Muster Rolls introduction
The Muster Rolls (monsterrollen), preserved in the form of transcripts in the Cape Archives as VC 39-55 and 103, were apparently yearly lists of the inhabitants at the Cape, drawn up by Dutch East India Company (VOC) officials, and sent to the authorities in the Netherlands where they were preserved.
These are copies done by hand at the end of the 19th Century. to judge from the handwriting, presumably from the records preserved in the VOC archives at The Hague, Netherlands. So far I have been able to find no information on the transcriber or the circumstances.
In VC 39 part 3 of these transcripts there are lists for the years 1660 to 1666/7 for each year, 1670 to 1675 for each year, 1677, 1679, 1682, 1685, 1686, 1688, 1690, 1691, 1692, 1693, 1695, 1696, 1698 and 1700.
These records in the VOC archives are likewise copies, which were preserved in the archives of the Amsterdam Chamber of VOC. The originals must have been compiled at the Cape each year. Several copies were then made and forwarded to Batavia in Indonesia, headquarters of the VOC abroad, and the authority in charge of the Cape branch of the VOC. Other copies were presumably forwarded to the several Chambers of the VOC in the Netherlands. The originals, if they were kept at the Cape, did not survive.
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