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Welcome, dear Member of the Sillem Family!


Sillem Coat of Arms

Have a look at your family logo first! It is the Sillem coat of arms. It shows three silver ears of corn against a blue backdrop. It is supposed to grant rich harvests. Jacob Selm the first inaugurated the coat of arms in 1583. And one of his descendants, mayor Garlieb Sillem, created a motto in the 18th century. It goes: spe melioris, and it means hope for better. For a better life? For an even better filled purse? Whatever may be behind this better - it is up to everybody to answer this question for themselves.

It is likely that all those who bear the name Sillem belong to our family. Thus they are members of one of the oldest family of senators (members of the city government) in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg with still existing descendants. Many of their forebears have had an impact on the fates of this major harbour city.
Their portraits - as mayors and councillors - hang on the walls in the city hall, and among the stone coats of arms that adorn the magnificent facade, is the Sillem family's. The earliest ancestors about whom documents exist lived in the XVIth century.

Up to the XIXth century most of the Sillems lived in Hamburg. Then some of them left home and founded branches in the Netherlands, England and Argentina. Others moved to France and Switzerland. In the United States and Canada there are more who bear the family name. In the XXth century, one Sillem moved to the south of Germany to establish another branch of the family. The youngest ones are now 14th generation Sillems.

What the SILLEM  FAMILY wants to convey

Acquaint you with the 500 years of history of your family
Offer a medium that provides access to members of the Sillem family living in other parts of the world
Share your life and the life of your family with other members of the Sillem family using this website. E. g. spreading news about weddings, births, deaths, about professional issues and the history of your branch of the family
The managers of the SILLEM FAMILY web site would appreciate contributions of texts and images.

The managers of the SILLEM FAMILY web site

Hans-Wolff Sillem
Creator of the Website


Martin Sillem
Ekkehart Sillem
Jörn Scheer

This Website was created by Hieronymus Hans-Wolff Sillem (1927-2010) who worked in public relations and design and lived in Hamburg.

It is now managed by his sons Martin Sillem ( and Wolff Ekkehart Sillem ( Martin Sillem  is director of a bank in Hamburg, Wolff Ekkehart Sillem,  having studied Sinology in Germany and China, now works in management in a company in Milano, Italy where he lives with his family.
The Website is maintained technically by Jörn Scheer, a friend of the family and a retired professor of Medical Psychology who also provides the English translations. 


Jeroen Sillem
Anthony Sillem
Gabriel Sillem

Jeroen Sillem in the Netherlands (jeroenfs@kpnmail.nlliaises with his family members and is a water sports enthusiast. Jeroen, Caroline, Agnes und Luzita Sillem have provided the Dutch translations for the Sillem Family Website.
Anthony John Sillem ( takes care of the British branch of the family. He is an antíquarian bookseller in Hastings.

Gabriel Sillem ( is also a supporter of our website and translates the texts into Spanish. He works in the area of food quality and safety and lives close to Buenos Aires. 

How to become a member of SILLEM  FAMILY

As members will be accepted: Bearers of the name Sillem and their spouses, as well as their sons and daughters. If you belong to one of these categories we would appreciate if you would answer a few questions ussing the attached form (WORD file).

Please send the form as an email attachment to
or by mail to:
Martin Sillem
Klosterallee 80
D- 20144 Hamburg

As a future member of SILLEM FAMILY you will receive a password to access the "members only" section of the SILLEM FAMILY Web site.


How to "navigate" the SILLEM FAMILY Website
You opened the Start Page via mouse click and arrived on this Welcome Page! All the arrows you encounter when surfing on this site can be clicked on and will lead to more detailed information. The same is true for national flags: they lead to the respective page in another language. And when clicking on pictures you will see them in enlarged format.

At the top of this welcome page you can see a blue banner with items referring to the various sections of our website. These words are underlined which indicates that by clicking on them you will discover more detailed information.

These underlined terms are called links because they connect the various pages of the website. The underlined links appearing within the text also lead to more information when you click on them. Some of them link to pages outside our website that provide supplementary information to our articles (e. g. in the online encyclopaedia "Wikipedia" and by means of the search engine "Google").

You will also encounter underlined email addresses: When you click on them most likely your email programme (e. g. "Outlook") will start and provide a form that you can use to write a message on the spot...

This Website comprises the following sections:
  • History:  Extracts from the Sillem family's history from the XVIth century on.
  • Publications: Books about the Sillem family and on other subjects, written by Sillem family members. 
  • Family Stories:  Miscellaneous things of interest connected in some way or the other to the name Sillem and to Sillem family members. 
  • Weblinks: Links to personal (or professional) Websites ("Homepages") of Sillem family members. 
  • Family Tree: In this section there is detailed information on the genealogy of the various branches of the Sillem family all over the world. How to read the family tree tables will be explained in that section so you can find your way through the tables.
  • Members Only: In this section, you will find the personal data sheets of Sillem family members. This section is not accessible to the general public. To access it, a "user name" and a "password" are required that family members can obtain from Martin Sillem (  (See above "How to become a member of the SILLEM FAMILY". )

Finally, a technical hint: Some browsers (that you use for surfing the Internet), especially older ones, sometimes don't display fonds, tables etc. correctly. It is therefore advised to use the up-to-date versions (upgrades can be downloaded free from the Internet), e. g. Internet Explorer 8.0, or Firefox 10 etc.

A sitemap of the SILLEM FAMILY website can be found here. For your convenience, the Members Only section has a sitemap, too.

And now have fun and enjoy surfing through the SILLEM FAMILY pages!



©  Copyright 2012  Martin Sillem  -  Last update: 11 May 2016