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Surnames A to C

BUYSKES Egbert Andries

The progenitor of the Buyskes family in South Africa is Egbert Andries Buyskes, born 6 October 1789 in Bergen St., Wynox, France. He was a well-known Cape personality who bought the property Onderschuur (Westbrooke) in Rondebosch in 1822.

Egbert Andries Buyskes was one of eight children of Gerrit BUYSKES *2 Nov 1765 †6 April 1832 and Hermanda Geertruida BROUWER *1763 † 23 Oct 1821 Batavia (d.o Egbert Andries Brouwer and C. McLeod). Egbert *6 Oct 1789 † 1865 Cape Colony; x Elizabeth Francina de Villiers *Dec 1794 Stellenbosch †8 Jan 18141.

Gerrit Buyskes was the oldest son of Pieter Buyskes *13 July 1739 †17 June 1779; x 3 Feb 1765, Zwolle, Overijssel, Netherlands Arnoldina Adriana Jordens * 2 Nov. 1765 = 6 Dec.1765 Texel, Enkhuizen, Northern-Holland, Netherlands.2

“Pieter Luytzn Buyskes, agent of Prince William II of Orange during the liberation of Enkhuizen in 1572 and afterwards mayor of this city. Pieter Luytgesz Buyskes, son of Luitje Pietersz. and Catrijn Pietersdr. Buyskes, was born in 1534, skipper and merchant, mayor of Enkhuizen in 1572, 1574, 1582, 1584, 1587, 1589, 1591, 1593, 1595, 1597; died in 1606.3 Pieter was married to Fredrikje Symons daughter Semeyns sister of Pieter and Meindert Symonsz. Semeyns, who also played an important part in the liberation from Spanish dominion.

“Pieter Luytgesz. Buyskes (1534–1606), in addition to his own affairs, managed the salt chain, ship’s carpenters, and shipping companies of his father-in-law Simon Meinertsz. Semeijns, who had moved to Emden for religious reasons. Pieter Buyskes, who had a large following among the urban population, was the leader of the resistance in Enkhuizen.” 4
“William of Orange instructed him, by deed of commission dated 20 April 1572, to take possession of the city. Partly due to his moderate behaviour, he managed to prevent a Spanish occupation and imprisoned the Spanish-minded mayors. He also paid the wages, from his own pocket, of 350 residents recruited after the successful change of power. Buyskes had a long-standing dispute with the Commissioners in the Noorderkwartier on compensation for the income he lost at the beginning of the uprising. Moreover, a dispute arose between Buyskes and his brothers-in-law about the legacy of Simon Meinertsz. Semeijns. Pieter demanded fl 28,000 from the estate, over and above the inheritance of his deceased wife. His brothers-in-law refused and the result was a year-long, unhappy family dispute.5

Documents concerning social functions and financial documents:

80: Extract from the register of resolutions, missives and ordinances of the states of Noord-Holland concerning the commission of Prince Willem of Orange for Pieter Luytgesz. Buyskes and Willem Pietersz. on the islands of Huisduinen and Texel e.o. to break down the beacons, churches and church towers to prevent the Spanish fleet from invading, 1574 July. Excerpt, z.j. (first half of the 17th century), with a notarial copy of that extract, 1649, 2 pieces.

81: Extract from the register of resolutions, missives and ordinances of the States of North Holland regarding the authorization of Prince Willem of Orange for 4 Pieter Luytgesz . Buyskes and Willem Pietersz. on the islands of Huisduinen and Texel e.o. to employ guards in war service, July 1574. Extract, z.j. (first half of the 17th century), 1 item.

Peter's grandfather, Pieter Gerritszn. Buyskes, who was born in 1666 and died in 1743, had held the office of mayor and had been a director of the Dutch East India Company. This must have been Pieter Buyskes to whom, as mayor of Enkhuizen in 1732, consent was given to build a mansion on the south side of the Oude Westerstraat.6

Gerrit Buskes graduated from Harderwijk in 1785; he was not yet 20 years old. He started his career as substitute sheriff for the island of Texel in 1786, where he joined the patriots, thereby breaking a long-standing family tradition: the Buyskes family had been loyal supporters of the House of Orange from the start of the uprising. He occupied various minor offices, was appointed by the Councils of the Northern Quarter as bailiff and dike warden of Texel and sheriff of Eijerland in September 1786, a position which he held with honour and was allowed to keep, despite his patriotic leaning, till after the revolution of 1787. For fear of violence from the islanders, he departed in December, only to be ordered by the council to return.

After he arrived at Texel, the mayors of the towns of Oostereind and the Waal refused to recognize him as magistrate and dike warden. About 400 armed men from Oostereind accompanied by Lammert Dijke arrived in the main village of Burg. An uprising ensued, after which the commissioners then sent a message to Texel advising Buyskes to give up his post, which he did, but he was now also deprived of all means of subsistence.

In May 1789, he fled the island of Texel with his young wife to French Flanders, where many of his fellow patriots had found refuge. Here in Bergen [Mon] in 1789, his son Egbert Andries was born; Egbert would later marry Elisabeth Francina de Villiers in Cape Town and who would become the progenitor of the South African Buyskes lineage.

Gerrit was a merchant, a member of the firm Daendels and Buyskes in Bergen until 1791, and member of the firm Buyskes and Claeyssensstraat. He returned to Holland after the revolution of 1795. He was also a member / president of the National Assembly of Holland, a member of the Committee of General Welfare, committed to the States-General in 1795, a member of the Provincial Government of Holland in 1796, lawyer and notary in Amsterdam in 1799, and appointed in 1802 as clerk to the Registrar of the Judicial Council of the Cape of Good Hope.


A day of thanksgiving was observed on 1 March 1803 in Cape Town; at noon, Commissioner-General De Mist installed Lieutenant-General Janssens as governor. At this time, Gerrit Buyskes, who was to be the secretary, was still at sea.8

Gerrit was a member of the Court of Appeals in 1805; he was honourably discharged in 1806. In 1819, he moved from the Cape to Batavia, where he was vice president of the Hoogerechtshof. He died on 6 April 1832, Java, Indonesia.

Buyskes worked in various commissions concerning the naval forces and the defense of the country from 1819 until his final years. In 1864, his portrait was placed with the collection of portraits in the palace in Weltevreden (Batavia).

       Knight of the Order of the Union 16 Febr. 1807
       Commander of the Order 16 Febr. 1807
       Commander of the Order of the Reunion 29 Feb. 1812
       Knight of the 3rd class of the Milit. William's Order 8 July 1815
       Commander of the Order July 6, 1818
       Knight of the Order of the Ned. Lion July 23, 1829

His son Egbert Andries remained in Cape Town, where he practised as a notary and became Joint Commissioner of Vendues.10

Egbert Buyskes was forced to declare insolvency in 1830 due to the great financial losses caused by the manner of payment of compensation money for the release of freed slaves and having to sell the property in 1831.
     On the Premises, at Rondebosch,

    In the Insolvent Estate of Egbert Andries BUYSKES, one of the late joint Comissaries of Vendues.


LOT 1, That most eligible and commodious Family Residence, called the Onderschuur,situated at Rondebosch, five miles from Cape Town, with the principal part of the Grounds both in front of the House and higher up the Mountain, in extent 13 morgen, 559 ¾ square roods Rynland measure, marked in the Diagram No. 1.
The House has recently been considerably enlarged and improved at great expense; is in a state of thorough repair, and contains numerous convenient and spacious Apartments; attached to the Building is a convenient Cottage Residence, Coach-house, Cow-house, extensive Stabling, Offices, and Servants’ Apartments.
The Grounds in front of the House command a very fine and extensive prospect; are in a high state of cultivation, and are planted with Vines, many hundred fruit Trees, and Vegetables of every description. The Land to the ascent of the mountain is well wooded. There is an ample supply of Water for irrigation at this season, and the Purchaser will be entitled throughout the year to the privilege of obtaining drinking Water from the Spring of Mr. ANOSI, which is contiguous to the Property. An additional plot of Ground, about 12 feet in depth from the back of the House, has lately been added to the Estate, and which has been neatly fenced off to form a boundary between the Lands of Mr. ANOSI and the Onderschuur; a trench has also been dug and fence raised and planted from one extremity of his additional plot to the wood in the uplands, so that the two Properties are now completely divided by substantial and permanent boundaries; this lot from its delightful situation, improved condition, and spacious House, forms a most eligible Residence for the occupation of a large Family. 11, 12

The landed property exchanged hands a few times. OnderSchuur was sold to Judge Wm. Westbrooke Burton of the Supreme Court at the Cape. He changed the name to Westbrooke.

De Groote Schuur was sold to Mr Abraham de Smit. Mr de Smit served in the Government Department of Land and Woods [altered in 1828 to Surveyor-General]. During 1832, he acquired Westbrooke from Judge Burton.

Westbrooke was subsequently used by colonial governors as a summer residence. Among these were Sir Harry Smith and Lieutenant-General Hay. After Mr. Abrahm de Smidt died in 1868, Westbrooke was inherited by his brother, W.A.J. de Smidt, M.L.C., at that time Under-Colonial Secretary. Westbrooke was again sold in 1886 in the estate of the late Mr. W. de Smidt and together with the adjoining De Kleine Schuur became the property of the late Mr G. Pigott Moodie,

Later, his son sold them to the Union government and it became a site for the government-general’s residence. Since 1994, it has been the official residence of the president of South Africa in Cape Town. The name was changed to Genadendal in 1995.12, 14 

Children of Gerrit and Hermanda; 15

b1 Egbert Andries * Bergen St. Wynox, Frans Vlaandere 6.10.1789, publieke notaris, aktebesorger en vertaler † “L’Esperance”, Plumstead, Kaapstad 30.5.1865 x Stellenbosch 8.1.1814 Elisabeth Francina DE VILLIERS * Eersterivier 20.12.1794 Stellenbosch 28.12.1794 † “Rheezicht”, dist. Kaapstad 18.1.1857 d.v. Johannes de Villiers en Johanna Susanna du Toit

b2 Catharina * Bergen-St Wynox x 17.5.1803 Willem Frederik DE HAAN v. Nymegen, provinsie Gelderland, Nederland 

b3 Geertruyd Johanna * Ryssel (Lille) * c. 1794 x 1.11.1812 Jacobus Francois DU TOIT * c.1793

1. Our Roots; Gerrit Buyskes [1965-1832]

2. P. van der Veen, "Genealogie Van der Veen", database, Genealogy Online. "mr. Gerrit BUYSKES

3. Militaire zaken – algemeen

4. 300 Jaar Raad van Enkhuizen

5. Familie Semeijns de Vries van Doesburgh, Collectie betreffende de Noord-Hollands Archief

6. Familie Semeijns de Vries van Doesburgh, Collectie betreffende de Noord-Hollands Archief

7. Biographisch woordenboek der Nederlanden. Deel 2. Derde en vierde stuk(1855)

8. Theal, George McCall. (1908). History of South Africa Since September 1795 (p.128).Cambridge University Press.

9. De Gouverneurs-Generaal en Commissarissen-Generaal van Nederlandsch-Indië, 1610-1688 : historisch-genealogisch beschreven / Matthijs Antonius van Rhede van der Kloot ; uitgegeven met ondersteuning van het Ministerie van Koloniën.

10. The Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette, 1831. Proclamations, advertisements and other official notices.

11.The Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette, 1831

12. Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette 1830 - 4 - October to December. Transcription

13. Rondebosch Down the Years 1657 – 1957

14. Harris, Stewart (2006). WHO’S WHERE IN CAPE ARCHITECTURE A directory of people and places. Vernacular Architecture Society of South Africa.

15. South African Families 2018.04 Bra-Byt.

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