While growing up in Germany, Martin learned the trade of a Weaver. Based on later records, it appears Martin was a basket-weaver. In April 1862, Martin made application to emigrate Germany. Martin arrived at Castle Garden, New York on 30 Jun 1862 on the vessel "Atalanta" with his mothers cousin, Gottlob Kurz. The voyage took 40-50 days. By the end of the trip, the "bread was usually moldy, the butter rancid, and the water almost undrinkable."
On 02 Nov 1866, Martin renounced his allegiance to the King of Wuerttemberg, and became a naturalized citizen of the United States of America. In the 1870 US Federal Census, Martin was living with the Kurtz family, as a baker. This Kurtz family, is presumably related to the same Gottlob Kurz that Martin arrived to America with. In about 1870, Martin Nestel married Anna Catherine Hohmann, from Allegheny Co., Pa. They had their first child, John Hohman Nestel, on 03 Aug 1871, while residing at 2034 Ridge Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Martin's first home ownership was in Riverside, Burlington Co, New Jersey on 01 Jul 1874. He purchased his first home from Bartholomew Schmid, "Numbered 236 and 237 in the Plan of Progress (now Riverside)", for $1,000.
- John Hohman Nestel (b. 03 Aug 1871)
- Charles Jacob Nestel (b. 15 Dec 1873)
- Edward Peter Nestel (b. 26 Oct 1875)
- Martin John Nestel (b.25 Nov 1878)
- George Henry Nestel (b. 1880 - d.1888)