Then I noticed another listing referring to the John S. TRARES home and found it is now part of a funeral home business on Edwardsville’s Main Street.
You can read the entire history of the Weber & Rodney Funeral Home there, but this is what I found:
The next step was checking Ancestry.com to check the U.S. Census to locate the TRARES family. Sure enough, there was John Sebastian TRARES on 1870 U.S. Federal Census for Edwardsville, Madison County, IL, along with his wife, Josephine, and their children.
What I didn’t expect to see was his nephew, Henry TRARES, living in the household and working as a druggist’s apprentice for his uncle.
In those days, an aspiring pharmacist didn’t have to attend a college or a university to earn a pharmacy degree – you could apprentice with an experienced pharmacist and learn the profession from him.
In fact, lawyers learned their profession the very same way. That’s the way Abraham Lincoln learned how to be a lawyer, by the way.
So, as far as I know, that is the family’s first – and only that I know of – pharmacist!
It is interesting to note that when I looked at the 1880 U.S. Federal Census for Edwardsville, I find someone else has joined the household:
In addition to the births of several children: Bertha, Annie, August, Josephine and Frank – John Sebastian’s father-in-law, Martin Gerber, has joined the household. Although he is listed as a boarder, I know from checking the 1850 U.S. Census that he is, indeed, Josephine’s widowed father.
How did I confirm that?
I also located the cemetery records for the TRARES and GERBER families.
Knowing that the Ohio TRARES clan are/were staunch Catholics, I searched for the closest Catholic church nearest to the Trares home on Main Street in Edwardsville. Then I searched for any online cemetery records from St. Mary’s in Edwardsville.
But that left me with another mystery – where was John Sebastian TRARES?
And why was Josephine M. TRARES, listed as “wife of J.S.,” have a birth date on her tombstone listed as 1811? This Josephine was much older than was recorded on the census. Was this really John Sebastian’s wife?
And if it was Josephine’s grave, did the person making the transcription of the record make a typo? Or was this someone else?
And where was John Sebastian TRARES buried?
Stay tuned for Part 3 of the mystery of what happened to John Sebastian TRARES!