Sunday, September 09, 2018

Proving the Generations 2: My Dad

In the first post of this series, Proving the Generations, I wrote how my goal is to use the Genealogical Proof Standard to show my ancestry through my great-great-grandparents' generation.

In this second post, I will be proving that my father, Bryan Henry Robbins, is the son of Robert Louis Robbins and Jeanne Marie Holst (born Jane Marie York).  To begin, I must clarify that my paternal grandfather's middle name was often spelled Lewis, for his mother's maiden surname, and it is likely that his middle name was misspelled on his birth certificate.  I must also clarify that my paternal grandmother was an adoptee, born Jane Marie York, whose name was legally changed at adoption to Jeanne Marie Holst when she was 16, although she had been using the latter name as a foster child since she was three years old.  More details on my grandmother's birth and adoption will be provided in the fifth post of this series.

My dad at five years old.

Because my father is living, I will not be providing as many details or citations in this post as I will in the posts where all the ancestors are deceased.  My father was born in Canada during World War II to American parents.  My grandfather was stationed at a U.S. Army Air Corps base in the Province of Alberta, and my grandmother and my aunt, not quite two years old, were living on base with him.  My grandmother had followed my grandfather quite literally around the continent to the various bases he was assigned at.  These are the stories told to me by my grandparents and aunt (who has a few early memories of these times), and they are backed up by a photo album my paternal great-grandmother put together as a birthday gift for her son, my grandfather.  Additionally, I have a photo of my expectant grandmother walking down the street of the city where my father was born, holding my toddler aunt's hand; this photo was taken by a street photographer, a common occurence during World War II.  I also have numerous photos of my father with his parents, from infancy to adulthood.

My father was named for his grandfathers, William Bryan Robbins, Sr. and Alfred Henry Holst (my grandmother's adoptive father), showing indirectly that he is related to his parents, and thus grandparents.

There were several documents created at or near the time of my father's birth which state his birth date and location of birth:

  1. His Certificate of Birth issued by the Province of Canada, stating his birth date, city of birth, his parents' names (Robert Louis Robbins and Jeanne Marie Holst) and their respective birth places (Muskegon Heights, Michigan, U.S.A. and Goodrich, Michigan, U.S.A.).
  2. A baby announcement in his baby book stating his birth day of the week, birth date (month and day, but interestingly, not the year), time of birth, "U.S. Station Hospital" and the city, province, and country, and signed by the attending doctor and nurse.  It appears this baby announcement may have been provided by the hospital where he was born.
  3. Within a few weeks of my father's birth, my grandfather submitted a Report of Change of Status and Address to the War Department.  This report gives my father's birth date and birth location, my grandfather's full name, Army serial number, grade, and military mailing address, and allowed for an upgrade in my grandfather's family allowance from the military.
  4. Although it was created when he was 16 years old and not at or near the time and place of birth, my dad's Certificate of Citizenship from the Department of Justice, Immigration and Naturalization Service gives his date and country of birth, and his current residence, which was known to be the same residence as my grandparents.  Citizenship is issued in the United States by the federal government only after careful examination of documents and the participating parties.
  5. While the Certificate of Citizenship does not list my father's parents' names, the Summons for Interview for Certificate of Citizenship, dated a couple of weeks previous to the certificate date and mailed to the residence where my father and grandparents lived, stated my father had to appear at the Office of the County Clerk with both parents.  Since my grandparents had to attend the interview, it stands to reason that the information on the certificate would be accurate.

Additionally, my father's DNA matches his parents' biological relatives on both his father's and mother's sides of the family.  His paternal aunt, my paternal grandfather's sister, shares 1,842 centimorgans (cM) of DNA with my father, which is consistent with an aunt/nephew relationship.  Dad also shares 325 and 255 cM with a paternal second cousin and maternal second cousin, respectively, which is consistent with a 1st-3rd cousin relationship.

Finally, I am providing some information on my parents' marriage, even though it is not used to prove parentage.  My parents' Marriage License/Certificate of Marriage document states my parents' full names, age at the date of the license (issued four days before their wedding), residences, full birth places, and names of their parents: Robert Lewis [sic] Robbins, Jeanne Marie Holst, William Valk Jr., and Ruth Lillian Hoekstra.  The license half is signed by the deputy county clerk.  The certificate half is signed by the officiating minister, best man, and matron of honor, and gives the date and location of their marriage.  I have in my possession professional and informal photographs of the event, an invitation to the wedding from their scrapbook, and copies of articles from the local newspaper regarding their engagement and their wedding.

My father is the son of Robert Louis Robbins (a.k.a. Robert Lewis Robbins) and Jeanne Marie Holst, (a.k.a. Jane Marie York).


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4 comments:

Joan said...

I am finding your posts in this series a fascinating work. I am following along, clicking off what I have and don't have. Fun.

Barb LaFara said...

I'm curious about the Certificate of Citizenship, I have not heard of this before. Is it required of every US citizen born outside the US? I would have thought being born at 'US Station Hospital' they would have issued something to the parents at birth to prove his citizenship.

Miriam J. Robbins said...

Hi, Joan,

Thanks for dropping in. I'm a little late with replies, as I was on vacation most of last week. Yvette had a great idea, no?

Miriam J. Robbins said...

Hi, Barb,

Thanks for dropping in. I'm a little late with replies, as I was on vacation most of last week. Dad had to apply for U.S. citizenship, because--as he says--his birth was registered with the Province of Alberta, and not at the military hospital. I think his situation kind of fell between the cracks. Today, he would have automatically been granted U.S. citizenship, like any military dependent born on a U.S. military base. I often think of how John McCain was born in the Panama Zone and was granted U.S. citizenship automatically, and he was born in the decade before Dad. It's a kind of interesting case, and I still rather believe he should have not had to apply.