Friday, November 04, 2011


Earlier this year I published a series of posts about looking for information
about my Mom's estranged father Edward F White Sr. Thanks to an act
of genealogical kindness from Michelle Robilliard I was able to learn the
names of his two sons by his second wife, and as of the last post in the
series in March, I was trying to decide if I would contact them.

It was another act of genealogical kindness by Find A Grave volunteer
Pam Hatton that provided me with  the impetus to finally try to make
that contact. I called Information and got the phone numbers of men
with the right names living in the towns listed in my grandfather's obituary.
There was no answer at the first number, and I got an answering machine
at the second. I left a  message, explaining who I was and the possibility
we were related. Fifteen minutes later, my Mom's halfbrother returned
my call.

We talked on the phone for about twenty minutes and he's a nice guy.
I didn't think to ask him if he had ever been told about my Mom or my
Uncle Ed.  I'd been worried that contacting him might be upsertting
but he seemed to take it well.  Unfortunately, he didn't know much
about his father's side of the family either. From what he told me,
it appears my grandfather was as poor a husband and father to
his second family as he was to his first, We exchanged email addresses
and I've sent him the documents I've found and some pictures of my
Mom and Uncle. I'm curious to find out if he can see any family resemblance.

One interesting sidenote: Pam and I discovered we are distant cousins
through our shared Stow family ancestry.

I promised everyone back in March I'd let you all know how my search
turned out. And now, as Paul Harvey used to say, you know the rest of the


Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Congratualtions, Bill! I know the kind of courage it takes to make a cold call like that. I'm glad it went well.

Greta Koehl said...

I'm glad to hear that you were able to contact this relative. Had a similar situation earlier this year - I was able to provide family pictures to the granddaughter of my grandmother's younger brother - her family had not known that this man was their real grandfather, as the grandparents had divorced early and remarried to different spouses; this lady's mother had never talked about her biological father.