How we Found Lynnette
Researching families can be so frustrating, brick wall after
Several years ago I signed on to a ROOTSWEB mailing list for
GILLIHAN hoping to connect with my Husband's Grandfather. We knew his name, William....not much help there, must be a thousand
William Gillihans. We knew the general location where he had lived but that's about all. For two years I read every posting,
posted dozens of queries but nothing ever came of it. Eventually I unsubscribed, admitting defeat, I went on to researching
other family names and had astonishing luck which gave me renewed hope for our Gillihan line. I re-subscribed to the Gillihan
mailing list and once again read every posting from the beginning. It was tedious and boring and I know I must have missed
a few clues along the way. In February of 2000 I was still reading postings and getting pretty close to the end. I was in
the 1998 postings, late one night and ready to give up for good when.....there it was....not the posting I was looking for
but one that was so familiar, I knew it had to be our Gillihans that this person was looking for. In part, the message said;
My name is Marie, I'm looking for my birth father.
I was told his name is Elmer (Steve) Gillahan. He would probably be in his 80's now, living in Washington, or Kansas. From
the information given to me, he had 2 sons and one daughter.
She related that her Mother had only given her this information
in 1996. Until then, her Mother had never given her any answers to her questions about her birth Dad. The alias "Steve"
really gave it away, I just knew it was our Elmer she was refering to.
The rest is history. I e-mailed her.....she thought I was nuts....I
e-mailed her again....she was still unsure that this was really happening. The clincher was a photo of Elmer that I e-mailed
to her. The fact that they are Father and Daughter is obvious. She was overjoyed, we were thrilled and within hours every
family member I could think of got a phone call. She was sorry to hear her father had died in 1951 but she still had all of
She flew out to Washington that Fall and made the rounds of her new family.
So.........the moral to this story
is, don't ever give up....keep searching......
Oh, and by the way, in 2003, we found our elusive "William".
Sadly, he too had passed away as had his daughter, Pauline but we are in contact with a Daughter of Paulines and have found
even more Family. She sent me photos of William & Pauline that we cherish and can be found on another page at this site.
In 2005 we had even more incredible and amazing
We had always known that Gordon had a daughter from a
previous relationship but could never find a clue to where she might be. We knew her Mother's maiden name, we knew that her
name was Dusty but beyond that...nothing. Our children were eager to find and meet her but she became another of our "brick
After many years of searching for Dusty, in 2005....she
found us. Apparently she had been trying to find us also and as she related it....."one night I decided to Google search
for Gordon Gillihan, and there it was". She had found our family site at Genealogy.com and the rest again is
So, now our family is complete. We all met this last Summer
and what an emotional meeting it was. She turned out to be everything we'd hoped for, a much welcome addition to our family.
Amazingly, all the years we had been searching for her she had lived only miles away....... She and her Husband Dan have adopted
four wonderful children so our family has grown by six, virtually overnight but after years of waiting.
Lynnette and her Husband Dave are in law enforcement in Warrenton, Virginia.
Some family members get lost and stay lost........such is the case with the next three family members,
all from the same Van Bibber family. Raymond was the Brother of Gordon's Grandmother Olive. Their story was a tragic one from
the beginning. Raymond, Olive, Ethel, Lillian and Martha were all rhe children of William Albert Van Bibber and Ann Mary Sutton.
These children were all abandoned as small children to the Warrick Children's Orphan's Home in Warrick Co. Indiana and they
never saw their parents again. All the children grew up, married and had families of their own........all except Raymond......this
is his story:
The following information was posted in the Van Bibber Pioneer Newsletter:
WHO IS RAYMON VAN BIBBER?
The 1900 U.S. Federal Census, Indiana, Warrick County, Boon Township, Boonville
City, Ward 4 (ED-147, Page 194 B, Line 79) has the following person in the "Orphan's Home" at 322 Locust Street: Vanbiber,
Raymon, white, male, 11 years old, born December 1889 in Indiana, and both parents born in Indiana. His relation to head of
the "head of the family" (Matron of Home) appears to read "Dep".
Ten years later on April 15, 1910 in Portsmouth, Virginia,
at the U.S. Navy Yard (ED-101, Page 28 A, Line 49), the Census Enumerator recorded the following Sailor in the U.S. Navy:
Vanbibber, Ray J., white, male, twenty something years old (hard to read but appears to be 21), born in Indiana and parents
born in Indiana. The "head of the family" is reported as William F. Halsey, Jr., 27 years old, who later became Fleet Admiral
and famous in WWII as "Bull Halsey".
MY ANSWER TO THE QUESTION.
Raymond J. Van Bibber was the son of William Albert VanBibber and Mary Ann
Sutton. William was the son of Isaac VanBibber and Missouri Ann Sutton. It appears all the children of William and Mary were
orphaned out. Raymond was living in New Madrid County, Missouri on the 1920 census in the home of Elza and Elizabeth Moser.
He is listed as a boarder and his occupation was a tie maker. This is no doubt a railroad tie maker. It states he and his
parents were all born in Indiana. I don't ever recall finding him on the 1930 census and I believe someone thought that he
had gone to Mexico. I have no further information on him after his recording on the 1920 census.
Raymond was last seen alive in the 1940's when he visited his family in Evansville, Indiana....after that....nothing.
The parents of these children are also on our "Missing Persons List". There is some evidence that Ann Mary
remarried and had other children but I have found no positive proof. On small slip of paper in my Mother-in-Law's
belongings I found: Ann married McGowen, 2 children.
Likewise with William who was last found on the 1920 Census and never heard of again.