On 18 Septemer 1868, my 3rd great-grandfather Anselmus Ostholthoff arrived in New York aboard the German steam ship "Smidt" after a trans-Atlantic journey from Andervenne, Germany. His traveling companions - wife Maria Anna (Toepke) Ostholthoff, their eldest son Johan Gerhard (2 years), and daughter Anna Maria (9 months).
The following snippet from their arrival documentation indicates that Anselmus ("Selmus") was a farmer from Andervenne. His stated destination after New York: Virgina. This is curious to me, because I have record of Anselmus living in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1870. At this point, Mr. Ostholthoff is no longer working as a farmer; he is an employee at the local lard factory. Perhaps he spent a little time living in Virginia prior to settling in Cincinnati? By 1870, his third child – Bernard Lina – is already six months old. Could he possibly have had relatives living in Virginia who made their journey from Germany even earlier? Something to investigate further.
As I browse through the many immigrant passenger lists, arrival lists, and naturalization documents from my own family, I can’t help but imagine what life would have been like aboard the ship. I am so grateful for their courage and fortitude!
 Year: 1868; Arrival: New York, United States; Microfilm Serial: M237; Microfilm Roll: 301; Line: 11; List Number: 1002. Ancestry.com. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010, accessed January 2013.
 1870 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Cincinnati, Ward 10, Hamilton, Ohio, Page 553B, Dwelling 867, Family 1962, Anselmus Ostholthoff household, jpeg image, (Online: The Generations Network, Inc., 2009) [Digital scan of original records in the National Archives, Washington, DC], subscription database, <http://www.ancestry.com/>, accessed January 2013.