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James Bellert (#48157908)
 member for 2 years, 11 months, 7 days
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Bio and Links
Bio Photo I was born at St. Vincent's Orphanage in Chicago. I spent most of my adult years and much money and time trying to find my biological mother. Finally, in 1996, Catholic Charities SOLD me a redacted biography of my birth mother. I had also obtained a copy of the Decree of Adoption in which her name was listed. I was able to use her name and the redacted bio to focus my search and finally locate her and her other children, both legitimate and illegitimate. When I made that discovery I was in the town in which my grandparents raised my mother and other kids and the town in which my biological grandparents were buried. It was the microfiche of the obituaries which led me to the discovery of my birthmother and her family.

Unless you are an adoptee, I don't think you can fully understand the feeling of connection and authentication as a member of the human race I had when I visited the cemetery in that town and saw the graves of my grandparents to whom I was actually biologically related. I went on to do a lot of genealogy research, now made so much easier by websites like Find A Grave and Ancestry.com. I traced my mother's side back to England, Scotland and Northern Ireland, in some cases back to the 1000's!

All that knowledge obtained because I found the graves of my grandparents! If I can help another person find that feeling of connection and authentication by posting a photograph of a marker or creating a memorial on Find A Grave to go with it, I couldn't be happier.

All is not warm and fuzzy, though. Not in my case. But mine is unusual as over 92% of all birthmothers welcome a reunion with the child they "adopted out." Illinois enacted a law in recent years allowing adult adoptees to obtain copies of their original birth certificates (but not their adoption records). I had always wanted a copy of my original birth certificate because I somehow felt it would give me authenticity as a human being. Maybe that sounds ridiculous, but it's a feeling shared by many adoptees. We weren't born, we were adopted! Well, virtually ALL of the entries about my birthmother on that certificate were falsified by Catholic Charities! Her married name was shown where it required her maiden name, her marital status was false, the number of previous births was wrong, and the address given as her place of usual residence was the address of the ORPHANAGE! The father's name is "Legally Omitted." That was legal lingo for "Bastard."

Learning about my genetic physical and mental health was only one of the reasons I needed to search for my birth families. It was less a reason for searching and more of an excuse to give to non-adoptees for why I wanted to search. At least non-adoptees might understand the need to know your medical history as a reason to search.

And the discoveries you make about health issues, both mental and physical, are not always what you hope to hear. My biological mother's family is rampant with diabetes and alcoholism, two afflictions I am fortunate enough not to suffer. And I discovered that mental traits may very well be genetic. Many of my biological relatives are reclusive to an extreme. And, that is one of my traits, I do admit.

I would do all the searching again, though. The greatest experience was seeing actual living people, and photographs of people, that I actually LOOK LIKE!!!

2015 UPDATE:

By the miracle of DNA studies, I found a genetic link to my biological father (on 23andMe.com). I was linked to a man who is my predicted second cousin. This second cousin gave me enough biographical information to enable me to determine the man who was VERY probably my biological father! Without going into all the details, I am about 99% sure that this man is my father! I've explained all the reasoning to my wife (an extremely brilliant woman) who agrees that he is in all likelihood my father. Unfortunately, he died in 1977 and left no other children. Also, I'm not sure how I can verify with 100% certainty that he is my father. The second cousin has clammed up. If I had just a little bit more information from him, I could be absolutely certain.

My father died at age 58 of a heart attack. He had two brothers who also died in their 50's. My grandfather died in his 70's of heart disease. It seems heart disease may be an inherited malady. I've already outlived my father and uncles. It sure would be helpful to know for sure, wouldn't it?

My quest for my heritage has been rekindled! Any suggestions are welcome!

PLEASE NOTE: In the spirit of being helpful, I had been posting obituaries to the memorial I created, and people often suggest I add an obituary to a memorial. But, I discovered a response by Find A Grave in their "Help With Find a Grave" section that obituaries may NOT be copied from websites or newspapers and posted to memorial unless you get written permission from the source to do so. I admit the wording to that response is a bit ambiguous, so I emailed Find A Grave to ask them if they can rewrite the response so it is more clear (they're considering it), and also to verify that I was interpreting the response correctly. Find A Grave replied that we may NOT copy and paste an obituary into a memorial unless we have WRITTEN permission from the souce. The written permission need not be posted but should be kept in case a problem ever arises. If you DO get written permission, then the rules in the FAQ response should be followed. So, this is why I will not post obituaries to memorials unless you have written permission from the source.
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Messages left for James Bellert (406)[Leave Message]
Michael Stanley Klimczak
RE: Is it just me?
Wow, that's the most outrageous story yet! I agree, if you want privacy, then people need to cremate their loved ones or have them interred at a private cemetery - how ridiculous of her. The sad part is that you were simply trying to help, like the rest of us. I hope that never happens to me. I always try and remember that there are so many rude, uneducated and idiotic people in this world.
Added by Michael Stanley Klimczak on May 22, 2016 6:09 PM
Michael Stanley Klimczak
Is it just me?
Hi James,

Have you run into rude members here on Find-A-Grave? I seem to attract so many dreadful people. How can they be so mean, and for no reason?

Mike
Added by Michael Stanley Klimczak on May 22, 2016 5:50 PM
CJ Jackson
RE: Memorial # 130800484
Thanks for telling me about this Cemetery. I did not expect to find any additional Family members if buried there because I know that many years ago I will never find them. And THANKS for the transfers. My Beeson Cousins will be interested in seeing the 'work' that you have done for Us and findagrave. C.J.
Added by CJ Jackson on May 18, 2016 11:59 AM
CJ Jackson
Memorial # 130800484
James, you created a Memorial for my 3rd great Grandparents. So I thought you were my Cousin...until I read your biography on findagrave.com. William Jackson's wife's name is Lucy Jackson. I would like you to give their management to me. I am very happy that you found their grave marker. Their baby, Henry David Jackson died in 1844. If you live close to the Cemetery, could you see if the database says the baby is buried at this same Cemetery? I am a photo volunteer at 16 Cemeteries in San Diego,CA (C.J. Jackson...volunteer #47426410)
Added by CJ Jackson on May 18, 2016 12:48 AM
Howard Mueller
Re: 119884121
Concerning George C. Mueller. Thanks for adding my father to find a grave. Updated his birth and death information and added a photo today. I live in the state of Georgia. Visited his grave site last week and took some photos as well.

Again thanks,

Howard C. Mueller
Added by Howard Mueller on May 12, 2016 1:41 PM
Gerald "Jerry" Hobson
Grabbe, Union Cemetery
Some "tangling" has occurred. Clarence Grabbe (135256892) and Florence Colby Grabbe (87355814) are husband and wife. Their two sons are Donald Grabbe (135256891) and Harold Grabbe (113593417). Anything you can do to help untangle the errors will be appreciated.
Added by Gerald "Jerry" Hobson on May 11, 2016 9:54 AM
Michael Stanley Klimczak
RE: HI
Oh, is that right? Sometimes people ask me why I visit cemeteries when I'm an atheist. I don't think I have to explain that to you, haha. You have a nice weekend as well.
Added by Michael Stanley Klimczak on May 06, 2016 8:38 AM
Michael Stanley Klimczak
RE: HI
Hi James, nice to hear from you! Yes, all of my grandparents and great-grandparents (and then some) are all buried at Resurrection. I've been doing well, thanks for asking. How have you and your wife been doing? I'm just 'graving' away, adding memorials and taking pictures. I've been taking advantage of this gorgeous weather that we've been having on/off over the past couple of weeks; I hope it sticks this time (fingers crossed). Yes, I've heard about 'Resurrection Mary' - maybe one day I'll see her, although I don't believe in ghosts or anything like that. A lot of people are surprised when I tell them I'm an atheist, but seeing a spirit would definitely change my mind, haha! Thanks for the message. One of these days we may run into each other. Until then, take care.

Mike
Added by Michael Stanley Klimczak on May 05, 2016 6:48 PM
akbonham
RE: Memorial #115217430
In any event, I am hoping you will remove this memorial as it is not yet needed! Thank You
Added by akbonham on Apr 29, 2016 3:12 PM
akbonham
RE: Memorial #115217430
Thank you so much! I just e-mailed my uncle the news of his passing! I will let him know that you will try to fix.
Added by akbonham on Apr 29, 2016 3:10 PM
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