The house I grew up in after 2nd grade was built by Abraham Illk.  Abraham Illk was born in Württemberg, Germany in 1834 and married Catherine Voth and had 8 children. He passed away on 1916 in Vermilion, Illinois, USA.  The stories I’ve heard tell that Catherine Voth last name was renamed to Ford and there was some story about adoption some where in the family too.  My ancestor from the same time was Mary Ford (Voth), daughter of Frederick Voth. She was married to William Lincoln Elderidge and lived just about 100 yards up the road. The documentation I have showing they were sisters is a newspaper article when their sister Christina passed away.

Christina was born in 1831 (2 years older than Catherine and 4 years older than Mary) and was born in Ohio.  The article says that Christina relocated to Illinois with her parents and family when she was a child.  Four sisters are listed that include Mary and Catherine plus two more a Mrs. John Manning and a Mrs. Julia Beyer.  She had eight children of her own (Fifteen grandkids!) .

When we moved into the house Ralph Goodrich was the owner – a descendant of Illk and Voth.  I still have a doll (the size of a 2 year 0old) that was in the house and said to be brought by the Voth family to the US when they immigrated.  I have down that Mary was born in Ohio according to the 1860 census – her mother Julia was also living with William and Mary Eldridge at the time.  Julia was listed as being born in Germany and was 70 – so her birth would have been around 1790. Catherine is listed as being born in 1833 PA by the 1900 census.  I’m sure the other sisters were living around the same area also.

The stories included that Voth worked at a tavern that was one of the stops for Abraham Lincoln on the Lincoln trail.  The house was then built in the mid 1800s and was put together from blocks made in the nearby woods.  My mother has even told me a story about one of the women from the house that lost a baby after binding her stomach too tight her entire pregnancy to hide the evidence and keep a job.   Life was definitely a lot tougher then…. I know even in the mid 1900s my own grandparents hid their marriage to allow my grandmother to remain teaching, since teachers couldn’t be married. (That’s women teachers, I’m sure there was no such restriction on men)

Ralph Goodrich left a lot things in the house when he moved – and my mother loves antiques.  Which is how I’ve ended up with this family bible.  They aren’t really in my direct family line but I think as my great great grandmother Mary Ford (m. William Lincoln Eldridge) was Catherine Ford’s sister it is worth including in my tree.  Mary Ford’s parent’s were Frederick Ford and Julia Smith and she was born in Ohio.  Julia was living with William and Mary Eldridge during the 1860 census. (Judy has these as William Frederick (Fred) m. Mary Watson as opposed to Frederick and Julia)

People on Ancestry have posted for Abraham (and Catherine):

Abraham ILLK B/2 Feb. 1835, Schorndorf, Wurtternburg, Germany -D/12 May 1916, Oakwood, Vermillion Co. Il.
M/4 Mar.1857 Danville, Il. to Catharine FORD B/20 Aug. 1833, Montgomery Co. Pa.- D/30 May 1916, Oakwood. Vermillion Co. Pa. Ford is not correct spelling for name. Her parents were suppose to be from Germany and changed the spelling of the German name. Do not know what it was supposed to be.
i:Julia Olive B/4 Nov1858-M/Albert Marion RAY, 6 Sept 1882-D/31 Dec 1951
ii:Samule B/30 Sept 1861-M/Elva RAY, ca 1885
D/22 Dec 1925
iii:Sarah Elizabeh B/5 Apr 1863-M/ B. F. Evans 25 Feb 1886-D/11 Nov 1947
iv:Lucy B/21 Sept 1865-D/date unk in Iowa
v:Franklin A. B/18 Oct 1868-D/date unk, Oakwood, Il
vi:Annette B/13 May 1871-D/26 May 1905
vii:Catharine B/28 Jan 1873-D/date unk, Oakwood, IL m. George Goodrich
– Ralph Goodrich
viii:Caroline MAY B/21 DEC 1875-d/10 July 1894

A neighbor, Judy Oakwood posted on the Ancestry Boards:

.  My mother, Ethel Illk Oakwood was the daughter of Frederick Illk and Mary Watson Illk – my great grandfather Gottlieb was a brother to Abraham, the first Illk brother to come to America. So Aunt Kate, as my mother called her was a first cousin to my grandfather Fred; and Ralph and my mom and uncle, Glenn Illk were second cousins. We were very close to Uncle Ralph as we called him.  I remember Uncle Ralph talking about his Grandma Voth so well. We moved to Saratoga, WY in 1982 – love the west. My brother, C.J., is still on the Illk farm back in Illinois – and now owns the house where my grandparents and my parents lived, and where my mother and uncle were born. My dad began farming in the mid-40’s, having been a coal miner, a grocery store owner with his father, and then got to farm – something he’d always wanted to do. He died in 1976, May13th – and my grandmother Mary Illk, died August 13, 1976. Ironically, my mom crossed on February 13, 1999 

My great grandfather was another John Gottlieb Illg – wife- Dorothea Eicholtz(sp?) came to America in the 1860’s with 5 of his 9 children(other 4 born here in USA). Older brother, Abraham Illg came first; then Jacob Frank Illg, then John G. All were farmers, father’s name Daniel Illg; mother Agnes Frank; homesteaded in Vermillion County, IL near Oakwood. They came from Grunbach, Wurtemburg, Germany, and had cousins named Rommel. My grandfather, William Frederick (Fred) )m. Mary Watson) heard from a cousin, Gertrude Rommel, in Germany until the war began. My mother: Ethel Dorothy Illk Oakwood- m. Clarence Glenn Oakwood. Hope this will help in your search for family history.

In the items Ralph left us a bible was included.  I’m going to try to repair as best I can since the cover is detached, but I’ve copied the pages that are covered with family information.  I love saving the information and don’t want to see any of it lost over time.  After repairing it I’m going to check with the Genealogical Society and the Vermilion County Museum to see if either would like to put it in their library.

I would LOVE to find copies of the local newspaper for the Oakwood area for the time, but I’m afraid most have been lost over the years.


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