A few months ago, I came into work and found a photo album on my desk. The day before I had been out in the field (no doubt visiting cemeteries), and I think perhaps I had a meeting also. I spent very little time at my desk that day. As a result, I missed the person who had brought in what I assumed was a donation, but they did not leave a name or any information about how they came by the album. The red cover had a title handwritten in black Sharpie: “Troutman Historical Society.” The photographs inside are of Troutman family reunions at the Troutman Cemetery and Norwood School on Troutman Farm Road. The years range from 1972 to 1991.

Shellie Taylor

I made a few phone calls to try and track down who would have knowledge about this album and was introduced to Curtis Fortner, the designated Troutman family historian. Curtis has spent years curating his private collection and the collection of the Troutman Historical Society. He graciously spent time going through the album and identified several people in the pictures, many of whom were his close relatives. Seeing these pictures brought back fond memories for him.

The Troutman (Trautmann) family roots run deep in Iredell County. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Town of Troutman was named after them. The family originally hailed from Germany and arrived in Pennsylvania in the early- to mid-1700s. They traveled down the Great Wagon Road and settled in what was Rowan County at the time. The patriarch of the Iredell clans was Johann Jacob Troutman, who was married to Margaret Fesperman from Mecklenburg County. Their large family multiplied their descendants, and the Troutman Historical Society is one of the largest single family genealogical groups in Iredell County. The group is also a certified 501(c)3 nonprofit.

Below are few of some of the photos in the album that were recently digitized by library staff. I would love to know who donated the item and to confirm that they want the library to retain ownership of it.

The library would have it catalogued so visitors would know that we have it and the images have already been put on our Digital Collections. You can view the whole album here. Many of the people in these photos are still unidentified, so if you are able, please let us know who these people are. In particular, I see some of my generation in there! I’d love to know who the millennials are as young kids in these photos.

If you or anyone in your family has albums like this or any documents of your family history, the library has digitization services available. We would be honored to scan your photos and documents and make them available on our Digital Collections for other researchers to have access to. Digitizing is the first step in preserving valuable family history!

Shellie Taylor is the Local History Program Specialist at the Iredell County Public Library. She can be contacted at or 704-878-3090, Ext. 8801.