People can be mentioned in a book or other publication without ever being named specifically. My Mom is mentioned in a book of recipes my great aunt published several years before her death.

She’s not named specifically and I almost missed the reference to her until I was reading one of the short stories she sprinkled throughout the recipe book. My great aunt mentions her “niece in western Illinois.” I knew immediately that the reference was to my mother. While my great aunt had eight nieces, only one of them lived in western Illinois. I was glad I caught the reference as it gives me extra motivation to make the recipe in which she was mentioned.

Recipe books are not the only print materials that can make references to individuals without naming them. County histories, newspapers, and other publications may refer to individuals as mother, husband, wife, sister, etc. without naming them specifically. That’s why it is important to search for the entire extended family in these materials.

And why sometimes the best way to get results in the genealogical pot is to read the entire thing.

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