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   About the Sillem Family

H. Carl Wilhelm Sillem & Hans-Wolff Sillem (2002). Genealogie der Familie Sillem in Deutschland. Selbstverlag. 

In 2002, Hans-Wolff Sillem, author of the "Chronicle", also published a genealogy of the Sillem Family, titled "Genealogie der Familie Sillem in Deutschland". It lists all family members about whom documents of genealocigal interest exist from the XVIth century to the present. It includes the dates of their lives and numerous pictures.

genealogy was first compiled by Prof h.c. Dr. phil. H. Carl Wilhelm Sillem. He collected the family files up to 1913. H.-W. Sillem updated them up to 2002.

Hans-Wolff Sillem (2005). Die Sillems in Hamburg.

A chronicle, dedicated to all members of the Sillem family, is entitled "Die Sillems in Hamburg". It was written in German by Hans-Wolff Sillem who lives in Hamburg. He presents the story of one of the oldest families of his city with living descendants. It has 260 pages and lots of pictures. It can be purchased from

As the Sillems were "Erbgesessene" (hereditary owners) they enjoyed the privilege of sending a representative into the "Rat" (the Council, the city government). Only when a more democratic constitution was introduced in 1860, the old families lost this privilege, and consequently disappeared from the political stage in Hamburg. This marks also the ending of the Chronicle.

Up to the 19th century most Sillems lived in Hamburg. Then some of them left the Hanseatic City and founded new families in other countries in the world. As a consequence, the family branched out far beyond Europe. A chronicle of the Sillem Family that covers the development until the present day would require extensive research. From this year on now there is the opportunity for bearers of the name worldwide, to become acquainted with the history of their family and share their own family stories with the others through the web site

Agnes Sillem (1997). De reis om de wereld van Ernst Sillem 1888-1890.
Verlag van Soeren & Co, Amsterdam

Agnes Sillem is a granddaughter of Ernst Sillem (1864-1919) who spent his life in Amsterdam and was a partner in the bank of Hope & Co. The history of this once so successful bank is closely connected to the Sillem family. Before Ernst joint his father in the banking profession he set out on a trip around the world, combining business and adventure. On his way he visited numerous friends and customers of Hope & Co. Ernst cruised through the United Staates and Canda, visited many cities in Japan and China including Hong Kong, and travelled for six months in Dutch India (nowadays Indonesia). On his way back he travelled in India and made the passage through the Suez Canal. Ernst travelled for a year and a half, on steamships, on trains and on horseback. He left a travel diary which his granddaughter came across more than a hundred years later. She turned it into a book and published it in 1997.


  About various topics


Jürgen Sillem (Herausgeber) (2006). Die Glocken der Pfarrkirche St. Jakob zu Wildsteig. Kunstverlag Josef Fink, Lindenberg.
Jürgen Sillem tells the exciting story of the departure and return of three bells during WW II that had been a property of St. Jacob's church in Wildsteig, a village situated between Munich and Füssen. The Nazi Reich government had confiscated about 100.000 bells pretending to recast the melted bronze to produce cannons, tanks and other military equipment. In fact, at that time only steel was used to fabricate this kind of weapons. The Wildsteig bells were transported by rail to Hamburg harbour and stored there. While about 70.000 of all the bells were melted down the three Wildsteig bells survived the time in exile on the Hamburg "bell cemetery". To the absolute delight of the Wildsteig people they arrived at home after a journey on river boats after the end of the terrible war.

The book „Die Glocken der Pfarrkirche St. Jakob zu Wildsteig“ (The bells of the parish church of Wildsteig) is available through book sellers. It can also be ordered from the publisher „Kunstverlag Josef Fink“ in Lindenberg/Allg. (ISBN-No: 3-89870-323-1).


Jürgen Sillem. Glockenklang und Trachtenpracht. Kunstverlag Josef Fink, Lindenberg.

Two copiously illustrated books from the Bavarian place Wildsteig

The Wildsteig people are an industrious bunch. They like to work (and work well) and they like to party. What's now the meaning of the Wildsteig Way of Partying? And why are the Wildsteig fests so pleasant? The answer, given by an honorary member of the Wildsteig Traditional Costumes Association: „Mei, wenn alles zammhilft, no loft’s oh“Which is Bavarian and means something like "If everything fits, things will fall into place". And how come that everything fits? Careful handling of traditions, love of the place they call home, open-minded citizenship, development of a pronounced "we-feeling". All those virtues are gloriously evident from the pages of the two Wildsteig volumes. It is quite a pleasure to enter this Bavarian world, and the author has to be thanked for sharing his inner connectedness - although he is actually from the Palatinate region.

click on pictures to enlarge  

©  Copyright 2012  Martin Sillem  -  Last update: 11 November 2007