In the following, the survey of the different families dated September, 1995.
The different STERLING families are, as far as known, characterized briefly and their origins are described. This survey does not claim to be complete. (State: September 1995).
Gross Germersleben is a small town about halfway between Magdeburg and Halberstadt in the German State of Saxony-Anhalt.
There exists a nearly completely, documentary proven genealogic table of this family over more than 13 generations from 1586 until today. This family originally comes from the hamlet Lehen near Kallham in the region of the ”Hausruckkreis” (literally: ”district of Hausruck”) in Upper Austria. It was a family of farmers and they left their home due to religious reasons – because of the counter-reformation in Austria – around the year 1640. They moved to the Prussian province Saxony via Regensburg, which was a free city at that time. There was a regionally-conditioned adaptation of pronunciation and spelling of the family name from Stöllinger / Starlinger (Lehen), via Störlinger / Sterlinger (Regensburg) to Sterling (Gross Germersleben). These changes are documentary proven.
Descendants of the different family branches (15 altogether) mainly live in Germany.
One possible origin of the name Sterling:
”Descending from aristocrat Huguenots that emigrated to Prussia via England”. This version has been passed down orally by one family branch. According to the research results, however, it cannot be maintained in this family.
The town of Oschersleben is located in the immediate neighbourhood of Gross Germersleben. Several generations of this family lived in Oschersleben or still live there today respectively. One ancestor, however, was born in Halberstadt. Information on six generations is available, further origins are being researched at present. Descendants of this family today live in the German States of Lower-Saxony, Bremen and Saxony-Anhalt.
We have found out about one connection to the family in Gross Germersleben, which however remains to be confirmed.
In the north-west of the Ukraine between the river Bug and the Dnjepr valley, German settlers immigrated in the years 1816, 1831 and 1863/64.
Members of the Sterling family from … were taken prisoner and were met after the resettlement / expulsion in the Warthegau in Poland.
We found data of three related families. They originally came from the districts Luck and Dubno, mostly from small colonist villages like Ozierce, Doroszyn etc. The earliest ancestor about whom we have information is Josef Sterling who was born in Zelow (region of Hohensalza and Litzmannstadt, in the administrative district of Lask) 1832 and married to Johanna Pospischil.
Descendants live in Germany, in the Czech Republic, in Poland, the U.S.A. and in Canada. The research is going on.
About further details and possible interconnections to the other families, nothing can be said at this stage. We assume that there is also a relation to the family in Gross Germersheim, as Andreas Sterling, born in Gross Germersheim on 4th January 1788, is said to have emigrated to Poland.
This family lived in smaller towns east and south-east of Breslau (Wroclaw), originally, however, it descended from a formerly catholic family. The first member of this family having the corresponding family name probably migrated from Franconia to Silesia around the year 1750. His family name, however, was Stelling; there was a sound shift via Sterlling to Sterling. This shift can be proven by church registers dated approximately 1780. Descendants live in Berlin, in Palatine, in Frankfurt and in Canada.
In this family branch, the possible origins of the name Sterling are traced back to ”Osterling”, i.e. to the Hanseatic merchants who are said to have brought their currency to the Englishmen.
This family line over several generations lived as weavers in Ronsdorf, which is part of Wuppertal today, as well as in the outskirts of Wuppertal in the ”Bergisches Land”. By now, four generations have been found, research is being continued. The male line of this family has become extinct; but descendants still live in this region.
Rosow is a small town in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania and is now located directly at the German-Polish frontier. Before World War II, Rosow was part of the administrative district of Schneidemühl. This family first lived in Rosow, later in Stettin. Altogether, five generations are known. Their further origins are being researched at present. Descendants nowadays live in Northern Germany near Hamburg.
This family comes from Radawnitz in the district of Flatow in Pomerania and lived in Stettin later. Five generations are known. Their further origins are being researched at present. Descendants today live in Northern Germany, in Lower-Saxony, in the Rhineland and in the states of the former GDR.
Landeck is also located in the district of Flatow in Pomerania near Schneidemühl. The second generation of this family moved to Lanken in the district of Flatow, where several following generations lived. We have found out about four generations, further origins are being researched at present. Descendants live in the Ruhr area today.
The small town of Pölitz is located approx. 20 km north of Stettin (Szczecin) . This family lived there over several generations and then moved to Daber, about 10 km north-west of Stettin. Descendants today live in Schleswig-Holstein and in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania.
Osterode is in East-Prussia, near Allenstein. This line was investigated by the ”Zieringsche Familienstiftung” (literally: ”Ziering Family Foundation”) in Magdeburg. The results of this research were published in volume 137 (Pomerania 6) of the ”Deutsches Geschlechterbuch” ( ”German Book of Genealogy”). One descendant lived in Berlin until 1866 as ”Royal Prussian Court Official”. After that the male line of this family became extinct.
A further family from Köslin is mentioned. Proof of relations to the family in Osterode could not be found out. The male line of his family as well became extinct.
Regarding the possible origin of the name Sterling, the following details are stated: According to old records by the family, the Sterling family descended from an old Scottish aristocrat family, supposedly from a marriage of King David, who reigned from 1134 to 1153, with a lady-in-waiting. This is said to be the explanation for the name Stirling of Achill (Auchyl).
The first member of the Stirling (Sterling) family in Germany is said to have been killed as colonel in the Scottish brigade in Danish service in the battle near Lutter at the Barenberge in 1626. Another branch of the family Sterling is said to have emigrated to the U.S.A. The documents that could prove this information, however, do not exist anymore.
On the other hand it is a historical fact that a Scottish aristocrat family named Sterling of Achilis existed, which is mentioned in the ”Deutsches Adelslexikon” ( ”German Encyclopedia of Nobility”) under the name ”Achill von Stierling”. One member of this line was in service of the Duke of Mecklenburg, the interest of whom he represented as a privy councillor at the imperial court in Vienna. There he died in 1662, and his death was also the end of this family line in Germany. The armorial bearings of this line are registered in ”Siebmachers Wappenbuch” (”Armorial by Siebmacher”) dated 1734.
Hungary and Romania
Descendants of a family probably coming from the Banat live in Hesse today. About further details and a possible connection to other families nothing can be said at this stage.
In the ”German Book of Genealogy” – Baden, a certain Barbara Sterling was mentioned around 1840. About a possible connection to other families nothing can be said at this stage.
In the ”German Book of Genealogy” – Posen, a certain Anna Katharina Sterling was mentioned around 1760. About a possible connection to the other families nothing can be said at this stage.
States of the former GDR
Families named Sterling live in different towns in the states of the former GDR. About a possible connection to the other families nothing can be said at this stage.
Families named Sterling live in different Austrian towns (especially in Vienna). About a possible connection to the other families nothing can be said at this stage.
A large family named Sterling lives in the south of England. Members of this family also live in France and in Germany, Lower-Saxony.
Many families named Sterling live almost all over the country. About a possible connection to the other families nothing can be said at this stage.
In case you have any further details, additions, rectifications etc. concerning the individual Sterling lines and families, please let us know.
Translation: Heike Kuhn, Straubing