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Ühlein, Uehlein, Uihlein and Ühlin Families

edited by Mike Reilly

    The web pages to follow contain genealogical and historical information about  Ühlein, Uehlein, Uihlein and Ühlin families. There be other Americanized spellings of these names, such as, Eline, Uline, and other variations. This page continues with information about THE ÜHLEIN NAME by Mary Lou Traffis. Afterwards, an index appears listing topics concerning these families and individual members.

by Mary Lou Traffis

    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]

 CC: [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]

Kind regards

Michael Uihlein


Uehlein Family Index - listing of all web pages containing Uehlein information

Ühlein/Uihlein Family Chart - graphical representation of the family tree.

Uihlein Family Index - listing of all web pages containing Uihlein information.

Trennfurt / Wertheim / Miltenberg Map - two simple maps showing relative location in southern Germany.

ILLUSIONS, DELUSIONS AND ENLIGHTENMENT - October, 1997, visits to Wertheim and Miltenberg on the Main River, Germany by John K. Notz, Jr. (Recommended reading by this Editor if you're planning a trip to Germany.)

Letters from Family Members - mainly letters of introduction and a little background.

For more Genealogy Reference Materials on the Web

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Copyright Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc., , 2002 - 2016, Except as noted: All documents placed on the website remain the property of the contributors, who retain publication rights in accordance with US Copyright Laws and Regulations. In keeping with our policy of providing free information on the Internet, these documents may be used by anyone for their personal research. They may be used by non-commercial entities, when written permission is obtained from the contributor, so long as all notices and submitter information are included. These electronic pages may NOT be reproduced in any format for profit. Any other use, including copying files to other sites, requires permission from the contributors PRIOR to uploading to the other sites. The submitter has given permission to the website to store the file(s) for free access. Such permission may be revoked upon written notice to the website webmaster. Website's design, hosting, and maintenance are donated by Website Editor & Webmaster: Michael R. Reilly (Mike)