Cape Town Baptisms 1695-1712

This is the second register of the Dutch Reformed Congregation in Cape Town following the first register which covered the baptisms, marriages and memberships for the period 1665-1695.

This register has two numbering systems, one by page number, the other by folio number. For folio numbers, only the right hand page is numbered, increasing by one every second page. The left hand page is the 'verso' page of the previous folio number. The first readable folio number is fo. 9 on page 13. After that the numbering of the folios follow each other as expected. However, the number of folios in the first 13 pages should have been 7 and not 9 suggesting that 2 folios are missing. This suggestion is supported by the fact that the last entry on page 8 is dated 17 Nov 1697 and the first entry on page 9 is 5 Oct 1698, jumping almost a full year without any baptisms. In this part of the register, one year represented about 4 pages or 2 folios. Further-on in the register from page 74 to page 75, the folio numbers jump from fo. 40 to fo. 45.
This seems to suggest that the register was originally numbered only by folio, and at some later time rebound, and renumbered by page. Another possiblity is that some folios were removed before it was renumbered by page. Whatever the case may be, it seems evident that this register is not complete.  


The first series of baptisms are those for the "non-slave" children and start with page 1 on 1 Dec 1695 and ends with page 61 (fo. 33v) on 30 Dec 1708. This series continues again with page 126 (fo. 94) on 6 Jan 1709 and ends with page 143 (fo. 102v) on 18 Dec 1712.
The second series of baptisms, which are of children of company slaves, start with page 63 (fo. 34) on 5 Feb 1696 and ends with page 74 (fo. 40) on 18 Sep 1712.
A third series of baptisms are for the slave children of the Free Burgers and starts with page 75 (fo. 45) and ends with page 87 (fo. 51) on 25 May 1711

The readability of the register is fair 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. There is also the problem that, at least in these photocopies, words can disappear into the binding margin, the ink can have faded or the extreme edges of the page may be missing. Any problems of missing information of this kind, as also doubtful interpretation or legibility, are indicated with square brackets.

The transcription was done by Corney Keller. 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

©May 2012

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