2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 3, 2020 10:43 AM by Rebecca Collier

    Seeking to discover biological father of grandmother


      I am seeking help to discover who is the biological father to my maternal grandmother. As a child, she used the name Vivian Steffen although that could not have been her birth name.  Her mother's maiden name was Tietz, so maybe at birth her name would have been Vivian Tietz??  Her DOB was  8/29/31.  I had believed she was born in Wisconsin (maybe Menomonee Falls or Waukesha area) although I am now no longer sure as I cannot find a birth certificate.   I have tried looking in all states to see if I could find a birth certificate in the event my great-grandmother left the state to deliver, but I have not had any luck.  Her mother was Evelyn Tietz (DOB 1/17/14).  She eventually goes on to marry Paul Steffen a few years after my grandma Viv is born and she either has her last name legally changed to Steffen or they just use that last name as growing up, my grandmother uses the name Vivian Steffen.


      Although this was not a topic we ever discussed, and I only learned of it right before her death from her directly,  I am told that my great-grandmother Evelyn was raped as a young girl by a farmhand on their family farm and this is how she became pregnant with my grandma Viv.  I am told that charges were pressed against the farmhand, he was convicted, he went to prison (maybe Waupun or Dodgeville) and that this was all very much covered in the local newspaper.  I cannot find any record of any of these things; not a birth certificate, a home birth record, newspaper articles, case numbers, any inmate records....I cannot find anything.  I am seeking to discover the truth about who my grandmother's biological father is and where her birth certificate is.  Any help in what has been a very emotional a relentless pursuit for me would be appreciated beyond words.  Thank you

        • Re: Seeking to discover biological father of grandmother

          I do not have the answer to your question.  However, I did find your family on FamilySearch.org.  I "cleaned-up" some obvious discrepancies and posted some hints which might help you.  The site is free.  Your ancestor is GQSR-5LF.  Good luck.

          • Re: Seeking to discover biological father of grandmother
            Rebecca Collier Ranger

            Dear Ms. Roberts,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            We suggest that you check with Wisconsin Department of Health Services - Vital Records Services for a record of amending her birth certificate or perhaps an adoption by Paul Steffen. Perhaps her parents had to provide a birth certificate when Vivian attended school. Unfortunately, the requirements for school enrollment, voting  driver’s license, a marriage license, or applying to Social Security were not as legalistic as they are now.


            We searched the National Archives Catalog and located the Population Schedules for the 1930 Census (T626) in the Records of the Bureau of the Census (Record Group 29), which indicates in the schedule for Washington County, Wisconsin that Evelyn was employed as a hired girl at a private residence. Most of the schedules have not been digitized yet and available using the Catalog. For access to the non-digitized schedules (T626), please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) via email at archives1reference@nara.gov.


            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


            The 1930 Census (T626) has been digitized by Ancestry. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the National Archives has partnered with Ancestry to make the vast majority of their NARA-digitized holdings freely available to the public. Anyone with Internet access may create an account, access NARA records, and use other Ancestry resources, such as their educational offerings and family tree-maker application. For more information see Ancestry’s announcement -- “Free At-Home Education Resources From Ancestry® and Access to Nearly 500M National Archives Records”.


            We hope that this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!