Double Genealogy: the Adoption Witness


THE BOOK: A true story of the journey to establish the identity of Grandfather’s mother(s), both adoptive and birth, and then to know what lay behind the events. His adoption came as a surprise, so too, did that of his biologically unrelated, same-aged cousin. Here, five years later, are their stories. Here, also, the account of the more than eight families, needed to unwind the birth mysteries. Period: late 18th to early 20th century, Scotland, with US tangents. About the author is disclosed on the BACK COVER Here is an EXCERPT from the book.

THE BLOG(S): The blog – see menu  at top of page – has three themes. One continues research on the book’s characters. It will answer reader questions concerning the conduct of the research effort and on conclusions that were reached. One need not have read the book, to understand new stories in continuing research. New stories give a glimpse of challenges that surrounded the book.  The second is a discussion on “writing genealogy” from the amateur perspective, from concept, to published product. The third holds “memories” from the author’s childhood. The latter has been expanded to include the tab “Before Memories” to capture stories of other ancestors, that the author’s generation never met.

THE BOOK IN OTHER WORDS: Grandfather was adopted it seems; a double genealogy!  Dearly departed collude in his dual reveal, through crumbs  laid long ago, in their records of life. Casting lifelines, they throw a wrench; an unrelated, same aged, adopted cousin. “Who done it”, “missing person” searches and serendipitous finds, in a manual, to share the road to discovery and conclusions reached.

You are most welcome to follow the blog!

BOOK ORDER:  tabs are to the right. ISBN: 978-1-63492-828-1


31 thoughts on “Double Genealogy: the Adoption Witness

  1. Good Readers, Genealogists, and Book Buyers:

    I want to submit to you all this very positive review of the above book by Marilee Wein–“Double Genealogy: The Adoption Witness, On a Grandfather’s Equation: Biological and Adoptive,” just published in the last few months. It was a surprise and delight to discover that the author had in fact written such a volume, and it was even more enjoyable to go through its pages. There is certainly a fair amount of discovery that went into the research and writing of it, and certainly for all those it will have an impact upon in her family. No doubt, family history is both complex and troublesome, especially as the array of characters among the living want to share or shield the past. Yet, in this volume, I believe that the author has done right in her deep dive into the sources, the reconstruction of stories and episodes, and bringing to light some undiscovered truths–for those who still believe that there are some truths and principles in our world to adhere to.

    From coal mines and deep forests, to the great unspoiled Canadian expanse of the early 20th century, the ledgers of names run long–Maggie, Mary, James, John, Hugh, Ann, Catharine, Ole, Janet, and more. The story of the untold, hidden story, from where the author’s grandfather originated is both a story that many of us may find familiar (“where did so-and-so come from?” “why didn’t grandma ever talk about where her mother was born?”), but also rather surprising, because the search for answers, especially answers of origin and identity often yield those unexpected returns. Perhaps the most pleasant joy in reading this volume was that I felt as if I were dwelling among a true lot of Scots, walking on their streets, and hearing their daily chatter. Even as the story unfolds from Ann Dixon’s birth (ca. 1791), the reader was comfortably settled into mid-late 19th century avenues of narration. A density of data and information–which was both necessary and useful–had me reading some passages twice or thrice, but the formula is accessible and enjoyable. In fact, the tone and style is vibrantly unique, perhaps reflecting the classical voice of one of Canada’s greatest writers, Robertson Davies (1913-1995). Though, the overall feel of the story and sound of the book balances between Charles Dickens (1812-1870) and Agatha Christy (1890-1976), as a brand of Oliver Twist-Whodunnit, and Susanna Clarke’s book “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell,” which has the Dickensian flare, but with more footnotes and purposeful and annotated digressions than days of summer. I would also note a cheerful similarity of something unexpected–a hint of style echoed in our former President Bush’s book “Decision Points,” where our author of “Double Genealogy” freely uses delightful insertions like “SIGH!–just wait,” “SUCCESS,” and “BINGO!”–an evocation of Bush’s folksy and down-to-earth manner. I approve!

    In all, I highly recommend the book, and plan to re-read it for more of its full details. It will surely be a volume that people will discuss in years to come.

    Anthony Elia
    Director, Bridwell Library
    Southern Methodist University

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Cindy! Your Great Henry has mention. His father, John Cairns is profiled, and his wife, Janet, b. 1840 is prominent in the story line. So is Janet’s father, James, and her sister, Isabella. Then, of course, comes my Great Janet. Life was complicated, in a complicated story.


  2. Sounds like an interesting story. I started a genealogy project a few years ago and found each discovery fascinating and energizing. However, unravelling the past is not a task for anyone in a hurry for answers.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thank you for visiting and commenting on my Blogspot blog. You have a very nice blog. One of my family members has been working on our family genealogy for many years. I love learning about our ancestors. Just Mags

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope your book is doing well, Marilee. I can only imagine the effort you put into it. But you’ve created a lasting legacy for your family, and set many others on the genealogy path.


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