As I said, I went from being an only child to this huge family…actually I have the distinction of being the oldest child, the youngest child, the only child and the middle child depending on how you look at it.
Ok, so you know a little bit about my background now. I think I should clarify the cast of characters in this little drama.
My adoptive parent’s names were Johneva and Max. They adopted me and another little girl named Debby.
My birth mother’s name was Audrey. Her first husband was Dick, and her second husband was Gerry. Dick’s second wife was Adele, and his third was Nadine. They’ve all passed now, except for Dick.
Dick and Audrey had three children: Vicki, Rick, and Bobby.
Then there was me.
Dick and Audrey divorced the same year I was born. Dick then married married Adele and Audrey married Gerry.
Adele had a two year old daughter named Susie. Dick adopted her.
Gerry had been married before but had no issue.
(Still with me…are you lost yet…eyes glazing over???)
Audrey and Gerry had three daughters and a son. Loretta, Elizabeth, Gerianne, and Danny.
Adele and Dick divorced and he married Nadine. Nadine and Dick had two sons, Richard and Michael.
That’s the run down of my siblings. But to give some perspective. My mother was pregnant with her last child (Danny) at the same time that my sister Vicki was pregnant with her first son.
My mother’s oldest child, Vicki is 10 years older than me, and her youngest child (Danny) is 10 years younger than me. I’m smack in the middle. Michael, my youngest sibling is 14 years younger than me.
I tell you all this not to make it easier for you to assume my identity. But so you will understand why genealogy become so important to me. I needed some kind of map to just keep the family straight in my head. Family group sheets to the rescue. It took me weeks just to remember everybody’s names. I still have trouble remembering my grand nieces and nephews names. It doesn’t help that I have two brothers and a father with variations of the same name…Richard.
My oldest brother is Donald Richard, some of us call him Butch (childhood nickname) others call him Rick. Nadine’s son is Richard Anthony, and Dick is actually Frank Richard. So we have a Dick, a Rich and a Rick. One of my first comments to my family was, “Have you never heard of a baby name book?” I also have two nieces with the name Samantha. There are two Donalds (my brother and my uncle), two Michaels, and an uncle Dickey.
I named my son Joshua.