How I found my brother from my Dad’s prior marriage. This person was born in 1949 and after my Dad passed in 1993 I have been searching for his other sons who are my brothers by blood. I wanted to know them make that connection because I am about family. While taking an engineering class back in the early 90’s from a retired Civil Engineer, he made a comment one day that family is the most important people in your lives. He continued and said that family is first to prioritise the job, the school third. I once read an article about teachers not teaching as a whole and here I am in this class being taught as a whole. I was impressed and his name is Michael Woods.
I will do my best to scribe the account on how I found my living relative. The tools that I used in the past still hold true to this electronic age that we live in; what’s that, snail mail. That’s right certain times you will have to use snail mail but first let me show you the process I used in detail.
Tools that I used:
1. Pen, paper and envelope
2. Ancestry.com took some doing. I only had his mothers first name, I experimented for days, then weeks which turned into a few months. I would use the last name of Rios, then leave the last name blank. I played with the birth years but to no avail no leads. I then focused on my brother. I played with the location of where he was born since I already had his birth date. After two days I found a record providing the fathers surname and mothers surname and I grew up in that location; was like hitting a home run when I found that record. So I have the birth record, now I can add the surname to the mother.
While I was searching records a few kept showing up for a person that had the same name living in a part of Kansas. Since this is a living person I will only reveal the state. I for some reason kept on thinking that he had to be in California somewhere. Lesson learned. Do not have a closed mind. Think differently.To jump track here a bit, I would send out letters to people I found with the name I was looking for and nothing I lost count as to how many letters I sent out but I did get one back saying “Sorry I am not that person”. I was grateful I got a reply back from this person but discouraged as well
Do not get discouraged, that is a pitfall and one that can lead you not finding the person or record for that matter.
Back on the train -Whoo whoo. So, I saved one of those records to my shoebox in Ancestry.com and then extracted the information to Notepad on my desktop. I used White pages found a reference of this person but I still was not convinced that this was my brother. A few days later, I thought to myself, what about Facebook? I wonder. I ran a search in Facebook for this person and saw the State that was showing up in the records I found. I then got a glimpse of the man looking back at me. My heart started to pound as if I just won the lottery. Deep breath Michael, Deep breath. Once I was calm, I then went to this person wifes’ profile page and found a better photo of this person. I then compared to the photo of a child my Dad had in his Navy Photo album. Same dimples, same facial expression, same nose I could not believe my eyes. I had to get reassurance. I showed my better half and she was amazed but had reservations. I then emailed one of my close friends and she told me that she would be surprised if the person said they were not that person. Do I take the chance of another let down.
So, I did what any person would do, I send a message to them within Facebook. Days went by then a month went by and still no reply, not even a kiss my butt-barking up the wrong tree.. After a few days, I decided to write a letter (hand written letter-it is more personal) to this person living in Kansas. I also enclosed a photo of a ten year old child, about two weeks later I got this letter from this person from Kansas. I was trying to prepare myself but emotions triggered. Calm yourself I said to myself. I opened the envelope and began to read. It was my brother confirming that he indeed was the person I was looking for. My body was shaking a bit, head spinning that I finally found him. We chatted on Facebook for about thirty minutes, but he and his daughter are still getting used to the idea of me. I don’t blame for they don’t know me or anything about me……Case closed!