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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2014

Where did the German Oechsle family come from? When did the Oechsle family first arrive in the United States? Where did the various branches of the family go? What is the Oechsle family history?

The Oechsle surname first began to be used in the German state of Bavaria, some time after the 12th century, when hereditary surnames were adopted according to fairly general rules, and names that were derived from locations became particularly common. The family name Oechsle is a local surname. Originally denoting the proprietorship of an estate or influence within a village, the German preposition von, which means from or of, used with local names, was taken as a mark of aristocracy. The surname Oechsle was given to someone who lived in Franconia, where their name rose to prominence through their involvement in the social and cultural affairs of the area. Their seat and land holdings were in the free canton of Gebuerg. The ancestral home of the Oechsle family is found in the Rhineland. Oechsle is of several possible origins, all of which derive from a common root; the name comes from the Middle High German ochs, meaning "ox." It may have originated from a nickname, referring to "one as stubborn as an ox." Alternatively, the original bearer of the name may have been someone who kept or sold oxen. Finally, the surname may be derived from a place of residence distinguished by a sign; in this case, the name would indicate "one who dwelled in the house with the sign of the ox."

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One can encounter great variation in the spelling of surnames: in early times, spelling in general, and thus the spelling of names was not yet standardized; and later, spellings would change with branching and movement of families. Variations of the name Oechsle include Ochs, Ochss, Ochse, Och, Ochsse, Ocks, Ockss, Ockse, Ocksse, Osse (northern Germany), Oexle (Swabia), Oxle (Swabia), Oechsle, Ochsner, Exline, Echslin, Oxle, Ochslein ("little ox") and many more.

First found in the Rhineland, where the Oechsle family became a prominent contributor to the development of the district from ancient times. The earliest known bearer of the name was Hans Ochslin, who was a resident of Waldsee in 1536. Always prominent in social affairs, the young Oechsle family became an integral part of that turbulent region as it emerged to form alliances with other families within the Feudal System and the nation.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oechsle research. Another 225 words(16 lines of text) covering the years 1554, 1752, 1802, 1810, and 1821 are included under the topic Early Oechsle History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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Another 82 words(6 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Oechsle Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.

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The great European flow of migration to North America, which began in the middle of the 17th century and continued into the 20th century, was particularly attractive to those from Bavaria who wished to escape either poverty or religious persecution. For many Bavarian tenant farmers, the chance to own their own land was a major incentive. So the widespread colonization of the United States began in 1650, when many immigrants from Germany settled in pockets in Pennsylvania, Texas, New York, Illinois, and California. In Canada, German settlement centered in Ontario and the prairie provinces. Among those of this surname listed in various historical records were:

Oechsle Settlers in the United States in the 19th Century


  • Conrad Oechsle, aged 16, arrived in New York in 1854
  • George Oechsle, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1854
  • Margare Oechsle, aged 27, arrived in New York in 1854

Oechsle Settlers in the United States in the 20th Century


  • Placidus Oechsle, who landed in Arkansas in 1906

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  • Walter Oechsle (b. 1934), who came from Leutkirch, Germany, to become the vice-president of Putnam International in Boston, the president of a bank in Frankfurt, and the managing director of Readers Digest in Frankfurt
  • Ferdinand Oechsle (1774-1852), German mechanical workshop owner
  • Gerhard Oechsle, West German bobsledder who competed in the early 1980s


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  1. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmacher's Grosses Wappenbuch 35 Volumes. Germany: Bauer & Raspe. Print.
  2. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  3. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  4. Samuelsen, W. David. New York City Passenger List Manifests Index 1820 - 1824. North Salt Lake, Utah: Accelerated Indexing Systems International, 1986. Print.
  5. Strassburger, Ralph B. German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  6. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  7. Zieber, Eugene. Heraldry in America. Philadelphia: Genealogical Publishing Co. Print.
  8. Nied, Edmund. Fraenkische Familiennamen urkundlich gesammelt und sprachlich gedeutet. Heidelberg: C. Winter, 1933. Print.
  9. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  10. Siebmacher, J.J. Siebmachers Wappenbuch. München, Battenberg: 1975. Print.
  11. ...


This page was last modified on 18 November 2010 at 10:57.

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