Finding Family

“In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage – to know who we are and where we came from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. No matter what our attainments in life, there is still a vacuum, an emptiness, and the most disquieting loneliness.”  – Alex Haley 

Remember this post where I stressed over family tree stuffs?

Well, consider this post a continuation.

I finally joined ancestry.com and started my tree. This was done on a bit of a whim after some information regarding my grandmother passed through my inbox. I was curious, once again, about my fathers family history and I went poking on ancestry.

And I set up a tree and connected it to my cousins tree that she developed for my mothers side of the family. Cousins tree traces all the way back to the 1800’s in Scotland and Northern Ireland. Kinda cool.

And I started populating mine with my parents and siblings and what I know of my dads family.

And I stumbled a bit.

Once again, do I put my daughters original name or her amended and legal one? 

I chose her original. This was not done to invalidate her current name or known existence but rather in respect of that existence. Since we still have little to no contact, I am assuming I am not permitted to acknowledge her amended name and family.

I struggled with how to note her status. I haven’t figured out if ancestry has a way to note adoption. Does anyone know?  For now I put in her birth name and date and location.

I also disliked that by listing her I had to list her father as unknown. He is not unknown. He is very much known. How do I list a non spousal but father of a child of mine? In a life event? Do I also populate what I know of his family? Or is that inappropriate?

I find it all rather fascinating and yet at the same time massively triggering.

:: Off to continue piecing together the broken limbs of my family tree as best as I can. Hoping I dont get too many emotional splinters from the branches. ::

4 Thoughts.

  1. I started a tree on ancestry also, never could decide how to list my son, so as of now he’s not listed at all, I’m embarrassed to admit. Funny, I never thought about listing his father! I’m glad you mentioned this issue, I’m interested in hearing other views on this.

  2. I was on ancestry a few weeks ago. I listed my son with his adoptive name- I never named him myself, I didn’t know that I could; though I’m not sure I would have, knowing he was going to be renamed.

    I listed him as my first-born, and I did put his biological father’s name in. I never worried about him not being my spouse when I listed him- something that should be changed on the website. And his biological father, unfortunately, is true to form and made a brief appearance after reunion, then ran away, refusing anymore contact (even after my son spent the day with him).

    The facts are the way they are, and it is *my* family tree that I am creating. It’s my story; he’s my first-born son, and his father is his father. I realize that my situation is different than yours, Suz; I just wanted to share what I did. That said, it’s easy for me to include my son, but I’m sure my son would steer clear of ever having to fill out a family tree online. He would never simply just list me as his mother, but I’m sure he wouldn’t want to exclude either me or his amother.

  3. Both sides of my family have official family trees going. Not on ancestry.com or elsewhere online, just records kept by cousins who had an interest in researching and recording our history. I gladly provided my son’s birth name and father’s name, date and place of birth; his adoption and new name was duly noted, but no restrictions as to how this info is handled, as opposed to a web site form. Suz, I don’t understand why you feel you can’t list your daughter’s father? Because it’s a public forum, as opposed to a rellie doing it for the family? Or that it’s his, not yours, to reveal? It is after all the truth…

  4. Denise – I did list my daughters father after all. What I dislike is that Ancestry (as far I can tell) requires you to list them as a spouse. My tree is closed so I am not worried about it being public, well, not really. I mean of course its public cuz its on the internet but its not public like totally open.

    I suppose I am still cautious about naming him anywhere since he has never officially claimed her to his family. I guess I am colluding with him in that regard. I realize it must stop. I am protective of his feelings and dont want to be the one that gets in trouble for outing him.

    Rambling. Should post about this. Thanks for the prompt

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