Genealogy can really hurt a girl. I don’t mind the fact that there are some of my ancestors that will forever remain a figment of my imagination because I can’t document them. But, I really have my feelings hurt when I can’t find any documentation on my parents. Well, at least I can’t find any documentation that they were born!
Search and search as I may, no state, county, or local vital records office nor town or village clerks have been able to document the fact that my parents were ever born. What makes this even more irksome is the fact that I know the exact date that each of them was born and the city/village in which they emerged from their mother’s womb. But, it seems only me and those mothers know this to be a fact. Well, okay, my mother and father know too, but since they are both deceased they could care less. I guess.
To answer that ageless question “How does that make you feel?” It makes me feel like I am a figment of someone’s imagination. If my parents weren’t born how could I be? I don’t exactly feel orphaned although it does feel a bit like I have no roots. It feels like there is this air space in my lineage that has to be filled. A chain without a link. A loose end. Or, as genealogists would say, a brick wall.
But how can I fill this void? I have hoped that maybe the town clerk would say, “Well, we had a fire (or a flood) in 1907 and all the records were lost.” Of course, it would have to have happened in one city and one village within months of each other so that is probably an irrational desire. One town clerk looked at me sadly when no records turned up and said, “Are you sure they lived here?” It sounded sort of like, “Are you sure they lived?” I assured her they had lived here for fifteen years. Her sad eyes grew sadder and she just shook her head as if to say, “You poor thing with no record of your mother’s birth.” She suggested that I contact a medium who might lead me to the truth. No, I’m only kidding. However, I might consider that.
It took me three years to find a great-grandfather’s death certificate so maybe if I keep plodding along I can move from the ranks of being a “Figment” to being a “Real” person. Come to think of it, I haven’t checked with the town clerk to see if my birth record is on file. Maybe I really am a figment.