The Highland Township Historical Society
Highland, Oakland County, Michigan

Original Highland Township Landowner

Adam Ferster

SW F. 1/4 of Section 7

First Land Owners of Oakland County gives this man's last name as either "Lester" or "Ferster."   Examination of the original patent clearly shows the first letter to be "F" and the Bureau of Land Management - General Land Office indexes him as "Ferster."  Note that the patent describes his land as simply "the lot or South Fractional quarter of Section 7."  Since the factional quarters in Section 7 are always along the west side, however, the "South Fractional quarter" would be the SW fractional quarter.

The identity of Adam Ferster is unclear, although there are some good circumstantial leads.  He appears on the 1840 Census for Highland Township as Adam "Furster," age 40-50, so born between 1790 and 1800.  His patent gives his residence as Orleans County, New York, and shows an "Adin Foster" on the 1830 Census for Barre, Orleans County.   Examination of the actual census roll, however, suggests the first name could indeed be "Adam" while the last name could be "Fuster."   Significantly, his age is 30-40, so likewise born betwee 1790 and 1800. 

That there were Ferster's in Orleans County is certain.  Henry P. Smith, Landmarks of Orleans County, New York, D. Mason & Co. (1894) mentions a Conrad and Jacob Ferster, as well as an Adam Ferster who bought land in Carlton, Orleans County, in 1811.   Note, in this regard, a Ferster family history posted to by Hugh E. Ferster at:

This shows a Conrad Ferster, born 1758 in Berks County, Pennsylvania,, whose family included sons (i) Jacob F. Ferster, born 1776; (ii) Adam Ferster, born circa 1782; (iii) George F. Ferster, born circa 1785; (iv) Conrad Ferster, born circa 1787; and (v) Chris John Ferster, born circa 1789.  Of these, Jacob and George F. are expressly said to have moved to Carlton, Orleans County, New York.  Coupled with the references above, it would appear their father Conrad and brother Adam also settled there.  This same genealogy further states that several members of this family eventually moved to Barry and Hillsdale counties, Michigan. 

While it is tempting to identify Adam Ferster of Highland with Adam, the son of Conrad, the age of the former on the 1840 (and 1830?) census is inconsistent with the latter's birth in 1782.  One possibility might be that Conrad's oldest son Jacob F., born in 1776, married in his early 20's and had a son born 1796-1800 whom he named for his younger brother .  In all events it seems likely Adam Ferster of Highland is related in some fashion to the Conrad Ferster family of Orleans County, New York.


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