Members of the Maister family began to leave their mark on the history of the city of Ptuj in 1750, when Janez Jurij Maister moved to the oldest town in Styria from the relatively faraway market town of Ilz. By marrying the potter’s widow Elizabeta Gebronšek, he acquired ownership of a house in the town and in 1753 became a full-fledged citizen of Ptuj – Maister’s legacy – ZAP.
Three of his five surviving sons continued the family pottery tradition. Janez Mihael inherited his father’s house and workshop at today’s Slomškova ulica 14, Janez Jurij created a pottery workshop in Ormož. Andrej Matija somehow managed to become a potter’s assistant, but did not pass the master craftsman exam. In 1804, he bought a house at today’s Ulica Viktorina Ptujskega 3 – Maister’s legacy – ZAP, and made a living as a gravedigger. His illegitimate son Franc, born in 1801, partly followed in his footsteps and trained as a mason. But he only ever reached the position of assistant. He was a city court usher for a while, then he too became a gravedigger. On 11 April 1823 he bought the house from his father Andrej and some two weeks later he married a peasant’s daughter, Barbara Erjavec, from the environs of Kaniža. She bore him four children, among them Franc, the future father of General Rudolf Maister, on 23 February 1826.