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Catharina Dorothea Wolfaart - her story.
At the Church Meeting of 10th March 1794, Dominee Ayling reported that, according to her mother, the young woman and church member, Catharina Wolfaart, was pregnant by her brother-in-law, Jacobus Redelinghuijs and had run away to the Bokkeveld to give birth to the baby.

On the 29th June
he told the meeting that the predikant at Waveren reported that she had reached the Bokkeveld and that there, on the farm belonging to her brother, Sebastiaan Wolfarth, she had given birth to an illegitimate child. The Waveren minister said he would refuse to baptise the child and would refer the mother to the Drakenstein church.

The church meeting therefore decided to write to Catharina Dorothea and ask her to attend a future meeting to hear from her own lips the truth of this matter and on 18th September she so appeared, and testified that she had borne an illegitimate child while unmarried and that, furthermore, the father of this child was her sister's husband, Jacobus Redelinghuijs.

While she waited outside, the Dominee and meeting decided on a punishment. She was called back and told that by her own witness she had broken the laws of Israel's great lawgiver and stood guilty of whoredom, vow-breaking and incest and that, therefore, for her betterment according to the word of God and the laws of the Church, she was forbidden to attend church services or partake of holy communion for the period of at least one year.

She would be taken back into the church only if she was then able to demonstrate contrition for her sin and able to show that she had lived an honest, pure and Christian life in the meantime.

She was first invited to bring her child into the church for baptism, and then, having been urged to mend her ways, sent out into the wilderness.

After this matter was settled the meeting decided to summon Jacobus Redelinghuijs, who, it was said, had moved to the district of the Olifants River, to a future meeting, in order to hear from him if he was indeed the father of the child and to deal with him accordingly.

At a meeting on the 27th October called specially for the occasion, Jacobus Redelinghuijs was summoned into the room and asked by the Dominee: was it true that he was the father of the illegitimate child born by his sister-in-law, Catharina Wolfarth? This question he answered with an unhesitating and clear 'Yes'.

He was then informed that his behaviour sorely offended the All Highest and displeased God's Congregation, he had been faithless to his wife, had broken vows made before God and man, and committed incest. 

He was therefore censured and forbidden holy communion for the period of two years until he could prove that he felt remorse for his crime. Since they understood that he had left the community to go and live in the distant district of the Olifants River, he would need to provide Christian witness, one signed his wife and one signed by three of his nearest neighbours who were members of the Church that he had, over the two years, lived a pure, celibate and Christian life. 

At the meeting of 11th January 1798, it was reported that Catharina Wolfaart had declared repentance of her sin, bringing witness from four church members in the Bokkeveld that she had lived the last three years with her brother Sebastian Wolfart in a godly fashion, and asked to be absolved from censure. Having examined the attestations and found them good, the censure was lifted and she was once again permitted the use of Holy Communion.

In February of 1801 Catharina Dorothea Wolfaart made a will jointly with her husband, Andries Salomons, which made provision for her illegitimate child, Maria Catharina Redelinghuis, to be treated equally as an heir with any children to be born of the marriage. 

The child was therefore still living at this date but I have so far found no later references to her.

In 1808 Jacobus Redelinghuys and his wife Debora Helena Rodewald made a will specifically revoking all former wills and leaving all their property to their only son Johannes Hermanus. Although the revoking clause is a standard one I wonder, in this case, if it may not perhaps refer to a former will which included the child Maria Catharina Redelinghuis who had recently died?

Information from:

Drakenstein Gemeente: Resolutie Boek beginnende met den 15 Julij 1784 en eindigende met den 8 December 1805, pages 97, 101, 104-105, 106-107 and 127.
Cape Town, Nederduitse Gereformeerde Kerk Argief.
Thanks to André Kellerman for finding and copying these resolutions for me.

The will of Andreas Salomons and Catharina Dorothea Wolfaart, dated 16th February 1801 and Registered in the Orphan Chamber, Cape of Good Hope on the 11th May 1832.
Cape Archives, MOOC 7/1/117:20.

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