The Missing George Trautvetter: Part II

All transcriptions are not created equally. That’s one reason why it’s important to know from where the image being used was created. The card in our earlier post was from George Trautvetter’s Compiled Military Service Record (the record was created as a summary of Trautvetter’s service in Company H, 15th Infantry Volunteers Missouri Infantry and is available at the National Archives in Washington DC and in microfilm and digital format elsewhere).

There was also a card at the Missouri State Archives made from the same muster as Trautvetter’s Compiled Military Service Record at the National Archives was made. That card only listed Trautvetter’s place of enlistment as “Keokuk.”

The card from the Missouri State Archives indicated Trautvetter enlisted in Keokuk, Iowa. Not a big difference and the difference was minimal.

Contextually I knew that the reference on the complied military service record to “Keokuk” was to Keokuk, Iowa. The second card confirmed it.

But transcriptions made from the same record can differ. That’s why it’s important to indicate the source of any image that we use. These images are digital copies of the actual cards made from the muster rolls. That makes the cards derivative sources. There’s no reason to doubt their accuracy, but they are not original records as they are transcriptions.

And transcriptions can differ.

That little “Ia” matters.


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