The Littlest Clue

I wrote about these checks from my Grandpa Neill in Genealogy Tip of the Day but realized that there’s another very small clue in these two checks–one that reminds us of the importance of looking at everything and every detail.

The checks were written in 1941 when my grandparents and their two children were living on a farm a few miles north of Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. They had lived there since the very late 1930s when they purchased the farm and are enumerated there in the 1940 census.

But why was Grandpa writing checks on a bank in Augusta, Illinois? While located in Hancock County, it’s a significant distanced from where they lived (approximately 25 miles). Carthage was the county seat. There were banks in Carthage. Ferris, Illinois, was not far away either and also had a bank where Grandpa banked for some time. But in 1941 my grandparents had not lived on the farm north of Carthage very long.

After their marriage in 1935, my grandparents “took to housekeeping and renting a farm” from my Grandpa’s uncle near Plymouth, Illinois. They were living there when the oldest son was born in 1937 and until they moved to the farm near Carthage in the very late 1930s. The likely scenario is that Grandpa still maintained his banking relationship with the bank in Augusta.

At the very least the location of the bank would have been a clue that they had lived in the area if I had not already known that.


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