Graphic: back to Janssen IndexThe Janssen Family

by Judy Vorfeld, with credit to Shirley Bomke-Craddock and Joan and Dick Chalmers for the historical data

John and Rosine Janssen I never had the privilege of meeting the elder Janssens, John and Rosine, but when I married their grandson, Jack, in 1971, I began my Janssen journey. But first, some background

In 1881, German-born agriculturist Paul Isenberg befriended the adventurous former sea captain Heinrich Hackfeld. They formed what would become American Factors, and through numerous influential contacts, became highly successful businessmen. Around 1850 Hackfeld had settled in Hawaii, and soon became a business agent for sugar growers.

Hackfeld & Company had an office in Bremen, where all the people picked to go to the Sandwich Islands were checked, given passports, and put on a steamer. The Janssen and Weber families boarded the Ehrenfels on 28 February, 1883, and arrived at Koloa Landing 1 May 1883 and Nawiliwili Landing 2 May 1883. Ships records show a passenger list with 583 adults and 262 children headed for Maui, Hawaii, Oahu, and Kauai.

Johann (John) Friedrich Janssen, son of Johann Anton Gerhard Janssen, was born September 20, 1865 in Bremen, Germany. John died August 14, 1947 in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Georgine Justine Friederike Weber (also called Rosine Margaret) was born February 15, 1871 in Mariendrebber, Hannover, Prussia. Her father was Heinrich Eberhard Weber. The two married March 30, 1889 at Lihue Lutheran Church, Kauai. Rosine died December 8, 1945, in Honolulu. These wonderful, loving, nurturing people, who traveled over half the world with their families and later met and married, were the parents of six equally fantastic children:

  • Frieda Christine Margarete (born 09 June 1891), Koloa, Kauai, Territory of Hawaii
  • Wilhelm Frederich Heinrich (born 18 April 1895), Koloa, Kauai, Territory of Hawaii
  • Wilhelmine Susanne Johanne (born 15 June 1897), Koloa, Kauai, Territory of Hawaii
  • Alice Sophie Christine (born 28 December 1900), Koloa, Kauai, Territory of Hawaii
  • Henriette Dorothea Johanne (born 12 March 1903), Koloa, Kauai, Territory of Hawaii
  • John Frederick (born 18 September 1908), Kahuku, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii

There are stories galore from family members on subsequent pages, but basically once Rosine and John wed in 1889, they lived in Koloa, Kauai until 1907. The family moved to Kahuku, where John became the head luna. They lived in a large five-bedroom house with one bathroom and a two-holer privy in the back yard. Their large yard was always filled with the Janssen and Bomke children, visiting relatives, and numerous neighborhood children.

Pauline Bomke Ednie talks about her life with the Janssens: "The Webers had four children I knew about, Sophia, Rosina Weber Janssen, Fritz Weber, and Wilhelmina Weber Bomke (my mother). John and Rosine JanssenWhen my mother died, I was six and Margaret was two. We went to live with the Janssens at Kahuku. We were never adopted but were treated like Tante's and Uncle's own children. My parents, August and Wilhelmina Weber Bomke had four children, August, William, Pauline, and Margaret. Only Margaret and I have been very close to the Janssens, mainly because we grew up together."

About 1920, Douglas Baldwin replaced John at Kahuku, and he transferred to Waimanalo Plantation. The manager was George Chalmers. While still living at Waimanalo, the Janssens bought a home at 1298 15th Avenue in Kaimuki. Various family members rented it until John retired in 1932. The Janssens loved their Honolulu home, and while living there celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary (March 30, 1939). The celebration was hosted at the Vorfeld's Hale at 1539 Thurston Avenue.

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