Hermanus Steyn Joh:s zoon, named Leuwe Rivier, situated in the district of Swellendam.

Moveable Property of Deceased in Estate Inventories

Sometimes the inventory is a long list of moveable property without any indication of its location, but some inventories do list the location of the moveable property.

Wigs 1700s - Google imagesThe inventory of Jan Christiaan Roode (MOOC8/13.59, 1768.01.08) is an example.
In the room on the right (camer ter regterhand), in the kitchen (combuijs), in the attic/loft
(zolder), in the cellar (kelder), in the stable (stal), etc.

This inventory has many references to wigs (paruijke) which gives the impression that
the deceased was either a wigmaker or traded in materials required to make wigs.

Women's Fashions 1700s - Google ImageThe inventory of Elisabeth Catharina van der Westhuizen (MOOC8/39.28, 1822.01.21), on the other hand, is an example of the other kind.

There are four pages listing miscellaneous movable property: 1 crow-bar (koevoet), 4 spades (graaven), 2 pieces of wood (stukken hout), 1 old bed (oude katel), 1 small bottle of turpentine (botteltje terpentyn), 5 cups (kopjes) & 10 saucers (pierings), 1 woollen blanket (wolle combaars), 132 buttons (11 doezyn knoopen), 2 hats (hoeden), 1 silver watch (zilver horlogie), 3 knives (messen), 1 glass (glas), etc., etc., etc.

From many of the items listed in her inventory one gets the impression that she was a seamstress. 

Words in Estate Inventories

Many of the words in the inventories are no longer in use. Although some words closely resemble words in modern Afrikaans they do not necessarily have the same meaning. Some words in the inventories can be found in the glossary (only in Afrikaans) on databasis.tanap.net, by following the four steps below:

Translation of aam (4): A liquid measurement of four anchors (ankers) of ±150 litres (earlier mainly used as a wine measurement ) ; or a wooden barrel/vat with a contents of ±one aam. Anker is not defined in the glossary, but from another source (scheduled for future posts) it is ±38,8 litres.
Not able to find a more complete glossary on the internet (post of 10/01), I contacted Helena Liebenberg who was involved with the project. Their project does not have a more complete glossary on the internet, only on the CD Cape Transcripts, TEPC – two centuries transcribed 1673-1834 (118 pages).
Other Information on the CD
Auction Lists
Bandietenrollen (convicts/exiles/prisoners)
Introduction with images & terminology.
Estate Accounts
Huiselijk Geneeskundig Handboek1793 (Medical Home Journal) 211 pages
VOC Muster Rolls (Monster Rolle)
Introduction with images.
Estate Inventories
Partly available on internet (my previous posts Part 1-5)
Ordering the CD
available on the eGGSA website shop
in the section Original Records
Price: R170.00 including postage to a South African address
$21.00 including postage anywhere else in the world.

Mariana Olivier