Through this book Justin Taft continues to share his insight on life in the early days of Rochester. Unlike his previous work, this newest effort is professionally researched within its historical context. The westward migration and acquisition of land by Vermont to Rochester families is explored. Previously unidentified relationships between migrating Vermont families are documented. Each of the Rochester Tafts is traced through vital records, census listings, land transactions, family letters and bibles. The author annotates the book with early Rochester photographs and Taft family heirlooms, never forgetting to spin his signature folktales, adding depth to our understanding of the lives of his ancestors and many other early pioneers of Rochester.
The Tafts, and their associated families, were some of the earliest settlers in Rochester. They were active in the political and social structure of the fledgling community. Their impact on Rochester's development is a must read for anyone interested in the history of Sangamon County.