I have three people I cannot find in the 1870 census.

One I think must have simply been overlooked. She should have been living in southwestern Hancock County, Illinois, in Walker, Rocky Run, or perhaps Warsaw Township. Sophia Trautvetter was born in 1808 in Germany and was in Rocky Run in 1860 with her family in the census where they settled after arriving in the United States in 1853. Sophia died in 1877 and is buried in Tioga, located in Walker Township. I simply cannot find her, but no evidence indicates she returned to Germany or moved elsewhere–even temporarily. Her children were all living in those townships in 1870.

The other two are younger individuals and in their cases I’m not exactly certain where they lived at the time of the 1870 enumeration. Young adults, single, with no children are more likely to be mobile than adults in their sixties with several children Most likely the residence of these individuals was west-central Illinois, but they could have temporarily moved away only to return. Johann Ufkes (born 1838 in Ostfriesland, Germany) and his sister Antje cannot be found. From 1880 until his death in 1924, Johann is in Hancock County, Illinois, listed in a variety of records with no significant time gaps. He immigrated from Germany in 1869 and lived initially in Adams County, Illinois, near Golden. Antje also immigrated before 1870, but cannot be located in the census either. She has been located in the 1880 census with her husband in Hancock County, Illinois.

Searching for the Ufkes siblings is an excellent situation where the researcher needs to track every online search as it is conducted in order to make certain a specific search has not been overlooked. Otherwise it is VERY EASY to go in circles and overlook the same search set of parameters that could be successful. And without tracking how you are searching, it is difficult for anyone to help you and provide suggestions that you have NOT already done.

Manual searches have been conducted of the 1870s census for the townships where these individuals were reasonably thought to have been living.




4 Responses

  1. Have you checked California for the two young adults? My Adams county Kelly’s went to California during the Civil War and were back before the 1870 census probably talking about California.

    • I’ve not tried that far, but it may be worth a shot. Members of this ethnic group normally didn’t head that far west during that time, but sometimes people don’t follow “normal.” Thanks.

  2. To find someone in a certain Census record, try entering just his/her birth date and birthplace or place of residence and leave out the name altogether. Names are often spelled in different ways (as they sound) or misread by a transcriber.

    • I’ve tried that as best as possible. It’s more difficult when one does not really have a good idea of the residence. Like many approaches, sometimes it is really helpful and other times it’s just not what will help. But it is always good to have a variety of tools at one’s disposal. Thanks!

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