Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Are You Keeping Family Secrets?

Now that DNA testing for "fun" or "branching out the family tree" or in an earnest search for one's parent(s) is readily available, I find I have one piece of advice. If you are keeping a family secret, STOP. In this day and age family secrets are coming out due to the growing list of companies that will test your DNA and match you up with others of the same heritage.

When I was growing up, I always thought it was terrible when I heard someone was adopted and the adoptive family was keeping everything a secret. I came across a person or so in my life who was adopted. One I knew as a young adult. He had no interest at the time of locating his birth family. But, he did know he was adopted. The other I knew as a preteen. She knew she was adopted also, but acted like the poor relation. I have often wondered over the years whether or not she ever came to terms with it.

My step-grandmother, on my mother's side, was adopted as an infant. I've never been sure what happened to her mother: death, insanity, divorce, illness, but my step-grandma knew who her father and siblings were later on and actually had relationships with them. Her adoptive parents were old enough to be her grandparents, but weren't.

I am a member of a group on Facebook, "DNA Detectives," that I joined in hopes of puzzling out my hubby's odd results. While I was able to work out the strange Jewish ancestry in his line, I felt for other people who were running into results that pretty much spelled out that they weren't who they thought they were. Or that the man mama claimed was the birth father was not! I think the days of lying to spouses, children, etc. are over. DNA does not lie. The courts use it for proof all the time. Of course that doesn't mean your new found family will believe it or accept it, but it doesn't make it any less true.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Trying to Get Into the Groove Again

After this summer's shocking DNA results, I am finding it hard to get into my genealogical groove. I have lots to do and I want to do it, but I am really trying to enjoy the last vestiges of summer. I know once the pool is closed for the season, It will get easier. Not that we will be done with outside, since we do need to finish the lattice project around the deck, get the driveway sealed, do fall planting, and bush trimming and decorating.

In the meantime, I was contacted by a second cousin of hubby's on the paternal side. I have stuff to share and need to get that organized, transferred to a thumb drive and into the mail. Oddly enough she lives in the same state as we do. Since we moved 600 miles away from where we all grew up, it's pretty amazing.

Hope you all are having amazing Genealogy years!

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Hungarian Records

Since discovering hubby's Hungarian Jewish ancestry, I've been poking around on the Jewish Genealogical Society's site and on the site looking at records. All I can say is wow. And I am really grateful for word lists. Because although some of the records are in German, which I've worked with before, some are not. I do wish there were records from earlier dates, like 1820s. Supposedly Karoly Ecker was born in 1824 and died in 1929 at the age of 105. I find it suspect. I also find it suspect that his wife was born in 1826 and died in 1899. It's the birth years I find suspect. If Betti Altman(n) was indeed having babies in the 1880s, and these children survived to adulthood, emigrated to America and were married, welllll. I just don't think its likely. I also found one that was supposed to have died in the holocaust, yet is on a survivor's list in 1946. His mother's name is Betti Altman(n). I'll keep looking in the meantime for answers.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, September 1, 2017

Still Puzzling It Out

The title of this post may be misleading. I have solved the "mystery." The problem is that my husband's relative wants no contact with him. While I understand that, there is more than personal contact at stake here.

All I know about my husband's father's side is not what I know about his father's side. All the research I've done over the last 30 years is not valid. I did this research by questioning my father-in-law about his family. He told me what he knew, which was mostly about his mother's side. His father's side, I did the research.

What happens when you find out that the research you did was good, but the wrong family? And the family you have determined is the correct one just does not want to have any contact. What about medical histories? Do we not have a right to know?

I struggle with this daily. Mostly, I hope that this relative relents and contacts us. From what I have been told by other family members, he is intelligent. Hopefully, he will become curious, too.

The previous post can be found here.

Copyright 2010-2017, ACK for Gene Notes