Casefile Clues

30 April 2013

Theodore Trautvetter Returns in 1890

Not all relatives who disappear are located. Some simply vanish into thin air never to be heard from again. It was easier to disappear in 1890 than it is today. It can be difficult to find these missing relatives one hundred years or more after they disappear. Sometimes they are never found at all. 

That's not the case with Theodore Trautvetter. In fact, I never even knew that my uncle was temporarily missing as he's "in all the records" in the area where he lived. Stories of disappearances of this type are not always the type of stories that families pass down from one generation to another.

The 4 February 1890 Quincy Daily Journal indicated that Theodore Trautvetter had returned to the Warsaw, Illinois, area after disappearing. 

I've written briefly about Trautvetter's disappearance before after having located another article on his absence in the same paper. I knew his disappearance was not permanent as he is enumerated in later census records in Hancock County, Illinois, where he also is buried. 
obtained in digital format on the Quincy, Illinois, Public Library website
There are several ways to pursue this story further. One is that the Quincy newspapers probably did not provide the amount of detail on Trautvetter's disappearance that local newspapers did. The article referenced in this clip indicated that the Keokuk Democrat was the source of its information. Keokuk, Iowa, was closer to where Trautvetter lived than Quincy and newspapers there (besides the Democrat) should be researched. The Warsaw, Illinois, newspapers should be researched as well.

If Trautvetter's location is Kansas is indicated specifically, then newspapers there should be referenced as well to see if his "appearance" is mentioned from their perspective. I may try searches of the newspapers at Ancestry.com  and Genealogybank.com.  Searches of the digital newspapers at the Library of Congress did not locate any references to Theodore. However even if digital images are located, it still may be necessary be necessary to perform manual searches of newspapers in the immediate area once the location in Kansas has been determined.

Hopefully the local newspapers shed a little more "light" on the story. There are many reasons why Trautvetter may have decided to be absent from home.

Theodore Trautvetter is a brother to my great-great-grandfather, Michael Trautvetter. Their father, George Trautvetter didn't disappear, but did return to Germany in approximately 1870, never to see his wife or children again--they all stayed in the United States. George was approximately 71 at the time.

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