In Search of Johannes-

(Johannes Meyer b. 1816, father of John Meyer b. abt. 1842, father of George H. Meyer b.1888)

Sometimes all it takes is the right piece for a puzzle to fall into place, genealogy is often works the same way. And the right piece to solve the Johannes puzzle was alluding me.

In the previous post I had said that John Meyer’s marriage certificate stated Johannes Meyer was his father and in the 1880 census John was living in Cascade, Sheboygan county, Wisconsin. But my search to find Johannes living in the same area had come up blank. Had he died? Did he live somewhere else? If so where? His Meyer name was far too common to hope to find without some concrete clues.

My Mom and aunts suggested I contact their cousin Margaret Meyer. She was happy to hear from me but couldn’t add more than I already knew. She did say though that her parents had been good friends with Pierre and Edith Meyer. They had vacationed together, yearly, in Florida.She thought she remembered something about her father being named for their father which would mean John had a brother named Charles. She didn’t know where they had lived in NY and without a way to narrow my search I stayed stuck.

Then one day my Mom called me all excited. She’d been cleaning cupboards and found a pamphlet about a De Spyster family in New York and the Meyer and Roosevelt’s were named. My body tingled as she read about the De Spyster history going back into the Colonial times. Then had her reread it. Yes, a Charles Meyer was mentioned but he was married to a De Spyster. No one in the interesting history she’d read were related to us. Once I got past my initial disappointment I realized though it still contained an important clue. The Charles Meyer had children and they were named Pierre and Edith. Better yet it said they had all lived in Lewis County, New York. I had a place to look.

Time to go back to the census. I found a record for a Johannes Meyer in Lewis county in 1855 and 1860 plus a naturalization record. But I didn’t know enough about him to be sure he was the right one. I decided to send a letter to the Lewis county Historian to see if she could shed some light on the man.

I wasn’t expecting much after all if my Johannes had lived there it was a long time ago. I certainly wasn’t expecting to find a letter from the past residing in my mailbox a few weeks later. Who had written it is a rather long story so I will save it for my next post.

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