Casefile Clues

08 February 2008

Lina Ufkes Letter 1880s

An Ufkes cousin has sent me digital copies of two or three letters written by my great-great-grandmother, Noentjelina (Lina) Ufkes in the 1880s.

There are four pages of letters and my initial inspection leads me to believe there are actually two or three letters. One is dated "Basco d. 20 September 1887." The letters are nor reproduced here, but I have included images of the signatures from two of the letters.

The recipient of the letters is not known, but the relative who provided them to me believes her grandmother obtained them from John Harms, son of Herman and Antje (Ufkes) Harms. Antje was a sister to Johann (John) Ufkes, Lina's husband. The Harms were married near Tioga, Hancock County, Illinois, and later moved to Nebraska.
Noentjelina was born in Backemoor, Ostfriesland, Germany, in 1848 and died on the family farm near Basco, Hancock County, Illinois in 1902. Other family members are mentioned in the letters, including apparently some of Lina's children, some of her husband's Habben relatives, Tonjes Goldenstein (not related to the Ufkes' but related to me), and others in the area.
We haven't posted the entire letters here, but we are working on getting translations and hope to have those done in the near future. Anyone who is interested in the letters or in translating them can email me at