Family Tree

08 Jul

I’ve been working on my paternal family tree, the tree that has given me the most angst because I’ve been doing it without anything more than the name of my father by birth, where he grew up, his approximate age. I’d pick it up and try to make sense of it, get confused, give up and swear I was done with it and mean it. Well, in the last couple of weeks I picked it back up because it was too hot to do anything else, and pennies started dropping all over the place and it makes sense, finally. I can plot and document my ancestral timeline, add dates, places, names, what they did, what wars they fought in and survived, the impact those wars had on them personally, and more.

And the surprising aspect of all are the journeys taken by my ancestors by birth on my father’s side, mirror the journeys my ancestors took on my dad’s side. And yes, I know years ago, the paths from the eastern seaboard to the west coast were limited so it makes sense they were similar, but they also happened on similar timeframes as well.

And yes, I still think my father was an ass and a coward, and I still hold dad up as the best man I have known. But the picture growing of who my ancestors were on my father’s side is good, wholesome, decent and hardworking folks, ones to be proud to claim.

Thanks for reading, commenting and just being here – you all make my life better.

Stay safe, stay kind.


Posted by on July 8, 2021 in Adoption


Tags: , , , , , ,

14 responses to “Family Tree

  1. legitimatebastard

    July 8, 2021 at 4:59 pm

    Good for you! It does take us (adoptees) a long time to find the strength to trace our ancestors. Reconciling the past or our parents’ and their parents’ actions and lives isn’t easy. Especially, as you say, you are building a tree with not much to go on. That’s even harder. Where to begin? How to begin? And then, applying our feelings to the people in both of our families.

    I’ve found other people who aren’t adopted don’t quite understand the depth of our feelings. It’s a complicated venture, yet one of surprises, some good and some not so good. For me, there’s also a good portion of empathy. I can’t explain more than this right now.

    Liked by 3 people

    • TAO

      July 8, 2021 at 5:20 pm

      I’ve had the tree created for a while, but I couldn’t find documentation proving I had the right person. Too many popular last names, too many same first names, but I found the documentation to prove I had the basics of it right. Now filling in all the additional family members.

      And you are right, other people will never be able to fully get it, because they’ve always had someone in the family who knew it.

      Liked by 4 people

      • legitimatebastard

        July 9, 2021 at 12:49 pm

        There is also family who won’t tell the truth, even when they know it and I know that they do know.

        I don’t know the full reason why my mother’s mother left her family and her husband and moved 500 miles away to Brooklyn in 1930. Who did she live with? Family? Friends? What was her source f income at the time of The Depression?

        She left her younger children without a mother, the older children were already grown and married. My mother was only 6 years old at the time. Some relatives hinted that perhaps my grandfather beat his wife, but no one will admit to it for sure. My grandmother died in Brooklyn 6 years later when my mother was 12 or 13. So she lost her mother twice. And because my mother died when I was an infant and then I was given up for adoption, I don’t have her first-hand knowledge of the situation, or her feelings.

        My grandmother’s death certificate indicated her early death was due to a condition that I now am at risk for at my age of 65. So, yes, whether it is family genealogy or family medical history, adoptees are at risk because we don’t have answers that other people who were born to their parents can readily ask and receive.


  2. Lara/Trace

    July 8, 2021 at 11:56 pm

    Everything an adoptee has to try to do is HARD. Family tree, medical history, etc. is WORK!

    Liked by 4 people

    • legitimatebastard

      July 9, 2021 at 12:33 pm

      Yes, even after almost 50 years in reunion and most of my questions have been answered, I still can’t answer critical questions my doctors ask me now. No, I don’t know if this condition “runs in my family” because my family is broken. My natural father told me flat out that I “didn’t need to know” his blood type! So, I can’t tell my doctors if my current medical issues are inherited.

      So now, I’m trying to collect death certificates of my grandparents and great grandparents. At least I will have something to go on for medical.

      Doesn’t help that my mother died when I was an infant. My father told me I don’t need to know her blood type, either.

      Liked by 1 person

    • beth62

      July 12, 2021 at 2:40 pm

      A whole lot of work, and most often very very hard in many many ways!

      Liked by 2 people

      • TAO

        July 12, 2021 at 6:35 pm

        True, but I just love searching for old documents. Funny what makes one tick.

        Liked by 2 people

        • beth62

          July 26, 2021 at 9:30 pm

          Is there a term for this ailment? 🙂


          • TAO

            July 26, 2021 at 11:59 pm

            Wanting to know more of the person than stats, plus the sifting through history, learning bits of what it was like, and quite often, it’s those bits that stick in my head. And quite frankly, not much sticks anymore, especially things like where did I put my glasses down.


  3. BOOKS: Sexual Assault, Loss

    July 9, 2021 at 1:32 am

    Decades have passed and I’m still trying to find out about my grandmother. Who was her mother? Who was her father? Who raised her? She was “illegitimate,” according to family stories. People who knew something probably died many years ago.

    Liked by 1 person

    • legitimatebastard

      July 9, 2021 at 12:34 pm

      Silly question… Have you thought about DNA testing? Maybe you could find her relatives that way.


  4. legitimatebastard

    July 9, 2021 at 12:59 pm

    Perfect timing for this link to arrive in my email inbox this morning!

    “How and Why to Link Your Tree to Your DNA Results…

    ­”One of the very first steps you should take after submitting a DNA test is to upload your family tree to the DNA testing company’s website. When you add your family tree to your profile you allow two very important things to happen. …”


  5. TAO

    July 9, 2021 at 2:25 pm

    This article showed up in my timeline and am linking it here.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Paige Adams Strickland

    July 11, 2021 at 2:11 pm

    I’m Appalachian by both biology and adoption. It’s fascinating stuff.

    Liked by 1 person


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