Maria Van Der Westhuizen, Founder Mother (Stammoeder) of the  Van Niekerk and Walters Families




Maria's origin

Pieter Van Der Westhuizen, from Brugge in Flanders, came to the Cape as soldier before 1662 and  married Maria Hendriks Wikelhausen from German origin, and widow of  Hendrik Barends, on 18 November 1673.   Maria our founder mother, was one of  seven children, and was baptized on  6 October 1675 .  She grew up on the freehold farm Kronendal in  Houtbay near Cape Town.  The farmlands of Kronendal was until recently the oldest farmland still being used in South Africa. It is amazing that the farmlands, the oldest in South Africa (recently destroyed),  where the Walters maternal mother played was until recently still being cultivated. It is now sadly neglected and the base of  various disputes raging in the town.

Kronendal house in Houtbay build on the foundation of the house where Maria grew up. 

De Tijgerberge 21600
Drooge Vallei 15000
Hoorenbos 8900
Zeekoeivallei 1209



Farmer and mother

Maria married Cornelis Van Niekerk in 1 April 1691 as a 15 year old girl. Her first child,  Aletta, was borne  in 1693 and  married  Anthonij Van Rooijen who later bought the farm Bloemendal from his step-father in law, Samuel Walter.  On 23 March 1711 she married Samuel Walter who soon after their marriage bought the farm, De Tijgerberge (today the well know wine farm, Altydgedacht). Three  Walters sons , Daniel (1712) , Nicolaas (1714) and Stephanus Sebastiaan (1716) were borne out of this marriage and grew up together with the older Van Niekerk children on the farm De Tijgerberge (Altydgedacht). She and Samuel bought the farm, Drooge Vallei between Durbanville and Malmesbury and after her husbands death in 13 December 1725 she also obtained the neighboring farm, Hoorenbos. In  1731 Maria  owned  35 slaves, 1400 sheep and 25 000 vines. She died as a rich women in August 1734 and left more than 84 000 Guilders for her sons (the four Van Niekerk and the three Walters sons).


Maria's farms and value in Guilders


Maria's Testament

Maria drew up her testament on 10 April 1726, shortly after her husband Samuel's death.  In this testament she request that each of the seven sons receive a slave:  “uit eiegen beweging als een Donatie Causa Mortis te skenken bij desen aan haar kinderen, de volgende slaven en slavinne zoo als deselfde sijn geprokureerd namens…”.  The rest of the slaves were sold after her death at the  Vendu auction in 1734. The slaves are listed in the slave register  shows the farms they worked on, the price sold (in Rijksdaalders) as well as the name of the buyer (new owner). See slave register.


Slaves bequeathed to the seven sons

Seun  Plaas
Gerrit V Niekerk Mosselbank
Johannes V Niekerk Brakkefontein
Pieter V Niekerk Hoorenbos
Bernardus V Niekerk Sandvliet
Daniel Walters Slot van Paarl
Nicolaas Walters Meerendal
Stephanus Walters De Grendel

Our heritage

Maria's estate was finally completed on 31 Augustus 1737 after all the assets were sold and debts received.  She leaves a will of  84 211 Guilders which in today's terms is a large sum of money and in the order of ten million Rand.  Each of the seven sons received  8 643 Guilders, in addition to  the 12 000 Guilders which the Van Niekerk sons received from their father in law's estate and the Walters sons who each received  5 000 Guilders from Maria's estate which  Samuel left in trust for them.  Each of the seven sons therefore inherited nearly 12 000 Guilders which were a relative small fortune in those days, thanks to  Cornelis Van Niekerk, Samuel Walters and Maria Van Der Westhuizen.  Each of the seven sons bought their own farm and contributed to the Cape's economy.

The seven son's farms bought from their inheritance.