Ancestral Clues and Lessons: Ida (Trautvetter) Neill

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.



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