Ahhhh….Saturday. I was good all week and refrained from too many late nights. I missed The Melvins concert last night but I had seen them before. Spending time with my daughter and some very close people was much more fun. Tonite, I get to go see some buds play some rock n’ roll (Shout out to YOUR MOM!!). Gonna be a blast!
Back to my genealogical journey, I had uncovered all the names, dates, and places and organized them. I felt pretty confident about my discoveries but I didn’t have any real evidence to support that these were the correct people. I had some vague references to potential family members but no indications of relationship, just names. The maternal side was identified to the grandparents. My maternal grandmother was listed in the city directory. She had a different last name due to a remarriage, but her first name had a unique spelling that helped me have confidence in my results.
The paternal side was just as easy to Google. Names started popping up, dates started appearing, places were revealing themselves. I was excited to see this unfolding before my eyes. I opened every result link to examine the content. I was soaking it up. I had info about my biological father, my biological grandmother, my biological grandfather….oh crap! There it was!! My biological grandfather was staring right back at me through the computer screen. Guess how I knew? THE SMILE!! That smile I see everyday. The smile from my biological father’s yearbook. And now another picture of a smile so familiar to me. But this picture was different.
I applied for and received my original birth certificate on April 9, 2012. I received my non-identifying paperwork on April 28, 2012. My biological grandfather passed away on April 15, 2012. What are the odds?
One of the best pieces of genealogical information can be found in obituaries. The picture I found was in his online obituary. I had a name, a face, a birth and death date and place, and his family members. I had my biological fathers name listed. I had biological aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, and guess what……biological siblings.
I read about his life, his interests, and the circumstances of his death. He had a very rare cancer. I began to think about how this would affect me. Was I at risk? The more I have thought about this over the last several years, the stronger I feel about this. EVERY PERSON SHOULD KNOW THEIR HEALTH HISTORY. I wrote that in bold because I feel that strongly about this. We know that documents are altered and modified to protect privacy and I support that. Health information should be included in all adoption records because every person has a right to that information.
Okay…off my soapbox.
The emotion I felt was strong but I was okay with accepting his death. I had prepared myself for what I might find. I had uncovered more than I expected to find, to that point, and any other info was just icing on the cake. Surprisingly, this was another “A-HA!!” moment in my genealogical education. I had been using Roots Magic (shameless plug) as my genealogical program of choice but I had only used it for client work. I had never had to use it for my family genealogy because when your mom is Billie Fogarty…there isn’t much left to do. So I started my biological tree. I took all the information I had acquired and entered it into the database tree. Without even thinking, I cited the website where I found the obituary. There was a template in the source list and I entered it all in. I went and grabbed my copy of Evidence Explained and compared to make sure I included all the pertinent details. Then it dawned on me….