Edward Mieding (“lieber neffe Eduard”) was born in Rochester, Monroe, New York, on 14 January 1857. His mother, Adelia Schaar, was born in Saxony in 1816. The 1860 census record for Adelia Schaar (the “onkel” was her brother) would indicate that she immigrated to the United States between 1850 and 1853 with her husband and 4 children. Edward and two other children were born in New York.
The letter is written on the letterhead of Schaar & Sohn Bierbrauerei (Schaar & Son Beer Brewery) in Blankenburg, 14 January 1896. (Check Google & historic maps for Blankenburg.) [Previous research indicated that the Schaar Brewery was sole to the Rose Brewery. The picture of Eduard Schaar in my previous post came from Rose Brewery's website.]
The first paragraph is general greetings with a chiding of Edward for not corresponding with relatives in Germany. (“It had been my hope that correspondence with you would have transpired long ago but you, dear Edward, did not seem to give much thought to your many relatives.”)
“Your mother’s plaintive letter of 1863 (at the time of the terrible war in America), your father’s death, and the lack of an answer to my letter left me with the unhappy thought that my sister was no longer among the living and that the fortunes of her children had been dispersed to the four winds.”
Edward’s father (I have conflicting information on the name of Edward’s father — Carl O. Mieding or Herman Mieding) died no later than 1863, perhaps in combat in the Civil War. (Check Civil War pension records to see if Adelia filed a claim as a widow. Check the New York rosters of Union soldiers to see if I can find Carl O. , Herman, or other Mieding from Rochester.)
Following the 1863 letter, Adelia corresponded with her brother in Germany “after a long time. … The letter cam in a roundabout way to Pössneck to my son Paul” (Check maps for Pössneck.)
“I still have the [photograph] I received from her, taken in 1863, which showed a young boy on her lap. Since you were born in 1839 [sic] it could well have been you in the photograph.” [Uncle Eduard has obviously made a mistake about nephew Edward's year of birth. If Edward had been born in 1839, he would have been 24 in 1863 -- not a "young boy." I have wondered if uncle Eduard had intended to write 1859. Even that year, however, does not fit with data extracted from census records. 1900 Census has Edward born in New York in May 1857.
"That you have spent 22 years in an occupation in one and the same region..." This confirms other data that indicate the Edward Mieding worked for most of his adult life in the lumber business - planing mill foreman.
"I have concluded that you live comfortably and have a wife and three darling children." Edward was married to Mary Adeline Messerall. Their three children were Grace Ada (b. 1888), George Leroy (b. 1890), and Carl Edward (born 1892). A fourth child, Clara, was born to the couple in 1899. Eduard Schaar then writes about his children: Maria and Klara are at home and unmarried; Elisabeth, unmarried, lives in Switzerland; Hedwig lives in Halberstadt and is married to a locksmith [or mechanic]; Berthe, the oldest of his children (by his first wife) lives in Neustadt T.O. (Thuringia); Paul, the oldest son, has been running the brewery since 1883, and is now “going through the dissolution of the business.” The younger son, Richard, is a brewer in Muskau (Silesia). (Check maps and gazeteers for: Halberstadt, Neustadt T. O., and Muskau.)
Marginal note: “Clara Borchard cheered me with a letter…” Clara Borchard is Edward Mieding’s sister.
If I ever journey to Germany on a genealogical research tour with my son, I will further research Eduard Schaar’s children, grandchildren, etc. as possible people to contact in order to share stories and data.