You never know what you will find until you look

I was born in July 1959 in Bath, Maine.  I was adopted in 1960 and lived for a few years in Old Orchard Beach.  My adoptive family moved out of Maine, but we still had a cottage in OOB and we would visit every summer.  I was told about being adopted in my teens, and never really dug into it.

Fast Forward to 2005, I had a son, and I wanted to give to him his heritage, both family and genetic. When I got married my mother gave me my adoption probate paperwork.  On it I had my birth mothers name (Lorraine Christine Cramp) and my birth name (George Phillip Cramp).  So having her name, when I was born, and where I was born started looking to see if I could figure out the genealogy.  Using the census records, and Maine state vital records I was able to locate my Grandfather (George Levi Cramp).  it was easier than I thought as he was the only person in the area I was born with the last name Cramp.  He was married 3 times, the third wife was the one that he had children with.  I was able to go back quite a few generations but after about 4 generations I have no good proof that I am correct.

I hit a brick wall on my grandparents kids, I was unable to find birth records or anything but undocumented references to them.  I searched for George Cramp and I found that there was what appeared to be a Jr.  I searched for Phillip as well as I had not seen that name in the genealogy I had found.  I found a death record for a Phillip Cramp in CA, and with a little more searching I found a Social Security Death record for him, and he had a Maine issued SS#.  In searching I found a few articles in Maine papers on my Grandfather - in 1949 he was arrested for DUI and he divorced from my grandmother in that year as well.  At this point I had 3 children's names that I could not be sure were correct

There is a library in Bath, Maine - the Patten Free Library that has a genealogy room, so I figured I would try there to see if I could find anything there.  I wanted to review the collection of high school yearbooks, I was hoping that I could get pictures, figure out birth years, etc.  The yearbooks had seniors only, and it may be that none of them graduated cause I could not locate any pictures or even their names.  When I entered a man asked me what surname I was researching and I told him,  He comes over later and says he located 2 Obits and I should come look.  1 obit was my grandfather, and 1 was for Phillip. The Obits had the family references I needed to get the children linked. I figure that I was named after my mothers 2 brothers, George and Phillip.  Phillip died in a motorcycle accident in CA shortly after getting discharged from the Navy (1973).

Maine changed adoption laws and I was allowed to get a copy of my original birth certificate, so I sent for it.  On the certificate it had a few new pieces of info on my mother.  She was 19 when I was born in July 1959 and she was born in Tremont, Maine which is a good distance from Bath.  That was a puzzle piece that I could not resolve.  It listed my father as unknown so I am not sure I will ever figure that out unless I can locate her.  One obit listed my mother as Lorraine McKinney living in Brunswick, Maine but I have not found anything on that yet.

I went on Spokeo and searched and I located George Levi Cramp, my birth uncle.  I mailed him and got a response back that he was my uncle.  I then talked to him one night and found out that he left and went into the air force, and except for going back once for a year, he has not returned, he lost contact with everyone and does not know much about them except as children.  Then he told me that my mother was adopted, and her birthplace made sense.  He said that he thought her original surname was Lunt and that he thought that she was born in March.

So after several years work, I felt like I was starting over.  In a few months the 1940 census was to come out so I would be able to search that for a young child in Tremont as the census was done very close to her birth date.  In the mean time I researched the Lunt surname and I found out that almost all Lunts in New England trace back to a Henry Lunt that was a founder of the city of Newbury, MA and came to the Massachusetts Bay Colony around 1635.  I found a book that traced the lunt lineage from Henry to all known descendants up to 1914.  Once the census was released I went to the Tremont data in Maine and found a girl named Lorraine Lunt born in March 1940 to a Laforrest and Mildred Lunt.  In the Tremont data, this was the only girl listed born that could be my mother with what I knew.  Using the book as a guide and past census data I was able to figure out Laforrest Lunt's ancestry.  The lunt line he is a part of have an island with a town named Frechboro which they have been a part of almost since the time the island was first settled.  To get some records I will need to go to that island.

Something happened, I find a good deal of info on Laforrest, he has 3 daughters in 1940, 1942 he joins the Army, leaves out of Boston.  When he comes back, he marries another woman in Portland Maine.  He has 3 more daughters and moves with family members (step brother, sister) to RI first and then Northbridge, MA.  In the 70's he moves back to the Tremont area where he eventually dies there.  I found his obit, he has 2, 1 in MA and 1 in ME, the one in Maine mentions the first 3 children where the one in MA does not.

I can not find a reference to Laforrest's first wife, Mildred.  I believe my mother was adopted when she was several years old and they kept her first and second name, and only changed her last name. It think it would be very unusual that 2 families would pick the 2 names Lorraine and Christine for 2 children born in the same month in the same year without some event to popularize the name. I am still searching to finish what I need to prove the Lunt lineage.

I did visit Tremont this summer and I got Laforrests first marriage intentions, and his death certificate, and Lorraine Lunts birth certificate from the town clerk.  I am told that I need to go to the Lunt cookout in Frenchboro to see what they can tell me, they have the cookout every year.  There was a book I got in Tremont written by a person from
the island about the island and it's people which adds to the other Lunt book I have.

Well that's my story, and while it may be subject to some change, I am pretty confident that it is correct.

Views: 318

Comment by Chris Dunham on February 25, 2013 at 9:42am

Fascinating story. Thanks for sharing it, and good luck with your search.

Comment by Chris Dunham on February 25, 2013 at 10:22am

By the way, if you haven't tried DNA testing, now would be a good time to start. Family Tree DNA just lowered the price of their basic Y-DNA test to $39. That might help you narrow down the possible surnames of your birth father. Or you could get an autosomal DNA test from AncestryDNA or 23andMe, which would test a broad spectrum of your DNA and help you find cousins from both sides of your birth family. This might also help to confirm the genealogical work you have already done.

Comment by Robert Kevin Reid on February 27, 2013 at 5:19pm

Thanks Chris

Comment by Deborah Olson on March 31, 2013 at 1:35pm

Such a fascinating story! Thank you for sharing; it makes my search for a couple of wayward ancestors seem extremely simple. Good luck with your continued search.

Comment by Barbara Foster on December 8, 2014 at 3:23pm

Hi Robert I just read you story on the web site.  I found it very interesting.  I would like to know what you found out by going to the cook out.  Did you go?  Please give us an update to this fascinating story. 


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