Seeking German roots of Johann (Jan) Greyling (abt.1706-abt.1769)

+6 votes

Hi there all you wonderful WikiTree'ers!

I've had a question from a new member that I can't answer, I knew the best place to come and ask was in here and hoped that one of you amazingly smart people would be able to help me out.

The question is : Do you think it's possible that Johann (Jan) Greyling-127 could be the Johan Weijlig recorded in this VOC document

The member has done very extensive research and I was very impressed, however I lack the German skills that his question requires. I would be really grateful if someone could help me out, and I'm sure that Jan Greyling's very many descendants would be too.

WikiTree profile: Jan Greyling
in Genealogy Help by Pam Cormac Smith G2G6 Mach 5 (55.8k points)

The place of origin is noted as Lints, which could translate to either the modern day Linz or Lienzboth situated in Austria.

But there is also the town Linz am Rhein, which got the additional "am Rhein" only between 1857 and 1885. 

Good to know Jelena, thanks!
Thank you both Philip and Jelena, it is really so lovely to have this discussion here.

4 Answers

+5 votes
Best answer


It is quite probable. The surname Greijling (now Greyling) is only unique to South Africa, so it must have changed in transition from Europe.

Furthermore, there is some research done on this matter at the University of Stellenbosh and they have come to the conclusion (page 115) that the name Greijling does originate from Weijlig.

by Ben Greyling G2G Crew (650 points)
selected by Pam Cormac Smith
Thank you so much Ben, this is fascinating and now after reading the mentioned and surrounding pages I feel I need to start from the beginning - this could help my own research too. Thanks a ton!

The entry on comes from Heese and Lombard (SA Genealogies) and so is probably copied from de Villiers/Pama:

Johann GREYLING kom van Linz, Sakse. Hy arriveer by die Kaap in 1725. Hy trou 31 Augusts 1727 by Kaapstad met Johanna LUBBE. Johanna was gedoop 26 Jan 1710, sy was die dogter van Berend LUBBE en Jacoba BRANDENBURG. Greyling trou die twee maal by Kaapstad 9 Oktober 1735 met Jacomina PELSER.

You may make progress on this question by relating the man to his social circle and how his name appears in the opgaafs and with others at baptisms, etc.

That's fantastic Keith, the date of this document is 16 Sep 1724 which gives us the perfect timing too (arrived at the Cape 28 Jan 1725)! How exciting is that?! Thank you so much. And your idea of checking names in his social circle is brilliant, as it's entirely possible that he would've remained friends with others who travelled with him!!
Hi Ben and Pam,

Thanks very much for the research paper.  I'll have a look.

Just for everyone's benefit the town must be Linz in Saxony as it is stated on Jan's will from 1769 on the first page "Jan Grijling geboortig van Lints in Saxen" in Dutch.

By the way, I had made contact with the local historian in Linz but the baptismal register has not been digitally scanned yet so it is going to be a slow process.



aka  Barend Christiaan Greyling V     :-)

Jusy a brief note. There were two other Opvarende with the surname Grijling. 

Jan Coenraed Grijling Sonderburg 1710

Johan Michiel Grijling Oldenburg 1766

The records show that Jan Michiel died within a year of employment and Johan Coenraad was not posted to the Cape, but East Indies.

What is interesting though is that they all have their surname (Grijling) spelt the Dutch way, even though they originate from Germany, where it probably would have been spelt as Greiling/Greuling/Greyling/Greilich for that time.
Hi, Barry, please provide some info who you contacted in Linz regarding the Baptismal register. Maybe I can help. I live in Austria now
Just be aware that the town of Linz referred to is in Saxony, Germany. Not the town of Linz in Austria.
Yes, I know, thanks. It is a place not too far from Dresden.
+3 votes

This has been an interesting and fun morning so far, thanks so much Keith! I haven't had much luck yet with the Castricum list, would this be the correct search terms? If so then it seems as though these men all moved on with the ship when it left, or in one man's case died. However I do think that Jan Lootz was at the baptism of Maria in 1728, and Paulus Keyser was at the baptism of Johanna in 1730. I'm going to keep hunting and will let you all know if I find some more.

by Pam Cormac Smith G2G6 Mach 5 (55.8k points)
+4 votes

In the answer above the place is given as "Johann GREYLING kom van Linz, Sakse." Therefore I googled for Linz, Sachsen and indeed there is a town called Linz near Meißen in Sachsen which has been around since about 1220. See Wikipedia, Linz (Schönfeld) 

by Markus Brenner G2G4 (4.0k points)

Indeed, the creation of WikiTree profile Greyling-402 had this place as source.

Thank you so much for all your hard work on this profile Philip smiley, you are a real gem for the Cape of Good Hope Project. If there's anything that I can do to help the project in some way let me know...I'm teachable wink, and eager to learn more.

Thank you Markus, that's really handy

Appreciatively many thanks for saying this Pam. It means a lot to me. smiley

+2 votes
I would ask the question of Corney Keller, who can be found through his transcripts on or at his site .

According to "Personalia", Johann Greyling was from Linz in the Province of Saxony. He was married at the Cape to Johanna Lubbe and then to Jacomina Pelser. There is a reference to his will in the Stellenbosch Archive. Such wills often referred to places of origin and family members still in Europe.

As I said, in my case (Meintjes) the spelling of the progenitor's name varied wildly. It is only through the contemporary mention of his wife, Christina Bastiaansz and her family that one can be sure the various references are to him.
by Keith Meintjes G2G2 (3.0k points)

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