Adoption Mystery Solved

Ancestry Sisters just helped our client solve his family's adoption mystery from 1900.  Read the story below.

My maternal grandmother was a wonderful Christian woman born October 1, 1900, in Fulton, Illinois. She played her churches organ every Sunday for more than thirty five years. She told me a sad story she thought was true: her mother, Ethel Lynn, died during her birth. This caused her great pain and worse, she believed that her father apparently could not care for five children with one a newborn. She was told that he moved them to York, Nebraska, then asked the County of York to assume guardianship of them in about 1905. My grandmother passed away in 1994, but she got to meet her one sister after a separation of seventy-one years. Her three brothers had all died before she found out who they were from a family descendant in 1984. She died believing that her birth caused the death of her mother and the wardship and separation of her and all four of her siblings, a sister and three brothers, by York County because her father could not raise five children. 

I retained Ancestry Sisters to investigate the facts because they sounded odd to me. It was discovered that her mother, Ethel, became ill with “consumption” a full five months after my grandmother was born and died on 3 July 1901, nearly a full nine months after her birth and five months after becoming ill.  Her mother’s death was unrelated to her birth. Her father had moved to Clinton, Iowa, across the Mississippi River from Fulton, IL, and Ethel’s sister, Elisabeth, and Elisabeth’s husband, George, assumed their guardianship in July 1902. In May 1904 the York County, Nebraska, Court ordered the adoption of my four year old grandmother by the couple whom she always knew as her loving parents, Charles B. and Ella Mae of York, Nebraska. 

A professionally authored and persuasive letter prepared by Ancestry Sisters persuaded the York County Court to release the adoption record (which is routinely a sealed document). The factual revelations Ancestry Sisters discovered gave me the true story behind my grandmother’s past, one quite different from the one she died believing. I just wish I had acted before that wonderful Christian woman passed away.

Walter, California

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