Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Another Letter to Germany - 1891




Here is another of the "Boomerang Letters" from Philadelphia to Drackenstein, Germany (above) that found their way back here via my 3rd cousins. This one is maybe from my great-great grandfather Joseph Enz' sister Christine (Enz) Wagner to her mother. There's a reference to a different surname, but she mentions 5 names that are Christine's siblings. The more I look at it, I think the name is Tochtermann, of which there were some in Phila in this period. Perhaps a cousin of our Enz family. 









{Page 1}                                                                                                      Philadelphia, Decb 8, 1891
Dear mother a. siblings,
We received your last letter a. we were very happy that we received a letter from you again. My dear mother how are you doing, how I read in your letter, you do not see much anymore a. you have been sick, too, but I hope with God’s help we still will have a mother for many years. Dear mother you must not worry a. cry, your children in America have it nice a. everyone is in good health thank God. Dear mother, brother Storr’s son is in America again but he did not come to Philadephia[sic] he probably is in Broklin[sic], did you give him pills, it is better if you refrain from it, we
{Page 2} 
do not get any anyway like you never received the watch from Joseph a. the half dollar, he has both the watch a. the money a. at Joseph’s, where he was most recently, he said goodbye and took the train right away. That is a Wiesensteiger episode, it looks like them. Dear mother, when you send Sophie the money, so send it directly to her. She will put it in the bank under her name. You should have sent him a quite rough letter the Lemmek a. Brusbuben when he does not know the people a. write official on it you do not have anything in writing if it is really your Tahtermann[1], and besides you can keep it as long as you want. His mother must be angry, too, she does not write him anymore. We did not know anything of this until you told us in your letter.
{Page 3}
Dear mother I will soon send you my family portrait I meant to send it for Christmas. But it is too late now, maybe until New Year’s or Epiphany[2]. Dear mother Gertrud bought a house it only cost 1300 Thaler[3] it has 4 rooms it is not far away from Mina’s. The notes of the five rosaries delighted us but most of the prayers we knew already. The children prayed for the poor souls the whole month. Please greet the little boy warmly a. anybody who asks for us. Dear mother a. siblings it is always nice weather here no snow, we have nice fall days. We have must in the basement 4 barrels, one barrel has 50 gallons, 1 gallon has 4 liter according to German measure.   
{Page 4}
The gallon cost 10 cents we also have apples in the basement and potatoes the potatoes a. the apples cost 50 to 60 cents per bushel a little more than in the summer. Dear mother now I want to tell you about my business. On Mondays I do laundry for someone else, already for three years, I receive ¾ Thaler or 5 cents a. good food a. drink a. I am done at 2. Tuesdays I do the laundry for ourselves, Wednesdays I iron, Thursdays a. Fridays I sow, there is always something to mend a. new clothes for the children all the time. On Saturdays I clean. My dear mother a. siblings I wish you a merry Christmas a. and a happy New Year God’s blessing a. that you will live in peace for many years to come. Greetings a. kisses, your loving daughter Christine Tahtermann a. the children. 

How is Marie, is she better again. Engelbert are you in good health a. your family, too, farewell goodbye.

Side sentence: Write as soon as you have my picture. Farewell.



[1] The surname Christine uses at the end of the letter after her name.
[2] January 6
[3] The Thaler is an old German currency, which was used until ca 1907. 


How interesting to find out the cost of her sister Gertrude's home .

I looked up Weisensteig and it is famous for witch trials that took place from 1562-3. Apparently, the head of the town blamed a severe hailstorm & epidemic on witches, burning 63 women he accused. Nice.

The "must" she refers to is a homemade grape wine. It includes the skins etc for flavor.

This is a photo of German & Austrian Thalers.

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