The Astor Family Tree

John Jacob Astor (1763-1848) founder of family fortune
Born in Waldorf Germany
Became fur trader. Married (also poor) Sarah Todd
Sponsor Astor Library NY

William Backhouse Astor (1792-1875)
Named Backhouse after long time family friend
Married Margaret Livingston Armstrong

William Backhouse
Astor Jr. (1830-1892)
Married Caroline Schermerhorn (1830-1908)
NY Queen, list of 400

John Jacob Astor IV
Married Ava Willing. Builds Astoria Hotel, next door to Waldorf Hotel. Divorced Ava, then marries 18 year old Madeleine Force. JJ dies on Titanic, while pregnant Madeleine survives. She inherited $5m, on the condition that she not remarries. Later she did and gave up the money.

John Jacob
Astor III (1822-1892)
Married Charlotte Augusta Gibbes
sponsored Metropolitan Museum of Art

William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919)
Married Mary Dahlgren Paul
Built Waldorf Hotel in a mainly residential area (34th and 5th) in NY, which appaled many.
Rivalry with cousin and aunt (Caroline). Then becomes minister in Italy, then moves permanently to England, where he becomes a citizen in 1899. There he became a Viscount and got a seat in the House of Lords.

Son of Ava:
(William) Vincent Astor (1891-1959)
married 3 times, no children

Son of Madeleine
John Jacob Astor V
married 3 times, 2 children.

William Backhouse Astor Jr and his wife Caroline Schermerhorn moved in the early 1890s from their brownstone at 34th/5th Ave to a new double home at 65th/5th Ave, when their nephew William Waldorf Astor was building his Waldorf hotel next door. It was still a mainly residential area and a lot of people were appaled by it (including Caroline). After that, their own son teared down the house he was born in and built his Astoria hotel there, next to the Waldorf. When the hotels were finished, they were run as one hotel.

In their new French Renaissance style home, Caroline lived in one half, while John Jacob IV lived in the other. Madeleine and her son continued to live there after JJ died on the Titanic. Then in 1919 Vincent moves in with his wife and Madeleine leaves with her 4 year old son.

The house, designed by famous Richard Morris Hunt, stood no more than 30 years. In 1925 Vincent Astor decided to tear down his father's and grandmother's home and sell the site for the future Temple Emmanu-El. He then sells the contents of the homes through an auction in 1926. You know the rest.