... or something like that is the phrase in which people debate whether we are who we are because of what we inherit in our blood or due to how we are raised. I think most people either lean towards nurture or favor it exclusively. My self I don't know and can't decide which but researching my natural line vs the adopted one certainly gives nature more strength than ever.
I need to back up a little to explain that. Back around 1972 or 1973, my grandfather sent me (and both of my sisters) a copy of his family tree that his father had worked on, mostly in the earlier years of the 20th century. There were some gaps and unfinished sections and I innocently started trying to fill it all in and thus began a decades long obsession with genealogy some of which I blogged about for a while at genmusings.
The tree was the lines for Arthur S. Adams, possibly begun when he was born in 1896. The photo above was taken about 1950 in Durham New Hampshire. Left to right. Arthur S Adams, my father, Dorothy Anderson Adams, my great-uncle George Stanton Adams, Grace Newhall Adams and Charles Stanton Adams (Arthur's parents) in the back row and the three little girls are my sister Carol on the left, myself in the middle, and my sister Dory on the right.
There were errors I ended up correcting in a little of the tree I'd been sent and much learned about both sides of the family but through it all I wondered ... my father was adopted by Arthur and Dorothy, something we had always known ... actually pretty much grown up with. What might I find there? Off and on over the years I tried breaking through the adoption wall but my father died in 1974 and without him to give permission possibilities to find out more about his adoption were closed.
Wilma had been married once and had a daughter, Lee from that marriage and later, after my father's birth, had another daughter, Christie. Both of these daughters had children and Wilma's mother Edith although she divorced Edward Haggerty in 1903 after only two years of marriage, married again in 1913 to Claude's much older brother Samuel. Samuel's granddaughter has written a book about him and his family with Edith: Sam's Own Words.
My entire life I felt as though I didn't quite fit. This didn't change as I learned about the Adams/Anderson and the Kellogg/Roth lines. My sisters both seemed to fit, I felt out on my own by myself. How much was just imagination and such from a young girl and how much reality I have no idea, nothing was overt and I think it was unintentional. But then I researched my father's natural family and it was like I came home!
There are multiple parallels in their lives and in mine for which there is neither the space here nor the possibility of upsetting some current family members but these things also confirm the relationships. There is some more about it in a much earlier blog, Family Matters, which tells some of the search and the results when I met some cousins on these lines with whom I immediately felt like I belonged, a feeling missing from much of my life.
They do say that the oldest child takes after the father's side, the second child after the mother's side and the third child after both. Whether this is generally true or not I have no clue but I have to admit that it seems quite correct with myself and my sisters!