Rick - My Gerhard Kuhlmann also came from the Kingdom of Hanover in the late 1840s. The family story says that 5 brothers immigrated to St. Louis. Gerhard married there on New Years Day 1850. These brothers also had the "von" before their name. They were from near Osnabrueck, but I do not know the exact village. The story goes, when the Prussians took over they confiscated all the Kuhlmann land. Gerhard moved to Quincy, Il. in 1854. Joseph Kuhlmann came to Quincy a little later, probably a nephew. The parents of my Gerhard Kuhlmann were: Johann Frederick Kuhlmann and Marie Helena Wulferkuchler. I have one clue that Rulle could be their town of origin but it's far from certain. Lower Saxony is the worst place to get information. I have been so successful in all other parts of Germany. The people bent over backwards to help me. But not Niedersaxson! Was your family originally from the St. Louis area? email me email@example.com Thanks for your time.