Grandma was Born on a Messy Date

It is frustrating when they write over incorrect information on a record.

Ida Trautvetter was baptized on 28 November 1915 at her parents’ home in Lima Township, Adams County, Illinois. There is no notation of why the children were all baptized at the same time. The church the family attended (at least sporadically) always had a full time pastor during time period the Trautvetters were having children. Lillian was born in 1908, Ida was born in 1910, and Cecil was born in 1914.

But the date of birth for Ida is difficult to read on this record.

The pastor wrote the name of the month in German on all three children’s records. Looking at the other entries on the same page, it appears that he wrote the entries in a combination of English and German. He tended to use English script for the English words and Germanic script for the German words. A careful reading of other entries indicates that his use was not consistent.


Looking at the other records, my transcription indicates that the date is difficult to read but that it could reasonably be interpreted as 1 September 1910. That’s the date given on Ida’s birth certificate which was created within a month of her birth. For that reason,  I’m going with the 1 September date as that record is more contemporary than this 1915 baptism record.

My aunt Lillie’s date of birth is clearly 13 December 1908. My brow furrowed when I saw it because that date was inconsistent with a story I had been told.

We’ll have an update. But in the meanwhile always add annotations if something is difficult to read–even if you think it agrees with everything else.


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