DAVEL, Johann Christiaan
(Abt 1720-1768)


Family Links

1. NEL, Johanna Catharina

DAVEL, Johann Christiaan 1 2 3

  • Born: Abt 1720, Bautzen, Saxony, Germany
  • Marriage (1): NEL, Johanna Catharina on Nov 24, 1748 in Stellebosch, Cape Province, South Africa
  • Died: 1768, Stellenbosch, Cape Province, South Africa about age 48

bullet   Other names for Johann were DAVEL, Johann Christian 4 and TAFEL, Johann Christiaan.4


bullet  Events

Immigration: from Bautzen Germany, 1734, South Africa.

Occupation: soldier in the H.O.I.K. then as a farm labourer from, 1736-1746 and became a SA citizen in 1748. 4 He was a resident of (Heemraden) Stellenbosch.

Family. 1 2 He was the maternal ancestor of Jan Christiaan SMUTS, who was named after him.

Historical. Johan Christian TAFEL (circa 1720 - 1768) from the medieval city of Bautzen, Saxony in Germany came from a line of carpenters specializing in wood-frame wall-panel fabrication and installation. Many official records were destroyed during devastating Bautzen city fires in 1707, 1720 and 1731. Like many Germans at the time he left Saxony for the Netherlands in search of a future, in a country that was neutral and prosperous. Emigration records repeatedly show reasons given for emigrating as "scarcity of food", "hard times", "high taxes", "lack of livelihood", "poor crops", etc. The Dutch established a garrisoned trading station at Table Bay forming the first permanent European settlement in South Africa on 06 Apr 1652. The settlers established a settlement in the Liesbeeck Valley and grew crops to supply the ever expanding Cape and the growing number of passing ships. The Dutch, through the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC), known in English as the Dutch East India Company, governed the expanding Cape Colony from 1652 to 1795. At that stage the VOC was a major employer of maritime labour and was recruiting sailors and solders for the ships of their trading fleet with the east and for their colonies at the Cape of Good Hope and in the East. The VOC preferred recruiting sailors from abroad and younger employees who were still unmarried. The young job seekers from the German areas were ideal candidates. He was recruited as a solder and took up VOC service employment on 08 Aug 1733 in North Holland. He was posted to the Dutch colony at the Cape of Good Hope (South Africa) and set sail on 08 Aug 1733 from the Frisian Island of Texel (pronounced Tessel) aboard the VOC ship Castricum, mastered by Hendrik OTERLIJK, outbound for trade in Dutch Batavia (now North Jakarta). On the arrival at the Cape on 26 Nov 1733, Johan left the ship with 26 other soldiers. This marks the arrival of the "stamvader", Johan Christian TAFEL (sic) to South Africa in 1733 (Ref. "De Afkomst der Boeren", C. KOLENBRANDER). Probably during his VOC service he became known as DAFEL to more easily identify himself with his Dutch comrades, as was the common practice. On 03 Sep 1736 he terminated his employment to become a free citizen. After his discharge from the VOC, he probably found employment as a farm labourer at the Cape from 1736 to 1746, to provide fresh produce for the VOC service, since the indigenous population proved too unreliable. He was made a citizen in 1748 and this is probably where the family name was transmuted to Johan DAVEL (in Afrikaans and Dutch the "V" is pronounced as "F"). It is likely that he took citizenship in order to be eligible for owning farm land, as parceled out by the government at that time. This has happened to many of the 17th century settlers arriving from Europe. Also in 1748 he was married to Johanna Catharina NEL and settled in Heemraden, Stellenbosch. He died in 1768 in Stellenbosch. (Ref. "South African Genealogies", pages 31-33, published originally, in 1989, by the Human Sciences Research Council in Pretoria, South Africa (ISBN 0 7969 0752 8)).
He was the maternal ancestor of Jan Christiaan SMUTS, who was named after him.


Johann married Johanna Catharina NEL on Nov 24, 1748 in Stellebosch, Cape Province, South Africa.



1 Peter S. Anderson, Weapons of Peace: The Story of William and Johanna Anderson. (Published by Logos Production House, Unit 1011-1012, Fo Tan Industrial Centre, 26-28 Au Pui Wan St., Fo Tan, Shatin, N.T. Hong Kong. Tel:2687-0331 Fax; (852) 2687-0281.
First English Edition May 1995 Copyright 1995 by Peter S. Anderson.
ISBN 962-457-091-4). Rec. Date: Aug 9, 2003.

2 T.A.Anderson, The Story of Pacaltsdorp and Some Reminiscences (Made and Printed by Long & Co. (Pty) Ltd.
297 Kempston Road, Port Elizabeth.
Authors Note April 1957). Rec. Date: Aug 9, 2003.

3 (Chapter 1 Cape Youth), Cape Youth 9.

4 .

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