The Mystery Has Been Solved, I Think!

Oh John Oesterling, you man of mystery. The puzzle of your origins may have been solved.

The only thing we knew about the Oesterling origins was that John, Peter, and Leonhard’s parents last names were Oesterling/Kradel. At least that’s how they have been written in every tree that I’ve come across.

I had been given some information on another tree branch on my Kradel side and in doing some further internet research, I ran across a tree that is written in German. There were many listings of Oesterlings and a family with the last name of Kredel in this tree. Somehow I knew that I could connect this tree to ours, both on my Kradel side and through the Oesterlings.

It took only two emails back and forth with the tree’s owner to come to the conclusion that our Oesterlings did indeed descend from his Oesterlings and Kredels. I have entered most of his information into our tree on

The Oesterling line now goes back to 1668 and beyond. I am now getting a picture of what our family was like while it was in Germany.

Actually, I’m 99.999% sure the puzzle is solved but it makes me beg the questions – if no one had the tree beyond John Oesterling and Elizabeth Ripper, then how has the family folklore (which may be just that – folklore!) survived? That’s the next mystery to solve!

In the meantime, John Oesterling’s parents were:

Father: Johann Peter Oesterling: July 18, 1762 in Michelbach, which is in Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany. He died August 5, 1814 in Michelbach.

Mother: Anna Elisabetha Kredel: August 31, 1774 in Erlau, Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany. She died on April 28, 1796 in Michelbach.

Married: October 27, 1791: Fränkisch-Crumbach

Wait! There’s more!

John was only a half-brother to Peter and Leonhard.

But don’t fret, because he was also their cousin!

After Anna Elisabetha Kredel passed away, John’s father remarried – to Anna Elisabetha’s sister, Maria Christina.

Peter and Leonhard’s Line:

Mother: Maria Christina Kredel: July 22, 1777 in Erlau, and she died on December 17, 1826 in Michelbach.

Married: September 27, 1796: Fränkisch-Crumbach

4 thoughts on “The Mystery Has Been Solved, I Think!

  1. I knew we were tied to the Kradel family. My mother talked about it. I’m not sure if she knew the exact connections though. I’m sure she didn’t know that John was a half brother to Peter and Leonard. Had she or Emma Keck known that they would have put it in the genealogy. They did put in that the father was murdered but they were not sure it was fact or family legend. Little was written down. Probably John and family were too busy clearing land and just starting out to write. We knew the brothers had more money than the average person who came to the US. They bought a lot of land so they had to have resources. Know mother wondered why they left Germany when it seemed they had a decent life there. She speculated they left after the murder and didn’t want to keep up ties to Germany. You have found a treasure in the German tree.

  2. This is how I knew this tree was connected, because the man I got the information from knew about the murder. In the notes he sent me for Johann Peter Oesterling, the father, it said:

    “er wurde von aus dem Gefängnis entsprungenen Räubern ermordet”

    Which translates roughly to:

    “he was murdered by robbers sprung (that had escaped) from jail”

    * * * * *

    I remember both Aunt Sara and Grandma K. vehemently denying that the mother Kradel was related to our Kradels. I could never figure out why they wouldn’t go there. As it stands, almost all of the other families in the Oesterling tree are represented in some way over on the Kradel side too.

    • Thanks for linking back to my genealogical work as a resource for your WikiTree.

      My never-complete tree is on

      When writing out Anna Elisabetha Kredel (Grötel) Oesterling it should be noted the Kradel/Kredel/Grötel/Groetel/Groettel are all variations of the same last name. Her maiden name was Kredel, a variation of Grötel.

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