07 November 2014

A Trautvetter Picture from 1866 and the Prussian Annexation of Hanover

This is the first picture I have purchased on Ebay that has been for a person whose relationship to me was unknown.  The picture attracted my attention because of it's potential connection to my family from Thuringen and ended up reminding me of why my Ostfriesian families began their exodus from Ostfriesland in 1866.

The back reads:
"Trautvetter. Hauptmann und Chef of 10th Company of Infantry Regiment Nr. 78 in Aurich. 1866."

This picture was apparently taken in Aurich in 1866 where Trautvetter's unit was stationed. Based solely upon the last name, I'm doubting if Trautvetter was a native of Aurich as members of this family generally originated from the Thuringen area. Aurich is located in the ethnic area of Germany known as Ostfriesland and those last names tend to be of Dutch or Friesian origin--Trautvetter does not "sound like" an Ostfriesian name.

I'm not even certain if this Trautvetter is related to my family with the same last name, nor am I certain where he was born or where he died. My Trautvetter family had left Germany by 1866.

But Trautvetter was stationed in Aurich a short distance from many of the small villages where my maternal relatives were living in 1866.

In 1866, Ostfriesland was a part of Hanover and no longer independent. 1866 was also the year that Hanover was annexed by Prussia as a result of the Austro-Prussian War. It's possible that Trautvetter's regiment was somehow involved in that annexation. I'll need to do more work to learn more about him and about his unit.

In the decade that followed the annexation of Hanover by Prussia, over a dozen of my ancestors left Ostfriesland for the United States. That's a little more than coincidental.

This Trautvetter probably had nothing to do with my ancestors near Aurich, but even just some cursory research into the picture reminded me that one item can contain more history lessons (or reminders) than we ever expect.

And if Trautvetter turns out to be related--that's an added bonus.