Scope and Content
In general the returns comprise the following particulars: names of
men and women; number of boys, girls, men slaves, women slaves, boy slaves,
girl slaves, horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, vines, leaguers wine, muids wheat,
rye and barley sown and reaped. The returns often also include the names of
farms, the original signatures of persons and the number of firearms in each
individual's possession. Many returns after 1800 contain recapitulation totals,
mortality figures,, church contributions and "opgaafgelden". In later years
less agricultural particulars are supplied and more information regarding
amounts to be paid as taxes and amounts collected are given.
Until 1798 valuation lists are to be found in the returns of
Stellenbosch and Drakenstein. After this date these particulars are supplied in
the column "opgaafgelden". The returns include those of the missionary
institutions of Bethelsdorp, Elim, Enon, Genadendal, Hogekraal, Pacaltsdorp and
From c.1827 onwards the returns are mostly in English, and
incomplete and seldom signed.
On the whole the condition of the archives is good. There are,
however, volumes which are in disrepair or unbound. A number of the bound
returns are either partially or completely illegible due to the faint writing
or damage done by water.