I grew up in South Windsor and spent many childhood weekends at my Dad’s in Detroit. My mom raised 4 kids on her own without the support of her two ex-husbands. Both were deadbeat dads. My father was originally from Detroit – or Windsor, I am a bit cloudy on that. In my earlier years, up until middle elementary school, our visits were regular. Visits dropped off considerably as I grew older and they eventually became non-existent. I remember at a very young age, waiting on our front porch for him to arrive. I waited hours. Sometimes he would show up late, sometimes not at all. The last time I saw my Dad, I think I was 21 or 22 years old. I asked him to fund my education but he was not interested. He died when I was about 22 years old. I didn’t know much about his side of the family. I knew he had three kids from a previous marriage. I had one sister and two brothers living with their families in California. I met, for the first time, two of his sons on the day of his funeral. I visited a few times. I kept in touch with phone calls and social media. The day after his funeral, I learned he had a wife before that, too. Short marriage. Two to four months. A bit of a funny story in learning that detail and perhaps that will be a short story later.
I have always had questions regarding my father’s side of the family. I managed to get a little tidbit of information here and there. I even learned that my father denied that he was my father in court to get out of child support.
No such thing as paternity tests back then. Denial was all he had to do to get out of child support. My mom should have shown the Judge this photo. That would have turned the case around.
Social media has made the world a smaller place. I received a friend request from a cousin on my Dad’s side of the family on social media. I was finally able to get more questions answered. He introduced me to another cousin. Finally, I was able to gain further insights into my lineage. I took the pieces I was given by my cousins and was able to piece together an incredible lineage. I started on Ancestry.ca. It was helpful. It matched my family tree to that of others and I was able to follow a threat of lineage on my Dad’s side. One interesting fact was the fact that our Grandfather changed the family last name. My Great Grandfather was a very successful and prominent farmer in the Puce/Belle River of Essex County. He was a man of colour. It is unknown if he was a black man or bi-racial but I can dig where this is going.
In my genealogical search, I uncovered a book called “The Road That Led to Somewhere” written by Dr. Bryan Walls. A retired Windsor Dentist. Stay tuned for what was uncovered.