Hi WikiTreers,

Welcome to a new installment of “Meet our Members.” It’s time to get to know another awesome member of our community: Meet Natalie.

Natalie became a wonderful WikiTreer in March of 2016.  She participates in several projects including Categorization and is active as an Integrator, Cemeterist and Data Doctor.

What are some of the surnames you are researching?

Durbin, Schrader, Ray, Vachon, Martin, Striker, Wolfe, Trott

What are some of the locations you are researching?

Allen and Adams counties in Indiana, Hocking, Crawford, and Knox Counties in Ohio; France, Germany, United Kingdom.

When and how did you get interested in genealogy and family history?

When I was twelve, my grandfather, Rolla Durbin, passed away. After his funeral, my dad gave me a paper he received at the funeral, written by an aunt. It was “The Descendants of Daniel Wolfe.” I thought, “Who’s this and why do I care? My name isn’t Wolfe.” I filed it away. After Dad died in 2008, I found a copy of this sheet in his papers and it sparked a memory and many questions. I started asking and digging for our family history. I’ve been working on it since 2008, but not in earnest until 2011.

Who’s your favorite ancestor and why?

Oh, that’s Charles J. Martin, my 4th great-grandfather. He came from France, settled in Allen County, Indiana and lived there in the French settlement. I can’t imagine leaving my home for a place unknown to me. (Oh wait, yes I can. I joined the Navy!) He homesteaded and was a pioneer of Allen county. His death, though sad, does contain an entertaining story I uncovered while doing the research. The newspaper reported that he and the passengers of the wagon he was driving, including a parish priest, were out on the town and that he was drunk. (This occurred in 1861.) One of the horses pulling the wagon bucked, and the wagon went down an embankment and overturned in the St. Mary’s River in Fort Wayne. The rest of the passengers escaped, but Charles’ body was not found. The paper printed a retraction story the next day in which the friends and family proclaimed he was definitely not drunk. I can just hear people talking, you know? None of my family knew of this story.

Tell us about a brick wall you were able to break down or one you hope to bust through.

I’ve had many, but the one that bothers me most is Henry Durbin. I have been trying to figure out exactly who his parents were, as there are differing opinions. I joined the Durbin Name Study as a way to get to the bottom of this, but it’s still a search in progress. I believe I need a trip to Adams County, Indiana and Knox County, Ohio!

If you could pick one person in history to be related to, who would it be and why?

I have to laugh because my mother and her sisters all believe that we are blood relatives of St. Therese of Lisieux (Marie-Francoise-Therese Martin). Why? Because her surname was Martin and she was from France, as our ancestor was. Once, a local priest in Allen County, Father Banet, mentioned to a member of the Martin family that they shared the surname with St. Therese. That was all it took to start a family rumor. One family member has written to people in France, trying to make a connection, but the only possibility he came up with is an in-law relationship, and even that is a stretch. My mother and her sisters continue to believe we are related. So, I guess I’d wish that we were, so that I could allow them the happiness of knowing for sure that they are related to a beloved saint.

What are some of your interests outside of genealogy?

I learned to knit and crochet a couple of years ago, and I can’t stop making hats and scarves. Currently halfway through a Doctor Who scarf for my son (14 ft long.)

How long have you been on WikiTree and how active are you? 

I joined in March 2016 and have been active almost every day since then. Yes, even on vacations at Cape Cod (only in the evenings!)

Any tips for someone just starting out on WikiTree?

Learn from your inevitable mistakes and don’t get offended if someone corrects something you did wrong. It’s part of collaboration. Try to let go and remember that you don’t “own” any of these profiles, except the private ones you may manage. (Even “my” grandmother also has 40-something other grandchildren!)


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  5 Responses to “Meet our Members: Natalie Trott”

  1. Greeting cuz!! Happy to see we are 17th cousins and that is why family research is so interesting as you never known when another distant & unknown cuz will be revealed.

    Ted Clark

  2. Hi, I am researching my ancestors at the Mission Dolores cemetery in San Francisco. It is really hard to find data on this, though I have found some… but not the location of my 5th great grandmother. I know she was living at the mission when she died, so it should follow that she was buried there.
    If you have any experience with this cemetery or info on it, I would love your help.
    Thank you,
    Michelle Smith

  3. Natalie, I enjoyed your write up. I see your maternal grandmother was a Vachon. Is there any chance that you are related to John Vachon who was a photographer for the Farm Security Administration? One of the locations he photographed was Monona county, Iowa where I was brought up. You might already know this, but on the slim chance you do not, I believe you can access the Farm Security photographs on google at “FSA American Memories” I hope that is correct as I am providing this from memory. When you get to the site, I believe that it is indexed both by the name of the photographer which would take you to John Vachon, but also geographically by state then by county. It is interesting to check out photographs of the 1930’s from the areas our grandparents lived. Thanks for the good work Dan.

    • I don’t know if John Vachon’s related, but he could be. I do have a first cousin named Dan Moore, though! I will look into John Vachon, so thanks for the tip.

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