Becoming LaChaumette, A Journal. 9-16-17

So the last month has been surreal, to say the least, on the genealogical research front. Crazy, mind blowing, even anti-climatic in some ways. 

I mean after all of these years, I did it, really did it. Foubnd the man with no name, James Earl Shumate, My paternal Grandfather. A hard Drinkin, Hard workin,Womanizing, travelin’ man. He died in 1983, in Washington State.

I had a grandfather, in the Pacific Northwest, right up until high school! Aunts and Uncles too, it turns out

In addition to the half brother and half sister of Dad’s thru his mother, the ones he was raised with/by, turns out he has two more half sisters, and 2 more half brothers, though one brother is already deceased. I have spoken to one of these Aunts, Rebecca Shumate Molles, spoke to her even before we had confirmed our DNA findings, when we just had the preliminary and secondary evidence.

Just like the numerous Shumate cousins I worked with over the internet, she felt like I was on the right track, had the right guy, as soon as I told her about it. Just made sense, and she too couldn’t believe the comparisons in pictures. I have spoken to a couple, well, communicated thru fb with, a couple of her daughters, and one of her sons, my first cousins. They are all in Southern California.

One of my Dad’s newly found half brothers, Lavoid Shumate, died in the late 70’s, early 80’s. He would have been my Dad’s older, by a couple years, brother. Irony is, he lived in Salem Oregon! He was 6o miles up the freeway, for most of my childhood!

The other brother, 10 years my Dad’s junior, a Joe Arthur Shumate, apparently lived just outside of Portland, Oregon, . Haven’t been able to get in touch with him yet. I reached out to his daughter, my cousin, on fb, but havent gotten a reply from her either.  Again, I lived in Portland for more than a decade…. and never knew I had an Uncle and cousins right down the road, 15 minute drive East. Crazy!

Then there is Janice, a half sister, a couple years younger than Dad. She is a real mystery. Turns out her father, James Earl Shumate, never knew of her either, even though she is his daughter with his first wife. Apparently, she was leaving, or had already left James Earl when she found out she was pregnant. She never told him, just left, had the baby, and gave the child to one of her maternal aunts. So sisters Janice and Rebecca were raised as cousins.

Their is also a living great Uncle, Troy Shumate, younger brother of James Earl Shumate, living in Oklahoma. He is 90 years old! He has been told about us, but we have yet to be in contact with him, or his family. Ironically, a DNA match I have have known of for a year or so turns out to be his grandson. The grandson had never(still hasn’t) replied to my questions about his dna   testing. Turns out, their seems to have been an acrimonious divorce there, might have have given him pause about responding.

So this is not the end of the mystery, it is yet another beginning. But at least now, the search is for people with names.


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