A Lot Can Happen in Twenty-Three Years

It’s easy to get “stuck in a genealogical rut” when something cannot be located and continue to beat one’s head against the same wall.

I think I’m doing that with Wilhelmina (Trautvetter) Senf Kraft.

Her Senf husband (Johann Valentine Senf) died in Wothlmuthausen, Thuringia, German,y in 1846.

The first reference to her Kraft husband (as Mrs. George Kraft) is in a 1869 probate record from Hancock County, Illinois.

That is a twenty-three year time span.

Twenty-three years.

In theory that is time enough for her to have married someone else, had another child (or more) and for the children of that marriage to have grown up and given her grandchildren.

And while that may not have happened, it could easily explain why I cannot find her:

  • passenger list entry
  • US census records other than 1880

It’s also possible the last name of Senf or Kraft is spelled incorrectly in those same records. But I’ve focused on those variants for so long that I have just about lost sight of the fact that she (and consequently her children) could be listed under another name in a variety of records. And without that name, locating them will be difficult.

I need the senf[sic] to kraft[sic] a plan.



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