I had been on Ancestry since around 2009 searching for my mother’s parent’s gravesites. She was very ill at the time with cancer and wanted to find them before she passed away. I had all these matches that I never knew how in the world I would be matched with but never really thought about it. I just assumed it was some part of my maternal family I did not know much about. After my mother passed away I decided to go on the search for her family. I was successful in finding some that I never knew about.
Around 2017 I went to a family dinner. A cousin of mine had also been doing Ancestry and she knew that I was interested because of the Lee Family and had done a lot of research on. She was telling me about her findings I found it very strange that I had seen a match to her. But, thought maybe I just overlooked it. An older cousin then spoke up and said to me “Karen don’t you know that Lawrence isn’t your father?” Needless, I was shocked., she was upset because she thought all these years I had known. That afternoon I came home and threw all the research in the trash., I was mad and upset to know I was not in this family and had been betrayed in not being told the truth. Everything that you knew in your life was a lie. I then understood why I never felt like I fit in when around other family members. I had always felt like the odd one or that I just was not liked as well as the other cousins.
The only explanation she knew about the situation was that her mother had told her the story before she died. That her brother had been up North and came home to Virginia to his parent’s home for a visit. He told his parents and the one sister that he met a woman from New Jersey that he was going to marry, but she was pregnant but he wanted to marry her anyway. The story was told that he may have been in the Navy on leave they had an affair either in Maryland or New Jersey, end of story. This story could have been true or not or only what she had told him.
No family is left to ask any questions. I have been on this long journey searching for him. I recently contacted the state of Pennsylvania asking for a copy of my original birth certificate from the state of Pennsylvania, but I was told I could not have it even if I got a lawyer or a court order. The birth certificate I have has my stepfather’s name on it.
Last year I thought I had found him. His family was from North Carolina he was born in West Virginia and was in the Navy around the right timeline and living in New Jersey during his life. I found a DNA match that where in his family line. The DNA match would be his nephew and his sister. The results are 3rd cousins.
I research on an average of 4-6 hours a day looking for him. There are days that I just want to give up and feel like I am just wasting my time. But something just keeps me going to find this answer.
I think the saddest thing for me is that I am afraid I will never find the answer out to really know who I am. You just want to know a name to identify who you are.