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Cape Town Baptisms 1743-1756

This is the fifth series of registers of the Dutch Reformed Congregation in Cape Town following the fourth register which covered the marriages and memberships for the period 1713-1756.

This register contains baptisms covering the period 1743 to 1756. The pages are rubber stamped with ascending numerals starting with no. 1 and ending with no. 134. It is divided into three sections. The first section is a series of baptisms of the "non-slave" Christian children and starts with page 1 on 6 Jan 1743 and ends with page 126 on 25 Dec 1756. This is followed by another 7 baptisms dated between 10 January and 12 December. They seem to belong to the year 1756.
The second is a series of baptisms of the children of company slaves, starting on page 127 (3 Feb 1743) and ending on page 129 (8 Nov 1756). The baptisms cover the years 1743 to 1748 and 1756. There are no baptisms recorded for the period 1749 to 1755. The baptisms for 1748 and 1756 are recorded consecutively on the same page suggesting that the lack of entries for the period 1749-1755 are not due to missing or lost pages.
This is followed by the third, a series of baptisms of the slave children of the Free Burgers and company servants, starting on page 130 (17 Feb 1743) and ending on page 134 (26 Sep 1756). No baptisms were recorded for the years 1747, 1749-1751 and 1755. The baptisms were recorded consecutively suggesting there are no missing or lost pages.

The first part of the register was formatted in narrative form, staring with the date and followed by the child, parents and witnesses, for example:

A:o 1744           Naemen der Gedoopten
Den 5 Jannuarij  Hendrik Willem, de ouders de heer Jacobus Moller, en mejuff:r Debora de Koning, de getuijge de wel edele gest:r heer Hendrik Swellengrebel gouverneur in loco, en mevrouwe Helena Willemina ten Damme.

For readability we have opted to group each entry in 4 lines of text, where each line represents one of the elements in the same order as following:
Den 5 Jannuarij
Hendrik Willem,
de ouders de heer Jacobus Moller, en mejuff:r Debora de Koning,
de getuijge de wel edele gest:r heer Hendrik Swellengrebel gouverneur in loco, en mevrouwe Helena Willemina ten Damme.

As from 31 Sep 1746, the entries are recorded in a more or less tabular, starting with the child's name in the first column, the parents and witnesses in the second and the date in the third. The transcription retains the 4 line format.

The readability of the register is fair to good considering these are photographs of photocopies of the original. Text that was already faded and smudged in the original has become even more difficult to read. Also when the photocopies were made, the imaging technology was not what it is today. The initial pages of the register have some overexposed areas, probably caused by this process. Any problems of missing information of this kind, as also doubtful interpretation or legibility, are indicated with square brackets.

The register has been transcribed exactly as found, that is text and spelling as best we can read them. In order to make the reading easier we have transcribed all personal names, geographical place names and names of months, as well as the beginning of sentences or entries, to begin with an upper case letter, although this is not always how they are written in the original. In addition, with certain letters it is not always possible to judge if upper or lower case is intended. Insertions in the text are marked as <text> and deletions as either [text] where the text is still readable and as [xxx] where it is unreadable.
There are no doubt still mistakes, both of typing and transcription. We will be pleased to receive any suggestion for corrections.

I hope these transcripts may be of some use to researchers.

Corney Keller

© February 2014

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Source: This transcription has been made from photographs of the Cape Archives Verbatim copies document VC 606 - Cape Town baptisms 1743-1756, which is a photocopy of the original register, now housed in the Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerkargief, Noordwal-Wes, Stellenbosch, as G1-8/3. This photocopy was made for the Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and a copy was donated to the South African Archives, a copy going to the Cape Town Repository (VC series) and to the Pretoria Repository (where it is part of the FC series).

The baptisms cover pages 1 through 134 of this register.

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