John Jacob Astor

Is your surname Astor?

Research the Astor family

Share your family tree and photos with the people you know and love

  • Build your family tree online
  • Share photos and videos
  • Smart Matching™ technology
  • Free!

Johann Jakob Astor, I

Birthplace: Walldorf, Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
Death: March 29, 1848 (84)
New York, New York, New York, United States
Place of Burial: New York, New York County, New York, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of Johann Jacob Astor; Johan Jacob Astor; Maria Magdalena Astor and Therese Charlotte Astor
Husband of Sarah Cox Astor
Father of Magdalena Bristed; Anna Eve Cook; Sarah Astor; John Jacob Astor, II; William Backhouse Astor and 4 others
Brother of George Peter Astor; Jasper Herman Astor; Pawel Johan Astor; George Peter Astor; Johann Heinrich Astor and 1 other
Half brother of Anna Eva Astor and Elisabeth Astor

Occupation: emigrated to New York, NY, USA fur trader, estate trader. storkøbmand., fur trader, real estate, Real estate
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About John Jacob Astor

John Jacob Astor (born Johann Jakob Astor) (July 17, 1763 – March 29, 1848) was a German-American business magnate, merchant and investor who was the first prominent member of the Astor family and the first multi-millionaire in the United States (adjusted wealth $138 billion). He was the creator of the first trust in America.

He went to the United States following the American Revolutionary War and built a fur-trading empire that extended to the Great Lakes region and Canada, and later expanded into the American West and Pacific coast. He also got involved in smuggling opium. In the early 19th century he diversified into New York City real estate and later became a famed patron of the arts.

New historical and scientific evidence suggests that it is possible that Aster's great wealth, which jumped from a mere $4,000 to (what in 2019 would be) $100 BILLION in a single day, was from his discovery of Captain William Kidd's alleged hidden treasures. [Travel Channel documentary series America Unearthed, season 3/episode 6: "New England Buried Treasure", originally aired 2014]

Fast Facts

  • John Jacob Astor, American Fur Company, Pacific Fur Companies, Southwest Fur Company
  • Born: July 17, 1763 in Germany
  • Died: 1848 in New York
  • John Jacob Astor was a major Fur trader and merchant
  • John Jacob Astor established the American Fur Company in 1808 and later the Pacific Fur Companies and Southwest Fur Company with trading posts across the country
  • John Jacob Astor established Astoria, Oregon in 1811 in hopes of developing the Far East market but the War of 1812 blockaded the post and he eventually sold it to the British
  • John Jacob Astor monopolized the fur trade until 1834 when he retired from the fur business. Investments in real estate in New York made him the richest man in the United States and its' first millionaire on record.


  3. Pioneers Turned Millionaires -Smithsonian Channel

see the Todd genealogy page 36 for an account of his emigration from Bristol to New York

view all 15

John Jacob Astor's Timeline

July 17, 1763
Walldorf, Karlsruhe, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
New York, NY, United States
New York, NY, United States
New York, NY, United States
September 19, 1792
New York, NY, United States
New York, New York, United States