Seeking the combined "wisdom" of the forum
I would leave them alone.
You have your family, small though it is (but perfectly formed ).
These people are strangers, that you and they have some of the same genes is just chance.
What would I do? Probably leave it well alone. I'd be thinking along the lines of people having their own (very different) lives to lead, and if they wanted to know about certain things they would search these things out themselves. Maybe the outcome would be positive all round but I wouldn't want to try and put myself in their shoes for one minute. I'll settle for the comfort of the status quo.
My problem is, much as I have a vague curiosity for where I came from and how I got here, the more I think about these things the more I get into an existential mess. Chances are, other people's minds work in entirely different ways, hence all the more reason why I'd never advise people what they should do in such circumstances, and merely pass on my own muddled thinking.
But good luck with whatever you decide!
Chances are they might find it interesting and there aren't any nasty ghosts in the closet etc but I guess you just never know...
With my friend it caused a near-meltdown of the remaining family, with him and his sister being kind of curious and interested to have some form of contact with their half sister, and their mother totally losing it and threatening to disown them if they ever dared to make contact with "that ****'s child" etc...
major, major caffaffel!!
I've done a lot of my research via Ancestry.co.uk, which links with the worldwide version - that's how I got in contact with my aunt's family and managed to get photos of my grandmother.
I might have a look at Genes reunited just in case.
Nessie, I'd be inclined to write saying I'd been researching the family tree and were they related to xxxx of xxx town as it's possible you might be related.
I've done the same, although not with such close relatives, and exchanged letters for a while with a distant relative in Australia, and a closer cousin in this country (her father and mine are first cousins).
You've no way of knowing how much they might already know, and if you are being hunted for with as much energy as you've been looking for them with. If you mention a common ancestor without mentioning the adoption (someone a couple of generations back maybe), the connection would be visible to anyone interested but not obviously disclosing what might be painful information to someone who didn't already know.
Good luck, however you decide to carry on.
No hits on Genes Reunited.
Kwilter - yes, I'm inclined to think that that's an option. My grandmother had 4 brothers, so potentially I could be a descendent on that side, and I have information further back than that too.
I'm going to mull it over for a few days - but everyone's comments have been useful. Thank you.
Can I suggest that you post this request to a North American geneology forum. is that how you spell it?
North Americans tend to be a lot more robust about secret pasts; one of the reasons people emigrated to USA & Canada was because of skeletons in closets.
In the late 19th century biagamy and adoption were very common and a lot of elder sisters were discovered to be mothers.
That sort of forum may give you a more knowledgeable response
Do you know why your Grandmother put your mum & her sister up for adoption? That might give you a clue as to whether it's a secret she always kept from her new family, or if she told them and they've always wondered what happened to them. Odds are on the former though.
Still, even if they're not interested in contact I doubt they'll be scared for life. It's not like you're demanding a share of their inheritance, is it?
My decision on this would hinge on whether such an approach will affect the lives of those still living, or just turn up interesting family history. In fact, I'd wait until sure that those still alive have passed on. People of advanced years might not want a shock, be it pleasant or otherwise, and their generation often have different concepts of family "shame" to ours.
Example: my Dad was born illegitimate because his father married my grandmother bigamously. While alive he never breathed a word of it to me and nor did my Mother (who's still alive). I only learned the story after his funeral. And the few in the family who did know only knew because they found out after my grandmother's funeral ... and kept it quiet.
Knowing this earlier wouldn't have affected my relationship with Dad at all, of course, but he was obviously ashamed. I later "traced" my grandfather, who had died 10 years earlier. Other members of the family have tracked down relatives of his from his first, legitimate, marriage and met up with them. But tbh I've not followed that up. When it comes to contacting long-lost or never-knew-they-existed relatives, best to proceed with caution - you can choose your friends but you can't choose your family!
I is an engineer so everything can just comes a cross across well a bit cold sometimes.
Fair point Muttley about waiting till an older generation have passed away...my uncle actively tried to dissuade me from tracing my(and his!) family history, in case I turned up some skeletons.
The ones I have found are very little skeletons (birth a bit too close to the marriage, people's ages not being 100% accurate on marriage certificates) but I guess to someone older they might be more embarrassed about such issues.
Piers - didn't sound pompous at all, and that's a very good idea - they may be looking too.
Cheerful Dave wrote (see)
Do you know why your Grandmother put your mum & her sister up for adoption? That might give you a clue as to whether it's a secret she always kept from her new family, or if she told them and they've always wondered what happened to them. Odds are on the former though.Still, even if they're not interested in contact I doubt they'll be scared for life. It's not like you're demanding a share of their inheritance, is it?
My grandmother was unmarried, and her father disowned her (her mother was dead). I guess in 1925 there were no other options - certainly no state handouts and council houses that might be available today. Like you, I suspect that she may never have told her new family of her past.
Inheritance? Oooh, never thought of that..........
I went on genes reunited a fair few years ago to try trace my family. Long story but my dads whole side basically died in a haze of Irish alcoholism and general merriment (it's genetic - not my fault).
Anyway, I gave up because I had no idea how to do anything anyway and landed up forgetting about it completely.
A few years ago - about 6 years ago, I had this random message from an elderly gentleman living in Scotland who was wondering if the surname of my great grandmother could in anyway be related to XXX person that he was researching. While it's not close relative, he turns out to be my dads uncle - a great uncle to me that I didn't know I had. Living in Scotland.
Still haven't met him but exchange emails and letters and photos. His daughter developed fibroids recently (at 46) and we exchanged emails on health advice.
Me? I would get in contact. You don't have to blurt it all out on the first email but you could open the door for them. They have a right to know as well - imagine knowing that someone out there knew the wear-abouts of a sister or child and chose not to tell you?
I would get in touch, definitely. I think because we're (i'm assuming) mostly British folk on here, we become inherently British in response to this with a 'ooh i don't want to rock the boat....' type answer.
However, we only get one life, humans are built around social connections, and I think if you've got family out there, it is worth trying to find them. No point pussy-footing about; if they aren't interested, then you can't do much about that, but I think it is worth taking the chance - they might be delighted to know you exist
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