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An excerpt from www.HouseOfNames.com archives copyright © 2000 - 2015

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

The surname Osterman is of uncertain origin, but there are several possibilities for its source. It may have derived from the Gothic word "ostan" meaning "the direction of the rising sun," and may have been initially born by someone from the east. Alternatively, Osterman may have come from the Middle High German word "Oster," meaning "Easter," and the name would have likely belonged to someone born or baptized during the festival of Easter. Oster is an element in many compound names, such as Osterbrock, Osterfeld, and Osterkamp.


Spelling variations of this family name include: Oster, Ost, Oest, Öst, Osten, Östing, Österle, Österlen, Osterloh, Ostermann, Östermann, Ostermaier, Ostermayer, Ostermeier, Osterer, Osterling, Osterbrock, Osterbrauk, Osterbrink, Osterfeld, Osterhues, Osterkamp, Osterholt, Osterwiesch, Ostersehlte, Osterwind, Osterberg and many more.

First found in Saxony. The earliest record of this surname dates back to the twelfth century when one Fridericus Osterman was recorded in 1150. In 1159, Gerardus Osterman was a citizen of Cologne. Lippold von der Oesten was recorded in 1254, and Hinricus de Osten appeared in 1302. Radeke Osterlo was listed in 1423, Berchtold Österli in Oberhausen, Wurttemberg in 1485, and Jurgen Ostermann in Goettingen in 1563. Veit Ostermann was a citizen of Passau in 1623 and in 1680, Matthias Ostermann was residing in Erding. Michael Ahasverus Ostermaier served as mayor of the town of Ratzeburg in the seventeenth century, and his son Johann (1678-1733) was a pastor in Crumesse.


This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Osterman research. Another 192 words (14 lines of text) covering the years 1678, 1686, 1711, 1730, 1747, 1808, and 1855 are included under the topic Early Osterman History in all our PDF Extended History products.


Another 36 words (3 lines of text) are included under the topic Early Osterman Notables in all our PDF Extended History products.


Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Osterman Settlers in United States in the 18th Century

  • Hans Jacob Osterman, aged 28, landed in Pennsylvania in 1748

Osterman Settlers in United States in the 19th Century

  • John Bernard Osterman, aged 26, landed in Missouri in 1848
  • Francis Osterman, who arrived in Indiana in 1851

Osterman Settlers in Canada in the 18th Century

  • Johannes Osterman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Margereta Osterman, who arrived in Nova Scotia in 1757
  • Maria Osterman, who landed in Nova Scotia in 1757


  • Melvin H. Osterman, American Republican politician, Delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1948 (alternate), 1952, 1956 (alternate); Candidate for Justice of New York Supreme Court 1st District, 1954
  • Harry Osterman, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Illinois, 2008
  • Mr. Jacob Osterman, English Waiter from England, who worked aboard the RMS Lusitania and survived the sinking



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  2. Jones, George F. The Germans of Colonial Georgia 1733-1783 Revised edition. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing, 1986. Print. (ISBN 0806311614).
  3. Browning, Charles H. Americans of Royal Descent. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing. Print.
  4. Best, Hugh. Debrett's Texas Peerage. New York: Coward-McCann, 1983. Print. (ISBN 069811244X).
  5. Rolland, and H.V. Rolland. Illustrations to the Armorial general by J. B. Rietstap 6 volumes in 3. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1976. Print.
  6. Strassburger, Ralph B. Pennsylvania German Pioneers The Original Lists of Arrivals in the Port of Philadelphia 3 Volumes. Baltimore: Picton Press, 1992. Print. (ISBN 978-0929539980).
  7. Fogleman, Aaron Spencer. Hopeful Journeys German Immigration, Settlement, and Political Culture in Colonial America 1717-1775. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1986. Print. (ISBN 978-0812215489).
  8. Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at Galveston Texas 1896-1951. National Archives Washington DC. Print.
  9. Bentley, Elizabeth P. Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1820-1829. Baltimore, Maryland: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1999. Print.
  10. Göbel, Otto. Niederdeutsche Familiennamen der Gegenwart Wolfshagen-Schäbentz. Franz: Westphal, 1936. Print.
  11. ...

This page was last modified on 10 November 2015 at 11:26.

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