Adam Oesterling

July 12, 1837 – December 28, 1912

Note: I found the following posted publicly on which is why I’m putting quote marks around it. I think it may have been taken originally from the Oesterling family history book that my Aunt Sara wrote. I’m not sure. You will also see the Oesterling numbers associated with the names.

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“Adam Oesterling, 1-7, the seventh child and youngest son of John and Elizabeth Ripper Oesterling was born on the family farm in Summit Township, Butler County, PA on July 12, 1837. Except for the last few years, he spent his entire life on the farm. He received his education in the Public Schools in Summit Township and then began to help his father on the farm, as he was the only son still at home. As his parents became older, he assumed full responsibility of this farm. Adam was called for military service in the Civil War, but his nephew Henry, 1-1-1, served for him because of his home responsibilities. Henry refused to take the money Adam offered him.

On New Year’s Day in 1861, he was married to Elizabeth Forcht of Carbon Center. Their wedding trip was the ride from Carbon Center to the family farm on a heavy farm wagon with a high front seat. The bride and groom sat there looking very much like a couple of children. The back of the wagon was filled with the bride’s “dot” consisting of some furniture, bed clothes, linens and other articles for the new home.

Thirteen children were born to Adam and Elizabeth Oesterling. This is still the largest family in the clan. With the exception of Mary Louise, 1-7-4, all of these reached maturity. John, 1-7-1; Margaret, 1-7-2; George, 1-7-3; Emma, 1-7-7; Rebecca, 1-7-8 and Augusta, 1-7-9, have died. The surviving members of the family are Edward L, 1-7-5; Albert H, 1-7-6, of Butler; Adolph, 1-7-10, of Alhambra, CA; Paul P 1-7-11, of Wilmerding; Theodore, 1-7-12, of Sarasota, FL and Lillian Moore, 1-7-13, of New Castle, PA. These six make up exactly one-half of the surviving third generation members of the Oesterling Clan.

In 1882 a new house was built on the hill above the old house that had been home to so many of the Oesterlings. This was a large well-built house and is still being used by members of the Albert Oesterling family. Adam was a great lover of trees and shrubs and surrounded his home with every kind he knew. He had about thirty pine trees, two of a kind set out in symmetrical rows in the front yard. Beside these trees and shrubs there was a large grape arbor in the form of a cross, each arm of which was about thirty feet long. He planted many fruit trees around his garden and the lane leading to his brother Peter’s home. Adam derived much please from working among these trees and shrubs.

Adam was known as a gentle man. He rarely lifted his voice in anger, and his son Albert recalls only one occasion when his father ever used corporal punishment on any of his children. Adam and Elizabeth had gone away and in their absence, their sons, John and George, and the boy’s cousin Peter, 1-6-4, went to the spring house and decided to try some of their father’s whiskey, which was forbidden to them. As soon as they had poured out a cupful of the whiskey, they heard their parents returning, so George drank the entire contents of the cup and promptly passed out. Frightened, John and Peter ran. As soon as the parents revived George, Adam cut a stout switch, found John and used the switch in a telling manner. The boys never touched the whiskey again and their father never again used the switch. In spite of this gentleness, the family knew that when work was assigned it must be done.

Since 1887 the Adam Oesterling family has always had its family reunion at the old house on July Fourth. Everyone came with well-filled baskets and huge tables were spread. In bygone days these tables were usually under a large pine tree in the side yard. On these tables one found everything from “cooked” cheese and rye bread to grandmother’s strawberry custard pies. There was always a horseshoe pitching contest in the sandy lane with Albert usually claiming victory. Then there were games of euchre and “66”. The women usually found time to visit the neighbors. These reunions still continue, though many of the former participants have gone to the “Eternal Reunion”, July Fourth is still “Reunion Day” for the members of the Adam Oesterling Family.

John attended these reunions from the time of their beginning until his death without missing a single one.

Adam Oesterling loved to visit and to have visitors. One of the happiest days of his life was when his children arranged a surprise birthday party for him in the year 1905. All the relatives who could be present were there. Adam relived that party for years after that.

In 1895 Elizabeth Forcht Oesterling died. She was only 55 years old. Adam turned the farm over to his son Albert. He continued to make his home with Albert for a few years and then moved to Zelienople, PA, to the home of his son Edward. He lived with Edward until his death on December 28, 1912 at the age of 75.

The graves of Adam and Elizabeth Oesterling are in South Cemetery in Butler.”

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My relationship to Adam Oesterling:


Adam Oesterling (1837 – 1912) is my 3rd great grandfather
Albert Henry Oesterling (1869 – 1959) Son of Adam
Alberta Claire Oesterling (1893 – 1976) Daughter of Albert Henry
Florence Elizabeth Keck (1914 – 1999) Daughter of Alberta Claire

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