funter, commandant and politician
Lives of Courage
Johannes Willem (Jan) Viljoen was born in 14 May 1812, Winterhoek. Having moved from Oudtshoorn to the present Orange Free State in 1843, he settled near Winburg, where he joined the Voortrekker group of the population, hostile to H. D.Warden. Together with five others from among the Voortrekker element in Transorangia, he was imprisoned at Colesberg in 1846 for anti-British activities. Released after a few months, he took part in the Battle of Boomplaats and because of this had to flee across the Vaal River. He settled near present-day Zeerust and called his farm Ver Genoeg. His wife, Maria Catherina Messer, daughter of the German missionary J. G. Messer (in the service of the L.M.S.), presented him with fifteen children.