It began in
In the process of pulling out papers mom pulled out copies of her birth certificate and my father’s birth certificate. That led to a conversation about my father finding out he was adopted when his mother died in 1974. My father was 59 at the time. He learned about being adopted from some distant relatives who wrote him and said something like, “and by the way, did you know you were adopted.” And though my father wrote to the courts in
At the time, I was 16 and the news hit me hard. I had grown up being proud to be a H**** and Irish. I was born the day after St. Patrick’s Day, but always celebrated my birthday on the 17th. In one fell swoop, my heritage was ripped away from me. To my chagrin, all I had left was my mom’s side of the family—the
But the discussion about my father’s parentage did trigger something in me. I didn’t really know anything about my roots. I copied the birth certificates mom had and a couple of other bits of information that would help me and determined to begin researching my family once I got home.
Ok, I have new found respect for Alex Hailey for tracing his roots back to Kunta Kintay without the Internet. It must have been a major bummer. Because once you start digging for relatives, you discover there is one hell of a lot of data out there. Fortunately, the Internet now offers a relatively easy way to access work that other people have already done organizing it. I started, of course, with Google and searched for “free family tree searches.” That turned up quite a few sites that promised free searches before they tried to sell you the free information. Much of it was indeed available elsewhere for free.
But weeding out the many pay sites (all of whom seem to have some kind of connection to Ancestors.com) I finally found a couple of places where I could type in some basic information and begin my search. I’m especially grateful for the Mormon Church and its unexplained desire to keep track of everyone’s families. I may not agree with their religion, but they have a particularly good database online that contains tons of information.
I decided to start with my father’s adopted parents and in particularly his adopted father—Eugene Chester H****. Born in
So, I started tracing Eugene Chester’s roots further. His father was Chester H****. He was born in
Henry’s father Paul H***e* (note the dreaded extra “e” in the surname) was born in in
That was it. Any trace of Irish heritage was now truly dashed. The plus side is that my father being adopted didn’t wipe out my green, shamrock roots. They never were there to begin with.
I’m now left with my mom’s side of the family. And I’m hoping for something better than the name of
But that’s another blog or blogs.