Friday, July 31, 2009

An Interesting Diversion

After and on-again, off-again week of work on my own research, an interesting challenge came along yesterday. I'd received my weekly email from adoption.com, (which I subscribe to because one of my brothers is adopted and I'm trying to make some headway into finding his birth family, if possible). Anyway, I was reading a post in that newsletter which was from a 66 year old adoptee making a plea for information about her birth family. She stated that her case was probably "hopeless" because of her age, but said she'd been searching for 40 years and would never give up. She knew the name of her birth parents, as well as her mother's occupation and the name and location of the hospital she was born in! Well, of course my genealogist-minded wheels started turning, so I emailed her right away and made some suggestions as to sites she could check to try to find her birth family. I also offered to do look-ups for her, if she was interested, and she wrote back and asked if I would. Here's what I sent her:
Hi Patti,I read your plea on the adoption newsletter, and I just wanted to send you a quick note with a suggestion, if you haven't tried this already. I am a family researcher/genealogist, and as I read your entry, I couldn't help but wonder if you've tried to use any genealogical resources to perhaps locate the family members, ie. siblings, neices, nephews etc. of your birth parents. There are many resources available right here on the web that might point you to them, especially since it is most likely that both of your parents should have been born prior to 1930, and there for should be easily found in their birth families in the 1930 and perhaps even the 1920 census.You should try ancestry.com or familysearch.org to see if you can find them. If you'd like, I will do the lookup for you, but I'll wait to hear from you first.Good luck in your continued search.Renate

Meanwhile, Pattie (the adoptee) must've decided to take a look on ancestry.com herself, because I got an email from her today saying that she'd run across a post on a message board that looked like it might be about her! Check this out: (I initialized all of the surnames for her privacy.)

Another development this morning: a poster on ancestry.com was looking for a Patricia Lee R. with my birthdate and born at John Sealey Hosp. Mother is EVA or ANNA R, who married a Clifford P and had 8 children. Eva/Anna got around, apparently and was also married to J. L. R (or Lee R), and also to James Douglas S.

Now I hate to be an imposition. These are a lot of names. I would expect to compensate you. I appreciate your help, but this is getting to be a LOT of names. Yet, this is a pretty hot lead. What are the chances of a Patricia Lee R and a Patricia Lee P born on same day, same hospital, with a mother married to a Clifford P?

I am so excited. I got so much response to my post. I wish I had done it years ago. Truth is, I did TRY to post years ago, repeatedly. Adoption.com didn't print it. Until now. Things happen when they are meant to, I guess.

Thank you. Pattie

Isn't this cool! I never thought I'd be using my genealogical skills (lol) to help someone in this way, but I got Pattie to link me into the post on ancestry, and I'm almost 100% sure that she's found a connection to her birth family, and it was so easy! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her, but this was just so exciting, I just had to share it with all of you - my new-found genealogy friends!


  1. Wow Renate! That is cool. It's nice to see our gifts blessing the living too!:-)

    Keep us posted... I want to know how things turn out for Pattie!:-)