Hello friends. I am trying to learn about the family of my Great-Great Grandfather, Conrad Höster who emigrated to the USA about 1860. According to the census and naturalization citizenship, and cemetery records I can find in the USA, he was born on 7 June 1840 in Hesse-Cassel. I have found a ship passenger record of a man whose name is spelled Conrad Hoester and is listed as 19 years old, from Hessen, and whose occupation was farmer.
This passenger list is for the ship "Louisiana" that sailed from Bremen to New York City arriving on May 17, 1860. I am not certain this is my ancestor, but it seems to fit the other information on his date of birth and country of origin. I am not sure of his religion, but soon after he arrived in the USA he attended a Protestant church in Connecticut, so my guess is he was a protestant in Hesse-Cassel. I cannot find any indication of any brothers, sisters, parents or cousins of Conrad Höster in the USA. I am relatively certain that his family name was spelled Höster because I have a document he filed in the New York courts immediately after his arrival declaring his intent to eventually become a USA citizen and he spelled his family name this way. Within a month after arriving he changed the spelling of his family name to Hester. I believe this was because "ö" in English. I am hoping that someone might be able to help me learn the names of his parents, and any brothers or sisters he may have had in Hesse-Cassell. Also, I am hoping to learn the name of the town or city where his family lived. Thank you very much for anything anyone may be able to tell me about my ancestor's family! Vielen Dank!! James Hester
I know the search is difficult since most immigrants only mentioned the area where they came from and not the exact place.
GeoGen can help you to find out where the name Höster ist common. Klick on this link and then on the 'Absolut' tab and you'll find a red area in nothern Hessen.
You can also use the GEDBAS database and search for 'Höster'. Then take a look at the place names, enter them in Google Maps and check, if these places are in the historic region of Hessen-Kassel. (I would suggest to ignore the surname Hoster without Ö umlaut.)
I scanned the search results and found Ostheim/Liebenau and Grebenstein in Hessen. Grebenstein is closer to Kassel. The other place are not in the Hessen-Kassel area.
The church registers of Grebenstein and other parishes from the area are online on Archion.de, but it'snot free.
the following drafted map of Germany is showing the current local concentration of the name Höster. https://www.kartezumnamen.eu/index.php?sur=H%F6ster&s=Suchen. The main concentration you can find in the federal state of Hessen (in English: Hesse) in and around the capital Kassel (in former spelling: Cassel).
My recommendation is: Figure out the names of the towns or villages around Kassel marked as concentration points and than figure out the relevant church-books/archives for your researches.
Dear Zimba and Detlef,
Thank you very much for your kind advice! I appreciate that Hesse-Cassel is a very large area where it is quite difficult to find just one person without knowing their town and church. I will keep researching and see what I can discover on my own, but if I am not successful I may eventually have to pay professional genealogist who lives and works in Hesse-Kassel area to help.
I would welcome any additional advice from anyone else on this forum should they think of something.
Warm regards, James Hester