Searching but not searching

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Searching but not searching

Postby Turtle » Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:12 pm

I have had a very interesting weekend searching my past. I have never wanted to have actual contact with my birth parents, but having read The Primal Wound, I have been inspired to trace my family via the internet, without any intention of meeting them. The idea is, to replace the void in my life, where I have no names to link to any of my past. Having no background, just a void, is very distressing, you feel like you don't belong. That you appeared out of nowhere. Now I have names and dates linked to my past.

My shock find was that my mother had a daughter a year after giving me away. So I now know all my half siblings and their names. I know my mother's age and when she married and I have also learnt about my grandparents (who are dead). It has been good to have a sense of who is out there that is related to me. I also had a sneaky peak on facebook and found one of my half brothers. It was weird looking at him as I felt no connection. He didn't look anything like me, or have any similar interests. Maybe he takes after his dad more, being male. It didn't inspire me to suddenly want to meet up. It was as I always thought it would be, looking at a complete stranger.

Finding all this information was unnervingly easy. Things just can't be hidden nowadays. If anyone looked up my birth mother, they will see that she had four children, as I am there as female (unnamed) in the list.

I have found the most interesting thing to be my grandparents and those going further back. I am slowing piecing together the various generations, helped by the fact that they didn't move around much as a family and also that they had unusual names.

Has anyone else looked into tracing their family via these ancestry sites or the electoral role? It is so fascinating and addictive.
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby Donotunderstand » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:25 pm

Yes! My dad made a very good family tree which he researched mainly through church records. He managed to go back to 1700's which is very impressive as some of the family moved from the north to the south and across the water to IOW. I'd like to find my mums side of the family but haven't been as successful as my dad. You've inspired me to start again...
Aunt to a sibling group split up by Adoption and Residence Orders. Mum to birth children age 28 & 26, and adopted 14 year old (youngest of the sibling group)
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby ladyarcher » Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:08 pm

I haven't needed to do it myself as I am very lucky in having trees going back many generations for both my b.mother's family ....... a very nice cousin had made it his retirement hobby........ and the late wife of one of my Canadian half bros. had done a very comprehensive tree for both sides of the family, as well as her own family........ for all the children and grandchildren over there and instantly sent the whole thing to me when I pitched up........although they all knew I and my full sister existed and had been trying to find us themselves for many years...........

And I agree that there is something particularly special about being able to go back past grandparents and beyond........although of course we want to know about our b.parents.........they are really only a very small part of the 'story of us' .............and as adoptees we are very aware that we can't say what our grandparents did and where the family came from when it is some sort of 'show and tell' time at school.....and it does keep coming up, from Primary onwards, .......Primary it will simply be what our parents' job is, but then as one goes up the school it will be what father or grandfather did in the war, etc...

....what my father did in the war was quite easy really, he was posted over to the UK and had two children :oops: .......as well as mending tanks etc......

LA
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby sazzer » Mon Oct 22, 2012 11:49 pm

Hi Turtle

Before I actively started the reunion journey and indeed while I was on it, I too did quite a bit of digging as I've always wanted to know more about my actual roots and I felt it was a way of connecting to my BM. Course the 'Who do you think you are?' programmes gave me some impetus too though it was only in the last 3 or 4 years when I had my own laptop that I started to search properly and get a subscription to Ancestry. It helped to while away the time as I pondered or waited the next steps towards reunion. It's been slow work as I try to ensure everything is verified and I keep leaving and coming back to it but like you Turtle, I've found it fascinating and addictive. I've found it therapeutic too as it's helping me find the bones of where I've come from. My BM is now helping me to flesh it out and get a real sense of who I am.

I've always been interested in my a parents too don't get me wrong... but it just isn't the same. I'll always remember the day in my last year at primary school when we learnt how to start constructing a tree; course we didn't get too far. I found out many years later that the school rang home to check it would be OK as they knew I was adopted... one of the few occasions were my adoption was ever mentioned in my presence, probably in public too. My other brush with family history was going to a public library after school several years later with mum and going through reels and reels of census' as she wanted to put Dads tree together and get photo's of his direct ascendants to hang up the stairs... which she did; all six, seven, may be even eight generations. I couldn't miss them as I walked up the stairs and although I was part of this family, it always reminded me that I wasn't. My Dad looked like some of his ancestors; I knew I never would.

Getting back to my birth family, I only had my BM's name to start from but it was quite a rare name so was a big help. I applied for my original birth certificate which gave me a bit more info to track her birth certificate and then my grandparents and great grandparents. I've been able to track census returns to go back further and have about 100 names in the tree so far. I told my BM how I'd tracked her down through applying for certificates and I did feel bad that it looked like I had stalked her, even though the information is freely available. I wanted to be honest about it though. I know I've mentioned genealogy in passing to her and I know she feels I have a right to know about my birth family. I don't know if she has ever researched her tree yet though, I haven't broached that one yet. If not (and it would be slightly ironic if I knew more), I hope she will be pleased with what I've managed to find..... nothing bad..... only other black sheep I've come accross is a great great great great uncle of some description who had a habit of getting banged up for 7 yr stretches for 'larcery'.... I had to look that up! He did manage to marry in between at some point though!

When you start to open that lid...... the more you learn, the more you want to learn. That's how I'm finding it anyway.

xx
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby Turtle » Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:02 pm

Wow, donotunderstand. Going back to the 1700's is amazing. I was pretty impressed to go back to the early 1800's within a few hours.

How interesting to find that you had your family trees already done, ladyarcher, although I must admit, the searching process is very exciting and so I am quite pleased that I am doing it myself.

I always loved the program, Who do you think you are, sazzer. It was such a disappointment to me when I officially found out that I was adopted, that I couldn't research my family. (Little did I know at that point, that even with the tiny bit of information that I had, that it was possible. I am amazed at how little information you actually need). It just isn't the same tracing your adoptive parent's family. However close you feel to them, they are not your genes and so you just feel no link to their past. It was interesting what you said about birth certificates. I am pondering over whether to buy those. It does seem a bit intrusive in some ways, to purchase information on someone else. However, if I want to go back through the generations, I need to know that the information that I have connected together is right, and so marriage and birth certificates would allow me to do that. I am just fascinated by the whole process and what to go back as far as I can.
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby ladyarcher » Tue Oct 23, 2012 4:45 pm

Births, deaths, and marriages are a matter of public record so anyone can send for certificates for anyone......for example, if I knew your name, I could send for certificates on you and your family ......and of course you could for mine too......

.... I think that this business of the records being 'public' is probably to do with people not being able to lie about who they are in order to either gain, or get away with things.......going back a long way of course, people could not even leave their home village without permission from their landlord so everyone knew who everyone was, and people could not marry twice, etc........but later when people were allowed to be more mobile, certificates became important....... marriage certs. protected women to some extent...... ......even now the marriage licence belongs to the wife, and not to the husband......... and birth certs. of course would protect inheritances etc...............hence the importance of the naming of the father, and men having to acknowledge that a child is theirs.........lots of quite interesting historical stuff to do with records one way and another.......

LA....
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby Turtle » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:41 am

Right. I've done it!!

I have just sent off for 6 certificates, which have cost me a small fortune. It felt a bit odd doing it. As if I wasn't allowed to. It does seem strange that you can apply for these things, but as ladyarcher said, they are public records and therefore in the public domain.

When I applied for my original birth certificate, it asked if I was adopted. I really wanted to press the "no" button, as I was afraid that someone at the other end would tut loudly and say, another of these adopted kids wanting information, well she can't have it. I have lived in this bubble of "don't ask questions" all my life. I just feel the whole thing is a big secret and even though I am at the centre of it, I am not allowed to be part of it.

So hopefully my birth certificate will arrive.

I also order my mother's birth certificate and also the marriage one. I wasn't going to bother with the marriage one, but then thought it would have her signature on it. It may seen a bit weird to those that aren't adopted, but it was a chance to obtain something personal of hers. I have nothing of hers. I haven't seen a photo or anything like that.

I then ordered my grandparent's birth and marriage certificates. I am having problems tracing my grandmother's line back. I keep getting tied in knots. So hopefully this will clear up a few details.

They won't be dispatch until next Friday. I must admit. It make me feel a bit sick. Strange how these things rattle you. I guess they bring up deep emotions.
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby Turtle » Thu Nov 08, 2012 1:34 pm

The first certificates have arrived. I have birth certificates for my grandparents now. I am glad to see that the connections that I am making on the genealogy sites are right. I had started to panic that I was barking up the wrong (family) tree. :lol:

The amazing thing to me is, that my birth relatives were very involved in horticulture. That is the industry that I trained in. I find that fascinating. When I went into the industry it was very male dominated, and was quite unusual career for a woman to pursue. All I can think is that plants are in my genes!
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby Donotunderstand » Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:15 am

Hi Turtle,

Thats amazing - it can't be coincidence that you have the same interests!!
Aunt to a sibling group split up by Adoption and Residence Orders. Mum to birth children age 28 & 26, and adopted 14 year old (youngest of the sibling group)
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby Turtle » Sat Nov 10, 2012 9:21 am

Nothing arrived in the post yesterday. It was really disappointing. So here I am today, waiting again.
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby Turtle » Sat Nov 10, 2012 12:35 pm

The certificates are here.

My birth one has "ADOPTED" written at the end of it. It may as well say "REJECTED". Why do they do that? I know I was, but it is officials just signing everything off and makes it seem as negative a piece of paper as the "fallen from the sky" short birth certificate that we are handed out as replacement. It was a real disappointment.

Of course I had secretly hoped my birth father's name would be on it. (I know there was no real chance of that, but I still hoped). I just have a line through that bit.

I had hoped it would make me feel more positive getting it, but it hasn't. It would have been ok with the "ADOPTED" bit. Does everyone's have that? It's just like rubbing salt in the wound. Why couldn't they just have left the information of birth as it was? Image sending off for a marriage certificate and getting "DIVORCED" printed in big letters all over the end of it.
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby ladyarcher » Sat Nov 10, 2012 1:23 pm

It is the same for every adopted child..........

The original birth cert. that was actually issued when you were registered in your birth name, would not have 'adopted' written on it, because of course you were not adopted at that point.........however any 'copy' of the original that is issued after adoption will have 'adopted' written on it...... because, in a sense, the child that was on there is no longer the same child in the eyes of the law......that child now has a different name and different parents........

Interesting to wonder if I sent for a copy of my original marriage licence, would it have 'divorced' written on it........ I have never had to send for a copy as far as I remember ...... I suppose there are circumstances where one would have to prove a previous marriage........ I guess I had to show proof of divorce when marrying for the second time, but as that was 35 years ago I can't remember.........

Another thought is that if a b.mother, who did not know where her child had gone, sent for a copy of it's birth cert......obviously it would be in the child's birth name as she would not know the adopted name........when the copy came back with 'adopted' written on it, there would also be a signature by the word 'adopted'.......that signature was the Registrar for the area to which the child had gone.....i.e. the child was re-registered as if it was a different child.......so a bit of detective work could give her the area to which her child had gone......... I knew, for example, that my full sister was adopted very near to me, because we both had the same 'adopted' Registrar on our copy birth certs.........my a.parents lived in the County Town and it was confirmed when I found her, that her a.parents lived in a village about ten miles out of the Town.......we had even both gone to the same riding stables, but she had her own ponies, and I just went for riding lessons and hacking out.........

A phone call to the Registry Office of the County Town, and an enquiry about the previous names of Registrars in the 1940s, confirmed that this particular registrar worked there at that time........ even though my enquiry was over 50 years later........the records were still there.......

LA
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby skyebluepink » Sun Nov 11, 2012 7:49 pm

When I applied for my birth certificate it returned with the word 'adopted' on it. But my bm had one of the originals - without it written on. Quite a precious piece of paper really because another one like that might not exist.
Come and read my random musings at www.skyebluepink.com
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby Turtle » Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:26 am

I can see your point at far as the law is concerned ladyarcher, but I just feel as if it has been defaced. When they sent my grandparent's certificates, they did write "DEAD" at the end. I just feel like it was another slap in the face from the officials. It is as if I am not allowed one piece of paper that makes me feel normal.

I am glad that your birth mother has a clean certificate, skybluepink.

I wonder what they do with children that die shortly after birth? Do they write "DEAD" on the end of that one?
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Re: Searching but not searching

Postby ladyarcher » Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:19 pm

Writing the word 'dead' on a certificate seems a bit odd......... the usual term would be 'deceased'.........provided that it was correctly spelled that is......and not diseased ........... perhaps, with the lack of reliable spelling, using the word 'dead' is less likely to cause confusion.........

With regard to you feeling that your certificate has been defaced, and yourself feeling that the emphasis is on 'rejection'........ sadly, of course, the law is the law, and takes absolutely no regard for personal feelings......

..... I suppose in some respects it is a good thing that the word 'adopted' is put on copies subsequent to the adoption........ because, at some time, a relative who does not know about the adoption, may be searching the records, and would just continue to look for the person in their original name, and so never find them........ if the word 'adopted' is on the cert. they know that they have to look for a different name, and obviously their search is going to be far more complicated.....

...one of the things that adoptees dislike is the lack of honesty about adoption..........having the word 'adopted' on a cert. can be seen as, at least, a 'nod' to honesty I suppose........

LA
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