It all started with 3 blurbs from the Frederick News Post in the space of 3 weeks:
A Civil War vet looks for a wife? Really? I think I actually laughed out loud. Then a week later:
Indeed! I wonder if Mrs. Davis found out how he felt about her from the paper?! That might have been awkward. If that had been me, I would have been miffed!
Then again, on September 16, 2012 in the “100 Years Ago” column:
Ha! This guy has some gumption! Seriously… after 3 blurbs I wanted to know “Who IS this guy? Who is JOHN TROUT? Why in the world was he looking for a wife in the paper?” And “Really, this is 1912??” I was consumed with wanting to know more about him! Who knew the Frederick News Post was the original e-harmony.com?
Let me just say I am an avid family historian, affectionately referred to as a “nerd” by my co-workers for my constant interest in ancestry. At least, I think it’s affectionate (?) My favorite TV show is “Who Do You Think You Are?”, and I won’t make plans if that show is on. So….off to the Maryland Room I went to look at original copies of the articles. I had to find out more about this guy.
Before I left for the library, I thought about what I knew from the 3 blurbs:
- He’s 70 years old in 1912 so he must have been born around 1842.
- He’s from Park Mills which I knew to be near Urbana. (OK, well, I didn’t really know it, but mapquest.com served me well.)
- He was a Civil War vet so he should have some military records
- The newspaper wrote about him 3 times in the space of two weeks so there were probably more newspaper articles about him. A big clue is that the “newspapers have already said too much about him.”
- He was advertising for a wife at age 70 which meant he was probably a widower with records about his earlier family available in the census
Let me say upfront that I am an amateur, and my research on John Trout is a work in progress. This blog will explore my discoveries as I go. I am constantly learning something new about history, about how to locate historical records, and I love finding out more about Frederick County. My husband good-naturedly tolerates my various excursions to research libraries, cemeteries and other repositories. I don’t know if he’s caught on that we seem to coincidentally vacation near a research library that just may happen to have some records I want to see. When I told him what I was up to, he calmly asked, “So you’re not related to this guy – at ALL?” And … the answer is no, I’m not. (Truthfully, I don’t think that fazed him much. He’s a keeper.)
After my weekend excursion to the Maryland Room, I excitedly shared my discoveries with my co-workers over lunch. One of them asked the familiar question, “Seriously, are you even related to him?” Upon hearing my answer she teased, “You need a t-shirt that reads, ‘i HEART john trout.’” LOL. This blog is named in honor of her joke, so there. I don’t mind being a nerd.
Sometimes stories just grip you, and for some reason John Trout got my attention. From my preliminary findings I won’t be disappointed. He has quite a story. Wait until you hear what I found at the Maryland Room! (Post Script: John Trout is still making the news! See Wendy Lerner’s article on Sunday, October 14, 2012. Trust me, there’s more to the story!)