Casefile Clues

16 November 2013

Dating A Shoe

This is one of those family history items that really doesn't have any "information" on it. Because of that I'm not certain I need to create a citation for the shoe itself (although one can create citations for such items). What does need a citation is the story of how and when I found it--I would be the "source" for that. 

The shoe pictured in this post is one that was found on my great-grandparents farm some years ago when my maternal grandparents John and Dorothy (Habben) Ufkes still lived there. The farm was purchased by my great-great-grandparents Johann and Noentjelena (Grass) Ufkes in 1881 and was owned by my great-grandparents Fred and Tena (Janssen) Ufkes until my great-grandmother passed away in 1986.

I have no way to "date" the horseshoe and am not certain if it would be possible to even narrow down the time frame of when it might have been made or used.
Horseshoe found on Fred and Tena (Johnson) Ufkes farm [west of Basco, Illinois, in Bear Creek Township, Hancock County, Illinois] by Michael John Neill, early 1980s. Item in possession of Michael John Neill. Picture taken by Sarah Anne Neill, 16 Nov 2013.
I also have no way to know who actually used it, but I do know that my family lived on the farm since 1881.  The story that I'm attaching to this item is when and where it was found. There's no way I can really "know" more than that.

I do know that my own grandfather, who moved to the farm in the late 1950s and farmed it until the mid-1980s, did not farm with horses. I'm guessing that his father and grandfather used horses until the use of tractors became the norm. It would be reasonable that this shoe was from one of their horses, although it could have been from a previous owner.

Of course the best story for me would be that this shoe was from the horse my Granddad rode to school, but most likely that's not the reality.


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