The South African Family STRYDOM - The Beginnings


 Strijdom arrived at the Cape of Good Hope in 1678 as an adelborst (marine cadet) on a Dutch East India Company (VOC) ship, the Tidore.  Prior to joining the VOC he had been at Liefkenshoek. Joost was released from the company service on 11th May, 1683, and worked at the Cape as a shoemaker (cobbler) [ Despite the reference to this occupation in all the oldest genealogies, no direct archival information has yet been found to support this].  He married Maryna Ras, who was baptized in Cape Town on 23rd June 1669, the daughter of Hans Ras, immigrant from Angeln, and Catharina Ustinx (the historically known Trijn Ras).  They had ten children, but we only have information on descendants of two of them, Matthys and Johannes, who are the progenitors of the two branches of the Strydom family (accessed here). Maryna died before 1714, most likely during the small pox epidemic at the Cape in 1713, since Joost remarried Susanna Groen, the widow of Jacobus Steen, on 11th February,1714.  Joost was still living in 1717, when his name appears on a list of civilians employed at the Cape by the VOC in 1717/18 (archive number 12605, recorded by Lesley Robertson), and still participated as an auction buyer in late 1718. 


There is a Fort Liefkenshoek in Kallo (now part of the village of Beveren), in present-day Belgium, which together with the fort of Lillo, was established for the defense of Antwerpen against the Spaniards towards the end of the 16th century. 

It was named Liefkenshoek (Liefken’s Corner), since it was placed where a creek, the Liefkine, entered the river Schelde.  This area is also known as the Waasland, and it is probably the place Joost came from when he joined the VOC.  Liefkenshoek saw much action during the 80-Year War, and peace was only established at the middle of the 17th century, about 30 years before Joost left for the Cape.  It is still a tourist attraction, but the buildings are relatively new - early 19th century [Photos: Rinus Strydom, 2009].  Marthie Bredenkamp found references to a small number of Strydoms and related van Strydonks (various spellings) in 17th Century Waasland, among others specifically mentioned in relation to Liefkenshoek.  This has led to a relatively concrete designation of the Waasland region of modern Belgium as the origin of the Strydom family.

The “van Strijdonck” surname, which was exclusively located in the Waasland region near Antwerp in the 16th and 17th centuries, has a connection with the Strydom surname through Joost’s father, Joris van Strijdonk. With one weak connection a few generations further back, we can actually take the van Strydonk family line back into the 15th century, all in the same ancient Waasland region. The work of Han Leune in Belgium (published on the web 2012-2013) has been instrumental in providing this information. He provides background information in: J.M.G. Leune, LILLO EN LIEFKENSHOEK: De geschiedenis van twee Scheldeforten 1585-1786, Algemeen Rijksarchief, Brussel, 2006.  He has collected and organized information on the people who lived around these forts in the 17th century - the most pertinent one for the Strydoms is: J.M.G. Leune, LILLO EN LIEFKENSHOEK, Repertorium van personen in en nabij deze Scheldeforten 1585-1786 - namen P-S, Capelle a.d. IJssel, webversie december 2012.  The only known copy of a copy of the baptismal register of Liefkenshoek in the 17th century was much used by Leune and contains transcriptions of the baptisms of Joos Strijdonk and his family:

J.M.G. Leune, Doopboek van de fortkerk van Liefkenshoek 1622-1706 zoals gekopieerd door Jan Jansen Leerdam in 1764, zoals gekopieerd door Jozef De Wilde ca. 1930, zoals bewerkt door Paul Jacobs en Mariet Van den Broecke in 2004, en ingeleid en aangepast door Han Leune in maart 2012. [De door Jozef De Wilde vervaardigde kopie berust in het archief van de Koninklijke Oudheidkundige Kring van het Land van Waas (KOKW) te Sint-Niklaas onder nummer OKW A doos 116 map 1077.]


We can therefor now place Joris Joossen Strijdonk and Mayeken Goverts, both born in the Waasland around 1620, as parents of Joost Strijdom. Good candidates for Joris’s parents are Joos (Judocus) Strijdonk, *1571 (Bazel, Kruibeke) † 11.11.1639 (Bazel, Kruibeke) and Margriet van der Eynde, daughter of Joris van der Eynde, but we need definitive data before we could accept this.  Joos (1571) is person number a3b1c5d3 on the page discussing Strydom surname origins - Van Strijdonk.   Joost Strydom (1741) was the eldest child and had a number of siblings - Jaquemyntjie, Govert, Huybrecht, Aeltie, Jannen, and Joes. He also had an uncle Huybrect Strijdonk with his wife Magriete Simonse Strijdom and cousin Simon, who were apparently close to Joris & Mayeken.


Today the spelling “Strydom” is nearly always used, following the Afrikaans spelling convention, although some usage of Strijdom still occurs, and in records from the 19th and 18th centuries many still use the old Dutch spelling.  Joost signed as “Joos Strijdom”, in a very neat signature:



Joost’s second wife, Susanna Groen (1655-1718), married Johannes Cornelisz de Hoogh in 1676 in Delft, and they had had one surviving daughter, Johanna (Anna), *1684.   As widow Susanna Jacobs Groen she married Jacob(us) van der Steen in Delft in 1691 (The record of their “ondertrouw” (bans) is dated 27th January, 1691 at the  Nieuwe Kerk, Delft). They baptized a girl, Adrijana, on 11th November, 1691 (Delft); witnesses were his parents Abraham van der Steen and Adrijana van der Steen (aka Adriena Andries van Hartevelt). Her inventory (1718, Tafelvallei; MOOC 8/3.78, 3.79, 3.80a, TANAP transcriptions) mentions her daughter Adriana van der Steen (husband Frederik de Vries), grandsons Johannes and Christoffel Pythius (children of her late daughter Anna de Hoogh), and her Strydom step-children. (MOOC = Master of the Orphan Chamber; TANAP = Towards a New Age of Partnership, National Archives of the Netherlands and Leiden University - TEPC project by Universities of the Western Cape and Cape Town).


Joost’s mother-in-law, Trijn Ras (Catharina Ustinx), was an interesting figure at the Cape (see i.a. C. Pretorius, “Trijn Ras”, Historia 18(2), pg 93-96, 1973).  She apparently was of Danish extraction, arriving at the Cape out of Lubeck in the southern late summer of 1662 as a young widow (about 20 years old) on the ship 't Hoff van Zeelant.  That spring, on the 3rd September 1662, she married Hans Ras, who nearly died in a knife fight with a wedding guest on their wedding day, but survived to father 4 children (including Maryna), before he was killed by a lion in 1671. She remarried on the 16th April 1672, to  Francoys Schanfellaar, from Ghent, but lost him the next year when he was killed by Hottentots.  Laurens Cornelisz from Gottenburgh became her next husband on the 28th October 1673, but after another 2 children were added to her household he disappeared in 1679 while hunting hippos, presumably trampled by elephants.  Her kneg (servant), Matthys Michiel, of Gluckstadt was the next husband, marrying her on 28th January 1680.  They had one daughter.

Among others the Baron van Rheede visited their farm, in 1685, and she made quite an impression on him, through her sporting a strong tan, with her hospitality in providing fresh bread and vegetables, and by her doing a dramatic horseback ride to the Cape on a quick errand.  Maryna Ras, as a teenager, also met van Rheede at this time (C. Pretorius, “Trijn Ras”, Historia 18(2), pg 93-96, 1973).


The ten children of Joost and Maryna Strydom were Catharina (1687), Joris (1688), Matthys (1690),  Johannes (1692), Symon (1695), Maria (1696), Catryntie (1699), Helaatje (1701), Simon (1704), and Aaltie (1706).  Only Matthys and Johannes left known descendants, and both became farmers. The eldest son, Joris (1688) died along the coast of Bengal in 1713, serving as an adelborst in the VOC, like his father. The eldest daughter apparently died in her first year, not being present on the appropriate “monsterrolle”. The six youngest children all died young, some perhaps living for a few years, since we find extra child numbers, beyond the obvious two elder sons, in the “monsterrolle” until 1712. The proposed family of Joost fits in well with the names of his children. Catharina after his mother-in-law, Joris after his father, Matthys after his wife’s step-father, Johannes after his wife’s father, Symon after his close family in the Waasland (or Governor Simon van der Stel??), Maria after his mother (Mayeken is diminutive for Maria), Aaltie after his sister.


The first four generations of Strydoms are provided on the next page, and for those of the fourth generation who left descendants, clicking on their names will provide lists of further generations of descendants.




Page constructed by Dan Strydom, 2003

Page last updated:               October 28, 2016

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