"After Shah Abbas ousted the Portuguese from the island
of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf in 1622, Bandar Abbas
(Port of Abbas) became the center of the East India Company's trade.
But Later the Dutch East India Company received trade capitulations
from Shah Abbas. The Dutch soon gained supremacy in the European trade
with Iran, outdistancing British competitors."
Baladouni & Makepeace (1998)
describe how the British East India Company was trying to take the
place of the Armenians in the cloth/silk trade. Since the Armenians
were very influential in the Persian economy under Shah Abbas I, they
were presumably able to persuade the Shah to trust the Dutch, rather
than the British.
If the Dutch and the British were the two main European trading
powers in Iran, they would have been the Europeans who the merchants
of the Zohrab/Zorab/Manuk family there would have been most likely
to get to know. That perhaps explains why some Zorabs/Zohrabs/Manuks
ended up in the Dutch East Indies and British India.
Mackertich Zorabian moved to the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia)
in 1815, according to Hans Zorab.
The year 1815 marked the end of
the Napoleonic Wars, which are significant as far as Kevork
(George) Manuk(ian) Manuchariants was concerned. George
was extremely rich, had lent money to the Dutch government, and had
refused to help the British take over the Dutch East Indies during
the Napoleonic Wars, because of his friendship with the Dutch.
His wealth and good connections with the Dutch authorities probably
encouraged Mackertich to join him there (the Zohrabs/Zorabs/Manuks
seem to keep in contact with each
other). It seems likely that the first Zorab to move to
India was Manook Zorab a younger
brother of Mackertich.
Mackertich and Manook were possibly living in Persia at the time
of their move, but they could have moved from Holland. Wikipedia
Many Armenian merchants in Amsterdam went to Southeast Asia in
the 19th century to trade, and to set up factories and plantations,
establishing a community of Armenians in Java.
The Napoleonic Wars were also important to the Armenians in Amsterdam.
The Napoleonic wars put an end to the Armenian life in the Netherlands.
The city of Amsterdam was almost depopulated after its occupation
by the French.
Mackertich Zorabian (1791-1833)
was probably the Zorab who moved to the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia),
since the move took place in 1815, according to Hans
Zorab, and Mackertich was the adult male ancestor of Hans
Zorab who was alive at that time.
He was presumably living either in Persia or in Holland at the time
of his move. According to Hans, over more than a century his family
in the Dutch East Indies all had their education in the Netherlands
and then went back to the East Indies. Hans spent three years
in a Japanese
internment camp during World War II, and the family moved to the
Netherlands (to The Hague) after that war -- penniless, since the Indonesian
government had confiscated all their possessions. Hans
Zorab has had genetic testing done which confirms that the Zohrabs
and the Zorabs are one and the same family.
Mackertich Zorab, 1830-1901, son of Mackertich,
wrote one chapter in the book about the
Zohrab family, which chapter was a translation into Armenian of
the Persian "Shahnameh", by Firdausi, who is claimed to have
been a member of the Zohrab family. Martin was an early partner in the
firm Gaulstan & Co. (according to Wright
2003) and founded the firm, Zorab, Mesrope & Co. in Java, Dutch
East Indies (Indonesia).
Zorab, son of Martin, was a partner in the firm, Zorab, Mesrope
& Co. in Surabaya, Java, Dutch East Indies (Indonesia). He
and his wife Rose later went to live in London.
Zorab, 1809-1884, son of Mackertich, "has contributed to said work
(a book about the Zohrab family --
PDZ) in the field of Armenian songs," according to Zeller.
Zorab, 1841-1915, son of John Mackertich Zorab and grandon of Mackertich
Zorabian, "contributed to said book (a book
about the Zohrab family -- PDZ), but is also the author of several
Armenian and English literary works," according to Zeller.
He lived in Java, Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia).
The third Roman alphabet version of the Zohrab/Zorab family tree was
drawn up by Harold Zorab from material collected
over many years by his father, Judge Edgar Zorab,
who was born in the Dutch East Indies and died in the Netherlands.
(Click on the photographs to get an enlarged