Monday, May 23, 2016

Troutman Vineyards and Winery

So I'm just driving down Route 30 across Ohio - you know, like you do - minding my own business and listening to NPR talk about who should be using which public restroom, when I come across a sign along the side of the road that states "Troutman Vineyards - 3 Miles" with an arrow pointing to take the next right turn.  Naturally, I slammed on the brakes.

First of all, it's rare to see my last name printed on anything other than my checks and utility bills.  Second, the mere thought that my last name is associated with a vineyard is just too good to be true.  And C) the actual fact that such a place exists and that it is within meet yards from where I am,  traveling on an unplanned route across one of the most non-scenic states in the country was . . . well, just short of a miracle.

So I made the next right turn and drove down some back country roads to Route 3, hung a left, and lo and behold a few miles down on the left sat Troutman Vineyards and Winery.  And they closed 15 minutes ago.  So I continued on my journey, but chose to drive the same route back to Chicago for the sole purpose of stopping at the Winery when it was open - which I did and it was exactly one week later.

You can review their website for all the information, but suffice is to say that it's an interesting place with a colorful past.  The store of the Winery is located in the farms old chicken coop, which I thought was pretty fun.  Their website doesn't have a store, but they do sell items.  I bought a bottle of wine, a tee shirt, and 4 glasses.  And they gave me a bag of corks, perhaps because of my surname.  I kept a glass and shipped one to my 3 siblings, along with a few corks to give to their kids.  I probably should have purchased at least two bottles of wine because I'm not sure if I want to open the one that I did buy.  And since the Winery does not ship out of state, its hard to say when I will acquire another bottle, if ever.

And now for the big question:  Are the Troutmans from the Vineyard any relation to me?  The short answer is Probably Yes, but very distantly.  I didn't actually get to meet any Troutmans during my visit, but I looked on their website for some history and the only information they provide is about a "Johannes Trautmann who immigrated to the colonies in 1748" from Schriesheim, Germany.

So two things here:
1)  No Trautmanns came to America in 1748.  Trust me when I say this.  I have spent the past 16 years researching the Trautmann/Troutman lineage in America and I know exactly when they all came over.  There was a Johannes Trautmann born in 1713 is Schriesheim who came to America in 1738 aboard the ship Robert and Oliver (Alice) (see the ship's passenger list).  Five years later, his brother, Hyronimus, came to America aboard the St. Andrew.  This is according to research done on this family and presented in The Trautman/Troutman Family History, Volume II, by editor Steve E. Troutman who mostly concludes that all Troutmans in the United States today are related, however distantly.
Fifteen years Johannes arrived, 4 more Trautmanns came from Reichelsheim to America. Wilhelm Trautmann - my ancestor - was among them.  Based on ages, we could surmise that Johannes and Hyronimus were perhaps uncles or older cousins of the 4.  All 6 of these men started out in America as farmers. 
2)  Schriesheim is only about 20 miles from Reichelsheim so its very probable that the Trautmanns from those two small towns were related.
 So in any event, this was a fun bit of happenstance.  This is the kind of roadside attraction that we love to come upon; the wonderful stuff you find when you choose to not drive on the interstates.