Decendants of Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Stelzriede

The known migrations -

In the 1800's, it was common practice for farmers who emigrated to the US to sponsor other farmers to come and work with them. Many of the Hille emigrants settled in and around the small towns of Minden, Florida, Fort Hunter, and Amsterdam in Montgomery County, NY, by the Schenectady County line, and also in Scotia in Schenectady County. Because of the small size of the village of Hille in the past, it is likely that most of the people over time were related in some way. I found names of some families of the Stelzriede's wives there, including Horstman and Gerling.

One Stelzriede who lived for a while in New York was Carl Friedrich August (Charles) Stelzriede who arrived there before 1849. Although it was a generation later, the following account of one Hille emigrant, gives some idea of what the move to New York was like. The family verbal history of the immigration of Christian Ludwig Thielking of Hille, originally written by his daughter, Leila Thielking, and edited by his great-granddaughter, Lisa [Thielking] Slaski, follows (used with permission - original at

Christian Ludwig Thielking was born at Hille, Westfalen, Germany on November 17, 1861 at no. 368. He went to public school until 14 years old, confirmed at Gehlenbeck in the Lutheran Church. He worked out as a hired man for a farmer until he was 21, when he was drafted into the army. In order to escape the army, he left Germany in October 1882 by leaving at night and crossing the border into Holland. He went to Antwerp and took a ship over to London, working his passage over. He stayed in London for 3 weeks, taking care of horses for the wealthy in the Mews of London. Then he crossed over to Liverpool, again caring for horses while he waited for a chance to work his passage over to America. After 6 weeks on the water, he landed at Castle Garden, New York City, unable to speak English and without any money. However, he found a job with the truck gardeners at Castle Garden the same day. He stayed there until July and then went to Schenectady and hired out to a farmer, again on the same day. The next year he moved to Visschers Ferry, where he again worked for a farmer and had to sleep up in an attic where the snow blew in on him at night. The following year he came back to Schenectady and got a job in Bronson's Broom factory. The next year he had an opportunity to drive a herd of cows from Schenectady to Mill Point for a farmer named Schoendorf. After the drive and having heard about the opportunities for work in the broom factories in Amsterdam, he found employment in Blood's Broom Factory and learned to wind brooms. For the next 30 years, he continued in this occupation at various broom factories in Amsterdam. Christian taught himself to read and write English by reading newspapers and 2 books, "Juliette" and "Down the Great River" and became a Naturalized Citizen in 5 years after entering the country on October 26, 1889. He met Caroline Gerling in the German Lutheran Church in Amsterdam and married her in 1891. At first they lived upstairs in her parents' home, until September 1897 when they bought the lot at 53 Arnold Ave in Amsterdam, NY for $600 and built their own home. The mortgage on the lot was discharged in 1908. Christian retired in 1921 due to heart trouble and he died in Amsterdam on 6 Mar 1940, leaving 2 sons and a widow.

Information on Horstmann and other Hille immigrants is available at the bottom of the page at from the research of Lisa Slaski. The Stelzriedes and Horstmanns are probably related by marriage.

Information on the Stelzriede migrations has been elusive. Often I have just inferred a range of years during which the move from Germany must have occurred based on known dates and locations, and on the age of the person and the whereabouts of their parents. There is a record on a CD of New York arrivals from 1820 to 1850 of Friederich Wilhelm Stelzriede (b. 1822). He arrived in New York from Rotterdam on the Brig Fame arriving 9/27/1843. From Passenger and Immigration Lists: New York, 1820-1850 (

Ernst Heinrich Stelzriede moved to Michigan before 1841.

Carl Friedrich August (Charles) Stelzriede (b.1817) moved to New York sometime before 1849 and to Illinois between 1857-60. (A mystery: Sandy Sickbert Thompson noticed an ad in a Colorado Springs newspaper in 2001 about a burial plot at the Evergreen Cemetery bought by "Chas. Stelzrede" in 1884 that remained unclaimed. This Charles is the most probable known Stelzriede who might have been in Colorado Springs at that time. One of his sons moved to Tempe, AZ. But the cemetery has no other records, so further work is planned to try to positively identify him.)

Carl Franz Heinrich Stelzriede and his one surviving son (three died in infancy), Carl Friedrich August Stelzriede (b.1837) moved to Illinois between 1838 and 1871. These two Carl's and Carl Friedrich's wife and two children were murdered in 1874 in Illinois, ending this branch of the family (see Tragedies).

Christian Henry Stelzriede moved to New York in 1865 (then to Illinois), and his brother Christian Frederick (Fred) Stelzriede (my great grandfather) moved to Illinois in 1867.

About 1876-7 some of the Stelzriedes moved to Hayden's Ferry (now Tempe) Arizona. From Arizona some later moved to California.

Indeed, many of the Stelzriedes have lived and continue to live in four areas of the US - Michigan, Illinois, Arizona and California. But with modern mobility there are now known relatives in Florida, Colorado, Texas, Georgia, Arkansas, Missouri, Idaho, and New Mexico.

I have searched passenger lists of ships coming from Bremen, Germany to the US from 1840-1849, but found no Stelzriedes listed. My grandfather told me of his father and some other family members including a niece coming to the US on the steamer Bremerhaven from Bremen on August 14, 1867 to Baltimore, MD, but there are no Stelzriedes listed on that passenger list either. That passenger list is here.

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