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The surname Oster 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, Oster 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.

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The surname Oster was 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.

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.


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This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oster 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 Oster History in all our PDF Extended History products.

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

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Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Oster Settlers in United States in the 18th Century


  • Maria Christina Oster, who arrived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1737
  • Michael Oster, who landed in America in 1739
  • Joan Willm Oster, aged 36, landed in Pennsylvania in 1740
  • Johan Wilhelm Oster, who arrived in Pennsylvania in 1740
  • Christoph Oster, who landed in Pennsylvania in 1749


Oster Settlers in United States in the 19th Century


  • Jak Oster, who arrived in America in 1852
  • William Oster, who landed in St Clair County, Illinois in 1857
  • Henry Oster, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1858
  • John Oster, who arrived in St Clair County, Illinois in 1860
  • Anton Oster, aged 26, landed in America in 1881


Oster Settlers in United States in the 20th Century


  • Karl Oster, aged 4, landed in America in 1901
  • Karolina Oster, aged 2, arrived in New York, NY in 1901
  • Paulina Oster, aged 20, arrived in America in 1901
  • Peter Oster, aged 25, landed in New York, NY in 1901
  • Wilhelmina Oster, who arrived in New York, NY in 1901


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  • George Oster, American mathematical biologist, and Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
  • Daniel "Dan" Oster (b. 1981), American comedic actor and improv artist
  • Megan Oster (b. 1989), American figure skater
  • Emily Fair Oster, American economist
  • Jordan Oster, American Democrat politician, Delegate to Democratic National Convention from Iowa, 2008
  • Henry J. Oster, American politician, Member of South Dakota State House of Representatives 13th District, 1927-28; Member of South Dakota State Senate 9th District, 1941-44, 1949-52, 1955-60
  • George W. Oster, American politician, Member of Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from Bedford County, 1907-09
  • Dr. Harry Oster (1923-2001), American folklorist and musicologist
  • Marcel Oster, German luger who has been competing since 2008
  • Jennifer Oster (b. 1986), German footballer

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  1. Gritzner, M. Handbuch der heraldischen Terminologie in zwölf Zungen. Nürnberg: 1890. Print.
  2. Kapff, Rudolf. Schwäbische Geschlechtsnamen. Stuttgart: Verlag Silberburg, 1927. Print.
  3. 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).
  4. Karlsruhe. Badisches Generallandesarchiv Baden Emigration lists 1866-1911. Salt Lake City: Microfilm of Card Index by the Genealogical Society of Utah. Print.
  5. Zoder, Rudolf. Familiennamen in Ostfalen. Hildesheim: Geog Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1968. Print.
  6. Haverkamp, Alfred. Medieval Germany 1056-1273 2nd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1988. Print.
  7. Tobler-Meyer, Wilhelm. Familiennamen der Ostschweiz. Zürich: 1894. Print.
  8. Bahlow, Hans. Abhandlungen zur Namenforschung und Buchgeschichte. 1980. Print. (ISBN 978-3768690522).
  9. Crozier, William Armstrong Edition. Crozier's General Armory A Registry of American Families Entitled to Coat Armor. New York: Fox, Duffield, 1904. Print.
  10. Bolton, Charles Knowles. Bolton's American Armory. Baltimore: Heraldic Book Company, 1964. Print.
  11. ...

The Oster Family Crest was acquired from the Houseofnames.com archives. The Oster Family Crest was drawn according to heraldic standards based on published blazons. We generally include the oldest published family crest once associated with each surname.

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

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