My uncle Vernon Morrison was adopted  after his mother died young. My grandfather was

  older and could not take care of him. According to my father a priest in Lubec helped with

  the adoption.  I remember  my uncle saying he was adopted by a family named Goins, the

   named he went  by, but was raised by the woman's sister, last name Geddes.  I am trying to find

   out if this was a legal adoption by the state of Maine, or something done by the church. I would

   like to know where to start my search, since I can't find information about adoptions that took

   place years ago. Thanks to all who reply.


     Elaine Fitch

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When was your uncle born, and around what time would the adoption have taken place?

Vernon L.. Morrison/Goan (yes, it's Goan not Goin I got it wrong in my  original query!) born June 5, 1927, adopted around 1931/32? Uncle Vernon died October 18, 2010. He went by the name Vernon Goan his whole adult life. Thanks for your reply, Chris.

Okay, I see Vernon was living in South Hadley, Mass., in 1940. The fact that his name was changed suggests that the adoption may have been a legal rather than an informal arrangement.

If the adoption (or guardianship) occurred in Maine, records of it should be found in one of the county probate courts. I see that Vernon was a native of Gray (Cumberland County), but you say that he perhaps was adopted in Washington County. The records (if they exist) could be held by either court, or maybe even by the court of a neighboring county. There is no statewide index that I know of. The adoption would have occurred long enough ago that the records shouldn't be sealed for privacy reasons, so you would, in theory, be able to view them or obtain a copy. Few probate records from that era are online or available on microfilm, so you might have to contact each probate court and see if Vernon appears in their indexes.

Thank you for sending me the information, it will be a big help because I really didn't know where to start.

I may have met my Uncle when I was a youngster, but my only memory of him and his wife is when he

visited my parents years ago. 

Elaine, I'm doing some research for my brother-in-law's ancestry and his grandfather is your uncle, Vernon Goan.  I didn't know he was adopted, so I'm glad you posted this.  I see you indicated in another post that your grandfather, and I presume Vernon's father, was Patrick Henry Morrison.  And from what Chris linked to below, he was living with Robert and Amelia Geddes.  I'd love to connect the rest of the dots for this puzzle and swap any information I have on his family (brother-in-law is living in Raymond, Maine).  Also, we have our family tree on Geni, which is collaborative, so happy to connect you into it if that is something you're interested in.



     I just found your message this morning.  We have been busy moving to another town, and

     it took longer than we thought.  I have some information, including a copy of Vernon's

    adoption  papers,  

     I will be glad to exchange information with you.  There is  some information, but I never

     got anything out of it.

    My email address is

    Thank you for getting in touch.

     Regards, Elaine





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