Monsterrol van de vrije luijden opgemaaket 23 Januarij 1702
(Muster roll of the free settlers compiled 23 January 1702)
The muster roll I present here is that of the Free Settlers compiled on 23 January 1702, Cape Archives VC 49, pages 1 to 20. It is divided into the three districts of the Cape at that date, and contains names of wives and numbers of children in the form of a number and the abbreviation k. (kinderen).
G.C.de Wet1 states that the muster rolls of this year list: Free Settlers: 408 men, 259 women and 629 children Officials: 556 men (women not given).
Although muster rolls exist right up to ??? this one is the last of these lists, so far as I know, to include the numbers of children.
These rolls, as they appear in these transcripts, are lists of names. Where married people are concerned they are usually listed as a couple, though there are years when no wives are listed. In some years the number of children in the household is also noted, in others not. Some have a date when they were compiled, others merely a year. Not every year is represented.
Where a date of compilation is given, this is often towards the end of the year.
My knowledge of the history and purpose of these documents is sketchy and my attempts to obtain information have so far not been very productive. I have not yet been able to examine the documents from which the Cape copies were transcribed.
Richard Ball © 2005
1. Die Vryliede en Vryswartes in die Kaapse Nedersetting 1657-1707, deur G C de Wet, Historiese Publikasie-Vereniging, 1981, pages 13 and 17.