08 March 2017

VOTER REGISTRATION DATABASES and a BIRTH PARENT STORY

VOTERS REGISTRATION DATABASES are somewhat valuable for genealogy research.  Unlike some other databases, Voters Registration databases can be fairly current. Because they give an address where the person was registered to vote, you can start to focus on that city, county, and state, for other records, checking the address against census.  (President Trump and his people will be looking into issues of voting fraud.  As per a previous post of mine, I think the issue is that more people need to use their citizenship, use their right to vote, do some research on their elected officials and the issues, and get out there and vote!) 


One time I was researching to find the birth parent(s) of someone who was adopted.  The woman was in her 70's.  She had been told that her birth parents were Mormons (Latter Day Saints) and I was able to verify that rumor.  She had also been told some things that were, at best debatable.  Her birth mother was said to be an alcoholic and drug addict who went to skid row.  I thought this was to prevent her from having any desire to find her birth parents.  It was true that her mother had died, for I found her death certificate, but she hadn't been dead yet when her children were adopted out.  The year before she died she was married, living in Santa Monica with her husband, to whom she was married, and they had registered to vote as Republicans.  She had married in the Latter Day Saints, and I was thinking, so far so good.  Married first, children second, voting Republican - voting - what could have gone wrong.

Sadly, it turned out that my client had been living all her years near relatives of her birth parents.  I mean around the block.  And they knew where she was but had never visited with her.  She had a memory of showing up at someone's house and being shepherded back to her adoptive parents.  She thought that someone was actually a relative.


Her father had given up on raising the children of his marriage and had moved to Utah.


When I reported in to her, I told her that members of the LDS church had looked into their databases for me and all the Temple Ordinances had been done for her father, but not her mother!  We began to look into why not.  What was really wrong with her mother?  My client had been told some terrible things.  However, I came away with one idea: that her mother had been mentally ill and at a time when serious mental illness - and self medication - was not well understood.  This woman, her mother, was to be pitied, but it seemed that instead she and her children had been put out.


Further research proved to me that this mother had come from England and had been adopted by a family in the U.S. and into the religion.  When I got this far, certain LDS members told me that there had been orphans adopted at the time, who came to the United States and were made members of the church.


Perhaps the worst of this is that here was a woman in her 70's looking for the truth of her life on earth, and if mental illness was running in her maternal line, she should have known it.  Luckily, she had no daughters.  However, now the few blood relatives she was able to locate know this is a possibility - for now her sister got into the research and they shared what they had.  My sense is that her mother was probably an orphan in England due to similar mental health issues of her own mother, or perhaps both of her parents.


Out of money and time, we didn't try to break the "Brick Wall" we had run into trying to find a young girl living in England who would be orphaned on the census there.  the surname was common enough for there to be a number of candidates.


One of the things that was so remarkable about this client, was her willingness to hear me on what had been proven and what was speculated.  She had not been raised in the LDS religion but knew her birth father was in good standing and she did feel some relief about that and I was so happy that church members had been willing to look into that for me - her - us.  I suggested to her that she might want to talk to the Bishop about her mother, if she wished to pursue the Ordinances for the woman who gave birth to her and probably began to act schizophrenic after having children in her early twenties.


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