Putting the word out

Posted: August 9, 2009 in Baby

I’ve been doing a lot of research into my family, really the big mystery is my mother’s side of the family. My mother was adopted when she was four (and I know it’s uncouth to share an age, but this happened probably around 1951 or so). About a decade ago she was able to get a copy of her original birth certificate, and with that I’ve been trying to discover her past.

It hasn’t been easy. Like land mines, some of this documentation can be questionable, 9 of 10 facts might line up, but that one fact makes you question everything. Are you looking at a coincidence or just a mistake? This post has two purposes. First, I wanted to document a little of my search (although the real documentation is going on at Ancestery.com). Second , and primarily, it is entirely possible that (if my research is correct), all the younger children from her family were taken and probably adopted. There may have been as many as 10 children in her family, many were under the age of 16 in 1951, so there may be a few of the siblings (or children of siblings) searching for the same thing I am.

Most of my information comes from my mother’s birth certificate. It shows her father to be an E. R. Hayes (although even deciphering that is difficult). The newspaper indicates that her birth father’s name is Elmer (although I believe this is a nickname). He was 40 years old when my mother was born, so his birth date is sometime between 30 Mar, 1907 and 29 Mar, 1908. It shows her mother to be a Ruby Maxwell, 36 years old (so her birthdate is sometime between 30 Mar, 1911 and 29 Mar, 1912). Also it shows that there were five living children, and one deceased child before my mother was born.

So using a little deductive logic I established a few assumptions. First, since both E.R. and Ruby were born in Missouri (MO) (Ruby in a non-existent “Train Switch” and E.R. in something that starts with “Cape”, but the rest is a little hard to decipher), I assume they were married in MO (but moved to Kansas sometime before 1947).

To that end, I found a very possible pair that fit most of the facts. Ruby Ulestial Colyott and Emery R. Hayes. Ruby was born 26 Oct 1911, and Emery on 2 Jun 1907. The online information (from other family trees on Ancestry.com) I found also indicates a “Train Switch” as a birth place for Ruby, and for Emery I found Cape Girardeau, MO. They were married on 30 June 1930. Most of these are solid facts of public record.

Furthermore, in 1930, Emery’s father James R. Hayes was living with Emery and Ruby (as was two of Emery’s brothers). James R. Hayes died in 1945 in Wichita, Kansas which is not an unreasonable distance (~140 miles) from Ottawa, KS, where my mother was born two years later (so it’s within reason that the whole family continued to move together).

So almost every single fact lines up. Emery and Ruby are probably my mother’s birth parents. I’ve been told that it is very likely that the children were removed from Emery and Ruby’s home (although I have no hard evidence of this). The big question here, is ruby’s last name… why does it show “Maxwell” on my mother’s birth certificate, the answer may be simple… When Ruby changed her name after getting married she changed it to Ruby Maxwell Hayes for some reason (I do have some research that seems to indicate this is the case), and instead of listing her maiden name, the doctor put her first and middle name on the birth certificate.

In the end, I feel 99.9% sure that Emery and Ruby are my mother’s birth parents. It would be nice to find one of my mother’s siblings that remember her birth or some documentation that might verify my findings.

It certainly would be nice to find one or more of my mothers siblings* to learn more.

* As a note I’ve been in contact with the grandchild of at least one of my mother’s brothers, however he (my mother’s birth brother) has no interest in talking about his family (things were tough for everyone and he’s happier not thinking about it).


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