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Karl Antonio Spilhaus (known as “Carlos”) was born in Lisbon, Portugal, in December 1876 but was brought up by is grandparents in Lübeck, Germany. He came out to the Cape, South Africa in 1896 to join his uncle in the Cape Town business already established as Wm Spilhaus & Co.

In November 1903 he married in Cape Town Nellie Brown Muir (1878-1972). Nellie, who was born in Lanarkshire, Scotland, was the daughter of the Superintendent General of Education in the Cape, Dr Thomas Muir (knighted in 1915, so becoming Sir Thomas Muir).

The children of Carlos and Nellie Spilhaus were Karl William, Thomas Muir, Margaret Virginia (married name “Barry”), Mary Antonio (married name “Elliott”) and Athelstan Friedrich.

Peter Elliott , a grandson of Karl and Nellie Spilhaus, is publishing privately in November 2015 a booklet entitled “ The Spilhaus Family, Their Origins in Germany and how they came to the Cape, South Africa, Five hundred years of history (1450-1950)”. A limited print run of this booklet, illustrated with photos, will be produced for a Spilhaus Family Reunion at the old Spilhaus family residence, Hohenort, Constantia, in November 2015.


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