Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Where Did I Come From?

   This is the question asked by so many kids, but for me it was a mystery for the longest time.  I was adopted at age 4 , luckily for me my MOMS were sisiters so one side of my family stayed the same.  My new Dad was wonderful and everything a Dad should be .  My maternal grandmother gave me enough love for two Grandmas but I always wondered..did they miss me?  did anyone look for me?  As a gramma myself I cannot imagine having a grandchild and then one day because of divorce that child is gone. But, that is what happened to me. Yet, there was always the question,  My Father...what did he look like, what nationality was he and do I look like any of his side of the family. This all came to a head when my yougest daughter was born and needed emergency surgery.  A full family medical report was asked for. I had only one side.  Family members tried to located some info but came back empty handed. Thank goodness it was not needed.  Then when I turned 40 my adoptive Mom and Step-dad, ( my adoptive Dad had passed away when I was in my 20's ) got on the internet and found some info.  I now had a full name , Donald Joseph Rowan, a birth date and a cemetary plot number.  There was also two numbers, one his sister June and the other a sister in law Wanda.  I got brave and called June, we talked for hours.  She told me all about my father , the little she knew about her own parents family and how she always wondered what became of me.  I found out I was Scotch Irish on that side and the only grandaughter. I felt really sad for all the missed family time for all of us. I cannot explain the hole that seemed filled by those few facts.  Over the past fews years with the help of Facebook I have spoken with Junes son and his son.  Hopefully one day they can share some family photos , as June has since passed away.   Over the past weekend a cousin down the line on the other side of the family had arranged a family reunion. I was set to find info to fill in the holes left in My maternal  grandfathers family tree. This did not take place as I woke with an abcess tooth and a face so swollen it hurt to move my head.  I was depressed and feeling sorry for myself when I came across a post from an Etsy shop owner. Laurel Ehricke of Laurel's Legacies. She asked if anyone wished to have some work done on their family tree. Just what I needed.  This would be no easy task as Aunt June had told me she did not know her moms maiden name, and only heard of her living in Louisville, Kentucky and coming to Chicago.  I gave her my fathers name and birth date and crossed my fingers. Within hours and email came back saying I found grandparents. The report would be typed up and mailed to me. How exciting, I can't wait for the mail.
The report arrived today!
Not just one or two but 16 grandparents were found. One back to Switzerland in the 1700's.

One was in the civil war , one came from Scotland and another Switzerland.  Laurel wrote a nice letter giving me some direction to keep the search up. I have to say this is much more than I ever thought would show up and so quickly. There were copies of census reports and a civil war pension receipt. My Aunt June would have been so happy. She wanted to find where her Mom came from. We know now!  There is much more digging I would love to do and now I have a great start in the right direction.

My Father, a photo Aunt June had mailed me !
So, I recomend for anyone looking to do a little digging into their family history please check out Laurel's link on Etsy.    What a great gift she has given me which I can now share with my kids and Grandkids.p.s. I also have 3 great grandkids. I cannot thank her enough. I will be busy trying my hand at the detective work to find out more about these relatives and then .....who knows...I may find a way to trace the relatives of my Great Grandmother who never made it over here in 1912 from Germany. Wish me luck and as I have found out you just need to find the right person to set you on the right track. Laurel is just that person, and I would love to hear about your finds. I will also keep you posted as my family tree fills out and I find out more. I was palnning to save for a trip to Ireland to se where my maternal grandfathers family came from....I might have to add Scotland and now I find out Switzerland. I am amazed.

1 comment:

Laurels Legacies said...

It was truly an honor to fill in some of the blanks. Please keep me posted.


Laurel's Legacies