The economic depression in later years prompted J.A. to seek his fortune in the Far East in 1788. He began his amazing journey from Usingen to Malacca in October 1788 and eventually arrived in November 1789. His original destination was Batavia (Jakarta) but his ship, the Doggerbank had to divert to Malacca due to widespread illness and bad weather conditions. In Malacca, he was employed by the Dutch East Indies Company (VOC) on 1 Jan 1790 as assistant in commercial works while studying bookkeeping and commerce. He was quick to assimulate himself into the Dutch Berger community and acquired useful patrons such as the Koek family. In 1793, J.A. married Catharina Koek in Malacca. Catharina (Catherine) was born in 1781 in Malacca, the daughter of Joost Koek and died on 24 Feb 1849 in Malacca. Although official records state that her mother was Catharina Wilhelmina De Roth, further research strongly suggests that she was the daughter of Joost Koeks second wife, Silviana de Graca. Catharina's memory is enshrined in a memorial tablet erected within Christ Church in Malacca. Over the next 17 years, J.A. and Catharina had 9 children many of whom were to would contribute to the history of Malacca and the region. The family resided at No. 111 Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock (Heeren Street) until it was sold in 1849, soon after the death of Catharina. The house changed hands twice before becoming the ancestral home of the renowned Tan family in 1875. Tun Dato Sir Tan Cheng Lock was born and lived there. In 1795 J.A. attained the position of bookkeeper. In 1796, J.A. became a member to Court of Judicature in Malacca and in 1808 was appointed President of the Orphan Chamber (The Weeskamer) and remained so until his death in 1815.