Monthly Archives: October, 2012

David Shaver

David Shaver was my adopted father’s grandfather.  David was born on October 12, 1846 and died on May 30, 1936.
I found this yellowed obituary in a family album.  It was published in the Lincoln County News, Lincoln, Kansas.

More on the Shaver Family

Elizabeth Shaver was born on May 23, 1822 in Hamilton, Ohio. Her maiden name was Shaver and she married Silas Shaver. Silas was born on September 30, 1810 in Schoharie, NY and died on August 28, 1869 in Alpine, Fayette, Indiana.

Silas and Elizabeth Shaver had twelve children.

Above is a photo of Elizabeth Shaver and five of her seven sons. I don’t know what order they are in this photo, but the five are Jacob (1844-1896), Curtis (1851-1930), William (1858-1936), Silas (1856-1938) and David (1846-1936). The two sons who are missing from this photo are Fred Shaver (1867-1943) and John Henry (1838-1870).

Above is a photo of Elizabeth Shaver and her five daughters. Again, I am not sure of their order. The five daughters are Clara (1865-1935), Viola (1854-1938), Margaret (1841-1919), Anna (1861-1939 and Mary Frances (1849-1929).

Elizabeth Shaver died on April 24, 1905 in Lincoln, Kansas.

from the Lincoln Sentinel, April 27, 1905, the obituary of Elizabeth Shaver

Grandma Shaver on Monday morning, April 24, passed away to another world where there is no feeble old age, pain or death. It was on the day after Easter, when our minds were still filled with the glory of Christ’s resurrection. On that Easter day too her grandson Ray was buried. The funeral services were held at the Methodist Church of Lincoln and were conducted by her old pastor Rev Bradbury. Her life here showed what an old person can do to make others happy and relieve them in distress. The whole secret of her life was love, love to God, and love for everybody. She will live in the hearts and lives of her children, and the children’s children, to many generations. It was a great privilege to her children to care for the one who had so often flew to their own call in distress. She was born in Hamilton, Ohio, in 1821, and had lived in Fayette and Rush counties in Indiana, and came to Kansas in January 1875. Her husband Silas Shaver died in 1868. The names of her children now living are: Maggie Allison, David Shaver, Mary Northern, Curtis Shaver, Viola Ingham, Silas Shaver, Anna Cline and Clara Doolittle. She was a true Christian and served her Master as a live working member of the United Brethren, M.E. and Presbyterian churches. Many of her dear ones, relatives and friends came to the funeral on Tuesday, quite a stormy day. The burial was in the Lincoln Cemetery.

Finally, Here is a Post on my Adopted Family’s Ancestry

My adopted ancestors came to Kansas in covered wagons & first lived in sod houses. David Shaver (1846-1936) was one of twelve children born to Silas and Elizabeth Shaver. He was born and grew up in Laurel, Indiana. At the age of 17, David enlisted in the Union army in Company M and A of the Sixth Indiana Cavalry and served until the end of the war.

In September 1871, he came to Kansas and took a homestead about eight miles southeast of Lincoln, Kansas. My grandmother, Reva Shaver Page, was one of David’s daughters. Reva was the mother of my adopted father, Raymond F. Page. Reva lived in Kansas from 1891-1983.

Reva’s brothers Clem, Ray and Carl all went together to fight in the Spanish-American War.

The following is what Grandma told me — from left is Clem (Clement Montfort Shaver, 1867-1903), Ray (Raymond Steven Shaver, 1871-1905) and Carl (Carl Waltz Shaver, 1874-1954). The man standing on the far right was a friend and I don’t know his name.

The Shaver Brothers, photo taken before they went to the Spanish-American War

Our Country Divided, Cont’d

On the Britt side, Madison D. fought for the Confederate Army.

Madison D Britt (1836 – 1912)
is your 2nd great grandfather
John Franklin Britt (1862 – 1929)
Son of Madison D
John Mansel Britt (1896 – 1970)
Son of John Franklin
Grace Adele Britt (1928 – 1975)
Daughter of John Mansel
Janet K. Page (aka Ellen Britt)
You are the daughter of Grace Adele

Madison D. Britt was born April 17, 1836 in Columbus, Muscogee, Georgia. He married Frances A. Vessels. Frances (Fannie) was born about 1835 in Midway, Bullock County, Alabama. I haven’t found how long he fought, but according to the attached record, he enlisted in August of 1862.

Madison D. Britt

Britt Home, Eufaula, Alabama

Our Country Divided — The Civil War (Not the 2012 Presidential Election)

On the Britt side of my family, I had the Confederates. On the Dickinson side, I had the Union Soldiers.

John W. Dickinson (1843 – 1916)
is your 2nd great grandfather
Mary Emma Dickinson (1877 – 1919)
Daughter of John W.
Florence Adele Lamb (1903 – 1984)
Daughter of Mary Emma
Grace Adele Britt (1928 – 1975)
Daughter of Florence Adele
Janet K. Page (aka Ellen Britt)
You are the daughter of Grace Adele

John W. Dickinson was born at Oyster Bay, NY in 1843. John W. married Emma Woodruff, who was born in Elizabeth, Union County, New Jersey in about 1847. He enlisted in the war originally on May 6, 1861 and then reenlisted on August 22, 1862. From September 28 of 1864 until June 19, 1865 (when he mustered out) he was in the hospital. Part of the time he was in Ward U.S.A. General Hospital, Newark, NJ. The records don’t say if he was injured or sick — many of the men caught communicable diseases like typhoid, Camp Fever, dysentery or tuberculosis.




Do You Remember Dottye?

I’ve been a lot more researching than just looking for records online.  I’ve also sent my DNA to be analyzed at and  Both of these sites will match your particular DNA with others & predict how closely you are related.
Familytreedna calls their test “Family Finder” and 23andme calls their test “Relative Finder”.

They both use autosomal DNA (inherited from both the mother and father, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, etc.) to provide you a breakdown of your ethnic percentages and connect you with relatives descended from any of your ancestral lines within approximately the last 5 generations.

And, if you wish to share your DNA ancestry with people who haven’t tested with either of these companies, you can go to and upload your autosomal DNA data in order to compare it with a broader audience.

All of that said — I got a message one day from Wendy saying something to the effect, “Hi, we are related as Distant Cousins.”  At that time I didn’t know as much as I do know about my biological family, so I replied that I was adopted at birth and didn’t have a lot to share.
Wendy replied that she was adopted also — and expressed how ironic it was that two adopted people with no knowledge of family background would match!  Wendy has a powerful blog — it is about her search for her biological background, adoption and all that she has done to try to uncover her past.  The text copied below is from Wendy’s blog

Dottye Robertson Moore

I began looking for my birth mother on the day that I turned 18 in Columbus Ohio. When I entered the court I had thought that I would leave with my adoption records in hand. After the clerk laughed at my request she informed me that Ohio is a closed records state, and that I would be leaving with no such file.

It was 14 and a half years later, with the help of Reunite of Ohio Inc. that I was given my first mothers name.

Dottye Moore

The following day I found out that she had died in a car accident in 1973, and I was also given the name of my sister.

The Mayflower Society

“Life is tough pilgrim, it is even tougher if you’re stupid”
― John Wayne
I just received the forms that I need in order to join the Mayflower Society.  From gutter snipe to Mayflower Society in one fell swoop.  Oh joy.  Except they want a lot of documents and a lot of copies.  Copy Max here I come.  Here is my lineage to John Howland, one of the passengers aboard the Mayflower.  I am sure their cruise wasn’t much fun &  didn’t sport 24 hour buffets or slot machines or Motivational Speakers like Richard Simmons.  But they were coming to a new land and the passengers were a varied lot — please see below

During its trans-Atlantic voyage of September 6 – November 9, 1620, the majority of them becoming the settlers of Plymouth Colony  in what is now Massachusetts.  Of the passengers, 37 were members of the separatist Leiden congregation seeking freedom of worship in the New World. The Mayflower launched with 102 passengers, as well as at least two dogs, and a crew of 25-30 headed by Captain Christopher Jones. One baby was born during the trip and named Oceanus Hopkins. Another, Peregrine (meaning “wanderer”) White, was born on the Mayflower in America on November 20, before the settlement at Plymouth. About half of these emigrants died in the first winter.  Many Americans can trace their ancestry back to one or more of these individuals who, ‘Saints’ and ‘Strangers’ together, would become known as the Pilgrims.
After hearing the news that we are Mayflower material, my daughter suggested that we visit a Native American Casino this Thanksgiving and play Black Jack.  In doing this, we will probably return whatever share we stole from the Native Americans in the first place.  Perhaps a little bit more.
My Lineage:
John Howland (1600 – 1673)
is your 9th great grandfather
Elizabeth Howland (1629-1683)
Daughter of John
Joseph Dickinson (1654-17210)
Son of Elizabeth
Zebulon Dickinson (1681-1751)
Son of Joseph
Townsend Dickinson (1721-1793)
Son of Zebulon
David Dickinson (1771-1825)
Son of Townsend
John H. Dickinson (1816-1853) — he’s the Coroner of Williamsburg (Brooklyn) NY, see a previous post
Son of David
John W. Dickinson (1843-1916)
Son of John H.
Mary Emma Dickinson (1877-1919)
Daughter of John W.
Florence Adele Lamb (1903-1984)
Daughter of Mary Emma
Grace Adele Britt (1928-1975)
Daughter of Florence Adele
Janet K. Page (aka Ellen Britt at birth)
daughter of Grace Adele Britt
I have all of the documents for proof, I just need to sit down & fill out the forms.

More about the “System” at the Family Court in Jackson County, Missouri

Since the law allowing adoptees to receive identifying information was passed in 2011, there has been a huge amount of interest and it has created a backlog of adoptee’s cases waiting for review. There is a very small staff available for this review and they feel the need to cross all t’s and dot the i’s. Individuals requesting information have a several month waiting period before their file reaches the top of the pile. The request for information is not the top priority of the Family Court. The Family Court attorney has so many other activities to pursue like child welfare, support and family disputes that reviewing the adoptees’ requests is at the bottom of their list of priorities.

Because they are such sticklers for detail, they even feel the need to “review” requests when the birth parent would be over 100 years of age. I guess the parent might still be alive, but it is doubtful. I can only imagine the Court interviewing the birth parent in their respective nursing home. The poor birth parent probably wouldn’t remember what they had for breakfast, that they once had children or that they even had sex for that matter.

Perhaps it would benefit the Court to temporarily hire someone to clean up the backlog and free the Court Attorney to work on more pressing matters. But again, I am not a stickler for detail or even for keeping secrets that are no longer important to most people. My adoptive parents told me from day one that I was adopted. We had way too many cousins in the family who would have known the truth and we all know how children love to keep family secrets — not.

I know passing legislation is difficult. And then once it has been passed, even more difficult to enforce when there isn’t enough staff in place. My answer to the problem is to simply make the records available once the adoptee is of a certain age. Or if the birth parents are dead. Wait, isn’t that what they just passed? So why the wait and why all of the review? Anyone with a computer can access the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) which contains over 90,000,000 records.

Just Found Out That Ms. Schottel is not the Problem

ugh, I hate to have to admit failure, but poor Ms. Schottel is only the poor creature that stops the buck that falls on the Jackson County Family Court when angry adult adoptees (like me) strike. I wish to publicly apologize to Ms. Schottel. Especially if I exasperated your Chron’s Disease, Colitis or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Unless you are an adoptee who has been searching for years and years, it is hard to imagine the incredible buildup of anger that occurs. When you know that there is a “forbidden” sealed file hidden somewhere with all of the secrets of your being & you can’t see it — a storm starts forming in your brain. I personally have known a couple of “adoptees” whose lives didn’t end well because of this.

Again, Ms. Schottel, I am sorry. I know I couldn’t do your job for ten minutes. I would tell everyone to meet me outside after work and I’d spill the beans about the entire contents of their sealed records. The entire culture has shifted & to continue to keep these secrets would be more than I could bear.

I first received a copy of my “void” birth certificate from an anonymous search angel in the 1970’s. It arrived in a plain envelope after I had requested help from one adoption help site or another. Because this was before the internet, all of this was done in “writing”. How antiquated.

I continued searching, but because the internet hadn’t been formed — it was tough going. There are so many kind individuals working within the system willing to risk their jobs to send you info.

I next asked for help about finding my father’s identity and I got a phone call from another “search angel” telling me his name — William L. Engle. Oh joy, now I know the identity of both of my parents. Only now I have to fit the pieces together.

I have had many people tell me over the years that I should feel lucky that my mother chose life. After finding out more about my mother & father, I feel lucky that they both ordered that additional “Manhattan” or “Whiskey Sour” that lowered their inhibitions enough to let them “go to town” and create me. I wish to thank “Jim Beam” or “Johnny Walker” for giving me life and the fact that abortion wasn’t legal.

John H. Dickinson, My 3rd Great Maternal Grandfather

John H. Dickinson was the Coroner of the City of Williamsburg, NY. It is such a coincidence that my daughter and her family live in Williamsburg, which is now part of Brooklyn, NY. We’ve gone a full cycle back to our genealogical roots. Unfortunately for John H., he died in his 40th year of age.

John H. Dickinson married Mary Weeks. They had seven children and all died in infancy or unmarried except two, Anne, Born 1839 who married H.M. Funston, and John W. Dickinson who married Emma Woodruff and had four children. I am here because of John W. Dickinson — but more about him later.

John H. Dickinson (1816 – 1853)
is your 3rd great grandfather

John W. Dickinson (1843 – 1916)
Son of John H.

Mary Emma Dickinson (1877 – 1919)
Daughter of John W.

Florence Adele Lamb (1903 – 1984)
Daughter of Mary Emma

Grace Adele Britt (1928 – 1975)
Daughter of Florence Adele

Janet K. Page (aka Ellen Britt)
You are the daughter of Grace Adele

Below is John H. Dickinson’s Obituary. They took his body back to Oyster Bay, NY on some kind of wagon with horses. I imagine he wasn’t in the best shape upon arrival.

John H. Dickinson graduated from Columbia School of Medicine. I emailed Columbia University and received the following documents — they are difficult to see, but say that John Dickinson has been a student of medicine for three years and is of good moral character and is over twenty one years. (no Doogie Howser, my John H. Dickinson)

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