My grandfather August Herlof Westra was born in Batavia, the capital of the Dutch East Indies (now the area of Kota in the city of Jakarta). He was send back to holland when he was 4 years old to be raised by his aunt. Unlike his father and grandfather August Herlof did  not return to the Dutch East Indies but stayed in Holland. He broke the chain.

His father Otto August Westra, his grandfather Augustus Hermanus Westra, his uncle Pieter Westra and 3 great uncles all lived in the Dutch East Indies for most of their lives. They worked for the dutch government between 1880 and 1930’s. Because they were all high ranked officers they lived in houses build for them by the government.

These houses were mapped. These maps can be found in various historic online databases like These historic maps can be compared with the current situation (google maps). This gave us valuable information about the historic addresses of our forefathers. You can see for yourself on this google map that I made.

On our trip we visited some of the addresses to see if there was anything left of their presence. One of the problems however is that a lot of the cities and town in which they lived are remote and far apart. The risk of taking the hassle of travelling to these destionations and finding nothing there is quite great. And, obviously,  the Westra family was not our only goal of our trip.

What we did find? Well, Augustus Hermannus Westra (Grandfather of August Herlof Westra) was resident in Medan around 1880. His house is still there.  Nicely renovated and housed by the standard charterted bank of Indonesia. Click the pictures below to view them in the image gallery.