Adam Kok 1 leader of the Basters

Adam Kok 1 struggle icon of free slaves

the history of the past





The Griquas is a group of mixed descendant whose origin could be traced back to the 17th century. Intermariages took place between the Dutch and certain Khoikhoi groupings at the Cape. During the last part of the 17th century an increasing number of colonial farmers forced the Griqua, originally called Bastards, and other indigenous groups to leave their traditional area round the Cape Peninsula.


Adam Kok 1 was born in the year 1710. Both his parents died during the smallpox epidemic of 1713. His aunt and uncle raised him in the Piquetberg district. He was actually born in the tribe of Gxobona. He was called Adam Eta. His aunt who had taken care of him, left him later in the care of a slave, and moved along with the other Hottentots on their hunting trips. He became later the slave of Jacobus Hollander.


When Adam Eta (Kok 1) reached the age of twenty five, his master Jacobus Hollander went to see the Governor of the Cape for a piece of land. The Governor Jan De La Fontaine took Adam Eta as a cook in exchange for the piece of land. Thus he became Adam Kok.


Cape Town received a new Governor, Hendrik Swellengrebel, and he came with his own cook, Adam Kok 1 was then locked up in the castle as a prisoner. When Governor Willem Van der Stel took over he set Adam Kok 1 free, with the following compensation: a wagon, guns, gunpowder, ten oxen and a house at Bushman Kloof.


Adam Kok 1 moved eastwards from Piquetberg, met Chief Koos Kleinman (Koopman). He told Adam Kok 1 how the settlers killed his wife. The old man appointed Adam Kok 1 as Chief in his place and died shortly afterwards. Adam Kok 1 moved from Voorberg today known as Porterville to Bushmen’s Kloof, in the year 1743. He married Donna, daughter of Chief Simon of the Ghariguriqua. The Goverment of the Cape acknowledged Adam Kok 1 chieftancy and gave him the mace (staff of office) as kapityn (meaning: King). Bushmen’s Kloof became Kapteinskloof.

Cornelius Kok 1(the eldest son of Adam Kok 1) was born in 1746, under whose auspices the nomadic fever and love for hunting grew dramatically. Adam Kok 1 asked for grazing rights at Stinkfontein east from Helpmekaar ( the farm of Andries Venter). They later moved over the Knersvlakte and then to Kammieskroon and settled themself at Pella.

Cornelius Kok 1 went on hunting spree, and came across a place with fountains, and called it Klaarwater. His son in law, Barend Barends was settled at Boetsap (Danielskuil). Adam Kok I was an old man and died in 1795 at Pella. His son Cornelius Kok 1 ascended the throne. Cornelius Kok 1 eldest son Adam Kok ii (who was called Dam Kok) settled at Klaarwater where he met up with two missionaries John Campbell and Anderson in 1813. Cornelius ii the younger son resided at Knoffelvalley. The Kok clan were known bastards, and Anderson ( the missionary) said " it did not sound nice on the tongue, let’s called your people Griqua", Klaarwater became Griquatown.

Cornelius Kok I was again on a hunting spree and, like his father, they shot bushbuck. Then they found a young bushman boy. The missionary Anderson, asked them to raise this young bushman and teach him English and Dutch. He was called Andries Waterboer. Later the missionaries were not happy with Adam Kok II style of ruling. By means of provocation, instigation and inciting they turned the nation against him.

In 1824 Adam Kok ii left Griquatown and went to Bucklands, where he met up with Rev.Phillip.They left for Phillapolis. The youngest son Cornelius Kok iii died at a young age in 1834 and was buried at Phillipolis.


Cornelius Kok I became old, he handed over the family staff to his son Cornelius ii at Campbell. The clan of Cornelius Kok ii  consisted Griqua, Korana’s, bergenaars and bushman’s. Adam Kok ii died on his way back from Cape Town. He was buried at Phillipolis. His elder son Abraham Kok ii (who was married with Magrieta) took over. Abraham Kok ii had three daugthers, one the wife of Niklaas Waterboer, the other the wife of Jan Pienaar and the other the wife of Jan Jood. Abraham Kok ii had a son, Willem (Toll).
After the war against Mzilikazi Abraham Kok ii and his brother Adam Kok iii had a fight. Abraham Kok ii moved with his children to uncle Cornelius Kok ii at Campbell, who still had the family staff. 

Adam Kok iii moved across the Drakensberg mountains to No-man's- land, later called Griqualand East. Here he died under mysterious circumstances and the colonial government of the day said it was an accident.
Adam Eta Kok son of Adam Aap, was the provincial Kapityn (called onder Kapityn). At the funeral of the late Adam Kok iii, Adam Eta Kok said "take a good look, because here lay the last coloured King". When Adam Johannes "Muis Kok advocacy for the chieftancy, he was killed by the British Goverment, the Cape Colonial annexed Griqualand East. Magrieta (Magareth)Kok died the 10th May 1889.



The Kok followers are more than 50 000 in Griqualand west. Magrieta Kok died the 10th May 1889 alone without handing over the staff of Adam Kok iii to anyone, because Adam Eta Kok decline his provincial leadership, his son Adam Johannes “Muis” Kok contested the position but was killed. Van der Westhuizen became the provincial Kapityn. The leadership was never handed down to any other family.

The Kok families around the different provinces drafted some resolutions to effect in support to this. 




The territories which Cornelius Kok I declared as Griqualand West, were from Khies, Andriesfontein, Koning, Hebron, David’s grave, Ramah, Hope town up to Prieska.


The Kok dynasty had ruled this territory with assistance, which they called ‘’onder Kapityn’’( assistant Captain). This area was inhabited by the Griqua and Bergenaars since 1793 up to the annexation of Griqualand west to Cape colony in 1871.By 1878 the Griqua realized that the annexation resulted in the loss of their land. The Griqua were diempowered and they no longer could survive on hunting.

The Griqua who still held on their land were forcefully removed and had to seek refuge on the rich diamond fields of Griqualand West, the birth place of the Griqua.
The Griqua was then westernize, detribalized and assimilated, because of fragmentation on 31stOctober 1871. Niklaas (Nicholas) Waterboer requested for annexation in fear for Abraham Kok iii. Great Britain declared this territory (with its rich diamond deposits) as Crown Colony.  

The Griqua Nation great trek

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Destine | Reply 17.08.2017 14.46

Hi guys this is so interesting i have been trying to get information as my mother is a kok , and we would like to know more about our history

Isaac Smiles | Reply 28.12.2016 21.33

Can the descendants of King Adam Kok 1 get Griqualand West & East legally back from the government of the RSA in a land claim case ?

Rachel Moidart | Reply 12.11.2016 22.50

Does anyone have any information about Louisa Ludovica Israel? We are descended from Johannes Jacobus Abrahamse and Eva van de Caap and related to Louisa.

Ivan | Reply 08.07.2016 22.30

Ek is Ivan Kock my pa was Jan Kok. Hy het broers en susters byname van Niklaas Thys Roelof Jetro Cecila Katriena en Mietjie Kok gehad. Ons is van Calvinia.

victor hoogstander/hoogstaden | Reply 09.06.2016 14.26

my ma was Sara hoogstander

Edgar Phillips Truly Sabaim 29.09.2017 18.52

You know that Hoogstander is a !Gorana surname was first !Guri and was a desendent from the Great Chief !Gori who left Cape Town in 1713

Rachel | Reply 03.06.2016 14.03

Can anyone tell me how the Reijnarts and Abrahamse are connected to the Griqua tribe. I keep getting connections back to the Griqua while researching my family.

Rachel | Reply 21.01.2016 17.08

That's my grandfather, grandfather I am a kok to so it nice to know that information about my family histor and I am from Cape Town so our family spread far

Andre 18.05.2016 13.11

Nice to know we are related then because that my great grandfather

Nico | Reply 13.01.2016 17.55

i found this interesting. Never knew the history of the Adam Kok family

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20.05 | 15:46

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17.05 | 03:46

I am researching my Great Great Grandfather Missionary Christoph Andreas Sass who married an Orlam Kaaitjie Engelbrecht in Silver Fountain 1817. Any help please

17.05 | 03:33

I am doing research of my Great Great Grandfather Christoph Andreas Sass who was a missionary in Namaqualand from 1811 and moved to Captain Cornelius Kok's Kraa

15.05 | 14:16

Thanks Joe

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