the families

Joseph WesselyJozip (Joseph) Wessely was born on 16th February 1781 either in Walchov (today Valchov, near Boskovice) or in Slaup (today Sloup), as reported in various documents. Both places are near Brno, in Moravia (Czech Republic today). To me, the most credible is the former option, as written in the certificate that he had to produce for his marriage with Elena Vianello, in Thessaloniki. On this same document it is reported that his father Franz, a builder (molitor in Latin) was born in Slaup.

Joseph gets married on 12th July 1813, at the age of 32. Elena is the daughter of Giovanni Vianello, a rich Venetian merchant (see in the Vianello family).

It is not clear when Joseph moved to Thessaloniki and whether he was coming directly from Moravia but in 1815 (two years later and at the age of 35) he was living in Trieste cheering the birth of his first child, Clarissa.

In 1833, at the age of 52, he is a manager of a sugar company in Trieste (the "Privilegiata Raffineria di Zuccheri Zeiche, Dutilh Tichy & C") and partner in the wholesale trading company "Stainer, Wessely & Heller".

After the death of Steiner (December 1832) and the retirement of Heller, he makes a new society with the 28 years old Gustav Adolf Fesch, freshly coming from Laar, Granducate of Baden, under the name "Wessely & Fesch". The new company deals with import/export of Gum arabic, sweet almondes and other colonial goods. The company has a capital of 40,000 florints, divides into 65% Wessely and 35% Fesch.


Piazza NuovaHe lives in the "Casa Duma" at the 816 of "Città Nuova" (New Town) in the Piazza Nuova (today Piazza della Repubblica). In this picture, it is the big house at the right. In the same building, but at a different floor also lived Gustav Adolf Fesch and his wife Clarissa, née Wessely. The house has been demolished in the beginning of the 20th century and substituted by the seat of the Commercial Bank.

 Giuseppe dies in Trieste on 16th November 1861. He is buried in the family grave in the Sant'Anna cemetery.

What happened in the world along his lifetime ?
  • 1781 (birth): Foundation of the city El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora La Reina de Los Ángeles de Porciuncula (City of Our Lady the Queen of the Angels of Porciuncula) by a group of 44 Spanish settlers;
  • 1781 (birth): Immanuel Kant publishes his Critique of Pure Reason.
  • 1789 (8 years): French Revolution
  • 1789 (8 years): George Washington elected President of the United States
  • 1797(16 years): Napoleon's invasion and partition of the Republic of Venice ended over 1,000 years of independence for the Serenissima.
  • 1804–15 (23 to 35 years): Serbian revolution erupts against the Ottoman rule (Suverainty of Serbia recognized in 1817).
  • 1812-15 (31 to 33 years): After the French invasion of Russia the Napoleonic Wars hit Europe
  • 1815 (34 years): Napoleon is defeated in Waterloo and the Congress of Vienna redraws the European map.
  • 1821 (40 years): Greek Revolution against  the Ottoman Empire.
  • 1836 (55 years): The Battle of the Alamo.
  • 1848 (67 years): The Communist Manifesto published by Marx and Engels
  • 1848 (67 years): revolutions blow all around Europe against the Absburg (Hungary, Austria and Italy); strong turmoils in France (second republic) and in Naples against Ferdinand II.
  • 1861 (80 years old, death): Italian Unification under King Victor Emmanuel II.


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