Mr Whisker 2017

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The Orlando Facial Hair Club had it’s Winter Beard Comp called ‘Mr Whisker 2017,’ and it was a blast! The group did a most excellent job organizing the competition and pulling it off without a hitch.  The charity that benefited from the competition was One Heart for Women and Children of Orlando, and I believe the group raised over $3500 for the charity. Awesome job guys!

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The competition was well attended and received and the host site, Orlando Brewing, was a perfect spot for the comp. The staff is friendly and informed on the products.feb-11-2017-orlandobrewingmensroom

I was a bit late in getting there, and was excited to be there for sure.  I got to catch up with the guys n gals in the group, hugs and love to them, and met new folks too. Always a good time with the OFHC, and they really are the nicest group of folks anyone could have the pleasure of knowing.

I did take pics, but with my phone, and they weren’t the best. I ended up in a few other photos, both with Grizzly Stonewall Jackson’s phone. One Grizz took himself, and one was taken by someone else.feb-11-2017-orlandomrwhisker

Scott Metts left, Gary Norman on the right. Photo credit; Grizzly Stonewall Jackson. Taken Feb 11th, 2017 at Orlando Brewing in Downtown Orlando, FL.

 

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L to R: Scott Metts, Gary Norman, Grizzly Stonewall Jackson. Photo Credit to Grizzly’s phone, but no clue who took the pic!

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Beard of the day

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Ever Growing Family Connections

As most of my friends know I was adopted and I’ve been on a rather slow, but lifelong hunt for my biological parents; more precisely trying to find my heritage. After taking a DNA test with Ancestry.com last August, I got the heritage information I was so desperately seeking, and was a bit surprised too actually!

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Once you do the DNA test, cousin matches start to show up, and increase in number generally daily. As more DNA tests are done and compared, that list grows. Now the actual key to ancestry dot com’s joy are the leafs that appear. The leafs mean you are in that person’s family tree! Out of over 1200 cousin matches, I’ve only gotten 3 leafs, but for someone who was adopted at 3 days old, those three leafs are a boon!

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The starred matches are something I’ve done. As I go through the cousin match list, I star matches based on location of birth, age, or surnames that are familiar. This is all very fascinating to me, as my original goal was simply to get my heritage, but now it seems I’m very close to discovering who my father is. His last name is known to me, as are his parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, but his name is still elusive.

I’ve gotten no information or ‘leafs’ on my biological mother’s side to date from the testing. I do know she is still alive though, through research by GARR (Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry). GARR contacted her by phone last January of 2016, and she said it wasn’t a good time to talk. Then in June, GARR sent her a letter, to which she never responded.

Since doing my DNA test, I’ve discovered a 1st cousin (whose father is my father’s brother), and since she was also adopted, she doesn’t know her dad’s name. If she finds that, I’ll find my father’s name! I also know that her granddaughter, my 1st cousin twice removed, and I share DNA.

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As of last night (12/14/16) I’ve discovered a biological sister!! Her family tree is where I got my father’s last name from. My sister match has all the information filled out on her father’s side, except our father’s actual name. Her personal profile on ancestry is not filled out, so I don’t know what she looks like, where she lives, how old she is, nor anything else about her, other than we share a Father.

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I look forward to more matches, leafs, and fascinating information as more DNA tests are taken and compared to the vast DNA date base that ancestry.com has. What started simply as a heritage search, after 35 years of searching, is now turning into a fantastic family hunt!

 

GWNorman

December 15th, 2016

 

 

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The Present Makes Sense of The Past?

I’d previously written in a blog that as a child growing up in Augusta, Georgia, I’d told folks I was Anglo-Saxon. (Note Here – I was adopted at 3 days old)  I was around 5 or so when I started saying this, but my folks are not British, directly and I’m not sure where I’d have gotten this idea from.  My Dad was a History major in college, but he only ever spoke of the Normans, of which his family is descended from.  I also wrote that I used to get in trouble in my early years in school for spelling words like the British do. It always seemed odd to me, though I didn’t spend too much time thinking about this as I grew up. It was what it was, and that was that.

Let’s jump from c.1967 to 2016, and I have a DNA test done, and find, fascinatingly so, that nearly 3/4 of my DNA is from Great Britain. There’s also some Scandinavian and Irish in there too, but I wonder does this make sense of my past behavior? (excuse me, behaviour!)

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Beard of the day

Most Excellent!

Fearsome Beard

Fearsome and his buddy Raymond at Vizcaya. Fearsome and his buddy Raymond at Vizcaya.

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The Results Are In!! Ethnicity Estimates

After 47 years of wondering (I was told at age 7 that I was adopted), and more recently attempting to find my biological mother, then anxiously awaiting my DNA results; the DNA test results are in!.dna-results-09-10-16

Being adopted, I had NO idea what the results would look like, though I’d kind of expected the results to be more in the Middle East Region. Looks like I’m more Celt than anything, which suits me just fine! My adoptive family are Normans, and I think my ethnicity estimate fits that nicely!  The DNA results came along with a list of probable/possible family members from 3rd cousins back. The list is over 1000 people long. There are however no family members listed that are more closely related to me than 3rd cousins.  That was somewhat a buzz kill as I’d imagined that my biological mother might have done this test and would have shown up in my results.  That’s probably the only way I’ll ever found out who she is (with or without a meeting) because she turned down a phone call in February from GARR (the Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry), and hasn’t responded to a letter they sent he in June.

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I’m quite excited about getting my results and only wish my folks were still with me to put their two cents in on the results lol

 

 

Explaining ‘Trace Regions.’

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My Continuing Heritage Search…

Last Fall (2015), I’d contacted GARR (Georgia Adoption Reunion Registry) in an attempt to find out about my personal heritage. I stumbled through the steps GARR requires one to do, got all the paperwork notarized and mailed off. A few things had to be paid for and those were taken care of. The last thing I’d authorized (and paid for) was a records search, because my adoption records had almost no information in them.

My adoption records stated three things, to the best of my knowledge, and that was that my biological mother was the same race and religion as my adoptive parents, and that my biological mother was ‘culturally lower.’  GARR can’t figure out what that means, but i have a few ideas as to what it could be related to. We do need to remember that I was adopted at 3 days old in August of 1962, in Augusta, Georgia.  Finding this lack of information is what lead us to a records search to find names, or anything else that may be of interest.

Shortly after this occurred in December of 2015, I ‘lost’ my phone and went for several months without it.  During this period I’d received no emails and obviously no phone calls and I began to wonder if the trail had dried up. Around April of 2016,  I contacted GARR by email asking about progress and they responded (eventually) telling me they had gotten the records, and found my biological mother!!!!  I was flabbergasted as I read the email, that she was still alive, and that they’d even attempted contact via phone with my biological mother, who told GARR, this wasn’t a good time to talk.

I got my phone back on shortly after this and called Ginny at GARR to talk to her about this, and she told me they were going to send a letter to this woman, apparently asking her to contact them. I was surprised, happy, confused, etc. and ended the call expecting to hear something, anything, soon.

I went another month or so and called again to find that in early June of 2016, GARR had indeed sent this woman a letter, but as of today’s date (August 23, 2016), have not received a response. GARR had told me this letter didn’t contain any information, but instead asked my biological mother to contact GARR. Even without information in the letter, I’m sure she knows what it is all about. Since my main goal was to find my heritage and NOT to meet nor chat with my biological mother, I took another route.

I waited for my birth month (August) to order a DNA test done on myself. From what I can tell by what my adoptive mom knew, and what the lack of response from my biological mother tells me, I’m assuming my biological mother was very young, or perhaps it was a rape/incest type thing. Hard to figure out without any information, so it’s all speculative at this point.

I chose the DNA test by Ancestry.com to take, one because it’s not too expensive, and it’s a test that tracks both parent’s DNA. I already know my biological mother is white (and a Christian) from the scant information on the adoption records, so it’s my Father’s side I’m curious about, in addition to the background of both of my parents. I mailed off my DNA sample on August 9th, and got an email from Ancestry.com on August 11th that they’d received my DNA sample.

Now it’s a waiting game again, as Ancestry.com says to give the results 6-8 weeks for processing, before I find out my heritage. I’m very excited about the results as I’ve been curious most of my life (since I was told at age 7 that I’d been adopted) as to what my heritage is.  I know the heritage of my adoptive family, heck they’re Normans! The family has had genealogy work done, and can trace back to England, France, and Germany. Typical for men from the North I’d say.

What am I? We shall soon see!

 

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