"I was acquainted with, and indeed somewhat friendly with, a Schiff named Sydney Schiff (who was a writer, under the pen-name of Stephen Hudson, and was a friend of Proust). He wrote a long, veiled autobiography entitled 'A True Story', the first part of which outlines the family story: he came of a wealthy family, cultured and international, of bankers, distantly related to the leading bankers in the U.S.A. These Schiffs came from Frankfurt, I believe.So, too, did two brothers Otto and Ernst Schiff: prosperous bankers and philanthropists. I knew otto who was prominent in Anglo-Jewish philanthropic causes. His brother, Ernst, died before him; but Ernst's widow is still alive, I believe, and yu may find her address and telephone number in the telephone book, S-Z..."I received a letter a week later from Mrs Betty Schiff of Sloane Street, who was Ernst's widow, saying that she did not think that we were related but that she would check with her late husband's niece in Switzerland. She wrote again on December 2nd to say that her niece in Switzerland had written that morning to say she was unaware of Samson Schiff, but that the same day she had received a visit from her late husband's second cousin from New York who was also unaware of a possible connection.
I did not follow these letters any further, and of course the writers were quite right that we are unrelated, but Dr Charles Schiff's mention of Sydney Schiff was in fact spot on, though it has taken me forty-two years to unravel it.