Albert Willem Azon Jacometti (*1857) and
Henriette Elisabeth Wilhelmina van Hulstijn (*1865)

Albert was born in 1857 in Batavia. With his parents he lived at the "Koningsplein". His father was with a few brothers active in trade, they had established several companies. In 1864, all companies were resolved and the family had to sell the stately house on the Koningsplein. Albert must have continued school in Batavia.

After having completed his schools, he went to The Netherlands to study law at Leiden University.
There he presented his thesis on 3 Nov. 1880 on the topic "Several remarks about favour and receive" (see Bataviaasch Handelsblad 18801207). He now can use as title "Mr.", which in the Dutch system means "master of law".
Surprisingly, he is nominated as barrister at the High Court van Nederlandsch Indië in Batavia already in January 1881. He must have taken a ship immediately to return to Nederlandsch Indië early 1881. Did he take up his job right away?
In October, however, he seems to have left his job in Batavia and is nominated as barrister at the council of justice in Surabaya. But two weeks later, all is changed back (Batav. Hbld 18811129). Was there a mix-up in the Civil Department?

As of that time, there are regularly items in the newspaper about cases in Batavia in which Mr. A. W. Jacometti defends the accused. This and further information has been derived from newspapers (see clippings).

Henriette was born in Batavia in 1865. Her father just had become superintendant at the Nederlans-Indische Stoomboot Maatschappy (NISM), after several years of having been captain on the mail and passenger steamship Oenarang. He now organised shipping in the archipelago as well as to Europe. Henriette was the last of the children born.

Henriette's mother, Johanna Kroeger, is the daughter of an inland lady. Henriette had malayan looks with hair "zo zwart als mijn laars" (black as my boot, as was the saying of Jakob Poutsma, the brother of one of Henriette's daughters in law); she had "deep black hair and yellow teeth" (memories of grandson HNAJ).

In about 1870, a portrait of young Henriette was made. It is oil on wood (shown is only the central part). She stands on a chair, wears a white girls dress of a style apparently fitting for a daughter of a well-to-do family at that time. The background of the studio portrait is clearly tropical.

On the back of the wooden panel, her dauhter in law, Cornelia Poutsma, stuck a piece of paper telling who the girl on the painting is.

Albert and Henriette marry on 28-12-1882 in Batavia (Henriette is 17 years of age).   A description of the scene of their lives can be found in Batavia in the 19th century.

Albert buys a house at Kebon Sirie, previously owned by Mr. Filz. Later, the house is sold to his later companion, Mr. R.Tj. Mees. The photo is from 1893, when Mr Mees lives there. Albert and Henriette by then have moved on to the Koningsplein.

Children in Batavia: 14-11-1883 Albert Willem AJ, 1885 Henrietta Maria J, 04-09-1886 Johannes Josephus AJ, 17-11-1891 Hendrik Nicolaas AJ.

Notes on the children:
- Son Albert Willem has the same names as his father. He became engineer, publishing, a.o., about railways and irrigation in the Dutch Indies. He moved to The Netherlands in about 1920. He died 1965 in Den Haag.
- The name of the 2nd son, Johannes, has been found from his marriage document (see below at "The riddle of 1890-91"; marriage at 28-12-1914 in Bloemendaal, NL, with Johanna IJzerman, a concert singer; but they divorced before 1922); Johannes is named after his mothers mother; his profession at the marriage is given as "planter" = plantation owner. Later he lives at Goenoeng Bessar, on the planation Albert has invested in. He remarried in 1918 with Marianne van Dijk.
- The 3rd son, Hendrik, must have his first name from his uncle Henricus, the origin of the second name is unclear.
- Henrietta clearly is named after her mother and after her paternal grandmother. She married Jan Deenink, administrator, in The Netherlands.
All sons appear (with date and place of birth) in "", they did their military service in The Netherlands.
Daughter Henrietta Maria (normally called Ade) as well as son Hendrik had malayan traits (as is remembered by grandson HNAJ).

What did they experience in Batavia of the rumblings and earth tremors due to the volcano Krakatoa between May and August 1883? And especially, how did they react during the gigantic Krakatoa eruption of 27 August that year? Henriette was then over 6 months pregnant of her first child.

Albert Jacometti had diverse activities, not all related with his profession, as can be gleened from the over 50 newspaper clippings (AWJ 1880-1923).
In 1885, he participated in the founding of a new fire insurance company, that has two directors: Schröder, head agent of the NISM (the successor of Samuel van Hulstijn), and Teixeira de Matthos of Reiss & Co. There will be two managing directors, Mr. Albert W. Azon Jacometti and H. van Nierop (see Samarangs Handelsblad 18850222).
In 1886, he wins a prize at a shooting contest; numerous other prizes go to Mr. W.H. Jacometti, the 3 years younger cousin of Albert.
In 1887 he is mentioned as diacon of the Molenvliet Institute.
In that year it is also rumoured, that he will, with Mr. R.Tj. Mees, become the owner of the newspaper "Java Bode". But the rumour is rumoured to be not correct. Still, Albert and Mr. Mees will later have close control over the newspaper.

In 1887, Henriette's mother, Johanna Kroeger, sold real estate to Albert Jacometti and Mr. Mees.
Later that year, Henriette earned a price in a flower arranging contest (Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad 18871017).

The riddle of 1890-91 According to the Genealogy Jacometti in the internet, the 3rd child of Albert and Henriette, Hendrik, was born in September 1891. A newspaper clip tells that Mrs A.W. Jacometti with 3 children has booked on the "Sumatra" leaving on 22 November 1890 from Amsterdam to Batavia, and they will join the ship at Genua. Also, according to the Jacometti genealogy in the internet, the couple has 3 children, born in 1883, 1885, and September 1891. If this all is correct, then where was Albert during Nov.-Dec. 1890, to conceive the 3rd child? He is not on the list of passengers. And then: who were the 3 children on the trip? They had by then only 2 (according the Jacometti genealogy). Did perhaps a young cousin come along?
Some digging in the newspapers of Nederlandsch Indië answered these questions.
1. Albert and Henriette got another child, in 1886, a son (note that in the newspaper announcements at that time the name of children is not given); so the Jacometti genealogy is here incomplete.
2. The child born in 1891 (Hendrik) is not born 17-09-1891, but on 17-11-1891 (see adv birth, Batav. Courant); so the Jacometti genealogy has an error here.
3. The children on the voyage must have been Albert Willem, Henrietta Maria, and the son (whose name initially was unknown) Johannes.
With this new information all facts fit logically together!

In April 1889, "Jacometti with wife and 3 children" leave on a ship in the direction of Singapore. Are this Albert and Henriette? The family must have gone to The Netherlands. Albert is, in the meantime, back in Batavia, but leaves Batavia again April 1890. Henriette and children stayed there for a good part of 1890. The ship "Sumatra" is announced to leave Amsterdam in November 1890 destined for Batavia; Henriette with 3 children will come aboard in Genua (Italy) to go home. These children must have been Albert Willem, Henrietta Maria, and Johannes.
Why did Henriette with children board the ship in Genua? Had they been on a sightseeing tour through Europe? Or had they visited distant relatives in Vicosoprano, where grandfather Theodorus Jacometti was born?
Because Albert is not on the list of passengers of the "Sumatra", he must have returned to Batavia on an earlier ship. And Henriette must have become pregnant soon after arrival in Batavia. [These events became clear only after solving the "riddle of 1890-91"; see box.]

In March 1891, he takes stock in a company to exploit coal mines (Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad 18910318). His son in law is one of the directors. The total stock amounts to f 300.000, Albert invests f 3000.
In December 1891 (Batav.Handelsblad 18911205), the Nederlansch Indische Hypotheekbank is founded. One of the 7 directors (members of the "raad van commissarissen") is Mr. A.W. Jacometti. He is, however, not mentioned in advertisements after 1894.

In 1893, a large exhibition was organised to take place in Batavia in October-November. Albert is the secretary of the executive committee. This must have been a large project next to his official work. The exhibition has lots of activities. Ultimatly he presents, in a newspaper announcement, the financial outcome of the affair. There is a small surplus, which is to be distributed to organisations for the needy.
In 1895, the World Exhibition was in Amsterdam. Was the Batavia exhibition some preparation for that big one?

In May 1894, Albert's father A. Jacometti, who lived also at the Koningsplein, dies. Albert takes care of the settlement of the estate.

In 1897 he resigns from his function at the High Court in Batavia (see Java Bode 18970622).

To The Netherlands

What was the reason Albert and Henriette left Nederlandsch Indië (both having been born and bred there)? Did he sense that a crisis in the economy was looming (see Jong, p.349)? Did he get out "in time"? The non-european population had been growing in numbers and especially those depending on the activities of the dutch had become poorer. Social unrest was growing.

Thus the entire family moved to The Netherlands and lived in Amsterdam at the Heerengracht. At ground level there were offices, the living quarters were above [information from EvD]. But they soon moved to Bloemendaal, the scenic suburb of Haarlem at the foot of the dunes and with very good living conditions (see Jacometti house).

Albert kept an office in Amsterdam, with telephone: (the entry is from a directory of 1915).
Bloemendaal became the centre of their lives. They continued their eating habits from the Indies, lots of rice and eastern spices. All necessities from the Indies were well obtainable in The Netherlands. Son Johannes married (in 1914) in Bloemendaal, and son Hendrik would there meet his future wife Cornelia Poutsma, daughter in a family that in 1909 had bought the house close by (see location Jacometti house).

Soon after arrival in Amsterdam Albert is, in newspapers in the Dutch Indies of 1897 and 1898, mentioned as (indeed) "Mr. A.W. Jacometti in Amsterdam". He is involved in (at least) four companies. These are briefly described.
- One is to exploit cultures on Java, Goenoeng-Besser, of which he is the governing director, appointed for 15 years. Later, son Johannes will manage the plantation at Goenoeng Besser. For the life of a tea planter and in the Indies late 19th century see, e.g., Haasse (1992).
- The second is a gold exploiting company Oost Totok, established February 1897, during the later phase of the "gold rush" in the Dutch Indies (de Jong, p.323ff); he is one of the 2 governing directors. This company sought to obtain minerals on NE Celebes. It started with a capital of over 1 million, it set up the machinery, obtained revenues, needed more capital, but approaching 1920 it became clear the revenues were too small. For details see the Totok mine. The company was resolved in 1921. Did Albert withdraw in time? Or did also he loose money?
- The third is a rather general company, erected in 1899 (Locom. 18990116) in Amsterdam, the "Algemene Handel en Cultuurmaatschappij", that is devoted to advancement of the agricultural production companies as well as to trade in the widest sense. There are two members of the board, Mr. Th.A. Ruys (Albert's brother in law) and E.H. Winkelman; Mr. A. W. Jacometti at Amsterdam will represent the company in Europe.
- The fourth is the Java Tea Culture Company, established in 1910 in Amsterdam, a joint venture of several investors; Albert is one of the two directors. It comprises 3 plantations in the Preanger, near Bandoeng, and 4 plantations in Pasoeroean near Loemadjang (East Java).

By the turn of the century, numerous clubs to promote fitness sprang up in The Netherlands. They were sport clubs, but also clubs for shooting.
With his experience from Batavia, Albert must have joined (soon after arrival) one of the three shooting clubs in Bloemendaal, "Generaal Jouberty". Albert and Henriette took part, in 1910 or 1911, in a shooting contest of the club that celebrated its 10 years of existence. The shooting contest took place in the dunes. Two photos were taken, archived at (being part of the Noord Hollands Archief, archief gemeente Bloemendaal). Only the faces of Albert and Henriette are shown here. For enlarged portions of the original photos click on the portraits. The original photos can be seen in the clippings.
Inspecting the photo where Henriette is present, it becomes clear that Albert was shorter than Henriette. And Henriette must have been a quite conspicuous lady!

At some point, Albert and Henriette moved to Bloemendaal, to the "De Genestetweg", near the dunes. There son Hendrik met his future wife, Cornelia Poutsma (see Bloemendaal house).

In 1911, Albert was in Batavia. This must have been a business visit.

Albert stays engaged in investment. Between 1914 and 1923 there are regular announcements of pay-outs of the "Hollandsche Grondkredietbank" (Dutch land credit bank). He is one of the directors (see Utrechts Nieuwsblad: 19140506).

Road from Buitenzorg to the Preanger; ca 1870; from Tropenmuseum.

In October 1919, Albert and Henriette left Amsterdam for a trip to Nederlandsch Indië. Did they go to visit their son Johannes and wife Marianne van Dijk? Marianne would soon give birth to her first child, in May 1920. Johannes, as "planter", lived in Goenoeng Besser, Soekaboemi, Preanger, on the plantation Albert had invested in.
It is unlikely that Albert travelled to the Indies again after this trip.

Albert died in 1927 in Bloemendaal. He was cremated on 15-11-1927 at Westerveld-Driehuis.
  To the newspaper clippings and the Bloemendaal house.

Henriette continued to live in Bloemendaal. Grandson Henkie Jacometti remembers, that she regularly ate ginger and had lots of the green stoneware pots the ginger came in.
Later she moved to a high-class elderly home in Bloemendaal [info EvD]. She died in 1952 and was cremated on 05-12-1952 at Velsen.

Back to the genealogy of AJHvH.

Most of the information on Albert and Henriette has been pieced together from the newspapers in the Dutch Indies and The Netherlands as well as from other sources available in the internet. EvD, great granddaughter, contributed valuable information.

EvD = Evelien van Ditmarsch, 2013-2014, private communication.
de Jong, J.J.P. 1998, "De Waaier van het Fortuin - De Nederlanders in Azië en de Indonesiche Archipel", Sdu uitgevers, ISBN 90-12-08974-3.
Haasse, H., 1992. "Heren van de Thee", Querido.
The clippings from newspapers in the Dutch Indies have been obtained through the database at Disclaimer: If someone other than the heirs would have the rights to the reproduced familynews, civil announcements and advertisements, I call on those to contact me.

(2014.07.12; 2017.01.23)   hn21m.html