maandag 7 januari 2008

The Pesch Family

Background information and dates (The names of the lineal descendants, the DNA-line, is printed in red as well as the year of birth and death)

Batavia, October 1, 1933
Jhr. Mr. P.R. Feith, a lawyer/solicitor at the High Court of Dutch East India, formerly mayor of Batavia and Mr. P.C. Bloys van Treslong Prins, land archivist and lawyer in Batavia completed the genealogy of the famous landlord of the Campea estates, Willem Vincent Helvetius van Riemsdijk and his descendants. We learn from this genealogy that Willem Vincent was the son of Jeremias van Riemsdijk, who was Governor General or Vice Roy of the Dutch East Indies from December 28, 1775 till his death on October 3, 1777. The genealogy starts the history of the family van Riemsdijk with the Vice Roy’s parents.

The Vice Roy’s father was named Scipio van Riemsdijk, born December 27, 1671, died in Utrecht on September 8, 1737. He was a vicar in Bunnik (near Utrecht) and was married to Johanna Bogaert, born in Utrecht, February 1680, died November 15, 1761. Their son, Jeremias van Riemsdijk (born Utrecht October 18, 1712, died in Batavia, October 3, 1777), departed February 25, 1735 from Holland to Batavia in the service of the VOC with the ship named ‘Troostwijk’. He arrived there pennyless September 24, 1735.

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The harbour of Batavia about 1760, twenty five years after the arrival of Jeremias.

The crown on his career was the moment when he was chosen with unanimous votes to Vice Roy of the Dutch East Indies in December 18, 1775. November 23, 1772 the value of his possessions was 240.000 Rijksdaalders (nowadays amount to millions of dollars, see page 3 from the genealogy). Jeremias married five times. All his wives were Dutch from origin. He produced a total of 16 children. Only four children reached the aged of 21! His fourth wife was Adriana Louisa Helvetius (born Batavia, January 19, 1736, died November 23, 1772), They married May 2, 1751. The bride was 15 years old!

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Familyarms of Jeremias van Riemsdijk

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Jeremias van Riemsdijk when he was young. The handwriting below the picture is of the late Freddy Johan Pesch, the grandfather of Raul, Joeri and Quint Pesch.

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Jeremias van Riemsdijk, the Vice Roy or in dutch 'Gouverneur-Generaal'. According to what we see on the painting, he suffered from a stroke. We found the painting in the archives of the museum Sejarah in Jakarta in the record-office.

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1740 the innercourt of 'Het Kasteel' where Jeremias held residence from 1775 - 1777

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Inside 'Het Kasteel', the conference room. The woodcarved screen (front right) opposite the entrancedoor indicates that there is a meeting. The screen is now on exhibition in the museum Sejarah, in Dutch colonial times the townhall (het stadhuis).

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From this table and these chairs Indonesia was ruled nearly 200 years. The table and the chairs are now in the museum Sejarah (Jakarta).

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Before Jeremias was Vice Roy he lived alongside the 'Tijgersgracht'. This canal nowadays filled-up and a busy traffic-artery called Jalan Pos Kota. On this picture his carriage arrives home, a servant is waiting with a big parasol to give the master shade.

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The townhall (now called Museum Sejarah) stands in the middle. At the left side of this picture you see the "Tijgersgracht' where Jeremias lived with his family.

We now continue the genealogy with the second child of the marriage of Jeremias and Adriana Helvetius who was called Willem Vincent Helvetius van Riemsdijk, born in Batavia, November 23, 1752, died February 15, 1818. He was buried on graveyard Tanah Abang in cellar 22.

Willem Vincent was owner of the ships ‘Oost Indiën’, ‘De Goede Trouw’ and ‘Oost en West’ (1810) He also was the famous landlord of Tanah Abang. A part of Tanah Abang was later the public churchyard in Batavia. (Nowadays a small part of Tanah Abang is still the old Dutch cemetery, called ‘Taman Prasasti’) He possessed also Campea, Cibunbulan, Cibinong, Cimanggis, Papisangan, Tanjung Timur and Sadeng, all these estates situated near Bogor. Together these estates were far bigger than the province of Utrecht in the Netherlands. The amount of inhabitants on the estate were more than 100 000 persons, most of them obstinate Javanese natives. They frequently rebelled against the Dutch occupation. Reason for Government intervention to restore the peace.

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Familyarms of Willem Vincent Helvetius van Riemsdijk. The dragon of Jeremias van Riemsdijk (his father) combined with the unicorn of Adriana Helvetius (his mother).

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Page 3 of the genealogy.

Willem Vincent Helvetius married July 4, 1773 in Batavia with Catharina Margaretha Craan. His father Jeremias was a rich man (see picture above). Willem Vincent Helvetius became even richer. He was the richest man in Batavia. His income in 1777 was 453.000 Rijksdaalders, nowadays amount to millions of dollars), he lived like a Royal. His wife Catharina died August 9, 1792, two months after giving birth to a dead child.

In stead of having a new wife he preferred to have several mistresses. Most of them were good looking Indonesian non Christian women. Among the mistresses of Willem Vincent Helvetius was a non-Christian woman from Mandhar (Sulawesi). She was called by the name ‘Dekkan van Mandhar’, which means in Dutch ‘from the side of Mandhar’. Her real name we will never know. January 30, 1815 she gave in Batavia birth to a second son Wilhelmus Diederik Benjamins alias Willem Frederik. He is considered to be the youngest son of Willem Vincent Helvetius van Riemsdijk. He died in Bogor December 19, 1858. Wilhelmus Diederik Benjamins was landowner at Grogol, near Batavia. By government permission (September 25, 1836) he was allowed to carry the family name Benjamins.

He married (October 22, 1836) Frederica Wilhelmina Gertruida Kemper, born in Batavia October 1, 1821, died Batavia June 27, 1893. They had nine children. After 19 years of marriage the couple divorced. Their eight child, a daughter Albertina Jacoba Antoinetta Benjamins, was born in Grogol March 19, 1850. She married, August 29, 1868 to Gustaf Leopold Pesch (son of Marten Pesch, born 1793 in Aachen, Germany. He was landowner of Cilincing and married to Louise Frederika Cooning, born Batavia 1817).

Unfortunately Albertina, died in childbirth after giving birth to a dead child, July 23, 1884, only 34 years old. Gustaf Leopold, born Batavia, January 20, 1843, died in Bogor, September 16, 1903.
When Albertina Benjamins married Gustaf Leopold Pesch the name Pesch was introduced into the line of descendants of Van Riemsdijk.

Albertina and Gustaf had nine children, three of them died as infants. Their eighth child Willem Frederik Pesch was born in Batavia, March 25, 1881 and died in Sukabumi July 19, 1921. He married Emilie Celestine van Lingen, born in Batavia July 18, 1883, died The Hague, July 20, 1951. You see the young couple Willem Frederik Pesch and Emilie Celestine van Lingen on the picture below. They are the great-grandfather and mother of Raul, Joeri, Quint, Jillian, Debby, Sharon and Dana.


Below you see a family photo on which Willem Frederik was younger and not yet married.


Standing from the left to the right 1 Willem Frederik Pesch, 2 in the middle stands his brother-in-law Charles Toorop, 3 far right his youngest sister Albertine.

Sitting from the left to the right 1 his eldest sister Henriette, 2 a sister Eleonora, 3 an aunt with on her lap the youngest son of Henriette and Toorop, 4 in the middle the familyfather Gustaaf Leopold Pesch, 5 his brother Charles Henri, 6 the eldest son of Henriette and Toorop. Apart from the three young men dressed in city outfit, the rest of the family wears casual, cool around-the-house sarongskirts. (Photo 1899)

Willem Frederik and Emilie van Lingen had two children:

1 a son Freddy Johan and 2 a daughter Evi, born August 16, 1914, died Rijswijk (Holland), July 12, 2002. She married June 2, 1938 George Anthonie Johannes van Daalen. He was born Surabaja, December 19, 1913, died Rijswijk April 8, 2000.

1 Freddy Johan Pesch, born Batavia August 12, 1910, died in Naarden (Holland) August 17, 1986.

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The Hague, March 1950. Emily Pesch van Lingen, the mother of Freddy Johan and Evi Pesch on holiday in Holland.

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Freddy Johan Pesch, 1911. He won a price that year for being the most beautiful baby in Batavia. He is the grandfather of Raul, Joeri and Quint.

Branche Pesch - Siahaya

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Batavia, November 11, 1937. Freddy Johan Pesch married Theodora Frederika Siahaya.

Freddy Johan Pesch married Theodora Frederika Siahaya, born May 13, 1913 in Tandjong Pandan (Biliton). The couple has two sons and a daughter: 1 Donald Leslie, 2 Teddy and 3 Patricia Maureen.

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1940 Donald Leslie Pesch, first child of Freddy Johan Pesch and Theodora Siahaya

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Donald, Teddy, Maureen, the three children of Freddy Johan Pesch on European holiday in Holland (1955).

Used to servants they did not like the hard labour of rowing a boat.

Branche Pesch - van Thienen

1 Donald Leslie Pesch was born in Batavia, September 9, 1939. He married May 28, 1966 (Haarlem, Holland) with Ninotchka Elisabeth Suzanna van Thienen, born in Surabaya, May 22, 1941.

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Haarlem, May 28, 1966 Donald Leslie Pesch married to Ninotchka (Okka) van Thienen.

Donald Pesch and Okka van Thienen have two sons:

a) Raul Frederik Pesch, 'The Magnificent', born Beverwijk, January 27, 1971 and

b) Joeri Joseef Pesch, 'The Glorious', born Alkmaar, March 10, 1974.

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January 27, 1974, one and a half month before Joeri is born.

Left to the right grandpa Fred, grandma Do (Siahaya) Raul, Okka and grandma Willa.

Standing uncle Ted Pesch and aunt Marjan.

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Alkmaar, May 1974, Raul and Joeri, the two sons of Donald and Okka.

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Six and three years old.

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Four and seven years old.


May 2001, on this picture you see Raul,'The Magnificent' and at the rightside Joeri,'The Glorious' with their proud mother!


35 years married, May 2001.


January 1, 2003, 00.15 Raul and Hilde just announced their wedding in August 23, 2003.

August 23, 2003 was a happy and sunny day!




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Branche Pesch - Kneefel

The family history of Donald Pesch is pictured above. We now move on to the second son of Freddy Johan Pesch and Theodora Siahaya.

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Teddy Pesch on the left, his elder brother Donald on the right. (Paris, August, 1955)

The second son of Freddy Johan Pesch and Theodora Siahaya is:

2 Teddy Pesch, born June 14, 1942 in Bandung married to Marjan Kneefel, born May 13, 1941, Batavia The couple has one son: Quint Pesch, born 24 October 24, 1973, Alkmaar (Holland).


Haarlem, June 25, 1966 Teddy Pesch married to Marjan Kneefel

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Teddy Pesch and his son Quint, August 1980.

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August 1980. Two sisters in law. Left Marjan Kneefel, wife of Teddy Pesch and right Okka van Thienen, wife of Donald.


Teddy Pesch family: Marjan, Quint en Teddy, February 2000

Freddy Johan Pesch was deported by the Japanese to Birma in World War II. From 1941 till 1946 he suffered the horrors of slavework building the River Kwaibridge and the railway. After the bomb on Hiroshima he came home to Jakarta. He was a broken person inside and outside, but he found his wife and two sons sound and safe. The next year the family was rejoiced with the birth of a third child, a daughter:

3 Patricia Maureen Pesch, born February 5, 1947 in Batavia, married Arjan Krijgsman. The couple divorced. They had no children.

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Surabaja 1956, Patricia Maureen Pesch, daughter of Freddy Johan Pesch and Theodora Siahaya

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August, 1957. High in the mountains of Kintamani, Bali. Freddy Johan Pesch and his daughter Maureen.

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1957, Bali. The white spot on Maureens forehead are the ricegrains (to please the Gods, Balinese custom). The cocks in the baskets are meant for cock-fight.

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A recent picture of Maureen.

On the photo below you see all the direct descendants of Willem Frederik Pesch (1881 - 1921) and Emilie Celestine van Lingen (1883 - 1951).

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Paris, August 1955 gathered together during their European tour are the two grown-up children of Willem Frederik Pesch and Emilie van Lingen. Freddy Johan Pesch (the son) stands on the right side, the woman far left is Evi Pesch (the daughter). They are surrounded by the three children of Freddy Johan and the three children of Evi. Evi's husband and Freddy's wife are also present.

To know more about Evi Pesch (Freddy Johans Pesch sister) and her descendants you have to wait until the Evi van Daalen - Pesch family will update the genealogy of the Pesch family with their family history and branche Van Daalen - Pesch. You can then consult their website.


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The lineal descent of Pesch family-Van Riemsdijk ends here. Thanks to the genealogy (authors Feith and Blois van Treslong Prins) we can pass detailed information to the future generation. With luck the Pesch family genealogy will be a never ending story. In this summary we started December 27, 1671 in Utrecht. For the ones who want to make more inquiries, we recommend that the (church) registers of Utrecht can be useful for reference. From the summary we learn that the Pesch family is multicultural. Their heritage is both European (Dutch, German) and Asiatic (Indonesian). This remarkable mix of races and cultures created handsome, warmhearted, civilized persons who know how to enjoy life.

To honour the Indonesian heritage we will print the photograph of the Freddy Johan Pesch family in traditional costume here below.

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Bali, August 1957

And 41 years later Donald Pesch and his sons keep the same tradition.


August 1998, Yokjakarta, Imogiri, the sultans burial place, traditional costume obliged. Raul (Raden Mas) and Joeri (Raden Mas) pay a visit to the graves of their ancestors of mother's side.She is related to the Sultanate of Yokjakarta through her great grandmother Raden Ayu Sriwidji Mangoen Atmodjo. You find Donald and Willem in the middle of the picture.

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Jombang (East Java) 1937. A part of the Indonesian heritage is Raden Ayu Sriwidji Mangoen Atmodjo, the great great grandmother of Raul and Joeri Pesch from their mothers side, here standing in the garden of her daughter.

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