Casefile Clues

29 April 2013

How Johann's Certificate Got from Tioga to Rio

Admittedly, we need a better picture. But this post is not really about the picture anyway.

This is a photograph my daughter took of the 1899 baptismal certificate for Johann Julius Trautvetter. I've not often seen many from this era that actually have a gold seal on them.

Fortunately the certificate was framed. However, the backing used for this appeared to be two pieces of wood siding or perhaps old shingles. That is how the document came to be in two pieces as it appears a mouse or something ate through the crease between the two pieces of backing. The lower piece also had a small hole in it which also is why there's an additional hole in the upper part of the lower left quadrant.

I'm fortunate to have the document.

Whenever one obtains a document of this type, provenance should be discussed. Materials like this rarely just fall from the genealogy sky. A brief story of how these documents were obtained needs to be included with the documents.

This certificate (and one for Johann's brother George Elmer) were in the attic of the home of Pete and Mildred Trautvetter of Loraine, Illinois. Pete was a brother to Johann (John) and George Elmer (Elmer) and all three men were brothers to my grandmother, Ida Trautvetter Neill (1910-1994). After Aunt Mildred's passing in 2011, these certificates were found in her attic and were given to me by her son and daughter-in-law. My supposition is that at some point the certificates were taken down and put in the attic of the home where they remained until a few months ago. The home in which they were located was purchased by the parents (George and Ida [Sargent] Trautvetter) of the Trautvetter siblings in the 1910s or 1920s and most likely were brought to the home when the family moved there. Pete Trautvetter acquired the home upon the death of his parents.