Cape Dutch / Kaaps-Hollands

Cape of Good Hope founding families
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About us

During the periods of Dutch VOC rule at the Cape of Good Hope (1652 - 1806) thousands of Europeans migrated to what would later become the Western Cape province of the modern state of South Africa.

Many of these males became progenitors (or Stamvaders) of the Cape Dutch (later Afrikaner or Boer) ethnic group of South Africa and Namibia. The genealogies of these families have been well documented and this Y-DNA project aims to expand on the currently available genealogical knowledge of these founding fathers.

So why did I choose the name "Cape Dutch" for this project, seeing that so many of the early Cape Stamvaders came from countries other than the Netherlands? The reason is simply that the emphasis of this project is on the "Cape" part of "Cape Dutch" and not on the actual origins of the Stamvaders themselves.

The term "Cape Dutch" is therefore intended as a neutral term to include a far wider group than only Dutch born Stamvaders; in fact the ethnic Dutch probably made up less than half of the men in question. My own Stamvader, Georg STRAUSS for example, had been a French-born German who married the daughter of French Huguenots at the Cape, yet they raised their children as Cape Dutch.

Uncertainty about who qualifies for this project is hopefully minimised when the emphasis is on a period of Cape history rather than the origins or descendants of those who immigrated there during that time. And during that time, the young society at the Cape and it's people and culture - as well as their architecture - became simply known as "Cape Dutch".