Johannes de Klerk

Date of Birth: 22 July, 1903

Place of Birth: Burgersdorp, Cape Colony (now South Africa)

Date of Death: 24 January, 1979

Place of Death: Krugersdorp, Transvaal Province, South Africa

Ethnicity: Afrikaner (Belgian [both Flemish and Walloon], Dutch, French, German, Swiss-French, Swiss-German), remote African (including Khoikhoi), Danish, Indian, Indonesian, and Malagasy

Johannes de Klerk was a South African politician. He was (acting) State President of South Africa, from 9 April, 1975 to 19 April, 1975, as well as Minister of Home Affairs, from 8 October, 1961 to 30 March, 1966, and Chancellor of the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, from 1961 to 1979. He was the son of Aletta Johanna “Lettie” (van Rooy) and Willem Johannes de Klerk, a Dutch Reformed clergyman, and politician, who fought in the Second Boer War. He was married to Hendrina Cornelia Coetzer, with whom he had two children, including politician F. W. de Klerk, who was State President of South Africa, from 15 August, 1989 to 10 May, 1994; as well as Deputy President of South Africa, from 10 May, 1994 to 30 June, 1996. His sister, Susan, was married to J. G. Strijdom, who was Prime Minister of South Africa, from 30 November, 1954 to 24 August, 1958.

The surname de Klerk is derived from Le Clerc, Le Clercq, and de Clercq, and is of French Huguenot origin (meaning “clergyman” or “literate” in old French).

Johannes’ patrilineal ancestry can be traced back to his ninth great-grandfather, Étienne le Clercq, a French Huguenot.

A few of Johannes’ ancestors were slaves from Africa, India, Indonesia, and Madagascar. His ninth great-grandmother, Krotoa (also known as Eva), was a Khoikhoi interpreter.

Johannes’ paternal grandfather was Barend Jacobus de Klerk (the son of Johannes Cornelis de Klerk and Martha Margaretha Schoeman). Barend was born in Modderfontein, Burgersdorp, Cape Colony. Johannes’ great-grandfather Johannes was the son of Barend de Klerk and Maria Magdelena van der/den Heyden/Heijden. Martha was the daughter of Daniel Wilhelmus Schoeman, whose father was born in Mecklenberg, Germany, and of Anna Catharina Hattingh.

Johannes’ paternal grandmother was Maria Jacoba Grobler (the daughter of Jacobus Johannes Grobler and Johanna Susanna Lasya Coetzee). Jacobus was the son of Douw Gerbrand Grobler and Johanna Cornelia Coetzer. Johannes’ great-grandmother Johanna was the daughter of Josef Adriaan Coetzee and Francina Hendrina Barendina Kruger.

Johannes’ maternal grandfather was Johannes/Jan Cornelis van Rooy (the son of Johannes Cornelis van Rooy and Anne Françoise Holsters). Johannes’ grandfather Johannes was born in Weltevreden, Colesberg, Bo-Karoo, Northern Cape, and was a senator. Johannes’ great-grandfather Johannes was born in Huisseling, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands, the son of Henricus van Rooij/Rooy and Clara Kuijpers/Kuÿpers. Anne was born in Brussels, Belgium, the daughter of Charles Holsters and Petronella de Gieter.

Johannes’ maternal grandmother was Aletta Johanna Smit (the daughter of Jacobus Albertus Smit and Aletta Johanna Smit). Johannes’ grandmother Aletta was born in Wonderboom, Burgersdorp, Drakensberg District, Eastern Cape. Jacobus was the son of Stephanus Albertus Smit and Susanna Maria de Klerk. Johannes’ great-grandmother Aletta was the daughter of Jacobus Petrus Erasmus Smit and Martha Gerbrechta Sophia de Klerk.

Johannes’ matrilineal ancestry can be traced back to his ninth great-grandmother, Dorathea Loxton, of Blois, Loir-et-Cher department, France.

Sources: Genealogy of Johannes de Klerk –

Genealogy of Johannes de Klerk (focusing on his father’s side) –

Genealogy of Johannes’ maternal grandmother, Aletta Johanna Smit (through Aletta’s sister) –

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