Johannes de Klerk

Date of Birth: July 22, 1903

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

Date of Death: January 24, 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 served as Minister of Home Affairs, from 8 October, 1961 to 30 March, 1966, and interim State President of South Africa, from 9 April, 1975 to 19 April, 1975. He was the son of Aletta Johanna “Lettie” (van Rooy) and Willem Johannes de Klerk. 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 1989 to 1994, and Deputy President of South Africa, from 1994 to 1996.

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 9th great-grandfather, Étienne le Clercq, a French Huguenot.

A few of Johannes’ ancestors were slaves from Africa, India, Indonesia, and Madagascar. His 9th 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 was the son of Barend de Klerk and Maria van der/den Heyden. Martha was the daughter of Daniel Wilhelmus Schoeman and 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 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. Johannes’ great-grandfather Johannes was the son of Henricus van Rooij and Clara Kuijpers. Anne was 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 9th 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, Martha Gerbrechta Sophia Smit) –

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