1st. family-letter

FamBrief1 copy2

Dear relatives,

Dear namesakes,

Dear friends of the Sterling families!

Here it is – the first ”family letter”, the intention of which is to provide you with information on the different

Sterling families

It is nothing more than a try and some might say: What’s that for? – I’m more interested in the living than in any unknown ancestors who have been dead for a long time.

The purpose of this family letter is the following:

1)To make and afterwards maintain the contact between the different Sterling families
2)To research and document the different family histories in order to preserve them for our descendants.
3)To possibly organize a family meeting at a later date in order to have the opportunity to get to know each other and to foster the sense of family even more than it exists now.

    As your opinion on this is very important for the further work to be done, a postcard as an answer from you would be highly appreciated.

    Please forward this family letter within your family and to your relatives; however, the information in it can only be as good and much as the contributions of each one of you. Therefore, all kinds of cooperation and support are appreciated very much. Also suggestions for improvement and reports    (e.g. about special events, celebrations but also about flight, expulsion, chaos of war, emigration etc.) are welcome at any time.

    For the time being, I will try to issue a family letter at least once a year. As far as extraordinary occasions and events are concerned, I intend to generate ”special editions”. Addresses of the individual families will only be published in the family letter after authorization by the corresponding family; just as it is the case with the publishing of birthdays, marriages, christenings and deaths. Please state on your reply card if you agree with this.

    The first issue of the family letter deals in brief with the current status of research regarding the individual family branches as well as with the results of this research work.

    On this note, I hope the acceptance for the

    1st family letter

    is high; and furthermore, I would like to wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.


    Claus-Peter Sterling

    Results of the Research

    The following information refers to the overview of the different family branches which most of you should be familiar with. In case you haven’t got this overview anymore, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    STERLINGs from Osterode / East Prussia

    This family has no male descendants further bearing the family name. Thus, there are no further results with regard to this family branch.

    STERLINGs from Gross Germersleben / District of Magdeburg – GDR

    In addition to a lot of individual data on nearly all of the 15 branches, an entire new family branch was found and could be assigned to the STERLING family of Gross Germersleben. These are the descendants of Catharina Elisabeth STERLING, who was born in Schermcke in 1833. Her son, Carl August Heinrich STERLING is the progenitor of the ”sub-branch of Bramstedt”. Descendants of this family today live in Schleswig-Holstein and Baden-Wuerttemberg.

    Research work in this regard however has been finished for the time being. A progenitor previous to David STERLING could only be found – if at all - with a costly research at the ”Oberösterreichisches Landesarchiv” (Regional Archives of Upper Austria) in Linz. For this purpose, tax listings, land registers and other documents from the time before the Thirty Years’ War would have to be worked through. Furthermore, we face the problem that it could not be clarified so far which manor the farms in LEHEN were subordinate to at that time.

    The first appearance of the name David STARLINGER in a document was approx. 1633 in handwriting:

    Primitias Reformationis Austriae Superioris 3357 animarum omnium privas in Parochia TauffKhirchensi, Kalhamensi ac Wendlensi conversas.



    The text says:

    Lehen (part of Kallham)

    Davit Starlinger, Hans et Davit fil: Cathar: Urtlbeirin: Wandl fam: Georg ser:

    Davit Starlinger, Hans and Davit: sons, Catharian: Urtlbeirin (farmer’s wife = responsible for housekeeping), Wandula: famula = maid and Georg: servus = servant.

    In this handwriting, the catholic priest Nicolaus de Barbazetho noted a total of 3357 persons living in the parish of Taufkirchen, Kallham and Wendlingen who had reconverted from Protestantism to Catholicism. Among those, there were many who had already left there homes in Upper Austria due to religious reasons and who had found a ”refuge with religious freedom” e. g. in Regensburg.

    In the first baptismal register of the catholic parish church in Kallham / Upper Austria, the birth of Daniel STÖLLINGER was documented on 17 November, 1625. He is Georg Daniel STERLINGER’s grandfather. The latter was born in Regensburg and went off on his travels as a shoemaker to Prussia or followed the appeal of the Prussian King later. He came to Dorf-Alvensleben finally. He is considered the actual progenitor of the high number of STERLING families in Gross Germersleben.

    STERLINGs from Oschersleben / District of Magdeburg – GDR

    I assume that this family is a branch of the STERLINGs of Gross Germersleben as well as descendants of Johann Heinrich Christoph STERLING, who was born on 12 January, 1832 in Gross Germersleben and died on 25 April, 1871, in Oschersleben. He was married to Caroline LAAS and had 5 children. In the Protestant church registers in Oschersleben, only one entry could be found so far: the birth of their daughter Anna Bertha on 15 July, 1863.

    At present, a connection between this and the documentary progenitrix of the family branch in Oschersleben, Ida, is searched for. Ida could also have been one of Johann Heinrich Friedrich Christoph’s daughters – but she was not born in Oschersleben.

    On all following generations until today, information is available. Now I would like to ask the direct descendants of the individual families living in the FRG or the GDR to look for documents that could make clear the missing interrelations. As mentioned, we haven’t got any data on Caroline Lass and the rest of the 4 children. Unfortunately, also several search advertisements in genealogic magazines have not been successful so far.

    STERLINGs from Silesia

    Due to the lack of time, no research work could be done regarding this family branch. These are scheduled for 1989.

    STERLINGs from Wuppertal

    This lineage has ended for the time being; there is no male descendant of this family who could perpetuate the name STERLING.

    The earliest ancestor known is Johannes Heinrich STERLING, who was born around 1751 in … and who lived in Ronsdorf (which is part of Wuppertal today) as a weaver. All data on him was received from the register of births, marriages and deaths of North-Rhine-Westphalia in Brühl. Referring to this, I would like to express my thanks to Ms Edith Przyrembel who did extensive research in these archives.

    STERLINGs from Rosow – GDR

    The small village of Rosow is in the immediate vicinity of the Polish border and was part of the district of Greifenhagen previously.

    Regarding this family branch, no further information could be found. I still assume that there is a connection to the STERLING family in Pölitz, as the small villages of Rosow, Pölitz and Daber are all in the immediate neighbourhood of Stettin.

    The earliest ancestor known is Christian Friedrich Jakob STERLING, who was married to Friederike Wilhelmine LABS, who died in Rosow in 1880. Their 6 children were born in Rosow. Later, the family moved to Stettin. Descendants live in northern Germany today.

    STERLINGs from Radawnitz / District of Flatow – Pomerania

    A connection could be found between two family branches, ”Ludwig” and ”Anton”, as Michael STERLING could be identified to be the common progenitor of both families. Michael STERLING died in the war of 1870/71. As all documentation was lost during this war, research about further ancestors is considerably difficult. Furthermore, it is problematic to receive information from Poland as this is still very costly and takes an enormous amount of time.

    This family moved to Stettin later, too. Descendants live in the FRG and the GDR today.

    STERLINGs from Landeck / District of Flatow – Pomerania

    By having found information of Ludwig STERLING, who was a manufacturer of cloth goods from Adlig Landeck, a further generation has now been discovered. The family later moved to Lanken / district of Flatow. I assume that there is a connection to the STERLING family of Radawnitz, as the villages of Landeck, Lanken and Radawnitz are in the immediate neighbourhood of Flatow. Descendants of this family live in North-Rhine-Westphalia today.

    STERLINGs from Pölitz – Pomerania

    By having found information on Hermann STERLING and his son Ferdinand, two further generations have been discovered. They lived in Pölitz, approx. 20 km north of Stettin. This family later moved to Daber, which is approx. 10 km north-west of Stettin. Descendants of this family live in the FRG and the GDR today.

    STERLINGs from Wolhynien – USSR

    The best progress in researching the STERLING families was made here, as many descendants of this family could be found who were willing to provide me with the documents they could preserve so far. Thank you very much.

    It can be assumed that the families who lived in Osierce, Dorosin (district of Luck) and near Dubno were cousins. In order to find the smaller villages of origin, I have received old ordnance maps of the Austrian Army from the beginning of the 20th century. In this regard, I would like to ask for the cooperation of those who can remember this region or have any information on these villages or family members.

    As it has been passed on orally within the STERLING family from Dubno, their ancestors are said to have left their home in Austria / Bohemia, also due to religious reasons. This could be understood as indication for a connection with the STERLING family in Gross Germersleben that left their home in Upper Austria around the year of 1640, as has been proved, due to religious reasons. This family then moved via Regensburg into the region of Magdeburg.

    As it has been passed on orally within the STERLING family from Gross Germersleben, Johann Andreas Friedrich STERLING, who was born on 4 January 1788 in Gross Germersleben and who worked as a shepherd, is said to have emigrated to Poland or Pomerania. He therefore could be the progenitor of the STERLING families in Wolhynien. This becomes even more probable as no further entries about Andreas could be found in the church registers of Gross Germersleben.

    Closing words:

    At the end of this family letter, I would like to thank once more all members of the different STERLING families for their cooperation and for the provided documents, information etc.