Sunday, October 18, 2015

An Adopted Child: Angela's Genealogy Search

Angela Davis - Wigley
Adopted children do not have the luxury of knowing who they are based on their parents ethnicity, and genealogy. While they all have a story in regards to their adoptive families, they don't know their own story, their heritage!

Angela's story is that she doesn't know much about her heritage other than the small pieces of information shared by her adoptive parents and a half-sister Christy, who hired a private investigator to learn more about their mother and who found Angela. With the information Christy shared with Angela, she knows somewhere she has a half-brother. She has in her possession a picture of her birth parents when she was around the age of 3 or 4 years old, before she was placed for adoption. Angela knows the names and place of birth of her parents. Her own birth certificate does not bare their names. Like so many adoptees, the names of her adoptive parents have replaced them.

Angela is our daughter-in-law. She married our first born son, Doug Wigley Jr. They have a beautiful and unique relationship in that they really love each other. My husband and I have watched how attentive they are to each other's needs. I myself love my family and cannot fathom the idea of not knowing or being able to know "One's Own Story". While my husband and I have been working on our genealogy, it has been only the last year or so that we jumped into the world of DNA Genealogy with the purposes of "breaking down walls" and "proving family lines". The only way Angela was going to be able to build her tree was through DNA. We started purchasing DNA tests, first through Ancestry and then I transferred the DNA Data to Family Tree DNA. From these two companies she learned of her vast amounts of ethnicity based on her parents DNA she had inherited.

While we all waited for her DNA test with Ancestry to process, I began a tree for her and plugged in the information that we knew. Angela had two pictures, one each of herself with each parent. Doug Jr. had to render them so they could be used on her profile because they had been damaged over time. Once I got them sent to me, I uploaded them to Angela's tree. Then I started researching her parents.

Angela Davis with her biological father, Nick Munoz
Angela's biological father is Nick Munoz born in Sacramento, California. She already knew that his ancestors came from Mexico but she knows nothing else about him. Angela's biological mother is Pamela Reed born in Youngstown, Mahoning, Ohio on February 28, 1950.

Angela Davis with her biological mother, Pamela Stanton Reeds.
Her maiden name is REEDS.
In my research I found an obituary for Pamela on "Find A Grave" which confirmed the information Angela had for Pam's birth. I needed to verify if this Pamela was the same Pamela who also had a daughter named Christy. The information listed the Warehouse Christian Ministries in Reno, Nevada where Pamela was last residing so I "Googled" them, found their number and gave them a call. I spoke with a man but can't remember his name. He knew Pam and told me what he knew about her. I gave him the information I knew about Angela and Christy. We discussed what he knew of Pam's life and then said goodbye. Later the same day, I got a call from the Ministry and the same gentleman verified Christy as her daughter when he looked through the file they had kept on Pam.

So, we found Pamela from the "Find A Grave" information I had found and confirmed she was Angela's Pam. While it was exciting to know we had learned some new information about Pam, I was also saddened by the fact that Pam had passed away, never knowing her beautiful daughter. Angela was just 11 years old when Pam passed. She was 37 years old when Angela was born. I can't imagine having to give my child up to strangers but I understand why she had too. It is only because a few people involved cared enough to pass on to Angela something of her parents that she has this much knowledge about them so far.

"Find A Grave" Obituary on Pamela Stanton Reed

The "Find A Grave" information also listed siblings for Pamela. I hunted down the siblings and mailed them information about Pam and Angela asking for help in learning more about Pam and possibly who her parents are. The daughter-in-law of Rhonda Jackson, Jen contacted me. I learned from Jen that the siblings were not biologically related to Pamela and that she was also a foster child raised by Helen Lape, the mother of Naomi Morrow. Both foster-sisters are in their 80's now and don't remember much. At the time, Helen Lape also lived in Youngstown, Ohio. I also found an obituary on line for Eleanor M. Patoray, which lists Betty Kansa and Naomi Morrow as her siblings. Both are also listed in Pamela's Obituary.

As the DNA Matches on Ancestry and Family Tree DNA come in, I also uploaded her DNA data to Her kit number is A918809. This October 2015 we ordered a 23andMe DNA kit so Angela can learn her maternal Haplogroup and find more DNA matches. Now, it's just a matter of learning the DNA process of searching for her cousins and how to locate her line. I hope that this information I have given will also lead to more information concerning Pamela Stanton Reed. We are searching for the names of her parents and the names of Nick Munoz parents. We have a long way to go so.... Let the fun begin!


  1. Replies
    1. Hi Sara,

      I found a Nick Munoz born in Sacramento, California born 24 Sept 1952 on Ancestry. I connected him to her Nick Munoz until I find out otherwise. It would be around the early 1950's based on the pictures of her birth parents.