·        Grammar and expression are mostly, but not always corrected or updated. If it was not clear what the writer wanted to say/express word order and syntax is kept as it originally was.

·        Names of people differ in the spelling used by the writer(-s) and could thus be actually spelled differently.


(grey) personal/explaining comments (I. Bednarz)

(?)       – not sure about transcription, translation or meaning

[…]      – unreadable word

[---]     – unreadable or cut passage



Kingville, May the 28th 1879

Dear cousin Annie,

I will now take my seat to answer […] your and welcome letter for which I looked so long. I received your letter the 8th of March and was very glad to hear from you once again. I would have written long ago but I always put it off till I could send you my picture and now I have one but ain’t satisfied with it at all for I don’t think it looks like me, such a gross looking thing I haven’t more than this one this time. But I had mine taken before this and they don’t look as if they were the same person if I hold them together. I know you will say it is a homely thing, it is taken so poor. If I ever get another better one taken, I will send you one more. Please send me yours for I am anxious (she probably means “excited”?) to see it.

You wanted to know how many brothers and sisters I have. I have two brothers and two sisters, 5 children. Please tell me how many brothers and sisters have you had that died. Please tell me what your father is working at.

We are all well so far and hope the same of you. I must bring my letter to a close for this time hoping to hear from you soon. Please excuse all mistakes and poor writing. Please give me your direction (address?) and don’t forget our best love to you all and don’t forget me.

From your cousin Rosina Emig

to cousin Annie Dietz



Lieber Schwager und Schwägerin,

wenn euch dieses Schreiben bei guten bei guter Gesundheit antrifft wie es uns verlässt, so freut es uns von Herzen. Was mich anbetrifft, so bin ich ein alter ausgeschaffter (neudeutsch: erschöpfter) Mann. Ich kann das Fahrwerk zum Arbeiten nicht mehr treiben. Meine Glieder sind […] alle lahm, das Gehen und Arbeiten geht mir hart. Du kannst dir denken, wenn ein Mann wie ich gearbeitet hat und jetzt 63 Jahre alt ist, dass er nicht viel mehr tun kann.

Darum wünsche ich, dass du doch schreiben möchtest wie es bei euch geht und was du treibst. Die Zeiten sind hart und das Geld ist rar und kein Verdienst. Ich will mein Schreiben schließen mit vielen Grüßen an Euch alle.

Dein ergebener Schwager

Leonhard Emig

Baldige Antwort.

Kingville Sullivan County Pennsylvania


English translation E2-E3:

Dear brother-in-law and sister-in-law,

If this letter reaches you in good health as it left us, we will be delighted. As far as I am concerned I am an old exhausted man. I can’t handle the chassis (probably referring to former farming carriages) anymore. My limbs are all […] lame, working and walking are hard for me. You can think of it, if a man has been working like me and is now 63 years old, that he can’t do much anymore.

That is why I wish you would write how things are going and what you are doing. Times are rough and money is rare and no earnings. I want to close my letter now with my regards to you all,

Your loyal brother-in-law

Leonhard Emig.

Early reply. (expressing that L. Emig awaits an early reply; occurs in almost all letters)

Kingville Sullivan County Pennsylvania