Ruth's Genealogy

“I don't know who my grandfather was; I am much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.” -Abraham Lincoln

The previous post presents a dilemma: How does one handle an adoption when researching one’s ancestry?
As I have said previously, my great-grandfather John Thomas Stanley and his brother Henry Thomas Fair were abandoned as small children and found by my great-great grandfather Miles Francis Stanley. Miles and his wife Maryland adopted John and Maryland’s sister Martha and her husband John Fair adopted brother Henry. Of note here is that both of the boy’s middle names was Thomas. Apparently when questioned at the time they were found, older brother Henry, then about 6 years old, stated their last name was Thomas, hence their middle names became Thomas.
So, now I have a great-grandfather who was adopted. No one seems to know who his real parents were. The question is: do I research his adoptive family as if it were my own bloodline, or do I stop at John Thomas Stanley?
Obviously, I have already made my decision.
But I have also been reading a lot on the subject of adoption & genealogy. Some folks are quite rigid and refuse to consider an adopted person as a true member of their family. In a nutshell: “if it ain’t blood, it ain’t mine!” My question to those folks is this: If you believe your adopted ancestor does not belong on your family tree, if you believe that person is basically a non-ancestor, where does that leave you? You, in turn, as a descendant of said non-ancestor, are also a non-ancestor, are you not? There’s no leap-frogging in genealogy!
My own belief is this: While my great-grandfather was not a blood descent of my great-great grandfather, he was reared as his own son, in every way possible. Miles Stanley’s belief and values system, his love of family and community, even a few physical characteristics, these all became John Thomas Stanley. When a child is brought into a family and nurtured as if he were actually born into that family, the result is the same. Therefore, I consider all the ancestors of Miles Francis Stanley I and Trilla Maryland Davis, including the Chappells, the Applings, the Wheelers, all of them, THEY’RE ALL MY FAMILY!

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