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Elizabeth Bester (Beiträge anzeigen)
Veröffentlicht: 03 Aug 1999 12:00 GMT
Klassifizierung: Abfrage
Nachnamen: Bester
I'm currently doing my family tree and have got back far enough to know there were Bester's in Magdeburg. If you have any information please contact me.

Bester research

B.F.A. (Andre) bester (Beiträge anzeigen)
Veröffentlicht: 17 Dez 2000 12:00 GMT
Klassifizierung: Abfrage
Nachnamen: Bester
The ancestor of the Bester family in SouthAfrica came from Magdeburg to SouthAfrica in 1712. I found the following re the Besters of Magdeburg:
Heinrich Bester nailsmith 1661-1664(Mormon Records 1197376)
Peter Heinrich Bester,sodier Prinz Carl Regiment, baptized children at St.Johanneskirche 1684-1690(Arbeidsgemeinschaft Genealogie,Magdeburg)
Andries Bester born MagdeburgStadt,1705(IGI-N0098, German Surnames,1992,p44762).
Michiel Bester born Magdeburg Stadt 1717(IGI-N0098, German Surnames, 1992, p44879).
Children Heinrich Jacob Bester and Johann Christoph Bester baptized in 1734-1735 at St.Ulrichsgemeinde,Magdeburg.Their father:Jacob Bester, Citizen,Labourer(Arbeidsgemeinschaft Genealogie, Magdeburg)

Andre Bester Box 145115 Bracken Gardens 145115 South Africa.

Bester research

B.F.A. (Andre) Bester (Beiträge anzeigen)
Veröffentlicht: 17 Dez 2000 12:00 GMT
Klassifizierung: Abfrage
Nachnamen: Bester
The ancestor of the Bester family in SouthAfrica came from Magdeburg to SouthAfrica in 1712. I found the following re the Besters of Magdeburg:
Heinrich Bester nailsmith 1661-1664(Mormon Records 1197376)
Peter Heinrich Bester,soldier Prinz Carl Regiment, baptized children at St.Johanneskirche 1684-1690(Arbeidsgemeinschaft Genealogie,Magdeburg)
Andries Bester born MagdeburgStadt,1705(IGI-N0098, German Surnames,1992,p44762).
Michiel Bester born Magdeburg Stadt 1717(IGI-N0098, German Surnames, 1992, p44879).
Children Heinrich Jacob Bester and Johann Christoph Bester baptized in 1734-1735 at St.Ulrichsgemeinde,Magdeburg.Their father:Jacob Bester, Citizen,Labourer(Arbeidsgemeinschaft Genealogie, Magdeburg)

Andre Bester Box 145115 Bracken Gardens 145115 South Africa.

Arcives search: Andries Bester

B.F.A. (Andre) Bester (Beiträge anzeigen)
Veröffentlicht: 18 Dez 2000 12:00 GMT
Klassifizierung: Abfrage
Nachnamen: Bester
SEARCHING FOR THE FOOTPRINTS OF ANDREAS BESTER.

Andreas/ Andries Bester was the ancestor of the Bester family in South Africa, and arrived in 1712 at the Cape on the Dutch East Indiaman Beverwijk.

In my composition of a genealogical record of my part of the Bester family, I noted the fact that very few work have been done about the Bester – family of South Africa. After a while I started to ask myself the question why our ancestor left his land of birth. When I inquired about research into the origins of Andreas Bester in Germany, I came up against a lot of answers that advised me not even to try something like this. The reasons that were given to me, was that German surnames became established at a late stage, that German archival records are scattered over a lot of archives, and that a lot of information was destroyed in the numerous wars that was waged in Germany. I decided that I shall accept this as an answer when I discovered that there are no records where Andries’s records are supposed to be.

I started my search at the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints in Johannesburg. Because Andries Bester came to the Cape in 1712, and died in 1752, I deducted that he must have been about 18 – 20 years of age when he came here. For that reason I guessed that he must have been born between 1680 and 1695. I studied the citizens records of Magdeburg of 1632 – 1670, and 1693 – 1765. I also studied the the register of house owners of 1631 - 1720, but could found nothing of significance. I could not trace any Bester in that records.

I ordered it on 22 May, 1996 and looked at the following:
1. Citizens & Residents of Magdeburg: Nataldification & Citizenship. (1197355)
2. Parish Register of Baptisms, Marriages for Magdeburg, Germany. (1271492)
3. Parish Registers of Baptisms, Marriages for Magdeburg. (1418023)
4. Eine arts und Familiegeschichte. (1181508)
5. Hauserbuch die stadt Magdeburg (0491105)

With the help of Ellie Harrison (Genealogical society of South Africa) I made contact with Mr. Gunther Knorr, a German immigrant that came to South Africa in 1952. He helped me by advising me to write a letter to the the City Arcives of Magdeburg. They studied the above mentioned documents, as well as the register for marriages and lists of residents at that time, but could not help me. They referred my letter to the Genealogical Study Group at Magdeburg.

The Genealogical study group helped me by finding the following information:
In the Register of Baptisms of the Church St. Johannis they found the following inscriptions: (the register consisted of the names of fathers, but no records of mothers, the sex or the names of children.)
Father: Peter Heinrich Bester
 St. Johannis, baptized on 21 Feb. 1684, from here, soldier
 St. Johannis, baptized on 22 Apr. 1685, from here, soldier
 St. Johannis, baptized on 15 Aug 1686, from here, NCO (gefreyter)
 St. Ulrich, Baptized on 18 Aug 1690, Twins Otto Lorenz and Christina Maria.
Father: local, Corporal, Prinz Carl Regiment.
They could not find an Andreas Bester.

The next step that I took was to write to the Dutch archives at The Hague. They sent me valuable information about the Beverwyk, the ship on which Bester travelled to the Cape, the journey, as well as the dates concerning the journey. The ship departed on the 5th of June, 1712 out of Texel, on its way to Batavia. Aboard was the captain, Hessel Pruis, 147 sailors, 81 soldiers and 6 passengers. After a journey of four months the ship arrived at the Cape on October 2nd, 1712. After six weeks, on November 14th, it departed to Batavia, where it arrived on February 10, 1713. Amongst the soldiers was “Andries Bester from Maagdenburg”. Seventeen people died aboard during the yourney.

Bester left the ship at the Cape on November 5th, 1712. He received a pay of 45 Gulden, an amount calculated at 9 Gulden per month. He stayed at the Cape, became a Free Burgher (Cape colonist to receive a charter) on February 4th, 1721. He died on 30 October, 1752.

The Archives at The Hague gave me valuable information. I retraced the tracks of Andreas Bester from the Cape to Texel, in The Netherlands. But still I did not know who was his next of kin, or where he stayed in Magdeburg.

I took the next step after I found the book of Angus Baxter:”In search of your European roots” (Baltimore, 1986). I decided to write to the Zentralstelle fur Genealogie in Leipzig. (Baxter p. 138) They could not help me. At this stage I decided that I had to make something about Peter Heinrich Bester, the soldier from Magdeburg. According to Baxter (p. 116, 140) all military records of Brandenburg are at the State Archives at Vienna, Austria. I wrote to them, as well as to the State Archives in Potsdam, Berlin, in an effort to find military records of that time, and also possibly something about Besters that stayed in that area in that time. The State Archives at Vienna could not help me, but referred me to the Brandenburg "Landeshauptarchiv" in Berlin, and the “Landesarchiv Magdeburg”. The archives in Berlin have military records only since the 1800’s, and could not help me.

The Brandenburg “Landeshauptarchiv” referred me to the “Evangelische Zentralarchiv”, Berlin. The Magdeburg “Landesarchiv” referred me to the Bundesarchiv, Freiburg. I went for a second visit to Mr. Knorr, and he advised me to write to the magazine Degener & Co. It seems that Peter Heinrich Bester as soldier in the Prinz Carl Regiment went to Magdeburg when Brandenburg troops was moved into Magdeburg in 1680. Andreas was most probably one of the children baptized between 1684 and 1686. The Besters was therefore not citizens of Magdeburg. Degener Verlag published my enquery during October, 1997.

The Evangelisches Zentralarchiv referred my letter to the Geheimes Staatsarchiv in Berlin. They replied by stating that they did already replied to my enquery, but referred me to the Genealogical Society of Utah (13). The answer from Utah gave me no information about a Bester from about the Year 1700. They made mention about a Johann Andreas Bester, a NCO, that married a Christine Boehnke on Augustus the 8th, 1787 at Neustettin.

In the meantime I made contact with Alice Wilke, an Australian doing research on the Besters of Brandenburg, because some of their offspring emigrated to Australia. They were from a town Grumsin, near Angermunde. Their ancestor was Joachim Friedrich Bester, whose daughters moved to Queensland, Australia in 1864 and 1884. Wilhelmina and husband Carel Rehfeldt went to Australia in 1864, and Marie Louise and husband Johann Wilke went in 1884. The name Joachim Friedrich and the name Joachim Paulus in S.A. sounds much the same, but any relatedness have to be proven.

Alice had the idea that the Besters was the offspring of Huguenots that moved to Brandenburg. It made me to go back to the records of the Church of the Latter Day Saints. I had a look at the Huguenot church and marriage registers from Magdeburg.
I ordered the following and looked through it:
Magdeburg: Heirats Proklamationen 1656 – 1683. (1197360)
I could not get any information.

I also ordered a book by Verein on the Huguenots of Magdeburg, “ Geschichtsblatter des Deutschen Hugenotten”, but positively found no Besters in the index. She enquered at the Franzosische Kirche at Berlin. Both of us failed to prove her hypothesis. The American “Historical Research Center” deny her claim, and state the fact that “Bester” is one of the oldest German surnames, known since the 12th century.

I went back to Mr. Knorr. Neustettin and Angermunde were villages Northeast of Berlin. It looks as if the Besters originated in this area, because of the impression that it was rural people that came from this area. We wrote a letter to the “Forscungstelle Pommern der AGOFF” with the hope to find further information about the Besters and the Prinz Carl Regiment. I received an answer from them, with the information that the “Grenadier Regiment Prinz Carl of Prussia (Second Brandenburg Regiment) Nr. 12 had been stationed at Frankfurt on the Oder. This regiment was a regiment out of the time of the Napoleontic wars, and had no relevance to my research. They gave information about Besters in their sources (Sedina – Archive, Hamburg), amongst other a Jochim Bestert that was godfather to the baptism of a child of a Jochim Poppelow en Emerentia Blocks in the St. Jakobi- Church at Stettin on 14 December 1628. Further references was to an Andreas Bester (1666 – 1688), an accountant at the village of Belgard.

The references mentioned above (Neustettin, Angermunde, Stettin, Belgard) created the impression that the Besters came from the area Northeast of Berlin, most probably Pomerania. If we consider the theory of Hans Bahlow, it looks logical that the Besters migrated from that areas. Bahlow (Dictionary of German Names, Max Kade Institute), stated that the surname Bester had its origin as a topographic name of people that lived at the river Beste, a tributary of the Trave, that flows into the sea at Lubeck.

In the meantime I found the German Telephone directory on the internet. An great amount of Besters were listed: 212 in Germany, among them 10 with the name Michiel/Michael, and 30 Besters in Berlin. Among them is an Andreas Bester residing in Berlin. The surname Besten has 115 listings in Germany, and the surname Bestert 27. 200 listings of the surname Bester can be found on people finder in the USA.

I found the Max Kade Institute on Internet and wrote to them. My object was to find information about Besters in the USA, as well as possible information about Besters in Pommern or Germany. (15)

I decided to take a chance, and wrote letters dated 20 Aug. 1998 to the Besters listed in Berlin (17), and to all the listed Michiel Besters (5). The letter addressed to Andreas Bester came back: return to sender, address unknown. I received a reply from one Charlotte Bester(16), the widow of Wilhelm Bester. He was born on 16 Nov. 1913 in Naulin, Pommern. His father was Karl Bester, born 25 Oct 1877 in Mellentin, Pommern.

In the meantime I found the German Telephone directory on the internet. An great amount of Besters were listed: 212 in Germany, among them 10 with the name Michiel/Michael, and 30 Besters in Berlin. Among them is an Andreas Bester residing in Berlin. The surname Besten has 115 listings in Germany, and the surname Bestert 27. 200 listings of the surname Bester can be found on people finder in the USA.

I decided to take a chance, and wrote letters dated 20 Aug. 1998 to the Besters listed in Berlin (17), and to all the listed Michiel Besters (5). The letter addressed to Andreas Bester came back: return to sender, address unknown. I received a reply from one Charlotte Bester, the widow of Wilhelm Bester. He was born on 16 Nov. 1913 in Naulin, Pommern. His father was Karl Bester, born 25 Oct 1877 in Mellentin, Pommern.

I found the Max Kade Institute on Internet and wrote to them. My object was to find information about Besters in the USA, as well as possible information about Besters in Pommern or Germany. (15) They could not help me any further.

Mr. Knorr advised me to try to get information on the Besters of Magdeburg by following the tracks of Michiel Bester, that came to the Cape in 1740. We made the hypothesis that he might have been a cousin of Andries Bester. I sent a second letter on 20 January 1999 to this regard to the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Genealogie at Magdeburg. They answered that they could get no reference to a Michiel Bester from the church records that survived the Second World War. As far as besters are concerned, they found the following information: St. Ulrichsgemeinde baptisms:
# Heinrich Jacob Bester, * 05. 05. 1734, father: Jacob Bester, citizen, labourer.
# Johann Christoph Bester, * 15. 06. 1735, Father: Jacob Bester, citizen, labourer.

It was during July 1999 that I came across the following information on the International Genealogical Index: Andries Bester born 1705 Magdeburg Stadt, and Michiel Bester born 1717 Magdeburg Stadt. I ordered the microfilm rols :”Eroberungs noch lebende (1632) and Parat wohnende leute (1706 – 1722)” (ref. 1197376). They sent me a list of qualified tradesmen out of the 17th and 18th century, as well as the apprentices that were trained by them. Among the nagelscmiede (nail smiths) were a Heinrich Bester, whose name were mentioned next to the dates 1661 and 1664.

It is clear that I came to the end of my search as far as archives are concerned. The two archives of the greatest importance in my search, the archive in Magdeburg and the archive in Berlin, were destroyed during the Second World War.

But I still have hope that someone might have pre- World War II research results on a shelf, or in a personal library somewhere. Or that records of the migration of Besters to or from Magdeburg might be available somewhere. If anyone can help me with this, I shall appreciate it very much.
Adresses of archives, and dates of correspondence.
N= date of enquiry A = date of answer

1. Stadtarchiv Magdeburg N: Jul 1996, A: 20 Aug 1996
2. Arbeidsgemeinschaft Genealogie, Magdeburg N: 9 Sept 1996, A: 23 Okt 1996.
3. Algemene Ryksargief, Den Haag N: 2 Nov 1996, A: 10 Jan 1997
4. Zentralstelle fur Genealogie, Leipzig N: 10 Jan 1997, A: 11 Mrt 1997
5. Staatsarchiv, Vien N: 28 Feb 1997, A: 14 Mrt 1997
6. Staatsarciv, Potsdam, Berlyn N: 28 Feb 1997, A: 18 Mrt 1997
7. Brandenburgisches Landeshauptarchiv N: 1 Apr 1997, A: 7 Mei 1997
8. Landesarchiv Magdeburg N: 1 Apr 1997, A: 16 Apr 1997
9. Evangelisches Zentralarchiv, Berlyn N: 1 Jul 1997
10. Bundesarchiv, Freiburg N: 1 Jul 1997
11. Verlag, Degener & Co N: 1Jul 1997
12. Franzosische Kirche Zu Berlin (Hugenottenkirche). A: 4 Apr 1997
13. Genealogical Society of Utah, 50 East North Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84510, U.S.A. N: 6 November 1997.
14. Forschungstelle Pommern der AGOFF, Leiter: Elmar Brun, Lohkamp 13, D-22117 Hamburg, Deutchland. N: 20 Feb 1998, A: 19 Jul 1998.
15. Max Kade Institute, Dept. Genealogy, 901 University Bay drive, Madison, WI 53705, USA. N: 4 Sept 1998, A: 17 Oktober 1998.

Re: Arcives search: Andries Bester

Veröffentlicht: 07 Jun 2011 14:35 GMT
Klassifizierung: Abfrage
My forefather is also Andries (Andreas) Bester from Magdeburg...arrived in the Cape 1700's. I would be interested to hear from you. Sue

Re: Arcives search: Andries Bester

Veröffentlicht: 05 Aug 2012 15:01 GMT
Klassifizierung: Abfrage
Nachnamen: BESTER
What an interesting chain of comments!

I find researching SA ancestors really difficult. There are some extremely comprehensive family trees on the internet, with every child of every generation listed, as well as their spouses and children (for example the Potgieter line) and then there are others that aren't quite as detailed and these are usually the families I am interested in.

My great-grandmother, Catharina Elizabeth, was a Bester, born in 1890 to Christoffel Hermanus Stephanus Bester and Rachel Catharina Potgieter. Although I can travel back along her father's line to Andreas / Andries Bester who arrived in SA in the 1700's, I can't find info on her siblings and that is the information I am looking for.

Does anyone know if there is a family tree somewhere on the internet which would have Christoffel H S Bester's children on it? I'd appreciate hearing about it.

Kind regards,
Sheri F.

Re: Arcives search: Andries Bester

Veröffentlicht: 06 Aug 2012 07:22 GMT
Klassifizierung: Abfrage
As I was born in Magdeburg myself and did research there a lot, I can give you the address of the Stadtarchiv. They will be able to provide the siblings' birth records.Church records before 1876 will be available in another archive.
I am in touch with a local genealogist as I live too far away. He often helps me with records in the area. Please get in touch over member connect and I will give you links and addresses.

Gaby (Germany)
Veröffentlicht: 24 Jul 2013 18:42 GMT
Klassifizierung: Abfrage
I noticed that a search for my uncle's name, who was Ralph Walter Spaans returned a couple of links to items that you posted. Unfortunately for me they are listed as private. My mom was Ralph's sister Madelyne Louise Spaans. I'm wondering if you wouldn't mind sharing the pictures you posted. Also I wonder if you are any relationship to Padda Spaans. Regards, Karin Anne Johnson Palm Harbor, Florida
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