Much of what I know about the Kersten side of the family (my father’s mother side) is from my Aunt Annette. Annette’s research and her connection with Agnes Perings (my second cousin 1x removed).
I am hoping Annette will add her knowledge as we explore this side, as I have not done as extensive of research.
Below is a type of transcript from Agnes. Since English was not her first language, I have changed the wording to flow better but not the content.
He was born 24 March 1843 in Manderfield. He died 13 January 1905 at Hergersberg. His wife was Anna Maria Reiter, she was born 24 August in Hergersberg and died 31 January 1917 at Hergersberg. Mathias’s father was called Daniel Kirsthen. His wife was Margaretha Gierten. Daniel’s father was named Mathias and his wife was Magdalena Hoffman.
Daniel Kersten (Kirsthen) was born 16 October 1792 at Kleinlangenfeld by Prum. Due to the change of name from Kirsten to Kersten I think, that there is a connection between his desertion from the army of Napoleon. At that time Daniel Kirstehn was a soldier with the Napoleon Army during the Napoleon Wars. Daniel escaped from that country, he came to Belgium by way of Austria and Switzerland. There he (Daniel) learned the trade dyer and cutter. He stayed at Manderfeld, married and called himself Kersten.
What I have heard about where my ancestors lived was a piece of land that moved into various countries during the wars.
Hergersberg is a hamlet in the district Manderfeld located in the Belgian province of Liège. So, does this make us German or Belgium? I am not sure as the history of this area went through a series of transformations.