03 February 2007

Winter Driving in Illinois and Genealogy

When Franciska Trautvetter's funeral is held in January of 1888 in Tioga, Illinois, it was likely cold and wintry. The newspaper account of her funeral indicates that several people attended her funeral from Niota, Illinois. Of course the paper fails to indicate "why" they came to the funeral (Franciska's death being the main reason). Being familiar with the area, I knew it was a good thirty mile drive from Niota to Tioga and definitely not a quick trip back in 1888. Research into the individuals who attended indicated they were all half-siblings of Franciska, with a different surname because they shared a mother, but not a father.
Always pay attention to those "unstated" clues and keep in mind distances, likely travel modes, and the time of the year. Context is everything...