On 20 March 1688 the Dutch East India Ship China set sail from Goeree for the distant Cape of Good Hope with two men on board who happened to have identical names. Both were Pierre Jourdan; both came not only from Provence, but from a the same tiny district of Provence – the Luberon. In fact, they came from two villages within walking distance of each other, namely Cabrières d’Aigues, shown below, and the hamlet of Belle Etoile some 500 yards outside St. Martin de la Brasque. The two men were wholly unrelated going back at least four generations.
Once at the Cape, Suzanne, daughter of Pierre de Cabrières, married Jean, son of the brother of Pierre Jourdan de Belle Etoile. However, the histories at the Cape managed to confuse the two immigrants and merged their children under the name of only one man. In reality Pierre de Cabrières lived in the very French Drakenstein district and was a strong Protestant churchman. Pierre de Belle Etoile lived in Cape Town, where his daughter married Mochamat Dayan, the son of the Rajah of Tamborah and his wife, the daughter of Sheik Yussuf. Mochamat had converted to Christianty soon before and had been baptised David Sultania.
Our Jourdan Huguenot ancestors return in AmaBhulu to tell their story of religious persecution and their flight to the Cape of Good Hope. We follow their descendants to the capital of the despotic Dingane, bloodthirsty king of the amaZulu, where Pieter George Jordaan is killed and impaled in 1838. We trace the family of his brother to the Battlefields region of Natal where their farm is situated on the crossroads of two wars against Great Britain. The family is imprisoned on charges of rebellion and other members of the family die in the British Concentration Camps.
A detailed genealogical research paper may be downloaded from a site dedicated to the subject.