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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Finding a Missing Grandmother after 1958

Brianne asked about her missing grandmother.
My grandmother left my mother's family around 1958 with a man other than my grandfather. Since then, we haven't been able to find anything about her. She was a French native and came over to the US in 1946 after she married my grandfather. We have been trying to find her for at least 20 years and there seems to be no sign of her anywhere, even her French family never heard from her. Wouldn't there be records of her naturalization or social security number somewhere? As far as I know, she never had a SS# before she left my grandfather. Also, I found her passenger list....does the application number mean anything? What would you suggest to try and find her?

OLIVE TREE ANSWER: Hello Brianne - I've edited out the details re your grandmother's name, her date of birth and the name of the man she ran off with. It was for privacy reasons, as there is a chance she is still alive. But let me go ahead and try to answer your query.

First, there might not have been any need for your grandmother to naturalize as she may have had automatic citizenship under her husband. See http://www.naturalizationrecords.com/ for more help and information on Naturalization in USA

Second, she might not have had a SSN, she may not have needed one.

Thirdly, it sounds as if you want to find her after she left her husband in 1958 so finding previous records wouldn't really be much help to you. Her passenger list application number won't help as she arrived in 1946, 12 years before she ran off.

Does your family have any clues at all? Rumours of a state or town/city where she went? What did the man she ran off with, do for work? I'd gather all the clues you can. Write them down. Talk to your mother and any aunts/uncles who might remember something.

Talk to your other grandparents, talk to any family members you can and ask for details - were they religious (maybe you can find a church they belonged to), did they have any passionate hobbies (maybe you can track them through clubs they might have joined)... etc.

But your quest might be a challenge because if your grandmother ran off and never contacted her children again, she may not have  wanted to be found. That means she may have taken great care to hide her whereabouts. She could have used any of 3 surnames - her maiden name, her married name or her boyfriend's name. All of this makes your quest a challenge.

Please do get back to AskOliveTree if you find any further clues that might help - even the age of her boyfriend would be helpful, or where he was born. All of these might lead you to his death or other record which in turn might lead to your grandmother.

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