Have you considered dropping the last name when searching for an ancestor in a census or other record? This is especially a good idea for a relative who went by three names and whose middle name closely resembles a surname.

John Michael Trautvetter could have been enumerated as John Michael.

My ancestor Henry Jacobs Fecht is listed as Henry Jacobs in the 1870 census. Took me a while to find him listed like that.

Just something to consider if the usual search attempts do not pan out.



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  1. My James Herschel Garrett was enumerated as James Herschel in the 1930 MI Genesee Co. Census. I found them by using my aunt’s first name “Bonnie” and her age “5” on the Ancestry database a few years ago. Didn’t think to try “Herschel” but I would have after reading your tip.Cathy Palm

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