I have listed the most useful resources on my Black Sheep Adoption Links page but I do think all these resources can be pretty damn daunting to the searcher so I feel you need to know exactly how I used them and how they worked for me. They are a minefield of data and can blow your brains out if you don’t take it steady and step by step. I will do my best to make it sound simple!
I have inserted the links BUT PLEASE try to resist the temptation to click away before you digest all of this information or I assure you, its easy to get lost in it all! Trust me the clearer you have this stuff in your head the easier and quicker you will get results..
It is worth grabbing a note pad and pen and as you read this make simple notes…refer back to the pad as you use each resource and add information. Amazingly I did NOT do this but definitely advise it. Weird how all of this remains in a special folder inside my brain..Christ only knows how but its still all there after 3 years and spewing out onto this Blog now for you!! Hope you can keep up…………..
Right then… my first port of call was to find ME. Yep? Who am I? and where am I registered as even existing? So I signed up for credits with GENES REUNITED . Its not a given that you were registered in the County in which you were born so be aware that you may need to look at a map and pin point neighbouring counties as well as the one you know of your birth. For me I set out to find ME in Manchester as know for a fact that is my city of birth. So, Lancashire was my target. I entered my name at birth, my date of birth and this location and watched the lists of records come upon screen.
NOTE: if your name was changed at Adoption refer to your original birth certificate which you will have obtained following instructions at the start of my Blog..if you need to refer back don’t panic…click HERE .
I quickly found ME as a record of the registration of my birth on the specific date, some 17 days after my actual birth. Don’t let that throw you, its not a secret birthday , its common for the Birth to be registered at a later date , especially if you were born on a national holiday like I was, Christmas Day. Guessing the office was closed?:-)
Right , you with me so far. Genes Reunited is a great resource for you to build your family tree as far as you know who is on it …you can add and change data as you find it and you can even message someone who you may find on there. My advice at this point is focus on YOU as you need all your resilience for yourself and don’t need the grief others might throw at you at this stage.
As a side note, as my Genes Reunited account is in my birth name I didn’t bank on anyone out there actually looking for ME!? Yes this is honestly the truth. One day I log in and see a message icon flashing up ….would you imagine my face when I read the following:
Dear Given Birth name,
My name is S ***** and I am Birth Father’s daughter. I have been looking for you for a long time. Please call me on 07810***** and please would you give me access to view your tree?
Well to say I was gob smacked was an understatement, and trust me it takes a shit load to shock me! I decided a few things that day. Firstly I had no inclination of finding my Birth Father or his family and this girl could be either one of several other children he had abandoned over the 1960’s and 70’s and like me was reaching out to history. Or she could be a daughter he stood by who would lead me to meeting the man I really had no interest in finding. I felt it safer at that time to leave well alone. This girl didn’t need two Cans of Worms opening together . Thanks but no thanks. Maybe I will revisit this one day but at that stage it was healthier to walk away and press on with my own emotional road trip. In fact she never approached me again so who knows..maybe a scam? (cynical mind) Moving on……
So I found myself that day on Genes Reunited. I also found three siblings registered prior and since my birth date in different but nearby Councils. For the sake of privacy I will use only initials going forward for these siblings. Make a mental note of these children as they will appear again as we go on.
Two boys: PVB, NB and a girl JB. We were all born within 4 years of each other! Ouchy!, my womb goes into spasm just imagining it….seems back then there was woman who craved love as we all do but was left with children she was unable to raise. In my romantic head they were of course all of the same Birth Father…Or so I thought at that point. Genes Reunited will not give you insight into what happened to people but they do show you birth dates and birth names at the time of registration.
Do remember though., if children are then adopted their names are likely to be changed from the birth name you find on these historical records.
Similar information can be gleaned from Ancestry.co.uk and Find My Past.co.uk but for me Genes Reunited was by far the cheapest, simplest to follow and least in your face….
The second most useful resource I found was 192.com . A strange system for buying credits but essentially it is a goldmine if you know what to look for and how…heres how:
You know a location for your target and you have a name………..enter both and lists upon lists appear before your eyes. 192.com will show you who is registered at a given address, multiple names show which maybe children or other adults on the electoral role. From one address record you can glean the property value, how long they have lived there, the neighbouring family names and loads more.
One of the first really emotional days for me had to be when I located an address that the SW had already presented to me ..we had however established , or at least he did, that my BM lived there between the dates stated on the screen and there was no record of her registered there from the early 1980’s . However a twist in my chest (yes that pesky chest twist is back again!) told me to make a mental note of this breakthrough. Somehow I felt I was finally getting somewhere. OK, granted it wasn’t the fantasy of Snorkelling off Caribbean Coral, but it was a breakthrough of sorts .So we proceed with the list of BM name and this is my Earth Angel and I decided VS lived in Blackpool…at it happens, with her daughter who by all accounts was less than pleased by the disturbance but as I said this woman remained our Prime Suspect until she proved otherwise!
Frankly who wouldn’t want me to be their long lost daughter/sister anyway…don’t know what they’re missing out on do they?! Ha!.
I kept thinking, ” if only there were pics of these bloody people, make it so much easier”…imagine me with my walnut smiling face and mad hair rocking up on the doorstep of a wildly ginger-haired, 4ft rounded woman and trying to convince her I was her long lost daughter??
Hmmm, guess that one wasn’t gonna fly was it!?
So we worked through our list, many an evening spent plotting and planning with my Earth Angel. She wont mind me saying that she probably had matches in her eyes on many occasions listening to me babble on and on but she has the patience of a saint. Had it been the other way round I may have clubbed her to death but hey , lucky for me I have her right!? Love her to bits and eveyone out there who stuck it out with me! Ok, welling up wont get this written will it…?
The other resource invaluable is of course your friend and mine: GOOGLE. Yep, without the favourite search engine this search would be almost impossible to say the least. So I Googled like a mad woman for hours upon hours until my wrists and eyes ached and my hubby dragged me into his cave…not literally but you get the picture.
Now its fair to say I did a pretty good job of keeping my emotions in check while I carried out the necessary investigations and my low and tearful times came usually at night. My hubby was the only one to hear me crying in my sleep. Waking with a sodden pillow knowing nothing about it is fairly disconcerting I tell you. I am guessing in an unconscious state I gave in the gravity and heartbreaking enormity of this whole process? On a conscious level I knew I had to get the job done. Hours of searching Obituaries can give a girl a bleak outlook . But oddly, every night I spent hours NOT finding my BM on these files was a positive result wasn’t it?. Until I found her dead , she was very much alive right?
One of my best friends and confidants in the whole world happens to live in the city of my birth, or near as damnit anyway!..he might argue that point so I will be clear for his sake. Anyway lets just say he lives in Manchester so he was a pretty good Man on the Ground for me to bounce ideas off. He also is the kindest , most generous man you could wish to meet and I adore him from the core. He also isn’t afraid of giving me an almighty bollocking if I need it..I take it from him only because I have so much respect for him! So PD (My Man on the Ground ) and I worked together for many years as executive head hunters..or Search Consultants, whichever you want to call us. Both fearless of banging on doors of Chief Executives of Multi-billion turnover businesses…our motto was always ‘ They shit the same as we do so who cares, they are just as human…make that call!’
Now, one particular day when I was almost wondering where my next move was coming from I was hunting around on Google and put in one of the addresses I had from the SW just as a test …bear in mind I knew this address had been vacated back in the 1980’s so I decided to work back from there and see where we went with it……this is where PD and I did our finest work together!………
Thanks for Reading….
Love Black Sheep