Preface

When Uncle Antoine died in 1979, I inherited an old suitcase full of letters, documents, birth certificates, wills etc.

He had inherited these files from his grandmother, Anna Woerishoffer, who died in Bad Ragaz in 1931, and probably never inspected the contents.

This website is a disorderly compilation of what was in the suitcase and much more.

 

Family

The beginning of our family’s “modern” era began when Jakob Uhl and his wife Anna (born Behr) first set foot in Manhattan around 1836.  It was the start of an adventure that took the family from poverty to the pinnacle of power.

It was truly the American Dream. How it later unfolded is another story.

When I grew up, family history was never discussed and all I knew was that the family fortune came from the New-Yorker Staats-Zeitung a German-American newspaper.

That was not quite true. Although Anna and Jacob Uhl had bought the Staats-Zeitung in 1845, it would never be part of our inheritance. Ownership went mostly to Edward Uhl, an elder brother of my great grandmother AW and his other sisters (but not to Anna who was married to Charles F. Woerishoffer).

Our good fortune came about when CFW, who also immigrated to the United States at a very early age, worked his way to become one of the greatest investors on Wall Street (Chapter XL, Fifty Years in Wall Street by Henry Clews).

CFW died in 1885, aged 43, leaving behind a widow, two young daughters, (Antoinette and her younger sister Emma Carola) and a colossal fortune.  Both girls chose different lifestyles, and both their lives ended in tragedy when they were still young.

 

The family history is best understood by opening Timeline which gives a clear picture of who was alive and when. It also explains why certain events directed the course of our family history:

  • The untimely death of Charles F. Woerishoffer,

  • Carlo Seilern’s marriage to Antoinette Woerishoffer at a time when there was no dominant figure to control a situation which quickly got out of hand.

  • Antoinette Seilern’s death giving birth to Uncle Antoine in 1901.

 

All this is well documented, but more easily understood when consulting Timeline.

The purpose of this website is to share the information I have been able to put together, starting with Uncle Antoine’s suitcase and followed by research using the tools we have at our disposal today.

 

VIPs offers insight into the distinguished lives of certain family members such as Emma Carola Woerishoffer and Uncle Antoine, one of the 20th century’s most respected art historians.

 A few scoundrels have also been included.

 

prefaceMJS Foundation in remembrance of my late mother. The beneficiairies are her direct descendants and the purpose is three-fold:

  • Help young adults get started by financing their tertiairy education (bachelor, master, PhD),

  • Assist older family members with little recourse in times of need (distress, illness, precariousness, etc.).

  • Get family members to better know one another.

 

The MJS Foundation is a work in progress.

 

Under Publications are chapters transcribed from “Some Seilern Memoires” a book written by my father’s only first cousin, Jossleyn Hennessy, which covers family history from Johann Friedrich Seilern (1645 – 1715) to Hugo Seilern (1840 – 1886). It is probably the only such book available.

Selected items from “The Amazing Marriage”, another book by Jossleyn Hennessy can also be found under Publications.

Finally, the sorry and as of yet unresolved disappearance of my cousin  Philippa Seilern’s estate.  Although I spent over three years investigating the matter and collected valuable information, I was unable to penetrate Liechtenstein foundation laws which prevent any form of outside oversight. It will probably take a further couple of years before finding out what really happened.

  

Family” and “MJS Foundation” chapters require a username and password.
Persons directly related to MJS can apply through "Contact"

  

This website may contain a number of factual errors  -  mostly in Trees & Charts which have not been regularly updated.  Mistakes should be communicated through “Contact”. Many thanks. 

 

Note.The home page shows a painting of Kitzbühel by Alfons Walde (1891 – 1951) and was painted from practically the same spot where Haus Seilern now stands.

 

PS36