Fremont County, Iowa

Family History Stories

Herstine Family
~ Herstine Family submitted by Joan Garcia: grnyjoan@charter.net

The Herstine name is one that also has several spellings. It has been found in the same family to be spelled Hierstein, Herstein and in our immediate family Herstine.

I put the name of David George Herstine, who was my grandfather and husband of Lillie Rose Cain, on several genealogy chat boards with as much information as I had, such as name, state of birth and death date. Not getting and answers I had given up on that. One day, about a year later I got an email grom Bruce Hierstein. I think he was as excited in seeing my information on this site as I was in hearing from him. It seems that we both had the same ancestor, Henrich Hiersten, Sr. He was the father of David George. Bruce's father had done research on the family and so we have combined what we had and then doing more research we came up with a small history on this family.

Bruce's father had gotten the following information:

"The Hierstein's were pioneer Settlers in Lee County, Iowa. Iowa was obtained by the United States during the Louisiana Purchase, and became a territory in 1838 and a state in 1846. I have been unable to determine what, if anything in particular, originally attracted them to this part of the country and whether they were part of a group of immigrants who settles here from Bavaria. Several families from Bavaria with the same similar names as ours were living in Lee County, Iowa when the 1860 Census was taken and it is certainly my belief that they were all related. The 1860 Census lists: Jacob Herstein (53), occupation, day laborer, his wife Elizabeth (53), David Herstein (43), his wife Barbara (43), & Christian (no age given). All of these were born in Bavaria and living on a farm in West Point Township, Iowa. Just by luck I am able to explain why these two families were living on the same farm. The entry records for the Port of New Orleans, Louisiana show that David, Barbara and Christian Herstein landed after embarking at Le harve, France on May 23, 1860. It appears they came to join the Jacob Hierstein family and arrived just in time to be counted on the 1860 census. Also in 1860 on another Wets Point township is the family of David Hierstein, (56) his wife Anna (50), and John (21) each of whom was born in Bavaria and now living with three Iowa born children: Elizabeth (15), Barbara (12), and Anna (8)."
From a tree sent from Germany, I find this David Hierstein (56) to be the probable brother of Johann Heinrich Hierstein, also known as Henry Herstine, Sr., who is our direct ancestor, and the uncle of David George Herstine.

Again from Bruce's father:

"My great grandfather, was born in Bavaria in 1815. In 1844 he brought his family to the United States and resided in Fort Madison, Lee County, Iowa. They came from the village of Erpoizheim near Bad Durkheim in the Rhenish Palatinate which was then part of Bavaria. Since 1945 this area has been a part of Rhineland-Palatinate State of what was West Germany, the capital of which is Mainz. According to the 1850 Federal Census of Fort Madison, lee County, Iowa, this family included: Henry Sr. (35) occupation: Farmer, owning property valuesd at $800.00. Jacob (14) born 2 May 1835; Alice (13), Ellen (11), Henrich (Henry Jr.) (9) born October 1840, Elizabeth (1). All except Elizabeth were born in Bavaria. The mother is not listed and as Elizabeth was born in Iowa, I assume my great grandmother died during childbirth or soon after. She is probably buried in Fort Madison. But I have not been able to find her grave."



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