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View Tree for Johann LorentzJohann Lorentz (b. 1679, d. Aft. 1724)

Johann Lorentz was born 1679 in Rostock, Germany, and died Aft. 1724. He married Anna Elizabeth Michiels on 23 Jun 1698 in Cape Town, South Africa, daughter of Matthys Michielsz and Catharina Hostings.

 Includes NotesNotes for Johann Lorentz:
Johann Lorentz (Lourens) form Rostock (also Jan Lorenz and Lohrentz) born 1679. He arrived in the Cape about 1698, soldier, later free burgher in Drakenstein, corporal in the Drakenstein Burger Infantry. He married Anna Elizabeth Michiels on the 23 June 1698. She was born on the19th September 1681. He was granted a hunting liscense for six weeks on the 27th September 1710 to shoot enough Hippo's in the Bree River to fill one wagon. He may have farmed on his parents in law's property at Joostenberg: he had certainly borrowed substantailly prior to 1708 form Anna's mother. Johann was foreman (kneg) on Savoye's farm at Wamakersvallei before being granted his own farm in 1707. Title was issued to Jan for the 20 morgen 320 square rood farm Stuk Land at Bovlei, Wamakersvallei on the 11th May 1712. Jan signed his name with the amrk of an Anchor. He was apparently an industrious settler; by then he had 9 horses, 46 cattle, 300 sheep, 2 pigs, 3000 grapevines, and had harvested 30 muids of wheat, and owned a flintlock gun and a dagger.

The farm was sold to Cornelis van Rooyen on 2 Dec 1721. It was later divided and became known as Nabygelegen, by which it remains known in Bovlei, Wellington. It is situated near to the Retief property Wel van Pas on a lefthand turnoff shortly before Bains Kloof Pas: the Cillier, Du Toit, Le Roux, Malan, Rossoux and Van der Merwe farms amongst others are also in that vicinity. Anna died in 1715. Within four years Jan's position had apparently worsened, if the erratic opgaafrol can be believed, which is doubtful: he then owned one slave, 30 cattle, and harvested 8 muid of wheat. Possibly the vines and sheep are omitted, or some other explanation exists. After selling the farm in 1721 and moving to Bonterivier in Stellenbosch, Jan remarried on 5.3.1724 Dina VALENTYN from Agra, a literate widower of Daniel Rodrigues from Batavia, who was the second Teacher of the Slave Lodge. She was probably the one who taught Jan's children to read and write.

Lourens Stamouer Anna Elizabeth Michiels was the daughter of Matthys Michielsz from Glueckstadt in Holstein, who married on 28 Jan 1680 the intrepid Catharina Hostings (Ustinghs) from Lubeck. Tryn had arrived on the sickly ship Hof Van Zeeland in the Cape in 1662 as a young widow aged 21, just over ten years after Jan van Riebeeck founded the settlement. Matthys was Catharina's fifth husband. She became well known as Tryn Ras after marrying Hans Ras from Angelen who survived a traumatic stabbing by a guest on his wedding day, in what may have been the first recorded traffic accident and road rage in the Cape, only to be mauled to death by a lion. Her next husband Francois Champelear from Ghent was killed by Hottentots while on a hunting expedition. The fourth, Laurens Cornelissen from Gothenberg was reported by Commissioner Baron van Rheede tot Drakenstein to have been killed by an elephant while hunting hippo.

Tryn was then in desperate straits, reduced to keeping her family on a monthly rice ration supplied by the Company: an early version of social security. After squatting in Constantia, her energy and luck turned for the better when she was generously granted a freehold property in that vicinity in her own name by Simon van der Stel. This later became known as the great Steenberg Estate, on which she prospered. By 1692 the estate had developed significantly. It then supported 8,000 vines, 600 sheep, 140 other livestock, and grew wheat, rye and barley amongst other vegetables - Tryns' fresh cabbages, freshly baked bread and radishes won high praise. So did Tryn herself, though the Commissioner who had earlier enjoyed her meals according to his diary for 30th May 1685, described her determined horse riding to and from the settlement, astride and quite alone, as "terrifying", and her children as wild. One of these, a teenage daughter Maria Ras = 23 Jun 1669 who "could easily have passed for an Egyptian fortune teller" went on to marry Joost Strydom soon thereafter, so becoming the Strydom family stamouer. Little Anna Elizabeth, the future Lourens stamouer, was also amongst these "wild Indians from Brazil" then four years old.

This quite well developed farm Swaaneweide was sold to Frederick Rossouw in 1695, and the Michiels moved to one of their other properties Joostenberg (then Weltevreeden - the book The Old Houses of the Cape, 1965, p 75 is in error on this ownership). Joostenberg was then a modest house, and despite the 12 slaves helping to develop the farm from its native state, she lived a simple lifestyle. After Tryn's death aged 67 in 1708, it was inherited by her son Claas Ras, and on his death by his wife Maria Van Staden. Matthys Michiels then briefly owned Donkerhoek (Durand's Bergen Henegouwen) and Nortier's La Motte in the Drakenstein Valley, before retiring to Stellenbosch in partnership with crippled blacksmith Claas (Vulkaan) Vechtmann in much poorer circumstances, to which he had been no stranger some 35 years previously. He had owned a fishing boat, and in 1712 was helped by being given permission to shoot one load of hippo or other game from the Gouritz river district. Matthys Michiels was in his seventies when he died, apparently in the care of Jan Botma's Snr son Jan and his wife Anna Maria. It is not yet known when Jan Lorentz died: it would have been after 1724.

The Stamouers Jan and Anna Lourens, together with Anna's multi married mother Tryn, thus gave rise to many South African families, including descendents Strydom, Ras, Marx, Edelmann, Snyman, Blom, Lourens, Louwrens, Laurens, and confusingly for a time in the 18th century, also Rostok before that particular family reverted back to the surname Laurens. Matthys Michiels from Glueckstadt has frequently been confused with the contemporary Matthys Michiels from Stockholm, giving rise to numerous and repeated errors in various otherwise authoritative geneology and history books, including Heese and Lombard (1999). This error is well researched (see Margaret Cairns), and need no longer be perpetuated.

Spellings vary considerably and can be a bit confusing. The main family name Lourens (about 70%) which evolved from Lorenz is frequently spelt Louwrens (roughly 20%), and less frequently Laurens (about 8%) or Lauwrens (2%), depending upon the locality, literacy, and the nationality of the recorder. In general the spellings are often: Lohrentz, Lorentz, Lorents, Lorenz or Lorens in Rostock and the early Cape; and Rostok in the early 1700s when the family named themselves after their origins. Jan's children had reverted to Laurens by 1772. Thereafter the Bredasdorp spelling of Lourens is widely used, sometimes modifying to Louwrens in Swellendam, Riversdale and upcountry, Lauwrens in Uitenhage, Laurens in Oudtshoorn, and Lawrence in Richmond.


De Villiers/Pama. Heese /Lombard
M Cairns, Tryn Ras in Familia XVI, 1979; also Steenberg Estate History
J G and WG le Roux, Ons Drakensteinse Erfgrond: Bovlei, Drakenstein Heemkring
H C V Leibbrandt, Requesten (Memorials), 1715-1806, v II
Hercules Wessels and Dawie Beyers: Opgaafrols
Ruth Labuschagne born Laurens, Laurie Lourens, Adriaan Lourens and Wayne Lourens
See also Johann Martin LORENTZ or LOURENS of Wedderstedt.

No evidence has yet been found of the Rostock, Wedderstedt or Bremen Lourenses being related prior their arrival in the Cape.

Thanks to research by:
Compiled by: Roy Lourens (all help welcomed)
Address: 49 Newborough Str, Scarborough, Perth, WA 6019, Australia

Thanks to submission by:

More About Johann Lorentz and Anna Elizabeth Michiels:
Marriage: 23 Jun 1698, Cape Town, South Africa.

Children of Johann Lorentz and Anna Elizabeth Michiels are:
  1. +Anna Catharina Lourens, b. Mar 1698/99, Cape Town, South Africa, d. date unknown.
  2. Maria Lourens, b. 18 Oct 1705, Cape Town, South Africa, d. 1772, Swellendam, Cape, South Africa.
  3. +Matthys Lourens, b. 01 Jul 1708, Stellenbosch, Cape, South Africa1104, 1104, d. 1796, Cape, South Africa1104, 1104, 1104.
  4. Hans Lourens, b. 27 Oct 1710, Paarl, Cape, South Africa, d. date unknown.
  5. Claas Lourens, b. 17 May 1713, Paarl, Cape, South Africa, d. date unknown.
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