In researching the Ühlein name, I have found the surname spelled as
Ühlein, Uehlein, Uihlein and Ühlin. Each of these names tend to be connected. In
America, the name whether spelled UE or UI is pronounced both as "E-line", an
American pronunciation or "U-line", the German pronunciation. In Germany, the
name is always pronounce with a deep UH sound.
On my Grandmothers, Mathilda Uehlein, German school papers she spelled
the name Ühlein, the U having the two dot umlaut. On her American papers it was spelled
Uehlein. Since the American language has no umlauts, it is said that one would substitute
either the vowel "e" or "i" as the umlaut.
In contacting, Friedrich Lehmkühler of Wertheim, Germany, the Chief
Editor of the Wertheim newspaper, the "Wertheim und Umgebung" along with being a
genealogist and publisher on many Uihlein documents, I asked him for history/origin
regarding the Ühlein/Uehlein name. This is his reply of November 1995:
The name Ühlein is derived from the first name Ulrich and Ulrich means
the same as the old Germanic name "Uodalrich" or "Odalrik".
"Odal" means inheritance, and "rik" or "rich" means mighty
or ruler, sovereign. The syllable "lein" stands for a diminutive. So, Ühlein is
a "little Ulrich". The form of this name is Alemannic. The oldest villages
around Wertheim are Bettingen, Dertingen, Uettingen, etc. The ending of these names is
also Alemannic. The Alemanns have been here from about the year 450 until about 600 or
700. Then they went south, and the Franconians followed on. Today they live in the Black
Forest, in northern Switzerland and in the German speaking Alsace region in France.
Therefore, I suppose the name Ühlein is very old.
Note: See more about the Uihlein name from Dr.
Michael Uihlein from Germany below.
From Mike Reilly to Mary Lou Traffis - No need for comment
here, just an observation - when you run an international white pages check on the names
Uihlein or Uehlein, you find them living in Germany. Could they be Americans that went
back there and stayed? Are they original Uhleins (with the umlaut), but wanted to identify
with their American cousins?
From Mary Lou - I have comments on this that I will go into later.
From Mike - Plus the Uhline (I'm getting to think of this as the method
of referring to the entire family)
From Mary Lou - My theory on this is..... When I speak of the early
German Ühleins, I use Ü (alt 154). When I speak of the Schlitz Uihlein, I use Uih. When
I speak of my family I use Ueh. I notice that the Schlitz Uihlein's carried the Uih all
the way up in their research. I do not think this is correct. I will have to view the
baptismal records to verify my thinking that it was Ühlein back then. When the Benedikt
Joseph went to Wertheim, that is when the name I think was revised to Uihlein. My theory
on this is due to a) in Wertheim, they refer to them as Uihlein's. b) it might have
distinguished themselves from/or away from the main branch of Ühleins back in Trennfurt.
c) one would have to do more research on the timeline of changes in the German language,
such as more recent change of the ß changing to SS.
From: [email protected]
(Dr. Michael Uihlein)
To: [email protected]
Subject: Uihlein Genealogy
Dear Mr. Reilly,
I am very impressed by what you compiled about the
genealogy of the Milwaukee Uihleins. Let me , being member of the Uihleins
who still live in Germany, comment and add, what I know about our family
and its American descendents:
1. The name: In the time before 1800 writing of an
Umlaut always required to write 2 vowels: thus for Umlaut "Ü"
either "Ue" or "Ui". Later on it became standardized
as "Ue". The "Ui" spelling only remained in family and
town names like "Duisburg" or "Uissigheim". However,
as paper was very precious in those days writers and printers tried to
avoid the double vowels and only printed Ulein. Thus the oldest entries
found in 1635 in the church registers of Koenigheim (cf.below) read
"Vlin" with "V" and "U" being equivalent
since the times of the Romans and avoiding the Umlaut and the prolonging
"h" as well as the "e" in "ein". The
requirement to save paper finally lead to the nowadays German Umlauts like
"Ü", where the dots are the reminder of a small "e"
that was originally printed on top of the "U".
2. The oldest findings about "Uihleins" I know
of date back to a Sebastian Uihlein (born approx. 1580, died 03.11.1635 at
Königheim. I found him in "Deutsches Geschlechterbuch, Baden 5, Band
189, Verlag C:A. Starke, Frankfurter Str. 51a, 65549 Limburg, phone: +49
6431 96150, fax: +49 6431 961515.
On the map you published in the Internet you would find
Koenigheim about 8 km (5mi) south of Uissigheim, which is southeast of
Wertheim. Direct descendants of this family still live in Germany, however
I could not yet find any link between them, my family originating from
Grossheubach (opposite Miltenberg) and the Trennfurt/Milwaukee Uihleins.
These links, however must exist as Koenigheim is only 33 km (approx. 20
mi), Grossheubach 6 km (approx. 4 mi), and Trennfurt 18 km (approx. 11 mi)
from Miltenberg. Besides, before 1803 all places mentioned belonged to the
state of the Archbishop of Mainz, Prince electorate and Chancellor of the
Holy Empire. In those days the only easy way to move from one place to
another was within the same territory/state.
3. I could trace my own family back to a Peter Joseph
Uihlein, Innkeeper at Grossheubach, born in 1759 and died 13.12.1813. To
find older entries is difficult due to the destructions of church records
during the Napoleon wars. Thus any direct relationship between my family
and the Trenn furt/Milwaukee Uihleins could latest have been during the
generation of Johann Michael Uihlein (born 1727) and his brothers.
4. One branch of my family, who lost their father in
1864 came to New York in 1869. Direct descendants of them still live in
the New Haven CT area. You may best contact George
and Martha Uihlein, 45 White Oak Lane, Woodbridge CT 06525. I believe,
that the Carl Uihlein in the list of your family deaths belongs to this
(our) family. Furthermore I heard, that branches of this family went from
New York to the west.
I would be interested in having further exchange on the
Uihlein family (families). If you would also like to stay in touch with
me, here are my co-ordinates:
Dr. Michael Uihlein
e-mail: [email protected]