11 December 2009

Communion in Tioga, Illinois, 1867


This list of communicants from 1867 is shorter than some of the other lists at the Tioga Evangelical Church in Tioga, Illinois [now Bethany United Church of Christ]. Number 9 is my great-great-grandmother. Number 6, "Vater Trautfelder," probably is John George Trautvetter, as three of his sons also lived in the vicinity and at the time of this were in their late twenties. John George had two brothers in the area as well who could have attended the same church, but those siblings had no children, so it seems likely that the reference to "vater" would be to the one with children.
I really need to review the material I copied when I was at the Family History Library. I made copies of stuff and think I promptly forgot I even made the copies.

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07 August 2009

Louis and Ida (Trautvetter) Henerhoff children


This is but part of one page from the guardianship of the children of Louis and Ida Etta (Trautvetter) Henerhoff who died during the 1918 flu epidemic. Their guardianship was chock full of genealogical information, some of which I already knew. This guardianship is but one in a series of documents involving the farm of John Michael Trautvetter, father of Ida Etta.
The Henerhoffs will be featured in an upcoming "Casefile Clues" column which will analyze the several documents that explained the children's inheritance and how it impacted others in the family.
The children's guardian was their other grandfather, August Henerhoff. He died before the guardianship was over and that estate became intertwined in the guardianship as well. Before it was all said and done, the children were heirs of their parents and both their grandfathers.
This guardianship comes from the Guardianship Case Files in the Hancock County, Illinois, Circuit Clerk's Office and were obtained on microfilm from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

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05 August 2009

1930 Census Mary Trautvetter and her neice

I've been doing a little playing with Footnote.com this month while they are offering free access to their 1930 census. This entry is for a family that will appear in an upcoming "Casefile Clues" column.

Maxine's guardianship over ten years before this census was contested all the way to the Illinois Supreme Court. There were so many documents in the file that I had to stop scanning them when I was in Salt Lake at the Family History Library due to time constraints. Mary Trautvetter is a first cousin to my great-grandfather, George Trautvetter (1869-1934).

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15 July 2009

Google Books Finds My Ancestor in Harvard Library Book

It probably is just his name and address or city, but I darn near fainted. A search for "erasmus trautvetter" turned up an EXACT MATCH on http://books.google.com/

Problem is there is no scan of the book.

In a little experiment, I mentioned this on Facebook, Twitter, and I'll mention it on Genealogywise in a minute. This experiment is to see if these sites actually help me get a copy of the book.
Otherwise, I'll see if it will interlibrary loan, but I tend to doubt it.

I NEVER find exact matches for Erasmus Trautvetter (my 4th great-grandfather).

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30 June 2009

Deed Indexes in Public Land States

This is part of a deed from 1920 in Hancock County, Illinois.
It makes an excellent point of why it is important to search for the names of all relatives and not just the direct line. George and Ida Trautvetter are my great-great-grandparents. This deed is part of the settlement of his father's estate. Had I not looked for the last names of his siblings I would have overlooked it. Because the deed lists Louisa Mundy first, that is how it appears in the grantor index. Deeds with multiple grantors (as many "heirship" deeds are) are typically only indexed by the name of the first grantor.
This deed comes from Hancock County, Illinois Deed Book 177, page 579. More discussion of this record will appear in an upcoming "Casefile Clues" column in Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter.

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28 June 2009

You Are Always Going to Forget Something

My list for the next trip to Salt Lake keeps growing.

What I thought was going to be a short project keeps growing. The probate records of John Micahel Trautvetter (died in Hancock County, Illinois in 1917) mention a mortgage on his farm and the approval of interest payments on the mortgage. The probate records make no mention of paying off the mortgage and any such payments are not included in the estate's accountings.

I thought land records would answer my question and they partially did. Turns out I also need the guardianship records for four of John's grandchildren and that may only answer another part of the question. These grandchildren were orphaned when their parents died in the Flu epidemic of 1918, less than a year after their grandfather Trautvetter died.

An upcoming column in "Casefile Clues" in Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter (paid edition) will discuss the records and proces used to see what happened to John's farm after his death.

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01 June 2009

Death Bed Care in 1869

This image comes from part of an expense submission by John Herbert to the estate of Michael Trautvetter, probated in Hancock County, Illinois, in 1869. Herbert's wife was actually Michael's niece.

Herbert was allowed $4.50 per day for taking care of Trautvetter in his final illness. I'm not certain if there was a table of rates the court used or not. Interestingly enough, just for comparision, the refreshments at the wake were $4.75--just about the same as the per day allowance for care.

So to put that in modern terms, the refreshments at the funeral cost about as much as a one-day stay in the nursing home (smirk).

Note: this image comes from the scan I made while viewing the file at the Family History Library in Salt Lake.

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Clues in Receipts

Last year in Salt Lake, I scanned several complete estate files and to be honest...I haven't looked at them completely until now.
This is a receipt for the inheritance George Trautvetter received from the estate of his brother Michael Trautvetter, probated in Hancock County, Illinois in the late 1860s early 1870s.
It is signed by George Adolph Trautvetter ,"atty in fact for Geo Trautfetter[sic]." There are several reasons why George Adolph might have signed for George (George Adolph was the son of George. In this case though, it helps provide me with a clue as to when George (the father) returned to Germany.
Pays to read the entire file.

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30 April 2009

the Flu, Guardianships, and Court Records

I discovered a court case that was appealed to the Illinois State Supreme Court while searching on Google books. I have included part of the summary here in this post. The parents died within ten days of each other in 1920. I am not certain what they died from, but will have to add getting death certificates to my list of things to do. The mother is a first cousin of my great-grandfather Trautvetter.


My great-grandfather Trautvetter's sister and her husband died during the 1918 flu epidemic and their children were raised by family members after the parents died.

Have you considered if the 1918 flu or other epidemics impacted your family members? Leaving minor children with no parents created a problem and in some cases those problems might have resulted in court or other records.

Another great-grandfather had a sister and brother-in-law who died during the flu. Now I'll have to get on that and research that family as well.

The image in this post was from:

Reports of Cases at Law and in Chancery Argued and Determined in the Supreme Court of Illinois
By the Illinois Supreme Court
Published by Supreme Court, State of Illinois, 1921
Item notes: v. 297
Original from Harvard University
Digitized Aug 15, 2007
located on http://books.google.com/

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13 November 2008

Boolean Searches of OCR Text at Genealogybank.com

I don't know why I never tried it before. Now I have numerous searches to perform all over again at Genealogy Bank.


The screen shot in this blog entry shows part of the screen from a search I just conducted today for good old Philip Troutfetter.


It is much easier when one enters Boolean search terms in the keywords box. I do not know why it never dawned on me to use those before.

With all the variants of trautvetter, this was a much easier search to perform. The word "taylor" was added as it was the last name of an alias Philip used. The ? as a wildcard operator was used in Troutfetter to catch some variant spellings. I need to modify it though as sometimes the two "t"s at the end get read as "l"s. However, this makes my searching much easier.


I wanted to find references to the last name of Troutfetter, etc. withinn 4 words of the word Taylor. This is why the "near4" command was used.


We will be playing (err.... experimenting more) with the searches at Genealogy Bank and letting you know what we find.

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25 June 2008

Death and a Bible Verse

While in Salt Lake City last May, I copied several records from the Bethany United Church of Christ in Tioga, Hancock County, Illinois.

The image on this post is the death entry for Franciska Trautvetter, who died on 15 January 1888 (wife of Michael Trautvetter). The entry indicates she was 36 years, 5 months, and 21 days old--and also indicates a date of birth of 22 July 1851.

The pastor even provides the funeral text: Psalms 102: 24-25.

Some translations of verse 24 refer to being taken in the "midst of my days," a likely reference to Franciska's age at the time of her death.

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06 May 2008

I always thought they were Short

It seemed to me that most of my branch of the Trautvetter clan were not very tall. It appears now that I was mistaken. In looking at the Illinois "old men's draft" cards available on FamilySearch Labs, I found my great-grandfather's brother, Henry Trautvetter.




The first image here is the front of the card, providing information on his name, place of birth, and employer.






The back side of his card indicates he was 6 foot 4 inches tall---a height I was not expecting. I didn't think any older members of this family were that tall. And his weight was only 140 pounds. Thinking there might be an error and that he was actually 5 foot 4 inches tall, I decided to view his World War I draft card.



Sure enough, that card, while not providing a specific height, indicates he was "tall." The image at the bottom of this post is Uncle Henry's World War I draft card. It is a little difficult to see, but his height is marked in the upper left hand corner of the back of the card (right half of the image) as being tall. So the entry on the World War 2 draft card likely is not an error.


I won't comment on the fact that he only weighed 140 pounds....





Henry is a brother to George Adolph Trautvetter (1869-1934), my great-grandfather.

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13 March 2008

Playing with Family Tree Maker's websearch


I have been playing with the websearch on Family Tree Maker 2008. The websearch is best used for locating new clues or easily capturing things you have already located. I NEVER automatically upload a "hit" from the websearch. The image should always be viewed if available and the information analyzed to determine if the correct person has been located.

That said, I am still playing with just a few of my ancestral families to see the matches FTM 2008 gives me. One was potentially helpful.

I had forgotten (or maybe never even knew in the first place) that my Grandma Neill's brother had lived in Keokuk, Iowa, during the 1920s. FTM2008 pulled up the reference to Elmer Trautvetter in the 1925 census, which I had not thought to search for myself.

The 1925 Iowa State Census provides places of birth for the parents, their ages, and their place of marriage. Grandma's mother (Ida Sargent) is one of my brick walls and this was another location to potentially obtain a clue as to her origins. Interestingly enough, the listing shows her mother as "Ida Sargen." I'm still pretty certain her maiden name was Sargent; however, this provides me with a potential clue as to how the family pronounced her name and an additional spelling variant. Her age is off by almost ten years as well.




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15 February 2008

Phillip Troutfetter Acquitted


While it's not news anymore, it is news to me. I've been writing about and researching my relative Philip Troutfetter who was involved in some goings on in Colorado, Cuba, and Columbia in the late 1890s and early 1900s.

The only "legal" trouble he apparently had stemmed from his mother-in-law. This article appeared in the Valley Falls Vindicator, Valley Falls, Kansas, 21 August 1903 and is on worldvitalrecords.com. We will continue to post more about Troutfetter's affairs as we discover them.

This was discovered on World Vital Records website today--still in their free section. Their recent databases are free for a short time--try them out.

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24 January 2008

Are You Checking all Online Newspapers?

Like many genealogists, I use the online newspapers at:
World Vital Records
Genealogy Bank
Ancestry.com

However it is worth remembering that these newspaper collections are sometimes incomplete and that other sites may have newspapers on them as well, in some cases for free.

The Quincy, Illinois, Public Library is a good case in point. They have scanned old Quincy area newspapers from the microfilm, and created a digital database that can be searched. The interesting thing is that I KNOW I have searched this database for the last name Trautvetter several years ago and already viewed all the small number of hits. Today a search for that name again (on a whim) resulted in two new hits, including the one that is shown in this post. I would have remembered seeing this reference.

The Quincy Daily Journal from Quincy, Illinois 22 March 1918 listed those who had taken their teacher exams for second and third grade. A surprise to me was the listing of Luella Trautvetter from Mendon, Illinois. I never knew my great aunt had taken the teacher exam. She would have been 17 and a half years old at the time she took the exam.

If not for the digital version of the newspaper, I would never have located this reference.

The digital archives of the Quincy [Illinois] Public Library can be found on their site.

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15 January 2008

Dan Patch Two Step

I have known about this score for some time, but just recently found it digitized and placed on the internet at the Indiana Historical Society. It is amazing what a google search will turn up.

The "Dan Patch Two-Step" was published by the International Stock Food Company in Minneapolis in the early 1900s. Dan Patch was a world famous race horse and the song was written in his honor.

I'm still trying to find out who H. G. Trautvetter was. I do not think he is a member of "my" Trautvetter/Troutfetter family which settled in Hancock County, Illinois, and who were descendants of Erasmus and Anna Gross Trautvetter of Thuringen, Germany. I'm of the mind that all the Trautvetters are related, it is just a matter of making the connections.

Maybe I'll get someone to play the song and we'll place the tune on on the site.

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14 January 2008

Picture of Philip Troutfetter


We finally have located a picture of Philip Troutfetter, who spent part of the 1890s and early 1900s travelling through the US, Cuba, Columbia, and perhaps Jamaica avoiding his former mother-in-law, associating with some involved in the Neely Rathbone Affair, and working in mining.
We'll continue to post additional information on Philip as information is uncovered. This has proven to be a most interesting study.
Philip was born in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois, in the 1860s and died near Colby, Kansas in the early 1900s.
His first cousin is John Michael Trautvetter (1839-1917), my great-great-grandfather. John Michael was in court too, but he was not the globetrotter his cousin was.

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07 January 2008

More on Philip Troutfetter


This is very much a work in progress, but the more I continue preliminary research on Philip Troutfetter, the more "new" stories I encounter. This image comes from the Baltimore Sun July 26th, 1900. It mentions that Philip Troutfetter was involved in some mining schemes in South America. Estes G. Rathbone was Director General of Posts in Cuba and was arrested in July of 1900 in Havana. He was eventually cleared. Involved in the fraud was a Mr. Neely, with whom Troutfetter is known to have associated. This story continues....

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30 November 2007

Cousin Acquitted in 1903...The Troutfetter story continues

I made a neat little find in the newspapers at World Vital Records today. I learned that my relative was acquitted by a Colorado Springs Court on embezzlement charges in 1903. A search for "troutfetter" at World Vital Records pulled up several results in the Small Town Newspapers Collection, including one from the Valley Springs Vindicator in Valley Springs, Kansas, of 21 August 1903, page 2, which reads in part:

"Philip Troutfetter...has been acquited[sic] of the charge of embezzlement at Colorado Springs. Troutfetter was accused by his mother-in-law...."

The orginal posting about Troutfetter can be viewed here. It is really a colorful headline.

We'll be posting more about Philip as the research is complete. His father, Christian Troutfetter, was a pioneer of Colby County, Kansas, and was a first cousin of my ancestor John Michael Trautvetter of Hancock County, Illinois. A very interesting family and Philip appears to have lead an interesting life.

Those unfamiliar with World Vital Records can view the their current offers here .

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14 November 2007

Rothweilers in St. Louis-Wilhelmina and George


This is the 1860 census entry for George and Wilhelmina Rothweiler in St. Louis' second ward. George is 35 years old and Wilhelmina is 29 and a half. Wilhelmina's maiden name was Hess and she was the daughter of Ernestine Trautvetter Hess (dates unknown), a sister to my ancestor John George Trautvetter (1798-1871). The Trautvetters were actually from Thuringen, Germany.

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Oil portrait from the 1860s


I not certain when it was painted or who painted it, but the picture here is one taken of oil portraits of John George (1798-1871) and Sophia Elizabeth Derle Trautvetter (1808-1877). The Trautvetters were natives of Thuringen, Germany and immigrated in 1853, settling in Rocky Run Township, Hancock County, Illinois.
Sophia is buried in the Bethany Cemetery, Tioga, Hancock County, Illinois. John George is buried in Bad Salzungen, Germany.

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Declarations of Intent pre-1906

When I was in Salt Lake last May, one of my goals was to search for some declarations of intent and other naturalization documents on a few of my ancestors.

Like other documents, declarations of intent to become a citizen can vary greatly from one location to another and from one time period to another. Those familiar with naturalization research and history realize that records before 1906 are less detailed and less uniform than records after the 1906 reform.


There are two declarations of intent included in this post. The first one comes from Adams County, Illinois in 1856. Bernard Dirks is simply stating his intent to naturalize. It is not known (yet) when he immigrated, but it was likely close to the time this declaration was filed in April of 1856.





The second declaration of intent (partially shown in this post) comes from 1853 in Hancock County, Illinois, just north of Adams County. This form is significantly more detailed than the 1856 form for Bernard Dirks. In this declaration, George Trautvetter indicates his date and place of birth in Germany and his date and place of landing in the United States. His declaration was filed on 4 January 1855, a year and a half (approximately) after his immigration in July of 1853. Why the delay is not known. George did settle in Hancock County, Illinois, pretty much immediately after his arrival in the United States as he is listed as a resident of Hancock County, Illinois, when he purchased property in the fall of 1853.

Unfortunately, declarations of intent are not always preserved at the county level and as we have seen here there can be inconsistencies in how much information they contain. However, they should still be included as a part of any research plan for immigrant ancestors. And don't forget that before 1906, any court of record could naturalize.

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30 October 2007

Trautvetter Portraits


The image to the left is a photograph of oil portraits paited of George (1798-1871) and Sophia Derle Trautvetter (1808-1877). George was a native of Bad Salzungen, Thuringen, Germany and Sophia was born nearby.
They immigrated to Rocky Run Township, Hancock County, Illinois in 1853. George returned to Germany and is buried there. Sophia is buried in the Bethany Cemetery Cemetery in Tioga, Hancock County, Illinois, next to her son John Michael.
George and Sophia are my 3rd great-grandparents.

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17 September 2007

Posting Estate Notices in 1918

Notices of the estate settlement were posted in 5 places for my ancestor's 1918 estate settlement:

Two local banks.
Two local meat markets.
and what appears to be a harness shop.


The banks did not surprise me, but I was a little surprised that notices would be posted at the two meat markets and a harness shop (the 1920 census for Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, indicates a 69 year old Joseph Radford living on Marion Street and working as a harness maker).

What is really interesting about John Trautvetter's estate settlement is that a copy of the actual sale bill is included in the estate papers.

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12 September 2007

Is this George Trautvetter?


I've been having fun exploring the Illinois State Census for 1855 on HistoryKat. Some references I had seen years ago on microfilm and others I had never taken the time to search.
My search of the 1855 Illinois State Census for Rocky Run Township, Hancock County, Illinois did not locate an entry that was immediately determined to be that of George Trautvetter, my 3rd great-grandfather.
The image in this blog entry is one that I think is George. An upcoming column will discuss my attempt to "prove" this is George Trautvetter.

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22 May 2007

Reveiewing Things I've Already Seen


I went through many of my great and great-great-grandparents estate settlements when I was much younger, knew less about genealogy, and didn't bother to copy or read quite a bit of the material. In some cases, time never allowed me to go back, particularly on those families where other records allowed me to easily trace them back to earlier generations.
This time at the Family History Library, I've reviewed a few of those files and have picked up a few new clues and some neat documents I had forgotten existed.
The image on this post is part of a sale bill from the estate settlement of John Michael Trautvetter. His estate was interesting to view again, but there were no relevations in it.
However the estate of his uncle some forty years earlier contained one line I had overlooked that caused me to find out some members of the family had spent ten years in Kentucky after arriving from Germany and before coming to Illinois--something I was not aware of.
It pays to review files you may have scanned early in your research.

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22 March 2007

Check your assumptions


My previous post indicated that my great-great-grandfather's death certificate indicated and his parents were born in Saxony. I wrote this from memory. BIG MISTAKE.

Turns out the death record was not even that specific---Germany was listed as the birthplace of John and his parents.
Be careful relying on memory and always check your assumptions. Don't add to the confusion already existing in some records.

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The Importance of Siblings


Beginning genealogists may be tempted to focus only on their own direct line, ignoring records from siblings of their ancestors. This can lead to missed information. The death certificate of my great-great-grandfather, John Michael Trautvetter indicates he and his parents were born in Saxony. That is very specific and very helpful (grin). The clip on the right is from his brother George's death certificate. George's record provides exact places of birth for George and his parents.
Of course this is secondary information, but it still is a valuable clue and would have been overlooked if I had only focused on "my line."

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20 February 2007

Michael's Trautvetter Connection

I'll post a longer entry here when I have more time, but for now and for anyone interested:

Erasmus and Mary (Gross) Trautvetter, of Thuringen, Germany, were the parents of several children, including John George Trautvetter.

John George Trautvetter (1798-1871), was born in Bad Salzungen, Thuringen, Germany, immigrated to Hancock County, Illinois, with his family and returned to Bad Salzungen where he died in 1871. His wife was Sophia Elizabeth Derle (1808-1877). She is buried at the church cemetery in Tioga, Hancock County, Illinois. They were the parents of several children including John Michael Trautvetter.

John Michael Trautvetter was born in Wohlmuthausen, Germany in 1839 and died near Tioga, Hancock County, Illinois in 1917. He married Franciska Bieger in 1868 in Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois. She was born in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois in 1851 and died near Tioga in 1888. They are buried at the church cemetery in Tioga. They were the parents of several children, including George Adolph Trautvetter.

George Adolph Trautvetter was born in 1869 near Tioga and died in 1935 in Jacksonville, Morgan, Illinois. He was married to Ida May Sargent in 1898. She was born probably in Warsaw in 1874 and died in Quincy, Adams County, Illinois in 1939. They are also buried in Tioga. They were the parents of seven children, including Ida.

Ida Trautvetter was born near Elderville, Hancock County, Illinois in 1910 and died near Carthage, Illinois, in 1994. She married Cecil Neill in 1935. He was born near Stillwell, Hancock County, Illinois in 1903 and died in Keokuk, Iowa in 1968. They are buried in the West Point, Illinois, cemetery. They were my grandparents.

We'll post more as time allows. The Trautvetters a very colorful family and have been very fun to research. Hopefully I'll be able to work more on their German connections.

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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...

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23 January 2007

Sugar Cured Meat




The Ladies' Aid of the Sutter-Salem Presbyterian Church published a cookbook in 1929. The book, published in Warsaw, Illinois, contains numerous recipies--many very high in fat and sugar by today's standards (not to mention one wonders why more people did not die of food poisoning).


Particularly interesting to me was one recipe submitted by Mrs. Cecil Barnett of Sutter.

She was my grandma Neill's sister--born Luella Trautvetter on a farm near Tioga, Illinois, in 1900 (she "went with the years" as we used to say). Occasionally Aunt Luella (or "Law" as she was sometimes called) would be at Grandma Neill's when we were there. Once in a while she'd be at Christmas or Thanksgiving at Grandma's as her children all lived a distance from her. For some reason I can remember her laughing frequently and most of the time she and Grandma having a good time.

I can send high resolution scans for any relatives who'd be interested.

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