Wohlfart/ Wolfaart
Sebastiaan Wohlfart, SV/PROG was my  fifth great grandfather on my father’s side.
‘Geslagsregisters van die Ou Kaapse Families’, deur C.C. de Villiers, en C. Pama, 1966

Christina Philipina Margaretha Truter (Wolfaardt), b9c5 was my 3rd great grandmother.

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The spelling of the surname varies apparently indiscriminately between a number of variations ranging in popularity from Wolfaardt, Wolvaardt, and Wohlfahrt. The first Wolvaardt in South Africa, Sebastian arrived at the Cape In 1730 and according to his signature spelled his surname as Wohlfahrt. However the spelling seems to have subsequently changed to a Dutch version as the wedding register that records his marriage to Regina Barbara van Biljon on 15 September 1743 records his surname as Wolfaardt. Given that this project is designed around the branch of his descendants who spell their surname as Wolvaardt this spelling will be used through out the website.

The originator of our branch of the Wolvaardt family in South Africa was Sebastian Wolvaardt (a1) who came to South Africa in 1730 as a stable hand. He was also the first person with this surname to come to the Cape of Good Hope. There is however record of other immigrants at later stages arriving at the Cape with the same surname. Sebastian originated from Boxberg Wuttemburg-Baden in Germany and apparently did not come to the Cape as an employee of the Dutch East Indian Company given that there is no record of him being transported on any of the Dutch East Indian Company ships. From 1732 to 1735 he worked as a tanner presumably in Cape Town. He must have been an entrepreneurial individual given that within six years of arriving in the Cape as a lowly stable hand he was able to buy the farm “De Zoete Inval” outside of Paarl. He later diversified his business holdings by purchasing ground on 18 November 1749 in Stellenbosch where he started his own tannery. He also purchased another farm called “Versailles” close to Wellington from Pierre Cronier, a Huguenot, on 16 November 1758. The census of the following year indicated that Sebastiaan owned seven adult slaves, 10 horses, 16 head of cattle and 156 sheep. “Versailles” had 10 000 vines and produced nine leagues of wine.  Remnants of the farm house are apparently still in existence, although much altered, close to the Wellington Station. By 1765 this had increased to 13 slaves, 13 horses, 100 cattle, 20 000 vines and ten leaguers of wine. The three youngest of his children were born on “Versailles” He married Regina Barbara Van Biljon (born on 21 August 1727 on 15 September 1743./ 1748. She was the daughter of Bernardus van Biljon and Maria Walters and they had nine children five sons and four daughters:

·         b 1 Philippus Bernhardus born on 01.101749 and christened on 12.10.1749 through whom our branch continues (see next chapter)

·         b 2 Sebastiaan  baptised  20.06.1751 married Maria van der Merwe on 29.12.1782

·         b 3 Pieter Johannes baptised  27.05.1753 who died with out  marrying

·         b 4 Maria Margaretha baptised  02.11.1755 who married Jan Herman Nieuwhoudt

·         b 5 Guilliam baptised 12.03.1758 who married Maria Beukman on 23.05.1784

·         b 6 Alida Rosina baptised 15.07.1760 who married Tielman Nieuwhoudt

·         b 7 Johanna Cornelia baptised 18.04.1762 who died without marrying

·         b 8 Catharina Dorothea baptised 13.11.1763 who married Andries Solomon on 03.02.1799 and later Jacobus Redelinghuys

·         b 9 Ernst Hendrik baptised 24.11.1765 who married Johanna van Zyl on 11.03.1798 

Sebastiaan died 28 April 1766 in Stellenbosch. His wife was relatively young at the time of his death (39), financially well off, and given the shortage of eligible wives of European extraction, at that time in the Cape clearly a good prospect.  This proved to be the case as within six months of his death she was remarried to Thomas Rodewald (who had come to the Cape from Denmark) with whom she had two additional children. The farm prospered under the stewardship of Thomas, most likely helped by his stepsons, as the census of 1773 showed that all of Regina’s living children were still living on the farm. The wine production of the farm was increased to 30 000 vines producing 30 leaguers of wine. The farm was being managed with the help of eight male and six female slaves and there was 30 oxen and 300 sheep on the farm.


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