The family I want some research done on is my Trautvetter family. I have already done some work on the family in records from Bad Salzungen that are on microfilm at the Family History Library. The Family History Library did not have records for all the villages that I needed and, in readying this material, I realized that the records I did copy from Bad Salzungen have not been completely organized. That’s something I can do myself. Those records are on the family of Johann George Trautvetter (born 1798), his siblings, and potentially the siblings of his father. The records from Bad Salzungen on film are difficult to read before the 1770s. That something I should have included in my research notes.

I decided to summarize what I have on my members of the family who were the actual immigrants. I’ve written this version without citations, but do  need to go back and construct those so I can make certain I’ve separated things I have documentation for versus those things that I do not.

Johann George Trautvetter was born 15 July 1798 Bad Salzungen, Thuringen, Germany. He died in 1871 in Bad Sulzungen. He was the son of Erasmus and Mary (Gross) Trautvetter of Wildprechtrode.

Sophia Elisabetha (Derle) Trautvetter was born  29 September 1808 in Helmerhausen (sometimes written as Helmsahausen). She died 11 February 1877 in Hancock County, Illinois, and is buried in the Bethany United Church of Christ Cemetery in Tioga, Hancock County.

  1. Anna Elizabeth –born around 1834–married John Herbert in Germany–precise location unknown. Died in 1860 in Rocky Run Township, Hancock County, Illinois
  2. Elizabeth Sophia–born 4 May 1835 (calculated from tombstone). Died in 1870 and buried near Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois.
  3. John Michael–born Wohlmuthausen, Thuringen, 22 June 1839 (my great-great-grandfather). Died 13 December 1917 in Walker Township, Hancock County, Illinois.
  4. George Adolph–born Wohlmuthausen, Thuringen, 16 August 1842. Died 29 November 1930 in Warsaw, Hancock County, Illinois.
  5. Theodore Frederick–born 16 Oct 1844, Wohlmuthausen, Thuringen. Died 22 April 1927 in Rocky Run Township, Hancock County, Illinois.
The entire family (Johann George, Sophia Elisabeth, all five children (including Anna as Anna Herbert), and Anna’s son, but not her husband) immigrated in July of 1853 arriving in Baltimore.  Children 2-5 married in the United States in Hancock County, Illinois. All children died in Hancock County, Illinois. Johann George returned to Germany in 1870 and died there.
Geography is a key factor here as well. The following are worth noting:
Wohlmuthausen and Helmershausen are located within 2.5 kilometers of each other. These villages are the places of birth for the children of Johann George and Sophia Elisabeth and for Sophia Elisabeth.
Bad Salzungen and Wildprechtroda (where Johann George’s parents were from) are a few kilometers of each other. Bad Salzungen is where Johann George was born and died.
Wohlmuthausen/Helmershausen and Bad Salzungen/Wildprechtroda are approximately 45 kilometers from each other.

This begs the question of what brought Johann George to the Wohlmuthausen/Helmershausen area in the first place. It’s clear I have the “right person.” His declaration of intent to naturalize filed in Hancock County, Illinois,clearly states his date and place of birth. The distance between the locations initially concerned me. There are two probate cases in Hancock County, Illinois, (which we won’t summarize here) that make it clear I’ve got the right family of Trautvetters.

I have decided that I would like research to initially focus on the family in Wohlmuthausen/Helmershausen area with the intention of finding the following:

  1. locating birth/baptismal information on the five children of Johann George and Sophia Elisabeth
  2. the marriage (hopefully) of the oldest daughter,
  3. the probable marriage of Johann George and Sophia Elisabeth–given where Sophia and most of the children were born, their marriage probably took place in the area as well. The marriage record may make some comment about where Johann George was from.


I still need to clean up and organize my citations. Writing up the information I had helped me to focus on what I wanted to locate going forward.


And it helped me to see a few holes in my research–holes that I can complete myself.


Organizing is something I need to do myself–not expect the researcher to do it for me.



3 Responses

  1. You never mentioned the occupation of these family members. I had the same question regarding my families located in small villages in Thuringen . Then I learned they were carpenters and masons who were required to travel to different locations during their “journeyman” status. Some moved back and some stayed put.

    • The immigrant farmed in the United States and his father is listed as a farmer in his baptism record. What happened in between I’m not certain and hopefully the researcher will find some clue to explain the move. I’m assuming it was occupational.

  2. I am far from hiring a researcher, but it is interesting to see how you are putting together your thoughts and research during this process. Looking forward to seeing more and the results.

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