The German Family Picture

This is the Kaltenbach family in Hoboken
This is the Kaltenbach family in Hoboken

My great great great grandfather, Ernest Julius Kaltenbach, immigrated from Sulzberg,Germany in 1849. The main reason for this immigration was for a better life. When Ernest got here, with his wife Emma Sheurman, he moved to New York. There he had a child, and later moved to Hoboken where there were many Germans living at the time. An object left over from after their immigration was a family picture, with all their children and grandchildren in front of their house. This picture is black and white, and showing the classic German-American family. The picture is showing how their life improved after they came to America, and how they were able to start a family and befriend life long friends. To Ernest, this picture served as an important memory and landmark in his life. Immigration itself is one thing that brings all Americans together. Most people living in America have descended from immigrants or are immigrants themselves. Because of this, it is extremely important for Americans to share and learn immigrant stories. Immigrant stories allow us to widen the identity of America, but at the same time help us learn more about the American identity. The story of my great great great grandfather shows that the immigrant story can have a happy ending. In his case, after coming to America he was able to accomplish what he came here to do, have a better life. And without him immigrating here and starting a family, I wouldn’t be here today. 

Place(s): Germany, New Jersey,
Year: 1849

– Genevieve Mook

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more