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. John’s Reformed Church or the German Lutheran Church which were four miles away in New Brunswick,  Then the minister of St. John’s 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. Paul’s 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. Paul’s 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.