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James Bellert (#48157908)
 member for 3 years, 9 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 (418)[Leave Message]
Barbara Samans
RE: Sperling
Hi James you had left me the below message

James Bellert

[Send Reply] Sperling
Do you have links to the memorials for George and Elizabeth?
Added by James Bellert on Jun 16, 2016 9:06 AM

Just responding..
Added by Barbara Samans on Jun 25, 2016 8:41 AM
Barbara Samans
RE: Sperling
Geo and Eliz Zimmer? No I do not. R there some?

Barb :)
Added by Barbara Samans on Jun 24, 2016 6:01 PM
Keith McDonald
RE: Jeanette J. MacDonald
Jim,
just called the office, they confirmed she is buried there. i added a note to her memorial stating this....
Added by Keith McDonald on Jun 16, 2016 8:30 AM
Keith McDonald
RE: Jeanette J. MacDonald
i am not sure if she is buried there either. was living in that area so it makes sense... have not found anything else for her. i was going to try and contact the cemetery, if not there, change the record to a cenotaph....
Added by Keith McDonald on Jun 16, 2016 8:23 AM
Kay King
RE: McCollum Corrections
Oops! My mistake - I was thinking in terms of adding the children to the parents, not vice versa, or I would have realized you couldn't do it. I did purposely not give you the wives of the other children for that reason.

Thanks for making the corrections, so researchers on this line will get a more accurate picture. Why can't gravestones come with markers that say "wife of him" or "husband of her", with an arrow pointing to the right place, rather than just planting them side by side! Would save so much trouble figuring out relationships in these family plots!

Thanks again.

- Kay
Added by Kay King on Jun 12, 2016 8:36 PM
Michael Stanley Klimczak
RE: Is it just me?
Hi Jim,

Nice to hear from you again, albeit not under these circumstances. Funny you should mention obits because I recently had someone ask me to post obits to memorials. Despite it being against the rules, I simply post them to avoid confrontation. If Find a Grave, or someone else, finds it offensive then they can contact the admins. I can't please everyone.

Mike
Added by Michael Stanley Klimczak on Jun 12, 2016 8:59 AM
Sarah Nava
Fred Ravnsbeck # 117508668
Hello James,

Could you please transfer Fred Ravnsbeck grave information to me please. He is my grandmothers brother. Here is my Find A Grave #49038002

Thanks

Sarah
Added by Sarah Nava on Jun 11, 2016 8:59 PM
J.B. Mogren
Transfer request
Would you be willing to transfer Seymour Miller (130840728) and his wife Mathilda Miller (130840727) to me? They are my ancestors. I just added their picture and send you edits on them. Thanks JB
Added by J.B. Mogren on Jun 10, 2016 6:45 AM
Sandy
Alma Green
Thanks for the transfer.

Sandy Shackelford
Added by Sandy on Jun 09, 2016 9:16 PM
Sandy
Alma Green
James,
In regard to Alma Green Union Cem., Crystal
Lake, she was my aunt and godmother. I always thought I had entered her name, but obviously
I didn't. I did enter her husband. Would you consider transferring her to me? It would be
deeply appreciated.
Sandy Shackelford
Added by Sandy on Jun 09, 2016 7:54 PM
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