Resemblance

I was reading a blog post today that was about family members resembling each other, on a lovely blog I just discovered  https://talesofafamily.blog/    I belong to many Facebook genealogy groups and people are always posting pictures asking us to confirm what they think are uncanny resemblances – which for the most part I have trouble seeing.  I believe we see what we want to see most of the time and those pictures prove it to me.  Not to be a Debbie downer, but it just ain’t there people!

But it reminded me of my sister, Barb.  My sister and I don’t look much alike, my sister and brother did.  But that makes sense since they both had the same mother and father.  I learned that I have the same mother, but different father and that totally explained why I didn’t resemble either one!  In our zillions of pictures inherited from our parents are many of our Grandma May.  Grandma was dad’s (who will always be my dad because he loved and raised me) mother.  A feisty woman, Swedish immigrant, matron of a boarding house for many years, who had a hard life but lived to a nice old age of 88.  When I knew her she was married to her second husband, Grandpa Charlie, who treated her as a queen for 13+ years until she passed away in 1963.  I didn’t know her well, she died when I was 10 and had suffered from debilitating strokes in the few years prior to her death.  There was one great picture of grandma in her 70’s that my sister put up on her wall many years ago. The whole family used to laugh and tell my sister that we didn’t need to wonder what she would look like when she was older, she was that picture!  My middle son once was standing near the photo and I asked him if he knew who the lady in the picture was – without much hesitation he said “Auntie Barbie!”  and he was pretty surprised when I told him it was our grandmother, not his aunt/my sister.

Tell me what you think!

May Halldin 1950's 1Barbie and Richard Sept 2011

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Blogging University

I set up my blog in 2015 while I was on my crazy DNA search for the man who was my biological father.  It seemed to be a way for me to process what was happening to me and my life.  I have just sort of dabbled with it since the beginning – sometimes going for a year without touching it.  I am never sure how much of my feelings and emotions to put out there.  If my family reads my posts will they think I am a weirdo (one of my 1950’s childhood taunts) or just being overly dramatic.   Actually, when I started this blog it was so that my children, or any descendants or relatives down the road would be able to find it and learn some things about our family that they might be interested in.  How I wish I could read a blog from one of my ancestors that would answer all those nagging questions I have.  Now I have realized that if I don’t write in the thing, how will anybody find it or be interested in what little I have written.  Therefore I decided to start doing more research into blogging and to try to make it interesting to a wider audience so I decided to join the WordPress Blogging University course.   Can’t hurt, can it?  Day one’s lesson is to set 3 goals for my blog – I am a terrible goal setter but I am going to do my best to complete this university!!!

Goal 1 – To blog at least once a week.  Trying to be realistic – it might be more like every 2 weeks but I would like to reach the every week goal eventually.

Goal 2 – To learn as much about blogging as I can.  My focus is genealogy so I am starting to read other blogs from like-minded people.  I love reading other people’s genealogical searches and mystery solving so I am hoping by making mine interesting I can get more readers and subscribers.

Goal 3 – To gain more confidence in my writing ability.  I suffer from a severe lack of confidence sometimes, other times I am stuffed full of too much confidence.  I have had a rough couple of years dealing with my DNA and genealogical discoveries and I think I need to write about them to help me get back (or forward) to where I want to be.

There, I did it!  Now off to read more blog posts and see what I like or don’t like about them.  That should help me with my Blogging university class.

DNA doesn’t lie!

I am sure you have heard the phrase “a watched pot never boils”.  Well, waiting for DNA test results to come back is pretty much like that.  I knew it could take up to 6 weeks but…still…I had come so far and now just wanted proof that I wasn’t mucking it all up again.  In the mean time I had a chance to go to the L.A. area for a few days and even though the results were not in, I asked my potential 1/2 brothers Scott and Bruce if they would like to meet up.  They were so sweet and were excited to meet me, even prior to the proof of the DNA test.  We pretty much all thought that the picture of my mom with their dad on the same bowling team sealed the deal.

I drove down to Southern CA and we planned a meet at Scott’s house. While I was driving to our meeting I have never been so nervous in all my life.  I was so afraid that I was getting all excited for nothing – what if Scott and Bruce weren’t my 1/2 brothers?   I had to remind myself to breathe…to relax…to just be me and let things play out and to stop worrying.  As I drove up to the house the first person I saw was Scott, standing in the doorway of his house…and all I could do was smile as I know that this is probably my brother and I couldn’t help but feel the love. Then I see Bruce, the elder of the two and the acceptance was written all over his face too….I felt like I had come home to family.  We had the nicest visit….Bruce had brought some old photos from the Perry family and we went through them and laughed and talked. It was such a good visit but also a little bitter sweet as I learned their sister Linda had passed away a couple of years ago and she was very interested in family history and had done lots of research and they were sure we would have hit it off.  Linda and I were the closest in age, she being just 2 years younger than me.

Scott’s roommate Donna had a sandwich spread fixed up for us and we ate, and laughed and talked a lot more.  I really felt good about this visit and so wished the DNA results would come in while I was in Southern Ca. that weekend, but I knew I would probably have to wait for awhile still.  It was funny that Scott kept asking me and texting me..”when will the results be in?”…he wanted to know for sure just like I did – we were like a couple of little kids!  I learned so much about the family during our visit and I promised Bruce and Scott that as soon as I knew the results I would be letting them know.

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Here we are at our first meeting, June 9, 2016.  Scott to the left of the picture and Bruce to the right. Continue Reading

Are you my brother?

So now I was ready to get moving on finding my biological father.  I have talked to Scott, my possible 1/2 brother.  I have done my due diligence in tracing the DNA trail and the family tree hints.  I was thrilled that Scott agreed to take a DNA test and that he would be happy to have a new sister!  As soon as Scott and I got off the phone I ordered the DNA test kit from Ancestry.com from my phone….I was not going to wait until we got home from our camping trip!!  I was floating on cloud 9 the rest of the weekend – I had such a good feeling about this phase in my search! Scott and I messaged back and forth.  Sonya and I did also, she was an angel in my eyes for helping me to connect with my possible family.

My only question now was,  how did my mom know Scott and Bruce’s dad?  They didn’t live in the same city, although not too far away from each other.  Their dad worked as a plumber and my dad owned his own chrome plating business…no connection there I could see.  But as I was thinking about how the connection could have happened I got an idea.  My folks had been very active at the Elks Lodge near them during the 1950’s and 60’s.  Also, they both loved to bowl – my dad was a pretty good bowler and used to compete in leagues with the Elks and at different bowling lanes for many years.  So I decided to contact the Elks Lodge and see if they had a roster for 1952 and if my possible father was on it, and guess what?  He was!!!

Continue Reading

Gun shy

I titled this post “gun shy” because that is what I was feeling at maybe, just maybe, discovering who my father really was.  I had such a sad/bad experience with my first suspected 1/2 brother that I didn’t want to make that mistake again, no way, no how.

My family and I went off to a camping trip in the Sacramento delta area – thank goodness we had cell phone signal, or my anxiety level might have gone through the roof!  I knew Sonya was going to contact my maybe 1/2 brothers and try and make a connection in a very general way – she wanted to protect me from being hurt again and she was very involved in my “mystery” – she is a great cousin!

I didn’t expect to hear anything from her that weekend. What I didn’t know is that she was able to contact the youngest brother first, Scott. Continue Reading

Who’s my father????

I was gathering all the information I could on Ancestry.com for matches to my new 2nd cousin, Bill.  With him being that close to me and seeing that Lee did not match me correctly with Bill being a 2nd cousin I had to figure out what was going on.  So I started with building a separate tree for Bill with all the information I could find on his family and then BOOM.  Not only did I find a common surname that linked him to Lee’s surname, but I saw on Ancestry.com that Lee did the DNA test….without telling me!  I was looking at my DNA matches – yes, I impulsively do that every day!  And I see that Lee is there and matching me as a 4th-6th cousin probability.  That dirty dog….he did the DNA test that I had been begging him to do for months….which would have solved the problem, would have gotten me off his back and would have given me some peace of mind….sometimes I don’t get people one bit. Continue Reading

Don’t give up hope Judy!!!

Barbara and Judy 1953 1

My sister on her wedding day with me at 1 month old

When you are looking for a biological parent and you aren’t sure who they are, it is very frustrating. I had gone from being secure in my parentage – screwed up as they may have been – to wondering who the heck I was. I know some people won’t understand that feeling, but for me, it is a big deal and I want to know where I come from or should I say WHO I come from. So I am not getting any help from Lee, my maybe 1/2 brother. He kept telling me in emails that he couldn’t understand how I thought I was descended from his family…it was obvious he didn’t understand how the Autosomal DNA test worked and I sent him articles and links to explanations. But he just wasn’t receptive. Why was he being so frustrating??? Continue Reading