Presentation on theme: "All names and identifying information changed, of course. The names herein are fictitious. THE SEARCH FOR EVELYN MARIE BEDFORD."— Presentation transcript:
All names and identifying information changed, of course. The names herein are fictitious. THE SEARCH FOR EVELYN MARIE BEDFORD
Adoption papers of Mary Ellen Moore, nee Sarah Elaine Bedford Date of adoption: 15 Feb 1944 Birth name of child: Sarah Elaine Bedford Date of birth: 23 Feb 1943 Place of birth: Columbus, Ohio Consent to adoption given by the Cleveland Humane Society Name changed to Mary Ellen Moore (her adoptive parents James and Marian Moore)
Birth Certificate of Sarah Elaine Bedford Date of birth: 23 Feb 1943 Place of birth: Friends Rescue Home in Columbus, Ohio Names mother Evelyn Marie Bedford Provides this information about mother Age at last birthday: 21 Residence 32 South 43 rd Ave Columbus Occupation: Waitress Birthplace: Altoona, Pennsylvania White, American
1976 Report from the Children’s Services of Cleveland Note change in name of agency. Would provide only non identifying information Law would not permit identifying information Used pseudonyms for the involved individuals 3 page letter, providing substantial information about the circumstances “Digest of the material we have on microfilm.” Emotional as well as factual details Took time to sort out the chronology and details of the events.
Non Identifying Information We already knew that the mother’s name was Evelyn Marie Bedford (from the birth certificate), age 21 on 23 Feb 1943 –so born Jan-Feb 1922 or late Feb –Dec, 1921. And that she was born in Altoona, Pennsylvania Non Identifying information in the report added several details. Evelyn herself had been adopted as an infant. It was an informal adoption; there was no record. Evelyn’s mother was 16 when Evelyn was born – in 1922 or 1923. Therefore her mother would have been born 1906 or 1907. Evelyn’s father was still in her mother’s life in 1943, although not married to her. He was introduced to Evelyn as her mother’s brother in law and told secretly that this man was her father.
Evelyn had an unhappy childhood with her adopted family. When she was 14 her foster mother died; her foster father remarried and Evelyn felt neglected. She drops out of high school in the 11 th grade; when she tries to get a birth certificate (to get a job) she discovers these aren’t her true parents. Because of this we surmise she grew up using the name of her adoptive family. She is angry about the discovery. She dropped out of school and started sneaking out of the house.
When she is about 20, Evelyn get’s pregnant and goes to Ohio to have the baby, whom she names Sarah Elaine. Her foster family is involved in the adoption of Sarah Elaine. Shortly after the birth of the baby, Evelyn makes contact with her own birth mother, but at this point we don’t know the name of her mother.
She learns that her birth mother Married shortly after Evelyn was born (but not to Evelyn’s father) Had 12 children, 2 of whom died; 1 of diptheria and 1 of unknown causes. In 1944 Evelyn has her last contact with the adoption agency. She tells them that she is going to marry next year, but her husband to be is going to change his name as soon as he gets out of the service.
How can we track down Evelyn Bedford? We don’t know if the name Bedford is that of her foster family or her birth mother. We know she marries around 1945 but where? To whom? She should be in the 1930 and 1940 census as Evelyn Bedford if it the name of foster family. We can find no fit in either census.
What if Bedford is her birth name? Her mother gave birth to her around 1921 or 1922 at the age of 16 in Altoona Pennsylvania Can we find a young girl, surname Bedford around 13 or 14 years old in the 1920 census in Altoona, Blair Co., Pennsylvania?
A candidate emerges… William J Bedford60 a machinist helper in a machinist shop Alice Bedford60 wife John Albertson20 grandson [--but more likely his grandson in law] Dorothy Albertson 17 granddaughter Dorothy Albertson [5/12] great granddaughter Rachel Bedford13 granddaughter, attends school
Follow up research on Rachel Bedford… Note she is living with her grandparents, sister and her sister’s husband. She married in 1923 She had 11 children A child died of diptheria A child died of “complications” Her obituary names a daughter Evelyn, but there is no child of that name in her house in 1930 or 1940. Her husband’s obituary names a foster daughter Evelyn. While Evelyn’s first husband did not, in fact, change his name, he was born in Hungary and his name was unusual. This was during WWII and it is plausible that he might believe a more American name would serve him better.
Have we found Evelyn’s mother? Contact with the family members confirmed that we had. It is likely we also found Evelyn’s father (Sarah/Mary Ellen’s grandfather) Now… how can we find Sarah/Mary Ellen’s father?