Deciding not to follow up at the Family History Library

This 1876 deed raised more questions than I expected.trautvetter-christian-deed

While at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, I decided to revisit some deeds from my Trautvetter family. The search was not exhaustive. The search was not comprehensive. In the interest of time, I decided to only look for documents in Hancock County, Illinois, on this family that:

  • were not mortgages
  • were not releases
  • did not involve John Michael Trautvetter (I already had those)

While mortgages are interesting and can be genealogically relevant, I just didn’t have time to go through those documents for what they might contain (at least not on this trip). Other documents were more likely to involve either an actual property transfer or provide more genealogical clues.

Like this one.

This 1878 deed signed by Christian and Elizabeth Trautvetter was executed shortly before they moved to Kansas to homestead.  The only Minnie A. Trautvetter of which I am aware is the daughter of Christian and Elizabeth who would have been in her early twenties at the time the deed was executed. That is unless there is another Minnie Trautvetter of which I am aware.

While I wanted to locate more about this transaction while I was at the library, I decided not to and decided to wait until I was home in order to search the actual records.

If this Minnie Trautvetter married, I’m not aware of it. That makes it difficult to search for the transaction where she sells the property. The Family History Library’s collection of microfilmed land records for Hancock County do not extend as far into the 20th century as may be necessary to locate this transaction.

And the best way to find the deed (or will or court action) where this property is transferred from Minnie would be to utilize the tract index that Hancock County, Illinois, has for property records. That index allows the user to find records by location. That way I don’t have to know Minnie’s married name to find transferring deed. If the property was transferred by an administrator or executor after her death, that deed will be indexed in the tract index and easily located. The problem is that the Family History Library does not have the tract index filmed.

A quick read of the deed told me that the fastest way to follow up on this transaction would be to utilize the tract index.

Sometimes one has to use the best tool to solve the problem.

And sometimes those tools are not at the Family History Library.




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