End of the road?


I’m wondering, have I reached the end of the road as far as finding out about my ancestors (at least on my biological father side). I fear I have. Last I tried something it ended up in nothing – again. I have two remote posibilities left to try, and I will give them a go, but I don’t have much hope of it succeeding I must say.

In terms of my biological mothers family, I can’t get any closer before they sort out their archives in Berlin, which won’t be until 2013!!! I fail to see how you can let people wait that long for something so important. In this case it’s a matter of their death certificates. I’ve written to their native country Poland, only to get no answer. So where to turn. Of course if I had bucketloads of money I’d throw them at a professioal genaologist – but I haven’t unfortunately.

There’s NO Robert Jones registred with the millitary that they can find, that fits the data I have. I have NO clue as to where to look at all, as he could be from anywhere in the US. I only have a very common name and a birthdate. Not much to go on! I have written whereever I thought relevant, to ask if they had information, and in many cases people don’t even respond. I simply don’t know where to turn next. I have (with the opening of the 1940’s Census) found bunches of Robert Jones’s, but I have nothing to check up against to know if they’re him. So imagine sitting there looking at all these records and each and almost (the one’s that are black anyway and born the right date) all of them, could be him! Frustrating to say the least. It’s food for thought as well when you see these photos. I wonder what lies in my ancetrial baggage.

As far as my mothers parents, and that side of the family, I’ll have to wait – simply wait, but it feels like one long wait. You who have tried this are with me on this I’m sure. And as far as my biological dad goes – I’ve more or less given up. Unless I get help from unexpected people, win the lottery or something similar.

So if you have any suggestions, ideas whatsoever, please come forward. Or if you of course know of a Robert Jones born the 24th. April 1928 (African-American), who was in Berlin, Germany, Europe, at least in 1961, possibly before and after as well. Please get in touch.

The answer my friend…..

is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind! That lyric and melody has been at it all morning in my head. I’ve seen “Do you know who you are”? and again I’ve followed a celebrity’s search for their familys roots. As always very exciting, although this particular story wasn’t the most facinating I’ve seen. Never the less these programmes always generate thoughts about my own situation out in this “circus”. Weird term to use, but that’s what I feel it has become. It’s almost everwhere I turn, that I bang my head against a wall after a very short amount of time. It’s becomming tiresome – very! If only one side of the family would be succesful, but it seem they’re both determind to be very uncoporative.

When that is said I also believe, that there’s a mening to everything. So I’ll get, what I’m suppose to, no more no less. But no-one can say I took it lying down. I gave as good as I got with those ancestors and autorithies not least. Along the way I’m trying to come to terms with, that I might never get the answers/reults that I want.

Where I’m banging my head agains the wall in terms of my biological mothers familiy is, that before a certain time (of course concerning my grandparents) simply wasnt’ any records in many cases. Poland was not to long a go almost a developing country. You tend to forget that, but none the less that makes that side of things complicated. What I can do, I’m not sure. Write the authorites has been done, but I have heard nothing. So I’m thinking in terms of this that I want to write some Danish/Polish society’s and hear them what to do, and if anyone can help. Likewise I’ve had good expiriences before in writing the Danish Embassey in Berlin, so I’m thinking I’ll try the same in Poland.

One thing is that Poland is complicated, but that Germany is almost the same sometimes is another matter. I’ve been searching for 20 years now approxmately and I have not yet found a ckear way to go about it. There’s not communication between offices and you’re shuffed from one to the other in a wild goosechase. Very tireing and not least frustrating. It takes determind stammina and patience. A lot of it! when that is said, if you continue, you can get lucky and I have been in some cases. It’s not all despair, but easy – no it’s not.

Now the new thing is that they are rearranging archives in Berlin, and that’s the reason why they can’t tell me if they have the deathcertificates for my grandparents, as they must have. Now I have to write the Embassey to hear if it can be true, that I have to wait until 2013, when they finish. I don’t understand if that’s the case.

In terms of my biological father, it’s the same problems as always and by now I’ve almost given up on it ever succeding. If he is alive he is very old and it’s the same “song” I keep running into. They need more information. Fine, but haven’t got it. Now I’ve gotten a private charity involved, and we’ll have to see. It’s easy enough to come up with a Robert Jones in serch engines and even one with the right birthday and year, but I have to have something to compare it to – was he black, was he in the millitary in Berlin etc. Otherwise itt’s useless information. And that’s what makes it so difficult.

I have a telvision show I can write if they still take in new problems. I’d rather avoided that as I have no wish for that kind of publicity, but if it can give me some answers, so be it. And even if I write them, I’m far from sure, they’ll take my story or they can even find out anything either. But let’s see, but that’s where we are right now. So as you can see Ii have “a couple” of mails that has to be written on top of everything else. The photo is from yesterday.

Forgotten and hidden away

The article in The Guardian (to begin with this in a Danish Newspaper) about Joyce Carol Vincent, who is found dead after 3 years in her apartment in London, touched me deeply. Not because it touched me like it would anyone who would read that kind of thing, as in how can it not, but because I have a personal approach to this story. Very personal. I’ll get back to that.

Joyce dies all alone in her little flat in England in the age of just 38, and remain lying there until she is found 3 years later. The article asks if this could happen here and what can you do to prevent it. I have a hard time seeing this happening in Denmark as we are so watched and controlled in every way, that it’s to some degree is too much. It has the advantage, at that this shouldn’t be possible, but I don think it does, although not after 3 years unless you’re homeless, and then it is of course. Preventing it? No I don’t think you can, unless you want to take away peoples personal freedom which shouldn’t happen unless in very special circumstances. But like they say in the article:

What about the missing rent, gass- and electricity or her tax? All unpaid. Why did no-one react? What about the caretaker? The neighbours? Questions that are still more or less unanswered.

The article is about that this story moved the director of a new film coming in 2012, called “Dreams of a life“, where the whole story of Joyce and how this happend for a welladucated and -funcrtioning girl is told. A film I’m deffinately am going to see and even purchase later.

Now to the more personal approach to this. I terms of Adoption and seeking your roots I always say, that you have to be prepared to find not so nice things. And before you start, you have to decide if you will deal with that and know the truth. Personally I’d rather know the truth than speculate for ages. Then it’s sorted and you can deal with it. But it’s something you have to think long and hard about BEFORE you try and get in touch. If you have some pink dram about it all being all roses and the only thing that came as a “bump on the road” was you appearing on the scene, you could have a big surprise. It does happen in some cases and then of course it’s good. But there are a lot of not so “nice” stories. One of them is my own.

My biological mother also died all alone in a young age and was lying in her flat for a long time. Not for years, but in a relatively civilised society as the German 1½ month, and over Christmas, to me is a long time. Didn’t she have family? Yes she did, but she wasn’t in touch with them. And why that was I’m not quite sure, and more importantly I don’t know if it was her choice or the families. In this case it’s my gutt feeling that it was the first, although I don’t know.

Later when I sought information about her and found my biological sister in Berlin, she hardly knows anything about our mother for the same reason, and she has grown up with her (and my) grandmother. When I write her, she kindly replies and sends photos of her and my mother for which I’m very grateful, but at the same time, but at the same time, she states that this is very difficultfor her, and she think it is best, if we don’t stay in touch.

To say I was (and am) dissapointed about that dosen’t cover it, but I can’t force her, and wouldn’t want to either. So there’s not a lot of oppertunities to get information about my mother unless there are other family members I still haven’t found. Right now the search is concentrated in finding information about my biological father. Not that I’ve come much further, but a little – I think. It has often enough been totally hopeless so it takes a lot for me to jump with joy.

But I do find this story important. How could it happen, and if it can happen in England, can it happen here (in your country)? Rent has to be paid and if it isn’t someone reacts wich happend in Joyce’s case- but only after 3 years?

In my mothers case she was found by the caretaker in her building (more to the point he raised the alarm), because they’re going to that level to do some repairs, and he recalled that he hadn’t seen her in a long time – and then there was the obvious – the smell! To get news like that is not nice and it took me a long time to come to terms with and get over. If you can talk about getting over someone being that unhappy and, that they either choose to isolate themselves or get being so by others. I tend to have a gutt feeling here, telling me, it was my mothers choice. No matter how you look at it, it’s not good and especially not being young and relativly so as my mother who was only 43, that is not much older than Joyce.

I still don’t feel good about this (it’s a long time ago since I had this information), but I can’t do anything about it. The only thing I can do is try and live my life as well as possible and enjoy it.

As always, please let me know what you think. It’s always giving to hear other people’s thought on these kind of difficult issues.

This entry has been translated from the Danish entry.