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Monday, April 5, 2010

Genealogy Research

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Life never goes as planned, even if there was a plan in the beginning.

My Genealogical Story begins as many lives do, a child not knowing their Father.  I grew up not knowing I should have a Father, since the saying goes "you do not miss what you do not have"

Before I was 2, my parents separated, divorced, and my Mother remarried within 3 years.  However, how would I know these events even took place or would it matter to a 2-5 year old.  I vaguely remember Dad#2, only the car he drove, some parts of a trip back East, where I turn 4, which I read 59 years later in a journal my Mother wrote.

By the time I was 10, did I need a I did not even know my biological Fathers name or what he looked like until I was 20.  During the time from age 10, my Mother remarried, Dad#3 was a Police Officer, LAPD, himself adopted, was in the Death March of Bataan, WWII and was to be executed, however the War ended 3 days earlier, sparring his life.

I came to learn Dad#3's Father had killed his Mother, and was serving Life in Walla Walla Prison. And how Dad#3, became adopted.   All of which I did not learn until after I was 20.

From age 10-15, I ran away from home many times and so My New Life Journey begins at 15 almost 16.  I am sure like many running away from home seemed to be the answer to an abusive Dad#3. Which led me to the streets and surviving in a world I was not prepared for.   Much of this Journey I am leaving out.

By the time I was 20, almost 21, my Mother knew in the years prior to my turning 21, who my Father Dad#1 was and where he lived, as she made contact and told him of his Son, Me.  This is when I met my biological Father for the very first time, who at the time I thought had married only 2 times, with 3 daughters and he was disabled.

From this meeting, brings news of my Paternal Grandmother Thelma of Portuguese descent, a half brother from my Father's 2nd marriage and a Uncle, which my Father had not spoken to his Brother in over 3 years, without knowing the reason why.

Shortly after meeting my Father, I was a Carpenter at the time, then at 24, I went into the Marine Corps during Vietnam and became a Fire Fighter Crash Fire & Rescue, a career that would span 24 plus years.  I myself had married a couple times, having a son from each marriage.

For the next 25 years of my knowing my Father, not once did he share his childhood, his life after I was born and if I asked, he was very vague in how he answered.  And my Father never met his Father at all.  In 1979, my Paternal Grandmother Thelma passed away, as did my maternal Grandmother Antoinette/Toni of Hungarian descent.

By 1992, I had not known who my Paternal Grandfathers were.

My Life Journey took on new changes & challenges, taking me to AZ, FL, AL, and back to CA

Then at age 45, with unanswered questions, and little did I know my Father would pass on 3 Jan 1995 taking to his grave many answers.  Since I did not know my Uncle (1923-2012), a year older than my Father who was not on speaking terms in the 25 years I knew my Father, left me with more questions, which I had no one to ask, and if I could, would I have learned the truth.

One day after receiving a Genealogy Program on a 3.5" floppy disk "Family Origins", my Genealogy Journey begins 1992.  At that time the World Wide Web had not been commercially available to the public.

From Genealogy Research came a whole new Educational Experience, very intriguing to learn, a challenge and mostly that of becoming an Investigator of the Past.  I honed my Computer skills and became the Genealogy Doc (GenDoc), like a Sherlock Holmes of Genealogy, I wanted answers, something personal and to share with my Sons one day.

As with my Parents, a divorce came, followed with my having my oldest son Don Jr., for the summer in FL, learning that in the 5 yrs I had not seen him his life was not a happy time.  His Mother flew to FL from CA in 1978, while he was walking home from school, went missing.  For then next several years I would not see him. 

While in the Marine Corps, I had remarried, had another Son Richard, whose Mother did not want him.  He was 18 mos old when the call came for me to come and get him.  I flew to AZ from FL and brought my 2nd Son Richard back to FL.  At the same time, I had my oldest Son Don Jr...this was the first time they met, one 18 mos, and the oldest age 7.

The next part in my Life's Journey, takes another turn of events, so please do not be it is times in life we do what we feel is right, make a decision or choice that others feel how could you.

As I learned from Genealogy Research, I had not walked in my Fathers shoes or my Mothers, to know what they went through as a young couple after WWII, that were cause for them to separate and divorce.   This Story I am sharing is an example of my life like many others, how I can relate and know what it is like first hand.  Possibly not exactly the same as another may experience of what they may have gone through.

My 2nd oldest Son, Richard, age 7 at the time, life was very trying to raise my Son, my Oldest then 12, when I was reunited after another 5 years from my not knowing his whereabouts since his Mother flew to FL and took him in 1978.

I looked at my life, and what was best for my 2nd oldest I felt he needed Two Parents, something I never had and I placed him up for adoption with stipulations, he was to be placed in a Christian home and that I would be made aware of his growth.

I provided a letter, audio cassette and photographs of his Mother and myself.  The letter and audio cassette was to explain why, that I loved him and we would be reunited when he was 18 yrs old in 1992.  I was there to see Richard Graduate High School and go into the Navy and graduate from Boot-Camp.

Genealogy Research provided me with many tools, one was locating my 2nd oldest Son's mother after 30 years in 2007.  I provided this information to Richard, and of his choosing wanted to know from his Mothers perspective what happened, the reasons, and that hopefully they could have a life together from the point on. 

Everything on my Genealogy site of my personal Lineage, began with my knowing only my Mother June Wilson Young and maternal Grandmother Antoinette (Toni) Victoria Blaschko.  It has been a very long 19 years trying to learn who my Father was, his side of the family and the rest of my Mothers side.

My Father when I met him had the last name of Young, however when I sent for his Birth Certificate, my letter request was returned not able to locate the birth record.  This was 1994, and I asked my Father about his birth, and he said, he was born Begnal, not Young.  However, my Father could not tell me who his Father was or how he came to be named Young.  His mother Thelma having passed on 15 years prior (1906-1979).

I received my Fathers birth certificate after making another request of his birth with the last name of Begnal. And I learned, not only was his last name Begnal, also his Given was his Middle name. And so began my Research Journey to learn all that I could...Mission Impossible comes to mind.

I wrote letters (typed on the computer) back in 1994, and sent to every Begnal in the USA I could locate from Phone-book CD's. And one day I received a call from a man, who turned out to be my Paternal Grandfather's Son, who I never met. And the surprise came when I told my new found Half Uncle, that his Father was married before and had 2 sons. And my Half Uncle has 2 brothers, which one had died, however his Sister-in-Law had pictures of my Grandfather and mailed them to me.

However, my Father in the meantime had passed on (1924-1995), but not before I told him about his Father, that his Father was a Fire Fighter for South San Francisco Fire Dept. and died in the Line of Duty in 1960.  I was not able to share the photo's with my Father of his Father. And I received from my Half Uncle a picture of my Grandfather in Uniform, and his name is etched in the Californian Fire Fighter Memorial in Capitol Park, Sacramento.

And here I became a Fire Fighter actually first in 1965, before the Marine Corps, not knowing my Grandfather was a Fire Fighter.  And this story is almost similar in every detail of my Mothers Father.

My Mother (1926-2012) never knew her father, as she left on a Train in 1930 for CA from CT at age 4, with her Mother. And in my short 15 years with my Mother, I came to know my Grandmother and a man who I thought was my biological grandfather, that looked a little like Woodrow Wilson, who was a Minister and had his own Radio Show.

In 1996, my Mother gave me a box of my Grandmother (1901-1979) affects, which had pictures from the 1920's, letters and my Grandmother's Hungarian Baptismal and in Latin.  And my Mother always claimed that her Father was never in CA, that she grew up knowing he had abandon her and her mother.

My Research led me to find my Mothers Father in the 1930 census in Los Angeles CA.  I went on to learn about my Maternal Grandfather Earle (1898-1985), his fathers before him back to 1843 Charles H., and my Great Grandfather Charles G (1868-1899), was a Fireman in Fair Haven CT, in the 1890's.

I also learned my Maternal Grandfather Earle had remarried, having a set of Twins and a Daughter.   It was a Daughter, who provided me with pictures of my Maternal Grandfather Earle, which I was able to share his story and pictures with my Mother.  Only my Mother did not care, based on how he was absent from her life and that her mother Antoinette told her had happened.

I am still on a mission since receiving my Father's school records in Southern CA, from Sep 1930-Jun 1941, contains his parents names as Earl Young and Mrs. E. Rose.  Which are not his parents names, they are Clifford Franklin Begnal (1903-1960) and Thelma Ferne Perry (Pereira Cardozo) 1906-1979.  As both Parents appear on my Father & Uncle's, Birth Certificates.

While on Mission Impossible, besides uniting my Son with his Mother, a Niece's (my half-brother) I did not know of contacted me via e-mail from seeing her Fathers name (Young) on my Genealogy Site, who she had not met either...and I was able to put them in touch with each other about 2002.

A Grandmother with a similar story found the surname Begnal on my site, and on behalf of her Granddaughter Ashley had never met her Father or Paternal Grandfather.   And I was able to make that uniting possible, she was 21 at the time.

I have learned to keep an open mind when researching as anything is possible, there are inaccuracies with documents, census and other records, those researching with Public Family Trees, some who may Plagiarize another's research, as you never know what tomorrow may bring, a letter, an e-mail, a phone call, even on Facebook or other Social Network.

I thought I was the oldest child, and at one time the only child, until I learned differently in I learned my Father had married before my Mother, having 2 daughters...another twist to my surprise was one daughter of 2 daughters was adopted out of this marriage.

Susan the adopted daughter, had called me and said, that my Fathers name was on her 1945, birth certificate, who was adopted shortly after.  The other daughter Anna Laura was born Oct 1942 (d. 1977), both shared the same mother Patricia/Panzy, while my Father was married to their Mother, however he was in the Army, stationed in Louisiana, not California where Mother & 2 daughters lived.  You can fill in the blanks.

Coincidences are many in my research, as I grew up within 5 miles of my Father, I became a Fire Fighter not knowing my Forefathers were Fire Figthers, I was in Yuma AZ, I also lived in Orlando FL, worked at a Fire Dept in Father married in Yuma AZ, 28 Mar 1942, last name of Begnal, went into the Army 24 Jul 1942, last name of Young and his first child born 28 Oct 1942, last name of Begnal.

My Maternal Wilson Grandfather Earle (1898-1985), worked for the DOD in Orlando FL, 1940's on, I worked for the DOD in AZ, FL, CA & WA, 72-96.

Research can bring a whole new outlook on the Past.  I have many more Stories...this Blog was to show what if not known, can be found which takes Perseverance, Dedication and Thousands of hours over many years.

Here is the last twist to this Genealogical Story, besides my not being biologically connected to the blood line of Young's before my Father...I am not that of the Begnal's either.  Maybe I will save that Story for another Blog Post.

The Players in this Story

Father side
Mother side
The GenDoc

Updating this Blog of 5 Apr 2010, today 24 Aug 2015, now 22 yrs into my research.