Where did my nose come from

My father late in his life when he was almost 80 told me and my 4 brothers and 2 sisters one by one that, in his words, he’s been adopted. In other words, he was illegitimate, born out of wedlock to the woman we all knew as Granma, but Granpa was not a biological relative. When my dad told me, everything fell into place – why we did not resemble our cousins at all, why my father was so repressive and strict when it came to our sexuality. And oh my goodness the bizarre autoimmune issues that have popped us as we’ve gotten older. My dad shared his birth certificate with us when he told us – his father’s name was William Ross, an attorney. He hid it away in a strong box to be rediscovered by me and my siblings after his death. He tried for some time to find his biological father and his efforts were interrupted by a decline caused by his Parkinson’s disease. So I am taking on his search, or quest. He was born November 26, 1924. Given the address on his birth certificate, 523 Eddy Rd. in Cleveland, I think he was born at the Florence Crittendon Maternity hospital. From what I’ve learned from an aunt, he stayed with Sisters of Social Service, a Catholic order of women founded in Hungary in 1923, until my Granma married my Granpa, who adopted my dad in 1927. My dad’s original birth certificate (it was amended to show my Granpa as his father at birth when he was adopted) has Hungary as the birthplace for both my Granma and Mr. Ross, and my Granma told my dad confined that William Ross was Hungarian. I am not so convinced. I received DNA results from AncenstryDNA, and the countries of origin of my ancestors are Ireland (46%), Eastern European (30%) and Italy/Greece – my mother was a mix of Irish and Scottish; I expected a higher proportion of me to be Eastern European. Next steps – persuading one of my brothers to submit a saliva sample to trace ethnicity of our male ancestors, find out what happened to the Sisters of Social Service in Cleveland (did they become the Sisters of Charity?) and pick up on a lead my dad had on his biological father’s whereabouts at one point in time in California.cropped-grandmaas-young-woman.jpgimg3001

One thought on “Where did my nose come from

  1. The nuns were the Social Mission Sisters. The two she was friendly with and corresponded with for a long time were Sister Irma and Sister Judith, for whom Aunt Judy was named. They were based in New York.


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