NOTE: I originally posted this article in May 2013. Because I’m about to share my genealogy research, I felt this Post was important as background information. I intend to start with my birth family, the Schmetzers. I will follow it up with my adoptive families, the Williams’ and the Collinses.
Linwood , Ontario, is a small village deep in the heart of Mennonite country. It was a place settled mainly by people of German extraction, and some of their descendants still live there today. So what does all this have to do with me, you ask?
This is the story of my journey to discover my roots – not so unusual in itself. What makes this story truly unique, however, is that as an adoptee, I sought not only my parents’ roots, but also those of my birth relatives.
Linwood CPR Railway Station
My grandfather Collins was Station Master & Telegrapher here before WWI.
So imagine my surprise, then, when at the end of my search, all roads led back to Linwood, where both my parents, Ken Williams and Maureen Collins were born, as well as some of my birth relatives!
Here is how it all began. When I began this search, it was in order to find my birth mother. For that, I needed a vital piece of information: my original birth registration. This took a lot of ingenuity on my part, as my parents would not let me see this document. This was back in the day when adoption was such a difficult process: first, you had to prove you were worthy to adopt a child, and once approved, wait for a baby to come along. So my parents were very insecure, sure that they’d lose me to a bunch of strangers.
As anyone who is adopted knows, this is totally ridiculous! You love the people who brought you up and provided you with unconditional love.
At a meeting of Adoptees, I got the tip I needed: tell the powers that be that I needed the original document for a Visa to the United States. This ruse worked like a charm. And bingo, just like that I was looking at my original birth name: Judith Anne Kuhl.
Next: The Schmetzer Family, Part I.