George Christian Koester was born in the village of Guntersblun, Germany. At age 21 he joined the British army at Plymouth, England. He served with distinction in the 5th battalion, 60th Regiment of Foot, King’s Royal Rifles, for 18 years, participating in the Duke of Wellington’s entire 51/2 year struggle to drive Napoleon’s armies from Spain and Portugal. He was wounded at Oporto, Portugal early in the war. His regiment earned a remarkable total of 15 battle honours in the Peninsular War, and he attained the rank of Colour Sergeant. He also served in Ireland, England, Gibraltar, Quebec, Kingston and finally Montreal where he chose to retire rather than return with his regiment to England. 

While a soldier he married a Spanish woman, Antonia Tolosa Ruith.  Their first child was born in England and  the remainder of their children were born in Canada. George and Antonia operated a tavern and grocery store at the corner of Mountain and St. Antoine streets in Montreal. 

George Koester died November 8, 1843. His obituary published in The Montreal Gazette, November 10, 1843, mistakenly stated he was present at Quatre-Bras and Waterloo, but his military records show he was not present at either of those engagements. Antonia Tolosa Ruith died January 3, 1860, and her sons, George W. Koester, Alexander J. Koester and Joseph A. Koester continued to operate the tavern and grocery after her death.  Their daughter, Mary Ann Koester  married John Peacock Ashton, merchant furrier and hatter of Montreal.

Excerpt from "James Brown, Family History, Volume Three", (in preparation): by Alan O. Brown

*Researching George Christian Koester.......................Alan O. Brown  (ggg grandson)

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