The following article was written by and is copyright by Michael John Neill.
The estate settlement of Michael Trautvetter was a genealogist's dream. His death in Hancock County, Illinois, on 11 June 1869 with no spouse or descendants meant that his estate had to be distributed amongst his siblings or their heirs. There were several Trautvetters of about the same age whom I had long suspected were siblings. The estate settlement confirmed the relationships among several German natives born in the late eighteenth century. Once I analyzed the relationships completely, I noticed another entry that warranted further research. It turned out this "innocent" reference lead to more information that I ever suspected.
No location more specific than Kentucky was indicated. There was no communication with the Kentucky attorney in the file. The $525 reference was all there was. The question was, where was the property located? My answer was to go to the census. If I could find the attorney, perhaps I could locate land records on Michael Trautvetter as well.
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