Helping hands helping one another with our family history & genealogy research.
My grandmother grew up as, Sarah Naomi MacLaren. She was told she was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA on 23 Aug 1914. Supposedly, she was adopted at birth by Jay Allen MacLaren, and his wife at the time, Bertha MacLaren (Adams). Grandma was told that her adoptive mother left the family when Grandma was just a baby and has not been heard from since then. Grandma was brought up by adoptive father with help from family, mostly in Grand Rapids and Ionia, Michigan, USA.
Grandma’s birth certificate should be released in about two years. I can hardly stand to wait that long. We might not even be able to find anything because we don’t know if Grandma had a different name at birth. My aging mother wants to know who her grandparents were and I’d like to find out for her. If anybody is interested in helping me I have lots of info on Grandma and adoptive family. I just don’t know how to list it all without writing a short book. Any suggestions would be welcome.
My grandmother was adopted out of Coldwater in 1902. All records were supposedly sealed with the adoption. I contacted the Michigan Dept of Human Services (at the time, 2009 , Nanette Salyer was the Adoption Inquiry Specialist) and asked if they had records. When they confirmed that they did, I had to send a chain of proof of direct descendancy to them. This included my driver's license, birth certificate, my father's birth certificate, and grandma's death certificate. They sent the file quickly. It had a wealth of information in it, including the court papers when she was removed from her mother, all records pertaining to the adoption, and all correspondence between the state and grandma's siblings when they tried to find their birth mother (they were never successful). I believe that the state can probably help you since you have the adoptive parents' names and your grandma's adoptive name. I also received a letter that allowed me to send to the state for her birth certificate for $26. Funny thing was, the next summer, I went to the Chippewa County courthouse and could have gotten the record for $10-they didn't know that the record was "sealed". Good luck!!!
I apologize for overlooking your post and not responding sooner.
I've tried locating a birth record, with no luck, but your experience gives me hope for what I might find in 2014, when Grandma's records are unsealed. In the meantime, I pursue other branches. Mom did a DNA test and mine is in the process now. Maybe that will turn up a cousin or two from the adopted branch and somehow help put some pieces together.
Do you have your results back from your DNA test? I have also used DNA testing in my search project. Which company did you test with? Some great utilities have been written to work with the data...let me know if you need help working with the results.
I have gotten my results and I did the tests through Ancestry.com. They've come up with a lot of matches for me and I'm not sure what to do with them all. Since I don't know my grandmother's ancestry I have a lot of uncertainty, of course. I can use all the help I can get. Thanks for the offer.
Good morning, Kim...
Good to know you have received your AncestryDNA results for both you and your mom. Do you also have a subscription to Ancestry.com?
There is a Yahoo group, AdoptionDNA, that has created utilities to work with the DNA data. It is helpful if you are familiar with Excel spreadsheets, but if not you can get help with that, too. You can find the group by Googling AdoptionDNA, or try this link:
It is a closed group, so you have to submit a simple request to join. The members include experts in software development, forensic accounting, genetic genealogy, search angels, all of them offer help to members (they are also searching for family). Also, many members have access to databases and subscription sites, and are willing to help others. The one thing they do recommend is a subscription to Ancestry.com because of the access to the vast supply of family trees.
I have not yet turned in my AncestryDNA kit, but I have tested through FamilyTreeDNA. It can be very daunting at first, but with some help you'll be fine. Searching and finding family through DNA is cutting edge, and we're getting better at it everyday.
Let me know if you have any problems accessing the site.