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His sisters were society hostess Millicent, Duchess of Sutherland, as well as the Countess of Westmoreland.
He was a half-brother of the famous beauty, Daisy, Countess of Warwick, who had been a long-standing mistress of the Earl’s close friend, King Edward VII, when the king was Prince of Wales.
Newly-minted millions of dollars found their way across the Atlantic to impoverished titled families with the marriage of American heiresses to members of the nobility.
Some were cynical exchanges of dollars for titles while others were true love matches. Astor's own family had more than their share, although she looked down her aristocratic nose at many of the parvenues.
On 4 July 1922 on a flight to Hamburg she and her business manager survived an airplane crash which killed her companion, Baron Lothar von Richthofen, brother of the “Red Baron” Manfred von Richthofen.Fern returned to Germany and as World War II began the rumors of her having been a spy resurfaced although this time she was said to have spied on behalf of the German government against the U. She was rumored to have been a mistress of General Goebbels whom she had known when he was a young man working as a tutor. She moved to Connecticut and married her final husband, General Samuel Edge Dockrell, a playwright and producer who had been commandant of the Putnam Phalanx, a historic militia in Harford, CT.His play, “Torpedo,” had its premiere in Hartford in 1937.He married in 1890 Violet Vyner, by whom he had a son and a daughter, but she divorced him for desertion in 1902, the same year in which he appeared on the New York stage in a small role in “There’s Many a Slip.” The production was also the first American appearance of British ingénue Beatrice Irwin who was soon engaged to Erskine.The engagement was called off and Irwin went to Canada while Erskine returned to London where he had a small part in a Pinero play.