(Johann Meyer, b. abt. 1818 -John Meyer b. abt. 1842, George H. Meyer b. 1888)
Pierre Meyer’s letter had confirmed most of what I had heard about Johann Meyer. He’d come from Alsace, his first wife died, he’d remarried and they had a hers, his and ours sort of family. It had given me the name of his second wife and their two sons Charles and August. It had also mentioned another son named George (not to be confused with my grandfather George) and that there had been four daughters. It confirmed they had first lived in Lewis county New York and had moved to Sheboygan county around 1863 and he had eventually had returned to Alsace.
Checking the 1855 census where I had found a John Maiars.I found the information matched -Johann was listed as age 37, making him born around 1818 and his wife Julia as age 43. The children listed were Margaret Mairars age 16, Catherine – age 15, Anna – age 14, John – age 10, Mary – age 8, Joseph age – 11, Charles age 1. Listed as Saefart’s were Fredrick age 17, Aiwivina age 18. With the name Julia for the wife, and her Seafart children also listed I was confident I had the right family. And now I had names for the four daughters.
If I had this information now I’d have gone straight to Ancestry.com and other on-line sources to do further searches but in 1997 things weren’t that easy. I still had no married names for the girls making them difficult to trace. So I did what many a genealogist does I entered all the information I had on Johann and John Meyer into a Meyer mailing list as well as the two counties they had lived in hoping someone else might tracing him and be able to fill in the missing pieces. In the meantime I moved on to other lines.
Then one day while cleaning I again ran across the scrapbook Grandma Rose had kept. As I flipped through it’s pages an obituary fluttered out. I had read it before. It was for a Charles Sauer whom my mother said had been a good friend of her Dad’s. She said they had worked as farm hands together and had enjoyed great times her Dad spoke of often. I had pointed out the obituary said Charlie had lived all of his life in New York. But she said he must have come to Wisconsin during the summers because she was sure her Dad had worked with him on a farm in his teens.
Since I had not been working on the family history at the time, I never questioned it. Now, it seemed odd. Then a name jumped out at me-Catherine Meyer. Charles Sauer was the son of a Fredrick Sauer and Catherine Meyer and he had lived in Naumburg, a town near Croghan, NY. Catherine was the name of one of the girls on the 1855 census. Was this Catherine, John Meyer’s sister? If so, Charlie was my Grandfather’s cousin and his mother, his aunt.
The obituary was dated 1962 and stated that Charlie had lived all his life on the family homestead and never married. His only survivor was a nephew Harry Bingle. This nephew might hold the key to the answers I sought but was he even alive. More than 30 years had passed since Charles had died. answers I sought.
I searched the on the internet for an address and phone number for a Harry Bingle in Lewis county, New York. I found one but the address was for a nursing home. Was he still alive and if so would he be well enough to give me the information I sought? Ever hopeful, I dashed of a letter with the information I had. And once again I began the waiting game.