jump to the menu
The name Ostertag first appeared over 1000 years ago. The first occurrences go back to noble branches which first bore this name as an epithet and then probably took it over as a surname.
The noble branches are already mentioned in the famous Siebmacher's book of coats of arms of 1667. A plate in this book shows six ancient coats of arms of the Ostertag family which are:
|1.: Uraltes Ostertag-Wappen||2.: Genant Ostertag v. Winstein||3.: von Ramstein|
|4.: Ostertag abgekommen in Burgerstand||5.: Ostertag renovirt zugenant v. Osterau||6.: des heil. röm. Reichsritter v. Osterau|
There is the following headline: Die gesamte auss dem Haus Ostertag, welches wie es anfangs in Win- und Ramstein zertheilet, so hernach schir gar versunken war, widererstandene Famili v. Osterau. That roughly means: The whole House Ostertag which was divided into Winstein and Ramstein in the beginning, then it nearly disappeared and rose again to the family von Osterau
The order of the arms corresponds to the order the arms were conferred. So the most original of them is the „Uraltes Ostertag-Wappen“ which means „ancient Ostertag arms“. We don't know anything about the bearer of this arms, probably it was the person who was first given the epithet Ostertag, perhaps the way it happened in one of the legends
According to the headline, the House Ostertag was then divided into Winstein and Ramstein. The arms of Win- and Ramstein are similar, there could have been brothers once who founded two new branches. There is some information about these two branches.
The castle of Old-Winstein, residence of the Ostertag von Winstein, was built in 1212. The first known bearer of the name is a Heinrich Ostertag von Winstein. The castle was inhabited and owned partly by members of other noble families, and 1332 one of those, was guilty of being a highwayman. Because of that, the castle was besieged and finally taken and destroyed after ten weeks. The highwayman was caught and drowned, but the von Winstein living in the castle at this time managed to escape and were received friendly by other noble families.
1340 one of them returned. It was Wilhelm von Winstein, he had meanwhile gained a fortune by a marriage. He built a new castle, New-Winstein, near the ruin of Old-Winstein. Old-Winstein was also rebuilt shortly after that. Then, the Ostertag von Winstein were in blossom again. Johann Ostertag von Winstein who died in 1397, was the owner of Old- and New-Winstein. But this time was also very short. In the year 1470, the House of Winstein died out. There are no verified sources for the whole family tree, some things may only be assumptions.
family tree of the Ostertag von Winstein as excel file
About the House von Ramstein we know less. There are three main branches: the „Alsatian von Ramstein am Wasgaw“, the Swiss branch and the Swabian branch.
The eldest representative of the Swabian branch who could be proved is Sifrid von Ramstein in the year 1236. This branch had its home castle near Nördlingen. Until 1350, the brothers Conrad and Ludwig von Ramstein can be found in archives. In a document concerning the domain of Ramstein of 1379, the house of Ramstein isn't mentioned anymore.
39 years after the disappearing of this house, a „Hans der Ostertage“ appears in Nördlingen, which was near the castle of Ramstein. He is the progenitor of the Nördlinger Ostertags, which are meant by „Ostertag abgekommen in Burgerstand“ in Siebmacher's book. According to Siebmacher, they are related with the Ostertag von Win- and Ramstein, but this couldn't be proved until now. More about the Nördlingen branch can be found at civil branches
About the family von Osterau (with the arms 5 and 6) in Siebmacher's book of arms, we unfortunately don't know anything.