A bit of family history, and asking for advice

Discussion in 'BOARDANIA' started by Hsing, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Hsing Moderator

    T's kind of personal, but especially as I need to get some different perspectives from you, and anyways...

    My father's mother deserted from the German Army, who recruited everything from 14 year old kids to old people during the last months of the war. She fled to Austria, where she knew her mother was already living.
    In 1945, right after the war, she met a young British soldier from Sheffield, not much older than her, in Villach/Austria. She fell in love with him, got pregnant, his parents sent the letters back unopened, and my father grew up as an illegitimate child and has never met his father so far.

    That's what I knew so far. My father was always surprisingly understanding about it all, he always said that back then, the thought of their son dating a German girl, after all the devastation Germans caused in England, must have been too much for them, and later, he was too afraid of messing up an intact family to try to establish contact.
    I think he was always a little afraid to be rejected, too.

    Today I found out, after some inquiries, that not only my grandmother, who died of cancer a few years ago, wrote letters who were sent back.

    But so did my English grandfather. He wrote to her, and her mother sent the letters back. She confided to my mother, her granddaughter-in-law.

    Somehow, that changes the scenery. Does it change the situation?

    Should I try to make som sensible research? I mean, the man is probably dead by now... But my father isn't getting any younger either, and he always wondered wether he had any siblings... If you look at him, and the rest of his family he grew up with, you can understand why. He grew up with his two uncles, who are both only a few years older than him - two relatively tall, massive men with faces that tell of an ancestory in Hessian agriculture, blond hair and blue eyes. And then there's him, small, bendy, with formerly black hair, a fine, though now wrinkled face and green eyes.

    Any ideas? Or opinions?

    Edit: Wrong word
  2. janible New Member

    Since both parties tried to contact each other, it would probably be fine to try and locate your English relatives. Have you asked your father how he feels about it?
  3. Maljonic Administrator

    I think you should do some research, even if you don't find anything useful you'll feel better for trying; if you do find anything else interesting you can decide what to do with it then, though I think you should go all the way with it, as far as it will take you. It may be that you find more about yourself in the process? :)
  4. Hsing Moderator

    He's a bit... nervous about it, I think. But if I did it, I wouldn't be hurt by any kind of rejection. I'm just trying to imagine their perspective, you know...
  5. Garner Great God and Founding Father

    My mom was adopted. As I recall, her uncle (a doctor, i believe, or he knew the doctor) was able to facilitate the legal transfer from birth mother to my mom's 'parents'.

    Mom never really had an interest in finding out who her biological parents were. Her 'parents' were the people who raised her. I can respect that, but I'm quite curious what 'stock' i come from on that side. I've often thought of making very descreet inquiries.

    As I understand, it should be possible to find out some rudimentary details without actually intruding on the other family or people involved. For all I know, my biological maternal grandparents might be dead by now. My other biological grandparents are, after all. Still, I think if I ever do carry out any research, I don't have any intentions of finding out about other family members. I doubt I'd even talk to my mom about anything I find out, either.

    I can understand your dad's concerns, but if you wanted to/were able to find out anything on your own, if it looks like it'd be a bad idea (for whatever hypothetical reasons), you don't have to tell your dad anything you learn.
  6. Hsing Moderator

    Yes...that was, in a way, my plan... Sounds mean, not telling him, but might be not entirely unwise.
    I wish I could predict what my father's biological siblings might say, but I guess there's no way finding out. Except finding out.
  7. Maljonic Administrator

    My mother was also adopted, she went searching for her birth mother after her adopted parents died five years ago. She's actually met her real mother a couple of times now, but the rest of our family has never met her because she wants to keep it on a low profile basis at the moment or something. I think they're both glad they did meet though, even if it doesn't develop into anything further it's better than never knowing what might have happened if you never tried. :)
  8. janible New Member

    It might even be possible to do the research before directly meeting the other relatives. At least you would have the satisfaction of knowing what people looked like. Or, rather, whom you're father looks like! I can understand why he feels a bit nervous, though. Hopefully, meeting new family members would go well, as it did for Maljonic's mother.
  9. Andalusian New Member

    My Dad was adopted too, but he has absolutely no interest in finding his parents, like others in this thread. I, however, would love to know who my biological grandparents are. All I know is that she was English, its not much to go on.
    If you, Hsing, are interested then there is nothing stopping you having a looksie yourself, as others have said. It may not really mean anything, but I rekon it is just nice to know where you have come from, even if you don't tell your Father.
  10. Hsing Moderator

    Hm, okay...
    Anyone from around Sheffield here? :D
  11. Maljonic Administrator

    It's about an hour's drive from here, I do have a friend though who grew up in Broomhall in Sheffield.

    P.S. pronounced brumhall, it has nothing to do with brooms. :)
  12. Buzzfloyd Spelling Bee

    If your grandfather is still alive, Hsing, he would be about ten years older than my grandparents. I have known a lot of English people of that age group from all round the country, and I think it is safe to say that anti-German sentiments would not be a problem, especially given that he was happy to have an affair with a German girl in his youth.

    I can imagine that if he has an English wife and family, they might feel a bit weird about discovering his other family, I suppose - but you can, as suggested, keep your enquires discreet. I really think it would be worth a shot. If I were that old man, I would feel overjoyed about making contact again after all these years.

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