Holidays and Rabbit Holes…

29 Dec

December and the holidays are a mixed bag for me. I have wonderful memories of Christmas past and present, traditions kept, the carols, love the carols and memories of going caroling as a child, the frozen fingers and toes and the hot chocolate after. December is also filled with deeply personal losses that haunt me every year, and some years, I fall down the rabbit hole of loss.

I still love Christmas though, nothing can take away that day for me, it’s finding the balance between the good and the hard and giving each their time in my heart. All in all, this Christmas was another good one and that makes me happy.

Yesterday, I distracted myself with dad’s family tree, and specifically, his Irish grandmother and her line. Frustration ensued trying to find any trace of her family immigrating to America before the Revolutionary War. It was a good distraction and kept me from falling down a personal rabbit hole due to the date. Today, I’m heading back to the 1700’s and will try my luck once again to find a specific Ryan in the 1700’s in Ireland.

Note to future parents: give your child a unique name so their descendants can find them in 300 years or so.


“The past is a place of reference, not a place of residence; the past is a place of learning, not a place of living.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart




Posted by on December 29, 2019 in Adoption


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19 responses to “Holidays and Rabbit Holes…

  1. Paige Adams Strickland

    December 29, 2019 at 5:42 pm

    I have supposedly unrelated Smiths in one part of my birth family and in my adoptive fam.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TAO

      December 29, 2019 at 5:50 pm

      Another name impossible to sort through.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

    December 29, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    My genealogical findings have shown the given name used over and over with succeeding generations. With some ethnicities, a person has 3 given names recorded.


    • TAO

      December 29, 2019 at 6:53 pm

      Easy to get it wrong if you don’t keep DOB in mind. Dad’s has that too – multiple siblings in same family named their children the same too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • beth62

        December 29, 2019 at 10:52 pm

        Yes, because one John Jones in a generation is just not enough.

        Liked by 1 person

        • TAO

          December 29, 2019 at 10:54 pm

          Right? Can’t tell you how annoying it gets when you realize you’re wrong…


          • beth62

            December 31, 2019 at 2:17 pm

            Far to annoying. I collect every record I can find for “John Jones”. Then attempt to match them all to the right dude. Impossible. I have a fake generic John Jones on my tree just to hold all the unmatchable records! I honor them all there on brother John Jones the Clone’s puzzle page.
            I guess I could just pick the cool records to save to my favorite John Jones, like so many on Ancestry do!

            Ya know, I think I’d be very upset if my brother and sister named their kids the same name as my kids! Especially when they lived on the same side of the hill! It explains all the nicknames I guess, maybe that’s why Jack is a nick name for John, that’s never made sense to me.
            Would make it easier for Grandma, can just call for John, William, Robert, Mary, Sarah, Ann and dozens of kids come running.
            Well, all except for Annanias, Greenberry, Wealthea and Theodosia 🙂

            Liked by 2 people

  3. TAO

    December 29, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    So while I was researching I come across this entry in an old book:

    Stephen and Carrie Dodds living Illinois at the time…
    “They adopted Clara, born April 9, 1875, New York; m. June 23, 1896, Joseph Winfield, son of William Thomas and Hanna Jane Bogart, b. July 3, 1861, Iowa; d. March 5, 1917.”

    So, I’ve been trying to follow that Rabbit Trail without success…wondering if she was an Orphan Train Rider…


    • TAO

      December 29, 2019 at 10:57 pm

      Think her middle name was Morris – maybe surname. Stephen and Carrie didn’t marry till 1879 so she would have been old enough to know her story by the time she was adopted. Another family tree has an article that also notes she was adopted by Stephen and Carrie and married JW Bogart and they resided in Washington.


    • beth62

      December 31, 2019 at 2:23 pm

      How on earth can you find out if she was on the train?

      Liked by 1 person

      • TAO

        December 31, 2019 at 2:31 pm

        Not sure how you could do it. I wasn’t expecting to find a written record in a book on the family genealogy be as blunt about it. It threw me for a loop and down a different rabbit hole.


        • beth62

          January 25, 2020 at 5:06 am

          Did you find anything further?

          Did you see it yet, on Ancestry?
          On the profile page, another drop down list like “siblings” that says “Additional Parent Relationships”

          If I open it I’m on the very same page as both sets of my parents.
          I think they did it! I think I might faint!!!!! How long has it been there, how did I miss that!!!??

          Liked by 1 person

  4. TAO

    December 30, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Okay guys – the term “ancestors” in the sentence below is incorrect (I think?), so tell me what the term should be as I’m stuck.

    “Note to future parents: give your child a unique name so their ancestors can find them in 300 years or so.”


    • Paige Adams Strickland

      December 30, 2019 at 2:09 pm

      Descendants? Future genealogists.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TAO

        December 30, 2019 at 2:53 pm

        THANK YOU – do tell me when I get words wrong – will never take offense. Cheers


    • beth62

      December 31, 2019 at 2:21 pm

      I didn’t even notice. Knew what you meant.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

    December 31, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    My parents were very good with discussing our ancestors and I’m glad I was a pretty good listener. On my parents side, the rabbit hole is my dad’s mother being “illegitimate.” I can’t be sure if her surname on a ship manifest is that of *her* first mother (biological) or if the surname is one she used as a result of being adopted. I don’t even know if she was officially adopted; maybe she was just “taken in.” Have been trying to find her origins for nearly 3 decades. (My dad told me what he was told by his dad and older siblings — the information is sparse.)

    I do have a primitive death record, handwritten. Her married name is grossly misspelled, so I have to question the remaining, limited information on the record, which is probably inaccurate.

    I have a very large oval framed photo of my dad’s mother, my grandmother. The photo is 120 years old, always displayed through the 120 years, with female descendants pondering her mystery.

    So, I certainly empathize with adopted people trying to find their true ancestors.


    • TAO

      January 1, 2020 at 12:19 am

      I hope you solve the mystery. Maybe research the adoption laws from the country she immigrated from for that period. I know in the US before adoption laws existed that sometimes the family would do a legal name change in court instead of adoption. It may give you clues and worth getting an international ancestry subscription for a time if the country would have those records. Happy New Year.

      Liked by 1 person

      • BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

        January 1, 2020 at 1:54 am

        Thank you. I will not give up on finding who she is.

        Liked by 1 person


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