Johannes Oesterling: 1796 – 1865


March 8, 1796 – February 28, 1865

For the Oesterling family of Butler County, Pennsylvania, Johannes “John” Oesterling is considered to be the beginning of Oesterling line, but that line extends back to Hesse-Darmstadt where he was born on March 8, 1796. Johannes emigrated sometime after April 18 in 1831 to the United States with his wife Elizabeth Ripper, their four children, John, Catherine, Elizabeth, and Leonard, and with Johannes’ two brothers who all settled in Butler County in the mid-1800s.

When Johannes and Elizabeth first arrived in Pennsylvania, they lived for a time at an inn along the river in “Old Allegheny”, which is the current lower Northside of Pittsburgh. They considered a permanent stay there, across the river from Pittsburgh, but eventually decided on moving north, up to Butler County.

Johannes first settled on a farm of 700 acres near Herman. While living here, he and Elizabeth had two more children, Anna Eliza and a son Peter. He later sold that land for unknown reasons, it could have been because of boundary issues, or it could have been because he wanted to be closer to town,  but he purchased 400 acres in Summit Township, about three miles outside of the town of Butler where his last two children, Adam and Margaret, were born.

Both Johannes and Elizabeth Oesterling were strong Lutherans and were members of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Butler. Many of the members of the church today have ties to this branch of the Oesterling family.

John Oesterling has been described as a “jolly good fellow.” His wife has been described as a saint. So, we know that means. Elizabeth once said she married John Oesterling with the expectations of reforming him but had failed. He was drinker, while she was a strict prohibitionist. After his death a Butler hotel presented his estate with a bill of $200, a sizeable sum in those days, for the liquor tab he had run up at the establishment.

John died on February 28, 1865 from unknown causes.

Currently the only bit of information we have about his parentage is that his parents last names were Oesterling-Kradel.

From the History of Butler County:

JOHN OESTERLING, a native of Hesse Darmstadt, Germany, came to Pennsylvania in 1831, and settled in Summit township, Butler county, near Herman station. Five years afterwards he removed to the farm now owned and occupied by his sons, Adam and Peter, on which he made many improvements, residing there down to his death, in March, 1864, in the sixty-seventh year of his age. He was married in his native land to Elizabeth Ripper, who became the mother of fourteen children, eight of whom grew to maturity, viz.: John; Catherine, wife of Adam Schenk; Elizabeth, wife of William Vogeley; Leonard; Anne E., wife of George Frederick; Peter; Adam, and Margaret, wife of Adam Frederick. Mr. Oesterling was a member of the German Lutheran church of Butler.

How my generation is related to Johannes Oesterling:
Johannes/John Oesterling (1796 – 1865) my 4th great grandfather
Adam Oesterling (1837 – 1912) Son of Johannes/John
Albert Oesterling (1869 – 1959) Son of Adam
Alberta Claire Oesterling (1893 – 1976) Daughter of Albert

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Reference: The Oesterlings … Your Family and Mine, 1949

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