This site is a collation of possible descendants of Johannes Rosensteel, most likely of Germany. I've found no records that specifically give Johannes' birthplace as Germany. Some genealogical compilations give it as Munich but there is no source credited. His immigration record designates him a Palatine. However, this was often used as a generic designation for immigrants coming from the Rhine area at that time. Some published accounts put the family as being from one of the Hessian states but those are of uncertain accuracy.

The Rosensteels are a difficult family because so many conflicting stories have entered the discussion. Couple this with the lack of certain identification of individuals due to commonly-used names and it is difficult to establish descent. In general, the family relationships here tend to follow Dr. Robert J. Rosensteel's genealogical compilation, The Rosensteels of America: from Germany to Western Pennsylvania 1733-1892. This is not due to some perception that it is more accurate; it is simply due to it being more inclusive and I'd like to preserve as much possibility as I can until I find more evidence.

Two of the sources that appear to conflict with the record — yet which seem to form the bases of many genealogical compilations I've found — come from vanity histories published in the early 20th century. These types of works were filled with family genealogies of prominent individuals and sold to the general public. Unfortunately, they are often inaccurate, treating vague family stories as established fact. In this case, John Woolf Jordan's Genealogical and Personal History of Western Pennsylvania appears to have some issues and is discussed in the entry for John Jacob Rosensteel37964, grandson of Johannes. Likewise, Fenwick Y. Hedley's Old And New Westmoreland is discussed in the entry for Johannes' son, John Andreas Rosensteel10194.

Some non-scientific checking of surname maps seems to indicate that the Rosenstiel and Rosenstihl spellings, which were occasionally used by our ancestors here in America, are more common in Europe than the Rosensteel anglicization. While the name is found throughout modern Germany and France, the highest concentrations are in Baden-Württemberg, just east of the Rhine River, and the Alsace, just to the west of the river. Literally, the name translates to "rose stem" and explanations for its origin range from "an ancestor with a ruddy complexion" to "someone from an area where roses grew" to "totally fanciful".

Robert J. Rosensteel, The Rosensteels of America: from Germany to Western Pennsylvania 1733-1892, (Unknown: 1982).

Capt. Fenwick Y. Hedley, Old And New Westmoreland, Vols. III-IV, (New York: The American Historical Society, Inc., 1918).

John Woolf Jordan, Genealogical and Personal History of Western Pennsylvania: Volume 2, (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1915).