Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Crucial bit of info about my birth father—finally!


Holy crap! I'm sitting here and my mind is blown. I just found out a crucial bit of info about my birth father that has taken me since 1999 to find out.

For those who don't know, I was adopted at the age of six days old. My birth name was Starlette "Star" Ferris, but my adopted family (my mom and dad) named me Beverly Renay. In 1999, I began searching for info on my birth family because I was driven to fill in the blanks about my past and who I was.

I've gotten lots of info (and even met) my birth mother, Fay, and my two birth brothers, Jan and Van. But hardly any info about my birth father, save for his name and what my birth mom told me. They were never married. They were engaged and then she broke off the engagement.

Anyway...I digress.

My first cousin Debra, who contacted me last week (I think it was) just sent me info I didn't have before. Cut to the chase is that my birth father, Richard Ferris, was a LAWYER. Holy crap!

In a strange coincidence, my cousin has her MS in Psychology, which is the same thing I am pursuing! And she's a teacher, something I plan to do after I get my MS. It also turns out that the two of us are probably the only cousins on that side who have gone to college. Wow! There's more info about ancestry, too, like the fact that my great, great, great grandfather came from England and was a judge. That makes sense because my birth mom told me there were judges and law people in that side of the family.

Here is her e-mail to me. It's long, but given all that I've shared about my search for info about my birth family (both sides), I'm going to post it. I tell ya, each time I find out more info, it fills in more of the blank holes that I've wondered about my entire life. Each time I find a piece of the puzzle, my eyes well up with tears. I am grateful that 23andme helped me connect with my first cousin, Debra.:

"Bev,
I have a friend who is adopted, and so I understand the "wanting to know more". Like I said before, I did not know about you until a couple of years ago when Van told me. My mom did not know about it either. Back then things were handled differently than they are now.

I can tell you anything you want to know about the Rider family history. I have searched census records online and found all the information I could without paying any money to ancestry.com and other such companies. I do not have it organized in a good way to send it all at once, but that is on my to-do list for someday.

I know the Dilley family (Fay's mother) came to the US in the late 1600's from Germany. Fay's father's family came from England. Grandpappy told me that his grandfather came from England and was a judge. I found him, Otho Wade, in the census records, so I am only back to early 1800's on that branch of the family.

There is a cemetery in WV near Sherwood Lake that has most of the old family burial places. The Rider family used to own Sherwood Lake in WV but the government took the land to make the lake and camping area. They let Grandpappy live on the land for the rest of his life, but they tore down his 2 story log cabin and other buildings and split rail fence as soon as he died.

I live in Charlotte, NC. I am 63. I was married 22.5 years, but now I am divorced. I have 2 sons who are 36 and 38. They also live in Charlotte. I am a teacher. I am the only one of the cousins who went to college as far as I know. I have a BS Math and BA and MS in Psychology. I teach at a Community College. Right now I am teaching Math because they do not need a Psych instructor.

Grandpappy went to William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va and majored in pre-med. He did his residency, was a medic in WW1, and then never practiced medicine. I do not know why because no one ever told me about it until much, much later, so I never got a chance to ask questions.

He was a hermit and lived at Sherwood Lake the last 23 years of his live in a cabin, no elec. or running water. Granny took the 7 kids and moved to the town of White Sulphur Springs. I know they were poor and lived in a converted chicken coop which she fixed up as nice as she could. There was a bathroom with a sink and a commode, but she never did have a bathtub or running water in her kitchen. She made do all of her life.

My son has a flat tire. so he needs a ride. I will type more later. I am full of information that I do not mind talking about. My email is xxxx You can ask me anything.

Your father was Richard Ferris, and he was a lawyer in Covington, VA. More later because I have to scoot now!"