Hello Judy Melby,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We suggest you review the Iowa Department of Human Services site for information regarding requests for Iowa adoption records and contact information for the Clerks of Court who may be able to access records relevant to your research. You may wish to note any name variants or broaden your search for the surrounding years. In addition, the FamilySearch Research wikis for Iowa Vital Records and Iowa Adoption Research may be helpful.
In addition, you may also find NARA’s Resources for Genealogists, as well as the History Hub Blog titled Suggestions and Advice for Family History Researchers useful.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
Welcome to History Hub
I have some questions for you
1. Can you share the source of the information that caused you to think she was born in Iowa?
2. I noticed that you mentioned Ancestry. Have you thought of doing a DNA test to see if someone comes forward to match you?
3. If the Dr. and his wife were Mormons you may want to contact the Latter Day Saints through the familysearch.org website. Family search is free you just need to register to join.
4. Did she have a Social Security Card. She would have needed a birth certificate to get one.
If you have an Ancestry subscription you could try this:
I found marriage of Jacob and Lelia Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940; https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:939J-KSS1-91?cc=1803970&wc=3264-N38%3A146338401
I found Walter M. Haggett in the following Physicians Database. It is kind of confusing as far as where he lived it could have been either Ohio or Illinois. In the census he and his wife Adeline/Adelaid were both listed as being born in Ohio but your grandmother's parents are listed as being born in unknown and she is listed as adopted.
First, thanks to each of you for your suggestions. I'll address your questions in order.
Zach, I sent an email to the Clerks of Court office for their recommendation for how to pursue this info, am awaiting a response.
Alice, the census records from 1910, 1930, 1940 all list her as born in Iowa and a couple of them identify her as adopted, parents unknown. I don't find Keokuk identified as her birthplace in the records, but I think that information came from someone in the family. In 1985, my mother and I searched the old record books of births in Keokuk, but we didn't find any female birth for July 10, 1893. or even close to that date. That made me think that Keokuk wasn't correct or the birth wasn't recorded. My thought has always been that as a physician out delivering babies on both sides of the Mississippi (he went to medical school in Keokuk), it would have been easy for him to deliver a baby, take it home if the baby wasn't wanted and not record it. He and his wife had one birth child, born 1887, who died when she was 8 days old. Addie was considered frail so having another child was probably to be avoided.
Several years ago, I did DNA on both 23 and Me and Ancestry, am still looking for a match that fits, or better said, that doesn't fit.
They weren't Mormons.
She had a social security card issued before 1951, but since her adoption was presented as a secret to the later generations of her family, I think she wouldn't have identified them if she actually knew. I'll continue to look for that.
Lelia and Jacob Meinhardt were married in Nauvoo, Sept of 1917.
Walter was born and raised in Sidney, Ohio, as was Addie, but he went to medical school in Keokuk and then they lived in Nauvoo, always renting, never buying a house. He practiced medicine, what you'd call a country doctor, in the town of Nauvoo and the surrounding farming community from 1885 to 1931. A very special man.
Thank you...I'm on it!
Name Year of License Residence/Location(Illinois Counties Listed) Haggett, Walter M. 1887 Hancock
I sent you a bad link for the Physician's Database. It will not copy/paste. This is the information. The following chart states that Dr. Haggett attended college in Keokuk.
Alice LaneWalter M. HaggettCertificate Number
N/AOriginal Volume & Page #'s
V. 5, p. 50Year of License
(Illinois Counties Listed)
Found a few more items for you.
Leila's marriage license states that she was born in Nauvoo, Illinois.
The following three items give Leila middle initial as H, most likely means Haggett
Social Security Death Index for Leila Meinhardt Lelia H Meinhardt, "United States Social Security Death Index" (familysearch.org)
Hi y'all... I may have found some relevant matches on the 23 and me DNA Family Tree. I sent them messages...they're 3rd cousins once removed on my grandmother's side, at least that's the way it looks. We'll see. They aren't people who check 23 and me very often so this may take awhile. I will let you know when/if I hear from them. Thanks for your help. Judy