Bernert Willemsz Wijlant, the first White baby, is born at the Cape


Mother and Child Source:

Thursday, 6 June 1652

Two months after Dutch man Jan Van Riebeek and the Dutch East India Company arrived in the Cape, the first white baby was born. The baby was named Bernert Willemsz Wijlant and he would be the first of many European babies to be born in the Cape.

Baby Wijlant and his parents were officially the first family to move into the Cape Fortress. His father Barenz Wijlant was a sick-comforter. Sick-comforters would comfort the dying, read them Christian scriptures and help them draw up wills. The birth of baby Wijlant signaled the beginning of a second generation of settlers in the Cape.

• Geni South Africa – Timeline [online] Available at: [Accessed on 27 May 2013]
• Tutor Gig Encyclopedia 1650’s in South Africa [online] Available at: [Accessed on 27 May 2013]

Last updated : 05-Jun-2017

This article was produced by South African History Online on 31-May-2013

Support South African History Online

Dear friends of SAHO

South African History Online (SAHO) needs your support.

SAHO is one of the most visited websites in South Africa with over 6 million unique users a year. Our goal is to fulfill our mandate and continue to build, and make accessible, a new people’s history of South Africa and Africa.

Please help us deliver this by contributing upwards of $1.00 a month for the next 12 months.

Make a donation here and send us a message of support.