Help identifying natural parents of adoptee

+3 votes

I could use some help in identifying/confirming the genetic parents of a local person being researched for the county historical society. Helen J Hoke first appears in the 1900 US Census record as Helen J Shaw, orphan in the household of her adoptive Hoke parents. She does not appear with them in the 1895 state census. Believing the adoption likely local, I found an obituary for a Josephine Shaw who passed away Oct 1895 in the same town as where the adoptive parents lived at the time. Josephine's youngest daughter was Helen, age 5 at that time. Obit of Josephine:

Josephine's husband William was killed in a railroad accident in Jan 1901. The only news report which I can find does not list the children. Did he give up Helen for adoption some time after his wife died? On William's Find-a-Grave memorial, four of the five children listed in Josephine's obit are attached--all except little Helen. Helen was six years younger than her next oldest sibling when her mother passed away.

Edit to add: Probable genetic mother: Josephine Helen (Dennison) Shaw.  Probable genetic father: William Shaw.

WikiTree profile: Helen Spear
in Genealogy Help by T Stanton G2G6 Pilot (212k points)
edited by T Stanton


in the U.S., Obituary Index, 1800s-current

View image U.S., Obituary Index, 1800s-current
View original image on (May require an additional subscription).
Name: Hoke
Gender: Female
Residence Place: Los Angeles
Death Date: 17 Feb 1938
Death Place: Los Angeles, Calif.
Obituary Date: 26 Feb 1938
Obituary Place: Hutchinson, Kansas, USA
Spouse: James Hoke
Interesting the term "foster" is used rather than adopted. Helen used the Hoke surname prior to marriage, Not yet sure about Esther.

1 Answer

+3 votes
What an interesting mystery!

You may want to check out this page:

If you want more information, scroll to the bottom and click on the categories listed.

Hope that helps and good luck with your search!
by Peggy Watkins G2G6 Pilot (269k points)
Thanks, Peggy. I plan to change her LNAB to follow WT instructions on that once I am able to confirm the identity of her genetic parents.

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