Several times a year I make a genealogy research trip to Grundy County, Iowa, home to many of my ancestors. The obituary for John Schwans, my great-grandfather, stated he had lived for about three years in Grundy County before homesteading in Aurora County, South Dakota. But I’ve never been able to confirm this in the census nor through any other written records.
As my cousin Dee and I were paging through the Assessor’s Books trying to solve an unrelated puzzle, she came upon this entry in the 1883 book:
It shows the entry for Johan Schwans, owning three head of cattle valued at $27. The name is written with diacritic marks above the a. (Original German spelling was Schwaans.) It also states he was eligible for military service, but there is no indication he owned any land.
Now there is tangible evidence of his presence in Grundy County, German Township. The next quest will be trying to locate school records for his three children: Lena, Fred, and John. The searching never ends! (But finding records along the way is exhilarating!)