Ida (Trautvetter) Neill was born in Wythe Township, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1910 and died near Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois, in 1994. Some things I’ve learned about research from her:
- people give the information they believe to be accurate. Grandma thought she was born in Tioga, Illinois, and put that on every record throughout her life.
- people might not tell you everything. If Grandma knew more than her grandfather Sargent besides he had red hair and came down to Warsaw, Illinois, in a canoe, she wasn’t telling.
- people might know more than you think–and you may not ask the right questions. As a child I went to a rural cemetery looking for Ida’s step-grandmother’s stone. She found out I went and was very interested in who was buried at that cemetery. I didn’t tell her for whom I was looking (see next item).
- it’s not necessarily worth ruining relationships over family history details. I didn’t press her on her Grandpa Sargent and I didn’t press her about her correct place of birth.
Ida was my Grandma Neill. May she rest in peace.