His eldest son, Eilhard Ernst Gustav, born at Berlin on the 1st of August 1852, became professor of physics at Erlangen in 1886, and his younger son, Alfred, born at Berlin on the 18th of July 1856, was appointed to the extraordinary professorship of Egyptology at Bonn in 1892.
In 1872 he was chosen professor of Egyptology at Strassburg.
By Oxford, and was appointed Edwards Professor of Egyptology at University College, London.
In 1864 he was consul at Cairo, in 1868 professor at GÃ¶ttingen, and in 1870 director of the school of Egyptology, founded at Cairo by the khedive.
He thenceforth became passionately interested in Egyptology, devoted himself to the study of hieroglyphs and Coptic, and in 1847 published a Catalogue analytique of the Egyptian Gallery of the Boulogne Museum; in 1849, being appointed to a subordinate position in the Louvre, he left Boulogne for Paris.