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My Grandmother and lost heritage

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  • My Grandmother and lost heritage

    I tell you my story because I would honestly like some thoughtful feedback about this. Perhaps someone else has been in my situation and knows more about it...

    My mother and father divorced when I was 9. Visitation was sporadic and by the time I was 15, I had a step-father and my birth father signed the adoption papers so that our new family (a baby brother had been added) could identify as a whole - all with the same last name. I have very few and faint memories of my father's mother, but I do remember her teaching me a few French words when I was very small.

    Fast forward 15 years... and I finally track down my birth father in New Orleans. (I hadn't seen him since the adoption papers were signed.) So I travel to see him and find out that my grandmother (already deceased at this time) was "some kind of Canadian Indian"... That was about as specific as he was able to get and really didn't know a lot about it when asked.

    Fast forward another 15 years of sporadic contact and along comes the Katrina Hurricane. Of course, no one can find him and we start searching the message boards and other lists. From that I find out that I have a cousin! This lead to a few emails back and forth with her and my uncle (who I haven't seen since I was 9). My uncle confirmed his mother's ancestry, but didn't know much more about it. For those who are wondering... we did finally find him once he moved into a new apartment and the phone service was turned on. (He left before the storm hit, but the message was not relayed properly.)

    From my current point of view... I think it would be near impossible to find out more about my grandmother's ancestry. Perhaps better records were kept than I realize? I do have some last names that go back one more generation to her mother and father, but that's about it. And does it really matter? Will it really be of any personal (emotional) benefit to know more details? Would it honor my forgotten ancestors to search/finally be remembered/acknowledged, or is it a 'fool's errand' ? Has anyone else been able to find information with such scant details?

    I appreciate your input and thoughtful responses.
    For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf
    And the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
    ~ Rudyard Kipling

  • #2
    I found all my info from being adopted and born with a polish last name.
    I think that it would only be a fools errand if you went through this search, but wern't truly ready to find your answers. you will have to ask your heart and honestly listen to what it tells you.
    If you go through everyday with the need to know your heritage but are just not sure how to go about it look around online there are groups out there that know the ways.
    Be prepared to run into brickwalls. Be ready to acept the fact that you may not find the complete info you seek.
    Some people are lucky many are not.
    I had my search on and off all my life.
    as a child I would look into the eyes of strangers
    when I would run into other Native people I would wonder if I could be related.
    I put off my search telling myself ofr years that I didn't need to know my background and that I was Ok with out my biological family.
    For me It was a lie I was telling myself to protect me from the possiblility of rejection from My birth family.
    My days of searching every phone book I come in contact with are over and I was blessed with a happy ending.
    But I never would have gotten this far if I hadn't tried
    It was an empty void I had to try and fill.
    But it has to be a desicion that you make totally true to what your feelings are.
    Good luck in whatever you deside to do.
    If you wanna go for it I think I can steer you into some of the same people that helped me.
    P.M. if you want


    • #3
      Thank you for the information and the encouragement.

      I have found a number of things in my life that I have been drawn to - without knowing why at the time. When I finally talked to my father - I found that those things were some of the same things he did in his life. It was freaky just like twins separated at birth kinda freaky.

      I will keep looking - sometimes with more encouragement than other times. But I don't think you ever stop looking until you find the answers. [Whether or not they end up being the answer you want.] In some ways, I think it might make up for the lack of contact with that side of my family. That will probably be very healing for me.

      And I'm very glad to hear that your search had a happy ending!
      For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf
      And the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.
      ~ Rudyard Kipling


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