Einstein family

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Einstein family
Current region worldwide
Place of origin Württemberg, Germany
Members Albert Einstein, Maja Einstein, Hermann Einstein, Pauline Koch
Connected families Koch, Moos, Overnauer, Clews
Hermann Einstein Albert Einstein Maja Einstein Pauline KochEinstein Family.jpg
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Hermann Einstein (top); Albert Einstein and Maja Einstein (bottom left); Pauline Koch (bottom right)

The Einstein family is the family of the physicist Albert Einstein (1879–1955). Einstein's great-great-great-great-grandfather, Jakob Weil, was his oldest recorded relative, born around the turn of the 18th century, and the family continues to this day. Albert Einstein's great-great-grandfather, Löb Moses Sontheimer (1745–1831), was also the grandfather of the prominent tenor Heinrich Sontheim (1820–1912) of Stuttgart.[1]

Albert's three children were from his relationship with his first wife, Mileva Marić, his daughter Lieserl being born a year before they married.

Albert Einstein's second wife was Elsa Einstein, whose mother Fanny Koch was the sister of Albert's mother, and whose father Rudolf Einstein was the son of Raphael Einstein, a brother of Albert's paternal grandfather. Thus Albert and Elsa were first cousins through their mothers and second cousins through their fathers.[2]

Einstein Family table[edit]

Einstein Family Tree
Generation Paternal Maternal Comments
Jakob Weil from Wallerstein (?) (father of Jüttle Sara)[1]
Second generation Juda from Nordstetten (?), Chaja [last name unknown] (?),

Hoyna Moses Sontheimer (1705-?), Gölla [last name unknown] (?)

Jakob Weil (?), Jüttle Sara Weil (1722–1808),

David Ka Löb Moses Sontheimer (1745-?)

Jakob Simon Bernheimer (1756–1790), Leah Hajm (1753–1833)

Bernard (Beerle) Weil (1750–1840), Rösle Katz (1760–1826)

Fourth generation Naftali Einstein (1733–1801), Hayum Moos, Helene Steppach (1737–1790)
Fifth generation Rupert Einstein (1759–1834) Veit Hirsch (1763–1820) Rebekka Overnauer (1770–1843)
Hayum Moos (1788-?), Fanny Schmal (1792-?)
Zadok Löb Dörzbacher (1783–1852), Blumle Sontheimer (1786–1856)
Sixth generation Abraham Einstein (1808–1868). Siblings: Hirsch Einstein [b.1799-?], Judith Einstein [b.1802–?], Samuel Rupert Einstein [b.1804–?], Raphael Einstein [b.1806–?], David Einstein [b.1810–?]),

Helene Moos (1814–1887, Siblings: None)

Julius Dörzbacher (1816–1895, Siblings: None),

Jette Bernheimer (1825–1886, Siblings: None)

Seventh generation Hermann Einstein (1847–1902). Siblings: August Ignaz Einstein (b. 1841–?), Jette Einstein (b. 1844–?), Heinrich Einstein (b. 1845–?), Jakob Einstein (b. 1850–?), Friederike Einstein (b. 1855–?) Pauline Koch (1858–1920). Siblings: Fanny Koch (1852–1926), Jacob Koch (?), Caesar Koch (?)
Eighth generation Albert Einstein (1879–1955), Maja Einstein (1881–1951) Albert's wives: Mileva Marić (1875–1948), Elsa Einstein (1876–1936)
Ninth generation (Albert's children) Lieserl Einstein (1902–?), Hans Albert Einstein (1904–1973), Eduard Einstein (1910–1965)
Tenth generation Bernhard Caesar Einstein (1930–2008), Klaus Martin (1933–1939); and Evelyn (1941–2011, adopted child)
Eleventh generation Thomas Martin Einstein (1955–), Paul Michael Einstein (1959–), Eduard Albert (Ted) Einstein (1961–), Mira Einstein-Yehieli (1965–), Charles Quincy Ascher (Charly) Einstein (1971–)[3]

Pauline Koch (Albert's mother)[edit]

Pauline Einstein (née Koch)
Pauline Koch.jpg
Pauline Einstein (née Koch)
Born (1858-02-08)8 February 1858
Cannstatt, Württemberg
Died 20 February 1920(1920-02-20) (aged 62)
Berlin, Germany
Residence Germany (1858–1895)
Italy (1896–1903)
Germany (1904–1920)
Nationality German
Ethnicity Jewish
Spouse(s) Hermann Einstein
Children Albert Einstein and Maja Einstein
Parent(s) Julius Derzbacher and Jette Bernheimer

Pauline Einstein (née Koch) (8 February 1858 – 20 February 1920) was the mother of the physicist Albert Einstein. She was born in Cannstatt, Württemberg.[4] She was Jewish and had an older sister, Fanny, and two older brothers, Jacob and Caesar. Her parents were Julius Doerzbacher, who had adopted the family name Koch in 1842, and Jette Bernheimer. They were married in 1847. Pauline’s father was from Jebenhausen, now part of the city of Göppingen, and grew up in modest economic circumstances. Later, he lived in Cannstatt and together with his brother Heinrich, made a considerable fortune in the corn trade. They even became “Royal Württemberg Purveyor to the Court”. Their mother was from Cannstatt and was a quiet and caring person.

Early life[edit]

At 18 years old, Pauline married the merchant Hermann Einstein who lived in Ulm. They got married in Cannstatt on 8 August 1876. After the marriage, the young couple lived in Ulm, where Hermann became joint partner in a bed feathers company. Their son, Albert was born on 14 March 1879.[5] On the initiative of Hermann’s brother Jakob the family moved to Munich in the summer of 1880, where the two brothers together founded an electrical engineering company called [6] Einstein & Cie. The second child of Hermann and Pauline, their daughter Maria (called Maja), was born in Munich on 18 November 1881. Pauline Einstein was a well educated and quiet woman who had an inclination for the arts. She was a talented and assiduous piano player. She made Albert begin with violin lessons at the age of five.[7]

Business problems[edit]

The factory of Hermann and Jakob was moved to Pavia, Italy in 1894. Hermann, Maria and Pauline moved to Milan in the same year and one year later, moved to Pavia. Albert stayed with relatives in Munich to continue his education there. The separation from her son was certainly difficult for Pauline. Unfortunately, the business was unsuccessful and the brothers had to abandon their factory in 1896. Though Hermann had lost most of his money, he founded (without his brother) another electrical engineering company in Milan. This time business was better. However, Hermann's health had deteriorated, and he died of heart failure in Milan on 10 October 1902.

After Hermann[edit]

In 1903, Pauline went to live with her sister Fanny and her husband Rudolf Einstein, a first cousin of Hermann, in Hechingen, Württemberg. Fanny's daughter, Elsa was to become the second wife of Albert in 1919. In 1910, Pauline moved with her sister, Fanny and her family to Berlin. She took on a job as housekeeper in Heilbronn, Württemberg in 1911. She lived with her brother Jacob Koch and his family in Zurich after 1914.


During World War I, Pauline fell ill with cancer. In 1918, when visiting her daughter, Maria and son-in-law, Paul Winteler in Luzern, Pauline was taken to the sanatorium Rosenau, due to her illness. At the end of 1919, Albert took his terminally-ill mother out of the sanatorium in Luzern and brought her to Haberlandstrasse 5, Berlin to stay with him and his second wife Elsa, where she later died.

Hermann Einstein (Albert's father)[edit]

Hermann Einstein
Hermann einstein.jpg
Hermann Einstein
Born (1847-08-30)30 August 1847
Buchau, Kingdom of Württemberg
Died 10 October 1902(1902-10-10) (aged 55)
Milan, Kingdom of Italy
Citizenship Germany (1847–1894)
Italy (1894–1902)
Occupation Scientific utility salesman, Electrician
Spouse(s) Pauline Koch
Children Albert Einstein and Maja Einstein
Parent(s) Abraham Einstein and Helene Moos

Hermann Einstein (30 August 1847 – 10 October 1902) was the father of Albert Einstein.

Early life[edit]

Abraham and Helene Einstein

Hermann Einstein (also known as Hermann Moos) was born in Buchau, Württemberg to Abraham Einstein and Helene Moos (3 July 1814 – 20 August 1887).

He had six siblings:[8]

  • Raphael (3 December 1839 – 15 January 1842); male
  • Jette (13 January 1844 – 7 January 1905); female
  • Heinrich (12 October 1845 – 16 November 1877); male
  • August Ignaz (23 December 1849 – 14 April 1911); male
  • Jakob (25 November 1850 – 1912); male
  • Friederike "Rika" (15 March 1855 – 17 June 1938); female

At the age of 14, Hermann attended the secondary school in the regional capital Stuttgart and was academically successful. He had a strong affection for mathematics, and would have liked to study in this or a related area, but as the financial situation of the family opposed further education, he decided to become a merchant and began an apprenticeship in Stuttgart.

Marriage to Pauline[edit]

Hermann married 18-year-old Pauline Koch in Cannstatt, Württemberg on 8 August 1876. After their wedding, the young couple lived in Ulm, where Hermann became joint partner in the bed feathers shop of his cousins, Moses and Hermann Levi. In Ulm, their son Albert was born on 14 March 1879. On the initiative of Hermann's brother Jakob, the family moved to Munich in the summer of 1880. There, the two brothers founded the electrical engineering company Einstein & Cie, with Hermann being the merchant and Jakob the technician. The second child of Hermann and Pauline, their daughter Maria, (called Maja) was born in Munich on 18 November 1881.


The Einsteins' electrical firm manufactured dynamos and electrical meters based on direct current. They were instrumental in bringing electricity to Munich. In 1885, they won the contract that provided DC lights to illuminate the Oktoberfest for the first time.

To their dismay, the Einstein brothers eventually lost a bidding war for the electrification contract of Munich to Siemens, which promoted the modern alternating current. Their fortunes took a decidedly downward turn from there.

The two brothers moved their company to Pavia, Italy in 1894. Hermann, Pauline and Maja moved to Milan in the same year and one year later moved to Pavia. Albert stayed with relatives in Munich to continue his education there.

Due to poor business, Hermann and Jakob had to burn their factory in 1896[according to whom?]. Though Hermann had lost most of their money, he founded another electrical engineering company in Milan, this time without his brother. He was supported financially by his relatives in this venture. Though business was better this time, Hermann was preoccupied with “worries due to the vexatious money”. He moved back to Germany in 1902.


Hermann Einstein died of heart failure in Milan in 1902. The grave is Civico Mausoleo Palanti inside Cimitero Monumentale di Milano.

Maria "Maja" Einstein (Albert's sister)[edit]

Maria 'Maja' Einstein
Maja Einstein 1900s.jpg
Maria 'Maja' Einstein in the 1900s
Born Maria Einstein
(1881-11-18)18 November 1881
Munich, Germany
Died 25 June 1951(1951-06-25) (aged 69)
Princeton, New Jersey, USA
Cause of death Atherosclerosis
Residence Germany (1881–1894)
Italy (1894–1902, 1922–1939)
Switzerland (1902–1922)
United States (1939–1951)
Nationality American
Ethnicity Jewish
Occupation Doctor
Known for Albert's well known inventions
Partner(s) Paul Winteler
Children None
Parent(s) Hermann Einstein and Pauline Koch
Relatives Albert Einstein
"Yes, but where does it have its small wheels?" Question by a young Albert Einstein when he first saw his sister in 1881.

Maria "Maja" Einstein and her older brother, Albert, were the two children of Hermann Einstein and Pauline Einstein (née Koch), who had moved from Ulm to Munich in June 1881, when Albert was one.[9] There Hermann and his brother Jakob had founded Einstein & Cie., an electrical engineering company.[10]

Maja and Albert, c. 1886
Maja and Albert, c. 1893

She was born 18 November 1881 in Munich.Maja and Albert got along very well all their lives[citation needed]. She was Albert's only friend during his childhood[citation needed].

She attended elementary school in Munich from 1887 to 1894. She then moved with her parents to Milan, where she attended the German International School; Albert had stayed behind with relatives in Munich to complete his schooling. From 1899 to 1902, she attended a workshop for teachers in Aarau. After she passed her final exams, she studied Romance languages and literature in Berlin, Bern and Paris. In 1909, she graduated from University of Bern, her dissertation was entitled "Contribution to the Tradition of the Chevalier au Cygne and the Enfances Godefroi".

In the year following her graduation, she married Paul Winteler, but they were to be childless. The young couple moved to Luzern in 1911, where Maja's husband had found a job. In 1922, they moved to Colonnata near Florence in Italy.[11]

After the Italian leader Benito Mussolini introduced anti-Semitic laws in Italy, Albert invited Maja to emigrate to the United States in 1939 and live in his residence in Mercer Street, Princeton, New Jersey. Her husband was denied entry into the United States on health grounds.[10] Maja spent some pleasant years with Albert, until she suffered a stroke in 1946, and became bedridden.[12] She later developed progressive arteriosclerosis, and died in Princeton on 25 June 1951 four years before her brother.[12]

Lieserl Einstein (Albert's daughter)[edit]

Lieserl Einstein
Born January 1902
Novi Sad, Vojvodina, Austria-Hungary (present day Republic of Serbia)
Died 18 September 1903 (?)
Cause of death Scarlet fever (?)
Resting place The outskirts of Novi Sad (?)
Residence Novi Sad (1902–19??)
Parent(s) Mileva Marić and Albert Einstein
Relatives Marija Marić née Ružić, Miloš Marić, Pauline Einstein née Koch, Hermann Einstein, Hans Albert Einstein and Eduard Einstein.

Lieserl Einstein (born January 1902 – last mentioned in 1903; possible date of death, 18 September 1903[citation needed]) was the first child of Mileva Marić and Albert Einstein.

According to the correspondence between her parents, "Lieserl" was born in January 1902, a year before her parents married, in Novi Sad, Vojvodina, present day Serbia, and was cared for by her mother for a short time while Einstein worked in Switzerland before Marić joined him there without the child.

"Lieserl's" existence was unknown to biographers until 1986, when a batch of letters between Albert and Mileva were discovered by Hans Albert Einstein's daughter Evelyn.

Marić had hoped for a girl, while Einstein would have preferred a boy. In their letters, they called the unborn child "Lieserl", when referring to a girl, or "Hanserl", if a boy. Both "Lieserl" and "Hanserl" were augmentatives of the common German names Liese and Hans.

The first reference to Marić's pregnancy was found in a letter Einstein wrote to her from Winterthur, probably on 28 May 1901 (letter 36), asking twice about "the boy" and "our little son",[13] whereas Marić's first reference was found in her letter of 13 November 1901 (letter 43) from Stein am Rhein, in which she referred to the unborn child as "Lieserl".[14] Einstein goes along with Marić's wish for a daughter, and referred to the unborn child as "Lieserl" as well, but with a sense of humour as in letter 45 of 12 December 1901 "... and be happy about our Lieserl, whom I secretly (so Dollie[15] doesn't notice) prefer to imagine a Hanserl."[16]

The child must have been born shortly before 4 February 1902, when Einstein wrote: "... now you see that it really is a Lieserl, just as you'd wished. Is she healthy and does she cry properly? [...] I love her so much and don't even know her yet!"[17]

The last time "Lieserl" was mentioned in their extant correspondence was in Einstein's letter of 19 September 1903 (letter 54), in which he showed concern for her suffering from scarlet fever. His asking "as what is the child registered? [Adding] we must take precautions that problems don't arise for her later" may indicate the intention to give the child up for adoption.[18]

As neither the full name, nor the fate of the child are known, so far several theories about her life and death have been put forward:

  • Michele Zackheim, in her book on "Lieserl", Einstein's Daughter, states that "Lieserl" was mentally challenged at birth, and that she lived with her mother's family and probably died of scarlet fever in September 1903.[19]
  • Another possibility, favoured by Robert Schulmann of the Einstein Papers Project, is that "Lieserl" was adopted by Marić's close friend, Helene Savić, and was raised by her and lived under the name "Zorka Savić" until the 1990s. Savić did in fact raise a child by the name of Zorka, who was blind from childhood and died in the 1990s. Her grandson Milan Popović rejects the possibility that it was "Lieserl", and also favors the theory that the child died in September 1903.[20]

Abraham Einstein (Albert's grandfather)[edit]

Abraham Einstein (8 Apr 1808 – 21 Nov 1868), the son of Ruppert Einstein and Rebekha Overnauer, is the father of Hermann Einstein and grandfather of Hermann's son, Albert. Abraham married Helene Moos, both German Jews, in April 1839 in Buchau. Together, they had several children:

  • Raphael (3 Dec 1839 – 15 Jan 1842), male
  • Jette (13 Jan 1844 – 7 Jan 1905), female
  • Heinrich (12 Oct 1845 – 16 Nov 1877), male
  • Hermann (30 Aug 1847 – 10 Oct 1902), male
  • August Ignaz (23 Dec 1849 – 14 Apr 1911), male
  • Jacob (25 Nov 1850–1912), male
  • Friederikeh "Rikah" (15 Mar 1855 – 17 Jun 1938), female

Surnames are Einstein and places are in Germany unless otherwise noted.

Einsteins and Ainsteins[edit]

First known is Moses Ainstein, Germany (fl. c. 1700). He had two sons: Leopold (b. c. 1700); and Baruch Moses E/Ainstein (b. 1665 in Wangen; d. 1750). Baruch was likely the first to change the name spelling to Einstein.[21]

Baruch was married to Borichle (b. 1635) and had three sons: Moyses (b. 1689 in Bad Buchau; d. 1732); Daniel (b. 1690 in Fellheim), and Abraham. He may have been married again.

Moyses was married twice. His first marriage produced a son, Abraham Einstein (b. c. 1704 in Bad Buchau), a daughter, and possibly another son, David Veit Einstein (b. 1713 in Buchau, Germany, d. 1763). His second marriage was to Judith Haymann. David was either Judith's son or that of Moyses' first wife. Judith also had 2 biological sons: Daniel (b. 1690 in Fellheim, Germany, d. after 1720) and Leopold (b. 1700, d. after 1719).

Daniel's children[edit]

Daniel had 4 wives, but despite this he had only one child, either a son or stepson:

  • Leopold (b. 1720 in Ulm, Germany, d. 6 November 1796 in Laupheim, Germany)
  • Descendent families: Einsteins, Bernheins, Bukas, Steiners, Nathans, Noerdlingers, Straussses, Saengers

Leopold's children[edit]

Leopold had one wife called Karoline (b. 1700 in Buchau, Germany) and had:

  • Abraham (b. 12 January 1718 in Buchau, Germany, d. 16 June 1787)
  • Descendent families: Guggenheims and Einsteins

Abraham's children[edit]

Abraham had one unknown wife and a son:

  • Joseph (b. 1726 in Sontheim, Germany, d. 29 April 1795 in Jebenhausen, Germany)
  • Descendent families: Lindauer, Rohrbacher, Weils, Einsteins, Lindauers, Kohns, Levis, Fellheimers, Franks, Lindauers, Heumanns Sulzbergs, Katzs and Wormsers

David's children[edit]

From marriage with Karoline Ehrlich he had:

  • Moyses
  • Naphatali (b. 1733 in Buchau, Germany, d. 1799) (Einstein's great-great-grandfather), his is grandfather of Abraham above, whom had been the Spouse of Greta.

Rupert Einstein (Albert's 1st Great-Grandfather)[edit]

Birthdate: July 21, 1759

Birthplace: Buchau, Biberach, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Death: Died April 4, 1834 in Buchau, Biberach, Württemberg, Germany

Immediate Family:

Son of Naphtali Hirsch Einstein and Helene Handle Steppach Husband of Rebecca Obernauer Father of Judith Einstein; Raphael Einstein; Abraham Rupert Einstein; Samuel Rupert Einstein; David Einstein and 1 other Brothers of Judith Jetle Einstein; Joseph Einstein;Daniel Einstein; Veit Hirsch Einstein and Helene Rieser

Naphtali Hirsch Einstein (Albert's 2nd Great-Grandfather)[edit]

Also Known As: "Nepthali ben David"

Birthdate: 1733

Birthplace: Bad Buchau, Biberach, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

Death: Died 1799

Immediate Family:

Son of David Veit Einstein and Caroline Einstein Husband of Helene Handle Steppach Father of Judith Jetle Einstein; Joseph Einstein;Daniel Einstein; Rupert Einstein; Veit Hirsch Einsteinand 1 other Brother of Moyses (Moses) Einstein

David Veit Einstein (Albert's 3rd Great-Grandfather)[edit]

Birthdate: estimated between 1695 and 1729

Birthplace: Buchau, Biberach, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Germany

Death: Died 1763 in Bad Buchau, Biberach, Baden-Württemberg, Germany

Immediate Family:

Son of Moyses Einstein and Judith Einstein Husband of Caroline Einstein Father of Moyses (Moses) Einstein and Naphtali Hirsch Einstein Brother of Joseph Einstein; Unknown Einstein;Abraham Einstein; Daniel Einstein and Leopold Einstein

Moyses Einstein (Albert's 4th Great-Grandfather)[edit]

Birthdate: 1690

Birthplace: Fellheim, Bavarian Swabia, Bavaria, Germany

Death: Died 1732

Immediate Family:

Son of Baruch Moses Ainstein and Borichle Einstein Husband of Judith Einstein Father of Joseph Einstein; David Veit Einstein;Unknown Einstein; Abraham Einstein; Daniel Einstein and 1 other

Baruch Moses Ainstein (Albert's 5th Great-Grandfather)[edit]

Birthdate: estimated between 1615 and 1675

Birthplace: Wangen, Germany

Death: Died in Bad Buchau, Tübingen, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany

Immediate Family:

Son of Moses Ainstein, Husband of Borichle Einstein, Father of Moyses Einstein.

Moses Ainstein (Albert's 6th Great-Grandfather)[edit]

Birthdate: estimated before 1675

Death: (Date and location unknown)

Immediate Family:

Father of Baruch Moses Ainstein


Inline citation[edit]

  1. ^ a b Aron Tanzer (1988). Die Geschichte der Juden in Jebenhausen und Göppingen (The History of Jews in Jebenhausen and Göppingen). Weissenhorn, Germany: Anton H. Konrad Verlag. pp. 220, 301, 334, 378, 383.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "tanzer" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ Short life history: Elsa Einstein. einstein-website.de
  3. ^ "Bernhard Caesar Einstein – Genealogy". Geni.com. Retrieved 21 February 2014. 
  4. ^ "Short life history: Pauline Einstein". Albert Einstein In The World Wide Web. ETH-Bibliothek, Zurich. January 2015. 
  5. ^ "Albert Einstein – Biography". Nobel Foundation. Archived from the original on November 2014. Retrieved November 2014. 
  6. ^ Schwartz, Joseph. Introducing Einstein. ISBN 1-84046-667-7. 
  7. ^ Botstein, Leon; Galison, Peter; Holton, Gerald James; Schweber, Silvan S. (2008) Einstein for the 21st Century: His Legacy in Science, Art, and Modern Culture, Princeton Univ. Press
  8. ^ "Short life history: Hermann Einstein" in Albert Einstein, autobiographic writings, 1946
  9. ^ www.einstein-website.de
  10. ^ a b Short life history: Maria Winteler-Einstein
  11. ^ Highfield 1993, p. 203
  12. ^ a b Highfield 1993, p. 248
  13. ^ The Love Letters, p. 54
  14. ^ The Love Letters, p. 63
  15. ^ the english translation of the german "Doxerl", one of the names Einstein used for Marić
  16. ^ The Love Letters, p. 66
  17. ^ The Love Letters, p. 73
  18. ^ The Love Letters, p. 78
  19. ^ Lieserl Einstein's biography
  20. ^ Milan Popović: In Alberts Shadow. The life and letters of Mileva Marić, Einstein’s first wife, Johns Hopkins University Press, London 2003, p.11, ISBN 978-0-8018-7856-5
  21. ^ Moyses Einstein (1690–1732). Geni.com

Cited references[edit]

  • Einstein, Albert and Marić, Mileva (1992) The Love Letters. Edited by Jürgen Renn & Robert Schulmann. Translated by Shawn Smith. Princeton University Press, Princeton, N.J. ISBN 0-691-08760-1
  • Highfield, Roger; Carter, Paul (1993). The Private Lives of Albert Einstein. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-17170-2. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Michele Zackheim, Einstein's Daughter: the Search for Lieserl, Riverhead 1999, ISBN 1-57322-127-9.

External links[edit]