OBERKALBACH, HESSEN, GERMANY
Village of My Berthold & Ullrich Ancestors
Oberkalbach Area Emigrants Who Settled
in New Brunswick and Milltown,
Middlesex County, New Jersey
Throughout history, wars, disease and crop failures had devastated the area we call Germany, which did not become a unified nation until 1871. To escape these problems, many Germans had emigrated to Eastern Europe. Emigration in large numbers to America began in 1683 into Pennsylvania. In 1709, Palatines came in large numbers, many settling in New York state. About 5000 Hessian soldiers of the Revolutionary War chose to stay in the U.S. Between 1845 and 1895 over seven million German immigrants settled in the United States.
The first German settler in Milltown, in the township of New Brunswick, was Philipp Kuehlthau, a young man who, at age 18, left his home in the village of Oberzell, (now in Hessen), Germany It is located about 60 kilometers northeast of Frankfurt am Main, just south of Fulda, and a few miles west of the Bavarian border. Oberzell had a population of about 1500 at its greatest, then dwindled to about 1000. The village is located in a hilly area east of the city of Schluechtern. The residents were small tradesmen and farmers, living in houses with barns attached, huddled together and surrounded with fields and small forests. The Lutheran church (formerly Reformed until the emperor ruled that the Lutheran and Reformed churches merge about 1817) stands on a high spot among the homes. Even into the 20th century, similar to Oberkalbach, the streets were unpaved, the gutters cobblestone, and there were no sidewalks. Residents wore wooden shoes when they were outdoors.
Philipp emigrated in 1847/8 and apparently worked for 2 years on a farm in Milltown in Middlesex County and then got employment at the Ford Rubber Company in Milltown for 3 years. Then he returned to his hometown in Germany, perhaps to persuade his family to emigrate. In 1853, he brought his parents and siblings back to Milltown. He opened a grocery store, built a house, and over the years held many offices in the New Brunswick, including justice of the peace, commissioner of deeds, postmaster, tax collector, as well as trustee of the Methodist-Episcopal church.
Other Oberzellers came to this area, many sponsored by Philipp Kuehlthau. Until 1868, they attended St. Johns Reformed Church or the German Lutheran Church which were four miles away in New Brunswick, Then the minister of St. Johns started coming from New Brunswick to Milltown to preach in the German language every two weeks at the Methodist church. In 1872, the German congregation decided to organize and build St. Pauls German Reformed Church. Up until 1930, the sermons were preached in the German language, although Sunday School was conducted in English.
The following persons are known to have emigrated from Oberzell, Hessen, Germany:
BOEHM, John (Johann or Johannes) - 1855, worked in rubber factory
CHRIST, Adam - 1881, a carpenter who built houses in Milltown
CHRIST, Berthold 1873, worked in rubber factory. Was also a member of the Board of Education in Milltown for 16 years, a member of the Council for 12 years, and superintendent of St. Pauls Reformed Sunday-School for 35 years.
CHRIST, Johann/Johannes 1856, worked in rubber factory
CHRIST, Johann/Johannes 1865, farmer and also worked in rubber factory
CHRIST, Johann Heinrich 1872, cabinet maker
CHRIST, Johann/Johannes - 1883, worked in rubber factory; councilman in Milltown and tax collector 3 years.
FOELLER, Balthasar 1866, farmer and worked in rubber factory
FOELLER, Johann B. 1866, worked in rubber factory
GEBHARDT, Caspar 1860, worked in rubber factory
KOHLHEPP, Conrad 1850. born in Oberzell on 11 May 1827. Worked in rubber factory and a hotel in Milltown. Applied for a U.S passport on 4 Jun 1877.
KOHLHEPP, Johannes 1850, worked in rubber factory and button shop; served in Civil War
KOHLHEPP, Peter 1855, watchman in Norfolk Hosiery Mill
KUEHLTHAU, Conrad 1850, grocery store in Milltown with his brother Philipp.
KUEHLTHAU, Heinrich 1852, died in Civil War
KUEHLTHAU, Johannes 1852, superintendent in shoe factory
KUEHLTHAU, Philipp - 1847. Born in Oberzell on 22 Oct 1829. Applied for a U.S. passport on 24 Apr 1886.
KUEHLTHAU, Wilhelm 1852, worked in rubber factory
LINS, Adam 1878, had a meat market
LINS, Henry 1882, worked in rubber factory
LINS, Johannes 1864, worked in novelty rubber shop
LINS, Nicolaus 1865, carpenter
LINS, Wilhelm 1858, farmer, worked in button shop and novelty rubber shop; served in Civil War
MUELLER, Conrad 1866, worked in rubber factory
MUELLER, Ferdinand 1868, worked in rubber factory
MUELLER, Friedrich 1863, meat market
MUELLER, Johannes 1851, farmer
MUELLER, Wilhelm 1866, bootmaker in rubber factory
NOLLMANN, Heinrich 1850, worked in button shop
NOLLMANN, Johannes 1850, worked in rubber factory
NOLLMANN, Wilhelm 1859, worked in button shop
ROEDER, Friedrich 1870, worked in hosiery mill
ROEDER, Georg 1858, grocery and meat market; served in Civil War
SCHMIDT, Carl 1880, worked in rubber factory
SCHMIDT, Caspar 1880, worked in rubber factory
SCHMIDT, Caspar Jr. 1880, worked in rubber factory
SCHMIDT, Conrad 1882, worked in rubber factory
SCHMIDT, Heinrich 1886, tailor
SCHMIDT, Johannes 1880, worked in rubber factory
STEINMACHER, Johannes 1888, worked in rubber factory; later butcher
WAGNER, Adam 1865, worked in rubber factory
WAGNER, August 1863, worked in rubber factory
WAGNER, Conrad Born 17 Jan 1847 in Oberzell. Left from Hamburg on the ship S.S. Prussia on 1 Sep 1866. Became a citizen on 22 Oct 1872. Worked in rubber factory; later, fancy goods store in Milltown. Applied for a U.S. passport to visit Germany on 12 Jun 1911.
WAGNER, Heinrich 1867, worked in button shop
WAGNER, Johannes 1866, pet shop
WEBER, Emil 1877, worked in rubber factory
WEBER, Friedrich 1888, foreman on railroad; later caretaker of public school
WEBER, Heinrich 1886, machinist; watch maker
Copyright 2000-2008 by Sue Foster. Please contact me for permission to copy. I would love to know why you find this information interesting.