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It is now very late August 2012 with that familiar Midwest comfortable cool nights and not too hot days. That has me thinking, not in any particular order, deep thoughts of inventories I have done of the things in my life that I have experienced. Last night prior to turning another page of my life`s existence with sleep I laid there wide eyed thinking of my recent trip back to my home in San Antonio, Texas to visit my baby sister. I have lived in Milwaukee for many years where I have staked my claim to life here with my own family, but San Antonio, and Texas in particular will always be home to me.

I thought of the hot humid air of that June Thursday morning when on the spur of a moment I hopped on a flight here in Milwaukee bound for Texas. I smiled as I thought of the weird astonishment I felt once I was sitting on that plane waiting to take off. Totally disoriented I at once lost the only carry-on baggage I was lugging, not realizing that a stewardess had place the bag in the storage compartment over my head. My only concern was feeling that my sister would be comforted with having me there with her unexpectedly. We had just lost our only brother Joe in May and she was taking our loss very hard. I rolled the dice against my old age and a huge degree of uncertainty of traveling to far off places and I managed to get to her in one piece.

I wrote here about my trip and how happy my sister was at seeing me by her side after so long. You are most welcomed to go read that diary on the link provided here because I do not intend to rehash my visit. I decided to write this entry for a different reason that derived based on that visit as the title suggests. However, I found that the house where I was raised as a child by people who joyed in brutalizing me in San Antonio -- a house that I wanted so bad to see, was no longer there. It is more likely than not, that it was a casualty of what the Great Depression`s tail had wrought after my escape from that area in late 1940. That the house was no longer there added fuel that traumatized me mentally. The only possible door that could have led me to where I came from had now vanished. I remember some of the neighbors around that house that knew my mother, and could possibly have had some input for me. They too, all vanished. Oh, at this point I knew I had come from Austin, Texas but I did not know why, or who I left behind or who my father was.

I returned to Milwaukee late Sunday night. My return flight was long and tiresome. I felt depressed and defeated. I made a promise to my Baby Mom to return soon. A nephew drove me to the airport to return the rented car, then he returned home in a cab.
As I laid there in bed before turning the page of my life before sleep I was struck with the same thought of fright of never knowing who my father was, or who I left behind where I was born. I can attest to this statement with my views as a child more than seventy-years ago. I am as confused now as I was then. I think I said it best when I embarked on my personal mission not only to dull the pangs of emotional pain by writing diaries here at the site, but to resolve my own idenity here when I wrote my first diary on this journey:
No one answered the knock on the door and my mother knocked harder. I asked my mother why we came here. I gazed across the wide yard towards a high tall fence as I stood on that high porch because I suddenly realized that I was inside a yard and did not know what was on the other side or where I had come from. I do not even recall walking through the fence gate to enter the yard. For a boy my age at that time everything to me looked so big. The fence was a mental block in my mind that did not allow me to remember where I came from, or what it was that existed out there. There was no yesterday as I stood there searching in my head.
It was on January 11, 2012 when I wrote this quote. This diary was the start of a series of stories I wrote on my life growing up in San Antonio. As I wrote I put out these feelers to readers hoping that someone would come with advise which would have led me to a satisfying solution to my confusion. I just kept on writing as an excuse not to feel different from those who have their parents and know that they will never experience the hardships I endured. It also helps that I have met wonderful folks here that make me feel like I am one of them. It is only when I am here that I feel like I belong to some group or another, whereas away from here I previously felt inferior like an outcast that I actually was in my infancy until I escaped the clutches of those who raised me.

By no means have I been idle in my quest to find answers to question that I have since learning of siblings that I potentially left behind since I arrived at my grandmother`s house on that hot Texas morning in San Antonio. I made a plea for help from the folks at the genealogy group when I wrote this message in a diary asking for help:

I started with my meager techie savvy on data search and always end up against a blank wall as I Google for "free" family tree searches. I have signed up and taken out an account with "FamilySearch", a free online that purports to help me find family roots and history. Yeah, right. Woe is me as I cannot even find myself online.
This quote falls true on my ignorance in genealogy. After sending such a sarcastic quote about my inability to find results to my clueless searches, I was and continue to be amazed by the group`s swift response to come to my aid. Sixty-nine comments that include my own responses flashed before my eyes in an instant. Offers of help with issues such as searches on my behalf just overwhelmed me. This goes to show why I feel like I do here on this site. No only with the genealogy group, but with the whole community at large.

So I decided to join this group as a new member and the same result occurred. I was embraced and immediately learned to respect each and everyone here. Despite what I might expect in the form of having people hand me information, that was never my role when I joined. I have learned a significant part of doing searches with engines that have been made available to me by some in the group. I still find that I am different than some who write of locating members of their tree branch from as far away as 1800 or prior to that.

My problem is the opposite to them. They appear to have a living or deceased member of their family tree who is known to them and easy to track an ancestor of that person. This leads them to track that person`s ancestors and so forth whereas I have no one to be the starting point. I cannot even overlook their experience with genealogy. I am nil, nada on the subject. At least I did not know, until just recently who my father was. But that is as far as I can go. I know he fathered me and my brother Joe. I am stuck right there. My mother had a child by another man not my father and I know his name, but again, that is as far as I can go. I cannot find a clue on how to track other siblings that were born after my departure from Austin in 1940 that have come to my attention.

By no means does my inference of being different to some here who are so good at  genealogy is intended as critique. I envy those who can zoom and zip through records when I cannot simply because I have no material to work with. Sure, I have step grandmother and aunts and uncles. I would rather not know about them for reasons that I believe could never lead me to the answers I seek about siblings I seek.

I got my hands on the address of the home where I was born in Austin, Texas in 1936.
I decided that I had become a true and savvy genealogist when I begin writing a letter to the occupants of that house. I started the letter: "Dear Occupants" and took extra care with written words. Some of you may recall the death certificate of my late half brother Alexander who was born in this same home one year after my own birth. He died a year later. The address of the home is on the document. I wrote a dozzy of a letter to the occupants of the address using the most careful and warm written language telling them that I might be related to them based on the death certificate.

But as any adult minded and intelligent enough individual would do, I decided not to rush with such a questionable and potential hurting letter if indeed relatives of the deceased actually lived there. It has been over seventy-five years and certainly they have forgotten and moved forward with their lives. Why would I need to be so insisting in asking questions that they probably wanted to forget? So I decided to do the next best thing. I would wait until I was sure of the occupants.

I would first find the house in a Google Maps search. I have the address so that would
be easy. Or so I thought.

I got on screen ready to go to the 508 Navasota Street address in Austin, Texas. Finding the street I scrolled up from the lower part of the block to reach the 508 address. At the 471 point of the block I stopped and froze on my tracks, well I stopped when I came to a railroad crossing with tracks running over the street. Tracks!! I thought. And I do not think this scene was caused by coincidence.

Remember, I started my life basically, as a four year old child growing up among railroad tracks and trains. My step-grandmother`s house was right next to the railroad tracks where my grandfather worked as a night guard on the trains that roared by day and night.  It was those trains of my young days that gave me survival skills and help me be here today. I grew up to be a railroad man working as a telegrapher for years in Texas. I always remembered what railroad and the tracks mean for many people. I could not help but sense a weird premonition as I held my mouse over the railroad tracks at 471 Navasota Street.

Scrolling towards the 508 address I came upon the exact location where my birth home was supposed to be. The address is no longer there. No homes are in this location. In the place where houses used to be, there are now warehouses and trailer trucks are seen parked in front. The house where I was born is gone!

I wondered what I would have felt waiting for a response to my letter if I had mailed it. I also wondered if the railroad tracks were actually the bad premonition I felt as my mouse crawled over those tracks on Navasota Street just a few yards from the house in which I was born. My visit to my sister in San Antonio and the disappearance of the house where the devil played with my life as a four year old child flashed through my mind. I have to wonder if I am now paying for the sins of my parents. They would never want me to know the truth. I think of a void. A void that has no start or an end. I think of writers of threads who write of brick walls.

I have read some writings on the genealogy open threads when a writer claims to have reached a brick wall, excluding further avenues to a search. I think that description of brick walls as obstacles to a search sound very likely right. I hope someone can tell me if in genealogy there is such a thing as a void? apposed to a brick wall. What does it mean when you are searching for someone you know existed as a certain point, only to find that the certain point does not exist? I am 1200 miles away from the house where I insist I was born.

It was only after my Google Maps search and failure to launch that I asked Kossack living in Austin, Texas for help with this message:

 I am asking anyone who lives in Austin, Texas to contact me...Please.

Again, the responses came swiftly and ready to help me. My only regret is that we all finished agreeing that the house where I was born is no longer at the address where my brother Alexander was born and died. The same house where I was obviously born, but still kicking.

The weird sense of a bad premonition is real. I know that time waits for no one. But I have valid reason to think some force stronger than me, does not want me to find out what I seek. As a still very young child I was placed in a Catholic school because I was deemed incorrigible by my peers. A priest asked me one day as he prayed why I was so angry and that I would never find peace in this life. I now even remember the face of that priest and I think he had a good point.

I am now back to the drawing board. Maybe something will pop up in my mind that triggers a new effort on my part to go forward still. There is always possible ways to know who lived at that address and up until what year.

In the meantime, I want to thank every one of the Kossacks from beautiful Austin, Texas that took time to write to me an offer what they could in response to my short diary asking for their help with respect to the location on Navasota Street.

Thank you Austin, thank you. I will be around and I might just come back to you for additional information later on. In the meantime I am taking a breather and enjoy the nice weather we are having here in Milwaukee. I have only one regret arising out of this diary. I promised my baby sister to see her soon. I wanted to plan a trip to Austin if I could contact folks at the address in question here. It did not happen and appears to be a losing cause to follow that trail. I will have to break the news to her over the phone. I trust my sister. I trust that we will laugh at the way my mission is causing more grey hair to crop up in my head.

Originally posted to Ole Texan on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:05 PM PDT.

Also republished by TexKos-Messing with Texas with Nothing but Love for Texans, Badger State Progressive, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, Progressive Hippie, Genealogy and Family History Community, and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Republished to TexKos, hoping this will result (14+ / 0-)

    in a serendipitous connection to help with your quest. Thank you for yet another very moving diary. Something tells me that you will find the help that you seek, my friend, take care, and whatever transpires, keep writing!

    Some drink deeply from the river of knowledge. Others only gargle. -- Woody Allen

    by cassandracarolina on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:27:09 PM PDT

    •  Good Morning cassandracarolina. (8+ / 0-)

      I just crashed after pushing the publish button last evening to my diary.

      Girl, you have yet to fail me with your kindness and words of wisdom. I don`t think I have to draw you a picture to show you how much I appreciate your friendship, a true feeling of admiration that has grown in me that spills into what I wrote in my diary of the folks I have met here on this site.

      I guess by now you should know that you are top-shelf on  the list of those I admire most, not only for friendship`s sake, but for that intimidating skill you have and intelligence in writing here on site.

      I am sitting down this morning to attend and respond to the numerous comments I have this morning.

      I cannot start on my second response after yours without first conveying my sincere thanks to the Rescue Rangers responsible for giving me the Spotlight so others can read me...Thanks Rangers, thanks.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:39:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hope you find the trail (12+ / 0-)

    Prior to the 1950s, record keeping was hit or miss.  People who didn't want to be found could do a very good job of disappearing.  

    But there could be clues.  The Catholic parish or the diocese might have kept some records.  The Travis County Clerk keeps Deeds on property ownership that go back into the earliest days of record keeping in Texas.  

    Don't give up.  You never know when you will run across something that opens the door.

    hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

    by Stuart Heady on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:30:16 PM PDT

    •  Good Morning Stuart Heady. (6+ / 0-)

      In my last private message to you I thanked you for standing with me up to that point. Others have also been very helpful with their messages. Thank you for coming to join me here on this diary.

      One of the issues you have written to me about is of some people who "might not want to be found" due to a number of reasons, so they might use an alias or deliberately use another name -- such as my own mother.

      The reason I write on this issue is because my case has gone far beyond than one which I should keep secret on security grounds. Every person, except my baby sister, who I have named in my diaries are now died.

      My mother used several surnames and even used a name not her own in my birth certificate. Call it transcriber error of whatever, but in my case I see this over and over, that transcriber error does not apply. Another example of her using fabricated surnames is the case of Alexander`s death certificate in which I wrote about in my diary. In that certificate she used a different surname that has lit-up my confusion box along  the way in trying to do what I am trying to do here. I cannot find even a true surname as the one she used in this case.

      I`m telling you this as a reward to your involvement in my case because I understand you work on issues similar to mine. You can safely use my case to point out that indeed some people want to deliberately hide and not being found. But they can be exposed, like here.

      Thank you Stuart. Again it was nice knowing you.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 07:02:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  If you could tell it, quite a story (0+ / 0-)

        The story of Texas' hispanic heritage is full of dynamic and chaotic stories.  

        Perhaps there are reasons that you would find honorable for someone to evade discovery and change their name.  Women do have to survive in a crazy world, and if they have little or no money, options may not be plentiful.  

        Perhaps there was a mixture of identity issues, having to do with marriage or patrimony.  Maybe it has to do with where her family originated.  They could have originated in Texas, from the people who have been there for millennia.  They could have originated in Mexico, from the indigenous people there and their interactions with the Spanish.  Quien sabe?

        Texas has a history of really cruel racial and ethnic hatreds and that has been a factor for causing people to want to be under the radar as well.  

        It could just be that she was pretty.  

        Life doesn't happen in convenient or tidy ways.  The real story may be really something.  

        I think you can be proud that the struggle of your forebears has succeeded in you.  The words you type here suggest an intelligent person who has reached a level of wisdom and maturity that your parents and their parents would be glad to know came from them.  

        hope that the idiots who have no constructive and creative solutions but only look to tear down will not win the day.

        by Stuart Heady on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 08:19:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  When in 1940 were you born? (12+ / 0-)

    The 1940 Census was released in April. If you were born after April 1, 1940, you'd be in it with your parents. You could use the info gleaned from the census schedule to track your parents back in the prior Census schedules for 1930, 1920, etc.

    "Lesbian and gay people are a permanent part of the American workforce, who currently have no protection from the arbitrary abuse of their rights on the job." --Coretta Scott King

    by craigkg on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 05:38:10 PM PDT

  •  Census is a good start (6+ / 0-)

    but also old newspapers, obituaries for instance could possibly give you names of relatives and might lead to more info.

    El pueblo unido jamás será vencido. The people united will never be defeated

    by mint julep on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 06:18:14 PM PDT

  •  Tejano, You have so clearly illuminated the (11+ / 0-)

    emptiness where your loving family should have been.  Perhaps it is just my imagination, but your words make me believe you wonder why you were abandoned and that it causes you anguish.  

    From your stories, I have come to believe your mother left you with her father because she could not feed you and because she had another desperately ill infant on her hands.  I don't know of course, since you do not, but those days were very hard and many mothers had to give up their children to orphanages in the hopes that someone else could feed them.  It seems unimaginable today, but it gave them a chance to make it.

    You were such a little boy.  Pobrecito.

    It would have caused me such unbearable anguish and guilt to give up a child, even knowing that he or she had a better chance at surviving without me.  I hope you can forgive your mother someday.  I imagine her heart broke.  

    Please don't lose heart and go visit your sister if you can.

    {{Abrazos.}} con carino.

    •  bluedust thank you for (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edwardssl, bluedust

      your kind words, especially for your views on the emptiness part of where my family should have been. On the other hand to feed truth to your imagination of why I was abandoned, please be aware that today I know the reason I was abandoned. I thank genealogy for this awareness.

      Many kossacks have told me that it was because my Mother loved me and wanted to protect me from starvation after the death of my brother Alexander. Granted, times were hard and people struggled to survive without food in those days.

      However, Alexander died in early 1938, a short span from his birth date of 1937. True the decease that killed him was Marasmus. The decease at the time linked starvation but I was taken to San Antonio in 1940, two years after Alexander`s death. So how could anyone argue that she was trying to protect me? I despise having to say this, but my mother was trying to protect herself, from my father because Alexander was born out of deceit by another man -- at the same address at issue in my diary today, by a man with the same surname as my father. So I do not even hesitate out of disgust for my deceased mother, was that mysterious man my uncle?? In other words, was the father of Alexander brother to my father, the certificate of death can make a strong argument to my belief.

      bluedust, thank you for the pobrecito pat on my back. I really appreciate your thought, I accept it with honor.

      bluedust, I don`t shy away from telling you all of the above, for I have written on these subjects many times here in the community. I belong here.

      I do put my heart with each word I write about my life as a child and how I came to survive to write diaries as I do. I was in the room when my mother died in 1970 in San Antonio. I tried to shed a tear but found I did not have any tears to cry left. I blamed that on her. But I wrote in a diary a short while back in which I said that I had forgiven my mother "if there was anything in life about a son forgiving his mother". I am at peace today bluedust. I know she rest and waits for me.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:01:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  {{ole texan}} (4+ / 0-)

    Saw this in the queue for the genealogy group and I hit "publish" ... sorry I took so long, I've been offline most of the evening.

    I'm sorry to hear of more brick walls...I will ponder some more and try to post again tomorrow after a night's rest.

    You should not despair over what you have not yet...emphasis on yet...discovered. Progress in genealogy can take years for people who weren't trying to disappear. I am amazed at what you've found in a relatively short period of time. And you are documenting your journey, which is absolutely the best! Thank you for sharing it with us.

    "If you are sure you understand everything that is going on around you, you are hopelessly confused." Walter Mondale

    by klompendanser on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 08:31:31 PM PDT

    •  Hello Klompendanser. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I just got back on my computer to manage my diary. I was on my lunch break. Thank you for publishing this diary. I hope you being off line most of last evening is not for any thing serious about your health, or about your health at all.

      Yes those pesky brick walls are starting to make me believe they are placed there by Mitt Romney, but one will never know I guess. But yes, I have gone back to the drawing board and have started to get some important input by readers from Austin, Texas that tell me about the 1940 census taken there.

      I never even thought, or in my wildest dreams of going into the Travis county, (Austin, Texas) census indexes. A reader sent me some info that look promising but I have put it aside for the time being as I finish managing all the comments that readers have taken time to send me. I would not have it any other way. One thing that strikes me as promising is a link where I can find the 1930 census report. It is only then that I could see information such as the death of my brother Alexander in 1938. I am sure that will never show in 1940.

      So yes, Klompendanser, I have only you to thank for taking me into the group as a member when I asked. I have indeed learned some tricks pronto, as you say. I will continue to strive to learn like the pros here at my new home, the genealogy group.

      Thanks, always interested in what you write on the subject.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:19:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Very touching (4+ / 0-)

     You tell your story with a passion that is so heartfelt it brings a tear to my eye.  Don't ever give up on your quest to fill that hole but at the same time know that you have a sister and others that obviously love you and who I'm sure could help make you whole if you let them.  

    •  Red State Misfit you are (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      so kind and it shows between the lines in the words you write to me today. Yes, I always put my whole focus and my heart in diaries pertaining to my life when I write about growing up as a child in San Antonio.

      I have received many touching comments like your in the past. But I do not try to yank tears from wonderful folks who join my pain and obvious anguished moments reading my diaries.

      I take much pride being able to share my experiences so in some part, somewhere among us, there are parents that can see such phenomenons of child abuse and abandonment that can strike without warnings.

      I try mightily, to bring awareness to those going through hard times at home. I know because I am a father, grandfather and husband to a lovely wife, and I wince each time I remember my rough upbringing and shudder at the thought that I could ever do what was done to me to my own children.

      I am sure you are a very nice person RSM. Thanks you for reading my diary.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 10:36:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ole Texan - (7+ / 0-)

    I don't know much about doing research in TX since I'm on the opposite end of the country...

    However, the FIRST instruction in any genealogy research is to start with yourself.  You really should put the data in a genealogy program.  Once you get going on any of this, it's difficult to remember details for so many people (I have thousands now, but I've branched out to doing research on ancestors of people who married into my family, too).

    I assume you have your birth certificate.  Your parents should each be listed on that (including the birth name and age/date/location of birth of your mother).  Get the birth certificates of each of your parents, then great-grandparents, and so on.  Get marriage license (if it exists) info for each (often parental names are listed on those, along with date and location of birth).

    If your parents (grandparents, gr-grandparents, and on back) had siblings, get their birth certificates, marriage licenses, death certificates.  Sometimes, to get to your direct info you have to detour through siblings or their spouses to get back to the primary point directly affecting you.  All those certificates are expensive.  If you're lucky, the index info (including the parental names, etc.) are on web sites. is a paid web site, but oddly enough, even (free, mostly, some links to paid web sites) is putting images of original documents online, and for free (totally amazed me, but two different states I never expected to find info in had microfilm images of some of my s-i-l's ancestors for free downloads; how much data is online depends on many factors).

    In both cases, you have to be aware some transcribers don't see well and other cases of illegible handwriting make transcriptions of census data really odd.  I now work exclusively from original documents when I can get them since I can decipher odd and old handwriting in four languages.  I trust my own transcriptions after half a century of doing genealogy research.  Then there's the problem of enumerators who either didn't know how to spell or were dyslexic.  Uff da!  If you're lucky, you will at least be able to understand the images.

    Start with the 1940 census, then go to the 1930, 1920, 1910, 1900 censuses.  You can find out names and locations of birth for each person, plus - back far enough - there is info for number of children a woman has given birth to, how many still living, number of years married.  If any are immigrant ancestors, the year of immigration will be listed (not always correctly, but within one or two years if it's not correct).  1900 census is the first time anyone was asked for a month & year of birth (mostly they're correct).  Ages were asked for several decades before and always after that.

    1890 census burned in a fire.  The only part of that census year that survives are Veteran Schedules for those who served in the Civil War (they were kept in a different location).

    1880, 1870, 1860, 1850 census has names and ages of all family members.  Earlier census info has name of head of household and number of people in age brackets, and the earliest census info for 1790 has name of head of household and number of males and females in the household.  Not a lot of info, but it's something.

    I sense you're more interested in the more recent family history surrounding your parents and grandparents..., not the far distant ancestors, but if you want to find out what led up to your situation, you may need to go one or two or three generations previous to your birth to find out what led up to you.

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 02:23:40 AM PDT

    •  tincy correction (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cassandracarolina, edwardssl

      It is a misconception that the 1890 census "burned in a fire." The fire was in another part of the building, but when the fire got put out, naturally, the water, following the law of gravity, goes the basement...where all the census schedules were stored...where the 1890 census was on the bottom shelves. Much of the 1890 census was damaged though much was recoverable; however, Congress, in its infinite wisdom, didn't want the census schedules to be incomplete, so it ordered the entire 1890 census destroyed. Only a few schedule books in a few places survived to by archived on microfilm and that was via duplicates kept at regional offices. Over 99% is gone aside from the Veterans Census you mention.

      "Lesbian and gay people are a permanent part of the American workforce, who currently have no protection from the arbitrary abuse of their rights on the job." --Coretta Scott King

      by craigkg on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 04:59:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hi NonnyO, thank you (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edwardssl, NonnyO

      for this information. I am sure somewhere it will come in handy to me.

      One of the first advises I got when I joined the genealogy group here on Dkos was that I should always keep a safe place or file for my materials related to anything I do in my searches. Your first paragraph resonate with that advise. I am sure you are absolutely correct NonnyO.

      I really am just a wanna-be genealogist who knows next to nothing about finding records. I am learning though, slowly but surely. When you mention that getting records that I seek are pretty expensive, well that issue also came up in a recent discussion I had about not wanting

      I do not plan on spending sums of money for documents to learn who the grandparents of the grandparents of my grandparents were, only to find out about issues I seek that are just around the corner in 1936 when I was born. I know this comment sound a tad sarcastic and probably rude after all your appreciated effort to come in and give me good advise. I promise you that I respect your knowledge and am only telling you why in my next paragraph.

      I only say this because I simply cannot afford to even pay for a subscription to, so I rely on the free online search engines of and recently These engines have been good to me for what I need.

      But this does not mean I am not paying attention to your comment. Yours is one of the finest and informative ones that I have read today. I can only regret that you are so far away and cannot join my team here in Texas. With your expertise I am sure I could go far in this field and almost positive that you could resolve my problem. Wherever you are NannoO, let it be known that I am very grateful for your input to my diary.

      Please feel free to continue writing in this space. I really would like to know you better and how your mind works in genealogy.

      Thank you NonnyO

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 11:30:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  on my mum's side (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glorificus, martini, edwardssl

    I've been going over my family tree.  There are so many Freds, Georges, Davids and Herberts, I cannot tell the relatedness of my ancesters and their relations.

    It's about time I changed my signature.

    by Khun David on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 04:30:25 AM PDT

  •  Hey, Ole Texan... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    martini, edwardssl

    I just noticed that has the U.S. Census from 1791 - 1940 for free this weekend through Monday.  I'm in Kenosha County and spend most of my time researching genealogy.  I'm really good at finding missing records when names are misspelled or incorrectly transcribed.  I'm sure I can help you.  Private message me for real world contact info.

    "Ich bin ein Dachs!"

    by PvtJarHead on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 09:02:19 AM PDT

  •  Death Certificate & your own birth data (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    With that, maybe contact the Austin History Center?


    •  Hi martini. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edwardssl, martini

      I clicked on the link you gave me. I see the Navasota street and also the cemetery four blocks away where my brother was supposedly buried after his death. This info is included in the death certificate which also includes the name of the care taker who buried him.

      All I can do with the link is see the streets and cemetery. Earlier, I wrote to a living member of the care taker who buried my brother seeking records of that burial. I found that my brother could not have possibly been buried there at the Texas State cemetery( despite showing he was in the death certificate), because the cemetery buried only Governors, and high Political officials.

      A lady by the name of Christina who runs a funeral home in Houston, Texas is the great granddaughter( I believe) that is what she told me of the care taker who performed my brother`s burial, but said that no records could be found.

      As for your link, thank you.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 12:17:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Keep looking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I spent 20 years looking for history.  I found the family trees after my parents died.  As a military brat moving around after WWII I had no sense of place or family.  My seeking found me.  I also learned why things happened to my ancestors in terms of the big picture.  Thanks for posting.

    •  Thank you LillithMc. I am (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      beginning to realize that my journey will not be a short or fast one. What you say of your 20 years looking into history finding your family tree after your parents died sound a lot like what Klompendanser just told me a while ago:

      You should not despair over what you have not yet...emphasis on yet...discovered. Progress in genealogy can take years for people who weren't trying to disappear. I am amazed at what you've found in a relatively short period of time. And you are documenting your journey, which is absolutely the best! Thank you for sharing it with us.
      You make a nice point LillithMc about why things happen. I also think your "my seeking found me" may be directed at my diary title. I know who I am and know where I come from. What I really really seek is siblings that potentially may still live. Other than that I am cool with where I`m at.

      As always LillithMc, thank you for your informative tip.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 12:29:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Knowing who you are and where you (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    edwardssl, LillithMc

    come from is more powerful than all the money in the world.

    •  Hello prettyobvious. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edwardssl, LillithMc

      I hear what you say. I can`t say anyone could argue with that. You may just be absolutely correct to boot.

      However your comment does not apply here. You see, I know exactly who I am. I know exactly where I come from:

      Born in Austin, Texas in 1936 to my father and mother who I know who they were RIP, both of them. Actually, I found out who my father was just recently
      I think anyone who does not know who he/she is or where he/she came from is good material for your comment.

      The title of my diary utters frustrations in my inability to find siblings and even frustrations about my inability to find myself in searches online. I noted in the diary that during my visit to Texas I had yet to learn who my father was, but joining this group has opened door wide for me.

      Thank you for you comment. I am one who would like to know something about you. You should sit down a let us know in a diary. I think it is time.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 12:52:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dearest Ole Texan, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    How I love to read your writing, and am always to happy to see one of your diaries in my queue! I am so very sorry to hear about the house. You may check tax records for the property. Even if the house is no longer there, there may be records for that address that could reveal some information? Perhaps you have already thought about this.

    As always, my services are available, for what they are worth. I'm newly settled in central Illinois and anxious to get myself over to the Lincoln Presidential Library which has vast amounts of genealogical material to mine! I will put my thinking cap on and see if I can help some ideas to help fill your genealogical void.

    •  Hello larmos, as always (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      you do not cease to amaze me with your kind words. I feel exactly the same way you do reading your words. How can I not with a comment like this one?

      In addition, your expertise and self-awareness of what is around you by being so observant to details of diaries is very telling. I am just smacked down by this:

      I will put my thinking cap on and see if I can help some ideas to help fill your genealogical void.
      Void! Exactly the word I pushed forward asking if such a thing existed in genealogy. I have to think, no strike that, I know for a fact that you understood my question. For a guy like me who relishes in enjoyment of written words I am not surprised by last sentence in your comment. It makes me think that you know where I am coming from. Maybe the word void can become another tool to use instead of brick wall, which is too long to write with worst consequences....I`m kidding of course.

      Thank you larmos for joining me here today. I was very lucky this time as I was rewarded with the spotlight so the whole world can see Ole Texan`s miseries.

      How have you been larmos? I hope your resettlement in the Land of Lincoln will bring you the happiness you deserve along with your family. Take good care of yourself, and thank you again.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 01:34:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Good luck to you in your search (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    My two great-grandfathers (on my mother's side) disappeared in the 19th century.  One was a young man rumored to have gone off during one of the gold rushes.  The other, much older with an established home and family rode off with a group of men (family scuttlebutt says they were horse-thieves or the James gang).  
    Even for something that happened so long ago, it still feels very much like unfinished business.  
    May you find the resolution you have been seeking for so long.

    •  Hi SYWTSAR, glad to see you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      here today. Your comment is an interesting one indeed. I can see some hint of something I wrote in my diary. By this I mean you at least have solid information about the one great-grandfather who had a well established home and family.

      I don`t think genealogist here would have too much trouble tracking down this guy, maybe even some of the James boys.

      I can only say of knowing members of my family tree which branches only extend to 1920 or 30 at most. Other than that there are no exciting nuts in my tree that I could say belong to some outlaw group or any famous people of years and years past.

      You do not say if you are, or have searched for your targets. Keep us informed.

      Thank for dropping by. You are always welcome in my diaries.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 01:54:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for the response (0+ / 0-)

        I think the presumption (at least by my family) is that my ancestor who rode off with the group of men probably ended up dead in a ditch, especially if the James gang was involved.  James was a lot meaner that most people realize and wouldn't have hesitated to shoot someone dead for looking at him the wrong way.

  •  Good for you for trying. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I can't go back to my early homes when I was a kid either. The first one that I remember was burning down...I was 3. The later homes were Veteran's Project home that were later bulldozed....not a difficult task as they were wooden shacks...and Ford City, one of the First indoor Malls was build there on the grounds of the old Ford Motor Plant here in Chicago. When they talk about it, they never mention the wooden shacks/townhouses that became Veteran's housing.
    Better of not revisiting anyway, it just brings memories that keep one awake at night. And for a pre-schooler of 3 and 4 years old, I have a lot of not so kind memories from that era as well. The most disturbing was my burned father carrying the limp body of my little sister out of the burning house.

    Character is what you are in the dark. Emilio Lizardo in Buckaroo Bonzai

    by Temmoku on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 01:02:55 PM PDT

    •  Temmoku. I am stumped (0+ / 0-)

      frozen by your comment. Here I have been railing about an issue that has never touched my physically, and even if it does touch me emotionally I can never compare my issue with what you write to me about today.

      It just tears me apart reading about your father carrying the limp body of your baby sister. Even if your father was hurt in the blaze, why must children always suffer the worst of a calamity such as the one you describe.

      Temmoku you sound like you write of the very old days of Chicago. I am pretty familiar with the area you write about but I really do not remember the veterans housing projects were. Maybe it is because I did not live there. But I think those things are irrelevant when I think of your father and the child. You do no mention if they survived or if they are still alive. I do hope you still have them with you.

      It is so sad Temmoku. When I see or read tragedies as the one you write about that involves defenseless children I just feel berserk.

      I hope that mentally, you came out of this tragedy O.K.

      Best regards temmoku.

      Old men tell same old stories

      by Ole Texan on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 02:16:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Tipped, recced and republished to (0+ / 0-)

    I started with nothing and still have most of it left. - Seasick Steve

    by ruleoflaw on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 03:53:52 PM PDT

  •  Genealogy (0+ / 0-)

    I have done a lot of genealogy over the years, and I recently helped a friend find her birth mother. I don't claim to be an expert, but it often helps to have more than one person look at your information. You are welcome to email me privately. lynneinfla at aol dot com

    The Tea Party: They're so far right, they're wrong.

    by lynneinfla on Wed Aug 29, 2012 at 06:49:06 PM PDT

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