Finding My Paternal Family

I’ve probably shared already that Ancestry showed three possible first cousins. Two turned out to be sons of two of my birthmother’s four sisters, Bueton’s son Rich and Clara Sue’s son John. The third person listed had not been active on Ancestry in over two years. They were listed as DyerM50 and had a small family tree that was public, so I could view it. I learned that DyerM50 had a father, Vergil Ray Dyer, who died in 2004 in Jackson County, NC.

Jeanne is a librarian so she jumped right into searching mode and found a very detailed obituary for Vergil Ray Dyer, listing all his parents, siblings, children, grandchildren and great-grands. From the obit I learned the names of all of Virgil Ray Dyers six sons and one daughter, and the names of their spouses, if they were married, as well as the towns where they were living at the time.

One of the sons was Michael, which seemed like a good choice for DyerM50. He lived in Ohio, so my next step was, of course, Facebook, since we know now that it has become the preferred social media of the Baby Boomers!

And sure enough, there was a Michael Dyer in the right Ohio town with the right spouse’s name, so I checked out his Facebook page, saw he had relatives in the general Sylva area so I messaged him right away.

It took a while but eventually he replied, confirming that he was in fact DyerM50 on Ancestry. I told him my suspicions that his father’s older brother, Robert Adam Darnce Dyer, was my birth father and that Iva Dean Harrison was my birth mother.

Robert Adam Darnce Dyer with his first son, John.

Michael and I spoke on the phone and he was very friendly and helpful. He told me as much as he could about his uncle. He also confirmed for me that both his brother Robert and his sister Shelbia lived close to Sylva, NC and might be interested in meeting with me. Robert was the family genealogist and had lots of old family photos. Shelbia had family photos as well. I hoped that one of them might have a photo of uncle Darnce, my bio dad. So now I have seven first cousins, six men and one woman, on my father’s side. What a way to grow a family! Both Robert and Shelbia graciously agreed to meet with us once we arrived in Sylva.

5 thoughts on “Finding My Paternal Family

  1. Intriguing how all the connections were made: Ancestry, Jeanne, Obits, Facebook, friendly cousin! Sky

  2. Dear Kate: This is so astounding…..who knew so many in your family. I’m pleased and happy for you. Understatement. Love B

  3. I looked again this morning but on my computer not on my cell phone and was struck by Darnce’s photo again…the shape of his face like yours. Just stuck at your likeness to him.

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