The Vorster's and family History

Your Family's Journey Through Time

Jan Vorster (or any derivative of his name).

It is important to realise that Jan may have changed his surname and name prior to arriving at the Cape. This might not have been done intentionally due to the literacy of people at the time and common misspelling of the name and surname could have happened.

The surname on its own has four common variations in different languages, being: English - Foster, Scottish - Forster, German - Förster. Swiss - Vorster.

Out of the eight examples below only one is spelled with a 'F' and without an umlaut. Hans Vorster is mentioned in the lease agreement 1718 that Rev. Petrus van Aken of the Paarl Drakenstein congregation signed, with the governor, to hire Jan as a building servant and mason.

He could have changed his actual name to 'Jan'. If it was 'Johannes' it compares with all the eight names mentioned below. The name 'Jan' was very common in the German speaking countries of the time but not as common as 'Johannes.

  • Hans Voster 16/7/1717 Indiensnemings contract p1&2
  • Hans Vorster 7/7/1718 Indiensnemings contract p1&2
  • Johannis Foster 22/7/1720 Indiensnemings contract p1&2
  • Jan Vorster 5/4/1722 Birth of Aletta
  • Jan Voster 1723 Burgerskap application
  • Jan Vorst 17/9/1724 Birth of his son Jan
  • Jan Vorster 1725 Monster rol
  • Jan Voster 1/12/1726 Birth of his son Barent

  • The conclusion is:

  • Registering the name at different ports by not adding the 'r' in the middle. We are experiencing this as Vorster's all over the world.
  • Out of the eight examples only one is spelled with a 'F' and also without an umlaut.
  • The archived rolls of 1724, 1726, 1727 en 1728, all, neglected the 'r'.
  • Below are two contracts of 1717 and 1718 to show Jan as a sailor from Bern.

    More detailed images can be viewed here

    In the Swiss historical archives there are several examples of the surname 'Vorster'. One of the most famous person was Pankraz Vorster, 1753-1829. (see Vorster in early European times. 1270 - 1899 in English or in original German.

    Recent time, Swiss telephone list shows several examples of the surname 'Vorster'. One also with the name 'Jan'

    Jan Hendrik Vorster *1944, also found that in Schaffhausen in 2014, Hans Maria Vorster, whom is/are has done genealogical research and published some books regarding the Vorster pedigree back as far as the 13th centuary could not find any relation to our Jan Vorster.

    In Diessenhofen, Thurgau, where many Vorster's was resident, also was no headstones. For many years old graves are getting re used after 30 years.

    Have a look at Jan's page for more information.