noentjelena grass

Questions from an 1880-era Letter

In “Father Comes to Visit in the 1880’s and Sponsors Two Grandchildren,” my “non-immigrant” relative’s visit to his immigrant daughter is documented in materials from the 1880s. Johann Gerhard Grass was not a late-in-life immigrant who stayed in the United States. He returned to his homeland. But there’s more to the letter than his short stay […]


Father Comes to Visit in the 1880’s and Sponsors Two Grandchildren

Names of godparents can be clues on a variety of levels. Whether something is a clue depends upon what clues you need. An 1883 letter from Noentje Lena (Grass) Ufkes mentions that her father had been visiting her family near Basco, Hancock County, Illinois. Johannes Grass is known to have died in Wiesens, Ostfriesland, Germany, […]


Evidence of Johann’s Illness in the Early 1880s

I’m not certain what was wrong with Johann Ufkes in the early 1880s. There are two documents that provide evidence he was ill, but there is actually nothing to connect the two illnesses with each other. And the illness was immediately life-threatening as Johann lived until 1924. The first piece of evidence comes from the […]